John Frederick Stark's
Days of Rejoicing And Of Sorrow
Exhortations, Prayers, and Hymns, for use,
1)In Health. 2) In sickness.
3) In Trouble, 4) In Dying Hour.
With various festival exercises and many beautiful
Penances, Shrifts, Collects,
Prayers for good weather, Morning and Evening Prayers And Service for Every Day of the Week, as also Prayers in time of War, of Death, of Pestilence, and of Peace, being of great use on all occasions, and Embellished with prints.
With an appendix of morning and evening prayers, exhortations, and Hymns of Pregnancy and Labor
translated from the original German Edition
The Kohler Publishing Company,
Entered according to act of congress in the year 1855, by
The clerk's office of the district court of the eastern district of pennsylvania.
Sherman & Co, Printers
Dear Christian Reader:
The present handbook of the learned, pious, and lowly minded pastor and consistorial counsellor, John Frederick Stark, who was gathered to the bosom of this Lord on the 17th of July, 1756, at Frankfort on the Main, has, ere this, quickened and comforted many thousands of souls, and made of their dying hour an hour of joy. it therefore requires no further recommendation. Having been first published in 1728, it has now been regarded by rich and poor, for more than a hundred years, as an indispensable part of the family library, and read with eagerness and profit wherever the German language is spoken. This eagerness for such nourishment of the soul, has naturally led to numerous editions, published at various times and places. The edition from which this translation was made, is particularly remarkable for a careful revision made by a brother in the faith of J.F. Stark, in the course of which, besides the correcting of numerous errors of the press which had crept into former editions, obsolete words and phrases were struck out, and some repetitions expunged. It was also augmented by the addition of some prayers referring to the weather, conceived entirely in the spirit of Stark, the want of which had been sensibly experienced.
You have here, therefore, dear Christian reader, a correct english transcript of the same old Stark wich has comforted the sorrows of your grandfathers and Great Grandfathers, making, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, a Stark, Strong Man, of many tottering, feeble one.
May this volume, so visibly blest of God, become your handbook also, and bring comfort to your drooping spirits, in hours of sorrow!
The publisher flatters himself that the fair, legible type adopted, by adapting the book even to those of feeble vision, as well as the low price at which it is offered, will show that he has spared neither pains nor labor to disseminate the work among all classes of the people, for the welfare of souls.
This, Christian reader, is what I desired to tell you before you read the book itself. Let me only add that I hope for the blessing of God on your reading and your prayers! Amen.
Exhortations, prayers, And Hymns
The Eve Of The Sabbath
The believer's preparation for Worship
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple.
Immediately after the fall, God taught our first parents the worship of sacrifice, and they transmitted the injunction to their children, Cain and Abel, for the sacrifices made by the latter two, are expressly mentioned in Genesis 4:3-4. These offerings were not made in silence, but with a confession of sins, a prayer for God's forgiveness, and declaration of faith in the coming Messiah, whose blood was shed, like that of the sacrifice, for the redemption of man. At such times they also praised the goodness of the Lord, and preached his name. For this worship was set apart the seventh day, which the Lord himself had hallowed as a day of rest, when after having created the world in six days, he rested on the seventh. This was the kind of worship observed ever after by all the patriarchs, until God caused the tabernacle in the wilderness to be established, over which Solomon subsequently built the Temple. Under the New Testament, Christians also consecrate one day out of seven, Sunday, to God, that being the day on which Christ rose from the dead, and the Holy Spirit was poured out. On the approach of this day, the true believer shall.
- Lay down his work early on Saturday evening, and disentangle his mind from worldly cares and troubles.
- Prepare himself for the coming Sunday with prayer, and praise God for the many mercies vouchsafed to him throughout the week.
- read the Gospel or the Epistle appointed to be read and expounded on the following day; reflect upon it, and thus prepare himself to a devout attention of the word of God.
- Retire to rest betimes, with such good thoughts, so that he may be found punctually and with invigorated frame and active mind in the house of the Lord.
Gracious and merciful God! I come before thee this day with praise and thanksgiving, that thou hast so kindly preserved me during the past six days, and so freely blessed the work of my hands. Thou hast preserved me in my going and my coming, and hast done great mercies to my body and my soul; wherefore I thank and praise thee in the fulness of my heart. Hence, ye cares! I am building a temple unto God in my heart! It shall be a house of prayer, wherein I will serve my God alone. I "forget the things which are behind," I lay down my labors and my handicraft, and direct my thoughts to heaven alone, to God, that I may rejoice in him. O, the unspeakable love of the great God, who has appointed unto men a day of rest from all their toils! This rest is a token vouchsafed unto us in remembrance of the rest of Paradise, where our constant occupation would have been to serve God, without any grievous labor. This rest is an emblem of the rest in heaven which is to come; for there is yet a perfect rest offered and promised unto the hildren of God, which will commence in the life that is to come; when they shall be free from all toil, all suffering and all sorrow, and free from sin.
