Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

mence, which will endure throughout the boundless ages of eternity.

But let me speak to every reader.

CHRISTIAN MINISTERS! we should be men of prayer, it is the half of our duty, and that by which we carry on the rest. We will, say the Apostles, give ourselves continually to prayer, and the ministry of the word.The prayers of ministers avail much. We may expect more assistance than others. It is the divine direction for our people" 13 any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the Church, and let them pray over him.” When Abimelech was threatened with death, he was told to send for Abraham ; and the reason given was, ' for he is a prophet, and he shall pray for thee, and thou shalt live.” Should not we, then, abound in prayer: CHRISTIAN PARENTS! we next address you. Pray for

" Whenever," says Bishop Hopkins, " thou comest unto the throne of grace, bring these thy dear pledges 0;:~n thy heart with thee. Earnestly implore of God that he would own them, and provide for then as his own children: that he would adopt them into the family of heaven, make them heirs of glory, and coheirs with Jesus Christ: that he would them a convenient portion of good things for this life, that they may serve him with the more cheerfulness and alacrity ; and a large portion of spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ Jesus; and at length bring them to the heavenly inheritance. And know assuredly, that the prayers of parents are very effectual, and have a kind of authority in them to obtain what they sue for.” This is the blessing which holy fathers in Scripture have bestowed on their children. Thus Abraham asked, O that Ishmael might live before thee. Thus Jacob prayed for

your children.

and blessed his children, and his grandchildren. Thus Job remembered his children, and “oftered burnt offerings according to the number of them all." Bring them up, also, in the practice of prayer. They cannot too early begin to seek their Saviour and to lisp his praise. No habit will be more profitable to them than that of daily prayer. Teach your children this, and they will then rise up and call you blessed. Store their young minds with the Scriptures, furnish them with short portions for all occasions. This will arm them with invincible strength against their enemies. They are about to journey through a dangerous wilderness; teach them to pray, moring and evening, and it will direct their way "like that pillar which guided Israel through the wilderness, as a cloud by day to shadow them, and as a fire by night to comfort them.”

Prayer is a duty at all times and in all seasons of life. ARE YOU

IN PROSPERITY? Let prayer and praise sanctify all your enjoyments. Great is the snare of ontward prosperity. How hardly shall they that are rich enter the kingdom of heaven.". You bave need to pray much, lest that which was designed as a talent for greater useluiness, occasion your eternal ruin. Let nothing hinder you from giving regular and full time to devotion. The days of health and strength should be given to God, “while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in theun.”

Are you AFFLICTED? That is the time for special prarer. “Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will hear thee, and thou shalt glorify me.” In the absence of the sun the mild and peaceful radiance of the moon illumines our path. Let devotion spread a cheering light over your darker hours. “ The Queen of night,” says Bowdler, “unveils its full beauty when the hours of joy and lustre have passed away, pouring as it were a holy light through the damps and darkness of adversity.” Thus will constant prayer cheer the darkest season of affliction.

Are you young? Let that rapid torrent of youthful strength and vivacity, which, if left to itself, would only be wasted and dashed against rocks, from precipice to precipice, be turned into a profitable course. Let this stream be brought into the channel of devotion, and it will move the machine of the Christian life, and communicate innumerable blessings to man.

Those that seek me early, shall find me. Prov. viii, 17. Nothing is more pleasing, nothing more profitable, than early devotion. Slight not him in your strength, who will be the only protector of your weakness. Are

you in MIDDLE LIFE? In the midst of this world's engagements, how are you encompassed as in a maze of temptation! Let prayer be the secret thread which leads you safely out of this labyrinth. How are you surrounded with duties of the first importance! What a happy influence, then, would devotion have in making you a general blessing to your family, your neighbourhood, and your country! Like the regulator in the watch, though unseen outwardly, it would keep the spring of your

actions in order, it would make all your movements certain and useful. Give the strength of your years to God, and you will have a good name, better than precious ointment. Eccles. vii, 1. Remember," the prayer of faith,” as Bishop Porteus says, “inoves the hands of Him that moveth all things.” Are you in

DECLINING YEARS? And will you not hold converse with Him, who you are so soon to meet and see face to face? Why should you enter the eter

nal world a stranger to the great King who rules there, when you have an opportunity of being adopted into his family, enjoying his presence here, and sharing the splendours of his crown, and of his glory hereafter.What,” says one,

can be more truly desirable than to attain to a measure of that light and peace, which, in their full measure belong to a higher condition ? and what more excellent than that occupation which connects the service with the enjoyment of God, the duties of this life with the glories of the better?" To every class of my readers, I say,

PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.

HYMNS ON PRAYER.

I.
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,

Utter'd or unexprest;
The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burthen of a sigh,

The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of an eye,

When none but God is near.
Prayer is the simplest form of speech,

That infant lips can try;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high.
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,

The Christian's native air,
His watchword at the gates of death,

He enters heaven with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,

Returning from his ways ;
While Angels in their songs rejoice,

And say, " Behold he prays."
The saints, in prayer, appear as one,

In word, and deed, and mind,
When, with the Father and his Son,

Their fellowship they find.
Nor prayer is made on earth alone;

The Holy Spirit pleads ;
And Jesus, on th' eternal throne,

For sinners intercedes.
O thou, by whom we come to God,

The life, the truth, the way,
The path of prayer Thyself hast trod,
Lord, teach us how to pray.

II.
THOUGH “ Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord !"

Seraph to Seraph sings;
And Argel choirs, with one accord,

Worship, with veiling wings.
Though Earth thy footstool, Heaven thy throne,

Thy way amid the sea;
Thy path deep floods, thy steps unknown,

Thy counsels mystery.
Yet wilt Thou look on him who lies

A suppliant at thy feet;
And hearken to the feeblest cries,

That reach thy mercy seat.
Between the cherubim, of old,

Thy glory was express'd ;
But God, in Christ, we now behold,

In flesh made manifest.
Through Him, who all our sickness felt,

Who all our sorrows bare ;
Through Him, in whom thy fulness dwelt,

We offer up our prayer.

« VorigeDoorgaan »