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Title: Evening Incense
Author: Macduff, John R. (John Ross)
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Transcriber's Note.

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected, as have
inconsistencies in the use of hyphens.

A Table of Contents has been inserted to assist the reader.

Italics are indicated by _underscores_. Small capitals have been
replaced by full capitals.



 EVENING INCENSE.

 BY THE AUTHOR OF

 "MORNING AND NIGHT WATCHES,"
 "WORDS OF JESUS," etc., etc.

 PHILADELPHIA:
 H. HOOKER, CHESTNUT & EIGHTH STREETS.
 1856.


 KING & BAIRD, PRINTERS,
 9 Sansom Street.



"And thou shalt make an ALTAR to burn INCENSE upon:

"And thou shalt put it ... before the MERCY-SEAT that is over the
testimony, where I will meet with thee.

"And when Aaron lighteth the lamps at EVEN, he shall burn INCENSE upon
it."--Exod. xxx. 1, 6, 8.



  "The star-lit sky's a temple-arch,
    The calm, still, evening air
  Is glorious with the spirit-march
    Of messengers of prayer.

  "Are gentle moon, or kindling sun,
    Or stars unnumbered, given
  As shrines to burn earth's incense on--
    The altar-fires of heaven?

  "Nay! pale away must moon and sun,
    And star by star decline;
  O be, Thou ever living One,
    Thy 'GOLDEN ALTAR'--mine!"



EVENING INCENSE.


The writer has endeavored in the following pages to comply with
frequent requests made to him to prepare a small volume of _Evening_
Prayers, suitable as a companion to the "_Morning_ Watches."

May He with whom is "the residue of the Spirit," "cause His Angel to
fly swiftly" and touch us in the time of our Evening Oblation; and may
all that is amiss in thought and word be lost in the fragrant
incense-cloud which ascends from the Golden Altar before the Throne!


_December, 1855._



 Table of Contents


 Evening                                                Page

      I.  FOR COMMUNION WITH GOD.                          7
     II.  FOR PARDONING GRACE.                            10
    III.  FOR RENEWING GRACE.                             13
     IV.  FOR SANCTIFYING GRACE.                          16
      V.  FOR RESTRAINING GRACE.                          19
     VI.  FOR RESTORING GRACE.                            22
    VII.  FOR QUICKENING GRACE.                           26
   VIII.  FOR IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS.                      29
     IX.  FOR PEACE IN BELIEVING.                         32
      X.  FOR THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION.                     35
     XI.  FOR WEANEDNESS FROM THE WORLD.                  38
    XII.  FOR GRATITUDE FOR THE PAST.                     41
   XIII.  FOR TRUST FOR THE FUTURE.                       44
    XIV.  FOR KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.                        47
     XV.  FOR GUIDANCE IN PERPLEXITY.                     50
    XVI.  FOR VICTORY OVER SIN.                           53
   XVII.  FOR THE LIFE OF FAITH.                          56
  XVIII.  FOR THE DAILY DEATH.                            60
    XIX.  FOR RENUNCIATION OF SELF.                       63
     XX.  FOR A CHILD-LIKE SPIRIT.                        66
    XXI.  FOR HEAVENWARD PROGRESS.                        69
   XXII.  FOR HUMILITY OF HEART.                          72
  XXIII.  FOR FIRMNESS IN TEMPTATION.                     75
   XXIV.  FOR COMPOSURE IN TRIAL.                         78
    XXV.  FOR ACTIVITY IN DUTY.                           81
   XXVI.  FOR THE SPIRIT'S TEACHING.                      85
  XXVII.  FOR THE WORLD'S CONVERSION.                     88
 XXVIII.  FOR THE CHURCH'S REVIVAL.                       91
   XXIX.  FOR SUPPORT IN DEATH.                           94
    XXX.  FOR PREPARATION FOR JUDGMENT.                   97
   XXXI.  FOR MEETING IN HEAVEN.                         100



FIRST EVENING.

FOR COMMUNION WITH GOD.

"Abide with us; for it is towards evening, and the day is far
spent."--Luke xxiv. 29.


O God, I desire to approach Thy throne of Grace on the evening of this
day, beseeching Thee to grant me Thy benediction and blessing. The
shadows of night have once more gathered around me; may no shadow of
sin or unbelief darken my soul, or interrupt my communion with Thee.
"It is not night if Thou art near." Let me enter the inner chamber of
Thy presence, and experience conscious fellowship with Thee my Father
in Heaven.

Do Thou graciously forgive all the sins of the past day, its sins of
omission and of commission, of thought, and word, and deed. Hide me
anew in the clefts of the Smitten Rock. I confidently repose my
everlasting interests on the finished work and righteousness of a
tried Redeemer. May I know more and more of the attractive power of
His Cross--the adaptation of His character and work to all the wants
and weaknesses, the sorrows and infirmities, of my tried and suffering
and tempted nature. May I live more under the sovereign motive of love
to Him, and experience more the happiness of life spent in His service.

Gracious Lord! may a sense of Thy favor penetrate with its leavening
power every duty in which I engage, lessening every cross and
sweetening every care. Take what Thou wilt away, but take not Thyself;
no earthly good can compensate for the loss of Thy friendship.
Existence would be one vast blank without Thee. Give me to realize the
blessedness of unfaltering dependence on Thy covenant mercy, knowing
that all which befalls me is the pledge and dictate of unerring love,
and that nothing can come wrong that comes from Thy hand.

Thus while my daily walk is hallowed and brightened by Thy presence
and fellowship, may I be enabled to look calm and undismayed on the
unknown and chequered future, feeling that even over the gloomy
portals of the grave, with Thee as my Portion and Heritage, I can
write, "To die is gain!" Meanwhile do Thou fit me for every duty,
prepare me for every trial. If Thou givest me the "full cup," give me
grace to carry it with a steady hand. If Thou sendest adversity, let
me regard it as Thine own gracious discipline, to wean me from earth
and train me for glory.

May it be my great ambition, through the help of Thy Blessed Spirit,
to attain a gradual resemblance to the character and conformity to the
will of my adorable Redeemer. May I be clothed with humility. May I be
daily becoming more meek and gentle, more contented and thankful, more
submissive and resigned, watching against anything in my heart or
conduct that I know would be displeasing to Thee, making it my meat
and my drink to do Thy holy will.

Thou unslumbering Shepherd of Israel, vouchsafe Thy guardian care to
all near and dear to me: shield them from danger: give Thine angels
charge over them; sanctify them body, soul, and spirit; seal them unto
the day of eternal redemption.

May we all lie down to sleep this night in Thy fear, and awake in Thy
favor, fitted for the duties of a new day. And all I ask is for Jesus'
sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



SECOND EVENING.

FOR PARDONING GRACE.

"For Thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is
great."--Ps. xxv. 11.


Gracious God! do Thou look down upon me this night in Thy great mercy.
May I have now the inner sunshine of Thy presence! Ere I retire to
rest, let me pitch my tent near Thyself, and enjoy the tokens of Thy
favor and blessing. Thy loving-kindness has been new to me every
morning, and Thy faithfulness every night.

I desire to render Thee the thank-offering of a grateful heart. My
life is one wondrous attestation to Thy patience and forbearance. The
kindness of the best earthly friend has been nothing to Thine. Thou
mightest long ere now have left me to reap the fruits of my own guilty
estrangement, withdrawing the grace and Spirit I have so long
resisted, executing against me the awful doom of the cumberer. But I
am still spared, a living monument of mercy. Thy ways are not as man's
ways, nor Thy thoughts as man's thoughts.

Lord, I would seek anew this night to close with the alone Sovereign
remedy! Jesus! there is no other prop but Thee to support a sinking
soul and a sinking world. There is nothing between me and everlasting
destruction but Thy glorious work and finished righteousness. I
rejoice to think that it is all I need--living or dying, for time or
for eternity. O blot out in Thy precious blood my many, many sins.
Nothing in my own hands I bring; I cling simply to Thy cross. Mercy
and truth have there met together; righteousness and peace have
embraced each other. Reposing in what Thou has done, and in what Thou
art still willing to do, I can rejoicingly say, "Return unto thy rest,
O my soul."

Bring me to live more habitually under the constraining influence of
redeeming love. Purchased at such a price, may I be willing freely to
consecrate soul and body to Thy service. Let me feel that the
bitterest of all trials is the forfeiture of Thy favor and love, and
the loftiest joy is the assured possession of Thy gracious friendship.
May my spirit be brought into blessed unison with Thine. May I become
more gentle, and resigned, and submissive, and unselfish; more
heavenly-minded; more Saviour-like. May I be led to regard _all_, even
Thy darkest dealings to me here, as needful parts in Thy plan of
stupendous wisdom. May I rest contented in the assurance that what I
know not now I shall know hereafter.

Unite me to all my dear friends, and them to me, in the bonds of
Christian love. Amid all the fluctuations of this mortal life, may we
ever have grace given us to cleave unto the Lord with full purpose of
heart. Treading the same pilgrim-journey, may we arrive at last at the
same pilgrim-home.

I would retire to rest this night with my eye on the opened fountain.
O give me that peace of Thine which the world knoweth not of, which
the world cannot give, and, blessed be God, which the world cannot
take away! Abide with me, for it is towards evening, and the day is
far spent. Give thine angels charge over me during the unconscious
hours of sleep, and, when all my evenings and mornings shall be
finished, may it be mine to wake up with Thyself in glory everlasting,
through Jesus Christ my only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



THIRD EVENING.

FOR RENEWING GRACE.

"Renew a right spirit within me."--Psalm li. 10.


Blessed God, I desire anew to end this night with Thee! Do Thou
enkindle my soul as with a live coal from off Thy holy altar! Let all
unhallowed and obtrusive thoughts and cares be set aside, that I may
enjoy a season of fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus
Christ.

I rejoice to think that I have such a Friend to repair to--such a
never-failing refuge in every season of perplexity and trouble;
vicissitude is written on all around me, but "Thou art the same."
Though often, alas! I have changed towards Thee, Thou hast never
changed towards me. Thou didst love me from the beginning, and that
love remains to this hour, infinite, unalterable!

Lord, I am mourning over my many and grievous backslidings, my base
and unworthy requital of all Thine unmerited kindness. Bring me in
poverty of Spirit, with deep conscious unworthiness, to say, "God be
merciful to me a sinner." Give me a realizing sense of the evil of
sin, and my own sin in particular. I feel that I have no abiding and
depressing consciousness of my guilt. How little of genuine, heartfelt
contrition do I experience! How often I _appear_ to be humble and
penitent when I am _not_! How do my very prayers condemn me; and my
confessions of sin need themselves to be confessed!

Oh renew me in the spirit of my mind.--May all old things pass away;
may all things be made new. Transform me by the indwelling power of
Thy quickening Spirit. May affections now alienated from Thee be
reclaimed to Thy service. May I seek to be more animated by the
sovereign motive of love to Him, whose I am, and whom it is alike my
duty and my privilege to obey. Knowing that this is Thy will
concerning me, even my sanctification, may it be my constant ambition
to be growing in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ.

