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the Lord bringeth mighty things to "pass." The resurrection of Christians is indissolubly involved in that of Christ : "because I live, ye shall live also." What are the splendid triumphs of earthly heroes, to His triumph over the grave? What are the most signal victories over a world of enemies, to HIS victory over this last enemy? "Blessed be the God "and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, "who, according to his abundant mercy, "hath begotten us again to a lively hope "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ " from the dead."

I 5




RAYER is an act which seems to be so prepared in the frame of our nature, to be so congenial to our dependent. condition, so suited to our exigencies, so adapted to every man's known wants; and to his possibilities of wants unknown, so full of relief to the soul, and of peace to the mind, and of gladness to the heart; so productive of confidence in God, and so reciprocally proceeding from that confidence, that we should think, if we did not know the contrary, that it is a duty which scarcely required to be enjoined;

that he who had once found out his necessities, and that there was no other redress for them, would spontaneously

have recourse as a delight, to what he had neglected as a command; that he who had once tasted the bounties of God, would think it a hardship not to be allowed to thank him for them; that the invitation to pray to his Benefactor, was an additional proof of Divine goodness; that to be allowed to praise him for his mercies, was itself a mercy.

The apostle's precept, "pray always," pray evermore, pray without ceasing, men ought always to pray, will not be criticised as a pleonasm, if we call to remembrance that there is no state of mind, no condition of life, in which prayer is not a necessity as well as an obligation. In danger, fear impels to it; in trouble, we have no other resource; in sickness, we have no other refuge; in dejection, no other hope; in death no other comfort.

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Saint Paul frequently shews the word prayer to be a term of great latitude, L 6 involving

involving the whole compass of our intercourse with God. He represents it to include our adoration of his perfections, our acknowledgment of the wisdom of his dispensations, of our obligation for his benefits, providential and spiritual; of the avowal of our entire dependence on him, of our absolute subjection to him, the declaration of our faith in him, the expression of our devotedness to him; the confession of our own unworthiness, infirmities, and sins; the petition for the supply of our wants, and for the pardon of our offences; for succour in our distress; for a blessing on our undertakings; for the direction of our conduct, and the success of our affairs.

If any should be disposed to think this general view too comprehensive, let him point out which of these particulars prayer does not embrace; which of these clauses, a rational, a sentient, an enlightened, a dependent being can omit in his scheme of devotion.


But as the multifarious concerns of human life will necessarily occasion a suspension of the exercise; Saint Paul, ever attentive to the principle of the act, and to the circumstances of the actor, reduces all these qualities to their essence when he resolves them into the spirit of supplication.


To pray incessantly, therefore, appears to be, in his view of the subject, to keep the mind in an habitual disposition and propensity to devotion; for there is a sense in which we may be said to do that which we are willing to do, though there are intervals of the thought as well as intermissions of the act as a tra"veller," says Dr. Barrow, " may be "said to be still on his journey, though "he stops to take needful rest, and to "transact necessary business." If he pause, he does not turn out of the way; his pursuit is not diverted, though occasionally interrupted,



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