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ACHIEVEMENTS OF PRAYER;
BY JOSEPH FINCHER, ESQ.
Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt
In the day when I cried, thou answeredst me: and strengthenedst me
J. HATCHARD AND SON, PICCADILLY;
AND SOLD BY
JAMES NISBET, BERNERS-STREET; L. B. SEELEY AND SON,
THE pious and excellent Dr. Watts has observed, that "the Bible is a book of such transcendent worth, and so happily suited to all the purposes of the Christian life, that it cannot be too much recommended to the world:-every thing that allures the world to peruse it is a blessing to mankind." Encouraged by this valuable and important remark, as well as by various other considerations, and anxious to accomplish what has long been a very sincere desire of his heart, the compiler of the " Achievements of Prayer" ventures to lay it before the World, in humble confidence that it may place in a new and endearing light, many of the most sublime and gracious portions of the Holy Scriptures. For its ultimate acceptance and utility, he reposes all his hopes on the Lord, being fully persuaded, that unless the influence and blessing of that Divine Spirit, who has ever taught His people how to pray and what to pray
for, be vouchsafed, it cannot effectwhat he fervently anticipates.
But before entering upon the consideration of this work, it will be necessary to reflect, that we have turned aside to behold the "glory of the Lord," and to see the " great sight" of "the bush burning, but not consumed." May we therefore" take off our shoes from off our feet,"
remembering that the ground whereon we stand is holy and in the spirit of meekness and prayer draw nigh unto this hallowed spot, assured that if we have approached it with a sincere desire to receive instruction, we shall retire from it not only instructed, but strengthened and refreshed, exclaiming with joy and gratitude" Blessed be the Lord who hath not turned away our prayer, nor his mercy from his people."
The first gracious character presented to our view on commencing the subject is, the Patriarch Abraham, that ennobled individual whose name sheds so bright a lustre over the pages of the inspired volume, who was the father of the faithful, and the friend of God. We see him holding sweet converse with his God and friend; pleading for the promised seed; intreating a blessing on Ishmael; and interceding for Sodom; teaching us by his example, first, to seek the blessings of salvation for ourselves, next for our
families, and then for all the families of the world. We feel ourselves thus admitted, as it were, into the communion of Abraham, of Isaac, and Jacob, and “the general assembly of the church of the first-born which are written in heaven," and we behold their afflictions and their triumphs while they sójourned here below. How often, alas! they experienced the bitterness of sorrow, and mingled their sighs with their groans;-how often "they hanged their harps upon the willows, and sat down and wept:" yet were they strengthened and sustained in all their trials and in all their afflictions, "and made more than conquerors" for "the arms of their hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob." In their trouble they cried unto the Lord, and he delivered them out of their distresses." "At the voice of their cry he was very gracious unto them. When he heard it,
he answered them."
Delightful as it would be, were we afforded an opportunity of continuing our remarks on the scenes and events which successively claim our attention, we are discouraged from attempting it, lest we should be detaining our readers at the streams instead of conducting them at once to the fountain. But it may be proper to remark generally on the advantages, which, it is hoped, may be derived from devoting our exclusive attention to the bright and