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to watch, not only all my words and actions, but all my thoughts, with a godly jealousy, lest in any thing I should offend thy pure eye; for I know that thou, Lord, wilt at last bring all my thoughts into judgment; and that my future place in thy kingdom must depend, not merely on that part of my conduct which man may observe, but on those hidden motives and invisible intentions, which thou only canst observe and weigh.
I feel, O Lord, that I am not able thus to purify my heart; for I am compassed with temptation, and laden with infirmity, and if left to myself I must fall seventy times a-day.
But blessed be thy name, that thou hast promised, through Jesus Christ thy Son, that thou wilt give thy Holy Spirit to them that ask it. O send forth thy Spirit into my heart, that all my darkness and evil propensities may be taken away, that my inner man may be washed and sanctified,—and that my soul may be made a temple fit for the habitation of the Holy Ghost.
Enable me to take the example of him, whom thou hast set forth as the model of all goodness, as my guide in this discipline of purity,—of him who
was meek and gentle in heart,—who did always that which is well-pleasing in thy sight,-who was holy, harmless, and undefiled,-and who associated with sinners, only that he might be the instrument of doing them good.
Deliver me, O God, from the influence of ungodly men, and let not the folly or sin that abounds in their conversation ever entice me to renounce the allegiance which I have sworn unto thee, or make me forget the high vocation wherewith I have been called.
I am but imperfectly acquainted with the many and secret sins that cleave unto me. O let not any sin have dominion over me. "Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my thoughts. And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."
And grant, O heavenly Father, that the sins which still adhere to me may be forgiven, for thy beloved Son's sake, whom thou hast sent into the world to be the propitiation for sin, and from whose boundless mercy alone I look for the remission of all mine iniquities.
Into thy hands, O Lord, I commit my spirit
through the hours of this night. Let no evil come near my dwelling. Grant me, if it be thy will, the blessing of sound and refreshing sleep, and keep my mind from all wandering and vain thoughts.
Grant me perfect resignation to whatever thou mayest see fit to ordain for me; and may all my conduct be so ordered by thy guidance, that when the wearisome day of this mortal life is completed, I may fall asleep in the hope of a blessed resurrection, and finally awaken to everlasting life. For Christ's sake. Amen.
MORNING PRAYER FOR THURSDAY.
1 COR. v. 7. Christ our passover is sacrificed for us.
WHEREWITH, O Lord, shall sinful dust and ashes come before thee? For thou, Lord, art holy, and just, and pure,―thy nature is above every thing that partakes of imperfection and sin, and thou canst not look on iniquity but with abhorrence. Even the angels of light, who minister before thy throne, are chargeable with folly, and the highest seraph that obeys thy will veils his face with his wings, as unworthy to look on thine uncreated excellence. How then, O God, shall I, who am compassed with infirmity, dare to approach the footstool of thy throne? or with what offerings shall I present a sacrifice which may be well-pleasing in thy sight?
Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the cattle on a thousand hills; thou desirest not sacrifice, else would I give it thee; thou delightest not in burntoffering.
Yet adored be thy name that, sinful as I am, and far removed from the brightness of thy presence, I am not left without hope in presenting myself before thee. For thou, Lord, knowest our frame; thou rememberest that we are dust; and thou hast adapted thy government of this lower world to the frail and fallen nature with which its inhabitants are endowed. Blessed, therefore, be thy name, that thy throne is to man a throne of grace; and that though higher beings are required to present a faultless obedience, to man thou hast graciously revealed thyself as a Being who forgiveth iniquity and blotteth out sins,—and who is long-suffering even to his thoughtlessness and guilt.
I thank thee, O heavenly Father, that in thy blessed word this character of thine administration has been most fully revealed: for thou hast therein declared thyself to be the Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.