תמונות בעמוד

his Love, the next reflects it back again him, his Love not abasing his Majesty, with the Heart of a Sinner to him: The and his Majesty not diminishing his Love: Spirit firft brings the Report of the Love so we ought to carry, as Reverence and and Grace of God to us, and then he car. Confidence, Fear and Love, may be conries the Love and Respect of the Heart up tempered one with another; so as we may to God.

neither forget his infinire Greatness, nor You know how God complains in Ma. doubt of his unspeakable Love: And this lachi, If I be a. Father, where is my inward Disposition ingraven on the Heart, Fear and Honour ? For these are the will be the Principle of willing and ready only fitting Qualifications of Children, such Obedience, it will in fome Measure be our a reverent, respective Observance of our Meat and Drink to do our Father's Willi.

heavenly Father, such affectionate and for Christ gave us an Example how we - humble Carriage towards him, as becom- Tould carry towards him : How humble.

eth both his Majesty and his Love: As and obedient was he, tho' his only begotthese are tempered one with another in lten Son ?


Verse 15.

Whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

AS S there is a Light of Grace in bestow State we are now into, that we have fo

ing such incomparably high Dignities great and glorious a Father. How many and excellent Gifts on poor Sinners, such Infirmities are we compassed about with? as to make them the Sons of God, who How many Wants are we pressed withal? were the Children of the Devil, and Our Necessities are infinite, and our EnHeirs of a Kingdom, who were Heirs of joymenis no ways proportioned to our Wrath; so there is a Depth of Wisdom Neceflities: Notwithstanding even in this, in the Lord's . Allowance and Manner of the Love and Wisdom of our heavenly dispensing his Love and Grace in this Life ; Father thews it self, and oftentimes more for though the Love be wonderful, that we gloriously in the Theatre of Mens WeakTould be called the Sons of God; yet as ness, Infirmities and wants, than they could that Apostle speaks, It dotb not yet so appear in the absolute and total Exemption clearly appear what we sball be, by wbat of his Children from Necessities : Strength 'we are, 1 John iii 1. Our present Con- perfected in Weakness, Grace fufficient in dition is so unlike such a State and Dignity, Infirmities, hath some greater Glory than and our Enjoyments so unsuitable to our Strength and Grace alone. Therefore he Rights and Privileges, that it would not hath chosen this Way as most' fit for the appear by the mean, low, and indigent advancing his Glory, and most suitable


for our Comfort and Fdification, to give | This is the most natural Breathing of a
us but little in Hand, and environ us with Child of God in this World, it is the moft
a Crowd of continued Necessities and proper acting of his new Life, and the
Wants within and witbout, that we may most suitable Exspiration of that Spirit of
learn to cry to him as our Father, and seek Adoption that is inspired into him,
our Supplies from him; and withal he Since there is so much Life as to know
hath not been sparing, but liberal in Pro- what we want, and our Wants are in-
mises of hearing our Cries, and supplying finite ; therefore that Life cannot but beat
our Wants ; so that this Way of narrow this way, in holy Desires after God,
and hard Dispensation, that at first seems whose Fullness can supply all Wants : This
contrary to the Love and Bounty and is the Pulse of a Chriftian, that goeth con-
Riches of our Father, in the perfect View tinually, and there is much Advantage to
of it, appears to be the only way to per- the Continuity and Interruptedness of the
petuate our Communion with him, and of Motion, from the Infiniteness and Inex-
ten to renew the Sense of his Love and bauftedness of our Needs in this Life, and
Grace, that would grow Nack in our the continual Afaults that are made by Ne-
Hearts, if our Needs did not every Day stircellity and Temptation on the Heart.
up fresh Longings, and his Returns by this But ye bave received tbe Spirit of A.
Means are so much the more refreshing. doption, whereby we cry, &c. He puts
There is a Time of Childrens Minority, in his own Name in the latter Part, though
when they stand in need of.continual Sup- theirs was in the former Part : When he
plies from their Parents, or Tutors, be- speaks of a Donation or Privilege, he
cause they are not entered in Poffeffion of applies to the meaneft, to thew that the
their Inheritance ; and while they are in lowest and most despised Creature is not
this State, there is nothing more beseem in any Incapacity to receive the greatest
ing them, than in all their Wants to ad-Gifts of God; and then, when he menti-
dress to their Father, and represent them on the working of tbat Spirit in way of
to him ; and it is fit they should be from Intercellion, because it imports Necesity
Hand to Mouth, as you say, that they and Want, he cares not to commit some
may know and acknowledge their De- Incongruity in the Language, by changing
pendence on their Father. Truly this is the Person, that he may teach us, that
our Minority, our Presence in tbe Body, Weakness, Infirmities, and wants, are
which because of Sin that dwells in it, and common to the best and chiefeft among
its own natural Weakness and Incapacity, Christians ; That the most eminent have
keeps lis at much Distance with the Lord, continual Need to cry, and the lowest
that we cannot be intimately present with and obscurest Believers have as good
him. Now, in this Condition, the most Ground to believe the Hearing and Ac.
comely and becoming Exercise of Chil. ceptance of their Cries ; that the highest
dren, is, to cry to our Father, to present are not above the weakest and lowest
all our Grievances ; and thus to intertain Ordinance ; and that the lowest are not
fome holy Correspondence with our absent below the Comfort of Help and Ac-
Father, by the Messenger of Prayer and ceptation in him. Nay, the Growth and
Supplication, which cannot return.empty,if Increase of Grace, is so far from exemp-
it be kot fent away too full of Self conceit. I ting Men from, or setting them above

