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BEFORE ANNUAL SERMONS TO YOUNG PEOPLE
ON NEW-YEAR EVENINGS.
2 Bless, O Lord, the op'ning year,
To each soul assembled here;
Make us willing to be thine.
3 Shepherd of thy blood-bought sheep! HYMN VII.
Teach the stony heart to weep:
Let the blind have eyes to see,
4 Let the minds of all our youth Now let us all thy presence feel,
Feel the force of sacred truth; And soften hearts of stone !
While the gospel-call they hear, 2 Help us to venture near thy throne, May they learn to love and fear. And plead a Saviour's name;
5 Show them what their ways have been, For all that we can call our own,
Show them the desert of sin; Is vanity and share.
Then thy dying love reveal, 3 From all the guilt of former sin
This shall melt a heart of steel. May mercy set us free;
6 Where thou hast thy work begun, And let the year we now begin,
Give new strength the race to run; Begin and end with thee.
Scatter darkness, doubts, and fears, 4 Send down thy Spirit from above,
Wipe away the mourner's tears. That saints may love thee more, 7 Bless us all, both old and young; And sinners now may learn to love, Call forth praise from every tongue; Who never lov'd before.
Let the whole assembly prove 5 And when before thee we appear
All thy power, and all thy love.
Casting the Gospel-Net.
1 When Peter, through the tedious night,*
Had often cast his net in vain,
Soon as the Lord appear'd in sight,
2 Once more the gospel-net we cast, And let the seed of sacred truth
Do thou, O Lord, the effort own; Fall in a fruitful place.
We learn from disappointments past, 2 Grace is a plant, where'er it grows, To rest our hope on thee alone.
Of pure and heavenly root;
3 Upheld by thy supporting hand,
We enter on another year; And yields the sweetest fruit.
And now we meet at thy command, 3 Ye careless ones, O hear betimes
To seek thy gracious presence here.
4 May this be a much-favour'd hour
To souls in Satan's bondage led; But mercy reigns above.
O clothe thy word with sovereign power 4 True, you are young, but there's a stone
To break the rocks, and raise the dead ! Within the youngest breast, Or half the crimes which you have done,
5 Have mercy on our num'rous youth, Would rob you of your rest.
Who, young in years, are old in sin:
And by thy Spirit, and thy truth, 5 For you the public prayer is made,
Show them the state their souls are in. Oh! join the public prayer! For you the sacred tear is shed,
6 Then by a Saviour's dying love, O'shed yourselves a tear !
To every wounded heart reveald,
Temptations, fears, and guilt remove, 6 We pray that you may early prove
And be their sun, and strength, and shield. The Spirit's power to teach; You cannot be too young to love
7 To mourners speak a cheering word, That Jesus whom we preach. C.
On seeking souls vouchsafe to shine;
And all thy saints in praises join.
8 O hear our prayer, and give us hope, ANOTHER.
That when thy voice shall call us home, 1 Now may fervent prayer arise,
Thou still wilt raise a people up,
To love and praise thee in our room.
• Luke v. 4.
2 He sent his servant on before, Plealing for and with Youth. To lay a staff upon his head; 1 SIN has undone our wretched race,
This he could do, but do no more; But Jesus has restor'd,
He left him, as he found him-dead. And brought the sinner face to face
3 But when the Lord's almighty power With his forgiving Lord.
Wrought with the prophet's prayer and 2 This we repeat, from year to year,
The mother saw a joyful hour, [faith,
She saw her child restor'd from death. And press upon our youth; Lord, give them an attentive ear, 4 Thus, like the weeping Shunamite, Lord, save them by thy truth.
For many dead in sin we grieve; 3 Blessings upon the rising race!
Now, Lord, display thine arm of might, Make this a happy hour,
Cause them to hear thy voice and live. According to thy richest grace,
5 Thy preachers bear the staff in vain, And thine almighty power.
Though at thine own command we go; 4 We feel for your unhappy state,
Lord, we have tried and tried again, (May you regard it too)
We find them dead, and leave them so. And would a while ourselves forget, 6 Come then thyself—to ev'ry heart To prayer
The glory of thy name make known; 5 We see, though you perceive it not,
The means are our appointed part, The approaching, awful doom;
The power and grace are thine alone. O tremble at the solemn thought, And flee the wrath to come.