I have in myself no might, no power, no sufficiency, to do any of
these things. My sufficiency is of Thee. Do Thou make Thy grace
sufficient for me, and perfect strength in weakness. Keep me from all
evil that would be likely to grieve me. Wean me from all that is
fleeting and perishable here, and may all Thy dealings towards me
issue in the confirmed habit of a holy life. If Thou sendest
affliction, let me regard it as Thine own way of dispensing spiritual
blessing, and bow with lowly submission to Thy sovereign appointments.

Bless all my beloved friends. Keep them as the apple of Thine eye.
Hide them under the shadow of Thy everlasting wings. Sanctify trial to
all in sorrow. Let the widow and the fatherless put their trust in
Thee. Succor the poor and him that hath no helper. Support the aged.
Sustain the dying. May we all bear one another's burdens and so fulfil
the law of Christ.

As the pillar of cloud has been with me by day, so may the pillar of
fire be with me this night. Watch over me during the unconscious hours
of sleep, and when I awake may I be still with Thee. And all I ask is
for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



FOURTH EVENING.

FOR SANCTIFYING GRACE.

"Sanctify them through Thy truth: Thy word is truth."--John xvii. 17.


Blessed Lord, do Thou bend Thy pitying eye of love and mercy upon me
this evening. Draw Thou near to me as I venture once more on praying
and on pleading ground. I desire to feel that I am one night nearer
glory. Oh, enable me to feel, as night after night is silently
stealing over my head, that my seasons and opportunities of grace are
fleeting fast away, and that soon the night cometh, wherein I can work
no more.

Alas! O God, how little have I improved the time that is past! I am a
wonder to myself, that with all my deep ingratitude and utter vileness
I am yet permitted to approach Thy footstool: I have sinned against
light and love--warning and mercy--grace and privilege. The retrospect
of life is a retrospect of guilt. I mourn over my manifold
shortcomings--the alienation of my heart from Thee--the fitfulness of
my spiritual frames--the ebbings and flowings in the tide of my love.
When tried by the lofty and unerring standard of Thy law, how are my
best actions and duties marred with defilement! How much self-seeking
and self-glorying--how little animated by the predominating motive of
love to Thee, and singleness of eye to Thy service!

Blessed Jesus! I flee anew to the pavilion of Thy love. I have no
other hope, no other refuge, but in Thy finished work--Thy matchless
atonement--Thy spotless righteousness. There is in Thee an
all-sufficiency for every want. Finite necessities cannot exhaust
Infinite fullness. Let me hear Thy voice saying, "Thy sins, which are
many, are all forgiven thee!" O sprinkle me with Thy blood; sanctify
me, body, soul, and spirit. Transform me more and more into Thine own
image. May I know more and more the happiness of true holiness--that I
am really blessed in seeking to walk so as to please God. May the
power of grace wax stronger and stronger, and the power of sin wax
weaker and weaker. May trials and crosses become light and easy to me
when borne in a spirit of meek, unrepining submission to the Divine
will. May this quiet every doubt and misgiving, "Your heavenly Father
knoweth that ye have need of all these things." Lord, may every
providential dealing prove a heart-searcher, testing the reality of my
love to Thee, and my meetness and preparedness for Thy heavenly
kingdom.

Extend, Lord, Thy cause and Gospel everywhere. Strengthen Thy
missionary and ministering servants. May they ever hear the sound of
their Master's footsteps behind them. May thy churches walk in the
fear of God and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost.

Bless all my beloved friends wherever they are; do Thou be their
Almighty Protector and Guide. Let the angel come at this the time of
evening incense, touching all our hearts, and granting us an answer to
our several petitions. Let us rise to-morrow refreshed for Thy
service; and fitted for whatsoever in Thy good providence we may be
called either to do or to suffer. Hear me, gracious God, for the sake
of Him whom Thou hearest always. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



FIFTH EVENING.

FOR RESTRAINING GRACE.

"Keep back Thy servant also from presumptuous sins."--Psalm xix. 13.


Blessed God, Thou hast in Thy mercy permitted me to see the close of
another day. With what unwearying watchfulness has Thou been
compassing my path!--defending me from danger, guarding me from
temptation, hedging up my way with thorns, "preventing me with the
blessings of Thy goodness!" There is no friend in the world I have
like Thee; none so able, none so willing to be my friend. If I have
been successful in resisting sin, it is all Thy blessed grace which
has enabled me. From how many slippery places has Thou rescued me!
When often on the brink of the precipice, ready to fall, Thy
interposing hand has saved me from inevitable destruction. When
through my own weakness and unwatchfulness I must now have been
wandering in hopeless alienation from Thee, Thou hast mercifully not
suffered the bruised reed to be broken, nor the smoking flax to be
quenched.

Lord, my earnest prayer is that Thy grace may still be made sufficient
for me. May no spiritual foe be allowed to invade my peace or endanger
my safety. Let Thy love be restored to its rightful ascendancy in my
affections. May no rival be allowed to usurp its place. May I ever
exercise a holy jealousy over this truant, wandering, deceitful heart;
seeking day by day to subdue unmortified sin.

May all Thy dispensations issue in my sanctification. Let me seek no
unruffled path; may the cross be willingly carried. Thou lovest me too
well to give me my own way. Whatever Thy will and Thy dealings may be,
be it mine cheerfully and rejoicingly to acquiesce in them, knowing
them to be the dictate of infinite wisdom and unchanging love. May all
my worldly business and engagements be interfused and hallowed with
the blessed sense and assurance of Thy favor! Walking all the day in
the light of Thy countenance, I must be safe!

God of Bethel--God of all the families of the earth, vouchsafe Thy
richest benediction on all near and dear to me. Give thine angels
charge over them; let their names be written among the living in
Jerusalem; and oh, may we all seek in our several spheres to glorify
Thee on earth, either by active duty or by patient endurance;
exemplifying in our daily walk the meek and lowly, the unselfish and
self-denying, spirit of Him, who hath left us an example that we
should follow His steps.

Hasten the coming of Thy Son's kingdom. Arise, O God, and plead Thine
own cause. "Save Thy people, bless Thine inheritance, feed them also
and lift them up for ever."

The curtain of night is again drawn around me. If it be Thy will,
spare me to see the light and enjoy the comforts of a new day; may I
seek anew to enjoy them in Thee; may every blessing be doubly sweet to
me, bearing the impress of Thy love in Jesus. Guide me _in_ life,
_through_ death, _into_ glory, for the sake of Him in whom is all my
hope, and to whom, with Thee the Father, and Thee, ever-blessed
Spirit, one God, be ascribed all blessing and honor and glory and
praise, world without end. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



SIXTH EVENING.

FOR RESTORING GRACE.

"Restore unto me the joy of Thy salvation."--Ps. li. 12.


Blessed God, I rejoice to know that the gates of prayer are ever
open;--that for the sake of Jesus Christ, my adorable Redeemer, Thou
art waiting to be gracious, not willing that any should perish.

Come in the plenitude of Thy love this evening, that I may feel it to
be good for me to draw near to God! Scatter my darkness, Thou better
Sun, with the brightness of Thy rising. Give me filial confidence in
approaching the mercy-seat, rejoicing in the mightiest of all Beings
as my Father and Friend.

Blessed Jesus! I would exercise a simple confidence and trust in Thy
finished work, I would seek to wash anew in the opened fountain of Thy
blood, to repose anew in the faithful saying which never can cease, to
the sin-stricken, sin-burdened soul, to be worthy of all acceptation,
that Thou didst come into the world to save the chief of sinners.

I have to mourn, O Lord, my constant proneness to depart from
Thee--the instability of my best purposes of obedience. Unsupported by
Thy grace I must fall. There is nothing, O Thou great Intercessor
within the veil, but Thine omnipotent pleadings between me and
irretrievable ruin. But Thou hast prayed, and art even now praying,
for me that my faith fail not. Oh if I am still prone to start aside,
like a deceitful bow, do Thou bring me back again! Reclaim my truant
heart from its wanderings. I would cast myself with simple dependence
on Thy grace for the future. This is sufficient for all wants and
equal to all exigencies. Thine everlasting arms are lower than my
deepest necessities. Adorable Saviour, I may well cast my every care
on Thee, for these cares Thou makest Thine own. Thou hast a heart to
feel for those who have often no heart to feel for themselves. Oh let
me ever seek to hear Thy directing voice and to hear no other.

Do Thou carry on within me Thine own work in thine own way. Thou,
Great Shepherd of Israel, canst not lead me wrong. I delight to trace
Thy guiding love in the past, and I may well trust Thee still; going
up through the wilderness may I lean on Thine arm; when I come to die
may the gloom of the dark valley be lighted with the rays of Thy love,
and may I hear Thy voice whispering in gentle accents, "Fear not, for
I am with thee." Be gracious to all my beloved friends. Train them
also, by Thy good Spirit, for eternity. Fit them for every duty. Arm
them against every temptation. Dispose them to fear Thy glorious name,
and to live from day to day under the powers and influences of a world
to come. Compassionate the afflicted; comfort the bereaved; support
the dying.

Lord, take the charge of me during the silent watches of another
night. May I rise on the morrow to renew my work and warfare on earth,
looking forward to the time when the twilight of this world shall melt
into everlasting day, and when nothing shall evermore mar or interrupt
the blessedness of endless communion with Thee: through Jesus Christ,
my only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



SEVENTH EVENING.

FOR QUICKENING GRACE.

"Quicken me after Thy loving kindness, so shall I keep the testimony
of Thy mouth."--Psalm cxix. 88.


O God, on this the close of another day, I desire to approach the
footstool of Thy throne. Glory be to Thy holy name that I can enjoy
freedom of access into Thy presence, and with the confidence of a
child unburden and unbosom to Thee all my wants and sins, my sorrows
and infirmities, my perplexities and cares.

Lord, how unworthy I am of the least of all Thy mercies! What
righteous cause hast Thou to cut me down as a cumberer of the ground.
How cold my love, how unfrequent my prayers! How full my heart of
pride and vain-glory, self and sin! How little have I habitually
realized Thy nearness and sought Thy favor as my chief good! There is
enough of coldness and formality in my best approaches to Thy
footstool to lead Thee in Thy wrath to spurn me forever away, and to
mingle my blood with my sacrifices!

I cast myself as a worthless unworthy sinner at the feet of Jesus. I
need daily, hourly washing at that fountain which He has opened for
sin and for uncleanness. Wash me, gracious Lord, fully, freely, and
forever. Let me know the blessedness of "no condemnation." Deepen my
contrition on account of my sin. I am apt to palliate its enormity, to
invent vain excuses for its commission, to hide its heinousness from
myself, and to hide it from Thee. Let me see all sin, and my own sin
in particular, in the light of Calvary's cross. May I hate it with a
perfect hatred, and resolve in Thy grace that it henceforth have no
dominion over me. Oh quicken me by the indwelling of Thy blessed
Spirit. May I seek to be progressing in the divine life. May my
pathway heavenward be brightened by a lively sense of reconciliation
through the blood of the everlasting covenant.

