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Man’s Great End


Lord of all being,

T here is one thing that deserves my greatest care,

that calls forth my ardent desires,

That is, that I may answer the great end for which

I am made –

to glorify thee who hast given me being,

and to do all the good I can for my fellow men;

Verily, life is not worth having

if it be not improved for this noble purpose.

Yet, Lord, how little is this the thought of mankind!

Most men seem to live for themselves,

without much or any regard for thy glory,

or for the good of others;

They earnestly desire and eagerly pursue

the riches, honours, pleasures of this life,

as if they supposed that wealth, greatness,

merriment,

could make their immortal souls happy;

But, alas, what false delusive dreams are these!

And how miserable ere long will those be that

sleep in them,

for all our happiness consists in loving thee,

and being holy as thou art holy.

O may I never fall into the tempers and vanities,

the sensuality and folly of the present world!

It is a place of inexpressible sorrow, a vast empty

nothingness;

Time is a moment, a vapour,

and all its enjoyments are empty bubbles,

fleeting blasts of wind,

from which nothing satisfactory can be derived;

Give me grace always to keep in covenant with thee,

and to reject as delusion a great name here

or hereafter,

together with all sinful pleasures or profits.

Help me to know continually

that there can be no true happiness,

no fulfilling of thy purpose for me,

apart from a life lived in and for

the Son of thy love.

From Valley of Vision

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A Present Salvation

present salvation

Creator and Redeemer God,

Author of all existence, source of all

blessedness,

I adore thee for making me capable of knowing thee,

for giving me reason and conscience,

for leading me to desire thee;

I praise thee for the revelation of thyself in

the gospel,

for thy heart as a dwelling place of pity,

for thy thoughts of peace towards me,

for thy patience and thy graciousness,

for the vastness of thy mercy.

Thou hast moved my conscience to know how

the guilty can be pardoned,

the unholy sanctified,

the poor enriched.

May I be always amongst those who not only

hear but know thee,

who walk with and rejoice in thee,

who take thee at thy word and find life there.

Keep me always longing

for a present salvation in Holy Spirit comforts

and rejoicings,

for spiritual graces and blessings,

for help to value my duties as well as my privileges.

May I cherish simplicity and godly sincerity

of character.

Help me to be in reality before thee

as in appearance I am before men,

to be religious before I profess religion,

to leave the world before I enter the church,

to set my affections on things above,

to shun forbidden follies and vanities,

to be a dispenser as well as a partaker of grace,

to be prepared to bear evil as well as to do good.

O God, make me worthy of this calling,

that the name of Jesus may be glorified in me

and I in him.

God, enjoyed

Thou incomprehensible

but prayer-hearing God,

K nown, but beyond knowledge,

revealed, but unrevealed,

my wants and welfare draw me to thee,

for thou hast never said, ‘Seek ye me in vain’.

To thee I come in my difficulties, necessities,

distresses;

possess me with thyself,

with a spirit of grace and supplication,

with a prayerful attitude of mind,

with access into warmth of fellowship,

so that in the ordinary concerns of life

my thoughts and desires may rise to thee,

and in habitual devotion I may find a resource

that will soothe my sorrows,

sanctify my successes,

and qualify me in all ways for dealings

with my fellow men.

I bless thee that thou hast made me capable

of knowing thee, the author of all being,

of resembling thee, the perfection of all excellency,

of enjoying thee, the source of all happiness.

O God, attend me in every part of my arduous

and trying pilgrimage;

I need the same counsel, defence, comfort

I found at my beginning.

Let my religion be more obvious to my conscience,

more perceptible to those around.

While Jesus is representing me in heaven,

may I reflect him on earth,

While he pleads my cause, may I show forth

his praise.

Continue the gentleness of thy goodness

towards me,

And whether I wake or sleep, let thy presence

go with me,

thy blessing attend me.

Thou hast led me on and I have found thy

promises true,

I have been sorrowful, but thou hast been my help,

fearful, but thou hast delivered me,

despairing, but thou hast lifted me up.

Thy vows are ever upon me,

And I praise thee, O God.

from Valley of Vision

Divine Mercies

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Thou Eternal God,

T hine is surpassing greatness, unspeakable

goodness, super-abundant grace;

I can as soon count the sands of ocean’s ‘lip’

as number thy favours towards me;

I know but a part, but that part exceeds all praise.

I thank thee for personal mercies,

a measure of health, preservation of body,

comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food

and clothing,

continuance of mental powers,

my family, their mutual help and support,

the delights of domestic harmony and peace,

the seats now filled that might have been vacant,

my country, church, Bible, faith.

