SPRING ~ 174 Years Ago
“O Thou who art most High, whose glory is in all the earth. Thou changest the times and the seasons; Thou makest the seven stars and Orion, and turnest the shadow of death into the morning. We recognise Thy hand in all the changes that pass over our earth, and rejoice in the goodness by which the return of the vernal season is marked.
Sterility and death have reigned in the world of vegetation, and would have continued to reign till man and beast had perished, but for Thy faithfulness in renewing the face of the earth. We thank Thee for the lengthened day, for the cheerful light, and for the balmy air; and rejoice that we can see and taste Thy bounties, and praise Thee with joyful lips.
Thou crownest the year with Thy goodness, and all creatures drink of the everflowing stream. Lo, the winter is past; the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in the land.
The hills rejoice, the trees clap their hands, and the spices of the gardens flow out. All things around and above us are full of Thy glory. Thou art the light and life of the creation. The smile of day is an emanation of Thy goodness, and the gleam of night is a reflection caught from Thy throne.
All Thy works praise Thee, and all Thy saints bless Thee, while they wonder at Thy power, and rejoice in Thy bounty. Thou hast been favourable to our land; continue to be gracious, at the voice of our cry. Let Thy paths drop fatness, as the earth is made soft with showers.
Bless the springing of the corn, that our garners may be full, affording all manner of store, so that there be no complaining in our streets, while we know the happiness of the people whose God is the Lord. And as Thou art renewing the face of nature, O revive Thy work in the church! Make Thy people and the places round about Thy hill a blessing; cause the shower to come down in its season; let there be showers of blessing.
May the wilderness and the solitary place be glad for them, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose. As the earth bringeth forth its bud, and causeth the things which are sown in it to grow, so do Thou cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations. Grant, O Lord, that we may individually be renewed in the spirit of our minds. Let Thy word sink into our hearts, and, visited with a dew from the Lord, may it spring up, and bear fruit thirty, sixty, and a hundred fold.
May our spirits, once so wild and unproductive of good, be as a field which the Lord hath blessed. While conscious of our dependence on Thee for fruitfulness and grace, instruct us, by the season passing over us, in the duty of diligence. May we employ life as the spring time of our existence, and remembering that as we sow we shall reap, may we sow to the spirit, and of the spirit reap life everlasting.
Help us carefully to root out the weeds of worldly care and pleasure, which would choke the growth of Thy truth in us. Let the principle of spiritual life be unfolded in our minds, and may we revive as the corn, grow as the vine, and flourish as the cedars of Lebanon.
To Thee, as to the God of nature and of grace, we offer our thanksgivings, and present our supplications, for that divine influence which Thou hast promised, through Him who is our great High Priest, consecrated for evermore, and ministering continually in the true sanctuary. To Him be glory. Amen.”—The Domestic Prayer Book; Morning & Evening Prayers; By Rev. George Smith (1803-1870) the first Minister of Trinity Chapel, Poplar, London; 1844. *Trinity Chapel was destroyed by bombs during WW2. (1841-1944)