Let me lean on Thy heavenly arm, seeking Thy glory with singleness of
eye. May it be my greatest grief to give Thee pain, my greatest joy
and happiness to do Thy will. Keep me from all hard thoughts and
unrighteous surmises regarding Thy dealings. May I see them all as
designed to quicken my steps in the heavenly way, to bring me nearer
Thyself, and to impart an increasing meetness for glory. Let Thy
kingdom come, let Thy blessed Gospel triumph over the pride and
superstition and will-worship of man. Put an end to war and discord,
and may all the ends of the earth see Thy salvation. Bless Thy
ministering servants; may they be valiant for the truth, and have no
fear but the fear of God.

Be the Guide and Guardian of all whom I love. Preserve their bodies
from danger and their souls from sin. Watch over them and me this
night; be about our bed as Thou hast been about our path. Night after
night as I retire to rest may I think of the deeper darkness of the
night of death, which must, sooner or later encompass me. Reposing in
the merits of my gracious Redeemer, may I be enabled to look _beyond_
death and the grave, to that morning without clouds, when I shall
awake in His likeness, and be ushered into the full vision and
fruition of Thee my God; and all that I ask or hope for is for His
sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



EIGHTH EVENING.

FOR IMPUTED RIGHTEOUSNESS.

"Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto
all and upon all them that believe."--Rom. iii. 22.


Almighty God, Father of all mercies, I desire to draw near into Thy
sacred presence on this the evening of another day, under a deep sense
of my own great unworthiness. What am I, guilty, sinful, polluted,
that I should be permitted to take Thy name into my lips, or so much
as lift up my eyes to the place where Thou in glory dwellest!

I desire to renounce all dependence on myself. I come with all the
great burden of my great guilt to a great Saviour. I seek to bring the
unrighteousness of an unworthy creature to the infinite righteousness
and everlasting faithfulness of a tried Redeemer. Where would I have
been, Blessed Jesus! this night, _but for Thee_! All I am, and all I
have, I owe to Thy free, sovereign, unmerited grace. All my temporal
mercies are sweetened to me as flowing from Thy cross, and bearing on
them the image and superscription of Thy love. And for every spiritual
blessing I enjoy, and every spiritual hope I entertain, I desire
doubly to adore thee, Thou Great Author and Finisher of my faith! Whom
have I in heaven but Thee, and there is none in all the earth I desire
besides Thee. Thou alone canst fill up the aching voids of my heart.
In vain can I look to a transient world, or to the perishable
creature, for solid peace and permanent enjoyment. All my well-springs
are in Thyself; with Thee for my portion I am independent of every
other.

I desire this night to obtain a lively and humbling view of my own
spiritual poverty and deep creature destitution, that I may rejoice in
the fullness and all-sufficiency of that righteousness which is unto
all and upon all them that believe. In that righteousness I would seek
to live, and in that righteousness I would seek to die. There is
nothing else between me and everlasting ruin. But for Thee, Thou great
Covenant-Angel standing in the breach, the fire of God would break
forth and mingle my blood with this my evening sacrifice! But I "will
greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God, for He
hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, He hath covered me
with a robe of righteousness." I take Thee, O adorable Saviour, as
mine only, mine wholly; mine for all wants and all exigencies. I
rejoice in the inexhaustible riches treasured up in Thee--that Thy
fullness is adequate to supply all my present necessities; and out of
that fullness I may still continue receiving, and that for ever and
ever!

Lord, look in great kindness on all whom I love. Pity a perishing
world. Arrest the careless; reclaim the wandering; strengthen the
feeble. Hasten Thy Son's coming and kingdom. How long shall the
wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph? Save Thy people; bless
Thine inheritance; feed them also, and lift them up for ever.

Let the curtain of Thy protecting providence be drawn around me this
night. Let me fall asleep at peace with Thee, ready, if need be, to
awake up in glory. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



NINTH EVENING.

FOR PEACE IN BELIEVING.

"Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our
Lord Jesus Christ."--Rom. v. 1.


Gracious God, I would seek to end another day with Thee; I would
desire to look up to Thee through Jesus Christ, Thy well-beloved Son,
and to be made partaker of that peace which passeth all understanding.
There is no other refuge for the sin-stricken, woe-worn spirit. In
vain amid other portions and meaner joys can I say to my soul "peace,
peace." There is no peace! But reposing, blessed Saviour, on Thy
finished work and everlasting righteousness, I have a peace which the
world knows not of, and which enables me to rise superior to all the
vicissitudes and changes of this changing life.

I desire to remember with a grateful heart that this peace has been
purchased for me by the blood of the cross--that it is made as sure as
everlasting power and wisdom and faithfulness can make it. O Thou
great Prince, who hast power with God and dost prevail, I would lift
the undivided eye of faith to Thy bleeding sacrifice! Do Thou dispel
every disquieting fear with the thought that Thou hast done all, and
suffered all, and procured all for me. Being justified by faith, I
have peace with God through the Lord Jesus Christ. I rejoice in the
plenitude of Thy promises, that they are all yea and amen to them that
believe. Man's word may fail, man's faithfulness may falter, but "the
word of the Lord is tried," Thy faithfulness is unto all generations!

O God, enable me to rejoice more and more in Thee as my everlasting
portion. May I know nothing to compare with the enjoyment of Thy
favor. Other props may be removed, other refuges may prove refuges of
lies, but Thou art the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.

Give me grace to be active in Thy service while it is called to-day.
Opportunities are fleeting. The night cometh wherein none of us can
work. May simple believing be followed by the earnest cultivation of
every Christian virtue, and by progressive advancement in the heavenly
life. May I faithfully employ the talents Thou hast intrusted to me,
and seek never to be weary in well doing. Preserve me from every
unholy temper and unchristian deed. May I be gentle and meek, patient
and forgiving, kind and benevolent, living in charity towards all men.

On all my beloved friends I supplicate Thy richest blessing. Protect
them with Thy favor as with a shield. Sanctify them, body, soul, and
spirit. Seal them unto the day of eternal redemption.

Bless all poor afflicted ones. Let them receive largely out of the
wells of Thine own everlasting consolation. Let them see Thy sovereign
hand alone in their trials, and say with unrepining submission, "The
Lord's will be done!"

Lord, take the charge of me through the silent watches of the night.
May I fall asleep listening to the gracious benediction, "Peace be
unto you." And when the gates of the morning are opened, may it be to
hear anew Thy voice saying, "My presence will go with you." Hear,
accept, and answer me, for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TENTH EVENING.

FOR THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION.

"Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba,
Father."--Rom. viii. 15.


Blessed Lord! I desire to draw near this night with holy boldness to
the footstool of Thy throne, rejoicing that I can look up to Thee as
my Father in heaven. "Behold what manner of love is this the Father
hath bestowed on me, that I should be called a child of God." Thou
mightest have righteously left me orphaned, friendless, portionless
for ever. But in the midst of wrath Thou hast remembered mercy: the
kindness of no earthly parent, O God, could equal thine. Thou hast
borne with all my obstinacy, all my perverseness, and waywardness, and
ingratitude. I am at this hour the monument of a love as wondrous as
it is undeserved.

Oh teach me to cultivate more and more a spirit of child-like
obedience to Thee; to cherish a holy fear of offending so kind and
forgiving and beneficent a Father. Whilst Thou art strewing my
wilderness path with unmerited blessings, may I be enabled to rise
above every earthly gift and mercy to the better inheritance I have in
Thee, the bountiful Bestower of all! Let me feel every created
blessing to be doubly sweet, as emanating from a Father's hand, and
being a proof and pledge of a Father's love. Let the hour of prayer be
doubly hallowed by the thought that I am permitted to haunt a Father's
presence, and pour my wants into a Father's ear. Let the season of
sorrow be sweetened by the thought that the rod is in a Father's hand,
and that the voice, though apparently rough, is the tender whispering
of parental love.

Blessed Jesus! I desire to remember that it is Thou and Thou only who
hast not left me "comfortless." It is Thou who hast devised and
completed a way by which "Thy banished" may not be "expelled" from a
Father's presence. Thou hast opened a door of welcome to the chief of
sinners. It is Thy blessed voice and Thy glorious work which utter the
gracious declaration, "In my Father's house there are many mansions."
Oh let me lean with a more simple and entire dependence on Thee; let
me live from day to day with an unfaltering trust in Thy mercy. May
every new evening, as it finds me laying the incense-offering of
gratitude and love on Thine altar, find me also a stage nearer my
Father's house, nearer _home_, and nearer _Thee_.

Take all my beloved friends under Thy shadowing wings this night. The
darkness can not screen them from Thee; the curtains of night can not
exclude Thy kind and watchful eye. Guide, guard, protect them, and
bring them all at last to Thy heavenly kingdom.

Bless Thy Church everywhere; lengthen her cords and strengthen her
stakes. Be a wall of fire around Thy Zion and the glory in the midst
thereof. Clothe her priests with salvation, let her saints and people
shout aloud for joy.

Bless those on whom Thou hast laid Thine afflicting hand. May they
take refuge in the arms that are chastising them, and be enabled to
say in unmurmuring submission, "The Lord's will be done." Hear me,
gracious Father, for the sake of Jesus Christ, my blessed Lord and
Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



ELEVENTH EVENING.

FOR WEANEDNESS FROM THE WORLD.

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."--John
xvii. 16.


O God, I desire to come into Thy gracious presence this night,
beseeching Thee to bless me. Let my prayer come before Thee as
incense. May the incense-offering of gratitude and thanksgiving ascend
from a grateful heart. How manifold are the proofs I have to recount
of kindness on thy part! how deep the ingratitude I have to mourn on
my own! My sins have reached unto the clouds; they are more in number
than the sand of the sea.

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. I cannot evade Thy
righteous scrutiny; all things are naked and open unto the eyes of Him
with whom I have to do! Lord, I have to lament the proneness of this
evil heart of unbelief ever to depart away from Thee, the living God.
I mourn the debasing influence of earthly things; the fascinating
power of a present evil world. How inclined to conform to its evil
maxims and unholy practices! How often am I found ranged among those
who "mind earthly things;" my soul cleaving to the dust, instead of
soaring upwards to Thyself, my alone satisfying portion!

Lord, it is my earnest prayer that Thou wouldst wean me from the
world. Keep me from over-anxiety about the things that are seen--from
being over-careful and troubled about earth's "many things," to the
exclusion of the one thing needful! Break every alluring worldly
spell; disenchant things temporal of their false and delusive charm;
disengage me by all the salutary discipline of Thy providence from
what is fleeting, uncertain, transient, perishable; and unite me to
the things which cannot be shaken, but which remain forever! May my
citizenship be more in heaven; imbibing more of the pilgrim spirit,
may I declare plainly that I seek a better country.

