Henry Thornton.

Family prayers ; and, Prayers on the Ten Commandments, etc., to which is added a family commentary upon the Sermon on the mount online

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Online LibraryHenry ThorntonFamily prayers ; and, Prayers on the Ten Commandments, etc., to which is added a family commentary upon the Sermon on the mount → online text (page 1 of 24)
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S H E L D O X A X D C O M P A X Y.


18 6 0. "^





n 1910 L

Entered, according to Act of Coneress, in tbe year 1836, by


In the Clerk's Office of the District Court for the Southern District of New York.


The present Volume contains two works, which have
been separately published in England ; the Family
Commentary upon the Sermon on the Mount having
appeared there, about a year after the first edition of
the Family Prayers. The arrangement now adopted
will, it is thought, be found convenient for domestic
worship ; as combining within the same volume a
Manual of prayer, and portions of scriptural exposition
for reading.

It may seem presumptuous in the Editor to say any
thing by way of introduction, to productions bearing on
their title-page the name of Thornton ; — a name, fa
miliar not to England only, but to the world ; and indis
solubly associated with our thoughts of whatever is
enlarged in Christian beneficence, sound in religious
viev/s, and beautiful in consistency of daily practice
He will take the liberty, however, of simply saying, in
regard to the Family Prayers, that, without at all de
tracting from the merit of other works of the same
description, they appear to him to preserve, in a re-
markable degree, the difficult and happy medium be-
tween verboseness on the one hand, and a cold concise


ness on ths other. It is believed that none can use
them, without feeling that they impart a spirit of grati-
tude and self-humiliation. They are what prayers
should be, — fervent, and yet perfectly simple.

He would beg the indulgence of saying also, that he
has seldom read any work of a purely practical char
acter, with more delight and instruction, than the Com-
mentary upon the Sermon on the Mount. It is remark-
able throughout for the profound insight into human
nature which it manifests : for its clear exhibition of the
fundamental truths of the gospel : and for the faithful-
ness, honesty, and, at the same time, the true refine-
ment and dignity, of the language in which its instruc-
tions are conveyed.

The Editor cannot but indulge the confident belief,
that the. publication of these two works, in this united
form, will be a rich spiritual benefit to the community
May God graciously add his blessing !


New York, Decern fn, 1836.


The foUov/ing Prayers were prepared by the late Mr.
Henry Thornton, for the use of his own family. Many
of those, who, in his lifetime, were admitted to hear them
in that circle, and many of those, who have heard them
since, within the same walls, have expressed a wish, that
the benefit, there enjoyed, might be more widely extended
Copies were, therefore, sometimes given : and from one of
these, carried to a distant dependency of the empire, an
imperfect edition was printed. From that time, perhaps,
all delicacy with respect to the publication of an authorized
edition was removed.

Those, who are familiar with other manuals of devotion,
may here occasionally find passages which are not new to
them ; and may, indeed, recognise two* entire prayers,
which, as specimens of family devotion, have already been
published in another work, to which they were contributed,
anonymously, by Mr. Henry Thornton. His object was
not human praise : giving thus to the work of another, — or
borrowing, here and there, a phrase or a sentence from elder
divines to enrich his own collection of prayers, — his single
airn was to promote the glory of God in the edification of
His people ; providing, by these prayers, in the first place,
for the household which Providence had united around him ;
and endeavouring, in the second place, by the specimens
of family prayers which have been already mentioned, to
excite in others a taste for domestic worship, and to furnish
some aid to them in its exercise.

* The first draughts of two or three others were contrilutec in the
•ame manner to another work.



The world will be wiser and better, and therefore happier,
in proportion as it shall imbibe the spirit of the life and of
the prayero of Mr. Henry Thornton. Admirable as havtj
been the examples of excellence which the present gener-
ation has been permitted to witness, there has not been
perhaps one individual, in the whole number, who mani-
fested in a more striking manner that combination of qual-
ities, which constitutes Christian consistency. His piety
was fervent, and yet sober ; his liberality was magnificent,
and yet discriminating ; his charity was large, and yet not
latitudinarian ; his self-denial was rigorous, yet unobtrusive.
At one time, there was some hope, that these principles —
as embodied, by the grace of God, in his habitual conduct
— might have been exhibited to the world by the hand of
his dearest and most intimate friend : a life of Henry
Thornton, by William Wilberforce, would, indeed,
have been a legacy of wisdom and piety, which would have
enriched many generations. This hope, long cherished, is
now finally lost : and the character of Mr. Henry Thornton
must, perhaps, be left to be collected from his works ; — his
original and intellectual powers, from his Essay on Paper
Credit, (the publication of which, as Dr. Miller observed in
his Philosophy of History, forms an epoch in the history
of the science to which it belongs ;) — his views of religion,
from the prayers now published, — and from some practical
Commentaries on the Old and New Testament, portions of
which (complete, though not intended for publication) are
now in the press. These, indeed, liko the present volume,
he drew up for the use of his own family : but it is hoped,
that boih the Prayers and the Commentaries, while they
contribute to illustrate the character of their author, (an ob-
ject which he certainly never corUemplated,) will, also, by
the Divine blessing, promote, after his death, the great
designs of his life, — the good of his fellow-creatures, and
the glory of God.

