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favour of that practice, which has ever taken place in the Christian Church. Whereas in other assemblies of Christians, where the extemporary prayer off the minister constitutes the substance of religious worship, the condition upon which this promise of our Saviour is suspended, cannot, properly speaking, be performed. -e

There are, indeed, among separatists from the Church, those who, from an unhappy perversity of character, which is continually manifesting itself in la settled opposition to every thing that is established, carry their objections to settled modes of worship to that extent, as even to reject the Lord's prayer, because it is a form. To reason with such persons would, probably, answer no better purpose than it would have done heretofore to have reasoned with the Scotch covenanter; who, upon the word of command being given in the field to wheel to the right, stood stock still; and upon being questioned, why he did not obey, gave for answer, that his conscience would not permit him, for the word of command was a form, and they had taken up arms to fight against forms.

Tout Us

It may be proper, however, to say one short word on this head, for the consideration of those, who, whilst they affect to pray by the spirit, reject the Lord's prayer, as laying a restraint upon that Divine impulse, by which they imagine themselves to be governed. For, in conformity with this idea, the Holy Spirit, whom our Saviour sent into the world for the purpose of bringing all things to the remembrance of his disciples which He had said unto them, is supposed to act in opposition to a


command which Christ, when on earth, had given
for their direction: After this manner (says Christ
to his disciples) pray ye; Our Father,&mod
form of prayer, which, for its construction; appears
to have been originally designed for the use ofma
congregation and which the Church, in conformity
with our Saviour's original direction, has always
thought proper to make a part of our religious
worship. The conclusion in this case is too ob-
evious, it is presumed, to require being drawn at
length. 9 he 'La Sudos Jon ai moitiaoqaib
o It may, perhaps, be objected by those from whom
we differ upon the subject of extemporary prayer,
that our reasoning upon it tends in a great measure
to deny the assistance of the Holy Spirit. On this
head, therefore, we observe briefly, what we are fully
persuaded of, that whoever is not assisted by the
Holy Spirit in prayer, whatever be the form which
she may adopt for the purpose, will never i pray to
effect. But whilst we admit this position in its
proper sense, we at the same time do not hesitate to
differ in opinion from enthusiasts, with respect to
(what is meant by the spirit of prayer. With them
it means a spirit of ready invention, and extempo-
orary effusion, which is by no means the certain
y effect of Divine influence... With us it means, what
can proceed from God alone, a spirit of devotion
ando pious affection; such as holy David may be
supposed to have particularly felt, when he com-
posed the 42d, the 51st, the 84th, and 86th Psalms;
with some others, which need not be pointed out,
This spirit of devotion, which gave acceptance at
Matth. vi 96?E OVUNQ to


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the Throne of Grace to the simple prayer of the
Publicans) and without which: the most perfect
composition is but a collection of evain words, of-
fensive toothe Being to whom it is addressed; nis) a
mixture of humiliation and gratitude, derived from
the consideration of our vileness and wretchedness
on the one hand, and the contemplation of infinite
goodness and castonishing loving-kindness on the
other. Whoever prays in this disposition of soul,
most certainly prays by the spirit; because this
disposition is not natural, but the effect of that
Divine influence, which is graciously employed for
the purpose of bringing fallen man back to his
Maker, 1899 3 405, 1955
aid This devout disposition, the work of the Holy
Spirit, is not, it is true, confined to any particular
mode of prayer; but, as it confessedly depends more
upon the heart than the head, it is more likely to
prevail on occasions, when, in consequence of the
head being less occupied with attention to the form
or invention of the matter of prayer, the heart is
more at liberty to be affected by the spirit of it.


A consideration, how little effect soever it may produce in the minds of those who, by their separation from our Church, are not in a condition to appreciate it; must, it is presumed, make every Considerate member of it sensible of the advantages he enjoys in the use of a liturgy, which, from its excellent construction, wist not only calculated to raise that spirits of devotion essential to all religious exercises, but which is, moreover, im strict corresspondence with the word of God, and the platform of primitive practice.

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10 -u® now separate from us, but
rouble to know what our
nient, that their zeal, which
er without knowledge, would
aily extinguished. For let any
gously disposed, but do justice to
orming himself to the several

mpenz pad inspeed and in truth, and we dare an===+=+44; ^ \«nsequence. But the misfortune is, t, that none of those out of the hows alas! of those who are in it, will yenl. th. aperiment. And hence it is, that the f violent against her, and the latter so bus moveba od ot Infor her.


the service of preaching, little need be because it is to be considered rather as ige to religious worship, than an actual and being more the service of other than the congregation, the manner in is performed may, with more latitude, be left *gment and discretion. Provided the doc.* delivered be consonant to the revealed word of and made intelligible to the hearers, the seri of preaching is duly performed; and being qulated to answer its end, all further enquiry out it becomes unnecessary. În 257046 mo. Ti But whilst we are unwilling to say any thing that y tend in any degree to depreciate a powerful cons of grace, as the service of preaching most/ doubtedly is, when properly accompanied, we nevertheless obliged to speak of it as it is; with the view of preventing a greater effect being ex, posted from it, than it was designed to produce."


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The service of preaching was intended to instruct Christian, professors in their duty; the service of prayer, to procure for them that Divine assistance which can alone enable them to discharge it.Now if the whole of the public performance of religion be in a manner swallowed up in preaching, it is easy to conceive how the attendants upon it may be hearers of the word, and not doers of it; pose sessing a form of godliness, without knowing any thing of the power of it. For it is as possible for a man to be a diligent attendant upon sermons, and yet manifest nothing of the spirit of Christianity in his life and conversation; as it is impossible for him to be a devout and constant suppliant at the Throne of Grace, and long remain an unsanctified person. For God, we are told, will give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him. But He has no where pros mised, that He will grant it to those whose religious service consists in hearing only.



434 Coppinioa It is a remark that has been long since made, that no man who prays, can long continue a sinner, for either his praying will make him leave off sinning or his sinning will certainly oblige him to leave off praying. To which we will add, that a man may hear sermons all his life-time, and yet be as) far from heaven at the end of his stage as when hec set out; but let him pray the prayers of our Church, and devoutly attend her sacraments, and we may venture to answer for his salvation, though he should have been so circumstanced, as not to have heard a single sermon during his whole Christian progress is Should the foregoing ideas be conformable to sound reason, the great danger conséquent upon {


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