May the sins of the past day be forgiven; may the blood of sprinkling
wash their guilt away. May I be driven nearer and closer to Him who is
the true refuge and portion, and Saviour of His people. I rejoice to
think that He has a balm for every wound, a comfort for every bosom, a
solace for every tear. May it be mine to go up through the wilderness
leaning on His arm. May Thy Holy Spirit carry on His own work of
sanctification within me. May He enlighten, quicken, comfort,
strengthen me; and mould me in gradual conformity to Thy divine will.

Bless all connected with me, by whatever tie. When earth's separations
are at an end, do Thou take me and all dear to me to the enjoyment of
Thy presence and love in Thine own everlasting kingdom. Let the pillar
of Thy presence be over us this night. Guard me during sleep's
unconscious hours. Let no unquiet dreams disturb my repose; may I
compose myself to rest under the sweet assurance that Thou the Lord
sustainest me; and when I awake, may I be still with Thee, through
Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWELFTH EVENING.

FOR GRATITUDE FOR THE PAST.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits."--Psalm
ciii. 2.


O God Almighty, do Thou draw near to me at this time in Thy great
mercy, and accept of this my Evening Sacrifice! I bless Thee for all
that gladdens my earthly lot, for food and raiment, for friends and
home, for health of body and soundness of mind. Lord, I delight to
trace the wondrous way by which Thou hast hitherto led me! Thou hast
compassed my path and my lying down. Thou hast supplied my
ever-recurring necessities. My wants have been infinite, but infinite
too has been the gracious supply. With a grateful heart I would set up
my Ebenezer, saying, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped me." And
remembering Thy faithfulness in the past, I would confidently trust
Thee for the future.

May I thankfully employ the manifold gifts of Thy bounty. Impress upon
me the feeling that I am but a steward, responsible to Thee for all I
possess. Let me not selfishly appropriate the varied means of
usefulness thou hast put within my power, but willingly employ these
in Thy service for the good of others. When Thou comest to demand a
reckoning, may I be able to give a faithful account of my stewardship,
paying Thee Thine own with usury.

Lord, while I bless Thee for the other proofs and tokens of Thy love,
far above all would I bless Thee for _Jesus_. Where would I have been
this night but for _Him_? How dreary would have been the past! How
dismal and hopeless the future! Thanks, eternal Thanks be unto God for
His unspeakable gift! Let me feel, more than I _have_ done, the
exceeding riches of Thy grace in Thy kindness toward me through Christ
Jesus. Let all Thy dealings only serve to confirm my love to Him, and
to lead me to cleave to Him with fuller purpose of heart. May he have
my undivided homage. Let no earthly gift or blessing supplant the
Giver, but may every rill of creative bliss be doubly sweet to me as
flowing from His atoning sacrifice.

I rejoice in the midst of trial and perplexity to think of Thee, Thou
tried and suffering _One_. I rejoice that amid my sorrows I can
remember _Thine_, that amid my very tears, I can remember _Jesus
wept_. Thou canst enter into all the peculiarities of Thy people's
case, for Thou wert in "_all_ points tempted." Let me feel, even amid
the changes of life, that what I am apt to call vicissitudes, are the
sovereign decrees and allotments of Thine infinite wisdom; and what I
cannot comprehend now, be it mine to wait the disclosures of that
blessed morning when, standing at the luminous portals of Heaven, I
shall joyfully acknowledge that the Lord hath done all things well.

Bless my beloved friends; may they be growing in thy fear and favor;
may they all at last, as sheaves in thy heavenly garner, be found unto
praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

I commend myself, gracious God, to Thy care; let me retire to rest
this night in the blessed consciousness of Thy favor; and if spared to
see the light of a new day, fit me for whatsoever Thou hast in store
for me. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



THIRTEENTH EVENING.

FOR TRUST FOR THE FUTURE.

"I will trust, and be not afraid."--Isaiah xii. 2.


O God, Thou makest the outgoings of the evening and the morning to
rejoice over me. I thank Thee for Thy sparing mercy during the past
day. While multitudes of my fellow-men have been called away into an
eternal world, I am still preserved in the land of the living, and in
the place of hope. It is of Thy compassions alone that I am not
consumed.

My way Zionward may well be studded with Ebenezers, testifying "the
Lord hath helped me." I may well set to my seal that God is true. The
pillar of Thy presence has guided me through many a perplexing path.
Thy love has smiled through many a threatening cloud. Thy restraining
grace has arrested me in many a slippery way; when "my soul was among
lions," how often has the Lord "sent his angel" to rescue me and shut
the lions' mouths. I am this night a marvel and miracle of Thy
patience, and forbearance, and mercy.

Lord, I joyfully take all these past kindnesses as tokens for the
future. To Thee I would confidingly commit the unknown morrow, and
cleave to Thy guiding arm with full purpose of heart. The lot is
thrown into the lap, but the whole disposing of it is of the Lord; O,
be it my joy and privilege, thus reposing in Thy covenant
faithfulness, to say, "Undertake Thou for me." Looking forward to that
time when all Thy inscrutable dealings will be unfolded, when inner
meanings and purposes now undiscerned by the eye of sense will be
brought to light, and all discovered to be full of infinite love.

Keep me from dishonoring Thee by the workings of unbelief; I am prone
to trust my own wisdom, O give me teachableness of spirit and
simplicity of faith, waiting patiently on Thee; leaving all that
concerns me and mine to Thy better direction.

Blessed Jesus! I would seek to cleave closer and closer to Thy cross.
I have no trust but in Thy finished work. Other refuges may fail, but
I am as secure in Thee as everlasting love and wisdom and power can
make me. O cleanse every guilty stain away in thy most precious blood.
Let me live day by day at the opened fountain, and feel that I _only_
"live" while _there_. Thus simply relying on Thy justifying grace, may
I seek to walk in Thy footsteps and to imbibe Thy spirit. May I follow
Thee, O Lamb of God, whithersoever Thou seest meet to lead me. May I
never feel as if I would wish one jot or tittle regarding me altered,
when the reins of empire are in Thy hands.

Take my beloved friends under Thy special care. Watch over them,
provide for them, decide for them. In all their ways may they
acknowledge Thee, and in all things seek Thy honor and glory.

Pity the afflicted. Stay Thy rough wind in the day of Thy east wind.
Let them rejoice that every bitter drop in the cup of life is
appointed by Thee. May they submissively drink it, saying, "Thy will
be done!"

Hear, Lord, the voice of my supplications, when Thou hearest, forgive,
and grant me an answer in peace, seeing all that I ask is in the name
and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



FOURTEENTH EVENING.

FOR KNOWLEDGE OF CHRIST.

"That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the
fellowship of His sufferings."--Phil. iii. 10.


Almighty God, do Thou draw near to me this night in Thy great mercy.
What am I, that infinite unworthiness and nothingness should be
permitted to stand in the presence of infinite purity, majesty, and
glory? Lord, I dare not have ventured to bow at thy footstool in my
own merits. I am poor and wretched, and miserable, and blind, and
naked. Enter not in judgment with Thy servant, for in Thy sight no
flesh living can be justified.

But, adored be Thy name, I have an all-sufficient ground of confidence
wherewith to approach Thee. I bless Thee, that by the doing and dying
of Jesus, Thou hast opened up a way of reconciliation to the chief of
sinners. Oh, enable me to know more fully the adaptation of His person
and work to all the necessities and exigencies of my character and
circumstances. Let me know him in His infinite Godhead, as "mighty to
save;" in His spotless humanity, as mighty to compassionate. Let me
know Him in all His offices, as my Prophet, my Priest, my King; my
Kinsman-Redeemer within the veil, my Refuge in trouble, my Guide in
perplexity, my Support in death, my Portion through eternity. I
rejoice, blessed Jesus, at the hidden springs of life resident in
Thee! Thou art suited to all the varied wants and circumstances, and
trials of Thy people--for every moment of need, for every diversity of
situation. I can mourn no real blank, if I have Thy presence and
blessing.

O Thou, better than the best of earthly friends, who, though enthroned
amid the hosannas of angels, hast still Thy human sympathy unaltered
and unchanged, draw near to me this night, and breathe upon me, and
say, "Peace be unto thee." Let me know the melting energy of Thy love,
and the attractive power of Thy cross. May I keep the unwavering eye
of faith steadily directed to Thy all-glorious sacrifice. Be Thou the
habitual object of my contemplation, the source of holiest joy, the
animating principle of obedience. May all creature love be
subordinated to Thine. May my temper, my walk, my conversation, be
regulated in accordance with Thy blessed will and holy example. May
this be the lofty aim and ambition of life, to act so as to please
Jesus.

Bless my dear friends, may they too be led to count all but loss for
the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus their Lord, whom to
know is life eternal. Pity the careless; reclaim the backsliding;
comfort the sorrowful; sustain the dying. May the Lord arise and have
mercy on Zion; may He show that the time to favor her, yea, the set
time, is come!

Ere I lay my head on my nightly pillow, I would lay anew my guilt on
the head of the Divine Surety; may I fall asleep under the blessed
sense of sin forgiven, and look forward to that blessed day when
earth's night-shadows shall have vanished forever, and when I shall be
enabled more fully "to know the love of Christ which passeth
knowledge." And all I ask or hope for is for His sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



FIFTEENTH EVENING.

FOR GUIDANCE IN PERPLEXITY.

"Cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul
unto Thee."--Psalm cxliii. 8.


O God, Thy favor is life, Thy loving-kindness is better than life. Thy
mercies have been new to me every morning, and Thy faithfulness every
night. Thou hast watched over me from the earliest years of infancy
with more than a Father's care. The kindness of the kindest on earth
has been coldness itself when compared with Thine. I rejoice that I
can thus trace in a wondrous past the visible footsteps of Thy love,
and fearlessly trust and repose in Thee for the future.

Thou art a rich provider. None so able, none so willing to guide me in
every perplexity, to extricate me from every difficulty, and to
befriend me amid the fitful changes of life. What a safe anchorage is
this amid the world's restless surges of vicissitude, "The Lord
reigneth!" Do Thou enable me wholly to follow the Lord my God; to
follow Thee not only in smooth places, but even when the path is rough
and the way thorny. May I confide in the wisdom of all Thine
allotments. I rejoice that all the changes Thou orderest for Thy
covenant people are changes for the _better_, and not for the _worse_.

O blessed Jesus! Thou who art the true pillar of cloud by day, and of
fire by night, do Thou precede me ever in all my wilderness
wanderings. May I encamp only where Thou leadest me. May I strike my
tent only when Thou speakest that I "go forward." Let me experience
the conscious happiness of knowing no will but Thine, and of being
solicitous in all things to follow the guiding voice and footsteps of
the Great Shepherd of the flock. If there be aught in Thy providence
perplexing me now, I would say in child-like simplicity, "I am
oppressed, undertake Thou for me!" "My heart is overwhelmed, lead me
to the Rock that is higher than I." Hide me in the crevices of that
smitten Rock; let me know the safety and joy of being shielded
_there_, until earth's calamities be overpast.

