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to men which has been made by the crucifixion of thy Son. May I therefore throw myself with perfect trust on thy sovereign grace, and ever be convinced that thou, who sparedst not thine own Son, but didst give him up to death for us all, wilt with him also freely give us all good things.
Under these impressions I now go forth to the duties of this day. O assist me with thy counsel, and direct me by thy grace. Defend me from danger,-comfort me in difficulty,-lead me not into temptation, but deliver me from evil,—and enable me, in all things, to acquit myself as becomes one who has not only been created by thy power, but redeemed by thy mercy.
Hear, in heaven thy dwelling-place, these my prayers, and answer me in love, for my Redeemer's sake. Amen.
PSALM XC. 2.
EVENING PRAYER FOR THURSDAY.
From everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
LORD, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.
How awful, O my God, is the contemplation of thine eternity! Before this green earth sprung from the abyss, before the sun had begun his course in heaven, or the moon and stars shed their beauty on the night, before any thing that lives or vegetates upon this lower world had been called into existence, thou wast, and thine uncreated intelligence foresaw all the things that were to arise. Even before those greater worlds, which people with their brightness the regions of space, had been called from non-exist
ence, and furnished with their glorious inhabitants, thy perfections were from everlasting the same; and my feeble imagination falters, and is overwhelmed, when it attempts to penetrate into the depth of those unfathomed ages, which have yet been beautified by many bountiful displays of thy wisdom and love.
Thou also, O Lord, hast set a period to thy works, and the hour is approaching when all created things shall pass away; the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat,-the earth also, with the works that are therein, shall be burnt up,-and many revolutions shall take place even among those higher orbs, which also are but for a season. But thou, Lord, art for ever the same, and thy years change not.
What, O Lord, is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? What are all the generations of men in the sight of him who liveth for ever and ever? Thou carriest them away as with a flood,-they are as a sleep,they are like the grass which groweth up in the morning; in the morning it flourisheth and groweth up,-in the evening it is cut down and withereth.
Many generations have already passed away since that hour when the heavens and the earth arose; they looked upon thy glorious works for a little, and are departed; and the place that once knew them knoweth them no more for ever.
Thou hast been pleased, in thy good time, to call us also, who now people the earth, into life and happiness; and we are permitted for a season, and in this our earthly sphere, to see part of the wonderful works which thou hast made. But how shortlived is that breath of life by which we are animated! We spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if, by reason of strength, they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
But man has still a more awful thought to indulge than that of his short-lived and momentary being. For, alas, O Lord, we all like sheep have gone astray. We are verily guilty before God; among all the generations of our race there has not been an individual who has done good and sinned
How fearful is it for sinful dust and ashes to come
before him who liveth for ever and ever! Thou
Yet blessed, O Lord, be thy name, that we are not left without hope. For thou knowest our frame, -thou rememberest that we are dust. As the heavens are high above the earth, so far are thy thoughts above our thoughts. As far as the east is from the west, so far hast thou removed our transgressions from us. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all mine iniquities, who healeth all my diseases, who redeemeth my life from destruction, who crowneth me with loving-kindness and with tender mercy.
Blessed be thy name that, though man be far from thee, and his short and sinful day of life is but as a moment in thy sight, thou hast yet condescended to unite him to thyself by sending thine eternal Son to be bone of our bone and flesh of our flesh. Herein indeed is love,-not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.