"Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." Hebrews 4:16
We will extol You, O God, our King. We will bless Your name forever and ever. But especially on this hallowed morn, we desire to pour forth floods of adoring praise. O our souls, bless the Lord. O every faculty within us, magnify His boundless love.
We bring our thanks for the gift of gifts. Your only begotten Son is born into this world. He is made bone of our bones, flesh of our flesh. The least gift from heaven to guilty earth exceeds all praise. What shall we render unto You—for sending Your own dear Son to take upon Him our nature, and truly to be one of the family of man! Utterance cannot express due gratitude. But accept, we beseech You, the breathings of Your Spirit in our hearts. Mark how fervently we love You, and how we strive to testify thanksgiving.
"Wonder of wonders! The Son of God comes down from heaven—that to heaven we poor sinners may be raised. Our Lord Jesus Christ takes the manhood into God—that we may become partakers of the divine nature. He is born one with us—that we may be one with Him forever.
Herein is love, when we could not rise to Him, He flies down on the wings of grace—to raise us to Himself. Herein is power, that when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart, God has joined them in indissoluble oneness. He has united infinite opposites in one Christ.
Herein is God's wisdom in the highest, that when we were utterly undone by sin, without will to return, without intellect to devise recovery—Jesus appears on earth, able as God to save us to the uttermost, and qualified as man to die our death, to shed sin-atoning blood in our stead, and to work out perfect righteousness in our behalf.
Father, God most merciful, help us to bless You more. In spirit we take our station by the watching shepherds. So we strive to expand our contracted hearts. We hear, "Fear not, for behold I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people—for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior who is Christ the Lord!" We hear, we believe, we rejoice, we give thanks, we adore. We bid all fears to flee away. We call upon our consciences to bathe in an ocean of repose. We look up with filial confidence. We see You—our reconciled Father. Separation has ceased. We draw near, because You have thus drawn near to us. We love You—because we have this proof that You have so loved us.
A Redeemer is come! We put all our trust in Him. We believe that we are fully and forever redeemed from sin, and all sin's penalties and woes. You have raised up an horn of salvation for us. We see its all-sufficient might. We embrace it with undoubting faith. We realize that You have saved us. Like Simeon—we clasp the new-born Savior to our hearts. We exult that He is ours, and we are His. We are one with Him. Therefore You are our Father because His Father, and His God because our God.
Father, again we say, help us to bless You for all the benefits of this wondrous birth.
Give us grace, that our lives may praise You better than our lips. Keep our thanksliving free from every blot. You have given so much for us, that heaven itself could give no more. Here we present ourselves to Your undivided service. Accept us. Preserve us. Rule within us. May Your dear Son indeed be born within us. May His continual indwelling sanctify every movement of our minds.
May the good tidings of this day have free course and be glorified throughout earth's length and breadth. Wherever man lives, may he rejoice in the Child born, the Son given.
Hasten the time when He who as at this time came to visit us in great humility, shall come again in His glorious majesty with all His saints.
Holy Father, we offer our prayers and praises in the way which You have ordained—Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Blessed Jesus, we have this day been especially rejoicing in Your coming to seek us and to save us, when we were lost. Once more, as a family, we assemble to delight ourselves in You. Our gratitude indeed has no bounds. But shackled in these bodies of sin, we cannot thank You as we would. But You know what we are made of. You are touched with a feeling of our infirmities. Regard us therefore in the pitifulness of Your tender mercies. Graciously accept our feeble praise. When You shall be pleased to call us to our heavenly home, You shall receive more fitting adoration.
We have in happy faith gazed on You as a babe in Bethlehem. We have seen the fulfillment of ancient prophecies, and the coming of the Desire of all nations. As we gaze, teach us more and more of the deep meaning of this wondrous advent. May we read in it the breadth and length, the depth and height of Your eternal love. When we see this incomprehensible self-emptying, this concealment of Deity in the rags of humanity, this profound humiliation, this Your readiness to live for a season as a man among men—may we clasp to our very souls the glad assurance that we are indeed dear to You—dear even to the infinity of love. You stoop to put on our lowly flesh, not only because You Seek Your heavenly Father's glory—but because our names are engraved on Your heart. Help us by Your Spirit to love You, according to the boundlessness of Your love toward us.
Gloriously accomplish, we beseech You, all the wondrous purposes of Your coming. O Seed of the woman, crush the serpent's head. Show that You are his mighty conqueror. Allow him no longer to receive wrongful allegiance, as the god of this world. Destroy his usurped dominion. Shatter the scepter of the cruel tyrant. You are manifested to destroy his works. Hasten the time, when in You and in Your name, we too shall bruise him under our feet.
You are come to achieve redemption. May we glory in You as procuring ransom and deliverance to the full. You are born one of our family. Thus You are our proxy, our surety, our substitute. Open widely the eyes of our faith, that we may see all our merited curse, expended on Your unoffending head, and the sword of Divine justice buried in Your heart! You have lived a man on earth to fulfill every demand of the most holy law, and to work out in our nature, perfect righteousness. Enable us to see the glories of that robe of righteousness. May we put it on by the hand of faith. May we rejoice that we are lovely in this Your precious loveliness, and beauteous in this Your matchless beauty.
You visit earth—to be the way, the truth, and the life. Reveal to us Your paths. Ever guide our feet to walk the heavenward walk. Proclaim to us Your truth. May it sanctify us wholly, and make us free from ignorance and sin. Give to us more abundantly, the life of grace, until it issues in the life of glory.
By Your birth You are the firstborn among many brethren. You are not ashamed to call us brethren. Do then, as You have said, declare Your name unto Your brethren. Enable us to realize all the joys of this true relationship. May we hold converse with You in all brotherly confidence. While we reverently worship You as the mighty God, may we cling to You as our near kinsman.
You came down on the wings of love, that, as the heavenly Bridegroom, You may betroth Your people unto Yourself forever. Show us the glories of this mysterious union. Reveal to us that You hate divorce, and that You will never leave us nor forsake us.
Thus may we learn in Your manger, that the last Adam more than restores the inheritance which we lost, when the first Adam fell. And may we lie down this night singing in our hearts with all grateful rapture, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good-will towards men! Amen and amen.
LAST DAY OF THE YEAR
We kneel together, O great God, for the last time in the year, which has now reached its close. May our last united cry be our best—the most glowing in fervor—the most abased in humility—-the most fragrant in the reconciling blood—the most hallowed by the interceding Spirit.
We look to ourselves—and we turn to You. Our earthly days roll rapidly away. Our moments vanish while we grasp them. But You change not. Time is not time to You. From everlasting to everlasting Your name is, "I am that I am." Glorious Jehovah, we are astounded at Your unspeakable greatness. We marvel more at Your surpassing goodness. Trusting in Your superabounding grace, we thus draw near.
It befit us at the end of each day, to bring the tribute of thanksgiving for our daily mercies. What shall we render for all the mercies of all the days of the year now fled? Oh that we could gather all into one mass, and meet them with deserving praise! But we cannot count the ocean's sands. How, then, can we calculate Your mercies, which in number are far more! Our thanks are worthless for the least of all Your favors. What are they when weighed against the wondrous whole! We know but a part—but that part surpasses praise. But we ardently desire that the concluding year should bear witness that we bring adorations with overflowing hearts.
For all Your personal mercies—for the measure of health with which we have been favored—for the preservation of our frames from fatal sickness and from evil accident—for the comforts of a sheltering roof—for the sufficiency of food and clothing—for the continuance of mental and bodily power—Good Lord accept the praises of our inmost souls!