But, O, how I mourn my sin, ingratitude, vileness,

the days that add to my guilt,

the scenes that witness my offending tongue;

All things in heaven, earth, around, within, without,

condemn me –

the sun which sees my misdeeds,

the darkness which is light to thee,

the cruel accuser who justly charges me,

the good angels who have been provoked to leave

me,

thy countenance which scans my secret sins,

thy righteous law, thy holy Word,

my sin-soiled conscience, my private and

public life,

my neighbours, myself –

all write dark things against me.

I deny them not, frame no excuse, but confess,

‘Father, I have sinned’;

Yet still I live, and fly repenting to thy oustretched

arms;

thou wilt not cast me off, for Jesus brings me near,

thou wilt not condemn me, for he died in

my stead,

thou wilt not mark my mountains of sin,

for he levelled all,

and his beauty covers my deformities.

O my God, I bid farewell to sin by clinging

to his cross,

hiding in his wounds, and sheltering in his side.

The Divine Will

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O Lord,

I hang on thee; I see, believe, live,

when thy will, not mine, is done;

I can plead nothing in myself

in regard of any worthiness and grace,

in regard of thy providence and promises,

but only thy good pleasure.

If thy mercy make me poor and vile, blessed be thou!

Prayers arising from my needs are preparations for

future mercies;

Help me to honour thee by believing before I feel,

for great is the sin if I make feeling a

cause of faith.

Show me what sins hide thee from me

and eclipse thy love;

Help me to humble myself for past evils,

to be resolved to walk with more care,

For if I do not walk holily before thee,

how can I be assured of my salvation?

It is the meek and humble who are shown

thy covenant,

know thy will, are pardoned and healed,

who by faith depend and rest upon grace,

who are sanctified and quickened,

who evidence thy love.

Help me to pray in faith and so find thy will,

by leaning hard on thy rich free mercy,

by believing thou wilt give what thou hast

promised;

Strengthen me to pray with the conviction

that whatever I receive is thy gift,

so that I may pray until prayer be granted;

Teach me to believe that all degrees of mercy arise

from several degrees of prayer,

that when faith is begun it is imperfect and

must grow,

as chapped ground opens wider and wider

until rain comes.

So shall I wait thy will, pray for it to be done,

and by thy grace become fully obedient.

The Mover

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O Supreme Moving Cause,

May I always be subordinate to thee,

be dependent upon thee,

be found in the path where thou dost walk,

and where thy Spirit moves,

take heed of estrangement from thee,

of becoming insensible to thy love.

Thou dost not move men like stones,

but dost endue them with life,

not to enable them to move without thee,

but in submission to thee, the first mover.

O Lord, I am astonished at the difference

between my receivings and my deservings,

between the state I am now in and my past

gracelessness,

between the heaven I am bound for and

the hell I merit.

Who made me to differ, but thee?

for I was no more ready to receive Christ

than were others;

I could not have begun to love thee hadst thou not

first loved me,

or been willing unless thou hadst first made me so.

O that such a crown should fit the head of such

a sinner!

such high advancement be for an unfruitful

person!

such joys for so vile a rebel!

Infinite wisdom cast the design of salvation

into the mould of purchase and freedom;

Let wrath deserved be written on the door of hell,

But the free gift of grace on the gate of heaven.

I know that my sufferings are the result of my

sinning,

but in heaven both shall cease;

Grant me to attain this haven and be done

with sailing,

and may the gales of thy mercy blow me safely

into harbour.

Let thy love draw me nearer to thyself,

wean me from sin, mortify me to this world,

and make me ready for my departure hence.

Secure me by thy grace as I sail across this

stormy sea.

The All-Good

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THE ALL-GOOD

My God,

T hou hast helped me to see,

that whatever good be in honour and

rejoicing, how good is he who gives them,

and can withdraw them;

that blessedness does not lie so much

in receiving good from and in thee,

but in holding forth thy glory and virtue;

that it is an amazing thing to see Deity

in a creature, speaking, acting,

filling, shining through it;

that nothing is good but thee,

that I am near good when I am near thee,

that to be like thee is a glorious thing:

This is my magnet, my attraction.

Thou art all my good in times of peace,

my only support in days of trouble,

my one sufficiency when life shall end.

Help me to see how good thy will is in all,

and even when it crosses mine

teach me to be pleased with it.

Grant me to feel thee in fire, and food and

every providence,

and to see that thy many gifts and creatures

are but thy hands and fingers taking hold of me.

Thou bottomless fountain of all good,

I give myself to thee out of love,

for all I have or own is thine,

my goods, family, church, self,

to do with as thou wilt,

to honour thyself by me, and by all mine.

If it be consistent with thy eternal counsels,

the purpose of thy grace,

and the great ends of thy glory,

then bestow upon me the blessings of

thy comforts;

If not, let me resign myself to

thy wiser determinations.