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cious acts of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, he worships an unknown God. Whereas, the child of God, who draws nigh the mercy-seat, under the sweet unction, and leadings, and teachings of the Holy Ghost; and feels his very soul led out into a spiritual apprehension of the love of God the Father, and into the patient waiting for Christ, he knows personally and spiritually the love of each glorious Person, in those acts of grace manifested to himself, and doth to all intents and purposes glorify and adore the unity of the divine essence in his Trinity of Persons. And I confess, that I have the more particularly upon the present occasion, endeavoured to have this in view, in the foregoing forms of prayer, because it is to be feared, that many, yea, very many of the Lord's chosen ones, do not steadily and invariably attend to these most important scriptural directions, in their approaches to the mercy-seat. And yet nothing can be more blessed, than when we are enabled “to worship God in the Trinity, and Trinity in Unity: neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the substance.'
I am well aware that sceptics and infidels of all denominations will rise up in anger against this statement, and be ready to condemn it as rank enthusiasm. But with men of this description I have nothing to do or say. I leave them where the Lord hath left them, to the proud, presumptuous, and unhumbled reasonings of their own minds. The Lord's direction upon all such occasions, is both plain and imperative, when he saith by his servant the apostle, “from perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, withdraw thyself,” i Tim. vi. 5.
But for the comfort and encouragement of all the Lord's own redeemed and regenerated family, and especially for the little ones, who from the timidity of their minds, and the weakness of their faith, are much exercised, I hold myself their continual debtor. And to all
such, I would say, there is nothing so sweet, nothing so lovely, and nothing so interesting and delightful, when from an unction from the Lord, the spiritual faculties of the Lord's people are brought forth in a way of knowing the Lord in his Trinity of Persons; and hold. ing daily communion with the Lord, from the revelations made by each glorious person to the soul, in the gracious acts by which each are known and defined; and by which, in fellowship and communion, we enjoy each, when thus the Holy Three bear record to each other, and testify to our hearts, that those Three are One.
I know, as well as though a voice from heaven did daily proclaim it, yea, infinitely more satisfactory than a thousand voices, (and every redeemed and regenerated child of God, when attending to it, must know the same) that it is the Person of God the Father which hath chosen me in Christ, adopted me in Christ, accepted me in Christ, given me eternal life in Christ, grace in Christ, and blessed me with all spiritual blessings in Christ. Hence, therefore, when at any time faith is in lively exercise, and I can, and do enjoy those sweet and gracious love-tokens of God my Father, do I not, yea, am I not constrained to contemplate and acknowledge such sovereign acts of grace, as so many proofs of his Almighty favour, and bless him for them accordingly? And as each and every one of these mighty deeds could be shewn only, and given only by none less than God, surely, while I behold the personal act of God my Father in such clear demonstrations of Godhead, I no less behold at the same time, that he must, and doth possess all divine attributes and perfections in common with the Son, and Holy Ghost, in the one undivided essence of Jehovah, in his Trinity of Persons: and precisely the same, in relation to the Person and grace of God the Son.
of God the Son. In all those personal acts which the sacred scripture peculiarly and specially ascribe to him, in marrying his church, and every individual of his church to himself before all worlds, and redeeming his church by himself from the Adam-fall transgression in time. As these are equal acts of love, and equal proofs of Godhead, I am no less constrained to behold him as an equal object of my love, and equally entitled to my adoration and praise, as One of the sacred Persons with the Father and the Holy Ghost, in the unity of the Godhead. And in like manner, the Person and Godhead of the Holy Ghost is plainly revealed to my soul, from those acts of grace, which the scriptures, specially and peculiarly ascribe to him, in his making the bodies of the Lord's people his temple; and those sovereign acts of regeneration, and the renewings of his love, when glorifying the Person and salvation of Christ to our hearts, and directing us into the love of God our Father. So that I am constrained to contemplate each glorious Person in his own eternal power and Godhead; while the clear and plain revelation of holy scripture states the unity of the divine essence, and that each and all constitute One and the same Almighty Jehovah, who is “One and the same Lord, and his name One,” Zech. xiv. 9. And I hesitate not to add, that every one of the election of grace, taught of God, cannot but desire thus to know God, thus to adore God in his Trinity of Persons, and to ascribe equal glory, equal praise, and to love, and reverence, and fear, with equal regard, the Holy Three in One, in the unity of the divine essence, as the glorious, holy, undivided Jehovah.
Let me not, however, be mistaken by any of Christ's little ones, for whose comfort and encouragement I have engaged in this work. I do not mean to say from this statement, that all the Lord's people have, or can have, an equal apprehension in those great truths, and are all equally taught to have the same clear views of them. I mean not so, neither is it necessary. All the Lord's children are not equally strong in faith, nor of like spiritual attainments, no more than in nature, are all of equal age or of equal stature. But it is enough, when the redeemed and regenerated child of God is brought into a personal knowledge of and communion with the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, so as to have manifestations from each, and all the glorious Persons in the Godhead, so as to know and enjoy “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost.”
In addition to the above observations, in analyzing the specimen I have given in the foregoing prayers, of forming the sum and substance of all we can or have occasion to say, in our approaches to the throne of God, I would beg to make this further remark, that what I have gathered together, on those occasions, for morning and evening prayer, if examined, will be found to be wholly from scripture. Indeed, the scriptures are so full of ample resources for this purpose, that it were a pity to look elsewhere. In one part or other of the word of God we may find subjects suited for every purpose : and not a case or situation, in which a child of God can be placed, but what he may find words prepared for him, wherewith he may come before the Lord. And what words can I, or any child of God find, to speak unto the Lord, equal to those wherewith the Lord hath first spoken to us?
In looking at the Poor Man's Morning and Evening Portion, I was astonished to find so much of prayer in those little diurnal selections, as there is, however undesignedly. The greater part of them is formed in a way of prayer. And I have left a chasm, marked with stars on purpose to say that there, every morning and evening, the portion of scripture, and the observations made upon it, might be introduced, if the Lord so direct the heart.
I have done this much in this second edition of the Poor Man's Prayer Book, because some of the Lord's little ones have thought it might minister in the Lord's hand, to the help of the Lord's people. But I again cannot but express my hopes, it will be used no further than as the mere elementary principles, to bring all the Lord's people wholly to the Lord, to learn the discovery of the Lord's teaching. My prayer will accompany it, that the Lord himself will be the teacher of the Lord's people. “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord!” The Lord be graciously pleased to take the whole of his family under his divine unction; that all his church and people may be of the “true circumcision which worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh!"