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uttered,” (Rom. viii. 26,) finds spiritual enlargement; is “strengthened with might in the inner man,” (Eph. iii. 16 ;) is enriched with the light of God's reconciled counte

nance; and comes forth from his closet in

a more humble, more watchful, more spiritual, more holy, more heavenly frame; and, consequently, is more fit for the public duties of religion, or the particular duties of his calling--the Lord having put into his heart more gladness than an increase of corn and wine could give, (Ps. iv. 7,) and caused his holy comforts to delight his soul. (Psalm xciv. 19.)



How lamentable is it that a duty so obvious, a privilege so great, a means of grace so enriching to the soul, erer should be neglected! What are the causes to be

assigned for it?

If the neglect be total and permanent, in

penitency of heart may be suspected as

the cause.

To perceive no necessity for secret pray

er-to have no mind, no will, no heart to

such a duty--to make no effort to discharge it, and to feel no remorse of conscience for neglecting it, are fearful signs of an unhumbled, uurenewed, impenitent


Whilst the cause remains, the

effect will continue; therefore, let such

beseech God to grani then true repentance and his Holy Spirit," that their indisposition to call upon him in private may be removed, that their secret prayers may be accepted, and openly rewarded, by him, - and that the rest of their life may be

pure and holy, so that at the last they may come

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If the neglect be temporary and voluntary,

some sin or sins committed against light

and knowledge may be the cause.

Such sins load the conscience with guilt, weaken the spiritual strength of the Christian, becloud his evidences of grace, make him a terror to himself, and afraid of real

izing the Divine Presence. Then he is shy

of drawing near to God in secret; and as

our first parents, from conscious guilt, would have « hid themselves from the

presence of the Lord God, amongst the trees of the garden;" so he, by neglecting the positive and known duty of secret prayer, flies, as it were, from the Lord's presence, to forget his transgression and acquire his former confidence, by occupy

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ing his time and thoughts with the affairs

of this world. But this is folly. To add

sin to sin the sin of omission to the sin of

commission-gives the enemy of souls a powerful advantage over him. It invariably increases his guilt, benumbs his conscience, strengthens his inbred corruptions, and renders his return to spiritual duties increasingly difficult. However painful it may be to draw near to God in secret, with an awful consciousness of guilt on the soul, it should not be shunned. It is vastly better, while the conscience is feelingly alive to the wound it has received, to hasten to the throne of grace, and ingeniously to confess the sin, looking to the cross of Christ, and imploring the pardon of it for his sake, and grace to be more watchful in future. It must be done, or the conse

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