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to the throne of grace through | vine Will; for we have no right
Under this article of submiseth to make intercession for sion to the Divine Will, it should them.
be observed, that in our prayers, It is worthy of remark, again,
we are not to expect or aim to that a temper of humble sub
alter his purposes concerning mission to the will of God, is
He is of one mind, and who absolutely necessary to the right
can turn him ? God is absolutely discharge of the duty of prayer. unchangeable. Prayer has been The proud look and the haughty compared to a key to unlock the spirit God hateth. Pride is nev.
door of heaven : it is necessary er becoining, in such sinners as
for us, though not for God. It we are our sins are an abomi- does not bring him down to us, nation unto God. And it is in- but raises us up to him. He will finite mercy and condescension be enquired of for his blessings ; in him, that he permits us, even
and we know it is his ordinary in the name of Jesus Christ, to way to bestow mercies in the make our requests known to
use of means. Our prayer does him, in prayer. To lie low at
not, indeed, change the purpose the footstool of sovereign grace,
of God, but it is an act of obediis the highest position sinners ence to him, acknowledging his may take. That man who dares sovereignty and our dependence; to thank God, that he is not so and so puts us in a way of rebad as other men, thinks higher ceiving, according to his will, of himself than he ought to what otherwise we could not rethink ; and has yet to learn, that ceive, because he had determinthe heart is deceitful above ali ed otherwise not to give it. things, and desperately wicked. It will not be amiss to observe
As our prayers should be of- again, that in prayer, persever fered to God in deep humility, ance is necessary for the right so should they be in entire sub- discharge of that important dumission to his will. We may ty. The apostolic direction is, not prescribe to him, either the Prayand faint not-Pray without matter, the time, or the manner ceasing-Pray with all prayer. of the grace we ask. The whole To pray acceptably, we should should be submitted to the Di-l entertain a spirit of prayer at all
times, and actually pray on all | puts in motion this spirit ; and proper occasions.
thus, he grows in grace, and Private and public prayer in- finds a heaven begun in his soul. clude all prayers, and are ex. Thus should we all persevere in pressly required of us; and, as this duty, for we are taught that public prayer is social, so it ex- the effectuał, fervent prayer of tends its requirements to social the righteous man availeth prayer of all kinds, and on all much with God. occasions. Family prayer is spe- I will conclude this essay with cially inculcated. By the eve- a few observations on the reaning and morning sacrifice, this sonableness and privilege of duty was taught to God's an- prayer. Our daily wants, both cient church; and our Saviour spiritual and temporal, teach us also taught his disciples a social the reasonableness of prayer. prayer, and frequently prayed We cannot do any thing of ourwith them as his family. To selves, as we ought to do ; and which we add, prayer with the have no claim on God, for any sick and afflicted. It is not enough needful goed. We cañ neither that we pray for our families, and do, speak, or think any good, for the afflicted, but we must but by divine assistance. As pray with them; it must be a sinners, we deserve God's wrath, social prayer.
and that only-We lie wholly at Innumerable are the occasions his mercy, whether we shall for secret and social prayer ; have any happiness here, or hence, said the apostle, in every hereafter. How reasonable then thing, by prayer let your requests is it, that we should, with all be made known unto God. We diligence, address the throne of can be in no situation, nor under grace, in the name of Jesus any circumstance in life, but Christ, for divine influences and some kind of prayer will be pro-saving inercies? There can be per for us. It is, therefore, of no help from any other quarter, high importance that we main- and without help, we must pertain a spirit of supplication at all ish. This privilege God gives times; and persevere in its ex- us, and no creature can deprive ercises, both secret and social, us of it; which is not the case as occasions shall require. This with other means. How then will afford us a good evidence of should we prize this ! How dilia right temper of mind; but he gent should we be in the use of who prays only on particular oc- it! A little delay may be our casions, will discover his defi- ruin : God may say, they are ciency, let his gifts of expres-joined to idols, let them alone ; and sion be as they may, for the very I will see what their end shall be. spirit of prayer is wanting. The As our spiritual, so our tem. life of a real Christian, is a life poral wants should excite us to of prayer. He not only has set the duty of prayer.