R. H I.




First Morning 11

Secoml Morning • 13

Tliird Morning 16

Fourth Morning 18

Fifth Morning 21

Sixth Morning 23

Seventh Morning 25

Eighth Morning 27

Ninth Morning 29

Tenth Morning 31

Eleventh Morning 33

Twelfth Morning 35

Thirteenth Morning 37

Fourteenth Morning 39

Fifteenth Morning 42

Sixteenth Morning 44

Seventeenth Morning 47

Eighteenth Morning 49

Nineteenth Morning 51

Twentieth Morning 53

Twenty-first Morning 55

Twenty-second Morning 57

Twenty-third Morning 60

Twenty- fourth Morning 62

Twenty-fifth Morning 64

Twenty-sixth Morning 67

Twenty-seventh Morning '^

Twenty- eighth Morning 73


First Sunday Morning 75

Second Sunday Morning 78

Third Sunday Morning 81

Fourth Sunday Morning 83

Fifth Sundav Morning 98




First Sunday Evening 89

Second Sunday Evening 92

Third Sunday Evening 36

Fourth Sunday Evening 99

Fifth Sunday Evening 102


First Evening 105

Second Evening 107

Third Evening 109

Fourth Evening Ill

Fifth Evening lU

Sixth Evening 116

Seventh Evening 119

Eighth Evening 122

Ninth Evening 124

Tenth Evening 126

Eleventh Evening 128

Twelfth Evening 130

Thirteenth Evening 132

Fourteenth Evening 134

Fifteenth Evening 136

Sixteenth Evening 139

Seventeenth Evening 141

Eighteenth Evening 143

Nineteenth Evening 145

Twentieth Evening 147

Twenty-first Evening 149

Twenty-second Evening .• 152

Twenty-third Evening 164


First Saturday Evening 156

Second Saturday Evening 159

Third Saturday Evening 161

Fourth Saturday Evening 163

Fifth Saturday Evening 166


OUR FATHER, who art in heaven, Hallowed be
Thy name ; Thy kingdom come ; Thy will be done on
earth, as it is in heaven : Give us this day our daily
bread ; And forgive us our trespasses, as we lorgivc
those who trespass against us ; And lead us not into
temptation ; But deliver us from evil : For thine is the
kingdom, and the power, and the glory, For ever and
ever. Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love
of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with
us all, evermore. Amen.



O Lord, God Almighty, who art the Creator and the
Governor of the world, and hast abundantly provided for
the various wants of Thy creatures ; who hast ordered
the day and the night to succeed each other, and when
Thou hast refreshed man with sleep, requirest him to
pursue his work until the evening ; who hast also or-
dained that he shall be born to trouble, and hast ap-
pointed the grave to be the end of all living ; We thank
Thee, that, while Thou hast thus placed our lot in this
life, Thou hast not left us without hope in that world
which is to come. We adore Thee for the gift of Jesus
Christ Thy Son, by whose Gospel life and immortal-
ity are brought to light, and we are fully instructed in
all those things which concern our salvation. We bless
Thee for the pardon of sin, through faith in a Redeemer ;
for the guidance of Thy providence ; and for the con-
solations of Thy Spirit. We thank Thee for Thy holy
sabbaths ; for Thy written word ; and for aU the other
means of grace, which Thou hast entrusted to us.

Grant, we beseech Thee, that we may this day pur-
sue, with fidelity and diligence, that work which Thou
hast assigned to us ; and that we may, at the. same time


maintain a spiritual and heavenly mind. In the midst
of life we are in death ; O let us remember this awful
truth ; and let us live this day as we shall wish that we
had done, if it should, indeed, prove our last. Save us
from the sins to which we are most prone. Leave us
not to the natural dispositions of our own minds, which
are ever inclming us to evil ; but put Thy Spirit within
us , and teach us to cultivate every Christian temper,
and to abound in every good work. Strengthen oui
faith in the glorious promises of the Gospel ; and fill us
with that joy and peace m believing, which shall be
more than a compensation for all the temporal sacrifices
to which we may be called. Dispose us to bear afflic-
tion with a patient and quiet mind ; or, if Thou shouldest
continue to us prosperity, to be ever watchful over our-
selves, and moderate in our enjoyments ; and let us
impart freely to others the good gifts which Thou show-
erest down upon us. Inspire us with zeal in the fulfil
ment of our relative duties ; with integrity in our deal-
ings ; and the spirit of kindness to all men. Let us
continually examine ourselves ; and, advancing in self-
knowledge, let us prevail over our several infirmities.
Let us grow in grace, and in all goodness, and in meet-
ness for Thy heavenly kingdom.

We pray for Thy blessing on all our friends and
relations : may they also be filled with the knowledge
of Thy will, in all wisdom and spiritual understanding ;
and may we, and they, be of one heart, and one mind,
loving each other as brethren in Christ, and uniting our
endeavours to promote both the good of all men and
Thv glory* : . ;


Have mercy on the poor and the afflicted — strengthen
the weak — succour the tempted — and guide the igno
rant into the way of knowledge.

Bless the rising generation ; save them from the dan.
gers of this evil world ; sanctify to them the events
which shall befal them ; make them instruments in
Thy hand for the advancement of the interests of Thy
Church on earth, and members of Thy blessed family
in heaven.

We offer these our humble and imperfect prayers in
the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour.

Our Father,

Online LibraryHenry ThorntonFamily prayers ; and, Prayers on the Ten Commandments, etc., to which is added a family commentary upon the Sermon on the mount → online text (page 1 of 24)