Saturday, March 07, 2020

Saturday Synaxis

Philip Doddridge, 18th-century Congregationalist minister, expressing in prayer the hope of a Christian author upon the writing of a new book (a sentiment that oft has echoed in my own heart):

Let not my Lord be angry, if I presume to ask, that, however weak and contemptible this work may seem in the eyes of the children of this world, and however imperfect it really be, as well as the author of it unworthy, it may nevertheless live before thee; and, through a divine power, be mighty to produce the rise and progress of religion in the minds of multitudes in distant places, and in generations yet to come! Impute it not, O God, as a culpable ambition, if I desire, that whatever becomes of my name, about which I would not lose one thought before thee, this work to which I am now applying myself in thy strength, may be completed and propagated far abroad; that it may reach to those that are yet unborn, and teach them thy name and thy praise, when the author has long dwelt in the dust: that so when he shall appear before thee in the great day of final account, his joy may be increased, and his crown brightened, by numbers before unknown to each other, and to him! but if this petition be too great to be granted to one, who pretends no claim, but thy sovereign grace, to hope for being favored with the least, give him to be, in thine Almighty hand, the blessed instrument of converting and saving one soul: and if it be but one, and that the weakest and meanest of those who are capable of receiving this address, it shall be most thankfully accepted as a rich recompense for all the thought and labor it may cost, and though it should be amidst a thousand disappointments with respect to others, yet it shall be the subject of immortal songs of praise to thee, O blessed God!