Almighty God, we come to thee through Jesus Christ, our only Saviour, for he alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and there is none other: he is sent of God to bring us unto the Father, and no man cometh unto Christ except the Father draw him. Herein are wonderful mysteries, which we cannot penetrate, but where we cannot understand we fall down and adore. What are we that we should know aught? We are of yesterday and know nothing: our breath is in our nostrils, and whilst we talk of life, behold we are thrown down and are dead men. It well becometh us, therefore, to hold our peace in thy house, and to listen attentively, with the whole hearing of our heart, lest we miss any tone of thy gracious and living voice. Jesus Christ our Saviour loved us: he gave himself for us; his head, his hands, his heart, his feet, his side, bled for us: it was holy blood—the blood of atonement. Thou art always careful of us, as if we were worth much in thy sight. We cannot understand thy care. We could understand thy crushing us because of the provocation of our sins, but why thou shouldst save us and spare us and love us and mightily redeem us with blood, every day in the year, lo, this is a mystery of love which baffles our mind. Deep is thy design, gracious is thy purpose, immeasurable is thine intent, unknown in its beginning and uncomprehended in its issues—it is enough for us to know that thou doest all things in wisdom and in love. Today is the battle, and tomorrow the mystery, and on the third day dost thou perfect the issue. Help us to fight, to wait, to worship, to suffer, to endure with noble courage and unmurmuring patience, knowing that the end will come as a great surprise of hidden love, a revelation of infinite tenderness. We bless thee for thy word; it is good reading in sandy places, and in wildernesses full of stones and wild beasts: it makes the very wind, when loudest and coldest, music in our hearing. It shows us where the tree is, the branches of which will sweeten the bitter pool; it is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Help us to understand it by our modesty, humility, self-renunciation, utter, child-like, unquestioning trust. Thou dost speak wonderful things to the child-heart—may ours evermore be such. Save us from our own imaginings, deliver us from the temptations of our own sagacity and learning, and help us in all simpleness, with complete trust and love of heart, and with the openness of soul which receives all heaven’s gifts, to wait upon the Lord, yea, to wait patiently for him. Every heart has its own story—of joy, of sorrow, of baffled hope, of dead ambitions, of frustrated purposes and trusts—send a gospel to each soul, that none may feel itself left out on the day of benediction and rest. Speak comfortably unto Jerusalem: send thine angel to cry unto her that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, yea, let this be the day of jubilee, when silver trumpets shall announce the glad reprieve, the great and universal amnesty and release. Give us a nail in thy sanctuary, give us a standing on the threshold of thy house, bring us quite within the sacred enclosure of the holy temple, and give us rest and peace within its hallowed defences. Amen.