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XXII, PRAYER FOR A BLESSING ON THE YOUNG.
Bestow, dear Lord, upon our youth
The gift of saving grace ;
And let the seed of sacred truth
Fall in a fruitful place.
Grace is a plant, where’er it grows,
Of pure and heavenly root;
But fairest in the youngest shows,
And yields the sweetest fruit.
Ye careless ones, O hear betimes
The voice of sovereign love !
Your youth is stain'd with many crimes,
But mercy reigns above.
True, you are young, but there's a stone
Within the youngest breast ;
Or half the crimes which
Would rob you of your rest.
For you the public prayer is made,
Oh! join the public prayer !
the secret tear is shed,
O shed yourselves a tear !
We pray that you may early prove
The Spirit's power to teach ;
You cannot be too young to love
That Jesus whom we preach.
XXIII. PLEADING FOR AND WITH YOUTH.
Sin has undone our wretched race,
But Jesus has restored,
And brought the sinner face to face
With his forgiving Lord.
This we repeat, from year to year,
And press upon our youth;
Lord, give them an attentive ear,
Lord, save them by thy truth.
Blessings upon the rising race !
Make this a happy hour,
According to thy richest grace,
And thine almighty power.
We feel for your unhappy state,
(May you regard it too,)
And would awhile ourselves forget
To pour out prayer
We see, though you perceive it not,
The approaching awful doom ;
O tremble at the solemn thought,
And flee the wrath to come!
Dear Saviour, let this new-born
Spread an alarm abroad;
Prepare to meet thy God !”
XXIV. PRAYER FOR CHILDREN.
Gracious Lord, our children see,
By thy mercy we are free;
But shall these, alas! remain
Subjects still of Satan's reign ?
Israel's young ones, when of old
Pharaoh threaten'd to withhold, *
Then thy messenger said, “ No;
Let the children also go.”
When the angel of the Lord,
Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
Slew, with an avenging hand,
All the first-born of the land ; +
Then thy people's doors he pass'd,
Where the bloody sign was placed ;
Hear us, now, upon our knees,
Plead the blood of Christ for these !
Lord, we tremble, for we know
How the fierce malicious foe,
Wheeling round his watchful flight,
Keeps them ever in his sight:
Spread thy pinions, King of kings !
Hide them safe beneath thy wings ;
Lest the ravenous bird of prey
Stoop, and bear the brood away.
* Exod. x. 9.
+ Exod. xii. 12.
My song shall bless the Lord of all,
My praise shall climb to his abode ; Thee, Saviour, by that name I call,
The great Supreme, the mighty God. Without beginning or decline,
Object of faith, and not of sense ; Eternal
ages saw him shine,
He shines eternal ages hence.
As much, when in the manger laid,
Almighty ruler of the sky,
As when the six days' works he made
Fill'd all the morning stars with joy.
Of all the crowns Jehovah bears,
Salvation is his dearest claim ; That gracious sound well pleased he hears,
And owns Emmanuel for his name. A cheerful confidence I feel,
My well placed hopes with joy I see; My bosom glows with heavenly zeal,
To worship him who died for me. As man, he pities my complaint,
His power and truth are all divine; He will not fail, he cannot faint,
Salvation's sure, and must be mine.
XXVI. ON OPENING A PLACE FOR SOCIAL
JESUS !' where'er thy people meet,
There they behold thy mercy-seat;
Where'er they seek thee, thou art found,
And every place is hallow'd ground.
For thou, within no walls confined,
Inhabitest the humble mind;
Such ever bring thee where they come,
And going, take thee to their home.
Dear Shepherd of thy chosen few !
Thy former mercies here renew ;
Here to our waiting hearts proclaim
The sweetness of thy saving name.
Here may we prove
To strengthen faith and sweeten care ;
To teach our faint desires to rise,
And bring all heaven before our eyes.
Behold, at thy commanding word
We stretch the curtain and the cord ; *
Come thou, and fill this wider space,
And bless us with a large increase.
Lord, we are few, but thou art near ;
Nor short thine arm, nor deaf thine ear;
Oh rend the heavens, come quickly down,
And make a thousand hearts thine own!