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8. Let the Words of our Prayers be pertinent, grave, material, not ftudioully many, but according to our need, sufficient to expreis our wants and to fignifie qur importunity: God hears us not the sooner for our many words, but much the sooner for an earnest desire; to which let apt and fufficient words minifter, be they few or many, according as it happens. Along Prayer and a short differ not in their Capacities of being accepted ; for both of them take their value 3ccording to the fervency of Spirit, and the charity of the Prayer. That Prayer which is short, by reason of an impatient Spirit, or dulness, or despight of holy Things, or indifferency of defires, is very often crimi: nal, always imperfect; and that Prayer which islong out of oftentation, or fuperftition, or a trifling spirit, is as criminal and imperfect as the other in their several Instances. This rule relates to private Prayer. In publick our devotion is to be measured by the appointed Office, and we are to fupport our Spirit with Ipiritual arts, that our private fpirit may be a part of the publick spirit, and be adopted into the Society and Bleflings of the Communion of Saints.
9. In all Forms of Prayer mingle Petition with Thanksgiving, that you may endear the present Prayer and the future Blessing by returning Praise and Thanks for what we have already received. This is St. Paul's Advice, [Be careful for nothing, but in every thing by Phil di € Prayer and Supplication with Thanksgiving, let your Requests be made known unto God.]
10. Whatever we beg of God, let us also work for it, if the thing be matter of duty, or a consequent to Industry. For God loves to bless labour and to reward it, but not to support
Elta négojev, Kúere o Je's trois Idleness. And therefore our
Mest égoueão; ucapé, kriegs 8x &• bleffed Saviour in his Sermons
χας; έκ εποίησε σοι αυτας ο θεός; joins Watchfulness with Pray- e8 x® vũv You Thuer G, Szres ciputat er : for God's Graces are but σε μη ρέωσαν απόμαξα μάλλα. affiftances, not new creations of the whole habit in every instant or period of our Life. Read Scriptures, and then pray to God for understanding. Pray against temptation; but you myft
Arian, L. 2. 6. 16.
also resift the Devil, and then he will.flee from you. Ask of God competency of living: but you must also work with your bands the things that are honest, that ye may have to supply in time of need. We can but do our en deavour, and pray
for a blessing, and then leave the success with God: and beyond this we cannot deliberate, we cannot take care, but so far we must.
11. To this purpose let every Man ftudy his Prayers, and read his duty in his Petitions. For the body of our prayer is the tum of our duty: and as we must ask of God whatsoever we need; fo we must labour for all that we ask. Because it is our Duty, therefore we must pray for God's grace : but because God's grace is necessary, and without it we can do nothing, we are fufficiently taught, that in the proper matter
religious Prayers is the just matter of our Duty: and if we fhall turn our Prayers into Precepts, we shall the
easier turn our hearty desires into effective practices. Inter facra 12. In all our Prayers we must be careful to attend & vota vera
our present work, having a present mind, not wanprofanis ab. dring upon impertinent Things, not distant from our tinere, Words, much less contrary to them: and if our Tacit,
Thoughts do at any time wander, and diverr upon other Objects, bring them back again with prudent and severe Arts; by all means striving to obtain a diligent, a sober, an untroubled and a composed Spirit.
13. Let your posture and gesture of body in Prayers be reverent, grave and humble: according to publick order, or the best Examples ; if it be in publick, if it be in private, either stand, or kneel, or lie flat upon the ground on your face, in your ordinary and more folemn Prayers, but in extraordinary, casual and ejaculatory Prayers, the reverence and devotion of the Soul, and the lifting up the eyes and hands to God with any other poiture not undecent, is usual
and commendable ; for we may pray in bed, on Tim. 2. 8. horseback, every-where and at all times, and in all
circumstances : and it is well if we do fo : and some Servants have not opportunity to pray fo often as they would unless they supply the Appetites of Religion by such accidental Devotions.
14. [Let Prayers and Supplications and giving of 1 Tim.2.2 Thanks be made for all Men: for Kings and all that are in anthority. For this as good and acceptable in the fight of God our Saviour.) We who must love our Neighbours as ourselves, must also pray for them as for ourselves: with this only difference, that we may enlarge in our temporal desires for Kings, and pray for fecular prosperity to them with more importunity than for ourselves, becaufe they need more to enable their duty and government, and for the interests of Religion and Justice. This part of Prayer is by the Apofle called [Intercession in which with special care we are to remember our Relatives, our Family, our Charge; our Benefactors, our Creditors; not forgetting to beg pardon and charity for our Enemies, and protection against them.
