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
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me.” — Psalm 138:7
Most blessed Lord, who have again permitted me to approach a throne of grace, shine this day into my heart. Anew may I enter on another day’s duties and trials, with a soul calm and peaceful amid all other disquietudes, by being at peace with You.
I bless You that I can ever “sing of mercy” as well as of “judgment.” Your dealings might have been all in unmixed wrath, but the severest of them are tempered with gracious love. Oh that they may have their designed effect of driving me to the only true rest for the soul, in the bosom of its God! May the breaking of cistern by cistern only endear to me the more the great Fountain-head.
How often do You send tribulations, that Your people may see more of Your gracious hand! How often, when the waters are troubled, do we recognize the presence of the great Covenant-angel himself, and experience the plenitude of His upholding grace and mercy! Lord, my earnest prayer is, that every trial may serve to unfold to me more of the preciousness of Jesus. As prop by prop, which used to support me on earth, may be giving way, may I know what it is to lean my whole weight upon Him, and leave my whole case with Him, repairing to Him as the friend that “sticks closer than any brother” — into His sympathizing bosom to confide my every need — from His inexhaustible treasury to draw every consolation — and on His upholding arm confidingly and habitually to rest.
What, O blessed Savior, are my troubles to Yours! What are my bitterest tears and most aching heart in comparison with what You so freely endured for me! May the remembrance of this Your fellowship in my suffering, and my fellowship in Yours, reconcile me patiently to endure whatever You see fit to lay upon me. Give me grace ever to see that my bitterest trial is my sin, that my heaviest cross is the cross of my wandering treacherous heart. When I think of that blessed time when God shall terminate the tears of a weeping world, may this be my loftiest ground of rejoicing — that there will be then no more sin to cause them.
Humbly I would lie at my Savior’s feet, disowning all trust except in Him — exulting in His finished work, and meritorious righteousness, and all-prevalent intercession. I rejoice to think of the redeemed multitude before His throne, “whom no man can number,” and to feel that His ability and willingness “to save unto the uttermost” are still the same.
Command, O Lord, Your richest blessing this day on all whom I love. May all my relatives be related to You in the common bonds of the gospel. Though separated by distance from each other on life’s highway, may we enjoy the consolation that we are all treading the same invisible road Zionward — that earth’s dearest and tenderest ties will, at the end of the checkered journey, be strengthened and perpetuated in the full vision and fruition of You our God.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus, and the love of God, and the fellowship and communion of the Holy Spirit, be with me this day and ever. 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