« IndietroContinua »
ple? Art thou not come to bend our hearts in submission to thy will, as well as to ransom us from death and hell? Here is my heart, Lord, take and fashion it to thy holy will ]
Behold, Lord, I groan being burdened. Since thou hast call, I want to foilow thee. But, O, I find that sia langs heavy on my soul, my corruptions war against me, and trouble me; and my strength is ds weakness before them. Help, Lord, or I perish! Come, exert thy power, and set the capuve free! Enable me to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth most easily beset me! flere folloze's three of the great enemies of our
souis, Pride, Lust, and I orldliness; no soul but hath necd to cry mightily for power against them : though, according to our several tempers and stales, some one of them will most especially endanger us ; accordingly, that part may be made use of, and the others shortened or passed over.
Against Pride. MY Pride thrusts hard against me that I should, fall. [I find within me such high imaginations, such a readiness to resent, such warmth and hastiness of temper.] [I found this day my spirit hurt by the reflections of -, by the obstinacy of — by the conduct of —, I murmured as if my lot was hard. I regarded with envy-greater success, abilities and advancement.*] Lord, cast down every imagination which exalteth itself, and bring my thoughts into the obedience of Christ; make me content to be the last and the least. Bow me to submission to every dis
* These are some of the particular, yet universal workings of Pride. specifying the tine and place, and persons, brings the remembrance of it more lively upon us, begets deeper humility, and awakens greater earnestness,
pensation, and keep me quiet under every provocation. [Make me ever to know myself to be vile earth, and a miserable sinner ; that I may find my temper really corresponding with my words, when I confess myself to be nothing, and less than nothing and vanity ; content to be as low in others' eyes as I acknowledge myself to be in thine, and profess to be in my own.]
Against Lust. SUBDUE the hateful lusts which war against my soul. Thou seest, Lord, how this flesh striveth against the spirit, and how impotent I am to resist. [*Thou knowest how my heart departed from thee after, how my eye wandered with unhallowed looks-, how my folly wrought in secret,, to bring forth fruit unto death] 0 save me, Lord, from my sinful self: give me strength to restrain the wanderings of my desires ; enable me to make a covenant with mine eyes; let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, rather than speak unhallowed words of lewdness and my hand cut off ere it be reached out to sin. [It were better for me to die, Lord, than to dishonor thee and my own body.] 0 make me a clean heart ! [Purify my desires, teach me to possess my vessel in sanctification and honour ; and may my body, as well as my soul, be for thee, O Lord, presented unto thee as a living sacrifice, which is my reasonable service.]
Against Worldliness. DELIVER me from the love of this present evil world. Lord, my heart is naturally earthly and sensual. [Thou knowest what a slave I have been to the unrighteous mammon, Owean * What follows between [ ] will afford place for any particularly hunbling
me from the love of it; may I be crucified unto the world, and the world unto me.] [In my transactions with, I found covetousness ready to make me unjust ; in looking upon--, I felt the workings of concupiscence; my backwardness to give to —, who needed, condemns my worldliness ; in my bargain with -, I did not enough consider him as myself.] Lord, enable me daily to resist all anxious cares and disquieting fears; subdue every covetous desire in my soul; make me more circumspect and conscientious in all my dealings, and may my daily care be not to lay up my treasure upon earth, but in heaven ; by such an improvement of the talent which thou hast intrusted with me, as may be most to thy glory, and the relief and comfort of my distressed fellow creatures and fellow christians.
O Lord, my strength as well as righteousness, enable me to walk before thee, and please thee; may I not only cease to do evil, but learn to do good; write thy laws in my mind, and put them into my heart. [Constrained by the views of thy amazing grace, may I chearfully surrender my whole self to thee, to be employed in thy work, and devoted to thy service. Yea, Lord, I am thy servant, I am thy servant, since thou hast loosed my bands; as bought with a price, may I glorify thee in my body and in my spirit which are thine, and] daily let the fruits of righteousness appear more abundantly in me, which are through me, my Lord and Saviour, to the praise and glory of God. [Thou knowest my wants and my barrenness, how weak and feeble are my graces, how cold my love, how doubting my faith, how lukewarm my zeal, how negligent my fear, and how imperfect all. Lord, strengthen
me with might in the inner after thine own blessed image, and daily out of thy fulness give me to partake of the abundance
| Here follows petitions for particular graces.
I. F'or Faith 1. Under the accusations of guilt. 2. Under the workings of corruptions. 3. Under temptations.
4. Under afflictions. As you most need to erercise it under either of these views, you will find here assistance.
I. A PRAYER for FAITH.
1. Under a sense of guilt. O Most merciful and gracious God, strengthen my faith in thy promises, that I may, without all doubt, cast my care upon thee, assured that thou carest for me. The remembrance of iny past sins is grievous, (particularly–, and my heart sometimes is ready to fail.] Lord, enable me to believe that thou dost in Jesus abundantly pardon. May I see more of his all-sufficiency, that fear may be cast out, and that I may rejoice in the assurance that thou hast received ine, and cast all my sins behind thy back. Yes, Lord and Saviour, I dare not dishonour thee more than I have already done, by distrusting thee. I know thou art able to save to the uttermost, thy blood can atone for all; I believe, help thou mine unbelief.
2. Under the workings of corruption. I am oppressed with corruption, a body of sin and death compasses me round about. [Deep calletlı unto deep, and I am ready to say I am cast out of thy sight, particularly --, against which I have strove and prayed, andover which I have mourned, returns with new violence, avd brings me almost to despair.] Sce, Sariour, niy helpless soul at thy feet; O raise me up, support mc. cnable me to lay hold of thy strength, and
to trust, that I may not be confounded. O give me faith, that I may overcome. Lord, I kóow it is my unbelief which makes my bondage'; break thou the chain, and set my soul at lib.erty.
3. Under temptations. Temptations beset me sore; they thrust at me, that I should fall; but in thee is my help. - [Thou seest, Lord, how my path is compassed about; and how, through the violence of the attack, the corruption of my own vile heart, and my unbelief, iniquity prevails against me.] [* It did so at such a time, in such a place, in such company-, under such circumstances-; and though, Lord, from the bottom of my soul thou knowest it is my burden, yet how shall I stand ?] Let thine everlasting arms be under me, lift up these hands which hang down, let my eye be fixed on thee, strengthen me, fulfil thy promises, confirm my heart to trust that thou wilt support me under my temptations, or make a way for me to escape from them,
4. Under aflictions. My worldly trials are heavy, [I am afflicted in my person by , sickness in my family injuries from others —, loss or reproach- unkindness from those who are so near and dear --, disappointments, &c.t] Lord, thou canst make
them work together for my good ; may my heart stand fast in thee; enable me to believe thy kind intentions towards me, that I may not only submit with patience, but rejoice in hope.
I mention here the prevalence of tempiation, because I fear there are few real christians who liave not cause to lament their falls, as well as to ask strength to keep them froin falling. Spreading our temptations openly before the Lord, and expressly mentioning the circumstances of them, is of especiali use to the tempted.
t Particulars must be mentioned.