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thou didst not leave us in our original nothing; and however mean the materials of which we were composed, yet didst thou breathe into that dust out of which we were taken the breath of life, and a portion of thine own spirit; and hast made us capable of the highest attainments of truth and good
Sanctify, O Lord God! thy gift unto us, and go over again thy workmanship in us, whereinsoever any of us have sinned against thee, and have fallen away from truth and in tegrity.
Enable ns to make use of life and all its powers in thy service, which is nothing but our own greatest ultimate good ; in purifying ourselves from every evil and inordinate affection; in advancing thy truth amongst our fellow-' creatures, and laying hold of every opportunity of improving ourselves by these holy exercises, in which we have now been engaged ; that we may learn, whilst we are here, the business of heaven, and become acquainted with thee; before whom, we have humble hope of living for ever, when this whole scene of mortality shall be over. Our times are entirely in thy hands, O
thou Sovereign Disposer of all things ! As thou didst bring us into life without our knowledge, thou wilt shortly take us out of it, without consulting us. Let not that, our last hour, here find any of us in an unprepared state.
Thy ways also are unsearchable by us ! Whence cometh it, that one is taken away and another left? that here thou cuttest man down, like a flower in the prime of his days, full of promising hopes of usefulness and of doing good? whilst thou sufferest another to live, and do wickedly, and corrupt others, even to extreme old age.
Cause this our darkness and ignorance to humble us, and bring us to look forward unto and to fit ourselves for that future world, where the secrets of thy providence will be opened to us, and we shall behold and know that thou art righteous in all thy ways, and that thy goodness is infinite and everlasting!
Finally, Oheavenly Father! let these thoughts and considerations assist us to sit loose to this world, and even to our most virtuous, natural, and most innocent expectations, and satisfactions in it; that, shouldst thou see it meet and fitting, by a sudden stroke to deprive us of
it not ;
them, in whom our earthly happiness is bound up, we may not be wholly cast down, but
may be brought to a kindly submission to thy fatherly discipline as best for us, though we see
find comfort in the hope of meeting again with all we have loved and valued here, in those mansions of endless felicity which thy bountiful goodness hath provided for us, and promised by Christ our Lord!
Now unto Thee, O Father, &c.
May 18, 1783.
MATTH. xxvi. 6, 7.
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the bouse of
Simon tbe leper, there came unto him a woman, baving an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it out on his bead as he
sat at meat.
Our Lord had now come up to Jerusalem for the last time to keep the passover. He did not, however, lodge in the city, though he spent the whole day from morning to evening in teaching in the temple; but retired to Bethany, an adjoining village, to have more opportunity of being alone with his disciples, and to keep out of the way of his enemies, who were bent upon taking away his life; till his hour was come, and his work was finished.
As he had the certain foreknowledge given to him, that within a very few days he was to suffer, some may think it extraordinary that he should find leisure or be disposed to be