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Confessions Of An Inquiring Spirit Etc by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

A NIGHTLY PRAYER. 1831.

Almighty God, by thy eternal Word my Creator Redeemer and Preserver! who hast in thy free communicative goodness glorified me with the capability of knowing thee, the one only absolute Good, the eternal I Am, as the author of my being, and of desiring and seeking thee as its ultimate end; -- who, when I fell from thee into the mystery of the false and evil will, didst not abandon me, poor self-lost creature, but in thy condescending mercy didst provide an access and a return to thyself, even to thee the Holy One, in thine only begotten Son, the way and the truth from everlasting, and who took on himself humanity, yea, became flesh, even the man Christ Jesus, that for man he might be the life and the resurrection! -- O Giver of all good gifts, who art thyself the one only absolute Good, from whom I have received whatever good I have, whatever capability of good there is in me, and from thee good alone, -- from myself and my own corrupted will all evil and the consequents of evil, -- with inward prostration of will, mind, and affections I adore thy infinite majesty; I aspire to love thy transcendent goodness! -- In a deep sense of my unworthiness, and my unfitness to present myself before thee, of eyes too pure to behold iniquity, and whose light, the beautitude of spirits conformed to thy will, is a consuming fire to all vanity and corruption; -- but in the name of the Lord Jesus, of the dear Son of thy love, in whose perfect obedience thou deignest to behold as many as have received the seed of Christ into the body of this death; -- I offer this, my bounden nightly sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, in humble trust that the fragrance of my Saviour's righteousness may remove from it the taint of my mortal corruption. Thy mercies have followed me through all the hours and moments of my life; and now I lift up my heart in awe and thankfulness for the preservation of my life through the past day, for the alleviation of my bodily sufferings and languors, for the manifold comforts which thou hast reserved for me, yea, in thy fatherly compassion hast rescued from the wreck of my own sins or sinful infirmities; -- for the kind and affectionate friends thou hast raised up for me, especially for those of this household, for the mother and mistress of this family, whose love to me hath been great and faithful, and for the dear friend, the supporter and sharer of my studies and researches; but, above all, for the heavenly Friend, the crucified Saviour, the glorified Mediator, Christ Jesus, and for the heavenly Comforter, source of all abiding comforts, thy Holy Spirit! O grant me the aid of thy Spirit, that I may with a deeper faith, a more enkindled love, bless thee, who through thy Son hast privileged me to call thee Abba, Father! O, thou, who hast revealed thyself in thy holy word as a God that hearest prayer; before whose infinitude all differences cease of great and small; who like a tender parent foreknowest all our wants, yet listenest well-pleased to the humble petitions of thy children; who hast not alone permitted, but taught us; to call on thee in all our needs, -- earnestly I implore the continuance of thy free mercy, of thy protecting providence, through the coming night. Thou hearest every prayer offered to thee believingly with a penitent and sincere heart. For thou in withholding grantest, healest in inflicting the wound, yea, turnest all to good for as many as truly seek thee through Christ, the Mediator! Thy will be done! But if it be according to thy wise and righteous ordinances, O shield me this night from the assaults of disease, grant me refreshment of sleep unvexed by evil and distempered dreams; and if the purpose and aspiration of my heart be upright before thee, who alone knowest the heart of man, O in thy mercy vouchsafe me yet in this my decay of life an interval of ease and strength; if so (thy grace disposing and assisting) I may make compensation to thy Church for the unused talents thou hast entrusted to me, for the neglected opportunities which thy loving-kindness had provided. O let me be found a labourer in the vineyard, though of the late hour, when the Lord and Heir of the vintage, Christ Jesus, calleth for his servant.

Our Father, &c.

To thee, great omnipresent Spirit, whose mercy is over all thy works, who now beholdest me, who hearest me, who hast framed my heart to seek and to trust in thee, in the name of my Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, I humbly commit and commend my body, soul, and spirit.

Glory be to thee, O God!

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