HYMN XIV. 6 Dear Saviour, let this new-born year
Elijah's Prayer. * Spread an alarm abroad;
1 Does it not grief and wonder move, And cry, in every careless ear,
To think of Israel's shameful fall?
C. “ Prepare to meet thy God!"
Who needed miracles to prove
Whether the Lord was God or Baal! HYMN XII.
2 Methinks I see Elijah stand, Prayer for Children.
His features glow with love and zeal: 1 Gracious Lord, our children see,
In faith and prayer he lifts his hand, By thy mercy we are free;
And makes to heaven his great appeal. But shall these, alas! remain,
3 “() God, if I thy servant am, Subjects still of Satan's reign;
If 'tis thy message fills my heart, Israel's young ones, when of old
Now glorify thy holy name, Pharaoh threaten'd to withhold;
And show this people who thou art !" Then thy messenger said, “No, Let the children also go."*
4 He spake, and, lo! a sudden flame
Consum'd the wood, the dust, the stone; 2 When the angel of the Lord,
The people struck, at once proclaim, Drawing forth his dreadful sword,
“ The Lord is God, the Lord alone." Slew, with an avenging hand, All the first-born of the land it
5 Like him, we mourn, an awful day, Then thy people's doors he passid,
When more for Baal than God appear; Where the bloody sign was placed :
Like him, believers, let us pray, Hear us now, upon our knees,
And may the God of Israel hear! Plead the blood of Christ for these ! 6 Lord, if thy servant speak thy truth, 3 Lord, we tremble, for we know
If he indeed is sent by thee, How the fierce malicious foe,
Confirm the word to all our youth, Wheeling round his watchful flight,
And let them thy salvation see. Keeps them ever in his sight:
7 Now may thy Spirit's holy fire Spread thy pinions, King of kings!
Pierce every heart that hears thy word, Hide them safe beneath thy wings;
Consume each hurtful vain desire, Lest the rav'nous bird of prey
And make them know thou art the Lord. Stoop, and bear the brood away.
Preaching to the Dry Bones.
1 PREACHERS may, from Ezekiel's case, When she had lost the son she lov'd,
Draw hope in this declining day; Went to Elisha for relief,
A proof, like this, of sovereign grace, Nor vain her application prov'd.
Should chase our unbelief away. * Exod. x. 9. t Exod. vi. 13. 1 2 Kings iv. 31.
* 1 Kings xviii. Rzek. Iuvii.
2 When sent to preach to mould'ring bones,
HYMN XVII. Who could have thought he would succeed,
God speaking from Mount Zion. But well he knew the Lord from stones
1 The God who once to Israel spoke Could raise up Abrah’m's chosen seed. 3 Can these be made a num'rous host,
From Sinai's top, in fire and smoke,
In gentler strains of gospel-grace
Invites us now to seek his face.
2 He wears no terrors on his brow, 4 Like him, around I cast my eye,
He speaks in love from Zion now;
It is the voice of Jesu's blood,
Calling poor wand'rers home to God.
3 The holy Moses quak’d and feard,
When Sinai's thund'ring law he heard; 5 Hear, ye dry bones, the Saviour's word !
But reigning grace, with accents mild, He, who, when dying, gasp'd, “Forgive,”
Speaks to the sinner as a child.
From the Redeemer's bleeding wounds ! 6 Thou heavenly wind, awake and blow, “ Pardon and grace I freely give, In answer to the prayer of faith;
Poor sinner, look to me, and live."
5 What other arguments can move
The heart that slights a Saviour's love! 7 O make them hear, and feel, and shake, Yet, till almighty power constrain, And at thy call obedient move;
This matchless love is preach'd in vain. The bonds of death and Satan break, And bone to bone unite in love.
6 O Saviour, let thy power be felt,
And cause each stony heart to melt!
Deeply impress upon our youth,
The light and force of gospel-truth.
