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other forms which have been published." An attempt is here made to execute this design in some degree, and the author will be highly gratified if it shall lead some one else to fulfil it more perfectly. A moment's reflection will satisfy any one that from the character of the materials composing these forms, and the manner of their combination, it was impossible to arrange each one under the usual divisions of confession, supplication, thanksgiving, and intercession: it is hoped, however, that all these subjects will be found substantially incorporated in them, and that nothing is omitted which is requisite to aid the soul in true devotion. To some, per. haps, they may appear defective in length, but whoever will notice their striking comprehensiveness, will read them slowly and emphatically, giving the mind time to dwell on their true meaning, and the heart opportunity to raise its affections towards Heaven, will, it is believed, withdraw the objection, especially when they are used in families composed of persons of different ages and characters, whose uneasiness under lengthened exercises ought not to be disregarded. Such as they are, the author now presents them to the Christian public, in the humble hope, that by the divine blessing, they will render no inconsiderable help to many individuals and families in the most important of all transactions, their intercourse with Heaven.
EXCELLENT REMARKS ON PRAYER,
BY BISHOP WILSON.
True devotion consists in having our hearts always devoted to God, as the sole fountain of all happiness, and who is ready to hear and to help his otherwise helpless and miserable creatures.
IT IS TO BE OBTAINED
1stly. By earnest prayer! He that hungers and thirsts after righteousness will certainly be filled.
2dly. By possessing our hearts with a deep sense of our own misery and sinfulness, our wants and danger.
3dly. By considering God's goodness, power, and readiness to help.
Lastly. By convincing our hearts of the vanity of every thing else to afford us any real help or comfort.
Dying persons are generally more devout than others, because they then see their misery; that nothing in this world. can help them, and that God is their only refuge.
The spirit of God will not dwell in a divided heart. cannot feel the pleasures of devotion, while the world is our delight. Not that all pleasures are criminal, but the closer our union with the world, the less our union with God. A Christian, therefore, who strives after devotion, should taste sensual pleasures very sparingly; should make necessity, not bodily delight, his rule.
He that would be devout, must beware of indulging a habit of wandering in prayer; it is a crime that will grow upon us, and deprive us of the happiness we pray for.
Avoid, as much as may be, multiplicity of business. Nei ther the innocency nor the goodness of our employment will excuse, if it possess our hearts when we are praying to God.
Never be curious to know what passes in the world, any farther than duty obliges you; it will only distract the mind when it should be better employed.
Never intermit devotion, if you can help it; you will return to your duty like Sampson, shorn of his locks, weak and indifferent as other people of the world.
The oftener we renew our intercourse with God, the greater will be our devotion. Frequent prayer, as it is an exercise of holy thoughts, is a most natural remedy against the power of sin. Importunity makes no change in God, but it creates in us such dispositions as God thinks proper to reward.
Make it a law to yourself to meditate before you pray, as also to make certain pauses, to see if your hearts go along with your lips. They whose hearts desire nothing, pray for nothing.
He that has learnt to pray as he ought, has got the secret of a holy life.
The best way to prevent wandering in prayer, is not to let our minds wander too much at other times; but to have God always in our thoughts, in the whole course of our lives.
The end of prayer is not to inform God, but to give man a sight of his own misery and sinfulness; to raise his soul towards heaven, and to put him in mind that there is his father and inheritance.
It is rudeness among men to ask a favor, and not stay for an answer; and dɔ we count it no fault to pray for blessings,
and never think of them afterwards? Never to wait for them? Never give God thanks for them?
Let us not run over our prayers with an insensible and distracted mind.
Let your prayer be as particular as may be against the sins of your particular state, for the graces which you in particu lar do most stand in need of. This is the best preservativo against sin; makes us best acquainted with our condition; puts us continually in mind of mending what is amiss; lets us see what particular graces we most need, what are most needful for the cure of our own particular corruption and disorder.
The devil knows, that when we have a relish for prayer, and apply ourselves in good earnest to it, that we are in the way of life; he therefore strives, by every way possible, to di.
God will deny us no good thing that we really desire and ask in the name of his son; when we offer up our prayer through his mediation, it is then he that prays, his love that intercedes, his blood that pleads; it is he that obtains all from his father.
The neglect of prayer is very often punished by God's leaving men to themselves and to their own wicked ways; which ever did and ever will end in ruin.
The cause of which is plain; constant and wilful omission of this duty is a sure way to lose the knowledge and remem brance of God, his word and promises, and then men will have no motives to love or to fear God, nor any reason to hope for good from him. . . . It will also very naturally lead people to depend upon themselves only; to forget their sad condition and misery, that they are liable to God's wrath, and even to damnation.
The most sure way to avoid this, is to dedicate some time, every day of our lives, to the worship of God; by doing this we shall retain God in our knowledge, provided it be performed out of a deep sense of our own wants and miseries, with a firm faith in God's promises to fulfil the desires of them that fear him, and with an eye to the blood of Jesus our Red emer, for whose sake, and through whose suffering, we are reconciled to God, and God to us.
To begin and end the day with God is the likeliest way to make servants faithful, children dutiful, wives obedient, and husbands sober, loving, and careful, every one acting as in the sight of God.
This is the way to entail piety upon the generations to come. When children and servants come to have families of their own, they cannot be easy till they fall into the same serious method which they have been long used to.
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it; 'nor perhaps his chil dren after him for many generations.
THE DUTY AND BENEFIT OF MORNING PRAYER.
Very many are the evil consequences of going without God into a world full of dangers and temptation, which, of ourselves, we can neither foresee nor escape. Whoever considers this, and the infinite mischief which may follow, will never venture abroad without praying for God's guidance, protection, and blessing, every morning of his life.
THE GREAT BENEFIT AND DUTY OF EVENING PRAYER.
Sleep, said a great man, is so much like death, that I dare not trust it without saying my prayers; and indeed, for fear of the worst, a thoughtful Christian will take care to make his peace with God before he goes to sleep, and put himself under God's protection every evening of his life, that he may be safe from the fear of evil.