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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- fure, 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 individualHe has, indeed, pro- desire has led them also to cosmised 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 expectaThey
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. 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 flected 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,
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 bow, 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. 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 not 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 them, 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, one 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 ex
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 pray 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 conPerhans 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 good, 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 another 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.] ALPHA.
Qigious Kutelligence, .
CONNECTICUT MISSIONARY SOCIE- others in as great proportion, alTY.
lowing for the difference of time From the 26th annual Report of which they laboured. this important and useful Society, The good which has been effectit appears that, under their pated by their instrumentality, will ronage, three missionaries bave | tell on the ages to come. Many been employed during a part of all precious souls, for whom Christ the past year, in the western part died, have been strengthened and of New York; two in the north-comforted. Some, who were ern counties of Pennsylvania; hungering and thirsting after nineteen in what is called New-righteousness, have been refreshConnecticut; three in the south- ed. Some of the professed disciwest portion of Ohio; two in Ken-ples of Jesus, who had left their tucky; one in Tennessee; one in first love, and wandered far from New-Orleans; two in Indiana; the fold, have been reclaimed.one in Missouri; and four have some sinners, who had been long recently proceeded to the great involved in darkness, have been field of labour in the west, having enlightened. Some, who were stureceived of the society 8100 each, pid in sin, and insensible to their to defray the expense of their spiritual interests, have been journey, and expecting to take up awakened and alarmed. Humble their permanent residence in the and anxious enquirers after truth region to which they bave gone. and happiness, have been directed The amount of missionary labour to look to " the Lamb of God perforined, so far as returns are which taketh away the sin of the specified in the Report, is 778 world." weeks, or 15 years for an individual. Many of these gentlemen, it should be observed, are settled ministers, whose people
The following is an extract of a letter
from a Sea Captain, to the Rev. Jos are able to give them support only seph Eastburn, of Philadelphia, dared a part of the year, and who thus Rio Janeiro, Dec. 12, 1824. Alter fiod it convenient to devote the stating that his brig had been struck
with lightning while at the remainder to the purposes of the Society
masts torn to pieces; and the ship
otherwise injured, so as to render it The expenditures of the Con
exceeding doubtful whether she could necticut Missionary Society, dur- reach the port; and withal supposed ing the past year, amounted to
for a time to be on fire; he adds-$7697. Amount of the Mission- “I must tell you that my cabin arv fund, $27,123.
resounds now every Lord's day, There is every reason to be with prayer and praise to the God lieve, that the Missionaries em- of Jacob. I assemble all my crew, piosed by the Society are in gen- and at evening prayer also, all eral, and we presume universally, that can attend. I can truly say faithful, self-denying, and devot- that, on that aryfal night, when ed servants of the Most High. One we thought the brig to be on fire, of thun preached, in the course of I felt more concern for sone of the year, 240 sermons; another the
than for myself. ] 381, and travelled 2055 miles; thought of the awful situation of
LETTER FROM A SEA CAPTAIN,
those that were living without God order and solemnity. But the and hope in the world ; for my own emigrants generally settle in the part, I felt abundantly strength country, which makes it necessary ened; I felt a calmness of soul for me to remove also. In the that I know I was once a stranger course of next week, I expect to to, and realized something of that make a settlement with about 150 promise, “ I will never leave thee emigrants at the place called Port nor forsake thee." I could say du-Pae, on the property of Madwith Job, “ I know that my Re- ame Granville, at which I shall deemer liveth.”_These words have as much land as I shall be were made of great use to me. able to cultivate, together with the May the God of all grace strength superintendence of a school en you in the inward man, and nected with the Sabbath services. make you instrumental in the sal
Am. Mis. Reg. vation of many souls from among that long-neglected class of peo- REVIVAL IN WARREN, VT. ple of which I make one. This is Extract of a letter from a gentle. the daily prayers of all, and of man in Warren, Vt. to his friend your affectionate brother in Christ.' in Ulica, Feb. 8, 1825. Phil. Record. Dear Sir, I have been much
gratified to hear of Revivals in HAYTIAN MISSION.
your neighbourhood, and trust Rev. Mr. Pennington to the Do- that an account of our situation meslic Secretary.
will not be wholly uninteresting to Port-au-Prince, Nov. 10, 1824. you. Dear Sir-After a passage
of The Congregational church in 18 days, we arrived safe in port ; this town was organized about at which time all the passengers eight years since, and at first conexcept one, who has since de- sisted of seven members. In the parted this life to give up his last course of two or three years the account, enjoyed good health. -- number increased to upwards of During the passage, services were twenty. For some time after its performed every day at evening, formation the church enjoyed a after which singing of psalms and season of peace and tranquillity, spiritual songs occupied the at- and the brethren did indeed . love tention of the pious. We have one another."
But unhappily great reason to praise God for the some difficulties arose, and differbenevolence of the natives. But ences of opinion seemed to destroy more especially for the great work that Christian fellowship and love of grace already begun in this city. / which had been manifested and We have one stated meeting, which ought always to charactercomposed of no particular denom- ize the children of God, Thus ination, the doors of which are the zeal for the cause of our Masopen to all Christians, and the ter became fainter and fainter unhouse is generally crowded. On til there were but 'very few who last Sabbath, the 7th inst. I preach- sincerely mourned over the desoed a sermon to a very crowded lations of Zion. In the mean time house from these words, “ Stand the people of the world appeared fast, therefore, in the liverly where- more than ever devoted to the with Christ has made us free, and į trifling and sinful things of time be not entangled again with the and sense. This state of things yoke of bondage.”—Galatians v. 1. continued until the spring of 1824, Many of the natives attended with when the Lord was pleased to