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And He only waits our asking to impart it. Ask and

ye shall have, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you!

Then, how is it that we neglect prayer ? What excuse can we make for not asking of God grace, and strength to walk so as to please Him ? Is it that we are too busy ? up early, and to bed late, and our hands full of work? Is that the reason that we give for not praying ? If so, think how poor a reason it surely'is. Daniel was a man busier than the busiest of any of us. Prime Minister of a great kingdom, each day brought him reports from some of the one hundred and twenty provinces over which he presided. Each day he had matters of government of the gravest importance to consider.. He neglected none of these. He did his work as chief minister so well, that his enemies could find no fault or flaw in him concerning the kingdom. And yet, in the daily whirl of public labour, he found, we have seen, time for prayer. Three several times in every day, he never failed to secure some moments for praying and making supplication to his God!

I said it was written for our instruction that Daniel was thus regular, and often in prayer. Oh, that we might profit by it! Oh, that we might be induced to try and do as Daniel did, each day of our lives!

It is not long prayer that I plead for. It is not prayer that would interfere with our work and necessary labours. But surely, brethren, we might all of us find a few minutes in every day, for lifting up our heart to God! Surely we should go to our work, whatever it be, all the stronger, did we first pray to our Heavenly Father for His blessing! Surely we should lie down to sleep all the more securely, did we first commit our souls to His keeping, as to a faithful Creator, who never slumbereth or sleepeth !

Lastly. Observe the concluding words of this text,— As he did aforetime. This shows that Daniel had long been in the habit of praying to God; that prayer was not a new thing to himnot something taken up in haste, and on an emergency, but the regular, daily practice of his life.

And this, too, teaches us a lesson. If we are to be men of prayer,-if we are to know the privilege, and blessing of communion with God, -if we are to have God always at hand for our support and succour, we must accustom ourselves betimes to call upon Him. For unless we do this, unless when young, when quite young, we gain the habit of prayer, we shall scarcely acquire it when we are older. Trouble will come, and we shall have no refuge, no way of escape out of it, because we have not learnt the secret of deliverance, because we have not used ourselves to prayer—to casting ourselves upon God.

Therefore, brethren, let us begin early to seek the Lord in prayer. Let us pray to Him in our chambers ourselves, alone; and pray to Him with our families, joining with common mouths in petitions for our common good. And not only pray to Him, but let us give Him thanksthanks daily for our daily preservation, for our food and sustenance, our health and strength, and, above all, for our redemption — for the knowledge of that God and Saviour, by whom alone we obtain remission of our sins, and are made partakers of the kingdom of heaven !

Let us, I say, learn early a habit of prayer, and we shall be the happier, and the better for it all our days. Whatever trouble, whatever sorrow may overtake us, whatever loss of fortune, whatever bereavement, we shall not be left comfortless under it. God is very nigh to those who call

upon Him --- very nigh to help, and to defend. This is His word of promise to such as seek Him with a faithful heart, - When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee!

SERMON XXI.

REST.

HEBREWS, iv. 9.

There remaineth a rest to the people of God.

THESE words are part of a long and somewhat difficult argument in the Epistle to the Hebrews. I do not purpose to go into the particulars of that argument. It will be enough to observe that its main drift is to show, that, as the unfaithful Israelites forfeited Canaan, and did not enter into that promised land, but died in the wilderness, so may we, through a like want of faith, fail of our inheritance, and never reach the rest of heaven: or, in other words, the argument goes to establish this, -That the rest of Christians is to be attained by faith. They which have believed do enter into rest.

But apart from the argument in this Epistle, the words before us are enough in themselves to

are

occupy our thoughts, and supply ample matter for our edification. They are words that have a strange captivating sweetness, which, read them as often as we may, take our attention, and soothe our hearts,—There remaineth a rest to the people of God !

Let us ponder them to-day, brethren, and may God give us grace to gather from them what they

so fitted to afford, comfort and cheer, and fresh vigour for our work, in this busy, wearying, unrestful life which is ours at present. There remaineth a rest to the people of God !

There remaineth observe the first word There remaineth. The rest of which I am about to speak is a future rest. It is not on this side Here—so long as

we are in the world— here we have no promise of rest. This - it is emphatically said - This is not your rest. Ye have not yet come to the rest, and to the inheritance which the Lord your God giveth you. We must go over Jordan we must cross the river of death before we can reach our home before we can go up, and possess the good land, which the Lord our God has promised us, in Christ Jesus, for our possession.

But till then, while we continue in the world, it is vain and fruitless to expect rest. There may be seasons

of refreshment : pauses, like the

the grave.

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