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Unto God be glory and thanks for his providential goodness and care over us!
O Thou sovereign eternal Spirit, the kind author of our beings, the Father of our spirits : who are full of compassion and good. ness towards thy sinful returning creatures ; but who requirest purity of heart and sincerity in all that come nigh unto thee and look for thy favour !
We acknowledge with deep regret, many of us, before thee, that our sins have justly kept us at a distance from thee, and hindered us from seeing thee, and taking pleasure in thy reviving presence with us, who art the life and joy of thy whole rational creation.
But help us, O Lord our God, at the last, so effectually to watch over our infirmities and passions, that we may overcome the many snares and temptations to evil, which it pleaseth thee to put in our way for our trial and confirmation in that which is good; and being purified from all vicious habits and wrong desires, and forwarded in every thing thou requirest of us, we may become unceasingly the objects of thy favourable countenance and regards.
And because our highest satisfaction and joy spring from the right knowledge of thee, O thou Most Holy! and employment of our thoughts about thee, sanctify our dispositions by thy word and holy spirit, that we may have the happiness of enjoying thy gracious communications, and seeing thee at all times, and in all things; in all thy glorious works in the world around us, and in all thy dealings with us and all thy children of mankind ; that, when the day of adversity comes, we may look up with confidence to thee who art the refuge of the afflicted, and of all that trust in thee; and when our spirits are cheered by thy goodness, we may take delight in singings of praise and thanksgiving to thee, O benevolent parent, and most bountiful giver of all we have and all we hope for!
Finally, O God, we beseech thee to cause these religious exercises, in which we are engaged on this day of sacred leisure of thine appointment, to be serviceable to us; that we may continually improve by the lessons of thy holy word laid before us, and that this our application to thee for greater degrees of wisdom and purity may proceed from such dis
positions as are approved by thee, and may, through thy mercy, be the means of procuring us all needful assistance to make us perfect in our degree, and to establish us before thee: that when we leave this world, in thy good appointed time, we may
partakers of the unspeakable happiness of thy chosen servants in the world to come, which thou hast promised us by Christ our Lord.
September 30, 1789.
JOHN xvii. 22
And the glory which thou gavest me, I have given
them; that they may be one, even as we are
I present you here a part of our Saviour's prayer for himself and his apostles and followers before his death, in which it will appear that we are all interested and concerned : for he prefaces this part of it with saying; (ver. 20.) “ Neither
I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word.”
We have every reason to believe, and to be assured, that our Lord was most constant and assiduous in his more secret devotions, although concerning these we are wholly ignorant, however desirous we might have been to know in what strains of profoundest reverence, mixed with humble confidence, he