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both with regard to their present and future life.
O God,'blessed for ever! the eternal source of all being and happiness !
With solemn and awful reverence we bow before thy throne, whom no man hath seen nor can see, whose nature is unsearchable, but absolutely perfect in all that is truly great, and lovely, and adorable !
Make us deeply and duly sensible, O thou Most High and Holy! of thine infinite condescension towards us, in exciting us to promote the virtue and welfare of all others to whom our kind offices can be extended, by assuring us in thy holy word, that thereby we are in union with thyself as well as with our great Master Jesus ! and obtain a share in thine own felicity, whose work and delight hath ever been to bring thy creatures to be holy, good, and happy.
Deliver us, therefore, we pray thee, from all narrow contracted views and selfish regards, and cause it to be our pleasure and delight to be helpful to others according to the abilities given, and especially to lead them to the
knowledge of thee, and to walk in thy holy ways, that they may not miss the opportunity of making the needful improvements of this their first probationary state, and go out of it with such corrupt and evil dispositions as must unavoidably be their torment and misery in the future world.
And, O thou God of all grace and goodness, who art the author and finisher of our salvation! in that thou didst afford to the blessed Jesus and his apostles, and bestowest on all others his followers, the necessary powers for their great work: keep' us from all high conceits of ourselves for any of thy gifts to us, for any light or knowledge we may think we enjoy above others, as if we were thereby more worthy of thy favourable regards :
But teach us to know, that holiness, and the fear and love of thee, are beyond the highest attainments of knowledge, which maketh us only better as it influences us to do such things as are well-pleasing in thy sight.
Finally, O Lord our God, by these lessons of thy holy word, be pleased to destroy all selfishness out of our natures, and to make us ready for every thing that is good: that, according to thy gracious promise, we mạy
come one with thee and with thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord ! and inherit the glory and felicity which thou didst
for us before the foundation of the world.
Through him, as his true disciples, we desire to ascribe unto thee, O Father, &c.
The Lord bless us. &C.
January 13, 1782.
MATTH. iv. 1.
Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the
wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
This is the beginning of the narrative of what is called our Saviour's temptation in the wilderness.
That it is a transaction, however, much out of the common way, highly deserving the no tice of his followers, we may gather from its being one of those things which all the three historians of his life have recorded, and its being omitted by St. John, you well know, is no argument of his paying less attention to it.
We happily live in times when, by the diligence of christians and free inquiry into the scriptures, many things therein which had almost from the very first been misunderstood and perverted, have been set in a clear and useful light, and the divine oracles of truth vindicated from that unjust slight and con