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generally speaking, they can ex- Christ before men; and like Zachhibit as good evidence of a new arias and Elizabeth, to walk in all heart, in a few months, as in a few the commandments and ordina nyears. And having exhibited this ces of the Lord, blameless. To evidence, why should the convert delay the Christian profession, for to Christ delay the Christian pro- an improper length of time, after fession? In such cases, delays are a hope of salvation is obtained, is dangerous. They are so, on sev
of evil tendency to those who pra ceral accounts. One is that it is a
tice this delay. They are very neglect of important duty. Scarce liable to sink into a state of desly any duty is urged more press- pondency, and to call in question ingly, than this.
“ He that con
the ground of their hope. fesseth me before men, him will I When persons cherish, for a long also confess before my Father who time, a lively hope of salvation, in is in heaven. And he that denieth
a season of great and powerful me before men, him will I also revival of religion; but defer deny before my Father, who is in public profession to a more conheaven,” Would we be near the venient season, or to an uncertain kingilom of God; especially, would hereafter; the probability is, that we be members of this holy king. they will sink in stupidity, or in dom, we must exhibit the character despondency: and both of these of members. They that profess to are great and distressing evils: believe in Christ, must be careful from which none but Almighty to maintain good works.
God is able to deliver. Again, to delay the Christian profession is dangerous, on ac
III. Another remark from the count of its being the neglect of subject is, that to build up the precious privileges. What prec-world, is a very arduous work:
kingdom of God in this depraved irus privileges are lost, in the neg- and it is a matter of wonder, and lect of the ordinances of baptism, and the holy supper! In the Christ- adıniration. The wonders of Diian baptism, the necessity of the vine grace are celebrated, not only washing of regeneration, and re
on earth, but in heaven. The newing of the Holy Ghost, is clear things of the spiritual kingdom of
of which the an
God, are things ly exhibited; and in the sacramental supper, Jesus Christ is set forth gels desire to look into.” Saints crucified before our eyes. Is it and angels conspire to promote possible to conceive of greater pri- this holy kingdom: And all the vileges than are forfeited and lost, saints in particular are brought by neglecting the ordinances of near, and feel their obligation to Christ? Christian fellowship, and
enlist, if they have not yet enlist
ed, under the banners of Zion's brotherly love are in a measure lost, in delaying the Christian
king. profession, Ought we not to
Finally. Let those who are not consider Christian ordinances, far from the kingdom of beaven, and Christian fellowship, as priv- press on towards this holy and ileges too important to be neg. I happy kingdom. Since God has lected ? Ought not all hopesul | established his holy kingdom in converts to Christ, if they would this fallen world; and has given inherit the kingdom of God, as the life of his dear Son, for the soon as they gain a lively hope in sins of men; and invited ail to Christ, to enter into his service, come into his kingdom, and be with great alacrity; to blessed and happy forever: it fol
lows, that all are under pressing dy;" and "Now is the accepted obligation to come into his king. time.” “ To-day, if ye will hear
• dom immediately. Every person his voice, harden not your hearts." who is capable of understanding To wait for a preparation of heart, the gospel, ought, without delay, I is absurd; and it will never be to make the Christian profession, realized. Press on, therefore, toand be united to the kingdom of wards the mark, for the prize. God. Are any unprepared? Let Take up satisfied with nothing them, without loss of time, be pre- short of a full standing in the fampared. It is highly criminal to lily of Christ, and in the household neglect the kingdom of God. The of faith. “Seek ye first the kingpreparation is as easy now, as it dom of God and the righteousness ever was, or will be. On this thereof; and all these necessary ground, therefore, there is no ex- things shall be added unto you." “* All things are now rea
A. B. c.
QUESTION ANSWERED. whether religion should be supThe following question having ported by law or by voluntary conbeen copied from the Recorder and tribution. This is unnecessary. Telegraph into the Religious Intel - But by whom shall ministers be ligencer, elicited the reply which supported? Obviously by those to is appended.
whom they minister. • Let him “Is it, or is it not a breach of that is taught in the word commuDivine rule, for a Christian brother nicate unto him that teacheth in all to withhold his proportion of ex- good things. (Gal, vi. 6.) Now pense for the support of the gospel this testimony is directly to the ministry?”
purpose. For if a minister is to be In deciding this question, a pre-supported, it must be done by the vious one must be settled. Ought society over which he is settled. the ministers of the gospel to live If one member of the society is by the gospel? Now this is answer- bound to bear his proportion of the ed explicitly, by the apostle (I. burden, why not another? why not Cor. ix) “Do ye not know that all? If one is justified in withthey which minister about holy holding his proportion of the exthings live of the things of the tem- pense, why not another? why not ple?" and they which wait at the all? Thus it is perfectly evident, altar are partakers with the altar? | if the Christian church is bound Even so hath the Lord ordained, to support the ministry, every that they which preach the gospel Christian brother is under the same should live of the gospel." We obligation.
