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things, and in such a way, as shall be most agreeable to thy will, and most advantageous to our souls.
Behold! we who are but poor worms, and sinful dust and ashes, have taken upon us now to speak unto thee, the sovereign majesty of heaven and earth: we have too just cause to be afraid, lest our great and manifold sins should have provoked thee to hide thy face from us, and to shut up thy loving-kindness in displeasure. We know that we have done wickedly in not hearkening to the calls of thy word, and yielding to the motions of thy Spirit. Our iniquities are increased over our heads; our trespass is grown up even unto heaven, and our sins are a sore burden, too heavy for us to bear. If thou, O Lord, shouldest enter into judgment with us for our actions, we could not answer thee for one of a thousand; we must lay our hands upon our mouths, and plead guilty before thee, and place our whole dependence upon thy mercy.
O God, be merciful to us miserable sinners; for the sake of him whom thou hast exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to thy people, and forgiveness of sins; be merciful to us, we pray thee, and heal our souls, which have greatly sinned against thee. O heal our backslidings, renew us to repentance, and establish our goings in thy holy ways: let us not be so wavering and bent to backslide: let us not so revolt from thee, and return to folly after thou hast spoken peace unto us; but may we go on conquering and to conquer all the enemies of our souls, till every obstacle to our salvation be surmounted, and Satan himself be bruised under our feet.
O thou God of all grace! bring such thoughts to our minds, and lay 'such considerations upon our hearts, as thou knowest will effectually keep us from our iniquity, and prevail with us to do thy will; put thy fear in our hearts, that we may no more depart from thee; and preserve us holy and unblamable unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. In the mean time sanctify to us all the dispensations of thy providence, and bless us in every condition and relation of life. Make us contented with our lot, and faithful in our calling; nor let us ever forget, that the care of our souls is the one thing needful. O make us mindful of this, that we may follow incessantly those things which shall bring us peace at the last.
Dispose of us, we beseech thee, and of all that concerns us, to the glory of thy name. O keep us at all times, and in all places and companies, from the evil of sin, and from all other evils to which the greatness of our sins has made us liable. And take thou, o heavenly Father, the gracious charge and government of us this day; and so guide us by thy counsel, that hereafter thou mayest receive us to glory. All this we ask through thy tender mercies, and our Saviour's abundant merits; in whose own words, we beg all things needful for ourselves and others at thy hands. Our Father, &c.
For more than one person.
O LORD, thou art our gracious God, our chief good, and our most merciful Father in Christ Jesus; in his
great name, and through his prevailing mediation, we are encouraged still to present our persons and our prayers before thee. It is a privilege which we are utterly unworthy to enjoy, that thou shouldst admit us into thy service, yea, into fellowship with thee. We do not presume to appear in the presence of thy glorious majesty in our own name, or trusting in any righteousness of our own, being conscious of so much guilt as might make us tremble for fear of thy judgments. But we come in the name and mediation of thy dear Son, who has fully satisfied thy justice for our sins, and continually intercedes for us at thy right hand. Thou lovest him infinitely above all, and delightest to honour him in sparing and accepting the most unworthy sinners upon his account. O deliver us, most gracious Lord, for his sake, from all the transgressions for which our hearts condemn us; and from all those, of which thou, who art greater than our hearts, knowest us to be guilty. And seal to us a full pardon in his most precious blood, which speaks better things for us than we are able to speak for ourselves.
And may the time past of our lives suffice to have lived to ourselves, and to have served our own lusts and pleasures. O put an end to all our presumptuous and treacherous dealings; and grant us new and contrite hearts, that we may tremble at thy presence, and hate and abandon every evil way. Engage to thyself, 0 blessed Lord, the deepest thoughts of our minds, the choicest affections of our hearts, and the main tendency and activity of our souls. O let us delight in attendance upon thee, and in communion with thee; nor let the vanities of this world ever divert us from
thy service, or interrupt our enjoyment of thee. Hear us, O Lord, for ourselves, and let our supplications also ascend before thee in the behalf of all men living. Send thy word, and the means of grace, to such as are yet destitute of them; and make them efficacious, and a savour of life to those who now enjoy them. Convert the unconverted, and perfect thy good work where thou hast begun it. Give a check to all pro . faneness and ungodliness, that presumptuous sinners may be ashamed, and that the wickedness of the wicked may come to an end. O make thy church to increase and flourish, and thy servants to prevail and rejoice. Be gracious and favourable to our native land, to the head and governors of it, and to all the particular 'members. Look in mercy on all who are set for its defence; especially on those who are united with us in a common service., o do thou rule all our rulers, counsel all our counsellors, teach all our teachers, and order all the public affairs, to the glory of thy name, and to the welfare of the church and the state. Avert from us, good Lord, the judgments which we feel or fear; and continue to us the many temporal and spiritual advantages which through thy favour we enjoy. And notwithstanding all the devices of our enemies, and all the heinous provocations of our sins, O be thou still our reconciled God, and let us be thy happy, thy peculiar people.
Look down, O gracious Father, on all the sons and daughters of affliction: mercifully regard them under the pressure of their troubles, and think thoughts of pity and compassion towards them. O sanctify thy fatherly corrections to them, support them under their
several burthens, and in thy good time deliver them from the furnace into which they are cast. Be gracious to all our distant friends, reward our benefactors, and bless our relations with the choicest of thy blessings. Bless also our enemies, and reconcile them both to us and to thyself. Dwell in all the habitations which thou hast made houses of prayer, and with all the families who call upon thy name. Let thy heavenly blessings, and thy saving grace, descend and rest upon our companions. O guide us, and keep us; make us wise and faithful in our duty, and prosperous in all our lawful undertakings. Bless all our present circumstances to us, and fit us for whatsoever changes we may be called to experience. O teach us how to want, and how to abound; and whether we be in a prosperous or suffering condition, securé our hearts to thyself, and make us upright before thee.
And now, O Lord, be pleased to accept our evening sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving. We would glorify thee, the Father of mercies, and the Fountain of all goodness, for the mercies of the day past, and for the goodness that has followed us all the days of our life. Our lives have been filled with thy mercies, and thou hast abounded towards us in loving-kindness; infinite has been the variety of the sweet and comfortable blessings with which thou hast loaded us. Thou hast passed by our innumerable sins as though thou hadst not seen them; and thou art still encompassing us with mercies on every side. Imprint, therefore, and preserve upon our hearts a lively and grateful sense of all thy kindness to us; let our souls bless thee; let all that is within us praise thy holy name; yea, let us