Almighty God, we come to thee in the name of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Saviour, and not ours only, but the Saviour of the whole world, who by his precious blood answered all the accusation of thy law. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life, and there is none other, and we now accept him as thy gift, the very utterance and expression of thine own infinite love. We rejoice to know that there is one God and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus; we come therefore to thee, through him alone: in him is our worthiness, in him is our strength, and if we are dumb before thee, it is that he himself may pray for us. We thank thee that we still have an interest in the affairs of thy kingdom. Time doth not charm us, and all the earth with its fulness and all the sea with its music cannot content us. We declare plainly that we seek a country; our eyes are lifted up, and we seek a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Thou hast stirred us by a Divine ambition, thou art moving us by heavenly impulses, the unrest which disturbs our heart is itself a blessing, calling upon us to arise and work and serve and wait and suffer until the end, which is full of light, shall come. Wherein we have done wrong in thy sight do thou now exercise thy mercy, that the miracle of thy forgiveness may exceed the marvel of our guilt. Thou hast an answer to us in Christ Jesus: he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. Lo, this is thy gospel, to our heart when it smites itself with accusation, and to our conscience when it rises threateningly and demands our life. Help us to find rest in Christ, refuge in the cross, and peace in the holy blood—then let thy word dwell in us richly as a new life and a new light, the very glory of Heaven, the very peace of God. So shall we have an answer to every tempter, a refuge in the time of every tempest, and our peace shall be complete, because it is of the nature of the tranquillity of God. Help us to use our time well: may no talent be wrapped up and laid aside, may we be living at every point of our character, yea, may there be no death in us at all; even now may we lay hold upon our immortality and bring to bear upon the things of the dying day the power of an endless life. Where there is sorrow of heart this day, surprise the sorrowful with new joys: where there is a sense of blankness and emptiness because of the visitations of thy bereaving providence, do thou fill up such blankness with thy presence more fully than ever thou hast yet done. When the tears are in the eyes and the sob is suppressed in the heart, bring thy gospel in all its tender solaces and infinite consolations to bear upon the bruised and heavy laden. Interpret unto us the meaning of the grave that is dug under our own hearthstone—show us why death is a continual guest at our table, and do thou thus interpret unto us the mystery of life and give unto us the piety which sees the bright view, the far and celestial outlook, that anticipates the resurrection, the utter and lasting destruction of death. Then shall our voices mingle with the sweet hymn in thy house that gives thee praise for all thy dispensation, and the psalm that adores thee shall have in it the utterance of our love.