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a just appreciation of his character, and a re- of Christianity to form; it lay beyond the conlying faith; and the express declaration is, “He ceptions of their philosophy, and is an order that believeth on the Son, hath everlasting life." of morals, constituting in fact the only sound “Without faith it is impossible to please God” | morality, which springs from principles too and secure salvation; for “he that believeth not pure and divine for the wisdom of this world, the Son, shall not see life." By ascertaining or the detection of human reason. the natural phenomena and laws of the universe, 2. The knowledge of Christ secures morality we may scale the heights of our intellectual by purifying the heart, which is the fountain of being, and become instrumental in extending it. The motives suggested by the Gospel to the boundaries of discovery, or aid the accumu- form human character and regulate the actions

i lations of possession; but we cannot by these of mankind, are deduced from the example and pursuits "see life,” or attain to the heavenly the cross of the Redeemer. It is perpetually blessedness; for amidst the utmost eagerness of inculcated upon us that we cannot be his dismental enthusiasm, and the finest acquisitions ciples without self-annihilation and a spiritu..! of natural genius, it is but too common to “ne- conformity. The love which ensues upon thglect the great salvation,” and thus be the pro- knowledge of him, and is cherished by the per-, per subjects of the pertinent inquiry, “How petual approximations of devotion, attracts the shall we escape ?”

soul into resemblance, producing the moral and The attainment of saivation through the permanent image of Christ upon the man. I! knowledge of Christ is a question of fact, and | is true there are many who “ name the name not of metaphysics; for it belongs not to reason of Christ,” but who do not depart from ini. to determine—it is not a problem given it to quity;" this is only, however, to say that many solve, or submitted to it for investigation. It who profess religion aet contrary to its tendenis a question of pure revelation, determining not cies, oppose its real spirit, and falsify their vows. what might be, but what is; what, in conse- We must, therefore, ever distinguish between quence of divine appointment, cannot be other intellectual speculation with an outward comwise, but is a fixed, unalterable law of the moral | pliance, and a deep-seated, genuine, and souluniverse. If, therefore, “Christ died for our renovating Christianity. sins, according to the Scriptures,” nothing can 3. The knowledge of Christ perfects moral be so essential to our happiness as to “know conduct. The same volume which supplies the him;” it must be knowledge of infinite worth facts of the Christian religion is replete with and necessity.

precepts arising out of them and its doctrines IV. A further observation we have to make to promote universal holiness; and the Spirit of in our instituted comparison, respects the moral God producing experience, which is the knowinfluence of Christianity. Although science ledge of Christ in the heart transferred from the and religion, as we have remarked, are unhap- Bible, tends to the advancement of spiritualit: pily but too often dissociated, yet general know- to the highest degree. Some bave mistakes ledge must be admitted to have many benefi- | the New Testament idea of detachment from cial tendencies. It detaches from inferior pur. | the world, by supposing it consisted in an actual suits, enlarges the mind, and imparts views of a separation from the duties of life, and that the lofty character respecting the greatness, wis- most perfect religion was to be found in the dom, and goodness of the Deity. It is not, seclusion of the desert, and the solitude of however, comparable to the science of salvation the hermitage; whereas, it is obvious that the -the knowledge of Christ, which having a separation inculcated by Christianity is a semore direct bearing on man as a moral being, paration of the passions, a withdrawal of the sanctifies as well as elevates his nature. There mind from its carnal associations, and a purifiare three points of great interest here, which, cation of the activities of life from base and without attempting to expatiate upon them, we earthly motives; and hence the perfection et would suggest as topics of thought for the medi. Christian morality does not consist in repudi- ; tative mind.

ting the claims of social and domestic life, but 1. The knowledge of Christ may be said to in the minutest fulfilment of their various ch';rereal morality—to show what it really is, by gations under the influence of a zeal for Ged representing the peculiarities of that "conduct kindled by a live coal from the altar. and conversation" which “becometh the Gospel.” V. Lastly, we remark the superiority of the The sages of antiquity never imagined such a knowledge of Christ, as preparing the mind fir character as that which is the special purpose affiction, death, and eternity. In these great

A CHAPTER ON PRAYER.

327 crises of our being, nothing else can avail. The deeply feel, and earnestly wish for.

