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Upon these and many other titles, I confess it is my duty, to love thee my God, with all my heart. Give thy strength unto thy servant, that thy love may fill my heart, and be the motive of all the use I make of my understanding, my affections, my senses, my health, my time, and whatever other talents I have received from thee. Let this, O God, rule my heart, without a rival: let it dispose all my thoughts, words, and works; and thus only can I fulfil my duty and thy command, of loving thee, 56 with all my heart, and mind, and soul, and strength.”
Othou infinite Goodness, confirm thy past mercies to me, by enabling me, for what remains of my life, to be more faithful than I have hitherto been, to this thy great command. For the time I have yet to sojourn upon earth, O let me fulfil this great duty. Permit me not to be in any delusion here : Let me not trust in words, or sighs, or tears, but love thee even as thou has commanded. Let me feel, and then I shall know what it is, to love thee with all
O merciful God, whatsoever thou deniest me, deny me not this love. Save me from the idolatry of " loving the world, or any of the things of the world.”. Let me never love any creature, but for thy sake, and in subordination to thy love. Take thou the full possession of my heart, raise there thy throne, and command there, as thou dost in heaven. Being created by thee, let me live to thee; being created for thee, let me ever act for thy glory; being redeemed by thee, let me render unto thee what is thine, and let my spirit ever cleave to thee alone!
Let the prayers and sacrifices of thy holy church offered unto thee this day be graciously accepted; “ clothe thy Priests with righteousness, and pardon all thy people who are not prepared according to the preparations of the sanctuary.” Prosper all who are sincerely engaged in propagating or promoting thy faith and love :(-) “ Give thy Son
(-) Here mention the particular persons you would pray for.
the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession:" that from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, thy name may be great among the gentiles. Enable us of this nation, and especially those whom thou hast set over us in church and state, in our several stations, to serve thee in all holiness, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.” Continue to us the means of grace, and grant we may never provoke thee by our non-improvement to deprive us of them. Pour down thy blessing upon our Universities, that they may ever promote true religion and sound learning. Shew mercy, O Lord, to my father and mother, my brothers and sisters, to all my friends, (-) relations and enemies, and to all that are in affliction. Let thy fatherly hand be over them, and thy Holy Spirit ever with them; that submitting themselves entirely to thy will, and directing all their thoughts, words, and works to thy glory, they and those that are already dead in the Lord, may at length enjoy thee, in the glories of thy kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, blessed for ever.
General Questions which a serious Christian may propose to
himself, before he begins his Evening Devotion. 1. With what degree of attention and fervour did I use my morning prayers, public or private ?
2. Have I done any thing without a present, or at least à previous perception, of its direct, or remote tendency to the glory of God ?
3. Did I in the morning consider, what particular virtue I was to exercise, and what business I had to do in the day?
4. Have I been zealous to undertake, and active in doing what good I could?
5. Have I interested myself any farther in the affairs of others, than charity required ?
6. Have I, before I visited, or was visited, considered how I might thereby give or receive the improvement ?
7. Have I mentioned any failing or fault of any man, when it was not necessary for the good of another?
8. Have I unnecessarily grieved any one by word or deed ?
9. Have I before, or in every considerable conversation or action, considered, how it might be a mean of improving in the virtue of the day?
Particular Questions relating to the Love of God. 1. Have I set apart some of this day to think upon his perfections and mercies?
2. Have I laboured to make this day, a day of heavenly rest, sacred to divine love?
3. Have I-employed those parts of it in works of necessity and mercy, which were not employed in prayer, reading, and meditation ?
O MY FATHER, my God, I am in thy hands; and may I rejoice above all things in being so: do with me what seemeth good in thy sight: only let me love thee with all my mind, soul, and strength.
