Almighty God, we know that thy word is truth, and that the entrance in of thy word doth give light to every heart. There is no light without thy word, nor is there any truth. We humbly pray thee to send upon us the glory of thy revelation, that seeing the light from heaven we may not mistake the things that are upon the earth. We humbly pray thee to give us a right sense of all the things that are round about us; we mistake the small for the great and the near for the precious, and we know not where we are nor what we look at but as thy spirit dwelleth in us, giving us the right vision and the right sense of all things. Show us the glory of the Lord, so far as our eyes may be able to bear the great light; wherein our vision fails to look upon the glory, show unto our eyes all the goodness of God. Make thy goodness pass before us, thy gentle acts, long-suffering patience, thine all-hopeful love concerning men who have smitten thee in the face, and wounded sorely thy very heart. Thus beholding thy goodness, may we be prepared for the revelation of thy glory, when thou dost call us into the other and higher state.
Thy care of us has been very tender; thou hast dried our tears with a soft hand, thou hast spoken to our hearts in a voice that did not smite them as with thunder, but that fell with the graciousness of the early and the latter rain. Thou hast been mindful of our weakness; wherein thou hast brought thine omnipotence to bear upon our feebleness, thou hast repeated the greatest of thy miracles. Thou hast spread our table in the wilderness, and found water for us in sandy and barren places; thou hast put laughter into our mouth suddenly, when our life was woebegone and the grave was yawning at our feet. Mighty have been our deliverances—thou hast taken the prey from strong hands and thou hast broken down men of great power. Thou hast delivered us and redeemed us and magnified thy name and thy grace in our life, therefore are we here to-day, this Easter morn, with a new hymn and a glowing psalm, yea, with a loud sweet anthem to bless the great and mighty hand of God and the infinite heart of his immeasurable love.
Hear thou the prayer thy servants pray; listen to the sighing of the sad, the wounded spirit; give peace where there has long been unrest or fierce tumult or great dejection; grant a divine deliverance to those who have been long bound in darkness they could not penetrate; and upon us all send some Easter blessing, some resurrectional glance of infinite glory that shall awaken our best hopes and revive our forgotten recollections, and rekindle the enthusiasm of our early love. Thou didst call us out of darkness into thy marvellous light, thou didst give unto our hearts resurrection through the cross and sacrifice of our dearly-beloved and only Saviour. Wherein we have forgotten these marvels of thy grace, do thou now revive their tenderest recollection, so that every heart may bless thee with a new delight, with a high satisfaction, and with an ennobled infinite hope.
We put our lives into thine hands, we would not take care of ourselves, or surely our protection would be vanity. We therefore ask thee to take us, body, soul, and spirit, into thine own keeping: watch the door of our heart, keep the source of our thoughts, and sanctify the very spring of our will and all the actions in which it expresses itself, and may we be found at last, through the blood of the Lamb, without a spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, worthy of his own beauty, worthy of his own comeliness.
The Lord send a light upon his word whensoever we read it, that we may behold its true meaning, and may not fall into the dejection of those who understand nothing but the letter. Show us that the letter is the goblet which holds the wine, and may we drink of the wine of thy wisdom and thy love, and be refreshed and inspired by it every day.
The Lord look upon us at this time of the year, with all the hopefulness of spring breathing around us, with many a sign of returning life. Thou art re-writing thy promises in every opening flower and every promising bud: behold in this revolution of the year do we see the re-writing of some of thy tenderest words. May there be spring in our heart, a vernal breeze in the soul, a gracious and hopeful light shining upon the whole breadth of our life, and in due time may we bring forth fruit unto God which shall please the Most High and gladden him who planted the vine.
We beseech thee to direct us in all the way that we should take, in view of our great responsibilities and opportunities. Enable us to see the measure of our life, and to understand the brevity of our day, and, with all the wakefulness of heart, and industry of hand, and vigilance of mind, may we be about our Father’s business, and be found at last as they that wait for their Lord. Regard the family, spare the father, the mother, and all the children, kindle the fire on the cold day, spread the table to meet returning hunger, and make the bed of the afflicted, and bless its pillow with the touch of thine own hand. Regard those who are engaged in business, and help them to do their work every day with an honourable spirit and a religious pur pose, and may their bread be sweet and satisfying because of the honesty through which it is procured. Bless thy servants in basket and in store, and may there be no reason for bitter anxiety because of the bread that perisheth.
Direct the nation in all the crises of its history, inspire the minds of men by thy Holy Spirit—do thou rule the raging of the seas and make the waters calm; walk thou upon every sea that has been disturbed, and breathe thy blessing upon all thy people. God save the Queen, add many unto the days of her life, establish her throne in righteousness, and clothe her reign with prosperity.
And now let us seek for a blessing coming to every heart, a consciousness of sin forgiven through the blood of the Lamb, and a happy delight in the possession of the Holy Spirit, whose it is to sanctify and to make pure with the holiness of God. Amen.