The Valley of Vision: Divine Mercies

The Biblical truth that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change,” (James 1:17) makes our sins more heinous than we could ever understand, yet makes God’s mercy and grace more glorious still! The following Puritan prayer from The Valley of Vision is a reminder to us of God’s blessing, our sin, and the wonderful truth that “His beauty covers my deformities.”

THOU ETERNAL GOD,

Thine is surpassing greatness, unspeakable
goodness, super-abundant grace;
I can as soon count the sands of ocean’s ‘lip’
as number thy favours towards me; I know but a part, but that part exceeds all praise.
I thank thee for personal mercies,
a measure of health, preservation of body,
comforts of house and home, sufficiency of food
and clothing,
continuance of mental powers,
my family, their mutual help and support,
the delights of domestic harmony and peace,
the seats now filled that might have been vacant,
my country, church, Bible, faith.

But, O, how I mourn my sin, ingratitude, vileness,
the days that add to my guilt,
the scenes that witness my offending tongue;

All things in heaven, earth, around, within, without,
condemn me—
the sun which sees my misdeeds,
the darkness which is light to thee,
the cruel accuser who justly charges me,
the good angels who have been provoked to leave me,
thy countenance which scans my secret sins,
thy righteous law, thy holy Word,
my sin-soiled conscience, my private and public life,
my neighbours, myself—
all write dark things against me.
I deny them not, frame no excuse, but confess,
‘Father, I have sinned’;

Yet still I live, and fly repenting to thy outstretched arms;
thou wilt not cast me off, for Jesus brings me near,
thou wilt not condemn me, for he died in my stead,
thou wilt not mark my mountains of sin,
for he leveled all,
and his beauty covers my deformities.

O my God, I bid farewell to sin
by clinging to his cross,
hiding in his wounds,
and sheltering in his side.

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3 Comments

  1. Karen said,

    March 6, 2012 at 11:45 PM

    Love the Valley of Vision–is there any way of finding out the individual author’s name of each piece?

    Karen

    • cliftonr said,

      March 7, 2012 at 7:07 AM

      I have never seen individual authors listed for the prayers anywhere. I sure do love the book though.

      • Karen said,

        March 7, 2012 at 7:19 AM

        Thanks, anyway. One of those things we’ll find out when we get to heaven! 🙂


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