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mitted, that the unnecessary repe- out from morning till noon, “O tition of any word will fairly enti- Baal hear us!" but Elijah's adtle it to this character. Surely, dress to the hearer of prayer was then, the veneration which should simple, and unattended by vain realways be manifested for the Sa- petition. The form of prayer diccred Name, should lead Christians, tated by our Lord, which he has and Christian Ministers, to be as commanded us in our prayers to sparing in their use of this name, imitate, is unaccompanied with as due regard to the illustration of the repetition of the name God. their subject will admit. “ Thou What, then, are we to think of shalt not take the name of the those preachers, the one half nearLord thy God in vain.” This is ly of whose sermons and prayers high authority, and claims regard are made up of repetitions of the in a more extensive sense than Sacred Name? I do not accuse Christians at first sight might them of intended irreverence; but seem to think.
to me it argues, that such persons Many persons fancy, if they are either come forth very iH prepared speaking on religious subjects, or for their work, or that they have, offering up prayer to the “ Most fallen into a very inexcusable erHigh," they are at liberty to use ror, in imagining, that by unceasthis name at the beginning, middle, ingly pronouncing the name of and ending of almost every sen- God, their discourses will be better tence; and by doing so, they are received. I assure such Ministers, not aware, though I have frequent- if they knew the mind of their ly observed it to be the case, they hearers, such a practice is almost make some of their addresses real- universally disliked, I have heard ly without meaning. To such I it condemned both by the religious would say, remember the third com- and irreligious, and I really hope mandment, and that unnecessary many of our Ministers will alter repetition is vain. We know that, their general practice on this head. in common conversation, it is con
In prayer, the very frequent repesidered very ill bred, and very vul- tition of the divine name is quite gar, to repeat the name of the per- out of place; for in such an exerson we are addressing in every cise it is not required. “Holy and sentence. Having mentioned the Reverend” is his name, let all his person's name at the commence- people sanctify it, and pray that it ment of our discourse, the person- may be so throughout the earth. al pronouns I, thou, he, and you, Amen.
F. are quite sufficient in future to make our address to be fully understood. All good orators, I have observed, avoid a too frequent repetition of the name of God, both in their preaching, and prayers,
About a hundred years ago, a and their doing so is admired by shepherd boy, wrapt in his plaid, all sensible hearers. The late Mr. went into a bookstore in EdinNewton, in writing to a friend on burgh, and asked for a secondthis subject, said, he did not like hand Greek Testament, being unMinisters, in their discourses, to able to buy a new one. The book“ chime on the name of Jesus;" seller having handed him one, he and he was not sure but in doing asked the price. “For whom do so to the extent that some did it, you want it?" inquired the booklittle short of a profanation of the seller. “ For myself," answered divine name was committed.
“ Then," said the bookThe worshippers of Baal called seller, “ if you will read and trans
THE GREEK TESTAMENT-AN ANEC
* late a few verses, you shall have it In the course of conversation, Mr. for. nothing." The poor boy, Brown inquired if he remembered highly pleased with the proposal, the circumstance above detailed. complied with the conditions, and “I remember it well,” replied the carried off the Testament in tri. bookseller," and would give a good umph.
deal to know what became of that Many years afterwards, the late boy; for I am sure that he has Rev. John Brown, of Haddington, risen to eminence in some way or then in the midst of his fame as an other. Sir," said Mr. Brown, author, entered into conversation “ you see him before you.” It is with the bookseller. The latter, needless to add that the recollecwho was well acquainted both with tion was highly gratifying to both his person and his character, re- parties. ceived him with marked respect.
