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eminent usefulness, and even leadership in every good work. So, in regard to many other faults and delinquencies; a brother can be taken by the hand, and lifted up, and led along, in company, in the right way. If lacking in public spirit, here are influences inciting to liberality. A lover of the prayer-meeting will be a man of social feelings and of a public spirit. A liberal man, devising liberal things, he will be a working man.

Here, too, the Christian will find a good school for the correction of errors in Christian experience. It has often been remarked, that Christians differ very little in their prayers, however much they may differ in their creeds. If the prayers of saints are more reliable, because of greater freedom from errors, than their professions, then their prayers will be a better glass in which to see our mistakes in our experience. Christians pray as they feel; and in prayer they feel themselves in the presence of God, the Hearer of prayer, and the Searcher of hearts. And here, where experience is interchanged in unguarded simplicity before God, the humble Christian will find much to chasten and perfect his experience.

We have suggested social edification as among the fruits of intelligent and conscientious observance of the prayermeeting. Reason, experience, history, and Bible testimony, concur in establishing this truth. Unity in the faith, harmony in efforts, and organic strength are promoted and cherished in the prayer-meeting. The oarly Christians “continued steadfastly in the Apostle's doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and”—just so long as, and because they continued—“in prayers." When they began to "forsake the assembling of themselves together," in their conference meetings, for prayer and for exhorting one another, then wavering in the profession of their faith began to appear among them. Then, too, that blessed,

fraternal “provoking of one another to love and good works” began to disappear, and lose its power to stimulate and bind together brethren in unity of heart and effort. Differences in opinion, and fierce religious controversy, or, Laodicean deadness and cold apathy, will prevail in the same communion among brethren, usually, in the absence of the practice and power of the prayer-meeting, and in the absence of revival of religion, where the prayermeeting is always a commanding power. The spirit of prayer, and the love and practice of the prayer-meeting, will so give organic strength to the church as to make her terrible as an army with banners. The period of the organic strength of the Apostolic church was the period of her continuing steadfastly in prayers, not forsaking the assembling of themselves together in their prayer-meeting conferences. The period of the organic power of the Reformed churches was the period of their revived prayermeetings. The periods of all the revivals and re-unions of Reformed churches were the periods of revived prayermeetings. These things the History of the prayer-meeting and of revivals fully attest. We dismiss the subject here even before well opening it, by referring the reader to the entire historic part of this work. The church has preserved unity in faith; she has preserved harmony in effort; she has preserved organic power whenever and so long as she cherished and preserved alive the spirit and practice of the prayer-meeting.

3. The prayer-meeting may be received as a test of the state of religion.

This may be applied to the religious state of the whole visible church, and to all the evangelical departments of the household of faith; it may be applied to any particular congregation as the test of its spiritual condition; and it may determine much of the spiritual state of the individual.

Secret prayer is, to the individual himself, an appropriate test of his own personal religion. Family worship is a very proper test of family religion, and of the piety of the individual members of the family. Prayer is the breathing of the soul born of the spirit, and is the evidence of spiritual life, whether breathed in the closet, or at the family altar. A graceless man will be a prayerless man. Every subject of grace will breathe prayer, and so, in some form, by breathing, give evidence of spiritual life, and change of character. The report, “Behold, he prayeth,” satisfied the trembling Christian disciples that Paul was a Christian and harmless. As secret prayer is to the individual in this respect, and as family prayer is to the family, so is the prayer-meeting to the church, or circle forming a prayer-meeting, “the church in the house."

As the existence of personal religion, and the degree of its power, in the individual may be determined by the fact, and fervor, and constancy of secret prayer, so the state of religion in any congregation may be determined by the fact of prayer-meetings, their constancy, and the spirit by which they are sustained. As the fact of family worship, its earnestness, regularity, and moulding influence upon all the members of the husehold is the satisfactory evidence of family religion, so of the prayer-meeting—because, secret prayer and family religion sustain the same relations to the individual and the family that the prayermeeting does to the church.

As prayer-meetings decline in a congregation, so will religion decline-or, so religion is declined, rather; for as the one revives, so will the other. As prayer-meetings fail in a congregation, so will the ministrations of the pastor become unfruitful, the preaching of the word fail to convert sinners and promote holiness in the professors of religion. Here, by the concerted prayer of the godly, in the prayer-meeting pre-eminently, are the hands of the ministry stayed up while wielding the sword of the Spirit, ordering the battles of the Lord. Like Moses' hands, stayed by Aaron and Hur-they two in concert-fit type of concerted prayer, two or three together, make the hands strong. It has been often said—and truly—that the prayer

meeting is the pulse of the church. The history of revival, whether of the individual, or of the church, is an extended series of illustration of this truth. Every converted sinner is a soul revived to prayer. Every saint restored from backsliding, is a soul returned to the life and power of prayer. Every congregation enjoying an outpouring of the Spirit, is a congregation revived and alive to the prayer-meeting. So echoes the history of revival of religion. Three thousand souls on the day of the pen tecostal revival-all converted--all revived, and all, every one of them, cried out, What must we do? So the Jailor,

Sirs, what must I do to be saved ?” So Paul, when converted, began the life of prayer with this earnest cry

Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?” When saints have fallen into sin, then, with speech refrained, and silenced tongue, they are straitened in confession, and thanksgiving, and supplieation. To live in sin is to quench the spirit of prayer. To receive pardon and peace and an unction from the Spirit in revival, is to restore to the love of prayer, the love of the fellowship of saints, and the prayer-meeting. Reader, do you love to be there?

Here, too, we must leave this subject, and refer to the history of the prayer-meeting for fuller illustration.

4. The prayer-meeting is an ordinance designed specially for the revival of religion.

Every prayer implies this; for, in every prayer, we ask grace, an answer to which will bring revival. This every Christian needs daily; and for this we need prayer always

Without prayer religion in the soul would die, as without respiration temporal death would ensue. Prayer is the breath of the soul. “Hide not thine ear at my breathing, at my cry," said the prophet, when speaking of prayer.

The history of revivals presents an unbroken series of facts illustrating the truth that the revival of religion and the prayer-meeting are inseparable. The prayer-meeting has always been employed as a means of revival; and has always followed as a fruit of revival.

During the forty days that Christ was on earth after his resurrection, he spent much time with his disciples in the prayer-meeting. In the last one he told them to“ tarry at Jerusalem till they should be endued with power from on high.” This we know they did, "waiting for the promise of the Father,” And the manner of their waiting the fulfilment of the great promise we have in statement as distinct: “Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the Mount called Olivet, and when they were come in, they went up into an upper room; these all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women. And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind." Thus ushering early on the morning of the day of Pentecost that first great revival, at a prayer-meeting, in answer to concerted prayer, the first fruit of the last great Millennial revival, which shall be great as the day of Jezreel for its showers of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.

So, down through the centuries till our own times, the history of all true revivals is the same repeated rehearsal of the prayer-meeting. The disciples and their new converts continued steadfastly in prayer as the cause of religion grew and spread. With the decline of prayer and the prayer-meeting, “the forsaking of the assembling" of pro

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