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SECTION X. QUERY X. Since Prayer is a Duty, which we are under daily Obligations to the Practice of; and since both the Prophets, under the Old Testament, and Apostles under the New, who were eminently under the Guidance of the Spirit of GOD, did fet apart Aated Times and Scafons for daily Prayer (as is evident from Jerem. 10.25. Pfal. 55. 17. Dan. 6. 10. Pfal. 119. 62, 95. Luke 22. 41. Acts 20. 36, XXI. 5. III. 1. X. 2, 3, 30.) How can we think those acted by a true Spirit of Piety and Devotion, who under pretence of Praying continually, and of Praying by the Spirit, do ordinarily, neither Morning, Noon, nor Night, bow their Knee to GOD, nei#ber in their Closets, nor their Families, as if Praya ing continually, signified foldom Praying at all; or as if the Asistance of the Holy Spirit in Prayer, might not be always expeeted, whenever we seriously apply our selves to that Duty ? And, Query, whea ther this gross Neglect of daily Prayer, does 1100 tend to turn Christian `into Pagan Families, or rather into Atheistical ones?
R E P L r.
N the former part of this Section, we agree
with the Queriff, more than he imagines, in ever afterting PRAYER an incumbent Duty. Sec Section 6. and have therefore stated Times and Seasons, for Waiting Watching, Praying, and Meeting together, to worship Almighty GOD, both in publick, and in private Families; and do, with him, believe,
Duty every Day to wait upon the LORD, that 124 Serious Reply, Section X. if any neglect such Duties, they are not therein acted by a Spirit of true Piety:
Right Prayer then is the Breathing, Speech or Expression of the Soul to its CREATOR, from a Sense both of its Duty and Wants, which it sees through the Discoveries of the Divine Light, and is not by Divine Precept or Example confin'd to any one Time, Form, Gesture or Place, because of the divers and manifold Wants of the Children of Men.
'Tis either Vocal, with Words of the SPIRIT's Teaching, or Mental, without Words, by secret Cries, Sighs or Groans, which cannot be utter'd: And one of these Ways we believe there is no Soul fo weak, but the HOLY SPIRIT is ready to help, did Man but wait upon, and regard the internal Assistance of this Spirit of Life, by which all are led to the right and frequent Performance of every external Duty of RELIGION; whether Watching, Praying, Praising, Inftrueting, Preaching and Glorifying GOD with our Bodies, which are His, if not in great Pomp, yet in a grave, folemn and fervent Manner, not only several times in the Week, at which times we cease from Mundane Affairs, leaving our Business behind. But it is our Practife, (I wish I could say of all) as it is all our Interest and we may pray to and receive Strength from Him, and feel His heavenly Peace and Blessing to descend upon us, at our Rising-up, and Lying-down; that so to His ever Blessed Name, through the Spirit of His SON, may Dominion and Glory, Honour and Praise be ascribed, who is worthy for Ever.
RE so numerous, that for Brevity's fake, I
shall refer my Christian Reader to some few principal ones following, viz.
That Watching and Prayer are Duties evjoyn'd,
See i Chron. 16. II.-28. 9. Prov. 4. 23. Ifa. 56. 2. Matth. 26. 41. Mark 13. 33. and 37. Col. 4. 2, 3. i Thes. 5. 17, 23, 25. 1 Tim. 2. 1, 3, 8. James 5. 13 to 18. Rev. 16. 15.
That we mdg Pray aright, See in Section 6. the
Texts there, also Eccl. 5. 1, 2. 1 Sam. 1. 10 to 14. Pfal. 66. 18. Rom. 8. 26, &c. I Cor. 14. 13 to 16. Eph. 6. 18. 19. 1 Pet. 4. 7. Jude 20.
To have our Prayers answer'd, 2 Chron. 15. 15. Pfal. 9. 12.-10. 17.----32. 5s 6.-34. 1965. 2.
Acts 10. 2, 4, 31. Eph. 3. 11, 12. James 1. 5. to 8. 1 Pet. 3. 7. 12. i John 3.. 23.
Authorities from our own Writers.
Y that fame Spirit and Grace, we beJohn Crooks lieve that Prayer
Ordinance of Truth's Principles, GOD, when performd by his spirit in its 1663, P, 35.
Words, and not those which Man's Wisdom
teacheth ; or without Words, by Sighs and Groans, which cannot be utter'd, and these so often as the Spirit it self pleaseth; but the Form, without the Spirit, whether it be by Words of other Mens framing, or of a Man's own Spirit, according to his Will, Time, and Manner: This is not the Prayer that prevails with GOD; and we believe there is none so weak and infirm, but this Spirit profers its Help at fome Time or other, tho' Man regardéth it not; and the more Man's Mind is gather'd within from all visibles, the more he comes to be sensible of the Movings and stirrings of this spirit ; and by the due Watching thereunto, we believe and know the Spirit of Prayer and Adoption that cries unto GOD. comes to be discernd and distinguish'd from a Man's own Spirit and Will.
Speaking of the Light and Grace, he says, W. Penn's De This is that Principle by which GOD. prefence of the Gofpelo pares the Heart to Worship him aright, and Truths, p. 4.
all the Duties of Religion ; as Praying, Praie
fing and Preaching, ought to be perform d thro the fanctifying Power of it; other Worship being but for mal and Will.Worll.ip, with which we cannot in Conscience join.
GOD's Worship stands in the Spirit ; and Ibid. Works, Vol.' I testify from the Eterna! GOD,' all other 20 538.
Worship than what fprings from a Mind
touchd, sanctified, and, moved of his Holy Quickning Spirit, is abominable to him, his Righteous Soul loaths it. And what else were their Sacrifices, who, in my Hearing said, Pray Brother, will you Pray? No, Bróther ; I am not so well able as you are, let Brother such an one Pray, he's bitter Gifted for the Work &c. Complementing. shifting, and at laft Pray. ing, &c. in their own Wills, and not in GOD's Motion. This GOD haces. Tell me whar can tender the Heart, prepare the soul, raise the affections, give true Feeling of Wants, and help to perform all in that Fear, and Reverence, and deep Sense, which becomes all New-Covenant, and spiritual Worshippers, if this (HOLY SPIRIT) cannot, or do not.
R E M A R K S.
ENCE my Reader may know, that we believe the least fecret Cry, Delire or Breath
ing to GOD, from a truly lincere Heart, is more effectual and prevalent with him, than the long Lip-Labour, and loud Singing of any, whether of our Name or not, that say and do not; who although they draw nigh unto GOD with their Mouth and Tongue, yet their Hearts are far from Him, while they regard Iniquity, and do not the Will of GOD.
Nor can I give a better Reason, why those Heaps of Prayers and daily Repetitions, do so little Good, and are so Ineffectual, than their proceeding from, and being offer'd up by unclean Hearts and polluted Lips, who are so far from Praying by the Spirit, that they furioufly deny the Doctrine of its immediate InSpiration and Revelation, as dangerous and Diabofical.
To this, feț me add one remarkable Prophecy of that Pious Primate 7. USHER, Arch-Bishop of ARDMAG H
The outward Court, says he, is the formal Christian, whose Religion lies in performing the outside Duties of CHRISTIANITY, without baving an inward Life and Power of Faith and Love uniting them to CHRIST, and these GOD will leave to be troden down, and swept away by the Gentiles.
But the Worshippers within the Temple, and before ibe. Altar, are those who indeed Worship GID in Spirit and in Trutb, whose Souls are made His Temple, and He is honoured and adored in the most inward Thoughts of their Hearts, and they sacrifice their