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this Duty, of constant Supplication, that thing more common among Christians in by the contrary, this is the just Measure the outward Practice of it ; yet that there of their Growth and Altitude in Grace : is nothing, inore extraordinary and raré, As the Degrees of the Height of the Water even among many that use it, than to be Nilus in its overfowing, are a sure Sign acquainted with the inward Nature of it, of the Ferulity or Barrenness of that Year; Truly, the most ordinary Things in Relifo the Overflowings of the Spirit of Prayer gion, are the greatest Mysteries, as to the in one gives a present Account how the true Life of them : We are Strangers to the Heart is, whether barren and unfruitful in Soul and Life of these Things, which conthe Knowledge of Jesus Christ, or fruit lists in the holy Behaviour and Deportment ful and lively and vigorous in it. It is of our Spirits, before the Father of Spirits. certain that Contraries do discover one, a. These Words give fome Ground to nother, and the more the one be increas speak of some special Qualifications of cd, that is, not only the more incompa. Prayer, and the chief Principle of it. cible and inconsistent with the other, but the chief Principle and Original of gives the most perfect dilterning of it. Prayer, is, the Spirit of Adoption re. When Grace is but as Twlight in the Soul, ceived into the Heart: It is a Business of and as the Dawning of the Day only, gross a higher Nature, than can be taught by Darkness and Uncleanness is secar; but the Precepts, or learned by Custom and Edu. more it grow to the perfect Day, the cation. There is a general Mistake.az more Sin is Sin, and the more its hated mong Men, that the Gift of Prayer is at Wants are discovered that did not appear ; tained by Learning, and that it consists in and therefore it exerciseth its self the more the Freedom and Plenty of Expreffion. in Opposition to Sin, and Supplication to But O! how many Doctors and Difputers God. To speak the Truth, our Growth of the World, that can defend all the Arhere is bur an Advancement in the Know- ticles of Faith against the Opposers of them; ledge and Sense of oyr Indigency : 'Tis but yet how unacquainted are they with this a further Entry into the idolatrous Tem- Exercise, that the poor and unlearned, and ple of the Heart, which makes a Man Tee Nothings in the World, who cannot dif daily new Abominations worse shan the pute for Religion, yet they send up a more föriner; and therefore you may ealily savory and acceptable Sacrifice, and sweet know that such repeated Sights and DifIncense to God daily, when they offer up coveries, will but press out more earneft their Souls Desires in Simplicity and Sinand frequent Cries from the Heart, and cerity. Certainly this is a spiritual Thing, such a Growth in 'Humility, and Faith in derived only from the Fountain of Spirits. God's Fulness, will be bue as Oil to feed | This Grace of pouring out our Souls into che Flame of Supplication. For what him, and keeping Communication with is Prayer indeed, but the Ardency of the him, the Variety of Words, and Riches Affection after God, Aaming up to him in of Expressions, it is but the Shell of it, Cries and Requests?

the external Shadow ; and all the Life conTo speak of this Exercise, of an holy Gifts in the frame of the Heart before Heart, it would require more of the Spi- God: And this none can put in Frame, rit of it than we have : But truly this is but he that formed the Spirit of Man with. to be lamented, that though there be no- in him : Some through Custom of Hear

ing and using it, attain to a Habit of ex. am lure, many of us useth this Excuse, who pressing themselves readily in it, it may are so cold in it, that we do not warm be to the Satisfaction of others, but alas ! our selves; and how Ihall we think to they may be Strangers to the first Letters prevail with God ? Our Spirits make little and Elements of the Life and Spirit of Noise when we cry all the loudest ; We Prayer. I would have you who want can scarce hear any Whisper in our Heares, both, look up to Heaven for it: Mang and how fall he hear us? Certainly, of you cannot be induced to pray in your it is not the Extension of the Voice pleaFamily, ( and I fear latlę or pone in Se. leth him, it is the Cry of the Heart that crer, which is indeed a more serious is sweet Harmony in his Ears : And you Work) becaule you have not been uled, may easily perceive that, if you but conor not learned, or such like. Alas! Be lider that he is an infinite Spirit, that pier-, loved, this cometh not through Education ceth into all the Corners of our Hearts, or Learning, it cometh from the Spirit of and hath all the Darkness of it as Light Adoption: And if ye cannot pray, ye say before him, how can you think that ye bave not tbe Spirit, and if ye bave such a Spirit can be pleased with Lip-cries? not the Spirit, ye are not the Sons of How can he endure fuch Deceit and FalGod. Know what is in the inevitable Thood, (who hath so perfect a Contrari. Sequel of your own Confessions. ety with all false Appearances ) that your