7 With this new year may they begin 1 When Moses wav'd his mystic rod,
To live to thee, and die to sin; What wonders follow'd while he spoke ! To enter by the narrow way, Firm as a wall the waters stood,*
Which leads to everlasting day. Or gush'd in rivers from the rock !|
8 How will they else thy presence bear, 2 At his command the thunders rollid, When, as a judge, thou shalt appear!
Lightning and hail his voice obeyed, f When slighted love to wrath shall turn, And Pharaoh trembled to behold
And the whole earth like Sinai burn! His land in desolation laid. 3 But what could Moses' rod have done,
A Prayer for Power on the means of Grace. And Moses but the instrument.
1 O THOU, at whose almighty word 4 O Lord, regard thy people's prayers !
The glorious light from darkness sprung, Assist a worm to preach aright;
Thy quick’ning influence afford, And since thy gospel-rod he bears,
And clothe with power the preacher's Display thy wonders in our sight.
tongue. 5 Proclaim the thunders of thy law,
2 Though 'tis thy truth he hopes to speak, Like lightning let thine arrows fly,
He cannot give the hearing ear; That careless sinners, struck with awe,
'Tis thine the stubborn heart to break, For refuge may to Jesus cry!
And make the careless sinner fear. 6 Make streams of godly sorrow flow 3 As when of old the water flow'd From rocky hearts, unus'd to feel;
Forth from the rock at thy command,* And let the poor in spirit know,
Moses in vain had wav'd his rod,
Down to the earth at once were cast, The rising generation's hope,
It was thy power that brought them low, That they may know and love thy truth. And not the trumpet's feeble blast. 8 Arise, O Lord, afford a sign,
5 Thus we would in the means be found, Now shall our prayers success obtain; And thus on thee alone depend, Since both the means and power are thine, To make the gospel's joyful sound How can the rod be rais'd in vain !
Effectual to the promis'd end.
• Exod. ziv. 22.
| Numb. xx. 11.
Exod. ix. 23.
• Numb. xx. 11.
† Joshua vi. 20
6 Now, while we hear thy word of grace, 3 Like David, when this life shall end, Let self and pride before it fall;
We trust in thee, sure peace to find; And rocky hearts dissolve apace,
Like him, to thee we now commend In streams of sorrow at thy call.
The children we must leave behind. 7 On all our youth assembled here, 4 Ere long we hope to be where care, The unction of thy Spirit pour;
And sin, and sorrow, never come; Nor let them lose another year,
But, oh! accept our humble prayer, Lest thou shouldst strive and call no more. That these may praise thee in our room.
5 Show them how vile they are by sin, HYMN XIX.
And wash them in thy cleansing blood; Elijah's Mantle. 2 Kings ii. 11–14. Oh! make them willing to be thine, 1 ELISHA, struck with grief and awe,
And be to them a covenant-God. Cried, “ Ah! where now is Israel's stay?" 6 Long may thy light and truth remain, When he his honour'd master saw
To bless this place when we are gone, Borne by a fiery car away.
And numbers here be born again, 2 But while he look'd a last adieu,
To dwell for ever near thy throne.
The Lord's Call to his Children. 3 “Where is Elijah's God ?" he cried,
2 Cor. vi. 17, 18.
To draw our hearts above! 4 The wonder-working gospel, thus
Attend, 'tis God the Saviour speaks, From hand to hand has been conveyed;
And every word is love. We have the mantle still with us, 2 Though, fill'd with awe, before his throne But where, ( where, the Spirit's aid ?
Each angel veils his face; 5 When Peter first his mantle wav'd,*
He claims a people for his own How soon it melted hearts of steel !
Amongst our sinful race. Sinners by thousands then were sav'd, 3 Careless, a while, they live in sin, But now how few its virtues feel?
Enslav'd to Satan's power; 6 Where is Elijah's God, the Lord,
But they obey the call divine, Thine Israel's hope, and joy, and boast?
In his appointed hour. Reveal thine arm, confirm thy word,
4 “Come forth (he says,) no more pursue Give us another Pentecost !
The paths that lead to death: -7 Assist thy messenger to speak,
Look up, a bleeding Saviour view; And while he aims to lisp thy truth,
Look, and be sav'd by faith. The bonds of sin and Satan break, 5 “My sons and daughters you shall be, And pour thy blessing on our youth.
