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according to his Gospel. And this is required of all, as a necessary proof of a work of grace in their hearts.

Let me now observe to you, what perhaps you may think strange, that so long as we live, we cannot but pray, in some way or other, either for God or our lusts, for good ör evil. Every man prays according to his state. The wicked or worldly man prays, and prays continually too, though he does not directly intend it, nor put the wish of his heart into a form of words. What we most delight in, that is our prayer, and nothing else ; and God sees it always to be so, and cannot be deceived by any words to a contrary meaning. Oh! what a sad state is that for a man to be in, to have his will and inward desire so contrary to the will of God, that in reality he is always praying against himself!

But suppose à person so far awakened, as to be convinced that he neither does, nor knows how to pray according to the mind and will of God, that he has lived in utter neglect of the duty, is an utter stranger to a praying frame of mind, has wronged his soul and lost his baptism, and therefore is in a most dangerous condition of unbelief, what must he do? Call out of the deep, as he would if he was drowning. He is in a melancholy, woful plight; but something must be done. Though he cannot pray as a saint, he may pray as a sinner, sensible of his misery and danger. He must cry mightily to the Lord, for grace and mercy to help him in his time of need. And if he does, his prayer will not be rejected. The text has a blessing in it for him.

Ask, and it shall be given thee; seek, and thou shalt find; knock, and it shall be opened unto thee.” Pray for repentance, and when thy repentings are kinded within thee, they will lead thee on to pray for faith, and the prayer of faith will be the joy of thy life.

Oh! begin, begin to pray as you can, and as God

shall enable you, that you may go on to receive the full benefit of the promise contained in these gracious words. For they are a box of very precious ointment, and I must not conclude without breaking it open. Think what you are, and what you may be, what you are by nature, and what you may be by grace ; that you are children of wrath, dead in trespasses and sins, want remission and holiness to fit you for heaven; that death is your deşert, and life is offered you; that you may be restored to the favour of God, his children by adoption, and joint heirs with Christ; that you may have his love shed abroad in your hearts, and abound in hope through the power of the Holy Ghost; that instead of the miserable comforts of this vain life, you may have joy in God, and a blessed foretaste of heaven in your souls; that instead of being under the dominion of sin, feeling its curse in your natures, and dreading the eternal punishment of it, you may have strength against it, and be delivered both from its reigning and condemning power; that all Christ did and suffered will be yours, and God himself your God for ever and ever :- Think, I say,

hear these words, that all this, and much more than I can mention, is contained in them; deliverance from all evil, possession or hope of all good; all the love of the Father, all the blessings of the Son, all the comforts of the Spirit. May God incline you to ask, and enlarge your hearts to receive them !

You, who know what it is to ask, and how to ask aright, be sure not to ask for a little. The grant is without limitation; ask, and it shall be given you; raise your desires to the height of it. Ask for the presence of God in your souls, ask for renewed wills and pure hearts, ask for faith, hope, and charity; and know that when you have asked all you can think of, if your wishes

when you

reach at heaven, God is able to do, and will do, exceeding abundantly above all that you ask or think. .

No words can describe the blessedness of a soul which thus lives in communion with God; asking and receiving, seeking and finding, knocking, and having the door opened. For what is happiness but this ? Or how can we describe it better, than by saying, that a man wishes for the very thing he ought, and is sure to have it? And such is the man of prayer, the Christian. He chooses the fountain of all happiness for his portion, and cannot be disappointed of his desire. He is happy in the very act of prayer, knowing it to be the right frame of his mind, the proof of his renewed state, and his capacity for receiving blessing from God. And he is happy in the returns of it; increasing in knowledge, faith, and holiness, and passing through the world with a hope full of immortality.. O blessed Jesus, teach us all to pray: for the desire is from thee, and thou givest thyself with it, and we cannot receive thee till we do pray.

For, on the other hand, the words have a curse wrapped up in them, as well as a blessing, that of leaving all prayerless men to themselves. They have not, because they ask not. And what all nature would be without blessing from God, what the earth would be without rain and sunshine, what a prisoner would be in the deepest dungeon, such is the condition of every soul, however improved in other respects, which feels no want, desires no relief, and therefore does not, cannot pray, but shuts itself up in its own darkness, corruption, and miserable weakness. May God make us sensible of it, and deliver us from it!

O Lord, thy heart is toward the children of men, and thine ears are always open to their prayers ; thou hast

sent thy Son into the world to awaken us to a sense of our lost condition, and redeem us from it; thou sendest thy Spirit into our hearts, to raise in us strong cries after thee; so work in us by thy grace, that we may see the things which belong to our everlasting peace, and turn to thee in prayer for the blessings which thou hast promised and prepared for us in Jesus Christ. To whom, with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, be glory, now and for evermore. Amen.

SERMON XXVII.

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Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Exod. xx. 18. The Sabbath is of divine appointment for the service and benefit of man; to keep the sense of God fresh and lively upon our minds, to unite our hearts to him, to turn our thoughts to the contemplation of that eternal rest for which we were made and sent into the world, and keep us in a state of continual preparation for it; that by spending that day more especially, under the obligation of a command from God, in sacred employments, in the care of our souls, and the more solemn performance of religious worship and religious duties, we might be the better disposed to keep every other commandment, and spend every day of our lives in such a serious and Christian manner, as will yield us true comfort here, and qualify us for the everlasting enjoyment of God in heaven.

I am this day to plead with you on God's behalf for the observation of a command which is of unspeakable importance to your souls, the honour of God, and the interest of religion. And if I should speak in such a manner as, with the Spirit's help, to show you your

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transgression, and convince you of sin, I hope it will have the effect I aim at in all my preaching ; which is, to bring you in repentance to the Lord Jesus Christ for remission, and through him to a willing subjection and obedience to the God and Father of your spirits. Lord, have mercy on us, and help us, for we are bowed down to the earth; and thy Sabbaths, which should remind us of our great business in the world, are a burden to us. We neglect and profane them; and instead of employing them in thy service, and a diligent preparation for eternity, they return only to increase our guilt, and expose us to a heavier sentence of condemnation.

Brethren, here is a positive, plain command of the most high God, “ Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy;" with a particular mark of observation set upon it, “ Remember !" For if thou dost not, it is at the hazard of thy soul. So far as thou art disposed to keep it, thou art alive unto God; so far as thou dost keep it, thy soul will prosper. The command is for thy soul. Nothing else that thou dost, can prove thee to be in the way of godliness ; nothing will be such a means to keep thee in it, and promote thy spiritual comfort and edification. Keep it as unto the Lord, to get above the world, to think of and fit thyself for heaven, and it will be blessed to thy eternal advantage. Neglect it, or loiter it away in idleness, or at best in the formality of a merely outward worship, and thy great work will be at a stand with thee all the days of thy life. It is in this view I would speak to you of the Sabbath. And when you see and consider the reason of its appointment, it will show you in a strong light the necessity of caring for your souls, enable you to judge of your religious state, and, if the command is not weighty upon your minds, convince you of sin. For every one that hears me is either a religious observer of the Sabbath, or an un

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