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world.—Though I shall have, by the course of nature, “to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, yet I will fear no evil, for thou art with me, thy rod and thy staff shall comfort me."a
Almighty Father, who by thy power and wisdom didst make the world, and all that therein is, who hast endued thy humble servant and child with a nature frail and perishable, yet capable of everlasting glory, visit me, I beseech thee, now, at this time, with thy heavenly favour, counsel me with thy heavenly wisdom, teach me
with thy heavenly grace.
Thou acceptest not the person of any man, but hast promised to hear the prayer of all such as come unto thee faithfully. thee therefore hear my confession which I shall now from the secrets of my heart pour forth unto thee. I pray thee, guide with thy spirit the thoughts of my prayer.
[Here confess unto God the impurities, foulness, and weaknesses of your nature, naming them individually as they occur to the mind.
a Ps. xxiii. 1, 2, &c.
Therefore, O God, I am unworthy to stand before thee. Thou seest how utterly unworthy of the least of all thy mercies. How infirm of purpose, how weak in resolution.
I have been led from this to that, I have followed, even as my first parents, the subtilties of Satan; of the tree that thou didst command, saying; “ Thou shalt not eat,” even of that tree I have desired to eat, and have eaten, and am utterly cast down and ashamed to stand before thy presence.
But, O God most righteous, O God most merciful, visit me not with thine anger, send not thy holy angels to drive me forth from thy paradise, visit me not with that trouble and
which for my disobedience I deserve; but let thy holy angels pitch their tents round about, and dwell in
my send thy Holy Spirit to sanctify that nature so foul in thy sight, strengthen that which is weak, enlighten that which is dark, prevent and go before me
before me that henceforth I may be holy in thy presence.
And now heavenly Father, as at this time, I pray more earnestly for thy grace, I knock more urgently for Jesus Christ's sake; His death I soon shall commemorate; His blood which cleanseth from all sin, I shall drink ; His body broken on the cross, shall eat. Grant that I may do so with faith, with penitence, and with a true assur
heart; ance of that love which passeth all understanding Grant that, as in Adam I am dead, so in Christ
Saviour I may be made alive; as in Adam I am driven forth from thy presence in wrath, so in Christ my Saviour I may return to thee in joy and salvation. Amen.
“ It is written, Cursed is every
one that continueth not in all things that are written in the book of the law to do them."a
I search the book of the law: I look towards Mount Sinai, and I there behold the Almighty clothed in all his attributes of terror.
“ The people saw the thunderings and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off ; and they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear, but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” « Behold I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
Gal. iii. 10. Deut. xxvii. 26.
Exod. xx. 18.
a blessing if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, and a curse if ye
will not obey the commandments of the Lord
Then dare I contemplate the severe exact
with which these holy precepts are commanded. Dare I contemplate the dreadful pun ishment with which their violation is charged. True, if I can attain them, my reward will be great ; but if I fail, the punishment most dreadful, the wrath of God most terrible.
Then how do I stand before my God!
I know that he is holy. I know that he has delivered his will to me and all mankind, and that will is contained in the law. Unless the law had been delivered, I could not have disobeyed the law; and if I had not disobeyed the law, I had not known sin. “For I was alive without the law once, but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; and the commandment which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.”
Then behold in what “jeopardy I stand every hour.” Perfection demanded of me,--unlimited perfection ; every thought, every word, every deed, such as shall not fear the examination, or shrink from the scrutiny of the all-seeing