K. would not now agitate the question
ON THE PRAYER OF FAITH. infinitely good; as one who knows
We ought to pray with faith in what is best, and will certainly do God, that is, confidence in God. what is best. Confidence in his This is two-fold; confidence in his promises, that he will certainly do character, and confidence in his 'what he has said. This, I think, promises. Confidence in his char. 1 is the true Prayer of Faith. If acter, as all-wise, all-powerful and we go to God in prayer, feeling a
want of confidence in his character prayed aright, that we have any as one who will certainly do what ground to believe that God will is best, or feeling a want of confi-convert him. This belief, theredence in his promises, and doubt-fore, must come after the right ing whether he will fulfil them, prayer, is made, and not before; such unbelief will certainly be dis- and consequently, cannot be the pleasing to him, and render our faith which inakes the prayer right. prayer an abomination.
It is certainly a mistake, thereIf such faith in God is the faith fore, to suppose, that the faith necessary to prevailing prayer,then which makes the prayer right, is, a belief that God will grant the in common cases, a belief that God very thing we ask for, is not the will grant the very thing we ask faith necessary, unless God has for.-And I think I can see clearpromised to bestow the very thing ly how some of my pious friends we ask for, and promised it uncon- have fallen into this mistake.ditionally, too. God has promised They have had their attention dithe future conversion of the Jewish rected to the case of some particunation. When we pray for their lar individual, who was yet in his conversion, therefore, confidence sins. They have thought of his in the promises of God is the same case till they have become very as a belief that he will convert anxious for his salvation. With them. In this case, he has prom- their hearts full of the subject, ised the very thing we ask for, they have gone to the throne of and we know it before we ask, and grace, and poured out their souls the promise is not made to depend in prayer to God. Their prayers upon the condition, if we ask, but were made with earnestness of deis an absolute promise. But when sire, with humility, with penitence, we wish to pray for the conversion with a supreme regard to the glory of a particular individual, we can of God, and with confidence that find no such promise to be the God would do what was most for ground of our faith. God has not his glory, and a willingness that
, told us that he will convert that he should. Their earnestness of individual. He has, indeed, pro- desire has led them also to coomised to hear and answer prayer, verse with the individual, and to when it is made aright. That press divine truth upon his conthis promise binds him always to science. The faithful, afiectionate, grant the very thing asked for, I and earnest manner, in which this have not yet seen satisfactorily has been done, bas made an improved. But even if he has prom pression upon his mind, and he has
. ised to grant the very thing asked been awakened. Reflection upon for, upon condition that we pray their own prayers, in connexion aright, we do not yet know wheth- with the scriptural encouragement er we shall pray aright. As yet, to prayer, has given them some therefore, we have no evidence hope that he would be converted; that he will convert that individu- and this hope has been increased al; and to believe that he will, by his apparent seriousness. With without evidence, is presumption. these increased hopes, they have Before we try to pray, all the faith prayed again, and conversed with we can exercise is, that God will him again; and the prospect of his convert him if we pray aright. conversion has increased to such a It is not till after we have made degree that they have begun to inthe attempt to pray for him, and dulge an expectation that it would find, on reflection, that we have be accwnplished. This expecta
tion has given them still more every such prayer had been effecencouragement to pray for him, tual, that would not prove that and to be faithful to him; and at this belief made them so. They length, the result has been, that might have had all the requisites he is hopefully brought to submit of acceptable and prevailing prayto God and give him his heart. er, and might have prevailed, even Afterwards, when they have re- though this belief had no influence fiected upon the subject, they have whatever. I do think, however, remembered that they prayed for that the promises of God to hear the conversion of this individual, and answer prayer, furnish every with a strong expectation that he needed encouragement to hope and would be converted;—and on hear- expect the blessing which we ask, ing the new theory stated, that the every encouragement which a trufaith necessary to prevailing pray-ly pious heart can desire. I do er consists in such an expectation, not think it necessary that we they have been very easily led to should have, nor do I think the think it confirmed by their own truly pious heart can, on the whole, experience.