For Your goodness to us as a family—for mutual support and help—for the sweet delights of domestic harmony and peace—for seats now filled which might have been a vacant blank—Good Lord accept the praises of our inmost souls!
For Your distinguishing favors to us as a nation—for the peace which smiles upon our borders—for the plenty of our fields—for the absence of wasting sickness and destroying plagues—for the protection of right laws—for the Bible open to our use—for the continued light and liberty of our glorious Reformation—Good Lord accept the praises of our inmost souls! Enriched with all these blessings, and with countless more, we close this year. We know our privileges. We feel them. We bless Your holy name!
But other thoughts oppress us. We blush to lift up our eyes unto You, O God of all grace and love. Shame and confusion of face humble us to the very dust. Wherever You have been boundless in mercy—we have been abundant in sin. We cannot measure our ingratitude. We cannot estimate our vileness. We cannot in thought reach to the extent of our transgressions throughout this traversed year.
Each day has added to our guilt. Each scene has witnessed our straying feet and our offending tongues. What is there in heaven or in earth, above, around, without, within—which condemns us not? The sun condemns us, which has seen our misdeeds; the darkness, too, which hides nothing from You. The cruel accuser justly accuses. How often have Your good angels been provoked to leave us! Your righteous law, Your holy Word, our sin-soiled consciences, our public and our private hours, our neighbors and ourselves—write dark things against us. We make no denial. We frame no excuse. We confess, Father, we have sinned throughout this year against heaven and before You—and are no more worthy to be called Your sons.
But still we live! We live to fly as contrite penitents to Your extended arms! We know that You will not cast us off—for Jesus brings us near. You will not condemn us—for Your dear Son died in our place. You will not mark the mountains upon mountains of our sins—for the Savior has removed them all. His precious blood has washed out every crimson stain! His beauteous righteousness, covers all our deformities!
O God, our God, we bid farewell, then, to this year, clinging to His cross, sheltered by His side, hidden in His wounds, cleansed in His blood, covered by His spotless robe, beautified in His salvation. Thus we conclude our last united prayer, blessing You for Jesus Christ. All honor, and glory, and might, and majesty, and dominion, be unto You, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, the God of our salvation, now, henceforth, and ever. Amen.
FIRST DAY OF THE YEAR
We are permitted to see the dawn of another year. Gracious Lord God, we assemble to commence it with You. Length of days is no profit to us—except they are passed in Your presence, in Your service, to Your glory. Therefore as a family we bend the knee, and implore, for Christ's sake, that Your grace may precede and follow us, may guide and sustain us, may sanctify and aid us, through every hour which Your goodness may grant to us.
Grant that we may not be for one moment apart from You. May we set You always before us. Be ever on our right hand—so shall we not be moved. Send Your Holy Spirit to supply our every thought, to speak in our every word, to direct our every step, to act in our every act, to prosper our every work, and to build us up in our most holy faith. May we live each day with eternity extended before our eyes, viewing all things in its mirror, and ever listening for the chariot-wheels of Your returning Son, for the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God.
Teach us ever to bear in mind that we are not our own. The precious blood of Jesus has redeemed us as Your special possession. Your Holy Spirit has called us to Your free yoke. We have been made willing in the day of Your power. Holy vows bind us to Your service. Here again we renew our vows. Here again we consecrate ourselves to You. Here again we present our souls and bodies to be a living sacrifice, on Christ our altar.
We profess that it is our one desire to acquaint ourselves with You, to show forth Your praise, to testify our love, to advance Your kingdom. Fervent gratitude constrains us. Standing on the rock of salvation, arrayed in the robes of righteousness, our hearts throb to testify that we are a people who delight to honor You.
Open our eyes to see our appointed work, and with all steadfastness of resolve to do it. May we never be without some definite plan to promote the good of others, and the glory of Your name. Thus may we launch our barks on the unknown waters of this year, with Christ seated at the helm. And may Your Spirit fill the sails with gales which waft towards heaven.
Many are now entering on their last year on earth. It may be so with some or all of us. May we always be ready with our loins tightly girt, and our lamps brightly burning. If our descending Lord shall knock—may we open unto Him immediately. If death shall come—may we have nothing then to do but joyfully to die!
Out of the fullness of our hearts, we would this morning make large intercessions. Where Your Spirit dwells there is vast liberty of soul. We pray, then, for all the tribes of man scattered throughout the world. May this be a year of superabounding blessing to them. Wherever Your sun shall shine—may the Sun of righteousness arise with healing on His wings. Wherever Your dew shall fall—may showers of grace descend. Distribute far and wide—holy missionaries to tell of Jesus, and salvation through His cross. May the bright tidings dispel the night of sin. May Satan flee before the all-conquering Gospel.
Grant that this year may surpass all others in blessings to our own beloved land. We pray for all sorts and conditions in our midst. We remember with earnest cry Your servant whom You have raised to be our Queen. May Your grace ever sanctify her. May Your comforts ever cheer her. May Your wisdom ever teach her. May Your right hand ever uphold her. Be this year, the Counselor in all the councils of the nation. Preside as the Judge in all our courts. Maintain peace and prosperity and happy contentment among all classes. May the whole fabric of society be cemented by one feeling of harmony. May hearts yearn for mutual and unbounded good.
May Your wisdom and knowledge be the stability of our times; and the fear of the Lord our treasure. May righteousness exalt our land, and may all people be constrained to testify that the Lord Almighty is truly with us, and that His glory is great in our midst.
Multiply the triumphs of Your holy Word this year. May multitudes yield to its converting and sanctifying power. Be with Your ministering servants in every sermon and in every visit. Be the teacher in our schools, the healer in our hospitals, and our universal benefactor.
Thus we commend ourselves and all our concerns, and all the world and all its interests—to Your gracious care. Surely You who have not spared Your own Son—but have freely given Him up for us all, will with Him also freely give us all things for time and for eternity. Grant this for Jesus' sake. Amen.
Heavenly Father, deepen in us this day contrition for our vileness, as miserable sinners, in Your sight. We cloak not our wretchedness. Our lips are ready to confess—but our hearts are slow to feel, and our feet are reluctant to amend our ways. We bring our hard hearts unto You. Break them by Your Spirit—and then bind them up by Your grace. Wound them to the core—and then pour in the Gospel-balm.
Such is the blindness of our fallen nature—that we cannot see sin's deformity, except as You are pleased to unmask it. Such is our deadness—that we cannot hate it, except as You shall graciously implant abhorrence. Such is our infirmity—that we cannot flee it, except as Your strength enables. Conscious of all inability, we come to You for light, for help, for strength, for blessing.
We know that sin is the transgression of Your righteous law, and that the commandment is spiritual and exceeding broad. Who can tell then how oft he offends? But sins without number stare us in the face. They are piled as mountain upon mountain. Their height reaches unto the heavens!
But their full extent is open only to Your omniscient eye. The burden of our known transgressions weighs us to the dust. But the burden is light, compared to the mass which the scales of Your justice hold. We see but little, because our light is partial and our sight is dim. How must we appear, as seen of You, before whom the very heavens are not clean! You charge Your holy angels with folly. What must be Your estimate of our polluted souls! Humbled for what we see and feel; fearful for what is known only unto You, we meekly cry, "Pardon all our sins—for Jesus' sake!"
We bewail too the mighty aggravations of our felt guilt. How good beyond all thought, have You been to us! How vile are our ungrateful returns! All the faculties, so mercifully bestowed upon us, have been used as weapons of revolt against the gracious Giver. As rebels, we have misused the strength which You have supplied, and the weapons which You have prepared. How often have we yielded our members as instruments of iniquity unto iniquity. Our abilities of mind and body have rendered traitorous service to the foul adversary of Your kingdom. Willful ingratitude darkens our whole lives. We sink low in shame. We cry, "God be merciful to us miserable sinners!"