Through the atoning blood;
And 8 For them we now approach thy throne,
shall claim, and find in me, Teach them to know and love thy name;
A Father and a God." Then shall thy thankful people own
6 Lord, speak these words to ev'ry heart, Elijah's God is still the same.
By thine all-powerful voice;
That we may now from sin depart,
And make thy love our choice.
By Christ the living way, YEAR EVENINGS, SUITED TO THE SUBJECTS.
praise thee for this hour of grace HYMN XX.
Through an eternal day.
HYMN XXII. 1 0 David's Son, and David's Lord !
The Prayer of Jabez. 1 Chron. iv. 9, 10. From age to age thou art the same;
1 Jesus, who bought us with his blood, Thy gracious presence now afford,
And makes our souls his care, And teach our youth to know thy name.
Was known of old as Israel's God, 2 Thy people, Lord, though oft distress'd And answer'd Jabez prayer. Upheld by thee. thus far are come;
2 Jaber! a child of grief! the name And now we long to see thy rest,
Betits poor sinners well; And wait thy word to call us home.
For Jesus bore the cross and shame,
To save our souls from hell.
3 Teach us, O Lord, like him to plead 2 Firm against every adverse shock, For mercies from above;
Its mighty bulwarks prove; O come, and bless our souls indeed,
'Tis built upon the living Rock, With light, and joy, and love.
And wall’d around with love. 4 The gospel's promis'd land is wide, 3 There all the fruits of glory grow, We fain would enter in ;
And joys that never die; But we are press'd on ev'ry side
And streams of grace and knowledge flow, With unbelief and sin.
The soul to satisfy. 5 Arise, O Lord, enlarge our coast, 4 Come, set your faces Zion-ward, Let us possess the whole,
The sacred road inquire; That Satan may no longer boast,
And let a union to the Lord He can thy work control.
Be henceforth your desire. 6 Oh! may thy hand be with us still, 5 The gospel shines to give you light, Our guide and guardian be,
No longer, then, delay; To keep us safe from ev'ry ill,
The Spirit waits to guide you right, Till death shall set us free.
And Jesus is the way. 7 Help us on thee to cast our care,
6 O Lord, regard thy people's prayer,
Thy promise now fulfil;
To dwell on Zion's hill.
We were Pharaoh's Bondmen.
Deut. vi. 20—23.
1 BENEATH the tyrant Satan's yoke, 1 Essnar'ı too long my heart has been
Our souls were long oppress'd: In Folly's hurtful ways;
Till grace our galling fetters broke, Oh! may I now, at length, begin
And gave the weary rest. To hear what Wisdom says!
2 Jesus, in that important hour, 2 'Tis Jesus, from the mercy-seat,
His mighty arm made known: Invites me to his rest;
He ransom'd us by price and power, He calls poor sinners to his feet,
And claim'd us for his own. To make them truly bless'd.
3 Now, freed from bondage, sin, and death, 3 Approach, my soul, to Wisdom's gates, We walk in wisdom's ways; While it is callid to-day;
And wish to spend our ev'ry breath No one who watches there, and waits,
In wonder, love, and praise. Shall e'er be turn'd away.
4 Ere long, we hope with him to dwell 4 He will not let me seek in vain,
In yonder world above; For all who trust his word
And now we only live to tell Shall everlasting life obtain,
The riches of his love. And favour from the Lord.
5 O might we, ere we hence remove, 5 Lord, I have hated thee too long,
Prevail upon our youth And dar'd thee to thy face;
To seek, that they may likewise prove I've done my soul exceeding wrong
His mercy and his truth. In slighting all thy grace.
6 Like Simeon, we shall gladly go,* 6 Now I would break my league with death, When Jesus calls us home; And live to thee alone;
If they are left a seed below, Oh! let thy Spirit's seat of faith
To serve him in our room. Secure me for thine own.
7 Lord, hear our prayer, indulge our hope, 7 Let all the saints assembled here,
On these thy Spirit pour, Yea, let all heaven rejoice,
That they may take our story up, That I begin with this new year
When we can speak no more.
Travelling in Birth for Souls. Gal. iv. 19 Asking the way to Zion. Jer. 1. 5. 1 What contradictions meet 1 Zion, the city of our God,
In ministers employ!
It is a bitter sweet,
A sorrow full of joy:
* Luke ij 2