« AnteriorContinua »
TO THE READER.
ELIGION is so much the business of our lives, and
the worlhip of God so much the business of our religion, that what hath a fincere intention and probable tendency to promote and affift the acts of religious worship, I think cannot be unacceptable to any that wilh well to the interests of God's kingdom among men: for if we have fpiritual senses exercised, true devotion, that aspiring flame of pious affections to God, as far as in a judge ment of charity we discern it in others (though in different shapes and dresses, which may seem uncouth to one another) cannot but appear beautiful and amiable, and as far as we feel it in our own breasts, cannot but be found very pleasant and comfortable.
Prayer is a principal branch of religions worship which we are moved to by the very light of nature, and obliged by some of its fundamental laws. Pythagoras's golden verses begin with this precept, Whatever men make a god of they pray to; Deliver me, for thou art my God, Ifa. sliv 17. Nay, whatever they pray to, they make a god of,— Deos qui rogat ille fecit. ''Tis a piece of respect and homage so exactly confonantto the natural ideas which all men have of God, that it is certain those that live without prayer live without God in the world.
Prayer is the folemn and religious offering of devout acknowledgments and desires to God, or a fincere reprefentation of holy affections, with a design to give unto God the glory due unto his name thereby, and to obtain from him promised favours, and both thro' the Mediator. Our English word Prayer is too strait, that properly signifies petition or request; whereas humble adoration of God & thanksgivings to him, are as necessary in prayer as any other part of it. The Greek word profeuche, from Euche, is a vow directed to God. The Latin word Votum is used for prayer ; Jonah's mariners with their sacrifices made vows; for prayer is to move and oblige ourselves,
JUN 25 1901 150508