We bewail our cruel folly. We know that the way of transgressors is hard—that evil paths are surely wretched paths—that departure from You, the source of all joy and peace, is downfall into all distress. Still how often without resistance, have we floated down the stream of evil! We confess our madness. Oh! pity us, pardon us, we beg You!
We see the purity and beauty of Your perfect law—the happiness of those in whose hearts it reigns—the calm dignity of the walk to which it calls—yet we daily violate its precepts, and tread them beneath contemptuous feet.
Your loving Spirit strives within us. He warns us in the pages of Your sacred Word. He speaks to us in startling providences. He allures us by His secret whispers. How often do we choose rather the devices and desires of our own hearts! How often do we impiously resist, and vex, and grieve Him! How often do we provoke Him to abandon us forever! Conscience, too, has loudly rebuked, and in our recklessness we have stifled its faithful dictates.
For all these sins we mourn before You, most merciful and longsuffering Father. We smite upon our breasts, as utterly unworthy of the least of Your mighty and unfathomable mercies. Hear now our cry, and work in us by the omnipotence of Your Holy Spirit, more profound and abiding repentance. Give us more and more of that godly grief, which ever fears and trembles, and yet ever trusts and loves—which is ever watchful and prayerful, and yet is ever confident and hopeful. May the remembrance of the sad past—quicken us to walk in entire newness of life. Grant that through the tears of penitence, we may see more clearly the brightness and the glories of the saving Cross.
Oh! blessed Jesus, we flee to You. We cling to You. Our countless iniquities condemn us—but You will wash them all away! Our tears of penitence cannot remove one blot. But Your blood has all cleansing merit. Our prayers can earn no pardon. But Your mercy says, "Your sins which are many—are all forgiven!" The more we loathe ourselves, the more we love You. Our vile demerits—commend Your glorious worth. Lost in ourselves—we live in You. Trusting in You, we shall never be confounded! Hear us, bless us, for Your love's sake. Amen.
"For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!" 1 Peter 1:18-19
Blessed Jesus, we kneel before Your cross, humbly praying that, through Your Spirit, power may come forth from it to show us more deeply the heinousness of our sin. We see You laden with our iniquities. What must iniquity be—if there can be no pardon except You shall thus expire! We see the outgoing of the severity of divine wrath. What must that evil be—which thus requires it! In that crown of thorns, in those pierced hands and feet, in those bleeding wounds, in that bruised frame, in that dying cry—we are taught the enormity of our guilt. We know that Your blood to be the blood of God. Its worth is infinite. Its precious value exceeds all thought. Infinite therefore must be the evil—for which it is the only ransom. Exceeding all thought—must be the guilt which requires such price! In Your death—we see the tremendous guilt of our sins. We see it, and we cast ourselves in the lowliest humility before You.
Sin is the malady which so sorely afflicts us. It cleaves to us as our very skin! It is born in our birth. It lives in our lives. It adheres to us when we lie down to die. It follows us as our very shadow! It intermingles in our every thought. When we go forth—it is by our side. When we come in—it still accompanies us. We are tied and bound by its enslaving chain! At Your cross—we are taught how terrible is the evil of sin. We see how unutterable is the wrath which it so righteously deserves. Laden with our mountains of sins, we especially come at this time to You for refuge.
Looking unto You, and striving to estimate more and more the riches of redeeming grace, we loathe and abhor ourselves as fully sin-soiled and polluted. We marvel that the sun consents to give us light—the air to supply breath—the earth to bear our tread—the fruit nourish us—Your creatures to subserve our use. Through us the whole creation groans and travails. Justly might all things, animate and inanimate, rise in abhorrence of us!
How much more do we marvel, precious Jesus—that Your compassionate heart yearned over us—that Your love hastened to our rescue—that You endured all our curse, and all our guilt. We bless You—while we hide our heads in deepest shame!
Gracious Savior, may the sight of Your unutterable sufferings excite in us due detestation of this monster! Oh, forbid it, that we should ever dally with that foe—which brought You to such anguish. Forbid it, that we should fondle in our breasts—that viper which stung You to death! Forbid it that we should lightly regard that sin, which kindled the flames of hell, from which nothing but Your dying love could snatch us! May we hate it with unmitigable hate! May we abhor it with abhorrence—only exceeded by the infinite love with which we desire infinitely to love You, our adorable Savior!
But while we pray that henceforth we may increasingly abominate all evil—we know that without Your grace, that our traitorous heart will look treacherously back. It has deceived us. It has betrayed us. Bind it now, more closely to Yourself. Never allow it to stray.
You are our only Redeemer. You are our only help. Repentance, and strength, and pardon are the free gifts of Your grace. We adore You that You are exalted to be a Prince and a Savior, to give repentance unto Your people and forgiveness of sins. Fill us, we beg You, with godly sorrow—even that sorrow which works repentance to salvation not to be repented of. From the depths of our humiliation we cry aloud to the heights of Your mercy. We call upon You in the full assurance of faith. Having died to deliver us from the punishment of our sins, we trust You by Your life to deliver us from their power.
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life!" Psalm 139:23-24
Have mercy on all near and dear to us—on all who intercede for us—on all who ask our intercession. Grant that we may meekly walk together in the lowest valley of humiliation because we are sinners. Grant that we may rejoice together in You as all our hope and all our desire. Grant that we may journey together in much tenderness of conscience, because so prone to evil. Grant that at last we may triumph gloriously as heirs of Your great salvation. Hear us, we earnestly beseech You. Amen.
Holy Father, we worship You in Your great name of 'Love'. The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But it shines forth in surpassing luster at Calvary's stupendous scene. We desire to adore You. Enlarge our hearts. Pour warmth into our affections. Open our lips. Supply words. And in Your mercy condescend to hear the praises which we devoutly utter.
At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us—and heaping them all on Your beloved Son. We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place. We see Him, who knew no sin, made sin for us. We see Him, the all-holy, accounted as a curse. What shall we say unto You, O God of all grace? We can only fall low and cry, "We bless You! We adore You!"
We see Your justice leading the Spotless Lamb to the slaughter, and rigorously demanding the full payment of all our debt. The avenging sword enters into His very heart! The stream of sin-atoning blood flows. Full recompense is meted out. Exceeding satisfaction is made. Justice can ask no more. Charges against us are all obliterated. The debt-book is cancelled. If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found! For the gift of Your Son as our substitute—for the death of Your Son as our ransom—we bless You; we adore You.
We hear the thunder of Your outraged law. We behold the gathering of the unsparing storm. But at Calvary it all breaks on the head of Him who is accounted the disobedient one for us. The curse descends in all its horrors. He absorbs the whole. We gaze—the darkness passes away. All heaven's smiles beam brightly over us. O our God, we bless You and adore.
We behold, and He is devoted to all anguish—that we may be inheritors of all joy. He is cast off—that we may be brought near. He is treated as an enemy—that we may be welcomed as friends. He is deserted—that we may be received to everlasting favor. He is surrendered to hell's worst—that we may attain heaven's best. He is stripped—that we may be clothed. He is wounded—that we may be healed. He thirsts—that we may drink of the water of life. He is in darkness—that we may rejoice in the glories of eternal day. He weeps—that all tears may be forever wiped from our eyes. He groans—that we may sing an endless song. He endures all pain—that we may rejoice in unfading health. He wears a crown of thorns—that we may receive a crown of glory. He bows His head in death—that we may lift up our heads in heaven. He bears all reproach—that we may receive all welcome. He is tormented—that we may be comforted. He is made all shame—that we may inherit all glory. His eyes are dark in death—that our eyes may gaze on unclouded brightness. He dies—that we may escape the second death, and live for evermore. O gracious Father, thus You spare not Your only begotten Son, that You may spare us. All this transfer Your love designed and has achieved. We bless You; we adore.
