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O holy and eternal God, the kind father of all thy creatures, who lovest us and desirest our true perfection and happiness, and who shall be able to defeat what thou desirest to accomplish?
We bow down before thy footstool, with humble reverence and gratitude, that it hath · pleased thee to form us in the number of thine higher order of beings, who are capable of being made fit for the enjoyment of that felicity that ariseth from the knowledge of thee, and from the practice of righteousness and holiness in which thou delightest.
Teach us, O Lord, to improve this thine unspeakable benefit conferred upon us, and to go on with cheerfulness in thy holy ways, under a full assurance that thou art ever with us, and, by thy good spirit and providence, dost secretly and invisibly protect and assist all those that seek to do thy will with diligence and sincerity.
Preserve us from debasing sloth and indolence, which stop all inquiries after thee, the light of life, and from all those criminal passions, which indispose men for the reception
thy holy truth ; that not the love of the world, nor of the things of it, but the love of thee, O Father, may dwell in us.
Finally, O God, we acknowledge with wonder, and with all thankfulness, the demonstration of thy love and kind designs for us, which thou hast manifested to us by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Endow us with such pious and upright dispositions towards thee, that we may be amongst those who are drawn of thee to believe in him, and to become his true disciples ; that we may follow him in the way that leadeth unto the life everlasting, to which in thy mercy thou hast by him promised to bring us.
Unto thee, O Father, the only living and true God, &c.
March 14, 1779.
Luke vii. 13.
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion
on her, and said unto her ; Weep not.
These words express the emotions of our Lord's heart, and his tender behaviour at one of those sad but common sights of woe, to which this our state of mortality and trial exposes us.
It was on his progress to teach men the most important truths from God, when at the entrance of one of the towns of Galilee there was a dead person at that moment carrying out to be buried, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow, and many people of the town had come out with her to attend the funeral.
The loss of a child is a most natural ground of sorrow; that of an only child, a cause of still greater sorrow; especially if, as in the
present case, the lamented object were past childhood, and growing up to years of riper understanding, which appears by our Lord's calling him Young man. He might also be of amiable dispositions and promising talents, which might make him not only very dear to his mother, but the delight of his friends, and an object of general esteem. Alas! how short-lived and uncertain are all our' enjoyments and prospects in this world! and how little to be depended upon! and yet we too much depend on their being continued to us, and therefore are miserable in the loss of them.
Our Lord would not have bid the woman to cease weeping, if he had not possessed both the power and the disposition to remove the cause of her grief and tears.
We seldom find him performing any miraculous cure, unless where he was applied to for it; that he might avoid all appearance of self-seeking and vain-glory, where the glory of God and the end of his mission from him were alone to be consulted. But here he judged it fitting to go out of his ordinary course and give way to his feelings, to obey the dictates of that lovely instinct implanted