“ An offering up man of a refined mind, indeed, who has devoted of our desires;” that is, a making mention of them his days to intellectual cultivation, is suscep

a speaking of them out–a telling of them. Prayer, tible of pleasures far surpassing those which the then, you will see, is an asking. It is an asking for

something we want-asking earnestly, that we may proudest exploits of ambition can produce; and

receive. from the researches of literature or the accumu

Suppose a man has for a long time been out of lations of science, especially if he has a consci- work, and has no money to purchase clothes and food ousness of having used them for the benefit of for his children. His children are in misery. They mankind, he may enjoy the highest degree of are half-dead with cold and hunger. Every time he retrospective satisfaction; but these will not

comes home he sees them sickly and pining, and condnce to real peace of conscience, by pro-What does this man want? He wishes to procure

hears them cry for bread. He has none to give them. moting reconciliation with God, or filling the

some employment, by which he might win some mind with the hope of eternal life. To depre- money, by which he might buy food and clothing for ciate science would argue a Gothic taste and a his poor dying children. And what will he do to get perverted judgment, nor is it in the least degree this money? He will go to all his neighbours and needful in order to adjudicate the claims of re.

friends, and ask them to assist him to get employligion. The argument is not that the one is

ment. He will go about from farm to farm, from valuable, and the other nugatory; but that both, ask employment, and never cease to ask till he find

shop to shop, from manufactory to manufactory, and being in their respective relations and degrees something to do, by which he may earn bread for his excellent, the one surpasses the other, by how family. From this example you may learn what much "godliness,” which has “the promise of prayer is. It is an asking for the pardon of sin, and the life that now is, and that which is to come,” peace with God, and many other blessings that shall exceeds attainments whose purposes, however be named afterwards, with the same desire and exalted, terminate with the present world, and anxiety to get them that the poor man, whose contain in them no elements of salvation. The family is starving, feels when he goes about asking

employment and help from this person and that, beam of science irradiates a lower sphere, or

until he obtains them. man in his inferior condition; but the light of You will say, Now we understand what prayer is,

the knowledge of the glory of Christ shines it is an asking for those things we stand in need of. through the darksome valley of death, and But if it be an asking, there must be some one we

pours its everlasting splendours upon the region are to ask from, and who is it we are to pray to? from that lies beyond. It is precisely at that mo

whom is it we are to ask the thing we desire and seek ment when all other sources of mental or physi- the answer to it is: We are to pray to God, and to

for in prayer? This is also a proper question. And cal enjoyment fail, when the lamp of philoso- God only. There are many reasons for this. Only phy expires, when the discoveries of reason two of them shall be told you at present; the other fail, and when the applauses of a world that reasons you will have opportunity of learning after| bestows all the fame it can, die upon the ear

wards. it is precisely then that religion, consisting in

The first reason why we are to pray to God, and

to God only, is, because God only can hear our praythe knowledge of Christ, exhibits its noblest triumphs, secures its amplest rewards, and will say, If one prays aloud when another person, or

ers. This will perhaps seem strange to you. You prings to immortality.

many other persons, are present, can they not hear what the one that prays is praying for? Yes, they

can hear. How, then, do you say that God only can A CHAPTER ON PRAYER.

hear prayer? You will see how this is, if you think upon what follows. Suppose a person is praying in secret, where there is no other near him-it may be

in his closet, it may be in the field, or some other BY THE REV, J. FAIRBAIRY, ALLANTOX.

place where no other person is within sight. None 'Yore parents tell you that it is your duty to pray. Of his companions can hear him then. But God can Your ministers also tell you the same. This chapter hear him. And if he is really praying, God does hear is intended for your use. It shall be taken up about him; for God is everywhere present in the house, in some of the things that have respect to the duty of the field, on the sea, everywhere. You cannot go to prayer, which your parents and ministers are so any place where God is not. No one can shut himanzious to impress upon you.

self out for a moment from the presence of God. You ask what prayer is. It is a proper question. Take another case. Many people have been at prayer You must understand what prayer is before you can this morning. Many in this land, many in other p'ray. A short description will be best, and most lands—in England, America, India, and many other easily remembered. Prayer is an offering up of our places at great distances from each other. No man iesires unto God.” “Our desires;" that is, what we has heard all the prayers that have been offered this

