Imatges de pÓgina
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Yes ; we, as well as all the rest of mankind, have broken them in thought, word, and deed, and are justly condemned, There is not a just man upon earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not.

Eccles. vii, 20. All bave sinned and come short of the glory of God. Rom. iii, 23. By the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. Gal. ii, 16. Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things wbich are

written in the book of the law, to do them. Gal. iii, 10. Whosoever skall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he

is guilty of all. James ii, 10. In many things we offend all. James iii, . What ought we then to do?

We ought to pray that God would make us deeply sensible of the greatness and number of our sins, and cause us to flee to Christ for pardon and salvation. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.

Ps. xxv, 11. By him, all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye

could not be justified by the law of Moses. Acts xiii, 39. Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believe

eth. Rom. x, +. Christ hath redeemed us from the cnrse of the law, being made a curse

for us. Gal. iii, 13. We see, then, that the Bible is a rule of life. It is of little use to be able to read it, unless our lives be regu. lated by it, and unless we bring its holy precepts into our daily practice.

Remember, (2 Pet. ii, 21.) It had been better not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after you have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto you.

Apply the scriptures, and bring them home to your selves. Knowledge puffeth up. You may have read a great deal, and you may recollect a great deal, but this will do you no good, unless you order your life by its precepts. Try yourselves by your obedience. You must obey one of two masters. (Matt. vi, 24; 1 Kings xviii, 21.) Are you serving God? You perhaps shrink froní the question. You feel you are bad. But do you wish to be better? Did you ever try to be so? Did you ever pray for a new heart-a heart to love and serve him? No man ever kept God's commandments while in a state of nature. Our hearts are by nature so wicked, that we are not

able to do any good thing, nor even to wish to do right, in order to please God. Rom. vii, 23; Phil. ii, 13.

Pray earnestly to God that he would overcome your evil heart, and give you power to resist sin. The promise recorded in his word, (Lukexi, 11--13;) is intended to encourage you. Communion Service.--Lord bave mercy npon us, and write all these

thy laws in our hearts, we beseech thee, 1st Sunday after Epiphany.-Grant that we may both perceive and know what things we ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fuifil the samé.

On the Lord's Prayer. No. 1.

ON PRAYER.

You have now been instructed in the three branches of your

baptismal vow. But, my good child, know this, that thou art not able to do these things of thyself, nor to walk in the commandments of God, and to serve him; how then may you be enabled to perform them? Through God's special grace, without which I can neither repent, believe, nor obey. Without me ye can do nothing. John xv, 5. In me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing. Rom, vii, 18. By the grace of God, I am what I am. 1 Cor. xv, 10. Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of our

selves ; but our sufficiency is of God. 2 Cor. iii, 5. My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor. xii, 9. Strengthened with might, by his Spirit, in the inner man. Eph. iii, 16. It is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good

pleasure. Phil. ii, 13. I can do all things, through Christ which strengtheneth me. Pbil.

iv, 13. Art. 10. “ The condition of man after the fall of Adam, is such, that

be cannot turn and prepare bimself by his own natural strength and good works, to faith, and calling upon God: wherefore we have no power to do good works, pleasant and acceptable to God, without the grace of God, by Christ, preventing us, that we may have a good will, and working with us, when we have that good will."

If, then, our hearts are wicked, and we are unable to change them, and if we must sink down into hell if we should die in our sins; we see that unless God help us, no other power can save us from perishing.

What do you mean by God's special grace?

The influences of his Holy Spirit, (which God will give to all who ask him,) whereby their souls are converted, comforted, and sanctified.

Grace means favor freely bestowed, and it implies unworthiness in the person on whom it is bestowed. The salyation of the people of God is altogether of his grace: It springs from his grace, is carried on by his grace, and is completed by his grace, through Jesus Christ, who is, Full of grace and truth. And of his fulness have all we received,

and grace for grace.--Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

John i, 14-17. Being justified freely by his grace. Rom. ilí, 14; Titus iii, 7. By grace ye are saved. Eph. ii, 5. Wbo bath saved ns, and called us with an holy calling, according to

his own purpose and grace. 2 Tim. i, 9. God giveth grace to the humble. 1 Pet. V, 5. What must you do to obtain the special grace of God ?

I must learn at all times to call for it by diligent prayer, and by constantly making use of all the other means of grace; they are called the means of grace, because, in the right use of them, gruce is bestowed upon us. What is prayer?

