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ON THE LOSS OF FRIENDS BY DEATH.
[COMPILED PRAYERS :-BRISTOL, 1823.]
our hands on our mouths, and fall down now before thee, humbly to own thy sovereign right to dispose of us, and all that we have and are, as thou pleasest: we are in thy hands as the clay in the hands of the potter. May our language be, “ It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good; the Lord gave, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.”
We would know wherefore the Lord is contending with us. If any of us in this household are careless about our souls, Lord! awaken them from their security; may this messenger from the dead startle us effectually, and awaken us to call upon our God.
If we have lost our first love, grown lukewarm in religion, and lived too much like the generation of this world, may this providence bring us back ; may we repent and do our first work, lest when our Master cometh he find us sleeping. May we all be quickened to a greater diligence, that whatsoever our hands find to do, we may do it with all our might; and be strongly moved with the affecting consideration that the night cometh wherein no man can work.
May we all keep it constantly in remembrance how short our time is, that so we may not boast ourselves of to-morrow, since we know not what a day may bring forth ; but may we now, in this our day, mind the things which belong unto our peace before they are hidden from our eyes; that so our last day may be our best, and the day of our death better than the day of our birth! and may we be among those servants whom our Lord when he cometh shall find so doing, and shall pronounce blessed.
Blessed be thy name, that in this world of darkness, sorrow, and death, life and immortality have been brought to light through thy gospel! Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, of an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for us.
We thank thee, O Father of mercies ! that thou hast given us such everlasting consolation through thy free grace in Christ Jesus. We will praise thy name for ever for those exceeding great and precious promises, which are our support and comfort in all the troubles of this life. Increase our faith, strengthen and confirm our hope, and raise up our spirits continually to that blessed place where Jesus is, that we may rejoice in hope of that immortal life, where all tears shall be wiped for ever from our eyes, where sighing and sorrow shall never enter, where there shall be no more death : and whither, through the riches of thy grace, we hope to follow those, who are now through their faith and patience inheriting the promises; and to be joined again to them whose lives are now hidden in Christ; and when Christ who is our life shall appear,
to appear also together with them in glory, and unite in praising that wise and merciful Providence, which by ways inscrutable and afflicting, has brought us into the rest that remaineth for the people of God.
Keep us, 0 our God! in a humble, quiet, and dutiful submission to thee, waiting for that peaceful and joyful repose in the eternal rest, which thou hast prepared for them that love thee, through thy mercies in Christ Jesus; by whom all glory, love, and obedience be rendered unto thee, both pow and for ever. Amen.
ON THE LOSS OF FRIENDS BY DEATH.
[REV. J. G. ROBBERDS.] LMIGHTY God! Thou alone art unchanging,
and of thy years there is no end. In the awful presence of death, we feel our entire dependence upon thee. When man passeth away like the grass of the field, and all the glory of man like the flower thereof, we feel the value of the assurance, that thy word shall never pass away.
Our friends, our associates, are removed from us; their eyes become dim, and their voices are heard no more ;—but thou remainest, to the living and the dead, the same God—the protector and father of all -faithfully keeping those whom thou takest away, and offering consolation to those who are left.
To whom but to thee shall we address ourselves in this hour of our sorrow? Blessed be thy name,
Thou biddest us not to sorrow, as men that are without hope. Blessed be thy name for the hope which we are now encouraged to cherish!
May that hope penetrate the hearts of all who are now before thee. May it extend its soothing influence to those who mourn in secret. Mercifully regard their affliction, and give them comfort.
Hear us, O God of Jesus, in the prayers which we offer up as his disciples, and through him be ascribed unto thee, at all times, and in all events, in health and in sickness, in life and in death, the kingdom, the power, and the glory. Amen.
ON THE DEATH OF A PARENT.
(REV. JOHN KENRICK.] O
THOU God of the spirits of all men, who
hast endued thy rational creatures with affections and dispositions, which lead us to unite ourselves in the bonds of friendly communion and domestic love, we offer up our thanks to thee, as the source of the pure and exalted pleasures, which flow from the relations that we sustain towards each other. From Thee, the universal Parent, the Fountain of all good, who alone workest in the hearts of thy creatures both to will and to do, those influences descend, which unite the generations of men in the ties of filial and parental love. We gratefully own thy wisdom and benevolence, in having implanted in the breasts of parents, that warm and unwearied affection, which makes them watch tenderly over the health and life of their children, and anxiously promote their present and everlasting welfare. We would acknowledge it as one of thy most precious gifts, if any of us, by the care of affectionate and virtuous relatives, have been early taught to reverence thee, to seek thy face in prayer, and to keep the way of thy commandments. While we gratefully cherish the memory of those who have been thy ministers to us for good, in disposing our hearts to piety and virtue, by the influence of affection, by precept and example, and endeavour to reward their labour of love towards us, by becoming more and more what they have taught us to be, we would raise our thoughts above all the transitory relations of earth and time, to thee, who hast given us life and all its blessings, its means of improvement, and its hopes of better things to come. O God of love and peace, do thou sanctify and bless the connexions of domestic life to those who, by the appointment of thy providence, sustain them towards each other. May parents receive from thee an understanding heart, that they may be enabled to train up their offspring in thy nurture and admonition; may children obey their parents in the Lord, that they may obtain the favour of their Father who is in heaven. May the members of every household, whom thou hast appointed to be the promoters of each other's joy, by bringing them together in the endearing relations of domestic life, fulfil the purpose for which thou hast joined them to each other; may no bitterness of anger, no proud, morose, or selfish disposi