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fire. You feel this through all your soul, and answered prayer. But for that, and and are glad that there is no instance of what they typified of Christ, they would a high priest neglecting to draw nigh to have been mere gorgeous ornaments; God, when within the vail. But, is it and, as types are now useless, and the not more shocking and sinful not to draw answer of prayer secured by the internigh to God, now that the eternal throne cession of Christ, the closet' is preferis the mercy-seat, and the blood of the able to the temple, if communion with Lamb our introduction and plea ? That God be our object. For, in the 'closet,' precious 'blood' is both the plea for, and God is • All in ALL! When we retire the pledge of, our success in prayer.
to it, we meet God only: we speak to And access to God on the mercy-seat is God alone. now daily. At all times, in all places, “ ALONE with God! How solemn and and under all circumstances, we may sublime ! Such access to him has no • come boldly to the throne of grace, to parallel in heaven itself. It is as if all obtain mercy, and find grace to help in the spirits around the eternal throne were time of need. Why, then, is this free moved back to the borders of Emmadom of access so little prized, or im- nuel's land, whenever a new spirit was proved? We cannot say that it is less about to enter; that thus its first interinteresting to enter our closets to com view might be with God alone, and its mune with God, than it was to enter the first emotions seen only by Him. Drawholy of holies The scene is, indeed, less ing nigh to God in the closet has all the impressive in its external circumstances, secrecy, and none of the overwhelming and it makes no appeal to our senses i solemnity of such an interview. but, when it is duly examined, it is really “ The soul is there with God alone, as more useful than all the glories of the if it alone engaged all his notice. It has holy of holies. The ark of the covenant God wholly to itself: and may unbosom was, no doubt, splendid, and the golden and plead as if He had no one else to mercy-seat sublime, and the cherubim attend unto at the moment. majestic, and the cloud of glory, crown “ We could not have entered within ing the whole, effulgent; but the whole the vail of the temple, even if we had were only shadows of good things to lived when the temple was in all its come ;' whereas we have, in our closets, glory; but, if we could have entered to the good things' themselves. There we pray before the mercy-seat, what would may behold the brightness of the Father's it have been compared with this meet. glory, in the face of Jesus; and see, in ing, in the closet,' with nothing but God, his person and work, the substance of all and with God all to ourselves ? Oh, why that was shadowed within the vail, and should we ever be reluctant to pray, or more than all that was typified through heartless in prayer? Secret prayer is a out the temple. Our perfect and pre- private interview with God, as real as served Bible is, itself, more wonderful that at the bush in Midian, or that on and glorious than the cloud of glory. Mount Peniel, vouchsafed to Moses and That Shechinah of the divine presence Jacob. If, therefore, we would readily was, even when its radiance filled the welcome such visits from God as the temple, a dark cloud, compared with the patriarchs were favoured with, and light which is embodied in and shines would consider even one visit to be, on from the sun of Scripture. Possessing his part, an act of infinite condescension, this great and true light, we have no what ought we to think of the daily prineed to regret the loss of any thing vilege of visiting God in secret, and bewhich the ancient temple contained : for ing noticed, heard, and remembered this light shows God to be all, and to be by Him, for good ? Do consider, in the doing all, upon the throne of grace in • closet' we are allowed to say all unto heaven, that he was and did upon the God that we could wish to say if we were mercy-seat on earth. If, indeed, God praying upon the very spot where archhad become less accessible, less sympa. angels adore, and redeemed spirits sing. thizing, or less faithful in reference to There is no note on the harp of Gabriel prayer, than he was in the temple, there more welcome to Jehovah than the cry of would be reason to regret our transfer a penitent for mercy, or the supplication from the temple to the closet ; but as of a child for grace. God makes it even God himself is the same for ever-his heart a condition of coming to Him, that we the same in kindness-his hand the same • believe that he is the rewarder of them in bounty and power--the changes of who diligently seek him.'. Think of all place and circumstances are of no con the armies of heaven rolling from their sequence whatever. All the real value harps the anthems of eternity. Are they of the holy of holies, and its magnificent noticed and approved ? Here, then, the mercy seat, was- that there God heard voice of God outspeaking the chorus of
heaven! Thus saith the High and privilege of secret prayer will have much Holy One, who inhabiteth eternity, unto influence upon our hearts or habits. So that man will I look, and with that man long as we have any doubt, or feel it but will I dwell, who is of a contrite spirit, a 'peradventure,' whether we shall really and who trembleth at my word. Truly obtain mercy, and find grace,' we shall prayer is access to God. He dwells not come often nor willingly to the throne with the prayerful, as he inhabits eter- of grace. While prayer is at all regarded nity ;-actually, willingly, and with de as hopeless work, it will continue to be light. How willingly and cheerfully, heartless work."--pp. 4–12. therefore, ought we to enter into our