Graciously forgive all the sins of this past day--the sins of thought,
word and deed; all my selfishness and uncharitableness; all my pride
and vain-glory; all my censoriousness and inconsideration of the
wishes and feelings of others. Blessed Jesus! let me follow more
closely Thy holy footsteps, and drink more deeply of Thy heavenly
spirit.

Bless all in sorrow, sanctify to them their trials, may they see and
own a "need be" in them all. Prepare the dying for death, and spare
useful lives.

Take all belonging to me this night under the shield of Thy protecting
providence, let them ever commit their way onto Thee, and do Thou
bring it to pass. Hold up their goings in Thy word, that their
footsteps may not stumble.

Watch over me during the unconscious hours of sleep; and when all my
days and nights on earth are finished, may it be mine to enjoy Thy
presence in a cloudless, nightless Heaven; through Jesus Christ, my
blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



SIXTEENTH EVENING.

FOR VICTORY OVER SIN.

"Sin shall not have dominion over you."--Rom. vi. 14.


O God, Thou art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity. Evil cannot
dwell with Thee, fools cannot stand in Thy presence. Thou hast
solemnly declared, "Thou canst by no means clear the guilty," and that
"though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not escape unpunished."

Lord, I rejoice that I can draw near to Thee in the name of Him by
whom the guilty _have_ been cleared; and through whom it is that a
holy and righteous and sin-hating God can yet be holy and just, in the
very act of justifying the ungodly.

I desire to adore Thee for all Thy creative and providential goodness.
Thou hast loaded me with Thy benefits. The past is paved with love. I
see in the retrospect of life nothing but amazing, unmerited kindness,
mercy upon mercy! Amid manifold changes there has been no change in
_Thee_, no altered looks, no fainting or weariness or estrangement.
Amid the wanderings of my own fitful spirit I can write over every
remembrance of the past, _But_ "_Thou_ art the same!"

I desire with penitence of soul to mourn my own ingratitude and sin,
the desperate wickedness and deceitfulness of my own evil heart, the
power of corruption, the mastery of self, the alienation of my
affections from Thee their rightful Sovereign and Lord. What an easy
prey have I often fallen in the hour of temptation--by thought and
word and deed dishonoring Thy name and basely requiting Thy love!
Father, I have sinned against heaven and before Thee, and am no more
worthy to be called Thy child!

Give me genuine contrition for the past, inspire me with new purposes
of obedience for the future. Without Thy favor and reconciliation, in
peace I cannot live, in peace I dare not die! My cry would be, "More
grace, more grace!" Let me be gaining every day fresh victories over
sin; may my soul be daily nurtured by the influence of heaven-born
principles. May I know the expulsive power of the new implanted
affection of love to Thee. Dethrone the world. Subjugate the power of
sin. Give me greater tenderness of conscience; may I jealously guard
every avenue to temptation, and be ready ever with the reply to the
seductions of the tempter, "How can I do this great wickedness and sin
against God?"

Let me be willing to forego anything rather than forsake Thy ways. Be
it my habitual purpose and desire to cleave unto Thee the Lord with
full purpose of heart. Let me hallow all life's duties and engagements
with Thy favor, looking forward to that time when _my_ will and
_Thine_, blessed God! shall be one, and when there shall be no more
sin to interrupt the interchange of love and devotedness.

Bless all my dear friends; may the blessing of Jacob's God, the God of
all the families of the earth, rest upon them. Give them all needful
temporal blessings. Fill their souls with peace and joy in believing.
May they and I look forward with joyful anticipation to that "morning
without clouds," which knows no change nor vicissitude, when there
shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, because there will
be no more sin; and all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



SEVENTEENTH EVENING.

FOR THE LIFE OF FAITH.

"The life which I live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of
God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me."--Gal. ii. 20.


O God, I desire to draw near unto Thy blessed presence on this the
evening of another day, adoring Thee for all the loving-kindness Thou
art continually making to pass before me. May I ever be enabled to
look up to Thee as the Author and Bestower of all my mercies. May no
created good ever be suffered to dispossess Thee of my affections. May
all that I enjoy, alike temporal and spiritual, be traced to Thee, the
Fountain of all happiness. May prosperity be hallowed by receiving it
as a pledge of Thy favor, and may trial lose its bitterness by the
consciousness that every thorn in my path is permitted by Thee, and
every bitter drop in the cup appointed by Thee.

May I thus seek, O God, from day to day, to live a life of simple
faith and dependence on Thy grace; with confiding love may I commit my
every care and want and perplexity to Thy better direction, feeling
sweetly assured that Thou wilt guide me by a _right_ way to the city
of habitation.

Above all would I seek a renewed interest in those covenant blessings
which Christ died to purchase and which He is exalted to bestow. All
my hope is in Him; weak, helpless, perishing, I flee to Him, as the
help and hope and portion of all who seek Him. Hide me, O blessed
Jesus, in Thy wounded side. I would overcome alone through the blood
of the Lamb. Wash me thoroughly in Thy precious blood. May I hear
Thine own voice of pardoning love saying, "Your sins which are many
are all forgiven."

After all Thou hast done for me, let me harbor no guilty and unworthy
suspicions of Thy faithfulness. Let me feel assured that tender love
regulates all Thy allotments. Thou art pledged to use the dealing and
discipline best suited for Thy people's case, and what will best
effect Thine own will concerning them, even their sanctification.
Carry on within me Thine own work in Thine own way. Fortify me against
temptation; let me not surrender myself to the base compliances of a
world lying in wickedness. But, strong in the Lord and in the power of
His might, may I know that He who is with me is greater far than all
that can be against me. Oh enkindle afresh my expiring, languishing
love; let me live more under the influence of "things not seen,"
having the eye of faith more upwards and homewards, looking for that
blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of the great God my Saviour.

Let Thy kingdom come! Arise, O God, and plead Thine own cause. May all
the ends of the earth soon be gladdened with the Gospel's joyful
sound!

Bless all in sorrow, all bereaved of near and dear friends; may they
see no hand in their trials but Thine. Thou givest us our blessings;
and when Thou seest meet Thou revokest the grant. Let us see love in
every threatening wave, all rolling at _Thy_ bidding.

Lord, take the charge of me this night. Abide with me, blessed
Saviour, for it is toward evening and the day is far spent. Oh, may it
be mine to feel that each successive evening as it brings me nearer
eternity, is ripening me for its never-ending joys. And all I ask is
for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



EIGHTEENTH EVENING.

FOR THE DAILY DEATH.

"I die daily."--1 Cor. xv. 31.


O God Almighty, Father of all mercies, God of all grace, I beseech
Thee to look down upon me at this time in Thy great kindness; let me
feel it to be good for me to draw near unto God.

I desire to come acknowledging my great unworthiness. Forgive,
gracious Lord, my many, many sins of thought, word, and deed; wash out
all the defilements of the day. If I were to be tried by the doings of
any single hour, how would I stand condemned! I am a miracle of mercy;
kept, sustained, upheld, moment by moment, by the power of God.

Blessed Saviour! where could I have been this night _but_ for _Thee_?
Thou art praying for me, as for Thy faltering disciple of old, that my
faith fail not. I _do_ rejoice to think that the same hand that was
once outstretched for me on _the_ cross is now lifted up in pleading
love before the Throne, and that He who is _for_ me is greater far
than all that can be _against_ me! Oh strengthen me with all might by
Thy Spirit in the inner man. Subdue my corruptions, crucify all
remaining sin. Let me die to the world; let me not imbibe its false
maxims, conform to its sinful tastes, or accord with its evil
practices. Let self in all its manifold forms be crucified, and God
exalted. Come, Lord! search me, try me, prove me, and see if there be
any wicked way in me. Let me maintain a constant and habitual hatred
of those sins that do more easily beset me; may I exercise a holy
jealousy over my own heart. Let no prosperity be strengthening my ties
earthward, and weakening my ties heavenward. If Thou givest me much of
worldly good, may I write upon it all, "the things which are seen are
temporal." May it be my exalted ambition to use it for Thy glory. If
Thou sendest trial, let it issue in the peaceable fruits of
righteousness, producing a child-like acquiescence in Thy present
dealings. Let me never forget my pilgrim attitude. Let me be ever
looking forward to that joyous time when, "clean escaped" from the
corruptions that are in the world, I shall stand "faultless before the
Throne." Meanwhile, make me more heavenly-minded, copying the example
of Him who was meek and lowly in heart.

Let me be gentle and forgiving, let me not harbor unkind suspicions of
others, but consider myself, lest I also be tempted. O give me the
_character_ of Heaven on this side of death, that when I come to pass
through the swellings of Jordan I may be prepared for the joyous
welcome awaiting me on the shores of glory, "Enter thou into the joy
of thy Lord!"

Have mercy on a world lying in wickedness! Pity the careless; arouse
the slumbering; support the weak; succour the poor and those that have
no helper. Bless Thy Church everywhere. May Thy ministering servants
hide _themselves_, that their Lord may be exalted.

Take the charge of me and of all near and dear to me this night. Keep
me, O keep me, King of kings, beneath Thine own Almighty wings. Lying
down in Thy fear may I awake in Thy favor, fitted for all the duties
of a new day; and all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



NINETEENTH EVENING.

FOR RENUNCIATION OF SELF.

"Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of
ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God."--2 Cor. iii. 5.


O God! do Thou bend Thy pitying eye upon me this night, as I venture
once more into Thy sacred presence. What mercy it is that, with all my
great unworthiness, a throne of grace is still open, and a God of
grace is still waiting to be gracious!

I come to Thee in deep creature-destitution, bringing nothing in my
hands, but simply cleaving, blessed Jesus, to Thy cross; looking away
from my guilty self and my guilty doings to Thee, who hast done all
and suffered all for me, I rejoice to think that Thou hast broken
every chain of condemnation--that Thou hast satisfied the requirements
of a broken law; and having overcome the sharpness of death, Thou hast
opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

Oh let me not continue in sin because all this wondrous grace abounds.
Let me not think lightly of the accursed thing which was the cause of
all Thine untold and unutterable anguish. I know, Lord, that I am apt
at times to plead vain excuses for my sins. I am unwilling to think
them, and to think myself, so vile as I really am, in Thy pure and
holy eye.

My heart is deceitful; but "Thou art greater than my heart." Oh bring
me in self-renouncing lowliness to cry out, "God be merciful to me a
sinner." Let me cling to no remnants of my own self-righteousness. Let
me see that my best actions are marred with defilement and mingled
with impure and unworthy motives.

Enable me to aim more and more at the conquest of self. Show me the
plague of my own heart. Keep me from all that is unamiable and
selfish, from all that is unkind and uncharitable, and that would
exalt myself at the expense of others. Keep me holy. Keep me
lowly.--Lead me through the valley of humiliation. May life become
more one grand effort to crucify sin and to please God. Take, gracious
Saviour, my whole heart, and make it Thine; occupy it without a rival.
May there be no competing affection. Keep me from alienating existence
from its great end, by living to myself. May this be the
superscription on all my thoughts, and duties, and engagements--"I am
not my own, I am bought with a price."

