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hast enlightened our darkness, thou hast been pleased to announce, that thy spirit shall yet breathe over the valley which is full of bones,—that this our mortal shall put on immortality, and this corruptible be clothed with incorruption,—and that, when the sleep of death is past, a glorious morning shall dawn upon all those who have done well their part in time.
O grant, heavenly Father, that I may may be among those who at that great day shall arise, not with fear but with triumph; and may my heart now be so disengaged from all earthly vanities, that at last I may awake to everlasting life.
I desire this morning, O Lord, to remember with gratitude, that thou hast given us a yet more sensible assurance of our resurrection from the dead: for, blessed be thy name, that he who came into the world as our representative, and who died upon the cross for our sins, has also risen again for our justification; and that when the days of his tarrying upon the earth were accomplished, he went up in glory, from a mountain of this earth, and in the view of his disciples, to thy right hand.
How wonderful, O Lord, have been thy dealings
with the children of men! Surely, O God, it becomes us, in all our fears, and sorrows, and doubts, to commit ourselves with confidence to thy fatherly love; for thou hast assured us, by the highest of all tokens, even by the resurrection and glorious ascension of our Redeemer, that the nature which he saved is precious in thy sight,—and that thou, who gavest thine own Son for us, wilt deny no good thing to them that ask thee.
Grant me, O Lord, a perfect and joyful faith in the acceptance of that work, which, by the resurrection of my Redeemer, thou hast declared to have been well-pleasing in thy sight; and while I see him thus exalted by thine own right hand, may I repose with assured confidence in the belief, that all my sins may be forgiven me, through that death which he once suffered for the transgressions of mankind.
And feeling, as I do, that the hour is coming when I must leave my place among those who are alive, O let me be comforted and sustained by the thought, that as Jesus died and rose again, them also that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. May I, therefore, resign this my mortal garment, in
the blessed hope of being finally clothed with immortality; and, amidst all the fears which the thought of death awakens, may I be strengthened by the belief, that as Christ the first fruits is already risen, they also who are Christ's shall be made alive at his coming.
May the ascension of my Redeemer teach me to elevate my thoughts above all the changes of this earth; and, seeing in the glorious termination of his earthly sorrows an indication of the kindred glory which is reserved for those who follow his steps, may my course in time be conformed to his example, and all my prospects of the life that is to come be full of glory.
And for these purposes grant, O Lord, that as Jesus our forerunner has risen from the dead, and ascended to thy right hand, I also may rise with him to newness of life. May the old man with his deeds, which are corrupt, be taken away, and may my future life be adorned with all the brightness of the new man, which, after Christ, is created in righteousness and true holiness. May the love of God constrain me thus to judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead, and that we who live
should henceforth live, not unto ourselves, but unto him who loved us and gave himself for us.
And feeling, O Lord, how truly grand are the prospects which have been opened up to those who do thy will, and how assuredly our future place in thy kingdom must depend upon the virtue we have attained upon this earth, may I be enabled, by thy grace, to watch all my thoughts with a holy jealousy, lest in any thing I should depart from the perfect way of thy commandments. May neither the follies nor the sins of life ever make me forget how high is the vocation wherewith I am called ; but, adding daily to my faith knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience meekness, and to meekness brotherly kindness and charity, may my course of virtuous attainment be like that of the morning light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
Support me, O Lord, amidst the many cares and griefs with which thou mayest see fit to try me; and may I so improve my trials, that, becoming more and more alive to the evil of sin, and more and more devoted to the practice of all virtue, my present
light afflictions may work out for me an exceeding weight of glory.
Be with me, O most merciful Father, through all the duties and temptations of this day; and grant that these my secret supplications may so impress all holy resolutions upon my heart, that, amidst the busiest hours of occupation or of pleasure, I may consider myself as thy servant, and do all things to thy glory, for Christ's sake. Amen.