I magnify thee for granting me to be born in thy church, and of religious parents; for washing me in thy baptism, and instructing me in thy doctrine of truth and holiness, for sustaining me by thy gracious providence, and guiding me by thy blessed Spirit; for admitting me, with the rest of my christian brethren, to wait on thee at thy public worship: and for so often feeding my soul with thy most precious body and blood, those pledges of love, and sure conveyance of strength and comfort. O be gracious unto all of us, whom thou hast this day or at any time admitted to thy holy table.-Strengthen our hearts in thy ways against all our temptations, and make us more than conquerors in thy love.
O my Father, my God, deliver me, I beseech thee, from all violent passions: I know how greatly obstructive
these are both of the knowledge and love of thee; O let none of them find a way into
but let me ever possess my soul in meekness. O my God, I desire to fear them more than death ; let me not save those cruel tyrants ; but do thou reign in my breast; let me ever be thy servant, and love thee with all my heart.
Deliver me, O God, from the love of company and diversions; I know these are so many pleasing snares which continually solicit me to pursue them for their own sakes, and not in order to thy glory. O give me that true wisdom, that using them only because they are necessary for my present weakness, I may thankfully use them so far as they are necessary thereto and no farther. Let me never be enslaved to their false charms, but let my whole heart be reserved for thee.
Deliver me, O God, from too intense an application to even necessary business: I know how this dissipates my thoughts from the one end of all my business, and impairs that lively perception I would ever retain of thee standing at my right hand. I know the narrowness of my heart, and that an eager attention to earthly things leaves it no room for the things of heaven. O teach me to go through all my employments with so truly disengaged a heart, that I may still see thee in all things, and see thee therein as continually looking upon me, and searching my reins, and that I may never impair that liberty of spirit, which is necessary for the love of thee. Deliver me, O God, from a
O God, from a slothful mind, from all lukewarmness, and all dejection of spirit: I know these cannot but deaden my love to thee; mercifully free my heart from them, and give me a lively, zealous, active, and cheerful spirit, that I may vigorously perform whatever thou commandest, thankfully suffer whatever thou choosest for me, and be ever ardent to obey in all things thy holy love.
Deliver me, O God, from all idolatrous love of any creature. I know infinite numbers have been lost to thee, by loving those creatures for their own sake, which thou permittest, nay, even commandest to love subordinately to thee. Preserve me, I beseech thee, from all such blind affection : be thou a guard to all my desires, that they fix on no creature any farther than the love of it tends to build me up in the love of thee. Thou requirest me to love thee with all my heart: undertake for me, I beseech thee, and be thou my security, that I may never open my heart to any thing but out of love to thee.
Above all, deliver me, O my God, from all idolatrous self-love. I know, O God, (blessed be thy infinite mercy for giving me this knowledge,) that this is the root of all evil : I know, thou madest me, not to do my own will but thine: I know the very corruption of the devil is, the having a will contrary to thine. O be thou my helper against this most dangerous of all idols, that I may both discern all its subtleties, and withstand all its force. O thou who hast commanded me to renounce myself, give me strength, and I will obey thy command. My choice and desire is, to love myself, and all other creatures in and for thee. O let thy almighty arm so stablish, strengthen, and settle me, that thou mayest ever be the ground and pillar of all my love.
By this love of thee, my God, may my soul be fixed against its natural inconstancy: by this may it be reduced to an entire indifference as to all things. else, and simply desire what is pleasing in thy sight. May this holy frame ever warm my breast, that I may serve thee with all my might; and let it consume in my heart all selfish desires, that I may in all things regard, not myself, but thee.
O my God, let thy glorious name be duly honoured and loved by all the creatures which thou hast made. Let thy infinite goodness and greatness be ever adored by all angels and men. May thy church, the catholic seminary of divine love, be protected from all the powers of darkness. O vouchsafe to all, who call themselves by thy name, one short glimpse of thy goodness. May they once taste and see how gracious thou art, that all things else may be tasteless to them; that their desires may be always flying up towards thee, that, they may render thee, love, and praise, and obe