May whatever be Thy time be mine. May I not murmur at deferred
blessings or disappointed hopes. May my own will be resolved into the
will of Him who knows best what to give and what to withhold.

May the Lord have mercy upon Zion. May showers of blessing descend on
Thy holy hill. Hasten the glories of the latter day, when Jesus shall
take to Himself His great power and reign!

Bless all my dear friends; may those ties which may be so soon severed
here be rendered indissoluble by grace. Guard their couch and mine
this night; give us refreshing sleep, lying down in Thy fear, and
awaking in Thy favor, fitted for all the duties of a new day. And all
we ask or hope for is for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTIETH EVENING.

FOR A CHILD-LIKE SPIRIT.

"My soul is even as a weaned child."--Psalm cxxxi. 2.


O Lord, I rejoice that I am permitted with filial confidence to
approach Thy blessed presence. What a privilege it is to have such
liberty of access to the Mercy-seat--to look upwards to Thee, the
Infinite One, whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain, and call Thee
my Father and my God! Earthly love may grow cold or changeable, or
perish; but "Thou art the same." The mercy of God is from everlasting
to everlasting. Like as a father pitieth his children, so doth the
Lord pity them that fear Him.

Alas! I have to mourn too often an unthankful spirit amid all Thy
manifold mercies. I have been rebellious and wayward, ungrateful and
selfish. Thou mightest righteously have surrendered me to my own
perverse will; left me to the fruit of my own ways, and to be filled
with my own devices. It is of the Lord's mercies that I am not
consumed! Infinite is my want, but infinite too is my help. I would
seek to stand before Thee, O God, in the nothingness of the creature,
and to know the boundless resources treasured up for me in the great
Redeemer. Unite me to Him by a living faith, as Thine own child by
adoption; may it be my great desire to glorify Thee, my Father in
Heaven; cherishing towards Thee a spirit of filial love and
devotedness, seeking to do only what will please Thee, and having a
salutary fear of offending so kind and forbearing a Parent.

Oh keep me from any sullen fretfulness, or unbelieving misgivings,
under the strokes of Thy chastening hand. Let there be no hard
construction of Thy dealings. May I see all Thy chastisements tempered
with gracious love--_all_ to be needful discipline. Give me an
unwavering trust and confidence in Thy faithfulness. Nothing befalls
me but by Thy direction; nothing is appointed but what is for my good.

Let Thy varied dealings conform me to the image of my adorable Lord.
Let me be willing to suffer patiently for _Him_ who so willingly and
so patiently suffered for _me_. Let me not so much seek to have my
afflictions removed as to have grace given me to glorify Thee in them,
and in the spirit of a weaned child to say, "Even so, Father!" O may
my heart become a living temple, my life a living sacrifice, breathing
the incense of gratitude and love. Let me give myself no rest until in
this soul of mine I find a place for the Lord, an habitation for the
mighty God of Jacob.

Do Thou sanctify trial to all the sons and daughters of sorrow. Draw
near to those bereaved of beloved relatives. Do Thou Thyself
compensate for every earthly loss. May they know that Thou art
faithful who hast promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the
end of the world."

Have mercy on Thy whole Church. Heal divisions. Bless Thy preached
word. Strengthen Thy ministering servants, that they may be enabled to
proclaim the whole counsel of God.

Take the charge of me, and of all near and dear to me, this night.
Give Thine angels charge over us. May no unquiet dreams disturb our
rest, and when we awake may we be still with Thee. And all I ask is
for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-FIRST EVENING.

FOR HEAVENWARD PROGRESS.

"The path of the just is as the shining light, which shines more and
more onto the perfect day."--Proverbs iv. 18.


O God, I bless Thee that Thou hast spared me during another day, and
permitted the shadows of another evening to gather around me in peace.
It is Thou, Lord, only who makest me to dwell in safety. Enable me to
live from day to day as the pensioner on Thy bounty; to feel my
dependence; to receive every created blessing and gift direct from Thy
hand, and to seek to have all of them sweetened and hallowed as the
pledges of Thy covenant love in Jesus.

I bless Thee, gracious God, for the richer tokens of Thy redeeming
grace in Him. I bless Thee that His infinite merit has come in the
place of my infinite demerit, that in Him there is "no condemnation;"
that in His precious blood I have a secure shelter from the terrors of
Thy righteous law and the accusations of a guilty conscience. May I
know more and more the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of
His sufferings. May my every hope of pardon centre in His cross. May I
be living from day to day under the constraining influence of His
love, and experience now a sweet foretaste of that everlasting
communion which awaits me in His presence hereafter.

Lord, quicken me in my heavenly way; let me not loiter or linger on
the road. Let this be my habitual feeling and watchword, "I am
journeying." May I seek to mark my progressive advancement in the
divine life, my increasing conformity to the image and will of Thee,
my God. Keep me humble, cherishing a constant sense of my dependence
on Thee. Oh in every step Zionward, may I be led to cry, "_Hold Thou_
me up, and I shall be safe." Let there be no longer any halting between
two opinions, any wavering or indecision. May I regard life as a great
mission to please Thee. Let my animating wish be to be nearer Thee
now, ere I come to be with Thee for ever in glory everlasting. Walking
heavenwards, may I feel I am walking homewards.

May I spend each day as if possibly it were my last, so that should
the midnight cry break upon my ears, "Prepare to meet Thy God," it
might be to me no unexpected summons, but as an angel whispering, "The
Master is come and calleth for thee."

Look down in mercy on the dark places of the earth full of the
habitations of horrid cruelty. How long shall the wicked, how long
shall the wicked triumph? Go forth with Thy missionary servants in
heathen lands; may they witness much of Thy power; may Thy word still
be mighty as ever to the pulling down of Satan's strongholds. Give thy
Churches at home grace to be more faithful in the fulfilment of the
great commission of their Great Head--"Go ye into all the world and
preach the Gospel to every creature!"

Take all my beloved friends this night under Thy guardian care. Shield
them from all danger; and if Thou art pleased to spare us till
to-morrow, may we rise refreshed and invigorated for the duties of a
new day. And all I ask is for Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-SECOND EVENING.

FOR HUMILITY OF HEART.

"He giveth grace unto the humble."--James iv. 6.


O God, Thou art great and greatly to be feared. Thy greatness is
unsearchable. Thou art seated on a throne that is high and lifted up;
myriads of blessed spirits cease not day nor night to celebrate Thy
praise in their ever-triumphant hymn, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord
God of hosts."

But I rejoice to think that though Heaven is Thy dwelling-place Thou
deignest to dwell in the humble and contrite heart; no sacrifice dost
Thou so love as that of the broken spirit; no incense so prized by
Thee as the incense of a grateful, believing soul, which, oppressed
with its own unworthiness and sin, reposes with unwavering trust in
the work and righteousness of the Great Surety.

Lord, on this ever-living, ever-loving Saviour I desire wholly to
lean. As helpless, hopeless, friendless, portionless, I cast myself on
Him who is Helper of the helpless and Friend of the friendless. There
is nothing but Thy sacrifice and intercession, O Thou Lamb of God,
between me and everlasting destruction. O wash every crimson and
scarlet stain away in Thy precious blood. Let me lie low at the foot
of Thy cross. Give me a lowly estimate of myself, and a lofty view of
Thy all-glorious work and finished righteousness. I have no other hope
of mercy, and, blessed be Thy name, I _need_ no other.

While I take Thee as my Saviour, may I be enabled to follow Thee also
as my pattern; conscious of the supreme enthronement of Thy love in my
heart, may I feel superior to all the fluctuations and changes of a
changing world. May I live as the chartered heir of a better
inheritance; while in the world, may I seek not to be of it. May I
diffuse around me the noiseless influence of a heavenly life,
subordinating all I do to Thy glory. Lord, enable me to be useful in
the sphere in which Thou hast placed me, to work while it is called
to-day, remembering that there is no work nor device nor labor in the
grave whither I am going.

Bless all in sorrow. Sanctify their trials. Keep us ever from the
guilty atheism of looking to second causes. May we ever rejoice in the
elevating assurance that "the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth," and that
Thou orderest all things wisely and well. May the Holy Spirit the
Comforter pour his own balm into every bleeding heart.

Have mercy on a world lying in wickedness. Hasten that glorious period
when creation, now groaning and travailing in sin, shall be delivered
from the bondage of corruption and be translated into the glorious
liberty of the children of God. Let Thy word everywhere have free
course and be glorified. May Jesus, faithfully "lifted up" by the
attractive power of his cross, draw all men unto him.

Let Thy best benediction rest on my friends. The Lord watch between
them and me when we are absent one from another. May we experience Thy
guardian care this night; and if spared to awake in the morning, may
it be to spend a new day in Thy service, through Jesus Christ, our
blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-THIRD EVENING.

FOR FIRMNESS IN TEMPTATION.

"Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."--James iv. 7.


O God, Thou art from everlasting to everlasting. Loving me at the
beginning, Thou hast promised to love me even unto the end.
Notwithstanding all the fitful changes of my own changing heart
towards _Thee_, there _has_ been, and _can_ be, no shadow of turning
in Thy covenant faithfulness towards _me_. I am at this hour the
monument of Thy mercy--a living comment on the words, "Thy ways are
not as man's ways, nor Thy thoughts as man's thoughts."

If I have been enabled in any degree to resist the assaults of
temptation, it is all Thy doing. I am "kept by the power of God."
Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul must long ere now have dwelt
in silence. By the grace of God I am what I am.

Lord, indulged and cherished sin unfits me for the enjoyment of Thy
service and favor. I have to lament my proneness to evil, the natural
bias of my heart to that which is opposed to Thy pure and holy will.
When I would do good, sin is too often present with me. I feel the
power of my spiritual adversaries. If left to myself and my own
unaided resources, I must often hopelessly resign the conflict.

But I rejoice to think that there is help and hope and strength at
hand. I would look to Him who is now bending upon me an eye of
unchanging love from the throne. All Thy ascension glories, blessed
Redeemer, have not obliterated the tenderness of Thy humanity. Thou
art "that same Jesus;" Thou, the abiding Friend, art still left
changeless among the changeable; and when Satan often desires to have
me, that he might sift me as wheat, it is Thy intercessory prayer that
saves me from utter ruin. Thou art pleading for me, that my faith fail
not! Oh may I be found invincible in the hour of temptation, being
made more than conqueror through Him that loved me. Sheltered in Thee
the true Refuge, the wicked one will touch me not.

Let me not trifle with my own soul or with the momentous interests of
eternity. Let me every day be living under the realizing consciousness
that Thy pure eye is upon me. Keep me from all that is at variance
with Thy gracious mind. Keep me from unchristian tempers, from an
unholy or inconsistent or uneven walk. By a Christ-like demeanor may I
exhibit the sanctifying and transforming influence of the Gospel on my
own soul, that others may take knowledge of me that I have been with
Jesus.

