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some slender allistance only to render the conqueil more easy; this may provoke him to leave us in the hands of our enemies, till, by some fatal overthrow, we are brought to a thorough conviction of our impotence; for “ he resisteth the proud, and “ giveth grace only to the humble: the “ hungry are filled with good things, but ss the rich are fent empty away.”
On the other hand, thould we either question his willingness or ability to help us, would not this be to cast upon him vile dishonour, after all the illustrious proofs he hath given us, both of his love and faving power ? " He that fpared not his own “ Son, but delivered him up for us all; “ how shall he not with him also freely give 66 us all things ?”
Let us therefore, under a deep sense of our depravity and weakness, humbly and importunately cry to God, that he may deliver us from the oppression of our tyrannical lusts; and these cries of the oppressed shall “ enter into the ears of the « Lord of Sabaoth.”— At the same time, let us harbour no dishonourable fufpicions either of his mercy, or of his power : “ We have a great High-priest, who is paf“ fed into the heavenis, Jesus the Son of “ God, who now appears in the presence
of God for us. Having therefore bold“ ness to enter into the holiest by the blood s of Jefus, by a new and living way, which “ he hath confecrated for us through the “ vail, that is to say, his flesh; and having 5 a High-priest who is touched with the feelssing of our infirmities, and was in all “ points tempted like as we are ; let ús come « boldly to the throne of grace, that we 66 may obtain mercy, and find grace to help “ in time of need." . .
If we thus ask, we shall certainly receive : The great Captain of our salvation, whose grace is fufficient for all his people, will not only keep us back from presumptuous fins, but in due time he will bruise Satan underneath our feet, and 's grant unto us 66. to fit with him in his throne, even as he 55 also overcame, and is fet down with the 56 Father in his throne.”— Let me only add, in the
Third and last place, That our prayers to
God God for restraining grace, must be accompanied with our own most vigorous efforts to resist all temptations to presumptuous fins, otherwise they shall not be accepted.
God will so do his work, as that we shall do ours likewise ; for « God's working in “ us to will and do," instead of superseding the necessity of our own endeavours, is urged in scripture as a motive and encouragement, to make us “ work out our “ own salvation with fear and trembling." Prayer is not only an acknowledgement of our dependence upon God for the things : we ask, but it likewise imports a resolution on our part, to use all proper means for obtaining them ; and the vigour of our endeavours is the best proof of our sincerity. Should a person' who is just now praying, “ Lead me not into temptation,” rise immediately from his knces, and go forth to invite, or even to meet a temptation, who could believe that such a man was in earnest? Let us be doing, and then we may, with greater confidence, both ask the divine aid, and hope to obtain it. If, in a humble dependence upon God, we faith
fully employ the strength we have, more shall be added to us as our necessities require : “ For to him that hath shall be gi6 ven. They that wait upon the Lord « shall renew their strength, they shall « mount up with wings as eagles, they shall “ run and not be weary, they shall walk “ and not faint.- Wait therefore on the “ Lord : be of good courage, and he shall “ strengthen thine heart :- wait, I say, on the “ Lord.” Amen.
Having a form of Godliness, but denying the
“ T HE facrifice of the wicked is an “ 1 abomination to the Lord; but the “ prayer of the upright is his delight.” It is the heart of the worshipper which God principally regards; if that be wrong, external homage is only “ vain oblation," which can never afcend to his throne with acceptance. Happy were it for us, had we a just impression of this interesting truth; but many, alas ! are too apt to impose upon themselves. Instead of aspiring to that inward purity which is necessary to qualify them for communion with God, they seem to have no higher aim, than to lull conscience asleep by the practice of some