Imatges de pÓgina

of his providence, which nothing else in life is able to bestow.

Above all, grant, О most merciful Father, that this present affliction may be the means of preparing thy servant either to live or to die. If he (or she) is to live, may it be to discharge every duty of life with a purer spirit and more steadfast zeal ; and, if to die, may his (or her) spirit be purified by the discipline of thy providence, and the influences of thy grace,and be prepared for entering, when this life shall close, on the eternal felicities of thy heavenly kingdom.

Prepare us all, O our God, for our last trial, and may we all habitually believe that the time of our continuing upon this earth is but short,—that we shall soon be called, every one of us, to give an account of our stewardship,-and that, however long may be our years of health and of prosperity, a time is coming when no recollections will bring us comfort but those which remind us of time spent in well-doing. Help us, therefore, to grow in grace as we grow in days and in years ; may every returning day find us better instructed in the ways of Providence, and more disposed to acquiesce in his

counsels. May our last hour be full of peace and of good hope towards God; and, falling asleep in the expectation of a blessed resurrection, may we all at last be welcomed to bliss with these joyful words, “ Well done, good and faithful servants, enter ye into the joy of your Lord.”

And to thy name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed all glory and honour, dominion and praise, world without end. Amen.




Psalm ciii. 1. Bless the Lord, O my soul; and

all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all

his benefits. 3. Who forgiveth all thine iniquities ; who healeth

all thy diseases; 4. Who redeemeth thy life from destruction ; who

crowneth thee with loving-kindness and tender mercies.

Most MERCIFUL FATHER, It becomes me at this time, with a truly grateful heart, to bless and to magnify thy holy name, for all the loving-kindness I have received at thy hand ever since I came into existence. Thou wast the friend of my youth, and the support of my riper


many sorrows thou hast comforted me,in many difficulties thou hast wrought for me deliverance; and now, O Lord, having brought me to the gates of death, thou hast in great mercy called me back into life, and made me to sing aloud of thy tender mercy.

Alas! O Lord, I confess, with shame and confusion of face, that my past life has been far from that perfection after which I ought to have aspired, -I have gone with the foolish into all their follies, -I have even ventured to commit presumptuous sins,--and have hardened my heart in the belief that my mountain would for ever stand strong, and that my

rock would never be moved. Hadst thou called me into judgment, I could not have answered for my transgressions,—and thou mightest for ever have set the mark of thy displeasure upon me.

But, even in wrath, O Lord, thou rememberest mercy. Thou hast afflicted me, and brought me low, and hast made me to see, upon my bed of sickness, how vain are all the illusions of this world, and how unsatisfactory is every thing but the remembrance of a life spent in thy service.

It is my duty, O my Father, to bless thee for

the suffering which has thus made me to see light clearly. But, alas ! O God, thou knowest that, with returning health, all the illusions of life may return, -and that, if thou deniest thy grace, I

may yet run into greater folly and more heinous sin.

But thou, O Lord, canst also prevent this sad issue; and, blessed be thy name, that thou hast promised that thou wilt never leave nor forsake those who put their trust in thee.

Grant, o heavenly Father, that I may at no time forget the deliverance which I have now experienced; but may a settled habit of thankfulness, and of devout remembrance, keep me in thy fear, and in a persevering discharge of all my

duties. Enable me to understand clearly what is the duty which thou hast called me to perform. Let no vain or sinful pursuits ever lead me from the right path; but may

I be enabled to devote myself, with all my powers, to that sphere of usefulness in which thy providence has placed me, and to consider it as my meat and my drink to do thy holy will.

May I be more attentive than I have formerly been to all the duties of piety,-ever considering thy word as my delight,--not forsaking the assem

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