O gracious God! Let me spend the approaching Sunday in they fear and favor. Preserve me from the vil company. lest Satan, with his instruments. Deter me from attendance upon the worship of thee, and if he send them, help me to refuse to follow them. Guard me, that the Holy day which thou has set apart for my edification in the teachings of the Gospel, for thy praise and service, may not be spent in idleness, sloth, luxury, amusement and sin, to the greatest damage of my soul; but give me they Holy Spirit, that I may devote the whole day, from morning until night, to thy service.
Keep my heart in increasing devotion, so that no worldly cares may steal their way into it; and if any obtrude themselves, that I may banish them by they power; or, if Satan should send me a bad neighbor, who should offer to bring worldly gossip into thy house, give me strength to turn a deaf ear to what he says, and to arouse and encourage him to thy service by my attention and silence. When they Word is preached, open thou my heart, that I may apprehend it; gather ti into my heart, and preserve it as a precious treasure. Help me that upon this Sunday I may grow in the faith, and increase in the knowledge of the truth, that what is spoken and heard, may alter, sanctify, convert and make of me a new man, so that as my years increase, my inner man may likewise grow in faith and piety, and become as a new creature, yea, a living member of the body of my Lord.
Le me devoutly end the worship, carefully keep what I have learned, and close the day with prayer and praises. Oh! Let me ever remember the words I have heard, that my walk and conversation, my life and my actions, may accord with it, and prove me not forgetful hearer, but a doer of the Word. Thus let me celebrate Sunday after Sunday and Sabbath after Sabbath, until thou shalt admit me, through Jesus, My only Saviour and Preserver, to the unceasing joys of Heaven, the eternal Sabbath.
I will to God's own house with God's own people go, Before his alter sand, dressed in a robe of snow. My heart beneath his will, shall nestle as a dove; My hands shall nought essay, but works of need and love. Enter into my heart this day, thou King of kings! Thy blessing and they peace, spread over me thy wings. Let thy all saving grace upon my soul alight, That so the Sabbath may find favor in they sight. Amen.
- How lovely is they word! it fills my heart with joy,
My soul draws from it still comfort without alloy.
It is the dearest prize in all the world I have,
It shall enrich me still, when I am in my grave.
- Thy word it is the light that sines upon my way,
And warms me out of hand whene'er my foot would stray.
Unto this word I cling unto the bitter end,
I know 'twill guide me safe where all my wishes tend.
- It is my honeycomb, with which I do regale me,
Whee'er the bitter gall of trouble doth assail me;
How sweet unto the soul, all loaded down with care,
Is the consoling tale they Word doth still declare?
- They Word it is my hoard, more than earthly treasure,
In life and death from this alone I draw my pleasure;
This prize no thief shall steal, no cunning foe despoil,
It lies too firmly locked within my spirit's coil.
- Let folly love to search for silver and for gold,
The souls that worship thee, they Word more precious hold;
If both thy Word and god, be set before their eyes,
They stretch their hands to reach thy Word, the gold despise.
- Some go to seek advice, who stand in fear to err,
Thy Word my counsel is, to which I still recur;
I ask what shall I do, for better or for worse?
And straight thy Word, the best advisement doth rehearse.
- By this sweet word of life, I'll shape my travel here,
It shall my loadstar be, by which alone I'll steer
Fearless, and prompt, whate'er it bids me shall be done,
And all it doth forbit with jealous care I'll shun.
- Oh from my thirsty lips take not thy Word away until my dying hour let it my woes allay;
And when these earthly lips no more of food shall take,
Like living water still thy Word my soul shall slake.
- Thus am I well bethought both while on Earth I stay,
And when my spirit leaves it tenement of clay!
And what they covenant doth promise here below,
Shall be most richly mine when unto heaven I go.
Exhortation for Prayer on Sabbath Morning
Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God; for unto Thee I will Pray.
All our life is nothing but prayer and thanksgiving, that is to say, we should cry to God every day in our prayers for his blessing, assistance, comfort and grace. and when these are obtained, we should give thanks unto Him with all our hearts. Therefore, O believer! When thou dost awake in the morning from thy slumbers, let it be thy first care to raise thine eyes to heave, think not immediately of they business and they toils, plunge not at once into the search of gain, but fall upon they knees, than k God, and commend thyself to his gracious protection.