Heavenly Father, enable us to show forth Your praise, not only by the fruit of our lips—but also in the fruit of our lives. Shall we see all our enemies crushed— Satan baffled, defeated, and destroyed; all our sins cast behind Your back—all buried in the ocean of reconciling blood; hell's gates closed—heaven's portals thrown widely open, and not exult in joy unspeakable and full of glory? Oh that every breath could be ecstatic praise, and every step be buoyant in delight!
Help us to go on our way rejoicing. Infinite attributes were outraged—but infinite atonement is made. Infinite punishment was due, infinite punishment has been endured. Our disease was incurable by our own resources—but all is healed in the saving wounds of Jesus!
We pray that the glad tidings of this glorious and finished work may be this day loudly and universally proclaimed. Jesus declares that, being lifted up, He will draw all men unto Himself. He has been lifted up on the cross, a spectacle to angels and to men. May He be lifted up in every pulpit. May multitudes flock to Him—as doves to their windows. May preachers know nothing among their flocks—but Jesus Christ and Him crucified. May their message be fragrant in His blood.
Go forth, O conquering Spirit, and show that the cross is mighty to subdue and comfort. Prove that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes. Glory be to Your great love, Father. Son, and Holy Spirit! Amen.
O Jesus, O You whom our souls love, give ear, we beg You, to our evening-worship. The very stones would cry out, if we would fail to love You, who has so loved us. Greater love has no man than this—that a man should lay down his life for his friends. But You have laid down Your life for us, when we were enemies, estranged by nature, and hateful by wicked works!
We bless You for Your cross. Love shines brightly inscribed above it. We clasp the record to our souls. And knowing that You are the same yesterday and today and forever, we believe that You love us now, and will love us to the end.
Thus we come and present our hearts as a willing thank-offering. Accept them, we beseech You. Come in and occupy them wholly. Cast out every opposing feeling. Reign supreme. Let no rival passion interpose. Live in all our affections. Move in their every pulse.
We have this day been standing in spirit beside Your cross. Now let our concluding worship as a family give united adoration. The sight constrains us to the deepest humility. Our vile iniquity—is the cause of Your shame. We cannot fathom the sins which plunged You into such depths of unutterable woe! We cannot estimate the burden of wrath which thus crushed You. We cannot deny that the offences which stain us are evils of infinite malignity, since nothing but Your blood, O You who are Jehovah's fellow, could wash away their guilty stains. As transgressors, we abhor ourselves before You.
While thus we sink into lowliest abasement, we hear Your reviving cry, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do!" The voice is heard in heaven. The Father always hears You. The prayer is accepted. You can not plead in vain. Forgiveness is sealed. Forgiveness is ours. Our sins and our iniquities will be remembered no more. The voice of the blood outcries the voice of our condemning offences. We rejoice in the comfort that we may this night lie down in peace, nothing doubting that through Your cross—eternal pardon is our portion!
Blessed Savior, continue, we beseech You, this Your cry in our behalf. Now at the right hand of the Majesty on high, plead Your atoning sacrifice. While we live—we go astray. Each moment testifies that when we would do good—that evil is present with us. Ever extend for us Your wounded hands. Ever renew the prevailing intercession, "Father, forgive them!"
Before we part this night, we would again drink in the wondrous tidings, "It is finished!" Increase our faith to grasp the full extent of the mighty word. May we live with it ever echoing in our ears. May we take it as the strong staff to stay our pilgrim steps. May the precious cordial ever cheer our hearts. May it give us boldness in every hour of trial and temptation. May it drive all desponding fears away.
"It is finished!" What more can we desire? "It is finished!" Of what, then, shall we be afraid? Salvation is finished to the uttermost. We adore You, O blessed Jesus. Heaven and earth shall pass away—but Your glorious work forever stands immovable. Your voice is the truth of God. Your voice declares it.
We mourn the wretchedness of our best services. They are indeed most vile. But no worth of ours is needed to complete what You have infinitely completed. If all holiness were ours, it could bring no addition to Your perfect achievement. Neither can our many sins impair it. Shall we not adore You, O You all-glorious Savior! We do adore You from our inmost souls.
But though our doings can add nothing to the finished fabric of Your salvation, we burn with desire by our lives to testify our gratitude. Our hearts throb to show forth Your praise, and to advance Your glory. But we can do nothing without Your Spirit. You must work in us to will and to do. We beg You to put forth Your mighty power to help us. Sanctify us wholly, body, soul, and spirit. Oh! that we might be holy, harmless, undefiled. Oh! that we might walk in purity and love. May we live as the purchased possession of Your blood—the bride whom You have espoused—the partners of Your throne.
May we be transformed into Your image. As we gaze on You—may we be changed into Your likeness from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of our Lord. Surely You who have loved us unto death, will not deny these earnest petitions of our lips! Jesus, hear, answer, bless! And all glory be to You, now and forever. Amen.
Heavenly Father, we come together this morning to uplift the voice of thanksgiving. We rejoice before You in the strength of our salvation. Great was the joy of Israel's sons—when they saw the Egyptians dead on the sea-shore. Far greater is the joy of our souls—when we see all our foes crushed in the dust.
O God of peace, You have brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that Great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant. Our hearts would sing aloud Your praise. Glory be to You for evermore!
Jesus strides forth from the tomb, conqueror of death and hell and all opposing might. He bursts the bands. He tramples down all powers of darkness. He shows Himself alive by many infallible proofs. We thank You. Glory be to You, O God most high!
Open our eyes by Your Holy Spirit to see the glories of this grand achievement. May we read in it the full triumph of Your redeemed. May we drink deeply of the streams of its comfort. May we clothe ourselves in the garments of completed salvation.
Jesus lives—who was dead. He is alive for evermore. The gracious surety, who was apprehended for the payment of our debt, comes forth from the prison-house of the grave—free and discharged. Show us herein the proof that His vicarious payment is accepted, that the claims of justice are all satisfied, that no charge remains against us. Teach us plainly in this fact that the devil's scepter is shattered, and his wrongful throne leveled. He held Jesus for a little space. He put forth all his strength to detain Him. But vain were his uttermost efforts. The conqueror shouts, "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in Me, even if he dies, will live! Everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die—ever!"
Holy Father, may we be begotten again by the Spirit unto a lively hope by this resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. He has purchased a priceless inheritance for His children. It pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay! It is reserved in heaven for those who are kept by Your mighty power through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Give us the assurance that in Him—we died; in Him—we endured all punishment; in Him—we made full atonement; and in Him we rise again. Give us to know that in His life—we live; in His victory—we are victorious; in His triumphs—we triumph; in His glory—we shall be glorified.
Do not allow the fear of death to bring us into bondage. Jesus has destroyed him who had the power of death, that is, the devil. He has delivered us from death's chains. He has abolished this last enemy. Give us grace, then, to raise the anticipating shout, "O grave, where is your victory! O death, where is your sting!"
Help us to live as truly one with our risen Lord. May we seek those things which are above. May we set our affections no more on things below, knowing that we are dead and our life is hid with Christ in God. May we mortify our members which are on earth, constantly looking for the appearing of the great God and our Savior, who will change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able even to subdue all things unto Himself.
