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hearts at home, that is bad. We want the heart at the Monthly Concert. It spoils all if we have not the heart there to send up to heaven its sincere desires. "Prayer," you know, “is the heart's sincere desire.” You attend, but do
you attend habitually; or is it only occasionally that you go? Do you attend twelve times a year, if Providence interpose no obstacle? It is a Monthly Concert. It is intended that Christians should meet and pray together at least once a month. There are professors of religion who attend the Concert sometimes, perhaps on an average once in three months, and they think that is doing tolerably well. But what if others should do so! Then it would be no Monthly Concert, but a Quarterly Concert; and such it should be now to suit the practice of too many of the church. But I think once a month, or twelve times a year, is not too often for Christians to meet together to pray, “Our Father.......thy kingdom come.” As a Christian, I feel that it is not too often, and I think, if I was a heathen, and knew all that is involved in being a heathen, I should feel like being prayed for by Christians at least once a month. O! it is not too often, either for us who pray, or for those for whom we pray. Then, fellow Christians, let us attend every month, bringing along with us each one a heart touched with grátitude, melted into pity, fervent with love, full of faith, and as sure as we live, we shall bless and be blessed.
" But they say it is not an interesting meeting.” I don't know why it should be uninteresting to Christians. Is it because it is a prayer meeting ; or because it is a prayer meeting for others ? Does it lack interest because there is no preaching, and the very prayers are not for ourselves ? Will the disciple of Jesus make this confession ? Will he acknowledge that it takes away the interest of a meeting, when its character is so devotional, and its object so benevolent? It has been asked, “How shall we contrive to make the Monthly Concert interesting to the people ?" It is only the people themselves that can make it interesting. Let them come to it. Let the members of the church appear in their places on that evening. Let conscience bring them, if inclination does not, and let him who is to preside in the meeting be cheered by the aspect of a full assembly, and the interest of the Monthly Con. cert is secured without the laying down of rules and observance of minute directions. Who ever found a well attended concert for prayer uninteresting ?
But, one says, it sometimes rains, and I cannot at. tend. I know it sometimes rains, but do you never go out in the rain for any purpose ? O Christian, if for anything you ever go through the rain, go through the rain to the Monthly Concert. I suspect the rain does not hinder you from fulfilling an important engagement with a fellow creature. Now, I know that you have not specifically engaged to
meet God at the Monthly Concert; but there are vows on you which, I am sure, include this. Are you not one of those who say, “ Lord, what wilt thou have me to do ?'' waiting for his answer ? His an. swer comprehends many things, and among them is this. Indeed, I think the duty of attending the Monthly Concert is included in the general obligation to go "into all the world,” and “teach all nations ;” and you consented to it when you made the full surrender. Therefore let not trifles detain you at home on the evening of the church's concert of prayer for the world. But if by necessity detained if you go not, because on such a night you would go out for no purpose whatever, you can spend the hour in the closet praying for the world. That you will not fail to do. The closet is accessible in all wea'ther. If you cannot go out to the prayer meeting, yet you can “enter into thy closet,” and though your prayer will be a solo, it will be as grateful to God as the concert of others.
But some professors of religion never attend the Monthly Concert! What I propose to say to them I must reserve for another article.
11. Why all Christians should attend the Month.
It is a fact well known and deeply deplored, that some professors of religion never attend the Monthly Concert. Perhaps they never attend any of the pray- : er-meetings of the church. It is not for me to say that such persons have no religion, though I must go so far as to say that I do not see how they can have a great deal. Nor does their religion appear to be of the kind contemplated in the New Testament. They may be Christians, but I am certain they are not primitive Christians. I do not, for my part, see how those who never meet with their fellow disciples for social prayer, can be acquitted of contemning that gracious promise of Christ, “ If two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” What an encouragement to concerts of prayer is conveyed in those words, “ if two of
you shall agree !" How can they be supposed to love the presence of the Savior, who are not desirous to meet hiin "where two or three are gathered together in his name !" If such disciples had existed at that time, of course they would not have attended the meetings for prayer which preceded the memorable day of Pentecost. They would not have gone to the “ upper room.” Perhaps they would have made some ex.
cuse for their absence. Perhaps not. One might have said that he could not bear the air of a crowded room. Another, that he did not see why he could not pray as well at home. There were no such despisers of the prayer meeting among the primitive disciples. They all frequented the upper room, "and all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication.” O that it were so now! Fellow disciples of the blessed Jesus, listen to a few plain reasons why we should all attend the Monthly Concert.
1. It is a meeting of Christians. Should you not meet with Christians ? God has made you social beings; and Christians are the best company. Should you not cultivate that kind of society on earth, with which you are to be associated for ever in heaven ? The same class of persons—they that feared the Lord-used to meet together in the days of Malachi; and the Lord noted it down. Come then to the Concert.
2. It is a meeting of Christians for religious worship. The Concert is a sacred assembly. It invites not merely to mutual intercourse, but to intercourse with God and heaven. In it we meet one with another, that we may together meet the Lord; and if he kept a book of remembrance for them whc feared him, and who met for conference with each other, will he not much more for those who meet for communion with himself?
3. It is the most interesting kind of religious meeto