The offering up our desires to God, and asking him, in faith and patience, for such things as are agreeable to his will.

All our mercies must come to us from God; but he often makes us ask for them, in diligent persevering prayer, before he gives them to us; since we set very little value upon those blessings which we obtain without exertion. Ezek. 36, 37. Pour out your heart before him. Ps. Ixii, 8. To whom should your prayers be addressed ?

To God, in the name of Christ, and trusting only in his merits and mediation ; therefore we conclude our prayers, “ Throngh Jesus Christ our Lord.” In the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Ps. Y, 3. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Ps. lxv, 2. No man cometh unto the Father but by me. John xiv, 6. Whatsoever ye sball ask the Father in my name, he will give it

yon. John xiv, 13 ; xv, 16; xvi, 23. Through him (Christ) we both have access, by one Spirit, unto the

Fatber. Eph. ii, 18.

There is one mediator between God and men, tbe man Christ Jesus.

1 Tim. ii, 5. Having, therefore, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of

Jesus—let us draw near with a true, heart, in full assurance of faith. Heb. x, 19-22.

Are our prayers acceptable to God, when the heart is not

engaged ? No: unless the heart be engaged, the words can be of no avail. The Scribes and Pharisees, for a pretence, made long prayers, while they devoured widows' houses. (Matt. xxiii, 14.) Prayer does not consist in repeating a mere form of words, though we say them over ever so often: and a person may breathe out his desires to God with groanings that cannot be uttered, and yet be accepted. Such seems to have been the prayer of Moses, Exod. xiv, 15. Therefore, when we begin to pray, we should try to remember, that to the God we worship, “ all hearts are open, all desires known, and from him no secrets are hid.” May we feel truly ashamed to think how many mercies we have asked for, which we did not wish to have; and how many sins we have confessed, on account of which we have felt no sorrow. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be

acceptable in thy sight. Ps. xix, 14. When ihou saidst, Seek ye my face: my heart said unto thee, Tby

face, Lord, will I seek. Ps. xxvii, 8. Rend your heart, and not your garments. Joel ii, 13. When thou prayest, enter into thy closet ; and wben thou hast shut

tby door, pray to thy Father which seeth in secret. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the beathen do; for they think

that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matt. vi, 6,7. This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me

with their lips; but their heart is far from me, But in vain do they worship me. Isa. xxix, 13; Matt. xv, 8, 9; Mark vii, 6. Prayer, if properly engaged in, increases our faith, and makes us more sensible of our wants. We must, therefore, pray, in order that we may be fitted to receive the mercies we stand in need of. It is not only the evidence of grace already communicated, but the means of obtaining more. Do we need uny help, in order that we may pray acceptably?

Yes: we cannot pray aright without the assistance of the Holy Spirit.

I will pour upon the house of David, the spirit of grace and of sapo

plications. Zech. xii, 10. The Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not wbat to pray

for as we onght. Rom. viii, 20. I will pray with the Spirit, &c. 1 Cor. xiv, 15, Praying always, with all prayer and supplication in the spirit.

Eph. vi, 18. We are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit. Phil. iii, 3. Praying in the floly Ghost. Jude, 20. What are the dispositions which are necessaryto true prayer,

and which are produced in the heart of the Christian

the Holy Spirit? 1. Sincerity. The prayer of the upright is his delight. Prov. xv, 8. Ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all

your heart. Jer, xxix, 13, 2. Humility.

We should endeavour to get solemn views of the majesty of that God, before whom angels veil their faces. He torgelleih not the cry of the humble. Ps. ix, 12. Thou hast heard the desire of the humble, Ps, x, 17.

3. Faith. Whatsoever ye sball ask in prayer, believieg, ye shall receive,

Matt. xxi, 22.
What ibings soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye

receive them, and ye shall have them. Mark xi, 24. 4. Fervency. Fervent in spirit. Rom. xii, 11. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteons man availeth much.

Jaines v, 16.
5. Perseverance.
Continuing instant in prayer. Roin. xii, 1%.
Watching noto prayer with all perseverance. Eph. vi, 18.

There is nothing we so easily tire of as prayer: whatever earnestuess we may sometimes feel, we are very apt to faint, when the sins we complain of are not subdued, and when the mercies we want are not immediately granted : therefore, Jesus spake the parable of the unjust judge, That men ongbt always to pray, and not to faint. Luke xviii, 1.

What are the different kinds of Prayer?

1. Public prayer, or the worship of God with the con

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