Almighty God, do thou teach us that thou hast thyself appointed the bounds of our habitation. Show us that there is nothing that thou dost not know, and if we be obedient unto thee there is nothing that thou wilt not appoint for us. Thou sayest, this is your house and, this is not your habitation;—this is the way, walk ye in it and, this is not the way, avoid it. May we hear thy voice, and obey it with all diligence and love. Not a sparrow falleth to the ground without our Father; the very hairs of our head are all numbered; he will not suffer any of our steps to slide. Oh, that we had hearkened unto his law and kept all his statutes! Then had we never wandered, but our road had led straight into heaven’s own city. We have done the things we ought not to have done, we have left undone the things we ought to have done; we can but bow our heads and rend our hearts, and cry, God be merciful unto us sinners! Thou hast made all things contribute to our growth, if we so use them; even the devil himself may be made an instrument of God; if we resist the devil he will flee from us; if we answer him in thine own words he cannot return to us with any deadly effect. Thou dost train us by perils, difficulties, trials of every name and every degree; may we not repine, and resent, and moan over these, but accept them as part of our education, as signs of thy providential reign; and may we answer all the appeals of heaven with glowing love, so that thy statutes shall become our songs in the house of our pilgrimage. Thou hast shown some men great and sore affliction; say to them in their heart-break and darkness and blinding sorrow, Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth, and thus may scourging be made a means of grace, may loss be made the beginning of gain. All these things thou wilt teach us in the school of Christ, the blessed Christ, the dying, rising, interceding Christ, who made all things, without whom nothing was made that is made, Lord of all, because Saviour of all, may we find our rest in Christ’s Cross; may we find the answer to sin in the atonement of the Son of God. Without inventions of our own may we accept the sanctuary of thy purpose and sovereignty and love, and be at rest in the heart of Christ. Stop us in all evil ways; may a lion meet us at every turn and affright us until we come back again to the line of duty and righteousness. When the enemy is strong upon us, may thy grace abound over all his pleading. When we are tempted to despair and to say that heaven is empty and God has gone, then shine upon us with a light above the brightness of the sun. Amen.