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Spirit, and with the understanding also: he asks in faith, pleads the promises, importunes and wrestles hard; he prays in hope, and in expectation of being heard and answered; concludes with submission to the will of his God, and adds watching and waiting to his petitions. He prays for himself and for others, confesses his sins, craves what he needs, and blesses God for what he has got; and with such sacrifices God is well pleased. There is the flame of divine love in his heart, fervent desires rise high towards heaven, and the approbation of God to such prayers is as conspicuous as it was to the wise men's offering, which consisted of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, which was approved by a vision from heaven, telling them not to return to Herod, but to go into their own country another way, Matt. ii. 12.
These vials of odours are called the prayers of saints; which differ much from an insensible sinner saying his prayers, or what is commonly called reading of prayers. The golden vial is a new heart, a tried heart, and a believing heart, all which are God's gifts. The spirit of grace and of supplication is a blessing promised in the covenant of grace, therefore both the vials and the odours are the gifts of God, and of God the saints receive them. All human compositions are intended by the subtlety of the devil to set the sinner up in business for himself, that he may not be beholden to his God for the preparations of his heart and the answer of his tongue, Prov. xvi. 1; and as long as he can trade with human wares there is no fear of
his going to God for his assistance, for he is sure to be the sinner's last shift; nor will he ever go there till his stock in trade is exhausted. The fool that begun the tower at his own expense without counting the cost, went on till all his stock was expended, himself ruined, and others mocking at his vain attempt, before he left off. And it is much to be feared, and this I will be bold to affirm, that God has awfully deceived me in the matter of prayer, if many thousands that are now swaddled up in a form of prayer without the spirit, will not in the great day be found calling in vain for this oil in their lamps, or these odours in the vials; without which the lamp will go out in a snuff, and instead of a sweet smell of odours behold a stink. The vain repetitions of the heathens are forbidden. Seek the blessed Spirit of God to help your infirmities in prayer: God loves the simple prayers of his saints; they are melody in his ears, and an odour of a sweet smell: "Let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely." I come now to describe a saint.
A saint is a person chosen in Christ Jesus, and in due time gathered unto him, and made partaker of his Spirit; hence you read of their being sanctified in Christ Jesus, and called to be saints, 1 Cor. i. 2; that is, by virtue of their union with him. they have sanctification in him, and are sanctified by him, and by his Spirit called to be saints. They are made willing by his power, persuaded by the spirit of faith, and secretly moved by the love of
God to approach and close in with Christ for life and salvation. Every real believer is a saint; for he is purified by his faith, and by faith he lives: hence you read of Saul's persecuting the believers, which is called doing much evil to the saints, Acts ix. 13. In short, a saint is a believer in Christ, who is a partaker of his Spirit, maintains a close walk and keeps up a communion and fellowship with his Lord, lives in the fear of him and in good conscience toward him; he is chosen out of the world, and separated from it; though in it, he is not of it; he is warmly attached to his Lord's cause, is diligent in the means of his appointment, orders his steps by God's word, and follows his Lord in the regeneration. Such souls the Lord hath sanctified, and such souls will ever sanctify him. May God make and keep you all of this happy number for the sake of him that came into this world to seek and to save that which was lost. Amen and Amen.
SERVANT OF THE LORD
DESCRIBED AND VINDICATED,
A SERMON DELIVERED AT PROVIDENCE
CHAPEL, FEB. 17, 1788.
AND THE HAND OF THE LORD SHALL BE KNOWN TOWARD HIS SERVANTS, AND HIS INDIGNA ION TOWARD HIS ENEMIES. ISAIAH LXVI. 14.
THEN SHALL YE RETURN, AND DISCERN BETWEEN THE RIGHTEOUS AND