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How long, or short, shall be my days,
Is hid in his decree;
Appointed is for me.
Nor would I wish to know
When he shall bid me go.
And make my life his own,
Or how, I lay it down!
God of our lives, the father of our spirits, and of the spirits of all flesh, from thee comes down all that sustains and gladdens our lives; the life that now is with its capacity of knowing and serving thee, and the hope for the life to come, which thy gospel makes known and thy spirit produces, are thy gifts; and to thee once more as a family do we come to acknowledge with glad and grateful hearts that our help is in the Lord, who made heaven and earth.
Family response. We beseech thee to hear us, O Lord.
Another day has been spent in the lawful engagements of this world : cumbered and troubled about many things, we acknowledge thy hand in the disposal of our lot, and in the arrangement of all the circumstances of ourselves and our household ; oftentimes are we tempted to forget thee, or to murmur against thee, and we need the admonitions of thy word, which we have just read, to raise us up to a willing obedience to all thy will, and to induce within our frail and tempted hearts a deeper and more filial trust in thy paternal care: grant that our hearts may not be set upon the world, so as to lose sight of the life beyond this present time, but do thou so teach us to live that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
Family response. O Lord, show thy mercy unto us, and grant us thy salvation.
We approach thee, O our Father, in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ. We should be dumb in thy presence but for him who is our only Mediator. Our best obedience falls short of our duty, and nothing that we can do is able to meet the requirements of thy law. We bring thee our prayers and our penitence; and we ask their acceptance for his sake ; weary and heavy laden we come to thee, and through him, would find our rest in thee, for thou art a God, pardoning iniquity, transgression, and sin.
Family response. For thy mercy endureth for ever.
For all the goodness of this day we heartily praise thee : we are less than the least of thy mercies, yet how abundant has been thy kindness. For bodily
health and mental vigour we bless thee; for the help of our friends and the endearments of life we bless thee; for success in our handy-work and willingness to continue as a hireling our day we bless thee; and we beseech thee, O God, that each one of us, young and old, parents, children, and servants, may be taught so to live, that each day may fit us by its active discipline or its patient endurance for dwelling for ever with thee.
Family response. O Lord, mercifully hear us when we call upon thee.
And now again we confide ourselves to thy care. Keep us, o keeper of thy people, while we sleep. Watch over us and all we love, especially any who may be in sickness or in sorrow, through the silent watches of the night; may to-morrow be to them and to us another day of thy mercies; and this we ask in a Saviour's name.
Family response. And to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the God whom we worship, be praise for evermore. Amen.
For Thursday Morning.
Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed ; let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Show me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth and teach me; for thou art the God of my salvation ; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving-kindnesses, for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions ; according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will he teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment, and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
And Jesus said,—Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name ? and in thy name done many wonderful works ? And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you, depart from me, ye that work iniquity. Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man which built his house upon a rock, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man which built his house upon the sand, and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.
Through all the changing scenes of life,
In trouble and in joy,
My heart and tongue employ.
With me exalt his name;
He to my rescue came.
Experience will decide,
Who in his truth confide.