“ In God seasons for secret and social we live, and move, and have our prayer; but breathes out to God being." All things come from ejaculations all the day long, in the Lord of Hosts, who is wonadoration, confession, petition, derful in counsel, and excellent thanksgivings, or intercessions. in working. God is the founAlmost every occurrence in life tain of all our blessings. How
reasonable then is it, that in ev- Finally, Prayer, always puts ery thing, by prayer und sup- us in the way of a blessing. It plication, with thanksgiving, we is Gods appointment.--He is make known our requests unto with us, while we are careful to him?
be with him ; and it is his orI will only add—Prayer is a dinary way to bestow blessings great and high privilege. There in the use of means.
This duty is no mean of salvation exceeds has been wonderfully followed
In prayer, we have the with spiritual and temporal mernearest approach to God we cies, which is evident from the can have on earth ; and the word of God; and from the exsweetest communion and fel-perience of men. But where lowship with the Father and the people have not a spirit of praySon. It is a powerful mean to er, they appear to have little humble man, and exalt God sense of religion; and soon grow to restrain us from sinning, and corrupt in faith and morals. draw down divine blessings. The We should, therefore, prize this habitual practice of prayer, will as one of our best and highest keep up a feeling sense of our privileges; and daily exercise dependence on God, and of his ourselves in it before the throne goodness towards us. And such of grace. a solemn sense of divine good- Let us remember we are sinness, notwithstanding our ill de- ners on probation, and shall soon sert, will tend to excite our grat- be called to account forthe things itude, love, and obedience. Pray- done in the body. All our good er will lead us so to contemplate things for time and eternity the attributes of the Deity, that must come from God. Let us, we shall be ready to cry out with therefore, constantly look to him David, How excellent is thy for them, in the name and for the name in all the earth! Or else, sake of Jesus Christ ; and alwith Job, Our heart will tremble, ways depend upon the aids of and be moved out of his place, the Holy Spirit, for without him because we are as nothing before we can do nothing. This will him. Thus it tends to set God be our only sure way to happion the throne, and to keep us in ness here, and glory hereafter. our proper place, low at the foot
ISRAEL. stool of his grace.
Prayer will also excite us to the exercise of charity and for- Duty of seeking Religious Know
seeki giveness. How else shall we
ledge. pray, Father, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors? If we MESSRS. EDITORS, forgive not men their trespasses, IF the following observawe shall ask a curse rather than tions on the obtaining of relia blessing. The spirit of pray- gious knowledge, be thought er, is a spirit of forgiveness; and worth inserting in your Magathe more we have of it, the more zine, they are at your disposal. readily we shall forgive one another ; and so obtain an evidence, T is no uncommon thing to that we are children of our Father who is in heaven.
culpation of thicir deficiency in
religious knowledge their want six-pence a page, we should nevof sufficient time to devote to er be troubled for an answer ? that purpose.
“During six Allowing then twenty-five padays of the week,” say they, ges to a Sabbath, a person will
we are occupied with our sec- read twelve hundred pages in ular concerns. On the Sabbath, one year. Suppose that a man considerable time is spent in begins this course when he is works of necessity, and much twenty years of age ; at thirty, in preparing for public worship. he will have read twelve thousAfter deducting what is neces- and pages. Should he live to sarily consumed, the time which be forty years old, he will have remains is inadequate for ob- read twenty-four thousand pataining that knowledge of reli- ges; if fifty, thirty-six thousand; gion, which we could wish.if sixty, forty-eight thousand ; But we cannot believe that, on if seventy, sixty thousand, which this account, much blame can be are equal to one hundred and attached to us. It is our duty fifty octavo volumes, of four hunto labor on week-days, for the dred pages each. scriptures themselves teach us In addition to this, suppose that we ought to provide a com- that a person hears two sermons petency for ourselves and fam- every Sabbath. If each sermon ilies ; and surely God is not so contain sixteen pages, in a year's hard a master as to exact of us time he will hear the amount what we cannot perform.” of one thousand, six hundred How much soever this mode and sixty four
pages. of justification may satisfy the
But this is not all. The adminds of some, it is unwarranted vantages derivable from religious by facts, and owes its origin, I conversation, are by no means fear, to something worse than inconsiderable for obtaining remere error in opinion. That I ligious knowledge. In a vast am correct, can be demonstra- variety of cases, no method is ted, I think, by a very simple more successful. Add to these, computation.
