Imatges de pÓgina
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word, and to sing to his glory in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. It is the salutary duty of mau on earth —it is a reasonable and becoming service-and must constitute a part of all our addresses, whether in public or in private, to Him who has so great a claim upon our adoration; but it will constitute, according to the word of Revelation, the delightful employment of the blessed, who shall be admitted to a nearer contemplation of the divine perfections, throughout the endless ages of eternity.

§ 10. Prayer is a duty not to be neglected with impunity, for it is enforced by a positive command: a command which God has been pleased also to accompany with gracious promises that he will hear those who call upon him faithfully, with the assurance that the efficacy of prayer is very great, and that it is a sacrifice well-pleasing in his sight.

From the exercise of prayer, whether in behalf of ourselves or others, we shall, therefore, derive the certain benefit of raising our hearts to God, and thus strengthening our habits of devotion; we shall gain a knowledge of our real spiritual condition, from the inclination or disinclination we feel to this holy exercise; --we shall profit by the access to grace, which we obtain as Christians, and by the salutary communication to which we are admitted as the sons of God;-we shall obey the positive command of God, a command given entirely for our advantage, for the Deity can receive no increase of happiness or honour from our service; we shali procure, if we duly ask, whatever is good for us, and avert whatever is really injurious, --for though God knows what we require without ask.

withholds for the present what we seek,-chastening us with a rod of mercy,—we are sure that if we obey his commands, he will fulfil his promises; if we love him and praise him in all his dispensations, however inscrutable, trusting the result to him in patience, submission, and cheerful hope, all things will eventu. ally work together for our good. Not only does the revealed will of God, but common gratitude require the constant exercise of prayer. To neglect it, is ingratitude of the deepest dye: for we thus virtually deny that God is the author of good and the averter of evil, that he is our Helper and Defender, our Redeemer, our Sanctifier-in short, that he is the LORD our God.

From Scripture,

SECTION I.

Matt. xxii. 37, 38. Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great Commandment. John iv. 23, 24. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. Exod. xx. 4. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Rom. i. 20, 21. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world' are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Ps. xci. 14, 15. Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. 1 John iii. 22. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

SECTION II.

Psal. v. 3. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. Psal. Ixv. 2. O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Psal. Ixix. 30, 31. I will praise the name of God with a song, und will magnify him with thanksgiving. This also shall please the Lord better than an ox or bullock that hath horns and hoofs. Matt. vi. 6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Heb. xi. 6. But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. 1 Cor. xiv. 15. What is it then? I will pray with the Spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also. Psal, xvii, 1. Hear the right, O Lord, attend unto my prayer, that goeth not out of feigned lips. Psal. xxv. 1. Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Lam. iii. 41. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. 1 Tim. i. 17. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. Eccles. v. 1, 2. Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou on earth; therefore let thy words be few. Prov, xv. 8. 29. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. The Lord is far from the wicked; but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. John ix. 31. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. Psal. xx. 5. We will rejoice in thy salvation, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners: the Lord fulfil

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all thy petitions. 1 John v. 15. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. Matt. xxi. 22. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive. Matt. vi. 33. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness: and all these things shall be added unto you. Psal. 1. 14. Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the Most High. Ephes. v. 20. Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Phil. iv. 6. Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made unto God. Psal. c. 4. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Psal. cxlv. 2. Every day will I bless thee; and I will praise thy name for ever and ever. Deut. xxxii. 3, 4. Because I will publish the name of the Lord: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. He is the Rock: his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

SECTION JII.

Psal. xcv. 6, 7. O come let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our Maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. To-day if ye will hear his voice. Psal. cxlv. 19. He will fulfil the desire of them that fear him; he also will hear their cry, and will help them. 1 Tim. ii. 8. I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. Neh. ix. 6. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. Psal. Ixviii. 19. Blessed be the Lord who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation. Psal. ciii. 2, 3. Bless

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