God of Bethel! do Thou take under Thy protecting providence all
related to me by endearing ties. However far we may be separated from
one another, let us never be separated from Thee. Let us often rejoice
in this our common meeting-place; that around Thy mercy-seat in spirit
we can assemble, and lay our evening incense in the one Golden Censer
of our gracious High Priest!

Take charge of me this night, defend me from all danger; whether I
wake or sleep, may I live together with Thee; and all that I ask or
hope for is in the name and for the sake of Jesus Christ, my only
Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-FOURTH EVENING.

FOR COMPOSURE IN TRIAL.

"Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in Thy sight."--Matt. xi. 26.


O God, I come into Thy presence this night, rejoicing that amid all
earth's vicissitudes, I have in Thee a rock that cannot be shaken.
Thou doest according to Thy will in the armies of Heaven, and among
the inhabitants of the earth! Thou doest all things well, and nothing
but what _is_ well. There is no finite wisdom in Thy dealings. All is
the result of combined faithfulness, power, and love. Let me repose in
the righteous ordinations of Thy will. If Thou withhold from me
earthly blessings, let me feel that the very denial is precious
because it is Thy sovereign pleasure. Covenant love and wisdom cannot
lead or teach me wrong; every burden is imposed by Thee. The lot may
be thrown into the lap, but the whole disposing thereof is of the
Lord.

O Thou who turnest the shadow of death into the morning, may every
wilderness-storm only drive me nearer Thyself, my true shelter. Thou
takest the sting from every cross, the bitterness from every cup. Let
me recognise in all that befalls me the tokens of a Father's love; and
if sense and sight should at times fail to descry "the bright light in
the cloud," may I see written over every dark trial Thine own
unanswerable challenge, "He that spared not his own Son, but gave Him
up to the death for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give
us all things?"

Lord! the end of all Thy sovereign dealings is to subjugate my wayward
will, and to unfold more of the preciousness of Jesus. Blessed Spirit
of all grace! do Thou take of the things that are Christ's and show
them unto my soul. Let me not stagger at the promises through
unbelief. Let me see nothing but love in the past, love in the
present, and love looming through the mists of a cloudy future. Thou,
O God, art seated by every furnace; all is meted out, all is provided
for; all has a "need be" in it! Magnify the power of Thy grace in me,
by a sweet spirit of patient submission to Thy righteous ordinations.
May I seek to have no other prayer than this, "Father, glorify Thy
name." Impart Thou that inner sunshine which no outward darkness or
trial can obscure. May the peace of God, which passeth understanding,
keep my heart.

May Thy Holy Spirit shed abroad His blessed influences over the whole
Church. Revive Thy work, O God, in the midst of the years. In wrath
remember mercy. May Thy ministers be more faithful. May Thy people be
more close and consistent in their walk with Thee. May the young be
growing up in Thy fear and favor; may the aged find in Thee the staff
of their declining years. May the sick and afflicted pillow their head
on Thy promises. May the dying fall asleep in Jesus.

I commend myself, my friends, and all belonging to me, to Thy paternal
care and keeping; and when earth's long night-watches of trial and
sorrow are ended, may I wake up in the sorrowless morning of glory, to
enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with Thyself. Through Jesus Christ, my
only Lord and Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-FIFTH EVENING.

FOR ACTIVITY IN DUTY.

"Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the
Lord."--Romans xii. 11.


Lord, I come to Thee this night rejoicing in the thought that Thou
faintest not, neither are weary: Thou art ever good, and doing me
good. Thine arm is never shortened, Thine ear is never heavy. The
gates of prayer are ever open. The Throne of the Heavenly Grace is
ever accessible, none of Thy children need perish with hunger!

May the darkness now gathering around me be as the shadow of Thine
infinite presence. I take comfort in the thought that the Shepherd of
Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps; that He is ever bending over me
his watchful, untiring eye, compassing my path and my lying down, and
holding up my doings that my footsteps do not stumble.

Lord, how sad is the contrast of Thine unwearied and unwearying
watchfulness, with my negligence and inactivity in Thy service. How
little have I sought to promote Thy glory. How little have I felt the
solemnity and responsibility of being a steward in Thy household! Let
me be more zealous for Thy honor in the future. Let me seek more than
I have ever yet done, to ask in the midst of life's duties and
engagements, its perplexities and trials, in simple faith, "Lord! what
wouldst thou have me to do?" Let me feel that duty is a delight when
done for Thee. Keep me from further relaxing my diligence. Let me not
mock Thee any longer with the wrecks of a worn affection. Let there be
no half-surrender of the heart and life to Thee, but may soul and body
be consecrated as living sacrifices, and may I have the growing
experience that active obedience in Thy service is self-rewarding.

Lord! I have indeed a vast work to do and a brief time to do it in.
May opportunities and talents, while I have them, be cheerfully given
to Thee. May the warning words oft sound in my ear, "Work while it is
called today, for the night cometh wherein no man can work." Oh
prepare me for my Saviour's coming. Forbid that I should be found
among the slothful servants or the faithless stewards who are
squandering their Lord's money, and are living, forgetful that a time
of reckoning is at hand! May I be so waiting and so watching, and so
working, that the cry may never break too soon or too suddenly on my
ears--"Behold, the Judge standeth before the door!"

Send forth thy gracious Spirit into a world lying in wickedness.
Scatter the darkness that is now brooding over the nations. Bless all
thy ministering servants; may they be valiant for the truth; may the
Lord send His own angel to stand by them, and to shut the mouths of
every adversary.

Bless all my friends; may they too be working out their own salvation
with fear and trembling, and so be found at last prepared for the
appearing and kingdom of Jesus.

Take me under Thy protecting care this night; vouchsafe me a season of
refreshing repose; spare me to awake in Thy favor; and may every
returning morning find me better prepared for the glorious noon-day of
immortality; through Jesus Christ, my ever-living Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-SIXTH EVENING.

FOR THE SPIRIT'S TEACHING.

"As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of
God."--Rom. viii. 14.


O Lord, Thou art the God of my life and the length of my days. There
is no real happiness independent of Thee. Thy favor is life. In vain
can I seek for any satisfying portion in an unsatisfying world. If
bereft of Thee I am bereaved indeed. But with Thy countenance shining
upon me, I must be safe, I must be happy.

Do Thou pour down upon me the gifts and graces of Thy Holy Spirit. May
he "garrison" my heart. May He write on its blood-besprinkled lintels
the superscription, "Holiness to the Lord." Oh may this soul of mine
become a living temple, an "habitation of God through the Spirit." Let
me not trifle with convictions. Let me not grieve by my hardness and
impenitency that gracious Agent, whereby I am sealed unto the day of
redemption; but may all my affections be willingly surrendered to His
service. By His omnipotent energy may every high thought and lofty
imagination be brought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus. May I
be enabled to lean upon Him in the extremity of my weakness. Fill me
with all joy and peace in believing that I may abound in hope through
the power of the Holy Ghost; fitted for Thy service here, and for the
enjoyment of Thee forever hereafter.

I pray for the outpouring of the same blessed Spirit on the whole
Church. May He descend like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers
that water the earth. Come from the four winds, O Breath, and breathe
upon the slain in the valley! Hasten that glorious period when the
year of Thy redeemed shall come, when the earth shall be full of the
tabernacles of the righteous, in which the voice of joy and melody
will continually be heard!

Oh that there were more in me of the mind of my gracious Saviour, on
whom the Spirit was poured without measure. May I, like Him, be more
meek and gentle, more amiable and forgiving, overcoming evil with
good.--Transform me into the same image from glory to glory, by the
Lord the Spirit.

Hide all my friends under the shadow of Thy wings. Put Thy good Spirit
also into their hearts. May He guide them into all the truth, and
reveal to them more and more of the preciousness of Jesus.

Let all poor afflicted ones rejoice in the presence and consolations
of the promised Comforter; may He pour oil and wine into their wounds;
may He strengthen them in the midst of all their tribulations, and
enable them in lowly resignation to say, "The Lord's will be done."
Teach us all to repose in that will as the best; and to make it day by
day our aim and ambition to attain a greater conformity to it.

Lord, take the charge of me through the watches of the night. Under
the blessed sense of Thy presence and favor I would compose myself to
rest, and when I awake, may I be still with Thee. And all I ask is for
Jesus' sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-SEVENTH EVENING.

FOR THE WORLD'S CONVERSION.

"The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters
cover the sea."--Isaiah xi. 9.


O God, I desire to draw near into Thy blessed presence, beseeching
Thee to lift upon me the light of Thy countenance and grant me a
Father's blessing. I am utterly unworthy of Thy mercies. And it is
only in Jesus, the Son of Thy love, that I dare venture to cast myself
at Thy footstool.

I rejoice to think that in Him there is an open door of welcome; that
He has by His doing and dying satisfied the demands of Thy righteous
law, and magnified all Thy glorious attributes. I would bury all my
sins in the ocean-depths of His redeeming love. Oh let me now know the
blessedness of _living_, and at last the blessedness of _dying_, at
peace with Thee, in the sure and certain hope of a resurrection to
eternal life.

Darkness is still covering the lands, and gross darkness the people.
Lord, do Thou have mercy on a world lying in wickedness. I rejoice to
think of all Thy glorious promises concerning the latter day. That
this creation of ours, now groaning and travailing in bondage under
sin, is yet to be delivered from the yoke of corruption, and to be
translated into the glorious liberty of the sons of God. Glorify Thy
great name in the salvation of sinners! Hasten the period of predicted
glory, when all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of God;
when from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, the
Lord's name is to be praised. May Thine own omnipotent Spirit brood
over the darkness, as He did over chaos of old, and say, "Let there be
light, and there will be light." May gladsome voices soon be heard
proclaiming, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of
the Lord is risen upon thee."

Oh may I know personally something of that compassionate yearning over
ruined souls and a ruined world that my Saviour had. Let me be
prodigal in devising means for the extension of His kingdom and the
good of my fellow-men. I would pray the Lord of the harvest that He
would send forth laborers to the harvest. Stand by Thy missionary
servants. May they have many souls for their hire. May mountains of
difficulty be levelled before them; may crooked things be made
straight and rough places plain, and may the glory of the Lord be
revealed. Let them exercise simple faith in the power of Thy word and
the efficacy of Thy grace. May they feel that these are mighty as they
ever were to the pulling down of strongholds.

Arouse Thy churches to greater zeal. May Jesus, faithfully lifted up
by His servants, by the attractive power of His cross draw all men
unto Him. May they be the honored instruments of preparing many gems
for Immanuel's crown, who will be found unto praise and honor and
glory at His second appearing.

Lord, guard me through the silent watches of the night; be the defence
and protection of my friends and relatives; may they too dwell under
the shadow of Thy wings and experience the sleep of Thy beloved; and
when the night of earth's ignorance shall vanish away, may we all wake
up in glory everlasting, through Jesus Christ, our only Lord and
Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS AS
 THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-EIGHTH EVENING.