meditations, the dispensations of I suppose that five minutes of Providence in a thousand forms, time, in an ordinary way, is am- and all the nameless sources ply sufficient for one to read and whence a view of the divine understand, an octavo page with character is obtainable, and who such a type as is commonly used. would not adore his heavenly To read twenty five pages, would Father, who has kindly required occupy two hours and five min- of his creatures, what one would utes. That this allowance is think they could hardly avoid abundant, will appear from a performing. moment's attention to the busi- According to the calculation ness. Who is there, who might which has been made, I think not, extraordinary cases out of it cannot now be denied that althe question, devote two hours most every man, may, if he and five minutes, out of twenty- please, become extensively acfour hours, to reading on the quainted with religious truth. Sabbath ? Were this reading Every aged man might be a dito afford a pecuniary reward of vine, and every young man con
tinually and rapidly advancing from the first rudiments in the either making or receiving visschool of Christ, on to perfec-its, or attending to some other tion.
matters. If they profess to keep If any one, after such a view the evening succeeding the Sabof the subject, be disposed to bath, they retire to rest early excuse his ignorance of religion, on that evening ; receive visits it is evident that the excuse will from those who do not keep it, not have its origin in truth, but and are ingenious in devising in the disposition of the excus- methods to relax from the pain er's heart. Until that disposi- of confinement on that day tion be remover, he must be Thus at any rate, the Sabbath is ignorant still. Though such a shortened, and the remainder is man have eyes, he seeth not; employed to little better purpose. and ears, yet he heareth not; At meeting, they are perhaps neither doth he understand with asleep; or are thinking on somehis heart. When a person who thing widely different from the professes himself to be a disci- word of God. At home, the conple of Christ, makes this excuse, versation is turned on trivial subhe must, to say the least, bejects, or matters of mere secustrangely deficient in an ardent lar business, or any thing to the love of divine attainments. Ile exclusion of religion ; or if reit is, who has the strongest mo- ligion be a topic of discourse, it tives to search those scriptures is not unfrequently in such a in which, we think, are contain- manner, that its Author is but ed the words of eternal life. The little honored. inactive disciple should, in a pe- These things being so, what culiar manner, take heed to his becomes of the apology for igways, lest having a promise of norance ; for, it should be reentering into the heavenly rest, marked, the persons who thus he should seem to come short. conduct, are the very ones by His calling and election are not, whom the apology is made. Is now, made so sure, as not to not ignorance their choice? Is need, from a holy practice, the it to them a pleasant thing, to evidence of their confirmation. retain God in their knowledge ?
There are many people who Let them come forth and conare contented with their igno- fess the truth, that they are lovrance, because, as they say, they ers of pleasure more than lovers have no opportunity to be other of God; that they cannot say, wise. Their work,' or their a- How amiable are thy tabernamusements encroach on the eve- cles, O Lord of hosts ; a day ning of Saturday. They retire spent in thy courts is better than to sleep at a very early hour, a thousand ? I was glad when and arise at a very late one in they said unto me let us go into the morning. For a considera- the house of the Lord. With ble time before the close of the my whole heart have I sought Sabbath, they are talking of mat- thee; Oh, how I love thy law ; ters to be done that evening or it is my meditation all the day. the ensuing week ; or are busi- To these persons I will only ed in dispatching various do- add, that their probationary mestic concerns, that they may state is rapidly closing ; that have leisure in the evening for eternal scenes will soon be un