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Meditation for the Lord's Day Morning.


"And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities." -Isaiah lxiv. 7.

Those that would take hold of God in prayer so as to prevail with him, must stir up themselves to do it: all that is within us must be employed in the duty, our thoughts fixed, and our affections flaming.

To pray is to take hold of God by faith, to take hold of the promises and the declarations God has made of his good will to us, and to plead them with him; to take hold of him as of one who is about to depart from us, earnestly begging of him not to leave us; or of one that is departed, soliciting his return; to take hold of him as he that wrestles takes hold of him he wrestles with; for the seed of Jacob so wrestle with him, and so prevail. All that is within us must be engaged and summoned into the service. We must stir up the gift that is in by a consideration of the work that is before


us, and a close application of mind to it: but how can we expect God should come to us in ways of mercy, when there are none that do this, when those that profess to be intercessors are mere triflers. No wonder if our profession of religion wither, and we grow dry and sapless: no wonder if God turn away his face from us: no wonder if he melt us in a furnace, not indeed to consume us as dross, but to melt us as gold, to refine and new mould us.

When he saith to us, "Return ye backsliding children," should not we readily reply, Behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God? If he speak to us by way of conviction and reproof, ought not we to return an answer, Father, we have sinned against heaven and in thy sight, and are no more worthy to be called thine? If he speak to us by way of comfort, ought not we to reply in praises? If we love God, can we be at a loss for something to say to him? Something for our hearts to pour out before him, whose grace has already put it there? We may be sure of this, and we must pray in the assurance of it, that wherever God finds a praying heart he will be found a prayerhearing God.

O our God, estrange us from every thing that will not let us love thee with all our

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heart, and soul, and strength. O that we were sensibly affected with something of thee; that at least thy sparing and forbearing mercy might move and everlastingly possess our hearts with admiration of it! that so we may, with the greatest sorrow and grief, bewail our offences against such tender bowels of compassion towards us! O let the love of Christ constrain us; may we look unto Jesus, till we feel that we do indeed love him; that he is all our salvation, and all our desire.


Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpress'd;
The motion of a hidden fire,

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The falling of a tear;
The upward glancing of an eye,
When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech,
That infant lips can try ;

Prayer the sublimest strains that reach,
The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air,

His watch-word at the gates of death,
He enters heaven with prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways;
While angels in their songs rejoice,
And cry
"Behold he prays.'

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In prayer, on earth the saints are one,
In word, and deed, and mind;
When with the Father and his Son
Sweet fellowship they find.

Nor prayer is made on earth alone,
The Holy Spirit pleads;
And Jesus on the eternal throne,
For sinners intercedes.

O thou by whom we come to God,
The Life, the Truth, the Way!
The path of prayer thyself hast trod ;
Lord teach us how to pray.


For the Lord's Day Morning.

O Lord God of Israel, there is none like thee in heaven or earth, which keepest covenant and shewest mercy unto thy servants, who walk before thee with all their heart. Thou hast kept with them thy promise that thou hast made from the beginning, that thou wilt not forsake them that put their trust in thee! that thou wilt dwell in them, that thou wilt walk in them; that thou wilt be their God and

But will God in

they shall be thy people. very deed dwell with men on earth. Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less these sinful hearts of ours, which are deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked! But, blessed be God, those promises which thou madest to thy servants of old by inspiration, are in these latter days confirmed by the mission of thy dear Son, whom thou hast freely given up for us all. Remember, therefore, the supplication of thy servants now before thee, that thine eyes may be open upon us day and night. Hearken to the supplication of thy servants. Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place, and when thou hearest, forgive, and do according to all they call for. What prayer or what supplication soever shall be made when every one shall know his own sore and his own grief, and shall spread forth his hands in thy temple or in his closet, then hear thou in heaven thy dwelling place and forgive, and render to every one according to all they call for. May we ever remember that thine eye is upon us, and under every temptation, say to ourselves, "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" Alas, O Lord God, how often have we sinned against thee, and laid a foundation for bitter reflection and

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