FOR YOUNG PERSONS,

66

morning. No man could hear them all. You can- which the Lord extends to us, there are two things not be present in two places at the same time. Let we ought to do. We ought to feel very grateful for the places be ever so near to each other, you cannot 80 much undeserved loving-kindness; we ought also, be in two places, in this room and in the next room, with humble and sincere hearts, to pray unto the at the same time. But all these prayers which have Lord- to ask him that he would be graciously been offered have been heard. Though no man has pleased, if it be his holy will, to continue to us the heard them, God has heard them. And how has enjoyment of these precious mercies. There are God heard ther? It is because he is present every- many who do not do so. They do as the beasts of where at the same time. England and India are the field do. A beast rises from its rest, and immevery far distant from each other. It requires some diately begins to eat. It does so because God has months to pass before we can learn what is doing in not endowed it with knowledge. He has not given India, because of the distance between the two coun- to the beast a rational soul. It cannot meditate tries. Suppose a Christian to be praying at this upon his works and his goodness. There are many moment in this country, and another Christian to be persons, young and old, who do as the beasts do. praying in India, God hears them both, because he They rise from their rest to their meat, from their is equally present here and in that distant country. meat to their work, without feeling any gratitude to

This attribute or perfection of God, by which he is God for preserving them through the night-for conpresent in all places, and that at all times, is called tinuing them in health-for furnishing a table for his omnipresence. And it is the reason, or one of the them. They do not stop to give thanks to him. reasons, why God only is the hearer of prayer. They do not pray to him for a continuance of these

The other reason why we are to pray to God only, blessings if it be his holy will. Let any who act thus, is this; God alone can answer our prayers—God endeavour to find out in what respect their conduct alone has power to give us those things we stand in differs from that of a beast. Who does not see how need of. There are, indeed, many things that our guilty they must be, possessing a rational soul, an!

fellow-creatures can do for us. We have many de- yet living as the beasts that perish? sires and wishes they can gratify. A father can do But though we may pray, and pray earnestly (for many things for his child, a friend can do many whenever we pray it ought to be done earnestly) unto things for his friend; but there are many things God for a continuation of his great goodness to us as aiso which we stand in need of, which none of our regards temporal blessings, there should always be a earthly friends can do for us. When a man is sick, limitation introduced. The limitation is, that the his friend cannot restore him to health. When a Lord would be pleased to bestow such and such temman is dying, his friend cannot prevent his death. poral blessings upon us—if they be for his glory and In any extremity, it would only be a loss of time and our own good. The reason is, we are very ignorant labour, to go for assistance to any one who is utterly of what is best for us. The things of this world, on unable to be of the slightest service to you. The which we often set our hearts most, are things which, things which we most of all stand in need of, and were they given to us according to our own measures without obtaining which we shall be miserable here and wishes, might greatly damage us in our best and and hereafter, are the things which no earthly friend highest interests. If we had our whole will regard. can bestow upon us. The Lord only can help us in ing worldly things, we would never choose sickness, regard to them. And, therefore, it is to him only or poverty, or separation from our friends--no cross we are to go for them, to ask them from him. What providence-nothing that would interfere with or mar we may ask from God in prayer, is the next thing to our enjoyment in this world. This world would get be mentioned.

a complete mastery over us, and we should regard it as In praying to God, we are encouraged to ask from our permanent and happy dwelling-place, which we him all things we stand in need of. We have a are too apt to do even with all the abatement of feligreat number of wants. Our Saviour tells us, “ What city in it, and all the temporary disrelish of it, which

soever ye ask of the Father in my name, he shall the trials we meet with in it produce. Solomon's give it you.” Our wants stand under two divisions. prayer was an admirable one. He prayed not for Temporal mercies and Spiritual mercies. A few health, riches, worldly prosperity and power, but for words regarding these. By temporal mercies are wisdom. This also is one of the prayers of Moses in meant health, food, clothing, prosperity upon our the 90th Psalm: “ So teach us to number our days, honest industry in our worldly calling. The tem- that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom." poral mercies which the Lord bestows upon us are Another thing respecting temporal blessings to very precious. When we awake in the morning, it which we should always attend is, never in our de is a precious thing to awaken in health of body and sires, or in our prayers, to put them on a level with soundness of mind, to have our food and raiment, and spiritual things. It is easy to enjoin this, and very other conveniences. It might have been far other- easy to satisfy our understanding about the propriety wise. Death might have come upon us and called us of it; but to practise it is very difficult. Every one out of this world amidst the slumber and darkness of who has exercised himself upon it must constant's night. It has happened so to thousands. Or we have felt how difficult it is. In comparison with:

might have awakened in sickness, or in madness. spiritual things, we ought to consider worldly things. | But we have awakened in health and in comfort, the most precious of them, very cheap. They should be

because the Lord has watched over us, and been kept in a very subordinate place. Many parts of merciful to us. For such unwearied loving-kindness Scripture teach us this most impressively. “If ye A CHAPTER ON PRAYER.