O You Holy Spirit, who raised up the Lord Jesus from the dead—dwell within us, we beg You, in all Your reviving fullness. Quicken us to liveliness in all our holy services. May we feel that because He lives—we live also. We know that Christ being raised from the dead—dies no more. In that He died, He died unto sin once—but in that He lives, He lives unto God. So may we in Him die unto all sin, and in Him live a resurrection-life of righteousness and true holiness.
Be with all the faithful ambassadors who are going forth to preach Jesus and the resurrection. Open their mouths that they may speak with all boldness, realizing the glory of their grand message. And may multitudes, now dead in trespasses and sins, and imprisoned in the grave of iniquity, awaken at their call, and arise from the dead and receive life from Christ! Thus may the tidings of the resurrection achieve grand victories this day. We ask all for the sake of Him who died, and revived, and rose again, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O mighty Savior, true and eternal God, this day we have been looking unto You as our living Head. Now again, before we separate, we would lift up our eyes. Meet us in all Your grace, as the author of complete salvation. Visit us in all the brightness of Your reviving glory. May we know more and more—the power of this Your resurrection. By its full belief, may we be raised from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness. In it may we receive assurance that our bodies too shall rise again.
In spirit we have this day searched the sepulcher, and are certified that You are not there—but are risen. We have heard the Father's welcome, "You are my Son, this day have I begotten You!" It has been our humble desire to joy in Your joy, to glory in Your glory, and in our praises to crown You Lord of all.
And now again we bless You and adore You. We thank You that for our sins—You have died. We thank You that for our justification, You are raised again. We bless You, that in You—we are complete.
How great was Your goodness in undertaking our redemption—in consenting to be made sin for us, and in encountering all our foes! How great was Your strength in enduring all the extremities of divine wrath, and taking away the load of all our iniquities! How great was Your love in manifesting Yourself alive, that our every fear might vanish—our every doubt might be removed, and that we might know assuredly that Your sacrifice was accepted, and that the remission of our guilt was consummated.
Enable us to go forward during the remaining days of our earthly pilgrimage leaning on You our living Savior. Great indeed would have been our desolation, if we had not been cheered with evidence that death could not detain You. It is because You live—that grace lives within us. May Your life impart strength to us more and more. Be ever by our side. May the light of Your countenance be our joy and support. May the whispers of Your love be heavenly melody in our hearts. May our affections burn within us, while we contemplate Your glorious triumphs for us.
Baptize our souls in the rich consolations which flow from You as the resurrection and the life. Teach us the mighty power of the sure word, "Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the One who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the One who died, but even more, has been raised; He also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us!"
Strengthen us to fight the good fight of faith, in happy knowledge that You have triumphed over all the powers of darkness. May we advance towards heaven, setting our feet on the necks of our enemies laid low by You. May we resist with Your high praises on our lips. As You have prevailed for us—so may we prevail in You. As You have revived for us—live now we beg You within us, and make our hearts Your chosen home!
O source of our life, manifest that You are a risen Lord, by working wonders among the children of men. Go forth conquering and to conquer. Claim Your people as Your own. Wrest them from the devil's cruel grasp. Bring them to the saving knowledge of Yourself. Show them Your hands and Your side. Reveal to them Your precious death and glorious resurrection. May it be seen throughout earth's length and breadth, that Your gospel is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believes; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
May the beds to which we now retire remind us of our near graves. May we look towards them with tranquil smile, knowing that at Your voice our bodies too shall rise again. We close our united prayers, adoring You, that You have abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light. For all Your work for us—we thank You. For all the joy, with which we rejoice in You—we thank You. For all our means of grace and hopes of glory—we thank You. Glory be to You, O Lord Jesus Christ, our Savior! Amen.
We approach You, O our God, this morning, with especial praises on our lips. We would join the whole company of heaven in shouting, "Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lift up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in!" We laud and magnify Your holy name, that You have exalted Your only Son, Jesus Christ, with great triumph unto Your kingdom in heaven.
Expand our hearts, and cause them to overflow with the joys of the ascension. We bless You for the glorious contemplations to which we are now especially invited. May we draw near in spirit, and see our adorable Redeemer, who for us was lifted up upon the cross, now lifted up to the heaven of heavens. May we see Him who, as the Man of sorrows, was crowned with thorns—now as the Lord of life, crowned with all glory! What could be deeper than Your shame—more bitter than Your agony—more cruel than Your death! What can be higher than Your exaltation—more triumphant than Your return, more glorious than Your life!
Quicken our faith to see the majestic ascent—the hosts of attending angels—the welcome at the portals of heaven. Enable us with open eyes to gaze on the triumphant entrance, and mark all the enemies of our salvation dragged as captives, fast bound to the victorious wheels. Open our ears to drink in Your words assigning the seat to Him, "Sit on my right hand until I make Your enemies Your footstool!" May we gaze on Him—as invested with all authority and power, receiving the government upon His shoulders, and taking the scepter of mediatorial rule.
O blessed day! Happy ascension! We adore You, our Lord and our King, living and reigning to consummate our full salvation. We rejoice to see You, in our nature, seated on Your throne on high. What strength to our faith! What delight to our hearts! What rapture to our souls! You ever live to make intercession for us!
Our prayers, then, will be ever heard. May we pray with more undoubting confidence. Our praises will be ever welcomed. May we praise You with redoubled warmth. Daily, hourly do we sin. But our sins are all pardoned; for we have an Advocate in the courts above, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins. He presents the unanswerable plea of His death. He extends His wounded hands. The hands which were pierced—are the hands which pour down gifts. He withheld not Himself. What, then, can He keep back! We now have assurance, that we shall be blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places.
Blessed Jesus, we acknowledge before all heaven and all earth, that You could not do more for us. You came down from heaven to redeem us. You are ascended that we too should ascend. Your death is our life. Your resurrection is our justification. Your ascension is our hope. Your return will be our eternal triumph.
Holy Father, give wings to our adoring love, that we may also in heart and mind mount to the heaven of heavens, and ever live with Jesus, our exalted Lord. He is our treasure. He is to us the chief among ten thousand, the altogether lovely One! Where our treasure is, where our beloved is, grant that there our affections may be also riveted. While the head is in perfect purity, do not allow the members to grovel in the filth and follies of this sin-soiled earth. While the Bridegroom reigns in glory, do not allow the bride to trifle with this world's polluted pleasures!
O Lord, our exalted King, the heavens have received You until the times of restitution of all things. Oh when will it be! Hasten, we pray, the blissful day.
The groaning earth, travailing in bondage, cries, "Come!" The Spirit and the bride cry, "Come!" We this day unite in the fervent cry, "Come Lord Jesus, come quickly!"
But while Your chariot-wheels delay, give us more and more of the joy and strength of Your presence. May we live in spirit with You until we see Your sign in the heavens, and raise the shout, "Lo! this is our God—we have waited for Him, and He will save us! This is the Lord—we have waited for Him; we will be glad, and rejoice in His salvation!" Amen.
Heavenly Father, we beg You by the coming of the Holy Spirit, give ear unto our morning cry. We earnestly beseech You, that we may be very temples of His perpetual indwelling, and that His graces may wholly replenish our souls. As the sun is full of light, as the ocean is full of drops, as the heavens are full of glory—so may we be filled with His presence!
Vain are all Your purposes of love, vain is the redemption purchased by Jesus, except the Holy Spirit shall work within us. Here then we present our longing hearts to You. It is our desire that they may be His abode forever.
