The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Philip Doddridge's Prayer of Consecration

I would introduce here a short passage from Dr. Doddridge in "Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul", chap. xvii: —

"I would further advise and urge," he says, "speaking on the matter of making an entire consecration of ourselves to God, "that this DEDICATION should be made with all possible solemnity. Do it in express words. And perhaps it may be in many cases most expedient, as many pious Divines have recommended, to do it in writing. Set your hand and seal to it, that on such a day of such a month, and year and at such a place, on full consideration, and serious reflection, you came to this happy resolution, that whatever others might do, you would serve the Lord."

In connection with some further remarks of this kind he gives two forms of consecration, of which the following is an abridgment, with the addition of a few words in brackets, which seemed to be necessary to complete the sense.

Form of consecration, abridged from Dr. Doddridge.

Eternal and ever blessed God! I desire to present myself before Thee with the deepest humiliation and abasement of soul, sensible how unworthy such a sinful worm is, to appear before the Holy Majesty of heaven, and to enter into a Covenant transaction with Thee. I come acknowledging myself to have been a great offender; smiting on my breast and saying with the humble publican, God be merciful to me a sinner. I come invited in the name of thy Son, and wholly trusting in his perfect righteousness; intreating that, for his sake, Thou wilt be merciful to my unrighteousness, and wilt no more remember my sins.

Permit me, O Lord, to bring back unto Thee those powers and faculties, which I have ungratefully and sacrilegiously alienated from thy service: And receive, I beseech Thee, thy poor revolted creature, who is now convinced of thy right to him, and desires nothing in the world so much as to be Thine. It is with the utmost solemnity, that I make this surrender of myself unto Thee. I avouch the Lord this day to be my God; and I avouch and declare myself this day to be one of his Covenant children and people. Hear, O Thou God of heaven, and record it in the book of thy remembrance, that I am thine, ENTIRELY THINE. I would not merely consecrate to Thee some of my powers, or some of my possessions, or give Thee a certain portion of my services, or all I am capable of for a limited time; [but I give myself to Thee and promise, relying upon thy divine assistance, ] to be wholly thine and thine forever.

From this day do I solemnly renounce all the former Lords, which have had dominion over me, every sin and every lust, and in thy name set myself in eternal opposition to the powers of Hell, which have most unjustly usurped the empire over my soul, and to all the corruptions, which their fatal temptations have introduced into it. The whole frame of my nature, all the faculties of my mind and all the members of my body would I present before Thee this day, as a living sacrifice HOLY and ACCEPTABLE to God, which I know to be my most reasonable service. [To thee I consecrate not only my person and powers,] but all my worldly possessions; and earnestly pray Thee also to give me strength and courage to exert for thy glory all the influence I may have over others in the relations of life, in which I stand.

Nor do I only consecrate all that I am and have to do thy service; but I also most humbly resign and submit myself and all that I can call mine, [to endure and suffer at thy hand whatsoever thou mayst see fit to impose upon me in the dispensations] of thy holy and sovereign will. I leave, O Lord, to thy management and direction all I possess and all I wish; and set every enjoyment and every interest before Thee, to be disposed of as thou pleasest; contentedly resolving, in all that thou appointest for me, my will into Thine, and looking on myself as NOTHING, and on Thee, O God, as the great, Eternal All, whose word ought to determine every thing; and whose government ought to be the joy of the whole rational creation.

Receive, O heavenly Father, thy returning prodigal! Wash me in the blood of thy dear Son! Clothe me with thy perfect righteousness; and sanctify me throughout by the power of thy Spirit. And O Lord, when thou seest the agonies of dissolving nature upon me, remember this Covenant, even though I should then be incapable of recollecting it, and look with pitying eye upon thy dying child. Put strength and confidence into my departing spirit; and receive it to the embraces of thine everlasting love.

— edited from The Interior or Hidden Life (2nd edition 1844) part 1, Chapter 4.

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