FRIDAY MORNING.

Grant, we beseech You, O heavenly King, that our morning worship may be pure in simplicity, and earnest in godly sincerity. Truly to know You—is truly to love You. Truly to love You—is truly to serve You. Therefore shed abroad Your knowledge in our hearts.

Cause all ignorance to vanish before the brightness of Your light. You have given us in Your holy Word, large records of Your grace and love. May we feast on them, until our inner man is steeped in their sweetness. Strengthen us with the abiding thought that You have loved us, and given Yourself for us—and that You will love us unto the end. In the manger of Your birth, in the garden of Your agony, in the cross of Your suffering, and in Your never-failing intercession, may we read the meltings of Your heart towards us. Bold in this thought, may we this day defy our cruel adversary, tread down his vile temptations, resist his cunning arts, renounce the world, despise its vanities, and be valiant for Your truth.

Deepen in our souls a sense of our holy relationship to You. May we know You as the spiritual Bridegroom of Your Church, and may the wondrous truth fill our adoring minds with joy unspeakable and full of glory. We think of You, Jehovah’s fellow, one with the Father, in glory equal, in majesty co-eternal, God over all, blessed for evermore. We think of angels veiling their faces before You while they worship. We think of Your glory, and our vileness; Your majesty, and our baseness; Your beauty, and our deformity; Your purity, and our filth; Your riches, and our poverty; Your righteousness, and our unrighteousness. We see the amazing distance, the infinite disproportion. Yet we believe that You have looked on us with unchanging and unchangeable love—and have espoused us unto Yourself forever.

As You have loved us—so may we love You. As You have given Yourself for us—so may we give ourselves to You. As You have died for us—so may we live for You. May we be devoted to You in every moment of our time, and every movement of our minds, and every pulse of our hearts, in faithfulness, purity, and truth.

May we never dally with the world, or any of its defiling allurements. May our walk be closely by Your side. Keep us ever listening for Your voice in the pages of Your Word, ever holding communion with You, ever leaning on Your arm. May we be clothed with every lovely grace, and adorned with the garment of Your righteousness, which is the beauty of Your people.

O You, who have done such wondrous things for us, leave us not, neither forsake us, until we sit beside You on Your throne forever!

Happy in our precious privileges—may our hearts be tender to commiserate the unhappiness of those who are dead in trespasses and sins. We know that it is Your gracious will by the foolishness of preaching, to save those who believe. Raise up then, we beseech You, a noble band of faithful men. Replenish them with every grace. Make them wise as serpents, bold as lions, harmless as doves. And put them forth as laborers into Your harvest. Sustain their zeal as a blazing torch—until they return, bringing many sheaves into Your garner!

Especially we beg You to keep our beloved country untainted by heresy and superstition. You have visited us when darkness spread its deadly pall around. When gospel light glimmered as an expiring spark, You lifted on high the banner of the reformation. You endued holy martyrs with heroism, braving all agonies in testimony of Your truth. Enable us to strive, as successors of their zeal—against all deadly error. May we stand as a rock against every approach of idolatry.

Without Your aid, how soon might we relapse! The enemy threatens to come in like a flood. But, may You help us, and we shall be strong. Preserve us, and we shall be safe. Uphold us, and we shall not fall.

Get to Yourself a great name in England as the bright home of truth and righteousness. Unto Your great name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—be eternal praise. Amen.

FRIDAY EVENING.

Heavenly Father, we thank You that in Your tender mercy You have been pleased to plant us together in the Church of God, which He has purchased with His own blood. Add grace more and more, that we may live worthy of this high and heavenly calling. Safe in our heavenly ark—may we pass through the waves of this troublesome world into the harbor of eternal rest! May we fear no wreck, knowing that Christ is seated at the helm, that angels are our convoys, that Your Word is our chart, and that our fellow-voyagers are the purchased possession of Your dear Son.

We have undoubting assurance that great is the Lord Almighty in the midst of His Church. Therefore will not we fear though the earth is removed, and though the mountains are carried into the midst of the sea, and the waters thereof rage and swell. Teach us the inestimable privilege of being portion of the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, and for which You have done such wondrous things. Rightly may You require the good fruit of perfect holiness, proportionate to all Your heavenly care. Grant, we beg You, that we may not be barren trees, or laden only with worthless leaves of profession, or vines bearing only wild grapes. Water us with more abundant dews of blessing. Invigorate us with more of Your ripening rays.

As members of Your Church we believe that we are the Lamb’s bride. As such help us to be true and faithful, chaste and loving, pure and devoted. Suffer no straying affection wantonly to dally with the pleasures of this world. But may we live raised high above the love of things temporal, and always listening for the cry, Behold, the bridegroom comes.

We believe that our beloved Savior, in tender love, gave Himself for us, that He might sanctify and cleanse us with the washing of water by the Word; and that He might present us unto Himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing—but that we should be holy and without blemish. Accomplish this blessed work in us, good Lord. Here we offer and present our hearts unto You. Come in and establish Your undisputed reign. Come and replenish them with hallowing grace. Come and fit them for Your perpetual home. Come and hold sweet converse with us. By Your Spirit—tell us more of Your love. Cause all Your goodness to pass before us. Enable us with open eye—to gaze on Your beauty and Your glory, until we become wholly conformed to Your likeness.

May Your every promise be fulfilled in us. May Your every precept be the pathway of our feet. Thus may we rejoice in the joy of being truly Yours. With such delights before us, do not allow us madly to turn aside to the husks and rubbish of this barren world. We are taught that the temple of God can have no agreement with idols. And are we not the temple of God? And has not God said, “I will dwell in them, and walk in them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people!” Therefore help us to come out from among them, and to be separate, and to touch not the unclean thing.

Blessed Lord, hasten the time when all shall know You, from the least unto the greatest. Speak but the word—and the veil shall no more blind their eyes. Pluck out of them the heart of stone. Expel the evil spirit of unbelief. Give them, according to Your Word, the Spirit of grace and supplication. Turn their eyes to Him whom was pierced for transgressors. Cause them to mourn for Him as one who mourns for his only son, and to be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for the death of his firstborn.

Give us grace never to put a stumbling-block in any returning sinner’s way. May we rather entice them, attract them, allure them, win them. Grant that others may see in us, how good it is to sit beneath the cross, and through the reconciling blood to cry, “Abba, Father!” Answer us according to Your rich promises to prayer. Let us not seek Your face in vain. Hear us, for Your great glory in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.