FOR THE CHURCH'S REVIVAL.

"Revive Thy work in the midst of the years."--Hab. iii. 2.


O God, Thou hast permitted me in Thy great mercy to see another
evening. How many of my fellow-men have this day slept the sleep of
death, and are now beyond the reach of grace and privilege! I am still
spared, all unworthy though I be, a monument of Thy forbearance and
love.

I desire to make acknowledgment of my many and grievous offences. They
are more in number than the sand of the sea;--sins against light, and
mercy, and warning; sins committed against the kindest of Benefactors,
the most indulgent of Parents.

I would seek anew to take refuge in the offered shelter of the Gospel,
and to rejoice anew in the faithful saying that Jesus Christ came into
the world to save the chief of sinners. Oh may I be enabled
confidingly to repose in His matchless sacrifice, and with lively
appropriating faith to say, "He loved _me_ and gave Himself for _me_!"

Lord, carry on Thine own work within me. Quicken my languid and
languishing affections by the omnipotent agency of Thy Holy Spirit.
Let me not live at a guilty distance from Thy favor; but may I covet a
close and habitual walk with Thee, and feel the sustaining power of
Thy grace in my heart.

Revive Thy work in Thine own Church universal, Thou great High Priest,
who walketh in the midst of the golden candlesticks. Do Thou feed
every lamp with the oil of Thy grace. Let them burn with a clearer,
holier, more steady and consistent flame. As lights set in the world,
may they diffuse Thy glory; and feel the honor of being instrumental
in shedding abroad a Saviour's love.

Oh may the Lord arise and have mercy upon Zion. May the time to favor
her, yea, the set time, soon come. As there is but one Shepherd, so
may there soon be but one sheep-fold. Let Thy churches no longer
continue apart from one another in unholy estrangement, but live in
the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of peace; holding fast that
which they have, that no man take their crown. Spirit of all grace,
come in all the plenitude of Thy love and mercy. Breathe upon every
portion of Thy visible Church, and say, "Receive ye the Holy Ghost!"
"Awake, O north wind! come, thou south! blow upon our garden, that the
spices thereof may flow out." May Thy gracious influences descend like
rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth.

Bless all Thy faithful ministers. May peace be upon them and upon the
whole Israel of God. Direct their hearts and the hearts of all Thy
faithful people into Thy love, and into the patient waiting for
Christ.

Comfort all in sorrow. May they see a "need be" written on all their
trials. May they look beyond the long night-watch of earth to the
glories of that eternal morning when clouds and darkness shall for
ever flee away.

Take charge of me while I sleep, and as evening after evening comes
round may I feel that a day has been spent for Thee. Hear me, gracious
Lord, for the Redeemer's sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS AS
 THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



TWENTY-NINTH EVENING.

FOR SUPPORT IN DEATH.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will
fear no evil: for Thou art with me; Thy rod and Thy staff they comfort
me."--Ps. xxiii. 4.


O God, I come to Thee this night through Jesus Christ, the Son of Thy
love, beseeching Thee to have mercy upon me, and to impart unto me
that Peace of Thine which passeth all understanding. Blessed be Thy
great and glorious name for those hopes full of immortality which have
been opened up to me in the Gospel. I rejoice in Christ as the great
Abolisher of death. I rejoice that the rainbow of covenant
faithfulness spans the entrance to the dark valley; that all that is
terrible in the last enemy is in Him taken away, and that I can regard
these closing hours of existence as the introduction and doorway into
everlasting bliss.

Give me grace, O God, to be living in constant preparation for death.
Let me not unprofitably squander my present golden moments. Let me
_live_ while I _live_--let me live a dying life. Let me feel that life
is a trust given me by Thee. O Thou Great Proprietor of my being, may
this all important talent of time be more consecrated to Thy glory.
Let it not be mine, when the hour of death arrives, to bewail, when it
is too late, lost and forfeited opportunities. Let me not leave till
then, what best can be done and what only _may_ be done now. May it be
my earnest endeavor while it is called today to secure a saving
interest in the everlasting covenant, and then I need not fear how
soon the silver cord may be loosed and the golden bowl broken. Through
Jesus the darkness has been taken from death, and to His own true
people its shadows will melt and merge into the brightness of eternal
day.

Thou art ever giving me impressive remembrances that "at such an hour
as I think not," the summons may come, "Prepare to meet Thy God." The
race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Verily every
moment there may be but a step between me and death. Let me be so
living a life of habitual faith in the Son of God that this step may
be changed into a step between me and glory.

Lord, prepare all who may now be laid on dying couches for their great
change. May their eyes be directed to Jesus. Pillowing their heads on
his exceeding great and precious promises, may they fall asleep in the
glorious hope of a joyful resurrection.

Bless all in sorrow; those who have recently been bereaved of near and
dear friends, who may have been called recently to the brink of the
tomb, consigning their loved ones to the narrow house appointed for
all living. May they be enabled to fix their sorrowing gaze on the
brighter prospects beyond death and the grave, and anticipate that
glorious hour when, reunited to death-divided friends, they will be
able to exult together in the song, "O death, where is thy sting? O
grave, where is thy victory?"

Take the charge of me this night. Watch over me during the unconscious
hours of sleep, and when I too come to the long night and slumber of
death, may it be the gentle rest of Thy beloved, a falling asleep in
the arms of everlasting love, looking forward to the joyful waking
time of immortality, through Jesus Christ my only Saviour. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



THIRTIETH EVENING.

FOR PREPARATION FOR JUDGMENT.

"Prepare to meet thy God."--Amos iv. 12.


O God, Thou art daily loading me with Thy benefits. Thou art making
the outgoings of the evening and morning to rejoice over me, giving me
unnumbered causes for gratitude and thankfulness. No earthly friend
could have loved and cared for me like Thee. Oh may the life Thou art
thus preserving by Thine unceasing bounty be unreservedly dedicated to
Thy praise.

Lord, keep me mindful that I am soon to be done with this world, that
I am fast borne along the stream of time to an endless futurity. "It
is appointed unto all once to die, and after death the judgment." May
I be living in a constant state of preparedness for that solemn hour
when small and great shall stand before God, and the books shall be
opened. Educate me for eternity. Let me not be frittering away these
fleeting but precious moments. Impress on me the solemn conviction
that "as men live so do men die," that as death leaves me so will
judgment find me. Oh let death leave me falling asleep in Jesus,
united to Him by a living faith, that so judgment may find me seated
at His right hand, listening to the joyous welcome, "Come, ye blessed
of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation
of the world."

Blessed Jesus, all my hope of a glorious resurrection centres in Thee.
I look to Thee as the strong tower which cannot be shaken. I flee anew
to the holy sanctuary of Thy covenant love. Sheltered there, amid a
dissolving earth, and burning worlds, I shall be able joyfully to
utter the challenge, "Who shall separate me from the love of Christ?"
Meanwhile may I seek to "occupy" till my Lord comes. Keep me from all
negligence and unwatchfulness. Trim my flickering lamp. Let me live
with Thy Judgment-throne in view. Whether waking or sleeping, may I
bear about with me the thought that I must soon give an account of
myself to God. May I feel that all the talents and means Thou hast
given me are trusts to be laid out for Thee. When thou comest to
demand a reckoning, may I not be among the number of those who have
hid their talent in the earth, and have the cheerless retrospect of a
misspent time.

Lord! bless my friends, reward my benefactors, forgive my enemies.
Sanctify sorrow to all the sons and daughters of trial. May the torch
of Thy love light up their gloomy prospects. May every providential
voice sound loud in their ears, "Arise and depart ye, for this is not
your rest!"

Gracious God, watch over me during the night, and grant that at last,
when all earth's evenings and mornings shall have passed away, I may,
on the great day-break of glory, wake up in Thy likeness, through Him
in whom is all my hope, and to whom, with Thee, O Father, and Thee,
ever blessed Spirit, one God, be everlasting praise, honor, and glory,
world without end. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."



THIRTY-FIRST EVENING.

FOR MEETING IN HEAVEN.

"Meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in
light."--Col. i. 12.


O God, I come into Thy gracious presence on this the close of another
day, beseeching Thee to accept of my evening sacrifice. May this my
unworthy prayer come up before Thee perfumed with the fragrant incense
of the Saviour's adorable merits. It is my comfort to know, O Thou
blessed Intercessor within the veil, that Thou art even now appearing
in the presence of God for me! The names of Thy covenant people are
engraven on Thy breastplate, and, all unworthy in themselves, they are
accepted in the Beloved.

My special prayer to Thee this night is, that by Thy grace I may be
made meet for Thy blood-bought inheritance in Glory. Transform me by
the indwelling power of the Holy Ghost; may I be dying daily unto sin,
and living daily unto righteousness. Make me more heavenly-minded.
Give me more of a pilgrim attitude and a pilgrim spirit. May I ever
feel that my true home is above, that I am here but a wayfarer and
sojourner, as all my fathers were. May I attain, as I advance nearer
heaven, the blessed habit of a holy life, bearing about with me the
lofty impress of one who is born _from_ above and _for_ above,
declaring plainly that I seek "a better country."

Let me not arraign the appointments of Infinite wisdom, but patiently
await the disclosures of the great day. Keep me from a hasty spirit
under dark dispensations. I am no judge as to what fancied mercies are
best withholden. Let me look to every trial as an appointed messenger
from the Throne whispering in my ears, "Be ye also ready!" May I
delight often to anticipate that happy time when I shall suffer no
more, and sin no more; when Thou shalt no longer teach me by
mysterious dispensations and a crossed will; when all shall be "a sea
of glass" without one disturbing ripple, and I shall trace with joyous
heart the long line of unbroken love and unchanging faithfulness! Anew
I would wash in the atoning fountain. Anew I would take refuge "in the
faithful saying." O blot out all the sins of the bygone day. Let them
not rise up in the Judgment to condemn me. Let me close my eyes this
night listening to the Saviour's own voice--"Your sins which are many
are all forgiven you."

May the Lord arise and have mercy upon Zion. May the streams of Thy
grace make glad the city of God. Build up her broken walls; restore
her ruined towers; may her watchmen be men of faith and men of prayer;
making mention of the Lord, and keeping not silence, till He
establish, and till he make Jerusalem again a praise in the earth.

Lord, bless my friends. Let us exult in those ties which survive the
uncertain ones of earth, and look forward to the hour when we shall
come to stand at last faultless before Thy Throne. Oh, prepare us all
for the breaking of that eternal day--that "morning without clouds,"
when in Thy light we shall see light--when the love of Christ shall be
enthroned supremely in every heart, when the glory of Christ will form
the animating motive and principle of life that shall never end: and
all I ask is for His sake. Amen.

 "LET MY PRAYER BE SET FORTH BEFORE THEE AS
 INCENSE: AND THE LIFTING UP OF MY HANDS
 AS THE EVENING SACRIFICE."


THE END.



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