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thou hast graciously commanded, if any
lack wisdom and instruction, to ask it of thee! Open our eyes, we pray thee, to see and apply to ourselves those holy lessons of our duty and truest happiness, which thou hast delivered to us in thy word :
And disengage us from all eager desires to this world, its false pleasures, or ambitious pursuits ; that there may be nothing in us to obstruct the reception of thy truth, or to indispose us towards it.
And grant us more and more to improve the knowledge of thee and of thy will, unto which we have attained by a diligent holy practice; that we may thereby be fitted for all further communications of favour and assistance from thee, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift.
Bring back, we beseech thee, to thyself, merciful Lord, all those who have forsaken thy ways and are lost in vicious pursuits, which enfeeble the natural powers, and alienate from thee, in whose knowledge and loving-kindness is life and happiness for ever
Finally, O heavenly Father, graciously continue us these and all other happy opportu
nities of virtuous improvement. Cause us to make a daily progress in all that is holy and good and acceptable to thee, and conduct us safely to the end of this our mortal pilgrimage; that, in those future abodes thou hast provided for us, we may rank with thy faithful servants, and inherit the kingdom and happiness which, out of thine infinite unmerited goodness, thou hast promised by Christ our Lord : through whom, &c.
The Lord bless us, &c.
December 6, 1778.
JOHN xvii. 1.
These words spake Jesus, and lifted up
eyes beaven, and said: Father, the bour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee,
prayers of wise and good men are most instructive, and exhibit the human character in the noblest and most affecting point of view. Such are our Saviour's prayers ; and in the highest degree edifying, as might well be expected. But we have very
few remains of them, as he left nothing in writing himself. And the historians of his life, the four evangelists, have only occasionally let us into this part of his character, as it fell in their way. For it is a very plain and remarkable circumstance in their accounts of him, that
they had no design to write his panegyric to set him off to others, but barely to tell facts, and leave the readers to form their own judgements from them. However, from the incidental relations they have made of his devotions, and the few samples they have given us of him in this respect, he appears most eminent in piety, as every other virtue and excellence; with a constant and serious sense of God
upon his mind; approaching him always with the deepest reverence, and with the most absolute resignation and submission of himself to him, who best knew how to dispose of him and all things; yet with that conscious dignity, and filial trust and confidence, which could only become one who held such an important office under him, and who was on the best grounds persuaded, that he had invariably acted, and conducted himself agreeably to his holy will and appointment.
The only prayer of his of any length that is preserved, is that which begins with the words prefixed to my discourse. And it is impossible for any one that is of any sobriety of mind, to read it without being impressed, and deeply affected with such just and worthy sentiments of thegreatGod, such firm assurance of being heard