Page images
PDF
EPUB

men.

these consequences? Nothing can brethren. But, Oh, how different secure him but a revival of religion ly would he feel, should a revival in bis heart, and a speedy return take place in his heart.-How to God.

would he humble himself in dust 5. Let them consider how nec- and ashes for his neglects of duty, essary is a revival in their own and address himself to the work hearts, in order to prepare them of his Lord and Master, like one for usefulness. No man can sus- alive from the dead. tain a Christian character and live 6. Let them consider how necto himself. And no man who is essary is a revival in their hearts, a Christian at heart can desire to in order to prepare them for the live to himself. The real Christ- sorrows and aictions of life. ian desires to live to God. He “ Man is born unto trouble, as desires to be actively engaged in the sparks fly upwards.” How promoting his cause. He desires

numerous are the crosses and disto be instrumental in spreading appointments of this vale of tears. his gospel, and saving the souls of How often are our fondest hopes

But the strength of this blasted, our highest expectations desire depends on the state of his dashed with a stroke. How often heart. When his heart is cold, do those things from which we had his desire to promote the cause of promised ourselves the highest hapGod will be feebly felt, perhaps piness, inflict the deepest wounds. too feebly to prompt him to any Whe, that has experienced the exertions. Or if he makes any storms of life, does not feel the exertions, they will probably be need of support and consolation irresolute, ill directed, interrupt- under them! The lively and viged and ineffectual. In a stupid orous exercise of the Christian and backslidden state, he is not graces would furnish that support qualified to do much good, were and consolation. All else is "vanhe so disposed. He cannot plead ity and vexation of spirit.” the cause of God with sufficient 7. Let them consider how necearnestness, for he does not feel

essary is a revival in their hearts, its importance. He cannot pre- in order to prepare them for the vail upon the sinner to give an last trying scene of a death bed. immediate attention to the con- To this we are all hastening. And cerns of his soul, for he has not a when it comes, and we look back sense of its amazing value. He upon our past lives, what will cannot commend to the conscience there be then to comfort us in the and the heart of others the excel- review, but the good we have aclence of the Christian life, for he complished? And how very small does not lead it himself. And will be the amount, unless we are were he qualified to do good, he more awake and active than we would want the inclination. The have been? How bitter, then, will consciousness of his own back- be our regret, for all the time we slidings would stop his mouth. have wasted in sloth and idleness? If he should attempt to reprove How cutting will be the reflection, sin in others, he would expect the that we have been as barren figretort, “physician, heal thyself.” trees in the garden of our Lord? Thus circumstanced, he feels com- When we come to look into eterpelled to be inactive, and he feels nity, and see its awful realities in little inclination to be otherwise. their true light, how will it fill us It is well if he is not a block in with shame and self-reproach, that the way of his more consistent we have treated them with so much

indifference. When we feel our- | blessed, we shall carry with us no selves about to be called to the preparation but that which we judgment seat, and consider what have made in this life. The manaccount we can render for all our ner in which every moment is misspent time and neglected op- spent will have influence upon our portunities-when we consider eternal state. Every vessel of how little we have done for God, mercy will indeed be full, but they and for the souls of men, in com- will be of different capacities, acparison of what we might have cording to their formation here. done; and how little evidence our We are solemnly assured in the lives afford of the sincerity of our scriptures, that the reward of evefaith; shall we not tremble with ry one shall be in proportion to fearful apprehension, lest all our his works. They that have done hopes should at last prove vain, but little for God, shall indeed be and we should be thrust down to rewarded for that little ; but hell from the very gates of heaven?“ they that turn many to rightWould we make our 'death bed eousness, shall shine as the stars comfortable, and have the Christ- forever and ever.” How imporian's hope to support us, let us tant, then, is every moment! How lead the Christian's life. Let us | fraught with results, which eterno longer sleep, as do others, but nity alone can enable us to comwatch and be sober.

prehend! 8. Let Christians consider how How important, then, to each important is a revival in their individual, is a revival in his own hearts, in order to prepare them heart. And since we are so much for the enjoyments and employ- under the influence of those around ments of heaven. It is here that us, how important to each indiour preparation must be made for vidual is a revival in the church to the joys of heaven. It is here, which he belongs. that our minds must be fitted for A FRIEND TO REVIVALS. the employment of angels. If we

Utica Christ. Repos. ever reach the mansions of the

FROX TIE EVANGELICAL RECORDER.

the allotments of his providence;

but when we ask for an effusion of PRAYER OF FAITH.

