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FOR A NEW MARRIED PARTY.
BLESS those who have just entered a state honourable in all. May they remember the vows they have left at the altar; and in the discharge of their personal and relative duty, may they make thy word their rule, that mercy
upon them. May the husband love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence the husband; and both walk together, as heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers be not hindered.
Preserve them from the evils which destroy, or diminish, the welfare and comfort of the condition in which Thou hast placed them; and may they enjoy all the bappiness, derivable from prudence, temper, accommodation, real godliness, and the divine blessing.
May they expect to discern infirmities in one another; but may they be most deeply conscious of their own. And let them not look for unattainable, by looking for unmingled bliss on earth: but remember, that this is not our rest; and be prepared for difficulties, trials, changes, and final separation.
FOR A WOMAN APPROACHING THE
TIME OF TRAVAIL.
--REGARD thine handmaid who is looking forward to an important hour. Be not Thou far from her when trouble is near. May her mind be kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon the God of her salvation. Bring to the birth, and give strength to bring forth. Soften the pains of labour, as well as command deliverance; and in
due time, may she remember no more her anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. And may the root and the branch, abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
FOR ONE UNDER SICKNESS.
--THINK, O God, for good upon the afflicted; especially him (or her) whom we now commend to thy compassionate regard. Comfort him upon the bed of languishing, and make all his bed in his sickness.
If the sickness be unto death, prepare him for the solemn event, and be with him in it. But we are allowed to implore deliverance, with submission; nothing is too hard for the Lord; Thon canst heal, as well as wound-we therefore pray, if it be thy good pleasure, that Thou wilt put efficacy into the means; rebuke the disorder; renew the strength; and prolong the days of thy servant.
Above all, let the dispensation be sanctified to the sufferer, and his connexions; and may all have reason to acknowledge, in the review, It is good for me, that I have been afflicted.
FOR A YOUTH GOING FROM HOME.
(If with a View to Business.)
- O GOD, Thou appointest the bounds of our habitations; and arrangest all our individual concerns; and it is thy pleasure, not only that we should part at death, but often separate in life. When absent from each other in body, may we be present in spirit; and may our natural affection be strengthened and sanctified by inquiry, and correspondence, and divine remembrance at the throne of grace.
Regard the member of our family, who is now leaving the parental roof, and the parental wing. In all his ways may he acknowledge Thee; and be Thou the guide and the guard of his youth. Secure him from the paths of the destroyer, and the evils of the world. May uprightness preserve him. In the situation he will be called to fill, may he be dutiful, and obliging, and diligent, and faithful: may he always remember, that the eye of God is upon him; and be, not only amiable, but pions; and in favour with God, as well as man.
(If with a view to School.)
-O THOU God of providence and grace, we commend to thy care the dear child, about to leave our abode for å season, in order to receive needful instruction. Let his or her) life be precious in thy sight. May he redeem his time, and acquire the improvement that will fit him for usefulness, in his day and generation. And 0, let him be made wise unto salvation; and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon him; that he may be a useful and ornamental member in thy church below, and hereafter a pillar in thy temple above, never more to go out.
FOR CHILDREN IN ORDINARY
(All the Petitions need not be used at the same time.)
--O GOD, Thou art the lovely Father of all mankind; Thou hast implanted in us the parental instincts; and commanded us to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord—we feel our awful responsibility, and often exclaim, Who is sufficient for these things ? But Thou givest wisdom to the ignorant, and power to the faint. Aid, O aid us, in discharging the duties we owe to those, whom Thou hast given us, and continued to us.
We give them up to Thee, who art able to fulfil all our petitions. Rescue them from the numberless accidents and diseases to which they are exposed. Let their tempers be lovely, and meek, and kind. Let their manners be simple and engaging. May they be respectful towards their superiors; obliging towards their equals; and condescending towards their inferiors.
Let not envy, and pride, and censoriousness, render them disdainful to others, and wretched in themselves. May they speak evil of no one-but upon their tongue, may there dwell the law of kindness. May they hate and abhor lying with all deceit and hypocrisy.
May they be always willing to receive instruction; and be diligent in acquiring all the knowledge and improvement, that may render them the blessings and ornaments of society.
Keep them from evil company. If sinners entice them, may they never consent; but early may they take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, I will go with you, for I have heard that God is with you.
We seek not great things for them as to this world but 0, let them live in thy sight: let them be numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting : let them be blessed with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.
Instead of multiplying riches, and leaving them incentives to pride, and vanity, and idleness, and sensuality; and augmenting a thousand fold all the difficulties of their salvation-May we lay up for them treasure in heaven; may we be concerned to leave behind us, a large inheritance of prayers and instructions, and examples—with the blessing of God, that maketh rich, and addeth no sorrow with it.
If their parents should be taken away from themwhen father and mother forsake them, may the Lord take them up. If they should be deprived of their father-be Thou the Father of the fatherless : or should they be deprived of their mother—as one whom his mother comforteth, so do Thou comfort them.
Should they be removed from us—in early life, may the heavenly shepherd gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; and may we be prepared to resign them. And, if, as we submissively implore, their lives should be prolonged-may they grow up, and prove our comfort and honour; serve their generation according to thy will; and walk before Thee in the fand of the living