desire to have a positive assurance, That God has made promises to that every particular blessing he hear and answer prayer, I have no asks for will be certainly granted. doubt. But that these promises All his holy desires terminate on bind him always to give the very the glory of God, and that he has thing asked for, I am not convinc- a positive assurance will certainly ed. I see not why God may not
be secured. hear the prayer, and accept it,
But I shall be asked, perbaps, and answer it, not by giving the how, according to my views of the thing asked for, but something bet subject, Christians have any reater in its stead. The prayer of son to expect the very thing they Christ that the cup might pass ask for.
ask for. To this enquiry, I anfrom him, and of Paul, that the swer, that the analogy of Divine thorn in his flesh might be remov- Providence,an observation of God's ed; and of Moses, that he might usual method of dealing with his enter the land of Canaan, appear church, sometimes furnishes great to have been answered in this way. reason to hope for the bestowment And I believe every Christian, of a particular blessing, under who will carefully examine his particular circumstances. It has own experience, will find that he been observed, that God converts has made prayers for things which the young more frequently than God has noť granted, as nearly the old, those who believe the right, as for those things which he truth more frequently than those has granted. I should not dare, who disbelieve it, those who have therefore, to condemn every pray- been dedicated to God in infancy er, as unacceptable to God, which more frequently than those who did not procure the very blessing have not, those who have been reasked for, at the very time speci- ligiously educated more frequentfied in the prayer. Indeed, I be- ly than those who have not, those lieve that Christians can be found, who are in the habit of attending who have sometimes prayed for upon religious worship more frecertain blessings, in the full ex- quently than those who are not, pectation that they should obtain and so on. And particularly, it thein, and yet have been disap- has been observed that God conpointed. This belief did not make verts those individuals who are the their prayers effectual. But if subjects of special prayer and spe
cial exertion, more frequently This error leads to a multitude of than those who are not. Now, others. 2. It leads us to imagine then, if Christians feel a disposi- we are divinely inspired ; and tion to make special prayer for the thus, instead of taking the word conversion of an individual, and of God for our guide, it leads us to make special efforts to rouse his to take for a guide our own feelattention to the subject, the very ings and impressions, which are existence of this disposition in as variable and uncertain as the them, affords some ground to hope winds. And this opens a door to that it will be put into action, and every species of enthusiasm. S. that God will convert him. And It prevents steady and uniform if he is, in other respects also, nue exertion to promote the cause of of that class that God more fre
God. If it encourages at one quently converts than he does oth- time, it discourages at another; ers, there is still more ground to
and both alike without any just hope that God will convert him.
There is a revival of reBut have they any ground to er ligion-to-day we are much anipect it, from the promises which mated_our feelings are wrought God has made to hear and answer up to a high pitch-we pray that prayer? I answer, none, till the the work may go on--and we fully prayer is made. But when the believe that it will, because we prayer is made, just so far as they feel that it will. To-morrow, our are conscious that they have praf- feelings are different--things do ed aright, and just so far as God not go on as we expected and dehas, by his promises, encouraged sired—we are discouraged, and them to expect the very thing cannot pray in faith; that is, we which is thus prayed for, just so
cannot find any evidence in our far they have reason to expect this own feelings that the work will go individual will be converted. And on-and so we stop praying altoas they persevere in prayer, and gether. Such inconstancy is the have an increasing consciousness natural consequence of embracing that they have continued to pray
such views, and trusting to our aright, they are warranted to in- own feelings, instead of looking dulge an increasing expectation of to the word and to the character obtaining the blessing:
of God. 4. It leads to false coaPerhaps I may be asked further,
versions. A sinner is awakened if there is, in the cases I have stat
and asks Christians to pray for ed, so much reason to expect the
him-in doing so, they express blessing asked for; and if such an their strong faith that he will be expectation docs stimulate those converted—he trusts to their praywho indulge it to greater diligence
ers and their faith, and begins to in prayer, and in the use of other hope that he is safe--this hope remeans to do gooil, what hurt can moves his distress and fills him it do for this new theory to pre
with joy; and he thinks he is convail. even if it is not true? why is verted, when probably he has not it not rather desirable that it even had any genuine conviction should prevail? It would require of sin, and is at heart as much an annther essay to give a full answer enemy to God as he ever was. to this question; but I will briefly These are a few of the evils which state some of the evils which re
have resulted from this new theosult from it. 1. It is an error; ry already, and which will be likeand no error in matters of religionly to abound, if it prevails. is harmless. No error is alone. Utica Christ. Repos.)