We beseech You that the Holy Spirit may enter in—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding—the Spirit of counsel and might—the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and may He make us of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord.
Oh that we might be entirely regenerated by His power—quickened unto newness of life—created anew after God in righteousness and true holiness.
We know that by nature—we are dead in trespasses and sins. We owe it wholly to His mighty love, if we are begotten again to spiritual existence, and have received eyes to see Jesus in the glories of redemption. It is His free gift if we discern the realities of the unseen and eternal world. If too our ears have been opened to hear the heavenly call, and to respond, "It is the voice of our Beloved!" If our hearts have been warmed with love and throb with adoration—if our feet run with delight in the narrow way of life, it is because we have been visited with His almighty and sovereign grace.
We bring the tribute of devout thanksgiving. But we thirst for more! We supplicate for more. We are not limited in You, O You great and glorious Jehovah. To fill us to the overflowing would not diminish Your inexhaustible riches. Streams ever descending to us would leave Your fountain unimpaired! Give us, then, give us, we beg You, more, much more, of the influence of Your Holy Spirit. He was given without measure to the Head. May He be given without measure to the members of the mystic body.
We bewail our coldness, our poverty, our empty hearts, our selfish desires, our languid services, our prayerless prayers, our praiseless praises. How different are we—from what we desire to be! How different are we from what we might be! Come, Holy Spirit, Your sevenfold gifts impart. Do not allow us, we beg You, to grieve or to resist You. We adore You as almighty God. Put forth, then, the strength of Your omnipotence. Expel every rebellious lust. Take Your holy seat on the throne within us. Reign supreme. Claim us and keep us as Your own forever.
Especially be our teacher. It is Your province to lead us into all truth. We supplicate Your unction, that we may know all things needful for life and godliness.
We bless You for Your holy Scriptures. We receive each word as given directly by Your inspiration. In Your light may we see light. Shine upon the sacred page. Instruct us in the glorious meaning. Write the transforming gospel on our hearts. Mold us in the Bible mold. Make us ever redolent of the Bible truth.
Come too, we implore You, as our comforter. Many are our troubles from without and from within. We often mourn in our prayers and are vexed. We find that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of heaven. But give us the joy of Your presence. Cheer us by revelations of Jesus. Keep the glories of the end before us, and we shall endure, rejoicing in Your holy support.
Above all, sanctify us wholly, body, soul, and spirit. May every thought, and word, and work be consecrated to the glory of our God. May it be seen in us that You do work, and none can hinder You; and that You are fitting a people for the kingdom of heaven.
Arise in our behalf. Come forth to our help. Put forth Your strength to bless and save us. And to Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be everlasting praise! Amen.
Almighty God, Father of all mercies, whose tender love surpasses thought, we desire to close this day in united praise for all Your goodness. Especially we thank You for adding to all Your blessings—the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit. By Him we adore You in the name of Jesus. By Him through Jesus we ascribe all glory unto Your holy name. We bless You for Him—the author and giver of light and life. May His work be more enlightening, more enlivening in our hearts.
We delight in the records of His gracious power. Your earliest word reveals His wondrous agency. When the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep—Your Spirit moved upon the face of the waters. Beauty and order sprang out of unsightly confusion. Oh, that He would now move upon the face of this sin-soiled, this disordered world! Then loveliness would brightly shine, and holiness would wave its peaceful wand, and the spiritual desert would rejoice and blossom as the rose, and the fruits of righteousness would spring up and flourish and abound! Holy Father, cause Your Spirit to introduce a new creation to the praise of the glory of Your grace.
We mark His manifestation to the infant Church. In spirit we hear a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind. We see the descent of tongues like as of fire. We hear the gospel preached to men of every nation. We conclude that it is Your will, that the testimony of Jesus should have free course and be glorified. But darkness still shrouds the earth. Multitudes are perishing for lack of knowledge. The feet of those who bring good tidings, who publish peace—are not beautifully seen upon the distant mountains. Gracious Father, send forth Your Holy Spirit to raise up a noble army of faithful messengers. Cause Him to fill their hearts with the love of Your dear Son; to brace them with indomitable zeal; to give them burning words, and courage which nothing can subdue. May He give the Word and bless the Word, and from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, may Your name shall be great among men; and in every place incense shall be offered unto You and a pure offering. Zeal for Your glory constrains us. We beseech You that Your Spirit may hasten the blessed day.
We humbly put You in remembrance, that these are the days of the ministry of the Spirit. We sigh that His presence may be more deeply and more widely felt. We pray especially that our hearts may be His abiding home. May He dwell in us, and move in us, and guide our every thought, and direct our every step, and speak in our every word. May we be wholly occupied by the indwelling God. May our godly and godlike life, evidence the mainspring of our inner man.
We pray that He may entirely fill every preacher and every teacher. May no sound be heard from any pulpit but as suggested by His revealing light. May He be present in every school, and sit in every teacher's chair, and supply the whole instruction.
We pray, too, that His omnipotent power may open hearts to receive the pure testimony. May He cause it to take deep root unto salvation. Unless He arises to our help—all our efforts are but as a tinkling cymbal. Holy Father, hear our cry, and make Your ministering servants effectual instruments in His glorious hands.
We would bring before You the Gospel societies which You have been pleased to raise up. May Your Spirit direct all their counsels, suggest all their plans, give success to all their operations. May He make them wholly spiritual. Thus may they seek nothing but Your glory, and attempt nothing but in meek dependence on Your power. Sanctify the projects which they shall devise, and the means which they shall use.
Thus we lie low before You, praying for Pentecostal blessings. You have given Your dear Son. We thank You. You have promised Your Holy Spirit. We beseech You—do as You have said. Let not our hard hearts resist Him. Let not our ingratitude quench His love. May He magnify His glory by being glorified in us. We earnestly pray in filial confidence, pleading the name and work of Jesus Christ. Amen.
We come together this morning to ascribe glory unto You, O heavenly Father; glory unto You, O blessed Jesus; glory unto You, O holy and eternal Spirit. We humbly worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity, the God of our salvation. We prostrate ourselves in the deepest reverence before the revelation of this wondrous truth. We seek not curiously to pry into the mystery. But we receive it with entire faith—because Your Word declares it.
We adore You, O Father, as God and Lord. We adore You, O Jesus, as God and Lord. We adore You, O Holy Spirit, as God and Lord. And yet we adore not three Gods or three Lords—but one God and one Lord.
But especially we adore You for gracious concurrence in bringing us poor shiners to Your saving knowledge and Your kingdom. O Father, You have chosen and loved us, and sent Your Son to achieve our uttermost redemption. O Jesus, You have loved us; and have assumed our nature, and have shed Your blood, to wash out all our sins; and have wrought out perfect righteousness to cover all our unworthiness. O Holy Spirit, You have loved us, and have entered our dead hearts, implanting spiritual life, and revealing to us the glorious work of Jesus.
Three persons, one God—we bless and praise You for love so unmerited, so unspeakable, so wondrous, so mighty to raise us from the misery of the lost, and to exalt us to the bliss and glory of the saved!
O Father, we bless You that, in the plenitude of Your grace, You have given us to Your beloved Son to be—His spouse, His jewels, the sheep of His pasture, His portion forever. O Jesus, we bless You that, in the plenitude of Your grace, You have accepted us as Your own; that You have espoused us unto Yourself; that You have undertaken to sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the Word, and present us unto Yourself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing. Holy Spirit, we bless You that, in the plenitude of Your grace, You consent to inhabit our hearts, to subdue our stubbornness, to exhibit Jesus as all our salvation, to implant faith, to bring us unto Him, to make us one with Him forever. All thanks we give that we are elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ.