Many of the difficulties under closets, and pray to the Father who seeth in secret, and rewardeth openly! Oh! which good men labour in regard had Job known all this as clearly as we to prayer, arise from obscure views do, how would he have prized and im- of its nature and objects; and proved such access and welcome to God! hence it is that they are often disshrunk from the effort, required in posed to conclude that prayer is drawing nigh unto God. 'When he ex. upavailing to them at the very moclaimed, 'Oh, that I knew where I might ment in which they are examples find Him, that I might come even to his of its hallowed efficacy. Mr. P. seat ! he would have gladly gone any has accordingly shown that where where to find God. If His seat' had been on the loftiest and coldest summit there is the spirit of devotion, there of Lebanon, and Lebanon quaking like must be personal interest in the Sinai, Job would have climbed it, to meet promises of the Gospel, and that God in mercy. If His seat had been all true prayer is the proof and in the depths of the most desolate wil. derness, or at the uttermost parts of the expression of saving faith. sea, Job would have travelled to it willingly, to order his cause before God.' “In examining,” says he, “ the word We feel sure of this: it being so con of God on this subject, I find, sistent with the patriarch's character. “ First. That the Scriptures do not Indeed, we should have readily blamed distinguish between fervent prayer and him, in the upbraiding spirit of his three saving faith; but treat them as the same friends, if he had been unwilling to go thing. Both the Old and the New Tesany where to find God. Well; we know tament distinguish, and that by the where to find God.
broadest lines of demarkation, between
faith and works-between believing and • We have no such lengths to go ;' doing; but never between believing and
praying. Accordingly, there are no inno such questions to ask. We know stances, in Scripture, of any prayerful where he waiteth to be gracious. God person being represented or treated as an is always to be found at our own home, unbeliever, or without faith. The prayer when we seek him with the whole heart. of the hypocrite and the wicked is, of More intimate communion may be found course, declared to be an abomination to with him in the closet at home, than was the Lord,' whilst they continue such: but, found in the ancient temple, even by when the wicked man forsakes his way, those who travelled from Dan and Beer and the unrighteous man his thoughts, sheba to appear before God in Zion. and turns unto the Lord with supplicaThey could not enter into the holy place tion, he is recognized and treated as a made with hands, but had to worship afar believer, God will have mercy upon him, off; for the Law made nothing perfect; and our God abundantly pardon;' the very but the bringing in of a better hope did, by promise made to faith. Yea, whenever the which we draw nigh unto God.' Well
, prayer is humble in its spirit, and holy in therefore, might Paul add, 'Having, its object, it is regarded by God as faith, therefore, brethren, boldness (freedom) to even if the suppliant be trembling' at enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, the word of God. Isa. Ixvi, 1, 2.A by a new and living way which he hath con broken heart,' on account of sin, is never secrated for us, through the vail; and hav- represented in Scripture as
an evil ing an High Priest over the house of God; heart of unbelief; nor a contrite spirit,' leč su draw near with a true heart in full even if only mourning, as without faith; assurance of faith.' Thus it is, that • but the promise to mourners in Zion is cess' to God is a pledge of ACCEPTANCE the very same that Christ made to his with God. And, until this be uuderstood real disciples, They shall be comforted.' and believed, neither the duty nor the Even those who are only hungering and
thirsting after righteousness (and thus, terest in his salvation, if you did not in their own apprehension, ofar from believe him to be an all-sufficient Saviour. righteousness, and, as some would say, You do not pray to angels, nor to the ' yet in unbelief,') are not classed with saints in heaven, as Papists do. Why? unbelievers,' but' blessed' by him who Because you have no faith in them. And searcheth the heart, and assured by him do you not see that if you had no faith in that' they shall be filled.'
Christ, you would not pray to him either, 66. This is not the manner of mun, O Lord nor in his name? The thing is self-eviGod!' Not the manner of those who dent. make faith to consist in the belief of their “Consider, now, the case of the pubown election ; not the manner of those lican. There is nothing said of his faith, who make assurance the essence of faith ; and he himself said nothing about it. We not the manner of those who treat the see nothing in his case but humble prayer. timid and trembling as unbelievers. It But we are told that he was justified ;' is, however, the manner of him who is and, as justification is only by faith alone, both the object and the judge of faith. it is evident that Christ regarded the He recognizes and welcomes the first publican's prayer as faith. And it is outgoings and yearnings of the heart to- obvious that he never would have prayed wards him, as manifestations of a be as he did for mercy, if he had not believing disposition, and as the first fruits lieved in the mercifulness of the God of of the Spirit.