329

be risen with Christ, set your hearts on things above, are to be placed in our desires and prayers far where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God”- above all other things. There are many spiritual

Set your affections on ihings above." The believer blessings we are to ask. Sometimes they are in is only then in a prosperous state, when he is looking, Scripture summed up together, and spoken of as one.

not to the things that are seen and temporal, but to Our Saviour says, “ Seek ye first the kingdom of | the things that are unseen and eternal. The tem- God and his righteousness." Here you observe they

poral blessings of the covenant of grace are bread are all placed together, and “ called the kingdom of and water. The Lord often bestows a great deal God.” They are also mentioned by our Saviour as more, but he is not pledged to bestow anything more. • the one thing needful." “ One thing is needful." Whatever more he bestowe, it is thrown in as a gra- All other things are not to be named in comparison tuity. It is worth noticing that nothing more but with this. All other things are to be counted as our bread and water are promised. It is as if the dross when put in comparison with “ the one thing Lord should say to his people: You shall have your that is needful.” All other things gathered together, bread and water. I will find you in these. That is and thrown into your arms, can do you no good, if enough for you. Your portion is not in this world. " the one thing needful” be lacking. These spiritual

It is in heaven. When you enter heaven, you shall blessings we are to ask from God, are also mentioned I come to your inheritance. Yet fear not what may individually, and set forth in detail. And when we

befall you upon earth, for your bread and water shall examine the Scriptures, our directory for prayer, we be sure.

find everything that can promote our welfare and Many instances are on record of the faithfulness of true happiness is provided for, and set down as what the Lord to this promise. If we are truly anxious the Lord is willing to bestow upon us, and what, about the “ better part," we may be easy about the therefore, we may freely ask from him. inferior. If we are really walking in the fear of the Having learned, in some measure, what prayer is, Lord, we need not be over-solicitous about the things to whom we are to pray, and what things we are to of this world. If we are seeking the kingdom of pray for; it will be proper to ask next-how we are God and his righteousness, let us not be drawn from to pray? After what sort-in what manner are we jit by worldly cares, for we are assured that needful to pray? Before answering this question, let me put worldly things shall be added to it. Take the case a question to you. My question is, How, or in what of Elijah. The dearth has begun--the three and manner, do you now pray? Perhaps the following 'a-half years during which no rain is to fall. Elijah sentences may be a tolerably correct description of feels the pinching of the dearth as well as others; | your state of mind. The set time comes at which but the Lord takes care of his servant.

Ile com

you are in the habit of engaging in prayer. You mands the prophet to go to the brook Cherith. Ilis say, Now I must go about my prayers. You observe water is thus provided—“ Thou shalt drink of the the time regularly. But are you concerned to feel, brook.” As to his bread, the ravens must fetch it every time you go to prayer, how solemn a thing to him. They bring him bread and flesh twice a-day- prayer is? Do you feel a true wish to speak to God, a repast in the morning and one in the evening. The and have communion with him? Do you not often, brook is at length dried up. Its channel is as dry as perhaps oftener than otherwise, go about prayer in the dust in the wilderness. This supply fails. But the same sort of way as you would go about any what next? “ The word of the Lord came unto common matter? Do you not also very often feel him, saying, Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which that you have no true desire and inclination to pray? belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there; behold, I have no great delight in drawing near into the presence of

commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee."God? Do you not very often feel that you would 1 * Bring me, I pray thee,” said Elijah to the widow, let the duty slip if your conscience would allow you "a morsel of bread in thy hand.” * As the Lord to do so ? Do you not often feel as if you could say, thy God liveth,” she answered, “ I have not a cake, I feel very little disposed to prayer this night, and but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in had as well not engage in prayer, as engage in it in 1 a cruse; and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that so cold a frame of mind as I now feel: I hope to feel "I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we in a better frame of mind in the morning, when I Inay eat it and die. And Elijah said, Fear not, go shall be sure to engage in prayer with greater delight und do as thou hast said; but make me thereof a and interest? little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after These remarks apply to the state in which your make for thee and for thy son. For thus saith the feelings may be when you are about to engage in the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not duty of prayer. What are your feelings when you waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day are actually engaged in the duty ? Are they always that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.” Thus what they ought to be? Are they what they ought · the Lord took care of the prophet, the widow, and to be even once in five or in ten times you engage in her son, during that famine—of many more also, prayer? Are not the words you use in prayer often though their names are not mentioned. He took a mere form in your mouth? Do they not often care of all who placed their trust in him. He made completely overshoot your feeling? Perhaps they their bread and their water sure to them.

express what you once felt, but do they not often But we are also, and chiefly, to pray for spiritual express a great deal more than you habitually feel? blessings. These spiritual blessings which we are to When the body is in good health, the appetites of ask from God in prayer are the main concerns. They hunger and thirst return at the usual interval.