But I haste to the Qualifications of Heart should ly lo dead and fat before this divine Work, Fervency, Reverence, him, and the Affection of it turned quite and Confidence ; Fervency in crying, another Way? There were no Sacrifices Reverence and Confidence in crying, without Fire in the Old Testament, and

Abba, Father ; for these iwo fuit well that Fire was kept in perpetually ; and so towards our Farber : The first I fear, no Prayer now without some inward Fire, we muft seek it elsewhere than in Prayer, conceived in the Desires, and blazing up I find it fpent on other Things of less and growing into a Flame in the prelent. Moment. "Truly all the Spirit and Af ing of them to God. fection of Men rugs in another Channel, The Incense that was to be offered on in the way of Contention and Strife, in the Altar of Perfume, Exod. xxx. it bethe Way of Passion and miscalled Zeal, hoved to be beaten and prepared ; and and because these Things whereabout we truly, Prayer would do well to be made do thus carnestly contend, have some In- out of a beaten and bruised Heart and consereft or Coherence with Religion, we trite Spirit, a Spirit truly sensible of its not only excuse but approve our Vete-own Unworthiness and Wants; and that mency. But O! much better where that beating and pounding of the Heart will imployed in Supplications to God, that yield a good fragrant Smell, as some Spices were a divine Channel. Again, the Mar- do not till beaten : The Incense was row of other Mens Spirits is exhausted in

exhausted in made of divers Spices, intimating to us, the Pursuit of Things in the World, the that true Prayer it not one Grace alone, Edge of their Defires is turned that Way, but a Compound of Graces. It is the joint and it must needs be blunted and dulled Exercise of all a Christian's Graces ; sea. in spiritual Things, that it cannot pierce soned with all ; every one of them give into Heaven, and prevail effectually, ! fame particular Fragrancy to it, as Humi.


liry, Faith, Repentance, Love, &c. The mapy Spices do not all they get Heat. a&ing of the Heart in Supplication, is a Let us lay this Engagement on our Hearts, Kind of Compend and Relult of all these, to be more serious in our Addređes to as one Perfume made up of many Simples. God the Father of Spirits, above all, to But above all, as the Incense, our Prayers present our inward Soul before him, bemuft be kindled by Fire on the Altar, fore whom it is naked and open, though there must be fome Heat and Fervour, we do ope bring it. And certainly Frt. fome Warmnefs conceived by the Holy quency in Prayer wilt much help us to Spirit in our Hearts, which may make our Pervency, and to keep it when we have is. Spices send forth a pleasant Smell, as



Verfe. 15

Whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

LL that know any Thing of Religi- Ears of God: His Ear is sharp, and the

on, must needs know and con- Voice of the Soul's Defires is Thrill, and fess that there is no Exercise either more though it were out of the Depths, they suitable to him that profeffeth it, or more will meet cogether. k is true, the Ve needful for him, than to give himfelf to hemency of Affection will fometimes the Exercise of Prayer : But that which is cause the Extension of the Voice ; but confessed by, all, and as to the outward yet it may cry as loud to Heaven when Performance gone about by many, I fear it is kept within. I do not press fuch it is yet a Mystery sealed up from us, as extraordinary Degrees of Fervour as may to the true and living Nature of it. There affect the Body, but I would rather with is much of it expreffed here in few we accustomed our selves to a folid calm Words, Wbereby we cry, abba, Fa- Seriousness and Earnestnefs of Spirit, ther. The divine Conftitution and which might be more conkane than Qualifications of this divine Work, is fluch Raptures can be, that we might alhere made up of a Temper of Fervency, ways gather our Spirits to what we are Reverence, and Confidence. The fort about, and avocate them from impertiI spoke of before ; but I fear our Hearts nent Wanderings, and fix them upon the were not wel heated then, or may be present Object of our Worship : This 'cooled since. It is not the loud Noise of is to worship him in Spirit, who is a Words that is beft heard in Heaven, or Spirit. that is constructed to be crying to God: The orber Thing that composes the No, this is transacted in the Heart more sweet Temper of Prayer, is Reverence: Milently to Men, but it striketh up into the land what more fuitable? whether you


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