O Lord, I beseech You to follow with Your rich and effectual blessing, the solemn service of this day. May Jehovah hear me in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend me; send me help from the Sanctuary, and strengthen me out of Zion—may the Lord fulfill all my petitions. I bless You for all that my eyes have seen, and my ears have heard, and my hands have handled, and my lips have tasted of the good Word of life. I bless You that I have been enabled, through significant symbol
, to listen to the dying cry, 'It is finished'—proclaiming the great redemption complete; Satan's power overthrown; the kingdom of heaven opened to all believers. I would set up anew my Ebenezer of gratitude and thankfulness—my stone of remembrance, and write upon it the inscription, "The Lord has helped me!" What am I, that You should bring me to Your own banqueting-house; giving me angels' food—the Bread of life; and that mine should be the blessedness of those that are called to the marriage-supper of the Lamb? Wash me after supper. Were I to be tried by my best hours and services, how would I stand condemned. I bring the iniquity of my holy things to be sprinkled with the blood of Atonement. Lord Jesus—O great Intercessor within the veil—let down Your censer filled with much incense, that therein I may place, along with Your people, my polluted services and vows and covenantings; that mingled though they be with much imperfection and sin, yet perfumed with Your adorable merits, they may ascend with acceptance before the Throne.
Impress on me the solemn thought, "Your vows are upon me, O God!" May I feel it to be in no empty or formal manner that I have anew consecrated myself—all I am and all I have—to You this day. Strengthen me with might by Your Spirit in the inner man. Hold me up, and then alone I shall be safe! May the needful warning voice follow me from the Holy Table into the duties and occupations and temptations of life—"when you think you stand, take heed lest you fall." Realizing in the past my own weakness, may I lean more confidingly on Your Omnipotent arm, and trust more unswervingly Your Omnipotent grace.
While I have been led this day, through visible emblems, to look more especially to Jesus as my Surety-Savior—may I be enabled to look to Him also as my Great Example—to walk more closely in His holy footsteps, and to reflect more faithfully His holy image—seeking more fully to realize my covenant position and calling, as no longer my own, but bought with a price, and bound to glorify Him in my body and my spirit, which are His. May His love be enthroned more as the ruling passion in my heart, and may His glory be more the great end of my being. May it be with joyful alacrity that I say, 'Blessed Savior, where You go I will go; where You dwell I will dwell—Your people shall be my people, and death itself shall not separate between You and me.' Thus may I go up, and on, through the wilderness, leaning on the arm of Him who is the Beloved of my soul; and then, though an army should encamp against me, my heart need not fear. You who are with me, and for me, are greater far than all that can be against me.
I pray for my fellow-communicants. Bless the young—those who have today made a first public surrender and consecration of themselves to You. May they have the ever-increasing conviction, that they have chosen a blessed service and a blessed Master—and be enabled to live under the sovereignty of that lofty motive, to walk and act, so as to please You. May their arms be made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob; and may their hearts be fixed, trusting in the Lord.
Bless Your aged servants. If heart and flesh do faint and fail, may God be the strength of their heart and their portion for ever. May they know the truth of Your own promise, 'those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.' And if opportunities are becoming fewer in the Church on earth, for their partaking in hallowed communion of the fruit of the Vine, may they rejoice that the day is approaching when they shall drink it new with their divine Master and Lord in the Father's kingdom.
Lord, bless us all. Give us the benediction which makes rich and which adds no sorrow with it. Now, in descending the mount, may the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit attend me hence. May the pillar of Your presence ever go before me. As communion season after communion season passes by, do impart to me more and more the spirit of a pilgrim and a stranger. May my eye be more upwards and my footsteps onwards—having the girded loins and the burning lamps and the ever-vigilant watchfulness, and being like those who are waiting for the coming of their Lord. And so, when all sacramental times, and sanctuaries, and means of grace are ended, may it be mine to have the promised abundant entrance ministered into the Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven.
Now unto Him who alone is able to keep me from falling, and to present me faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy—to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.