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heart; but the other, as Eve, against the serpent, or something else.

There are "abundance of dry-eyed Christians in the world, and abundance of dry-eyed duties too_duties that never were wet with the tears of contrition and repent

ance.

Take heed that a sin in thy life goes not unrepented of, for that will make a flaw in thine evidence, a wound in thy conscience, and a breach in thy peace; and a hundred to one if at last it doth not drive all the grace in thee into so dark a corner of thy heart, that thou shalt not be able, for a time, by all the torches that are burning in the gospel, to find it out to thy own comfort and consolation.

As vices hang together, and have the links of a chain, dependence one upon another, even so the graces of the Spirit also are the fruits of one another, and have such dependence on each other that the one cannot be without the other.

No faith, no fear of God: devil's faith, devil's fear, saints' faith, saints' fear.

XIX. PRAYER.

CHARACTERISTICS OF PRAYER. What is prayer? A sincere, sensible, affectionate pouring out of the soul to God, through Christ, in the strength and assistance of the Spirit, for such things as God hath promised.

The best prayers have often more groans than words.

Alas, how few there be in the world whose heart and mouth in prayer shall go together. Dost thou, when thou askest for the Spirit, or faith, or love to God, to holiness, to saints, to the word, and the like, ask for them with love to them, desire of them, hungering after them? Oh, this is a mighty thing; and yet prayer is no more before God than as it is seasoned with these blessed qualifications. Wherefore it is said, that while men are praying, God is search. ing the heart to see what is the meaning of the Spirit, or whether there be the Spirit and his meaning in ail that the mouth hath uttered, either by words, sighs, or groans, because it is by him and through his help only that any make prayers according to the will of God. Rom. 8:26, 27.

PREPARATION FOR PRAYER. Before you enter into prayer, ask thy soul these ques tions: To what end, O my soul, art thou retired into this place ? Art thou not come to discourse the Lord in prayer? Is he present, will he hear thee? Is he merciful, will he help thee?

Is thy business slight, is it not concerning the welfare of thy soul ? What words wilt thou use to move him to compassion ?

THE THRONE OF GRACE.We know the throne of grace from other thrones by the glory that it always appears in when revealed to us of God: its glory outshines all; there is no such glory to be seen anywhere else, either in heaven or earth. But I say, this comes by the sight that God gives, not by any excellency that there is in my natural understanding, as such : my understanding and apprehension, simply as natural, are blind and foolish; wherefore, when I set to work in mine own spirit and in the power of mine own abilities, to reach to this throne of grace and to perceive somewhat of the glory thereof, then am I dark, rude, foolish ; I see nothing, and my heart grows flat, dull, savorless, lifeless, and has no warmth in the duty; but it mounts up with wings like an eagle when the throne is truly apprehended.

This thi is the seat of grace and mercy, and therefore it is called the mercy-seat and throne of grace. This throne turns all into grace; all into mercy; this throne makes all things work together for good. It is said of Saul's sons, 2 Sam. 21:10–14, they were not buried after they were hanged until water dropped upon them out of heaven; and it may be said of us, there is nothing suffered to come near us until it is washed in that water that proceeds from the throne of grace. Hence afflictions flow from grace; persecutions flow from grace; poverty, sickness, yea, death itself is now made ours by the

grace of God through Christ. Psa. 119: 67–71; 1 Cor. 3 : 22; Rev. 3:19; Heb. 12:5–7. O grace, O happy church of God! all things that happen to thee are for Christ's sake turned into grace. They talk of the philosopher's stone, and how if one had it, it would turn all things into gold. Oh, but can it turn all things into grace—can it make all things work together for good? No, no; this quality, virtue, excellency-what shall I call it ?-nothing has in it but the grace that reigns on the throne of grace, the river that proceeds from the throne of God. This, this turns majesty, authority, the highest authority, glory, wisdom, faithfulness, justice, and all into grace. Here is a throne; may God let us see it. John had the honor to see it, and to see the streams proceeding from it. O sweet sight, O heart-cherishing sight! “He showed me a pure river of water of life proceeding out of the throne of God.”

Indeed, as was hinted before, in the days of the reign of antichrist there are not those visions of this throne, nor of the river that proceedeth therefrom: now he holdeth back the face of his throne, and spreadeth a cloud upon it; but the preserving, saving benefits thereof we have, as also have all the saints in the most cloudy and dark day. And since we can see so little, we must believe the more; and by believing, give glory to God. We must also labor for more clear scripture knowledge of this throne, for the holy word of God is the perspective-glass by which we may, and the magnifying-glass that will cause us to behold with open face the glory of this Lord. 2 Cor. 3:18.

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"A throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne;" that is, God. And this intimates his desirable rest for ever; for to sit is to rest, and Christ is his rest for ever. Was it not therefore well worth the seeing—yea, if John had taken the pains to go up thither upon his hands and knees ?

It is grace that chooses, it is grace that calleth, it is grace that preserveth, and it is grace that brings to glory, even the grace that, like a river of water of life, proceeds from this “ throne of grace ;” and hence it is, that from first to last, we must cry, Grace, grace, unto it.

Thus you see what a throne the Christian is invited to: it is a throne of grace whereon doth sit the God of all grace; it is a throne of grace before which the Lord Jesus ministers continually for us; it is a throne of grace sprinkled with the blood, and in the midst of which is a Lamb as it had been slain; it is a throne with a rainbow round about it, which is the token of the everlasting covenant,

and out of which proceeds a river, a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal.

Look then for these signs of the throne of grace, all you that would come to it, and rest not until by some of them you know that you are even come to it: they are all to be

seen,
have
you

but eyes; and the sight of them is very delectable, and has a natural tendency to revive and quicken the soul.

PRAYER IN THE NAME OF CHRIST. He that thinks to find grace at God's hand, and yet enters not into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, will find himself mistaken, and will find a dead instead of a living way. For if not any thing below or besides blood can yield remission on God's part, how should remission be received by us without our acting faith therein ? We are justified by his blood, through faith in his blood.

Wherefore look, when thou approachest the throne of grace, that thou give diligence to seek for the “Lamb as it had been slain,” that is in the midst of the throne of grace ; and then thou wilt have not only a sign that thou pre. sentest thy supplication to God where and as thou shouldst, but there also wilt thou meet with matter to break, to soften, to bend, to bow, and to make thy heart as thou wouldst have it. This sight shall dissolve and melt down the spirit of that man that is upon his knees before the throne of grace for mercy; especially when he shall see, that not his prayers, nor his tears, nor his wants, but the blood of the Lamb, has prevailed with a God of grace to give mercy and grace to an undeserving sinner.

God hath prepared a golden altar for thee to offer thy prayers and tears upon, coming sinner. A golden altar! It is called a golden altar, to show what worth it is of in God's account; for this golden altar is Jesus Christ--this altár sanctifies thy gift, and makes thy sacrifice acceptable.

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