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shews that you have none of the real feelings of evangelical truth, which, working by love, ever influences the soul to seek the presence of him we love.

Is there not at the bottom of all these objectioas, a reason of this kind, I DISLIRE PRAYER-It puts a restraint upon all my ways— It compels me to think of that which I had rather forget?--But what are you thus owning yourself to be? It is the character of the wicked, God is not in all his thoughts; they dislike to retain God in their knowledge. Ab! remember, at one time, or other, all flesh must come before God; he now sits on a throne of grace, where you may obtain mercy; he will hereafter sit on a throne of judgment, where he will for ever condemn those who have not sought and found grace to help in time of need.

This neglect of prayer is the fault of many, but there is a generation who are righteous in their own eyes, who TRUST IN THEIR PRAYERS.--They reason, little as they think it, on the supposition that for every prayer they make, God is, as it were, so much in debt to them, and thus that by the multitude of their prayers they deserve heaven. This is a common but a strange mistake. What merit can there be in begging and seeking that, which if we obtain, lays us under increased obligations? Israel of old followed after the law of righteousness, but did not attain it, because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. Is not this too much your case,? Be not mistaken; though prayer is good in its proper place; it is not good in the way of meriting any thing from God. It is not good in the way even of disposing God to give. He is ever ready to give abundantly anto us, “ more ready to hear than we are to pray, and wont to give more

er than either we desire or deserve.” But it is good, as ces de it is pursuing the plan wbicb God has appointed for

obtaining his blessings;-it is good, as it is the way in 100S, which he bestows them. Renounce, then, your own stras

righteousness; and thus humbly and believingly seek, and you shall find.

If you did but know. the true character of your fancied righteousness, you would say with Isaiah, all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, as a rejected garment. You would enter into the feelings of the excellent

Bishop Beveridge, who declares,* "I know not how.it er is with others, but for my own part I do not remember,

neither do I believe, that I ever prayed in my life-time
svith that reverence, or heard with that attention, or did
any other work, with that pure and single eye, as I
ought to have done.” Or, as he says in another place,
"I do not only betray the inbred venom of my heart,
by poisoning my common actions, but even my most
religious performances also with sin. I cannot pray
but I sio ; I cannot hear or preach a sermon, but I
sin; I cannot give an alms, or receive the sacrament,
but I sin. Nay, I cannot so much as confess my sins,
but my very confessions are still aggravations of them;
my repentance needs to be repented of; my tears want
washing; and the very washing of my tears needs still
to be washed over again with the blood of my Re-
deemer. Thus not only the worst of my sins, but even
the best of my duties speak me a child of Adam. Inso-
much that whenever I reflect on my past actions,
methinks I cannot but look on my whole life, from the

* See Beveridge's Private Thoughts, a most useful practical Book for the young Christian.

D

time of my conception to this very moment, to be but as one continued act of sin.”..

With these feelings; you would be sensible at once, · that Jesus Christ is the only and complete Saviour of sinners, and that it is only by his obedience many are made righteous. Instead of trusting in your prayers, you would mourn over their imperfections, and be led to trust simply, wholly, and entirely in Christ and him crucified. An old writer, Scudder, observes, “God uses, when he is overcome by prayer,” (alluding to Jacob, Gen. xxxii, 28.) “ to work in them that do overcome, some sense of weakness, to let them know that they prevail with him in prayer, not by any strength of their own, not by any worthiness of their prayers, when they have prayed best, but from the goodness of God's free gruce, from the worthiness of Christ's. intercession, by whom they offer up their prayers, and from the truth of his promise made unto them that pray. If it were not thus, many, when they have their heart's desire in prayer, would ascribe all to the goodness of their prayers, and not to the free grace of God; and would be proud of their own strength, which is in truth none at all."

I have thus endeavoured to shew you the nature and privilege of prayer;- may you be so convinced that it is your duty, as to be desirous of farther instruction on this subject.

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vers

SUPPOSE the case of a calm at sea. The ship in
the midst of the ocean is sometimes arrested in its
progress by a dead calm. Every sail is spread to catch
the dying breeze, but all in vain. The vessel con-
tinues almost motionless on the vast expanse, or only
rocked to and fro by the swell of the sea. The ma-
riners -look ont, day after day, with longing eyes, for
a favourable gale to carry them onward; and perhaps
when they almost despair of attaining it, then, in this
hour of need, ithe sea manifests in the distance a darker
hue, some clouds are seen rising in the horizon, a
ripple appears upon the water, the sails begin to {}l,
the wished-for breeze springs up; the sea parts and .
foams, and the ship darts along towards its destined
port.

Thus it is sometimes with the Christian.. He needs.
the breeze from above, and could not without it advance
in his course. Sometimes after using every means of
grace, his soul seems motionless in the yoyage, and his
beart sighs and longs for better days. His sails are
spread, he is on his way, longing and waiting for, and
yet not immediately receiving the favourable breath of
heaven. It is delayed, perhaps, to sbew him his own
inability and weakness, that he is entirely dependent on
divine grace, and that the Holy Spirit is the free gift of

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God. But he is waiting for the breeze, and at length
the wind blows, every sail is filled, every faculty,
affection, and power is engaged; he proceeds rapidly
in his course, and is wafted along towards the desired
haven.
. . . .

.
Without me, says Christ, ye can do nothing. The
words are full and express : nothing, nothing pleasing
to God. :

We are by nature. AVERSE TO PRAYÈR.–f prayer were natural to us, we should find no difficulty in having our hearts engaged in an intercourse so advan. tageous and so honourable. But who that has attempted this duty, has not found an averseness of heart, a distaste or disrelish, when about to engage in secret prayer? The soul is often straitened, shut up, and closed. Though the Christian knows it to be both his duty and his privilege to pray, he sometimes fiods an insuperable impotency and unwillingness. His inind is perhaps filled with worldly cares and anxieties;. bis affections are wandering after a thousand vanities, and he finds it a laborious effort to drag his soul to the throne of grace.

We are also' IGNORANT AS TO THE SUBJECTS OF PRAYER.–We know not what to pray for as we ought. Rom. viii, 26. We indeed feel our misery, but are not fully acquainted either with the cause or the remedy. Blind men may be conscious of the evil which sur. rounds them, but cannot see the way to avoid it, nor know how to obtain that which will be for their good. If we know at all what to pray for, yet we have not adequate views of our original depravity, and our exceeding sinsulness and unbelief; nor of the fulness and power of Christ the Saviour. We do not regard the glory of

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