Father, we hear Your voice in Scripture testifying, "I will dwell in them, and walk in them." Jesus, we hear Your assurance, that if we open the door, You will come in to us, and will sup with us. Holy Spirit, we are taught that our bodies are the temples which You delight to sanctify and to fill.
We adore the wonders of Your condescending love. We marvel at the high privilege of the true believer. All heaven comes down to dwell within him. He has his abode in God, and God in him. We humbly believe it. Grant us to realize it to the full.
Merciful Father, we thank You that You are ever seated on a throne of grace, giving ear to our prayers. Jesus, we thank You that Your hands are ever extended to receive our feeble petitions, to perfume them with the rich fragrance of Your blood, and to present them as an acceptable offering. Holy Spirit, we thank You that You are ever willing to help our infirmities, to show us our need, to supply words, to strengthen us that we faint not in our supplications. Help us to see how wondrous is the exercise of faithful prayer. All heaven is concerned. In it the Triune Jehovah has employ.
We pray that this day we may be more deeply taught how high and heavenly is our calling; how grand and glorious are our privileges; how sure and bright are our hopes. May we walk worthy of You. May we duly ponder what manner of persons we ought to be—in all holy living and godliness. May we truly live as they who have been baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. May we renounce all that You forbid. May we diligently follow all that You command. Thus may the blessing of the Father, the blessing of the Son, the blessing of the Holy Spirit—be our rich inheritance. Hear us, O our God, when this day we acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity; and, in the power of the divine Majesty, worship the Unity. Amen and Amen.
Heavenly Father, accept our thanksgivings for all the means of grace which Your mercy has provided. They are the joy and strength of our souls. We see in them Your loving purpose. It is Your will that spiritual life should flourish and abound within us. Help us by Your Holy Spirit to use them all duly, devoutly, gratefully, to Your praise and our exceeding profit!
This day we would especially magnify Your goodness for the ordinance of the body and blood of our beloved Lord. Truly Your Word is fulfilled, that You will prepare for Your people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wine on the lees well refined.
We confess that we are utterly unworthy to gather up the crumbs under Your table. How unworthy then are we to sit down as guests at this heavenly table. But we come not trusting in ourselves—but wholly relying on the merits of Your dear Son, and hiding all our unworthiness beneath the robe of His glorious righteousness. We hear the tender invitation. We marvel at the wondrous grace. We cannot hesitate. In faith and love we come. Give us a gracious welcome. Refresh and strengthen us with the rich bounties of this feast.
We draw near to behold marvelous things. By Your Spirit enliven our faith rightly to discern, duly to appreciate, spiritually to apprehend. Thus may we richly grow in grace.
We reverently look. Bread is broken. Wine is poured forth. Write deeply on our hearts, the precious meaning. Jesus Christ is evidently set forth crucified before us. In the broken bread we spiritually see His broken body. In the poured out wine we spiritually see the shedding of His blood.
While we humbly gaze, may we anxiously ponder, "Why, blessed Jesus, why did You thus die?" May the precious answer sound through every part of our hearts and souls, "I die—that you may not die. I lay down My life—to purchase your life. I present Myself as a sin-offering to—expiate all your sins. My blood thus streams—to wash out all your guilt. The fountain is thus opened in My side—to cleanse you from all impurity. I thus endure your curse. I thus pay your debt. I thus rescue you from all condemnation. I thus satisfy divine justice for you!" See in these elements My body given unto the shame and sufferings of the cross for you.
Father, we know that this table is ordained to exhibit these precious truths. May we tightly grasp the breadth and length of this glorious purpose. May our faith expand, and strengthen, and grow mightily. May all fears and doubts be slain. May delighted assurance pervade us. May we truly believe, that full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, are forever made. May we glory more and more in Christ our everlasting salvation.
But we are called to draw nearer yet. We hear the voice of our great Lord, "Eat, drink, yes, drink abundantly, O beloved!" We gladly come forward to obey. We extend the hand. We take the bread. We receive the cup. We eat. We drink.
Thus we humbly testify before all heaven and before all earth, that we do personally and for ourselves, gladly, in faith, and reverence, and love, receive our blessed Jesus to be the life, the strength, the nourishment, the joy, the delight of our souls. We profess that we feed on Him and Him crucified, as all our hope, salvation, and desire.
Blessed Jesus, at Your table may all the benefits of Your cross and passion, may all the glories of Your accomplished redemption, be sealed to our souls. We do all that Your ordinance prescribes in remembrance of You.
We remember Your eternal love. We remember Your boundless grace. We remember Your infinite compassion. We remember Your agony and bloody sweat. We remember all that You have done for us. We remember Your call to this most hallowed ordinance. And we pray that You will remember us.
As we participate, may we truly feel that we are one with You, and You are one with us. As the outward elements nourish our bodies, may Your indwelling presence invigorate and bless our souls. Thus feed us until we hunger no more. We look to the day when You, the Lamb in the midst of the throne, shall feed us and lead us unto living fountains of water! Hear. Answer. Amen.
O You Lord and Savior of our souls, in obedience to Your gracious calling, we have this day partaken of the holy bread, and drank the holy cup. We thank You that on the same night in which You were betrayed You did institute this holy ordinance, ever to exhibit Your dying love. We thank You that You have revealed that in it Your people shall show forth Your death until Your return. We thank You that the high privilege has been ours of thus gazing on You as making atonement for us on the cross.
Hear our prayer, that all the blessings of this sacred service may be sealed to our souls. May our faith be mightily revived, our hopes invigorated, our souls strengthened for more devoted work. Send richer and larger supplies of Your Holy Spirit, that we may keep constantly in devout remembrance, what solemn vows are ours, what high profession we have made. Increase our watchfulness. Stir up more vigorous diligence. Grant that all who see us may take knowledge of us—that we have been with Jesus. May conformity to His image be our conspicuous stamp. May it be seen in us that Your ordinances are mighty means of grace; that You do indeed visit the souls of all who partake in faith; that Your presence is truly granted to their longing hearts; and that the flame of adoring love is largely brightened.
Help us in our future days, if future days are ours—to ponder the holy spectacle of this sacred rite. We have seen the greatness of the price whereby You have redeemed us from the torments of the lost, from the vengeance due unto our sins, and from the curse of the infracted law. May we never forget that we are not our own—but that we are bought by Your most precious blood. May we ever glorify You in our bodies and in our spirits, which are Yours.
By the clear eye of faith—we have looked to You, sealing us unto the great day of redemption. We have received the assurance of pardon, of adoption, of joint-heirship with You, of heaven, of eternal life, and of participation in all the glory which the Father gave to You. May we live henceforth as those who have thus received the pledge of the everlasting covenant. Forbid it that the follies, the trifles, the baubles of this polluted world, should occupy our minds or captivate our affections. May our walk be high and heavenly, even as our pledged inheritance.
We have this day renewed a most solemn covenant. Feeding on the memorials of Your broken body, we have avouched God to be our God, and we have bound ourselves to serve Him in faithfulness, sincerity, and truth all the days of our lives. As Your obedient children, may we fashion ourselves no more after the course of this evil world—but according to the strictest rules of Your blessed Word. We know that all Your promises You will surely keep and perform. May all our promises to You be also kept inviolate.
We have this day, looking to the cross, bewailed our hateful sins. We have confessed their number, their magnitude, their aggravations. We have testified that the remembrance is grievous, and that the burden is intolerable. Arm us with holy resolve to fight more valiantly against them, and never to look back to the paths which we have so solemnly forsaken.
