Page images
PDF
EPUB

66 The

and conduct, to become with us, happy people. In us, men ought reasonably to be able to see, who has the rule and government in our hearts; who it is that dwells in our hearts, and that we are so happy with our Immanuel. If the government is upon his shoulder, ah! it ought to be the wish and desire of our hearts, that by our walk and testimony, many may be brought near unto him. For the world will not always continue as it is at present; it will not always be the case that unrighteousness and impiety shall have the upper hand. O no! these words, government is upon the shoulder of Jesus,” shall yet be fulfilled, in their full import, in the last days. Jesus will fully assume the government over the hearts of men, even in this world. Thousands shall still be converted ; all people and nations shall bow before his divine majesty, as prophecied in Psalm Ixxxvi. 9. “ All nations, whom thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee, O Lord ! and shall glorify thy name." Heaven and earth shall again utter the exclamation sounded forth in Rev. xii, 10. “ Now is salvation and strength, and the kingdom, and the power become our God's and his Christ's ; and he shall rule and reign for ever and ever." Amen.

Let us now, to conclude our present meeting, fall down before God, heartily thanking him for the preaching of his blessed gospel, and beseeching him to grant us the power of his Spirit in our hearts.

PRAYER.

O Jesus Immanuel, God with us, God in the midst of us, God in our hearts; who art, at this moment, sitting on the throne of thy glory, and who dwellest amidst the praises and adorations of so many millions of angels, seraphim, and cherubim, and amidst the hallelujahs of so many blessed souls ! we consider and contemplate thee in faith, as now born in the manger at Bethlehem for us, in the form of thy humiliation. O Immanuel, enable us to worship thee in spirit and in truth, that all that is within us, may bow before thee! From love to us, thou didst become man, although thou art God, and possessest, in thyself, all divine glory. All that behold thee, adore thee. The wise men, who came from the east to thy manger, where thou wert born, adored thee. The shepherds, on finding thee there, worshipped thee. O let our inmost souls, and all that is within us, honour thy incomprehensible love to man! O we cannot comprehend it! we must step backwards astonished, and exclaim, “ What is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou thus visitest him ?” O dearest Immanuel, let us inwardly recognize and experience what a sweet and refreshing nutriment is to be found in thy humiliated human nature for poor sinners. We now thank and praise thee for having so cordially taken our part, and for having given us, in thyself, thine eternal Deity in thy humanity, that we, poor lost sinners,

might again be raised up from perdition. Thou didst take upon thee our sins,, together with all our misery and woe, and hast brought unto us all the blessings, riches, and treasures of heaven. O Jesus ! may our hearts, may the hearts of all now present, experience, feel, and reverence the importance of this great subject, that praise may be prepared for thee, both by our mouths, as well as by the mouths of babes and of sucklings, both now and in an endless eternity!

We thank thee, Lord Jesus, that thou hast opened thy liberal hand on this occasion, and hast satisfied us with a feast of fat things, by which our souls may be refreshed, nourished, and excited to love and serve thee. O Lord Jesus Christ, do not let us continue cleaving to the mere sound of words; but let our faith, the hunger of our hearts, and our ardent love be incited to seek thee, and to find thee in our innost hearts! O Immanuel, God with us! let us not celebrate our Christmas without thee, as we have alas ! so frequently done. O Lord Jesus, grant that each of us may receive a blessing from this festival ! Nourish our souls with the dainties which thou hast placed before us on thy table, and art still willing to set before us, in order that our hearts may be inwardly refreshed by thy vivifying word, and encouraged to give themselves up to thee for a possession.

Are there any here, O Lord Jesus! who have been hitherto at a distance and strangers to thee; are there rebels here, who have hitherto refused to

acknowledge thee as their rightful king? O make them subject unto thee! Humble their proud, obstinate, bold, and daring hearts ! Didst thou not assume our flesh and blood, and wast thou not unwilling to scorn even the most wretched ? O then, do not despise us on account of our wretchedness and insufficiency! Thou hast not only taken all our sins upon thy child-like shoulders, but hast also a glorious power, by which thou canst redeem us from the dominion of sin. Do not endure it any longer, thou Sovereign king of glory, that the hearts of men should continue detached from thee, and that strange powers should possess them to thy reproach; detach them from the dominion of Satan; tear them away from sin, and let especially the hearts of thy people, and my heart, be rendered entirely subject to thee.

May all our affections be dedicated to thee, O thou child Jesus, in the manger! to love thee alone, with our whole heart, as long as we live. To thee we present our will, and all that we have, to become entirely thy property. We resign all right and power over

our own will.

Do thou rule, do thou command ! Let us direct our inward and outward life according to the guidance of thine eye.

Dearest Immanuel, we offer unto thee, in thy state of childhood, our body and our soul; do thou make use of them, even as thou hast given us thy body and thy soul, thy humanity and thy divinity, as on this day. Now, we are entirely thine, dearest Jesus! O accept of us also, that we may blissfully experience,

that we are no longer our own, but belong to our Lord and King Jesus. Let this be a new day to us, in which we take thee afresh to be our King, pay thee homage,

salute thee, and submit ourselves to thee; in order that we may employ the remaining moments of our lives, by thine assistance, solely in thy love and fear, and in thy service.

Manifest thyself, O Lord Jesus ! not as an absent, but as a still present Saviour. O communicate to the hearts of thy children, of thy poor believing people, who appear to be still so destitute ; communicate to our poor hearts, thy divine light, thy divine life, thy virtues, and all that thou hast brought with thee for us from heaven, in order that we may become real children, who resemble thee, who may be acceptable to thy heavenly Father, and prove edifying and pleasing to our neighbour.

We unite in faith, dearest Immanuel, with all thy children, who this day proclaim and listen to thy love, wherever they may be, in the whole world, in the church, or at home. O how many thousands are present this day, with their hearts and devotions, at thy cradle, who love thee, who behold thee, and who honour thee, and glorify thy name! We upite in honouring thee with all their praise, and with all their devotion ; our inmost heart says, Yea, and Amen to it! O let us now sit with all these ; O let us sit with all thy children at thy table, from henceforth even for ever! Amen.

« PreviousContinue »