Israel. “There is not, then, a moral distinction “Remember also the case of the thief between prayer and faith; they are not on the cross. His application to the Sadifferent things in their nature. Why viour was by prayer : ' Lord, remember then should you distinguish them, seeing me when thou comest into thy kingdom.' the Scriptures do not ? If you have Here, indeed, there was much faith exprayed with the heart, you have believed pressed and implied; but still it was in with the heart.
the form of prayer, and not more than “Secondly. In farther examining our prayers express and imply, when the Scriptures on this subject, I find that we make the blood of Christ all our plea they virtually identify fervent prayer with for mercy and grace. And, as the praysaving faith. Not only do they not dis- ing malefactor was treated as a believing tinguish between prayer and faith, but sinner, we are thus encouraged to pray, they represent them as the same thing and warranted to regard humble prayer in effect, and ascribe to them the same as cordial faith. efficacy. Remember the case of the 6. Remember also the case of Paul at Syrophenician mother : when applying Damascus. It was not said, Behold, he to Christ, on behalf of her daughter, she believeth ; but, ' Behold, he prayeth ; said nothing about the nature of her evidently because praying is virtually the faith, nor of its genuineness, but kept on same as believing, or the best way of expleading for mercy. Her pleading was pressing faith. Accordingly, when he beher faith. Accordingly, the Saviour came an apostle and stood forth as the chief called it
so, O woman, great is thy faith; champion of the doctrine of justification be it unto thee even as thou wilt.' It is by faith alone, he did not distinguish betrue that, although she said nothing about tween prayer and faith ; but designated her faith, she shewed much faith, by per as believers, ‘ull that in every place call severing in prayer, notwithstanding many upon the name of Jesus Christ; and deand great discouragements. And have clared that whosoerer shall call upon the not you done the same? If you had no name of the Lord shall be sared.' real faith in Christ- no confidence in his 6. Thus it is that the Scriptures teach blood-no high opinion of his gracious
almost the identity of faith and prayer; heart, would you, could you, have con and uniformly represent believers as tinued praying in his name? You may prayerful, and the prayerful as believers. not have been accustomed to hear, and, This Scriptural fact is of incalculable therefore, not to think, that prayer is the value, both to those who have been perbest expression of faith in the Saviour ; plexed by the public controversies about just as holiness is the best proof of faith faith, and to those who have been perin him. The fact, however, is self-evi. plexed by their own fears and jealousies. dent the moment it is suggested. You Both classes are more numerous than now see, at a glance, that you would not many suppose.
But what a pity, and pray at all in the name of Christ, if you
that the prayerful had no faith at all in his name; that you amongst them should waste their time or would not plead his merits, nor appeal to their spirits in doubting and discussing his blood, if you had no faith in their the genuineness of their faith! How efficacy; that you would not seek an in much better that time would be em
ployed, if devoted to secret prayer. to the notice of our readers, our That would bring and keep before the limits will not allow us to do more, mind, in light and loveliness, the grand in conclusion, than to furnish them ohject of faith --Christ crucified; and when he is before the mind, in the bright- with a single specimen of the meness of his glory, and the freeness of ditations. his grace; in the love of his heart, and the omnipotence of his hand ; in the allsufficiency of his sacrifice, and the au
“ Sufficient unto the day is the evil there. thority of his example, unbelief is over
of. Matt. vi. 34. Read ver. 21-34. powered, and fears dispersed like clouds
“If we would be careful to regulate before the sun."--pp. 39–45.
our conduct by the word of God; how
often would our afflictions be alleviated The second volume, entitled the and our burdens lightened? Scripture
says, ' Sufficient unto the day is the evil “ Devotional Friend,” is by the thereof;' instead of regarding which, we author of the Morning Repast. It take the cares not only of future days, was composed to meet an exigency but, of months and years upon our shoul which she had felt in her domestic that may never arrive.
ders, and sink under prospective evils
Our Lord has economy, resulting from the want promised that he will not lay upon us of some such manual, and was more than he will enable us to bear; and committed to the
in the hope
our burden be heavy, he here points that it might be successfuliy em
out a way by which we may go easy
under it. The cares of to-day are the ployed by others. The meditations portion allotted, we shall find them are brief reflections upon select enough, and to bear them steadily, we passages of Scripture, and are must not overpoise them with the future. such as we can very cordially re
Let us survey the day's concerns, and
understand what is the proper business commend to our readers.
