« VorigeDoorgaan »
ties of relationship, affection, and Christian principles, which bind us together. We bless thee for all that sympathy of feeling and union of heart which thou hast given us; and we pray that we may be more and more knit together in Christian love. But, beyond all other mercies, we bless thee for the common salvation of Jesus Christ; for his birth, his life, his death, and his resurrection ; for all that he was, and is, and will be. Blessed be God for the gift of his Son Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, our only hope, and our sure refuge. [We trust that we may say we are one in Christ, members of that: body of which he is the head; and we bless and praise thee for this thy unspeakable mercy. We thank thee for this opportunity of assembling ourselves together, and we pray that, however we may be separated here below, or however scattered in different stations, as we have now met together here on earth, we may hereafter all meet in heaven, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.]
Our Father, &c.
PRAYER FOR THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.
I. ALMIGHTY God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the God of the spirits of all flesh, the earth is thine, and the fulness thereof, the round world, and they that dwell therein.
We come, as sinners, but trusting in thy beloved Son, our Advocate, and the propitiation of our sins, and looking for the promised spirit of grace and supplication.
*Lord, we confess before thee our own sins, and those of our country. Like thy people of old, while we have been greatly distinguished by privileges, we have also been a sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a
seed of evil doers, children that are corrupters. We have forsaken the Lord, and have provoked the holy one of Israel. And chiefly, now, we would confess our coldness and indifference in extending the blessings of that glorious gospel which Thou hast entrusted to us.
How slothful and unconcerned have we been to communicate to others the privileges which we enjoy, and to use all the means which thou hast given unto us of imparting the knowledge of Christ to distant lands! To us belongeth shame and confusion of face— to us, and to our fathers, because sinned against thee. But to the Lord our God be. longeth mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against him.
We beseech thee give us a zeal for thy glory. Fountain of light, and life, and grace, pour upon us thy quickening Spirit, to animate and excite us to devote ourselves to thee. Raise up, we pray thee, those who shall unceasingly pray, and give, and think, and labour, for the spread of thy truth. Revive the days of the primitive Church, when thy people, walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost, were multiplied.
May the true light come more and more to thy Church, and the glory of the Lord rise upon her, and may she arise and shine; and may the Gentiles come to this light, and Kings to the brightness of thy rising.
Lord, we plead the glory of thy great name, the faithfulness of thy promises, and the happiness of thine own creation; and with these pleas, we ask that the Heathen may be given to Christ for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.
II. O LORD, the King of Glory, hast thou not said, “it shall come to pass in the last days, that I will pour out
of my Spirit upon all flesh ?” Behold! in these last days, give now to us that ask. With thee is the residue of the Spirit, and the Lord's hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his ear heavy that it cannot hear.
Have respect unto the covenant, for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. May the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, on those people now sitting in darkness and the shadow of death.
We pray thee to hasten the coming of that time, when it shall not be asked, Who hath believed our report, and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed ? but it shall be said, The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the sight of all nations, and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
And grant, gracious Lord, that while the fulness of the Gentiles is coming in, all Israel may also be saved. May the veil which remaineth upon their hearts when Moses is read, be taken away by their turning to the Lord. May this branch which has so long been broken off, at length be grafted into its own Olive-tree. Olet the Deliverer come out of Sion, and turn away ungodliness from Jacob.
And while we thus pray, we thank thee, good and gracious Lord, for all the blessed signs of the times in which we live. We bless thee for the beginning of a general desire to spread thy truth through the world, and that Societies have been raised in these latter days, among all denominations of thy servants, for evangelizing the Heathen, and for their conversion from dumb idols to the liv. ing God. We thank thee for any success given to these efforts, and would thereby be encouraged to persevere in more zealous labours, and more fervent prayers.
III. O FATHER of lights, and giver of all wisdom, bless every Society formed for the conversion of Jews or Gentiles, and for the spread and advancement of thy truth at home, or abroad. Guide the minds of all who conduct their affairs. In all their difficulties and trials, comfort and support them. Especially direct them in the choice of fit instruments. Give them the discerning of spirits, that none may be sent forth but such as thou hast called, prepared, and qualified for the blessed yet arduous office of proclaiming the unsearchable riches of Christ. Greatly increase the number of such labourers. Give, O give thou the word, and great shall be the company of the preachers. Bless all who support thy cause at home. May they that love thy Jerusalem prosper in body and soul : in endeavouring to water others, may their own souls be watered.
Look with thy favour on all Missionaries.now among the Heathen. () prepare the way in the wilderness. May every valley be exalted, every hill made low ; may the crooked be made straight, and the rough places plain; and the word of the Lord every where hare free course and be glorified. · May tby doctrine, consta ntly preached by thy servants, drop as the rain, and distil as the dew, and thy word never return unto thee void, but prosper abundantly, and accomplish all that for which thou dost send it. Give thy servants health and strength, vigour of mind, and devotedness of heart; and may they all be chosen vessels to bear thy name before the Gentiles. May the deadening influence of climate, heathen customs, and loss of means of grace, be more than counteracted by a special supply of thy Holy Spirit. May it have to be recorded of each one of them, Ile was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, and of faith ; and much people were, through him, added to the Lord. Give them grace to be faithful unto death, and may they receive from the Saviour's hands the crown of life and glory. Grant that thousands and tens of thousands may rise up to call them blessed. May the little leaven leaven the whole lump; and all nations whom thou hast made fall down and worship before thee.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not for thine own sake, 0 our God. For thy dear Son's sake, answer. May he see the travail of his soul and be satisfied. Amen, and Amen.
Our Father, &c.
ANOTHER PRAYER FOR THE ENLARGEMENT OF THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.
1. O ETERNAL God, the Lord of glory, who hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm; the great, the mighty God, the Lord. of Hosts is thy name; Thou, Lord, art good to all. and thy tender mercies are over all thy works; Thou art nigh unto all them that call upon thee, to all that call upon
thee in truth. We are bold, therefore, to come before thee in behalf of a world lying in wickedness. Behold, in thy infinite compassion, dying millions, who have changed the glory of the incorruptible God, into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts! behold them, without Christ, strangers from the covenant of promise, having no hope, and without Gud in the world; filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, and malignity! Lord, we know