We know that our walk must still be amid the wily snares and constant assaults of the devil. His hatred is most keen against those who avow themselves to be Yours. After Your most holy baptism, he approached You with his deadliest arts. May we be on our guard. As You conquered, so may we conquer—using the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Blessed Lord, hear our sacred prayer. Draw nearer, oh, draw nearer to us. Enable us to walk worthy of You—Your love—Your death—Your promises. May we live answerably to all our pledges and our vows.
Preserve us as Your portion, Your spouse, Your treasure. And unto You, who are able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of Your glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God, our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
We bring before You, merciful Father, in the arms of our faith, that beloved member of our household on whom You have been pleased to lay the hand of sickness. In their chastening—we are chastened. In their sufferings—we suffer. Give us tender sympathy—to watch and to alleviate. In the sick chamber—may we be gentleness and love. Grant Your blessing to all the remedies, which, trusting in You, we use. If it is Your gracious will, arrest the malady, and may the voice of health and gladness again gladden our dwelling. Especially give patience in all pain and languor, and may the sufferer humbly bless Your heavenly will, knowing that You do all things well.
SICKNESS UNTO DEATH
Hear us in behalf of our beloved one, whom we humbly surrender unto You. We read in the increasing malady, Your sovereign will to take whom You will, to Yourself. We meekly cry, "May Your will be done!" We bless You for all Your goodness to our beloved one, during the days of earthly pilgrimage. Draw nearer now when heart and strength fail. May Your last mercies upon earth be Your richest. Do not allow Satan to molest. Whisper sweet peace to the departing spirit. May Your rod and Your staff comfort, and grant an abundant entrance into Your heavenly kingdom.
In this hour of grievous trial and affliction—we flee unto You, our God. You gave—we thank You. You have taken away—give us grace to bless Your holy name. In this death may we see the fruit of sin, and may we loathe it with deeper hatred.
Help us to remember that Jesus has abolished death, and may we love Him more and more. May we hear the rod, and You who has appointed it. Write deeply on our hearts the lessons which this solemn event is loud to teach. Send Your Spirit to search our inmost souls, and to sever us from every evil way. May the loss for which we weep be our everlasting gain.
This day we bear the remains of our beloved one to the grave. Blessed Jesus, if we weep, we would remember that at the grave You shed tears of sympathy. We would remember too that in the grave for our salvation, You have lain. But You rose again. We know, therefore, that this our our beloved one shall rise too. But oh, how changed! Therefore, while we sorrow, we rejoice and bless You. Fill up, we beg You, the vacancy in our hearts by granting more of Your comforting presence. May we forget the sorrow of this day—in the glories of the bright future.
We believe that all Your dealings towards us are love in Christ our Lord. Your faithful Word declares that You kill, and make alive; You bring down to the grave, and bring up. Your Word is truth. We cried unto You in behalf of one whom sickness had laid low. But sickness is gone, and health again makes glad. We thank and bless You. Grant that the strength renewed may be wholly consecrated to Your service. May lengthened days be lengthened praise to You. In the restored life of one so dear to us, may we see Your tender love. May our devoted lives render due praise. May we adore You more as a God who answers prayer, and who in the midst of judgments remembers mercy.
O Our God, it is our high privilege to cast all our cares upon You—for You care for us. You have sent Your dear Son to bear not only all our sins—but all our burdens too. You know the trouble which now weighs down our hearts. We spread it before You. Give us grace to bear it with humble submission to Your sovereign will. Supply us with wisdom to endure this trial, so that our souls may prosper. May it work in us the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Allow no murmurings or impatience to disgrace our heavenly calling. Enable us to keep looking unto Jesus, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame. If there is bitterness in the cup—may we drink it without repining. If there is perplexity in our walk—may we seek Your guidance, believing that all things shall work together for our good.
Guard, we beg You, all who travel this day by land or by water. Especially hear us for those whom kindred or friendship bind to us. Preserve them from all the perils of the way. May Your protecting wings be spread around them. May the pillar of Your presence precede. May Your mercies surround and follow them. Grant that every journey may remind us that we tread this earth as strangers and pilgrims. May we keep our loins girt, our lamps burning, our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, ever ready to take our last step below.
RETURN TO HOME
The return in safety, this day, of the beloved members of our household calls for especial praise. O God, You have been with them in their going forth and coming in. From every danger You have been pleased to screen them. Many accidents might have imperiled or destroyed their lives, or filled them with disabling pains. Sorrow might now have been our bitter cup. But with joy we welcome them as preserved by Your watchful care. Accept the thanks which we devoutly bring. May this arrival remind us that soon we shall rest from all departures and returns. When life's short day is passed, give us to sit down forever amid the glories of Your redeemed.
O Our Father, we humble ourselves in deep contrition before You, acknowledging our manifold iniquities as individuals and as a nation. Wrath is gone forth. We confess that our sins have justly provoked You. The destroying angel has brought grievous sickness on our guilty land. We tremble and we flee to You. Pardon, we beseech You. Arrest this fearful pestilence. Recover those on whom its hand is resting. Preserve from its touch those, who are still escaped. O Jesus, stand between the living and the dead, that the plague may be stayed. Bring back the voice of health and gladness. So will we bless Your sparing and restoring love forever and ever.
Gracious Lord, troubles and rumors of troubles fill us with dismay. The voice of murmurings and discontent affrights our land. Turbulence has banished our happy tranquility. We tremble lest civil disasters should sadden our homes. Arise to our help and save us, O our God. Defeat the evil designs of ungodly men. Give especial wisdom to those who guide our nation. Make them firm to resist, intelligent to devise the needful remedy, and patient to endure. Allay all angry passion. Calm all ruffled minds. Speak the word, and sweet calm shall then return. Fill us with that righteousness which exalts a nation. Grant that Your people may dwell in peaceable habitations, in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places. O God of peace, give us peace always by all means.
DISTRESS OF WEATHER
Father of all goodness, we bless You for every circumstance which teaches us our entire dependence on You. May all things prosperous and adverse, draw us more closely to Your side. We acknowledge that if our sins should be the measure of Your dealings—the heavens over our heads would be brass and iron, and our fields would be locked up in barrenness. But You are rich in mercy. Be pleased, we beseech You, to send us bountiful seasons. Withhold not Your showers, when refreshing rain is needed. Give the ripening rays, when the time for the ingathering of our crops has come. Let not adverse weather hinder our labor, or diminish our plenty. Give us seedtime and harvest according to Your Word.
Father, we adore You. Your tender mercies are over all Your works. You crown the year with Your goodness. Your paths drop fatness. You have given Your blessing to the ingathering of our crops. Our garners are enriched with store. Abundant provision is our portion. How good are You! How undeserving are our hearts and lives! But melted by such loving-kindness, may we devote our lives, which are Your gracious care, to Your undivided service. May the rich harvest of our fields, quicken us to pray for the harvest of immortal souls. The spiritual field is wide. Send forth laborers to gather in. May we always be looking to the end, when the angels shall be the reapers. Fit us. Bless us. Receive us as Your own forever.
This day we trust, by Your good hand upon us, to meet to testify the desire of our souls, that Your name may be hallowed, and Your kingdom advanced among the children of men. Give Your especial blessing to the great Society, the cause of which we shall strive to advocate. Send Your Holy Spirit to warm and sanctify the hearts of all who shall be present. May thought of self be absent from each speaker. May the name and truth of Jesus be exalted and made very high! May heavenly-mindedness be the pervading tone. May we hear, may we give, as unto the Lord. May the sweet fragrance of a holy meeting cheer and elevate our hearts.