The Morning Watches— John MacDuff, 1852
“In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You — and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3
“That I may know Him.” — Phil. 3:10
Blessed Jesus! — Sun of my soul! — Light of my life! — Shine upon me this morning with the “brightness of Your rising.” May I enjoy this day union and communion with You. May a sense of Your favor pervade all its duties, sanctify its blessings, and lighten its trials. May it be to me the sweetest and holiest of all thoughts, that You are ever with me — that, though unseen to the eye of sense, the eye of faith can discern Your gracious presence and the manifestations of Your nearness and love. May the realized assurance, that You are thus at my side, dispel every misgiving, and dry every tear. May I hear You, even now, saying to me, “Lo, I am with you” — I am with you now — I shall be with you “always” — and when the world is ended “I will” that you “be with me where I am, that you may behold my glory!”
O adorable Savior, how sadly is Your beauty obscured from my view, by reason of my own sin! How feebly do I apprehend the mystery of Your love — the glories of Your person — the perfection of Your atonement! Hide me in the clefts of the rock, and while there, “I beseech You, show me Your glory.” May every fresh glimpse of “the great love with which You have loved me” rebuke the lukewarmness of my own. May I covet a closer walk with You. May my existence be one continued Emmaus journey — its hours passing joyfully by, because happy in the presence and converse of a risen Redeemer. Blessed Jesus, “abide with me,” for the day is “far spent.” Let me walk with You in newness of life. May I breathe Your spirit of holy submission — of cheerful obedience — of patience under injuries. May I not repine at bearing the cross, so meekly borne for me; nor murmur at my trials, when I think of Yours. May I be enabled to make every lineament of Your spotless character my daily study, so as gradually to be transformed into the same image, from glory to glory — looking forward to that blessed time when I shall see You without one stain of remaining sin to dim the contemplation, and when I shall be permitted to bathe in the ocean of Your eternal love.
I thank You for the mercies of the past night. Allow me to consider every new day a fresh gift of Your dying grace — to regard all its hours as redeemed hours — every moment as “bought with a price.” May these days, and hours, and moments, thus stamped with the cross, be consecrated more than ever to Your praise.
Again I beseech You, “abide with me.” “Where You go I will go, and where You dwell I will dwell.” Abide with me from morning to evening, and from evening to morning again. “Without You I cannot live” — “without You I dare not die.” Living or dying, Lord, I would seek to be Yours.
Forgive all my many sins, and when the feeble glimpses of a feeble love on earth are at an end, bring me at last to enjoy brighter views of You in glory everlasting. Amen.
“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in You. Show me the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.” Psalm 143:8