15. Rely not on a single prayer in matters of great Concernment: but make it as publick as you can by obtaining of others to pray for you : this being the great blefling of the communion of Saints, that a prayer united is strong like a well-ordered Army ; and God loves to be tied fast with such cords of love, and constrained by a holy violence.
16. Every time that is not feiz'd upon by some other duty, 'is seasonable enough for prayer: but let it be performed as a falemn duty morning and evening, that God may begin and end all our business, and the outgoing of the morning and evening may praise
for fo we bless God, and God bleftes us. And yet fail not to find or make opportunities to worship God at fome other times of the day, at least by ejaculations and fhort addresses, more or less, longer or shorter, folemnly, or without folemnity, privately or publickly, as you can, or are permitted: always remembring, that as every fin is a degree of dangerandunsafety; fo every-pions prayer and well employed opportunity is a degree of return to hope and pardon.
Cautions for making Vows. 19. A Vow to God is an act of Prayer, and a great degree and initance of importunity, and an increase of duty by some new uncommanded inftance, or some more eminent degree of duty, or frequency of action, or earnestness of spirit in the fame. And because it hath pleased God in all Ages of the World to admit of intercourse with his Servants, in the matters of Vows, it is not ill advice, that we make Vows to God in such Cafes in which we have great need, or great danger. But let it be done according to these Rules and by these Cautions.
1. That the matter of the Vow be lawful. That it be useful in order to Religion or Charity. 3. That it be grave, not trifling and impertinent, but great in our proportion of duty towards the blessing.
That it be in an uncommanded instance, that is, that it be of something, or in some manner, or in fome degree to which formerly we were not obliged, or which we might have omitted without fin. 5. That it be done with prudence, that is, that it be safe in all the circumstances of person, left we beg å blessing, and fall into a fnare. *6. That every Vow of a new action be also accompanied with a new degree and enforcement of our effential and unalterable duty : fuch as was Jacob's Vow, that (befides the payment of a tithe) God should be his God : that fo he might ftrengthen his duty to him first in effentials and
precepts, and then in additionals and accidentals. For it is but an ill tree that spends more in leaves and fuckers and gumms than in fruit : and that Thankfulness and Religion is best that first secures duty, and then enlarges in counsels. Therefore let every great prayer, and great need, and great danger draw us nearer to God by the approach of a pious purpose to live more strictly; and let every mercy of God answering that prayer produce a real performance of it. 7. Let not young beginners in Religion
enlarge their Hearts and strengthen their liberty by Auguftum Vows of long contintance : nor (indeed) any one else, annullum without a great experience of himself, and of all ac- dixit Pythag. cidental Dangers. Vows of fingle actions are fafeft, id eft, vitae and proportionable to those single Bleflings ever genus libebegga in such Cafes of sudden and transient Impor- nec vinculo tunities. 8. Let no action which is matter of queftion temetipsum and dispute in Religion ever become the matter of a obftringe. Vow. He vows foolishly that promises to God to Sic Novatus live and die in such an opinion, in an article not nenovitios luce ceffary, nor certain; or that, upon confidence of his compulit ad present guide, binds himself for ever to the profesfion unquam ad of what he may afterwards more reafonably contradia, or may find not to be useful, or not profita-redirent.
Episcopos ble, but of fome danger, or of no necessity.
Euseb. I. 22 if we observe the former Rules, we shall pray pi-Eccl
. Hift, oully and effectually: but because even this duty hath in it fome special Temptations, it is neceffary
that we be armed by
fpecial Remedies against them. The dangers are, 1. Wandring Thoughts. 2. Tediousness of Spirit. Against the first thefe Advices are profitable.
Remedies against wandring Thoughts.
in Prayer. If we feel our Spirits apt to wander in our Prayers, and to retire into the World; or to Things unprofitable, or vain and impertinent ;
1. Use Prayer to be allisted in Prayer : pray for the fpirit of fupplication, for a sober, fixed and recolleEted fpirit and when to this you add a moral induAtry to be steady in your Thoughts, whatsoever wandrings after this do return irremediably, are a misery of Nature and an imperfection, but no lin, while it is not cherished and indulged to.
2. In private it is not amiss to attempt the cure by reducing your Prayers into Collects and short Forms of Prayer, making voluntary Interruptions, and beginning again, that the want of spirit and breath may be supplied by the short Stages and Periods.