Agreeably to an intimation in The second lecture is introour Review of these lectures in duced with a restatement of the our last number, we are now to method proposed in the first, for give an abstract of the second; the illustration of the text (Jas. i. in which, as heretofore intimated, 5, 6, 7.). Professor R. remarks, is found the chief object of the au- that of the four inquiries, which thor in the discussion contained he had proposed to answer, the in the pamphlet before us. The first three had already been consisubject indeed is here treated in a dered. He then adds, “ We now manner so lucid and satisfactory, proceed to the fourth, and ask, and is so important in itself, that we First-what is to be understood wish, in place of an abstract, or an , by the prayer of faith? analysis, we could give the whole
“This expression," continues the author, lecture, just as it stands. But "seems obviously capable of two senses, as we cannot do this, we shall and must be understood differently acabridge the first part, in which the cording to the different kinds of faith em. author prepares the way for the there is reason to believe that two kinds
ployed in prayer. In the primitive church result at which he arrives; and of faith were thus employed : one extrathe result itself, with the two im- ordinary, being peculiar to certain indi. portant inferences with which he viduals, who had ihe gift of working mi
racles; the other common, belonging to concludes, we propose to quote at all Christians who truly embraced the large-To this extent, we do not gospel. Both were the result of divine think we could fill our pages bet. teaching, though perhaps in a different ter. The benefit of our readers is way; and both were founded upon the
testimony of God; still they were in va. the object at which we desire to
rious respects different from each other. aim, in all we either write our- The first, which we denominate extraorselves or extract from the wri- dinary, and which was connected with tings of others; and a just appre
miraculous operations, was not necessarihension of what should be under
ly, it would seem, a gracious exercise.
Certain it is that many wrought miracles, stood by the prayer of faith, is what and miracles in Christ's name, who will be is peculiarly needed at the pre- disowned by him at last. Whether they sent time, and in the present cir- wrought them with or without faith, is not cumstances of the Presbyterian
expressly said ; but as they wrought them
in Christ's name, there is a fair presumpchurch. Our own remarks will
tion that it was through faith in that not be numerous or extensive.
And this presumption is the
stronger when we consider the language the genuineness and strength of which the apostle holds on the subject of his faith by working a miracle, miraculous gifts in general. (1 Cor. 13.) “ Though I speak with the tongues of
as he describes it in his “ Grace men and of angels, and have not charity, I abounding to the Chief of Sinam become as sounding brass, or a tink- ners," is no very uncommon case. ling cymbal; and though I have the gift Bunyan was, and many others are, of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge ; and though I have a happily delivered from this tempfaith, so as to remove mountains, and have
tation and error. But the whole not charity, I am nothing." Here it is host of fanatical miracle workers, supposed, not only that men might work and confident predicters of indivimiracles without being Christians, but
dual conversions, in modern times, that they might work them in the exercise of faith in the divine power and ve- appear to act under the unhappy racity: nay, that they might possess all mistake and delusion we here confaith, so as to remove mountains, or the template.
mountains, or the template. They misapply pashighest degree of faith connected with
sages of Scripture which exclusivemiracles, and yet be destitute of charity, or love. Not so the faith common to ali ly relate to the faith of miracles, true believers. This in all cases is a gra
to the faith which is essential to cious or holy exercise. Love is essential salvation; and think that it is only to its very being. It not only gives cre- the want of a stronger faith of dence to the divine testimony, in what
the latter kind, which disqualifies ever manner exhibited, but cordially approves of that testimony. It is not mere
them and their friends for doing ly an intellectual but a moral exercise; all the wonderful works which and hence it is described as purifying the were done by the apostles and heart and overcoming the world. The faith of miracles might exist without a
other primitive Christians. In the renovated heart; but this never exists ex
Roman Catholick church this ercept in those who are born of God and ror, seems to be reduced to syslove God, and therefore it is placed among tem; as we find that it is a part of the fruits of the Spirit, and regarded as the creed of that church, that their the grand condition of salvation. ' Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision distinguished saints may, and still is nothing,' saith the apostle, but faith often do, work miracles of the which worketh by love.
most astonishing kind. It is not to our present purpose mi- But even when all these ex. nutely to distinguish between these two
tremes are avoided, some persons kinds of faith, nor to inquire how often it is probable they were blended together in of real, and in general, rational the same persons. It will be enough to piety, appear to cherish a portion have it distinctly understood that they of the same error. They conclude were, in some important particulars, di: from the enlargement and fervour verse from each other; and therefore that we cannot reason from one to the other as
which they find in praying for a if they were radically and essentially the specifick favour or blessing, that same."
such favour or blessing will cer
tainly be granted them. Now that Here our author is at the very genuine and fervent prayer will fountain of the error which he always be followed with a blessing seeks to correct. It originates in
It originates in to those who offer it, we firmly beconfounding the faith of miracles lieve; but not that the blessing with evangelical or saving faith, and will consist in granting the speciin applying to the latter, what in fick object prayed for. It should the Holy Scriptures is spoken only always be kept in mind that the of the former.