his Holy Spirit, and for a revival Extract of a letter, dated New Haven, of religion among us, we are to June 29, 1821.

come boldly to the throne of grace, The prayer of faith has been a with no reservation, with no hesisubject much thought of, and often tation, for we know the will of discussed at our conferences and God on this subject. He has exsimilar circles.-Although there pressly said, and with an oath, may be some difference of opinion that he has no pleasure in the among Christians on this subject, death of the sinner, but would our brethren generally believe, rather that he should turn and that when temporal blessings are live.” He has said also, “ that asked for, such as health, prosper- he is more willing to give his Holy ity in business, fruitful seasons, Spirit to them that ask him, than &c. the petitions should be made parents are to give good gifts to in entire subordination to the Di- their children." We feel therevine will, and with resignation to fore, that there is no doubt upon

this subject, bat that we may pray spent almost the whole of the first for this immense blessing with full night in prayer. In a few days confidence that it will be granted; the individual for whom they prayand we believe that it always willed became hopefully pious. He be granted where the prayers and then united in prayers and efforts the labours are accoinpanied with with those of the man and his wife, faith. Allow me to mention an for the salvation of a second meminstance or two among several ber of the family; in a few days which have come to my knowledge, this one became, as they believed, where the blessing has been given, an heir of the promises; then the In a town, twenty miles north of third, and fourth, and fifth, and this, a small number of the mem- sixth, and one only now remains bers of the church awaked a few out of the ark of safety." weeks since, and agreed to meet for prayer occasionally, and make MR. EDITOR, an individual, who was an influen- In your last number, I found an tial man in the town, and opposed extract of a letter from Newto vital piety, the particular sub- Haven, containing some remarks ject of prayer. They met accord- on the prayer of faith. I was ingly, and prayed for this man pleased to see those remarks, befrom time to time, and in a short cause I think the subject is one of period he became a subject of deep great importance, and of peculiar conviction, and is now rejoicing interest, especially at this day. in hope that he has become a child I rejoice that the subject is introof God. This little circle of be- duced, and I hope it will receive a lievers then took a second person, thorough discussion. I am not and prayed for him, and he too yet prepared to admit every thing became a convert, and both are the writer of that letter has said; now propounded for admission to but perhaps I shall be, when the the church. A third person was subject has been fully investigated. then selected and prayed for, and I have no hesitation in rejecting it is understood that he is becom- the idea which was formerly very ing uneasy in his mind, and is prevalent, that the principal deenquiring what he shall do. Not sign of prayer is to benefit the peronly has the prayer of faith, occa- son who prays. To confine the sionally offered, been blessed, but influence of our prayers to ourlikewise the

of faith when selves, and to say that their prinaccompanied with importunity. A cipal design is to prepare us to remechanic of my acquaintance, who ceive or to be denied favours, does is a man of ardent piety, said to not appear consistent with the his wife, some time last winter, representations given in scripture there are seven in our family, and of the prayers of good men of old, among our journeymen and ap- por with the command that we prentices, who are still out of should pray for all men. I am Christ. Why should they not be fully convinced, that prayer is brought into the kingdom. Let designed to have a prevailing inus resolve that we will take one fluence with God to obtain blesof them, and make that one a sub- sings. And in this view of it onject of prayer, and exhort him in ly, do I see a consistency in our conversation to flee from the wrath praying for those who are beyond to come. The plan was determin- the reach of our charities, and ed on. They carried it into exe- those who are yet unborn. cution that very night. They It has been made a question,

prayer

whether in answering prayer, God whenever a right prayer was made; always bestows the very thing it would seem that he would still which was asked for; or whether be bound, sometimes, to grant he does not sometimes answer it, what is not for the best, if such a by withholding the thing asked thing should be prayed for in a for, and bestowing something bet- right manner. ter in its stead. This question I

The writer of the letter seems should like to see discussed. I to think, that we ought to pray for wish some of your correspondents temporal blessings, with submiswould take it up, and inform us

sion; but for spiritual blessings, how it is. The

prayers
which are

without submission. His words recorded in the Bible, appear gen-are, “Our brethren generally beerally, if not always, to have been lieve, that when temporal blessings answered by giving the very thing are asked for, the petitions should which was asked.

