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WE bless thee, thou eternal God, that thou hast been pleased to make thyself known to us, not by the dim light of nature alone, not merely by the mute things of creation, but through ourselves, and, above all, through our Brother and Redeemer Jesus Christ; and that now, in the light of his truth, and life, and revelation, thou art still clearly disclosing thyself by thy Spirit in the experience of those that are drawn unto him and molded into the same image. We rejoice that we have an assurance that thou art. We bear within ourselves an evidence which none can take from us. We thank thee for that disclosure to the soul which cannot come by the understanding nor by the process of reasoning, but which comes by the breath of thy Spirit upon ours. We rejoice in thine inward touch, and in thy presence, which we know by that peace which passeth all understanding, and by the yearning which we feel for things transcendent and divine, and for that tenderness of heart which is not of man. We rejoice that thou dost inspire in us something of thine own self in the love of things pure, and true, and right. We thank thee for all the disclosures which thou art making in the world. We thank thee that thou art more and more molding the great race of men to right things. We thank thee that righteousness is the law of thy kingdom.

Have compassion, we pray thee, upon all who are seeking to live aright, and who are yet filled with infirmities, or are struggling with weakness, or are overpowered by temptation, or are cast down. Thou seest that the battle is too mighty for many. O thou that art the Captain of salvation, come to the rescue of those who are overborne, and of those who are captive, and release them, and become their Redeemer.

We beseech of thee that thou wilt look upon those who are tempted more than they are able to bear; upon those who are tempted through selfishness, through pride, by overmuch love of gain, by the praise of men, through indulgence in pleasure, through the affections, and through kindness; upon all who are overtaken with evil; upon all who are besieged with solicitations to vice; upon all who are weak and are assailed by reason of their weakness. O, thou that art a fortress and a refuge for men in trouble, may every one know how to come unto thee and be saved in the day of trouble. We pray that thou wilt kindle in every heart the desire to please thee. We pray that every one may bear about with him the consciousness of thy presence, and thy inspection, and thy power. So grant that that strength which is lacking in us may be manifested unto us from the abundance of thy greatness and of thine omnipotence.

We thank thee for sparing mercies. We look back through years to see all the way in which thou hast led us, with wonder and with gratitude. How many have been the evils that have risen up to engulf us! and yet at thy word the storm passed by, and all was calm. From how many destructions, as they seemed to us, have we been gloriously delivered. Our fears have been false prophets. Thou hast been a God of consolation, of light, and of joy; and thou

hast more than fulfilled thy promises to us. When we have loved but a little, and believed but a little, thou hast done exceeding abundantly more for us than we asked or thought, as thou wilt continue to do. Thou dost abound in riches of soul. These are the riches we need-purer thoughts; purer aspirations; more fortitude; more self-denial; more setting our faces against the lurking seductions of self-indulgence. We desire and need more and more a sense of the power of the Spiritual world acting upon us, that we may know that our true life is in the invisible.

So grant thyself unto us, every one, that we may more and more walk as becometh the children of God. If there be those in thy presence who are heartsick, who are weary of their warfare, with whom the way of life is a covered and darkened way, be gracious unto them. Thou that dost comfort the mourner, and dost bless the mourning soul, wilt thou grant to them that lie in darkness all those consolations and songs in the night which shall make them praise the Lord.

Grant, if there be those in thy presence who are perplexed, not knowing the way of duty, and who eagerly seek to find a path from the intricacies of life, that they may find it. Give them a clear understanding. Point out to them the way of rectitude. May they hear that voice inwardly, saying, This is the way of God; walk ye in it.

We pray that thou wilt help those who strive against their inbred sins, their crooked dispositions, and the habits which have been fastened upon them. Grant, if there be any who are carried away by their appetities, and passions, and desires, and who strive to break away from all their temptations and troubles, that they may know that the compassion of God is upon them, and that the help of the Spirit is vouchsafed to them. May they not be afraid, because they are sinful, to look up, or to plead for help. Though they are unworthy, although they have promised and broken their promise a thousand times, may they never give up, but still go to the Physician of their souls, that they may be healed of all their transgressions. We pray that thou wilt grant to all of us a life of truth and fidelity patiently borne. May we be forbearing in pain and longsuffering, in all circumstances of trial. May we live by the power of hope, and overcome despondency. May we accept the law of God every day, as it is revealed in his providence, and say, Thy will be done. May we rejoice with those that do rejoice, and weep with those that weep, condescending to men of low estate, and walking with a sweet fellowship with the men who are around about us. Grant that we may lead useful lives in all our intercourse one with another in the household, and in the affairs of life, until we are hewn and fashioned into the image and character which shall fit us for the heavenly land.

