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our Lord ; then, O God, my secret faults, instead of being concealed under the many disguises of vanity and pride, shall be as clear to myself, as they are manifest in thy sight. Hear my prayer,. through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
1. Of our duty towards God.
Do I love God before and above all things? Is my
love of him so distinct from all other love, that it is not possible for it to find any rival in my bosom? Is it a sublime sentiment, formed of holy reverence, gratitude and adoration, and not an extravagant and fanatical passion which partakes of human frailties and infirmities?
Do I fear God? Do I dread as much to outrage his infinite mercy and goodness, as to provoke his almighty power? And is the sense of his divine presence habitually felt when I am tempted to commit evil instead of doing good?
Is the thought of God truly important to my mind, and dear to my heart above all things ?-Do I never find it troublesome to me ?-Do I never try to obviate, or to obscure it? Is it welcome and desirab e
to me in every place, at every time, at every instant of my life ?-Does it accompany and actuate me in the world, and while I am about my business, as well as during divine service?-Do my thoughts and sentiments correspond with the relations in which I stand as a creature to my Creator, as a subject to my Sovereign, as a child to my heavenly Father?
Do I worship God as I ought? embracing every opportunity of sanctifying his sabbaths, and of rendering my services effectual, through the mediation of Christ our Saviour, by serious meditation, devout prayer, sincere repentance, and steadfast purposes of ame dment ? Do I daily pray to him with the seriousness, fervency, and affection he requires ?
Do I give him thanks every day of my life, for health, for my daily bread, and for every blessing that I enjoy ? Above all, do
I thank him for the redemption of the world by his Son Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of life and immortality?
Do I put my whole trust in him ?-Do I rely on the truths of his revealed word ?Do I believe in his gracious promises ? Do I confide in his wisdom and his mercy during the trials of adversity and affliction, as well as in the seasons of health, gladness and prosperity ? and do I labor to improve the dispensations of his wise and righteous providence ?
Am I continually ready to do what he commands me to do, to suffer what he inflicts upon me, to acquiesce entirely in his will, and to be guided and governed by him without resistance or reserve ?
Do I honor his holy name, by never uttering it without the deepest sentiments of reverence and praise ?
And do I endeavor to form such apprehensions of him as are worthy of his adorable majesty ?
Do I as a sinner, in the exercise of repentance, rely upon his mercy, through the merits and intercession of his Son our Redeemer? Do I, as a weak creature, depend upon the light, grace and assistance of his Holy Spirit, to further my endeavors, to guide and strengthen me in all my duties, and to direct and comfort me in all my temptations, difficulties and troubles ?
This is indeed the first and great command, to love thee, O God, with all our heart. For this grace I now apply to thee, to make my love and fear of thee the governing principle of my whole life ;—that I may always do what I believe will please thee ;—that I may carefully avoid what I know will offend thee ;-and that I may live as having thee the constant witness of my thoughts, words and actions.
Give me a steadfast faith in thy word and promises; a firm trust in thy power. Let the fear of thy justice keep me from
presumption, and a sense of thy goodness from despair. Defend me from all those bewitching snares which destroy our love to thee; from worldly cares; from all sensual and sinful pleasures; from evil company; from foolish diversions; and from every thing that may make me forget that thou alone art worthy to be feared and loved. Grant me these mercies for the sake of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, whose love and death we are about to commemorate. Amen.
2. Of our duty towards our neighbor.
Do I love my neighbor as my myself ? Let me not deceive myself by mistaking the nature of this duty.—Is the love of my neighbor of the same kind, though not of the same DEGREE, as my love to myself? Does it lead me, on all occasions, to do my fellow creatures good, and to defend them from evil? to rejoice with them that do rejoice, and to weep with them that weep?