And this ap

be made in entire subordination to pears also to be the most natural the Divine will, and with resignaconstruction of the language in tion to the allotments of his proviwhich the promises are made. An dence; but when we ask for an. objection to this, seems to arise, effusion of his Holy Spirit, and for however, from the consideration, a revival of religion among us, we that we are not very well qualified are to come boldly to the throne to judge what is on the whole best of grace, with no reservation, with for us, or best for the church, or no hesitation, for we know the most for the glory of God. And will of God on this subject.”. The consequently, that if God has contrast certainly seems to imply, bound himself to grant, in all cas

that the same submission is not to es, what we ask, he may be oblig- be exercised, in praying for spirited to grant some things which are ual as for temporal blessings. But not for the best, or else violate his I do not see why there should be promise. Some have thought, that this difference. Temporal blesthe proper way to obviate this ob sings are not, indeed, so valuable jection, is, by directing us to pray as spiritual blessings. But if they for those things which appear to are not blessings, they are not us most likely to be for the best, proper subjects of prayer at all. but to pray always with submis. And if they are blessings, if they sion. That is, that we should may lawfully be desired, if they consider what appears, as far as

can be desired with right motives, we can judge, to be best for the if they are proper subjects of praychurch, and most for the glory of er, I do not see the difference in God; and then go to God in pray- the principle, between these and er, and ask for those things: but, spiritual blessings. They are both that we should always ask with a valuable. They may both be lawdisposition to give up our own will fully desired. They may both be to the will of God, and to take prayed for. All the difference is pattern from our Lord, who said, in the degree of their value. Spir

not my will but thine be done." itual blessings are more valuable. It is probably right to pray with They are more to be desired. submission; but whether this obvi- They should be prayed for with ates the objection, is not so clear. more fervency. But there is no If it is essential to a right prayer, reason in all this, why they should that it be made with submission; be prayed for without subinission, and yet, if God has promised to any more than temporal blessings. grant the very thing prayed for, But perhaps the reason for this difference is contained in the last, no pleasure in the death of the clause quoted above: We know wicked; but that the wicked turn the will of God on this subject." from his way and live.” What Is this true? Do we know that does this mean? Does it mean, that God has determined to convert God does, on the whole, desire the this or that individual ? Do we salvation of every sinper? If so, why know that he has determined to does he not save every sinneré He grant a revival of religion in this certainly can, if he chooses. It apo or that place? How do we know pears plain to me, that the meanit? Will the writer say, that by ing is, that God has no pleasure in the will of God, he does not mean the death of the sinner, in itself his determination, but something considered; but has pleasure in the else? But if he means any thing sinner's turning and living, in itelse, I do not see why the propri- self considered; and that it does ety of submission is removed. Sub- not express his wish on the whole, mission has for its object “the that every sinner should be saved. divine will” (of decree) “ the al. He certainly does not wish, on the lotments of his providence.” God whole, that every singer shuuld has decreed what is best on the be saved; for of some he says, whole. He knows what is best on John xii. 40, "He hath blinded the whole. We do not know. their eyes, and hardened their And hence, the reasonableness of heart; that they should not see submission. The conversion of with their eyes, nor understand an individual appears to us ex- with their heart, and be converted, ceedingly desirable. It is proper, and I should heal them." God therefore, to pray for it, with great desires the salvation of every sinearnestness. But it may be, that ner, in itself considered; and so the conversion of that individual ought we. We ought, therefore, is not on the whole best; God to pray for the salvation of every knows how it is; but we do not. sinner; but we ought to do it with If God should see, that the conver- submission, and be willing to have sion of that individual is not God do what is best on the whole, for the best, and yet we ask it in this matter, as well as in every 66 with no reservation, with no other. hesitation,” what is it, but asking

The writer then goes on to say, him to do that which is not for the “ We feel, therefore, that there is best? And if he has promised to no doubt upon this subject, but grant what we thus ask, he must that we may pray for this immense do that which he knows is not for blessing with full confidence that the best, or he must violate his it will be granted; and we believe promise.

that it always will be granted, But, to confirm his declaration, where the prayers and the labours that " we know the will of God on are accompanied with faith."this subject," the writer adds, | Here, the question arises, what is 6. He has expressly said, and with faith? Is it the "full confidencean oath, “ that he has no pleasure that our request will be granted? in the death of the sinner, but Perhaps I mistake the meaning of would rather that he should turn the writer, but this seems to be and live." I cannot find the place implied. I could wish the writer where this is said, exactly in these had told us, more clearly, what is words; but I find something simi- the faith necessary to prevailing lar, in Ezek. xxxiii

. 11, -As I prayer; for this is one of the most live, saith the Lord God, I have important points of the present

« PreviousContinue »