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ITS DUTIES AND EFFECTS.
BY G. W. MYLNE,
AUTHOR OF "WHAT IS CHANCE?" "UNIVERSAL TIME," ETC.
"THE EFFECTUAL FERVENT PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN
WERTHEIM AND MACINTOSH,
CHELTENHAM: WIGHT AND BAILEY.
"GOLDEN vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints." (Rev. v. 8.) Perfumes for the Lord of Hosts, incense for the sanctuary on high, such is prayer. The application of the sweet incense of the Redeemer's merits imparts to the soul a holy perfume before God, as real in its existence, and infinitely more diffusive in its nature, than any material perfume is to the sense of man, and the breath of the Spirit acting upon this imparted property in the soul, causes an active exhalation of the aromatic odours to take place, rising in prayerful effusions to the Throne of Grace, and mingling with the smoke of the incense proceeding from the golden censer of our great High Priest and Intercessor above. For Christ has shed a holy fragrance upon His people, that they, in return, may delight Him with the sweet
odours thus imparted to them. This is implied where it is said, "All Thy garments "smell of myrrh, aloes, and cassia, out of "the ivory palaces, whereby they have made "Thee glad. (Ps. xlv. 8.) Are not "the "ivory palaces" the temples of the LordHis living people, who are said to be "builded together for an habitation of God "through the Spirit?" (Ephes. ii. 22.)
Not one sincere prayer can leave the heart of the believer without carrying along with it some odoriferous particles of the sweet perfume, with which the imputed merits of Christ have thus imbued the soul. How pleasant, then, even as Christ Himself is pleasant, in His "sacrifice and offering to "God for a sweet-smelling savour" (Ephes. v. 2) must the prayers of His people be to the Lord of Hosts! Such being the nature of prayer, we cannot wonder at the many assurances contained in Scripture that God is the hearer and answerer of prayer. The sweet odours that ascend to the Throne on high are sent back again in showers of blessing upon the souls whence they proceed. And thus the earth, in sending forth its daily exhalations, does not more certainly provide the clouds, whence its fructifying showers are after to descend, than the praying soul, by means of the Spirit, and the
imputation of Christ's merits, lays up for itself with God the means by which the dews of heaven are to descend upon its vineyard.
The cry of God's people is sweeter in His ear than the voice of any child is in that of the fondest earthly parent. God yearns over His people in a manner which we, with our fallen nature and finite capacities, are unable to fathom, and which, in our "little "faith" we are very slow to believe. "The "Lord thy God in the midst of thee is 'mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over "thee with joy; He will rest in His love, "He will joy over thee with singing." (Zeph. iii. 17.) If such be God's feelings toward His children, what unspeakable delight must He have in their prayers! O that we had some adequate idea what music the lifting up of our heart and tongue is to our Heavenly Father, what joy is experienced by Him at the thought that He has to bestow upon us anything that we may have asked according to His will; and with what intensity of satisfaction the thing is actually given! We cannot have a more blessed subject of meditation than this, or one in which our practical comfort and interests, as Christians, are more deeply concerned. May God give us grace to consider it more than we do, with