« ZurückWeiter »
For I conceive that he has in himself some of those passions he has planted in us; and that, since he has given us reason whereby we are capable of observing his wisdom in the creation, he is not above caring for us, being pleased with our praise, and offended when we slight him, or neglect his glory.
I conceive, for many reasons, that he is a good Being; and, as I should be happy to have so wise, good, and powerful a Being my friend, let me consider in what manner I shall make myself most acceptable to him.
Next to the praise resulting from and due to his wisdom, I believe he is pleased and delights in the happiness of those he has created ; and, since without virtue a man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe he delights to see me virtuous, because he is pleased when he sees me happy.
And since he has created many things, which seem purely designed for the delight of man, I believe he is not offended, when he sees his children solace themselves in any manner of pleasant exercises and innocent delights; and I think no pleasure innocent, that is to man hurtful.
I love him therefore for his goodness, and I adore him for his wisdom.
Let me not fail, then, to praise my God continually, for it is his due, and it is all I can return for his many favors and great goodness to me; and let me resolve to be virtuous, that I may be happy, that I may please him, who is delighted to see me happy. Amen!
Prel. Being mindful, that, before I address the Deity, my soul ought to be calm and serene, free from passion and perturbation, or otherwise elevated
with rational joy and pleasure, I ought to use a countenance that expresses a filial respect, mixed with a kind of smiling, that signifies inward joy, and satisfaction, and admiration.
O wise God, my good Father!
Thou beholdest the sincerity of my heart and of my. devotion ; grant me a continuance of thy favor!
1. O Creator, O Father! I believe that thou art good, and that thou art pleased with the pleasure of thy children. — Praised be thy name for ever!
2. By thy power hast thou made the glorious sun, with his attending worlds; from the energy of thy mighty will, they first received [their prodigious] motion, and by thy wisdom hast thou prescribed the wondrous laws, by which they move. - Praised be thy name for ever!
3. By thy wisdom hast thou formed all things; thou hast created man, bestowing life and reason, and placed him in dignity superior to thy other earthly creatures. - Praised be thy name for ever!
4. Thy wisdom, thy power, and thy goouness are everywhere clearly seen; in the air and in the water, in the heavens and on the earth ; thou providest for the various winged fowl, and the innumerable inhabitants of the water; thou givest cold and heat, rain and sunshine, in their season, and to the fruits of the earth their increase. —- Praised be thy name for ever!
5. Thou abhorrest in thy creatures treachery and deceit, malice, revenge, [intemperance,] and every other hurtful vice; but thou art a lover of justice and sincerity, of friendship and benevolence, and every virtue ; thou art my friend, my father, and my benefactor. Praised be thy name, O God, for ever! Amen.
[After this, it will not be improper to read part of some such book as Ray's Wisdom of God in the Creation, or Blackmore on the Creation, and the Archbishop of Cambray's Demonstration of the Being of a God, &c., or else spend some minutes in a serious silence, contemplating on those subjects.]
“These are thy glorious works, Parent of good,
“Fairest of stars, last in the train of night,
Whether to deck with clouds the uncolored sky, Or wet the thirsty earth with falling showers, Rising or falling still advance his praise. · His praise, ye winds that from four quarters blow, Breathe soft or loud; and wave your tops, ye pines, With every plant, in sign of worship wave. Fountains, and ye that warble, as ye flow, Melodious murmurs, warbling tune his praise. Join voices, all ye living souls; ye birds, That singing, up to heaven gate ascend, Bear on your wings and in your notes his praise ; Ye that in waters glide, and ye that walk The earth, and stately tread, or lowly creep; Witness if I be silent, morn or even, To hill, or valley, fountain, or fresh shade, Made vocal by my song, and taught his praise.” [Here follows the reading of some book, or part of a book, discoursing on and exciting to moral virtue.]
PREL. Inasmuch as by reason of our ignorance we cannot be certain that many things, which we often hear mentioned in the petitions of men to the Deity, would prove real goods, if they were in our possession, and as I have reason to hope and believe that the goodness of my heavenly Father will not withhold from me a suitable share of temporal blessings, if by a virtuous and holy life I conciliate his favor and kindness; therefore I presume not to ask such things; but rather, humbly, and with a sincere heart, express my earnest desire that he would graciously assist my continual endeavours and resolutions of eschewing vice and embracing virtue; which kind of supplications will at the same time remind me in a solemn manner of my extensive duty.
That I may be preserved from atheism, impiety, and profaneness ; and, in my addresses to Thee, carefully avoid irreverence and ostentation, formality and odious hypocrisy, -Help me, O Father!
That I may be loyal to my prince, and faithful to my country, careful for its good, valiant in its defence, and obedient to its laws, abhorring treason as much as tyranny, -Help me, O Father!
That I may to those above me be dutiful, humble, and submissive; avoiding pride, disrespect, and contumacy, -Help me, O Father! .
That I may to those below me be gracious, condescending, and forgiving, using clemency, protecting innocent distress, avoiding cruelty, harshness, and oppression, insolence, and unreasonable severity, - Help me, O Father!
That I may refrain from calumny and detraction ; that I may abhor and avoid deceit and envy, fraud, flattery, and hatred, malice, lying, and ingratitude, Help me, O Father!
That I may be sincere in friendship, faithful in trust, and impartial in judgment, watchful against pride, and against anger (that momentary madness), -Help me, O Father!
That I may be just in all my dealings, temperate in my pleasures, full of candor and ingenuousness, humanity and benevolence, — Help me, O Father!
That I may be grateful to my benefactors, and generous to my friends, exercising charity and liberality to the poor, and pity to the miserable, -Help me, O Father!
That I may possess integrity and evenness of mind, resolution in difficulties, and fortitude under affliction ; that I may be punctual in performing my promises, peaceable and prudent in my behaviour, — Help me, O Father!
That I may have tenderness for the weak, and reverent respect for the ancient; that I may be kind to