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Are the services of God's sanctuary the source of my most exalted pleasures?
Do I with constant and holy desire wait in his sacred courts, that I may taste his goodness, and experience his satisfying joys ?
Sensible of my own weakness, and of the dominion of sin in my heart, do I earnestly implore the grace of God, and constantly rely on the powerful agency of the Holy Spirit, to sanctify my soul, to guide, quicken, and preserve me in
Christian course? In reliance on the aids of this Holy Spirit, do I daily endeavour to weaken and subdue my sinful passions, to strengthen and exalt the holy graces of my soul ?
Does my humility become more deep, my love to God more fervent, my zeal and delight in his service more exalted, my faith in my Saviour more uniform and supreme?
Does my soul glow with gratitude to God, my Almighty Maker and Benefactor, Father and Friend, for the manifold mercies of life; and, above all, for the unspeakable gift of his Son Jesus Christ, for the inestimable blessings of redeeming love? In
every event of life, do I humbly confide in his wisdom, power, and goodness, and commit myself to his guidance and disposal ?
In prosperity am I humble and thankful, mindful that every advantage of honour or fortune, every talent that distinguishes me above others, is the unmerited gift of God,
which I am to employ for his glory and the good of my fellow men ?
When adversity assails me, do I still preserve my confidence in God,still bless the Lord “who giveth,” and humbly bow to the dispensations of that infinitely wise and merciful God, “ who taketh away?"
Ever keeping in view the holy pattern of my Saviour's life, which I am bound to imitate, do I constantly endeavour to obey his gracious commands; to become, like him, meek and gentle, kind and compassionate, patient and long-suffering ?
Animated by that spirit of love which urged the Saviour to pour out his soul a sacrifice for the sins of men, do I earnestly endeavour to “ do good unto all men;" to sooth the bosom rent with affliction; to restore to health and gladness the subjects of disease and poverty?
Sensible of the inestimable value of the blessings of redemption, and of the infinite importance of the souls of men, do I humbly endeavour, by every proper and prudent mean, to promote the salvation of mankind ?
Under an habitual sense of my obligations to God, of the account I must render to him who is the present witness, and who will be the final judge of my conduct, do I earnestly endeavour faithfully to discharge all the relative and social duties of life, of husband and wife, of parent and child, of brother and sister, of master and servant, of magistrate and subject, of neigbour and friend?
Ever mindful that my body is the temple of the Holy Spirit,” and that “ into the kingdom of heaven entereth nothing that is unholy and unclean," do I endeavour, by abstinence, by prayer, by resolution and watchfulness, to mortify my sinful passions; and do I sedulously avoid every temptation which might lead me to violate the laws of temperance, soberness, and chastity ?
Considering the present life as a state of pilgrimage, the days of which are few, uncertain, and evil, am I careful not to fix my affections immoderately upon it; not to be too highly elated with its pleasures, which may soon pass away; not to be too much depressed by its sorrows, which may soon terminate?
Does my heavenly inheritance, the eternal kingdom of God, with whom there is fulness of joy, at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore, engage my devout contemplations?
Does the habitual prospect of the eternal glories which my Saviour hath prepared for me in his heavenly kingdom, animate me in the discharge of duty; elevate my spirit when under the pressure of grief; console me under the loss of friends and relatives; and raise me at all times above the sorrows and trials, the scorn and persecution of the world?
Is this my situation ? this my spiritual character and state ? these the dispositions of my soul?
That I have been called, from the darkness of error and sin, into the light of the gospel of salvation; and restored from the bondage of Satan, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God,
Blessed be thy name, O God.
That I have been admitted by baptism, into that holy church where thy mercy is my solace, thy favour my portion, thy grace my guide and safeguard, the hope of heaven my exalted privilege,
Blessed be thy name, O God. That, in condescension to the weakness of my nature, thou hast instituted sensible memorials of thy love, and pledges of thy grace and mercy; that in the humble participation of the ordinances of thy church I can derive light, comfort, and salvation,
Blessed be thy name, O God.
I The following paragraph, between brackets, is to be used, when a per
son who has lived in transgression of the laws of God, and neglect of his Christian obligations, is awakened to a sense of his guilt and danger, and is desirous to make his peace with his offended God. And then the succeeding paragraphs, to the words “To thee, ever-blessed Jehovah," &c. are to be omitted.
[That, though I have lived wholly regardless of the inestimable privileges of my Christian vocation; though by my habitual transgressions I have defied thy power, abused thy justice, and contemned thy mercy; though the strivings of thy Spirit have been exerted in vain, and the precious blood of thy Son been in vain interposed to arrest my rebellious career ;-that though my sins have been thus multiplied, my guilt thus aggravated, thou hast yet, O God of infinite mercies, displayed towards me the riches of thy forbearance; that thine arms are yet open to receive the returning prodigal who left his father's house to riot in the pleasures of a corrupting world; that thou dost even prepare for me, to be the pledge and seal of my forgiveness, the banquet
of the body and blood of that Redeemer whom I have contemned; and art ready to apply to my guilty soul my Saviour's merits; that thou hast awakened me to a sense of my guilt and danger, and inspired me with an earnest desire to enjoy the light of thy countenance,
Blessed be thy name, O God. [O Lord, arise and save me, and let not iniquity prove my ruin.)
That thou hast quickened me when I was careless and forgetful of thee; and instead of giving me up to hardness of heart, to the merited punishment of my sins, hast graciously awakened and restored me; that when sunk under the “ grievous remembrance” of my sins, and bowed down under their intolerable burden,” thou didst enlighten iny soul to discern the riches of mercy and grace in Christ Jesus, and enable me joyfully to rest in him as wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption,
Blessed be thy name, O God.