O Lord our God, take anything from us that thou wilt, and put anything upon us that thou wilt; but take not away our portion in heaven. Grant that we may not have our benefits in this life, and lose them in the life that is to come. Give us thy divine wisdom, that godliness which is profitable in all things, having promise of the life that now is as well as of that which is to come. And

finally, when thou hast perfected thy working in us, bring us through the gate of death to the golden shore. There may we meet those who have gone from us. There may we meet the general assembly and church of the first-born-the spirits of just men made perfect. There may we be perfected, and rise through the ages, rejoicing for ever and for ever, praising the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.


CLEANSE US, our Father, from all evil, from all deceitfulness, and from all the things that tempt us thereto. Forgive us our weakness and our wickedness. Heal us of them, and lead us toward the charity of thy soul. We rejoice that the government of the universe is in the hands of a God of infinite truth; and yet we rejoice in thy patience with crooked and untruthful men. Win them to better ways. We pray that thou wilt draw, with sweet and benign influence, all those who are in thy presence, toward the truth and a higher manhood, that they may walk and be strong therein. May those who have been wounded be healed. May those who are out of the way be brought back into the strait and narrow path. May those who have indulged in wrong things henceforth do them no more. So we pray that the spirit of religion may work all sweetness and righteousness in thy servants, and that thy name may be glorified in the welldoing of those who are thy children.

We thank thee for the privileges of the day. Dismiss us from the sanctuary to our homes. Bless our families, that they may be as the gates of heaven to us, through life and its trials. And bring us at last to the joy of the eternal state, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.


"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."-1 COR., ii., 1-5.

We are not to understand, from the teaching of the apostle, that human wisdom or philosophy is to be despised. In the lower realms of life, not only is it indispensable, but it is noble. None exercise it more appropriately than the apostle himself did; and there is much of the truth that belongs to the material creation. There are large realms of truth that belong to the lower forms of man's own mind and nature, which are to be discovered by the proper use of the reason, acting under conditions of philosophy; and although this may have carried with it a certain sort of criticism, directly or indirectly, of the Grecian schemes of philosophy, yet there was in them a great power of usefulness. Nothing can reach down through thousands of years, holding the thoughts of men in delightful thrall, which is altogether inapt or foolish; and yet, although a spade is one of the best things a gardener can have, it would be a very poor thing for a mother to try to feed her babe with. Although the reason may be admirable, and the uses of it noble, in the lower

SUNDAY EVENING, May 24, 1874. LESSON: Phil. ü., 1-11. HYMNS (Plymouth Collection): Nos. 666, 838, 346.

forms, yet there are certain realms of truth, there are certain sorts of knowledge, for which the reason is not adapted.

It is not, then, to be understood that the Apostle Paul derided intellection, or systems of philosophy, but that he had a higher thought in his mind than the thought of these things.

So, again, it is not to be supposed that the Apostle Paul scoffed at the skillful presentation of truths to men, or a wise approach with knowledge to men's minds; for he himself was a pattern. No more adroit man was ever known. No man, standing among Pharisees, or Sadducees, or any others, recognized more than he the necessity of adapting his teaching to those whom he taught, and to the circumstances in which he taught. When, therefore, he says that he did not come with the wisdom of words, it is not to be understood as being a general fling at rhetorical or oratorical modes of handling the truth; it is to be understood, rather, as implying that there are some things which the most skillful oratory cannot touch; that there are deeper truths, higher realms, than any which can be reached by rhetoric.

Neither did he invalidate in this declaration, those views and representations of God which were already familiar to the Jews, and which pervade the Old Testament. The glory of God as Creator; his sovereignty as Governor; his providence as Administrator-these in various ways he often recognized; but there is something more than these in the divine nature. There is something more than a dynastic God; something more than a rational God; something more than a God of the heaven and of the earth, creating material forms, and administering an economy of laws. There was something transcendently more noble, deeper, higher, wider, and more influential than the current views of the divine nature. That which was built up, and that which was conveyed to the minds of men by material figures drawn from the works of creation, from the procession of armies, from the power of the mightiest sovereigns, from those things which men most enjoy and most admire in these elements in their own appropriate sphere-this was wise and helpful in

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