therein, let us be diligent to fulfil our corresponding hymns, which are duty, and leave events which are at the designed to be used in connexion Lord's disposal cheerfully and with bewith the meditations, are not the suing this method, we shall have order in
coming confidence in his hands ; purmost favourable specimens of poe our affairs, and proportionate peace tical ardour and felicitous com within. Perplexity, fretfulness, and care, position. Some of them, however, arise commonly from burdening the mind are creditable to the talents of the
with things beyond our controul, which
we are required to trust in better hands. author, and all of them appear to Scripture says, “Seek ye first the kingdom breathe a devotional spirit, and to of God and his righteousness, and all contain scriptural views of reli- these things shall be added unto you.'”gious truth. The prayers, which pp. 43, 44. occupy the concluding part of the The compiler of the third little volume, amount to 31 in number, volume before us has undertaken and each embraces some specific to bring into a focus the doctrine object of desire connected with of the New Testament on prayer, the Christian life. There are, be- in the words of the inspired writers sides these, petitions for particular themselves. It is divided into three occasions, and some remarks, in parts, Petition, Confession, Thanksthe close of the volume, on the giving and Praise, with an Appenseven churches of Asia, and on dix. The editor expresses his hope the seventh vial referred to in “ that his manual may be useful to Rev. xvi. 17-21. We think that others as well as to himself in inthe prayers are excellent forms of ducing individual scrutiny, and a devotion, and that they constitute comparison of the reader's practice a valuable addition to those which with the precepts of Scripture, and are already before the religious in encouraging to diligence and public. In presenting the work fervency in this great duty, the VOL. XV. N, S, NO, 86.
appointed means for obtaining spected author
for obtaining spected author may claim a distinthose supplies from God, which guished place. It embraces and are essential to our advancement demonstrates two important proin the Christian life.” We believe positions: his anticipations of usefulness will First,—The ends for wbich minot be disappointed, for he has raculous gifts were bestowed on the brought together, “not the words first Christians, and, which man's wisdom teacheth, but
Secondly,--the fallacy of mowhich the Holy Ghost teacheth.” dern pretensions to their exercise. We ought to add, that the volume The preacher has shown that is beautifully printed, and must all supernatural endowments have be a convenient manual for those had this one great end :
They who are confined to the sick were all confirmations of a Divine couch.
testimony," and as such,“
Divine truth.” This statement is On the Miraculous Gifts of the Primitire
Churches, and Modern Pretensions to ccompanied with a sketch of their Exercise : a Discourse delivered at the nature and uses of these miStepney Meeting on Lord's Day Evening, raculous gifts vouchsafed to the Nov. 27, 1831. By Joseph Fletcher, primitive churches, their connecD.D. London: Westley and Davis.
tion with the office of the apostles, There is a kind of preventive and their consequent discontinuservice connected with the other du. ties of the Christian ministry; and authority, of which they were most
ance after the expiration of that we rejoice to observe the season
undeniable credentials. able and competent manner in The fallacy of modern pretenwhich many of the able and zea
sions to miraculous powers is arlous Pastors of our churches have
gued on several grounds, each of recently addressed themselves, as
which merits attention. occasion has dictated, to the active mind the most conclusive are :discharge of this part of their office. the want of adequate evidence ; By a timely and forcible statement and the spirit and tendency of moof the truth, it may be possible to deru pretensions. We must be prevent much spiritual mischief, allowed to furnish our readers with which, in the absence of a vigilant one extract on the subject of ineye and skilful hand, would grow terpretation, which will at once and scatter its downy but perni- show the enlightened sentiments cious seedlings in every direction, and eloquent diction of the writer : to the great injury of the Christian
" Whether the subject of the unknown community. Happy are the in
the in- utterance was a revelation, or a psalm, or dividuals and congregated assem a doctrine ;' whether it was a prophetic blies, who are favoured with the announcement, or a devout effusion of ministration of sound scriptural prayer and praise, or an exhortation or
teaching, the interpretation that followed arguments to aid the judgment in
was required to be an exact and accuits exercise, and to guard the fancy rate version. The term employed is disfrom being perverted by the illu- tinct and unequivocal. Whenever the sions of error.
sacred writers give instances of interpre
tation, they invariably employ it in this Among the excellent Discourses
Thus the term Messiah is,' being that have been delivered on the interpreted the Christ;'— Cephas is, by subject of Miraculous Gifts, of interpretation, a stone, John i. 39, 53; which only a tithe has been com
The pool of Siloam, which is, by in
terpretation, Sent,' John ix. 1. The mitted to the press, that of our re Apostle Paul, explaining the name of