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and that calls aloud upon us to own the goodness of God. The destroying angel, perhaps, has been abroad, and the arrow that flies at midnight, and wastes in darkness, has been shot in at others' windows, but our houses have been passed over. Thanks be to God for the blood of the covenant, sprinkled upon our door-posts; and for the ministration of the good angels about us, to which we owe it that we have been preserved from the malice of the evil angels against us, those rulers of the darkness of this world, who, perhaps, creep forth like the beasts of prey, when He makes darkness and it is dark. All the glory be to the God of the angels.

5. In the morning we have fresh matter ministered to us for the adoration of the greatness and glory of God. We ought to take notice, not only of the gifts of God's bounty to us, which we have the comfort and benefit of,—they are little narrow souls that confine their regards to them, but we ought to observe the more general instances of His wisdom and power in the kingdom of providence, which redound to His honour and the common good of the universe. The nineteenth Psalm seems to have been a morning meditation, in which we are directed to observe how "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament sheweth his handywork;" and to own not only the advantage we receive from their light and influence, but the honour they do to Him who stretched out the heavens like a curtain, fixed their pillars, and established their ordinances, according to which they continue to this day, for they are all His servants. "Day unto day utters this speech, and night unto night sheweth this knowledge;" even the eternal power and Godhead of the great Creator of the world, and its great Ruler. The regular and constant succession and revolution of light and darkness, according to the original contract made between them, that they should reign alternately, may serve to confirm our faith in that part of Divine revelation which gives us the history of the creation, and the promise of



God to Noah and his sons (Gen. viii. 22); His "covenant with the day and with the night" (Jer. xxxiii. 20).

Look up in the morning, and see how exactly the dayspring knows its place, knows its time, and keeps them how the morning light takes hold of the ends of the earth, and of the air, which is turned to it as clay to the seal, instantly receiving the impressions of it (Job xxxviii. 12-14). I was pleased with an expression of a worthy good minister I heard lately, in his thanksgivings to God for the mercies of the morning: "How many thousand miles," said he, "has the sun travelled this last night to bring the light of the morning to us poor sinful wretches, that justly might have been buried in the darkness of the night!" Look up and see the sun as a bridegroom richly dressed, and greatly pleased, coming out of his chamber and rejoicing as a strong man to run a race: observe how bright his beams are, how sweet his smiles, how strong his influences and, if there be no speech or language where their voice is not heard, the voice of these natural preachers, proclaiming the glory of God, it is pity there should be any speech or language where the voice of His worshippers should not be heard, echoing to the voice of those preachers, and ascribing glory to Him who thus makes the morning and evening to rejoice. But whatever others do, let Him hear our voice to this purpose in the morning, and in the morning let us direct our praises unto Him.

6. In the morning we have, or should have, had fresh thoughts of God, and sweet meditations on His name, and those we ought to offer up to Him in prayer. Have we been, according to David's example, "remembering God upon our beds, and meditating upon Him in the night-watches?" When we awake can we say as he did, "We are still with God?" If so, we have a good errand to the throne of grace by the words of our mouths, to offer up to God the meditations of our hearts, and it will be to Him a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour.

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If the heart has been inditing a good matter, let the tongue be as the pen of a ready writer, to pour it out before God (Ps. xlv. 1).

We have the Word of God to converse with, and we ought to read a portion of it every morning: by it God speaks to us, and in it we ought to meditate day and night, which if we do, that will send us to the throne of grace, and furnish us with many a good errand there. If God in the morning by His grace direct His Word to us, so as to make it reach our hearts, that will engage us to direct our prayer to Him.

7. In the morning, it is to be feared, we find cause to reflect upon many vain and sinful thoughts that have been in our minds in the night season; and upon that account it is necessary that we address ourselves to God by prayer in the morning, for the pardon of them. The Lord's prayer seems to be calculated primarily in the letter of it for the morning; for we are taught to pray "for our daily bread this day:" and yet we are then to pray, “Father, forgive us our trespasses;" for as in the hurry of the day we contract guilt by our irregular words and actions, so we do in the solitude of the night, by our corrupt imaginations, and the wanderings of an unsanctified, ungoverned fancy. It is certain, "the thought of foolishness is sin" (Prov. xxix. 9). Foolish thoughts are sinful thoughts; the first-born of the old man, the first beginnings of all sin; and how many of these vain thoughts lodge within us wherever we lodge? Their name is Legion, for they are many; who can understand these errors! They are more than the hairs of our head.

And dare we go abroad till we have renewed our repentance, which we are every night, as well as every day, thus making work for? Are we not concerned to confess to Him who knows our hearts, their wanderings from Him, to complain of them to Him as revolting and rebellious hearts, and bent to backslide; to make our peace with the blood of Christ, and to pray



that the thought of our heart may be forgiven us? We cannot with safety go into the business of the day under the guilt of any sin unrepented of, or unpardoned.

8. In the morning we are addressing ourselves to the work of the day, and therefore are concerned by prayer to seek unto God for His presence and blessing. We come, and are encouraged to come boldly, to the throne of grace, not only for mercy to pardon what has been amiss, but for grace to help in every time of need: and what time is it that is not a time of need with us? And, therefore, what morning should pass without morning prayer? We read of that which the duty of every day requires (Ezra iii. 4), and in reference to that we must go to God every morning to pray for the gracious disposal of His providence concerning us, and the gracious operations of His Spirit upon us.

We have families to look after, it may be, and to provide for, and are in care to do well for them; let us then every morning by prayer commit them to God, put them under the conduct and government of His grace, and then we effectually put them under the care and protection of His providence. Holy Job rose up early in the morning to offer burnt-offerings for his children, and we should do so to offer up prayers and supplications for them, according to the number of them all (Job i. 5). Thus we cause the blessing to rest on our houses.

We are going about the business of our callings perhaps ; let us look up to God in the first place, for wisdom and grace to manage them well, in the fear of God, and to abide with Him in them; and then we may in faith beg of Him to prosper and succeed us in them, to strengthen us for the services of them, to support us under the fatigues of them, to direct the designs of them, and to give us comfort in the gains of them. We have journeys to go, it may be; let us look up to God for His presence with us, and go no whither where we cannot in faith beg of God to go with us.

We have a prospect, perhaps, of opportunities of doing or getting good; let us look up to God for a heart to every price put into our hands-for skill, and will, and courage to improve it, that it may not be a price in the hand of a fool. Every day has its temptations too; some perhaps we foresee, but there may be many more that we think not of, and are therefore concerned to be earnest with God, that we may not be led into any temptation, but guarded against every one; that whatever company we come into, we may have wisdom to do good and no hurt to them, and to get good and no hurt by them.

We know not what a day may bring forth; little think in the morning what tidings we may hear, and what events may befall us before night; and should therefore beg of God grace to carry us through the duties and difficulties which we do not foresee, as well as those which we do; that, in order to our standing complete in all the will of God, as the day is, so the strength may be. We shall find, that sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof, and that, therefore, as it is folly to take thought for to-morrow's event, so it is wisdom to take thought for to-day's duty, that sufficient unto this day, and the duty of it, may be the supplies of the Divine grace, thoroughly to furnish us for every good word and work, and thoroughly to fortify us against every evil word and work; that we may not think, or speak, or do anything in all the day, which we may have cause upon any account to wish unthought, unspoke, and undone at night.

How to close the Day.

One rule for the closing of the day well is to keep good hours. "Every thing is beautiful in its season." I have heard it said long since, and I beg leave to repeat it now, that

"Early to bed, and early to rise,

Is the way to be healthy, and wealthy, and wise."

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