After his day's work the labouring man feels oppres- are we to pray? What things are we to ask when we sed with sleep. If our souls were in good health, pray? How are we to pray? Several other things they too would feel an appetite for their portion of should have been noticed. Want of room at present spiritual food and rest. This teaches, that indiffer- hinders; but another opportunity may occur. ence in prayer (and there is indifference in prayer, when the desires of the heart do not keep pace with the words of the mouth) is a bad sign. It is a sign HE STANDETH AT THE DOOR AND that things are not well with us. Suppose that for

KNOCKETH. several nights you could get no sleep, but lay tossing from side to side-that for several days you could

In the silent midnight watches, take no food; you would think there was something

List—thy bosom door,

How it knocketh, knocketh, knocketh, wrong with you—you would think of sending for the

Knocketh evermore! physician, and would be bemoaning you in a variety of ways. Yet how little alarm do we feel, though

Say not 'tis thy pulses beating : our coldness and indifference in prayer are as sure a

'Tis thy heart for sin :

'Tis thy Saviour knocks and crieth, sign of a deranged spiritual state as the want of sleep and the absence of our common appetites are of

Rise, and let me in: a deranged state of the body!

Death comes down with reckless footstep 1. There is yet another thing which should be noticed

To the hall and hut; about the state of feeling when engaged in prayer.

Think you Death will tarry knocking What has already been said refers to the want of feel

Where the door is shut? ing—to indifference—to cold inactivity. Now about

Jesus waiteth, waiteth, waiteth; an activity of mind which is as Dad, if not worse than

But the door is fast: a cold inactive dulness about spiritual concerns-a restless activity of worldly and corrupt thoughts.

Grieved, away the Saviour goeth;

Death breaks in at last. How often is the mind disturbed by such? What an irruption!-whole legions of them often whirl Then is't time to stand entreating through the mind when one is engaged in prayer.

Christ to let thee in; When you are speaking to God with your lips, how

At the gate of heaven beating, often is your heart speaking with the world! You

Wailing for thy sin ? are making arrangements about your games, plea- Nay, alas ! thou guilty creature, sures, pursuits, holidays, and many other things. It

Hast thou then forgot ? i need scarce be said that this is not the manner in

Hast thou waited long to know thee? which we should pray. We are not to pray with the

Now he knows thee not! heart and the mouth speaking different and opposite

A.yox. things; nor with the mind entertaining swarms of vain, wicked, and worldly thoughts; nor in cold indifference and deadness. This is what is called formality Biographical Sketci). in prayer.

When formality is present, the true spirit of prayer is absent. Formality and true spiri- THE LATE IIUGII HEUGJI, D.D., GLASGOW. tual devotion cannot agree. They cannot endure each other's company. When the one enters, the This eminent servant of Christ, who has jus: other is sure to depart. “If I regard evil in my been taken away in the midst of his years and heart, the Lord will not hear me."

usefulness, was born at Stirling on the 12th of We are to pray, having our minds deeply impressed August 1782. His paternal ancestors, for at and overawed with a sense of the great majesty and least three generations, were clergymen. His holiness of God, in whose presence we stand, and to grandfather and great-grandfather were both whom our prayers are addressed. When we pray, ministers of the Established Church of Scotwe speak to God. We are to pray in faith.

We land. The former, who was ordained to the must be clearly persuaded that God, to whom we charge of the parish of Kingoldrum, in Forfar. pray, is the hearer and answerer of prayer, and that shire, in the early part of last century, finished he really knows all we stand in need of—and pos- his course at the age of forty-nine, in the year sesses, and is willing to bestow upon us, all those | 1731, just before the origin of the United Sethings mentioned in Scripture, as the things we are

cession Church. An account of his death-bed to pray for.

experience is, it seems, preserved among his We are to pray in sincerity; that is, really to desire descendants, from which it appears that in his the things we pray for.

dying hours he felt great anxiety lest after his In prayer, we are to ask all that we ask in the departure his flock should be intrusted to the name and for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. It care of an unfaithful pastor-an apprehension is only tbrough him that we can come to the Father. far from groundless in those times. Johu It is only for Christ's work sake that the Father will Heugh, the younger son of this good man, durhear us, and bestow anything upon us.

ing the course of his studies, considered it his You will observe, that the things spoken of in the duty to connect himself with the party who above pages are these: What is prayer? To whom had recently seceded from the National Church,

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