specifick object may be denied, This error is sometimes wit- and yet that something better may nessed in its extreme, when be granted in its place-somethose who have had but little thing more for the glory of God, knowledge of the Bible first be- and more for the real and permacome deeply engaged for the sal- nent good of the petitioner himvation of their souls. The case of self-something which, if he were Bunyan, in his temptation to try fully enlightened and sanctified, he would himself prefer before that vering persuasion, that in every which he so earnestly and exclu- given case a miracle would be sively seeks. The truth is, we wrought, he adds as followsnever pray aright, in regard to
“But it may be asked, how it could be any specifick thing that God has known that it was the pleasure and purnot absolutely promised to bestow pose of God that a miracle should be in answer to prayer, unless we do wrought in any given case? Whether it with a portion of the temper be remembered that this fact of the divine
this question can be answered or not, let it and spirit of our blessed Lord, purpose must have been known, or no when thrice he prayed in agony, sure ground for the certainty of the event that if it were possible the cup of could have existed. Our reply, however, anguish mighi pass from him, and is, that the purpose of God in the case
might have been known by the immediate yet as often added, “nevertheless,
suggestions of the Holy Spirit. Nor is not as I will, but as thou will not there any inherent improbability in the my will but thine be done.” Here supposition that those who wrought miis our example, in all cases of pray- racles by the power of the Holy Ghost
should receive intimations from him when er for specifick blessings in re
and where these mighty works were to be gard to which God has made no performed. Did he preside over their absolute promise; and thus asking, thoughts, and over their words, whenever our prayers will certainly return they opened their lips on the subject of with abundant blessings into our
their heavenly message, and can it be
unreasonable or incredible that he should own bosoms, whether the particu- point out to them the fit occasions for lar thing asked for be granted or ihose works by which their message was not. This conclusion professor to be confirmed? Without some superRichards has fairly reasoned out, natural intimation of this kind, it does not scripturally reasoned out-in this the miraculous event could exist. For
seem possible that any firm persuasion of excellent lecture. He has proved can men believe without evidence? or beyond reasonable controversy, could evidence be derived from any other that such is the teaching of the quarter, as to the future occurrence of a infallible oracles of God, in regard have supposed, from that ever-present
miracle? But allow the intimation we to this important subject.
Spirit who was given to the primitive disHe proceeds immediately after ciples, in his miraculous teaching and the quotation we have given, to guidance, and all difficulty vanishes. show what the faith of 'miracles What would otherwise appear a weakness
or absurdity, becomes a plain and obvious was, and occupies nearly three duty. And thus the faith of miracles will pages of this closely printed pam- have something to rest upon, as it is nophlet in showing what was its thing else but giving credit to the divine nature, and in exhibiting examples testimony: It involves the belief that a of it from the Holy Scriptures. how strangesoever the miracle may be,
miracle will be performed in a given case, As to its nature, he says, “What agreeably to the suggestions of that Dihas been denominated the faith of vine Spirit by whose agency it is to be miracles, because peculiar to those accomplished." who wrought miracles, and neces- After thus disposing of the insary to such extraordinary dis- quiry in regard to the faith of plays of the divine power, seems miracles, the author saysto have been, not only a firm per- « But there is another kind of faith emsuasion of the divine power, by ployed in prayer, common to Christians of which all things possible are alike all ages-a faith which takes hold of the dieasy to God, but that the contem
vine attributes and the divine promises,
without any miraculous intimation concernplated miracle, in any given case, ing the result-a faith which rests distinctwould certainly be performed.” ly and primarily upon God's word, making After proving clearly, from the that the rule and limit of its expectations.
Whatever is declared in the sacred vosacred volume, that it was essential in the faith of miracles, that lume, it stands ready to receive, and to
employ as an argument in prayer. Bethere should be a firm and unwa- yond this it never goes. At the same
time, it may be remarked that this faith referred to in holy writ. In closing is the fruit and effect of divine teaching. what he says on indefinite promises, It is wrought in the soul by that Almighty Agent who enlightens the understand professor R. approaches and ining and sanctifies the heart; and it com- troduces his main point in the folprehends in it such a vivid belief of what lowing mannerGod is, and of what he is ready to do for those who truly seek him as no unrenew- “When Christ says in his sermon on ed man ever possessed. Nor is this all the mount, (Matt. viii. 7, 8.) ' Ask, and it it implies a cordial approbation of the di- shall be given you; seek, and ye shall vine character and will. For, as we have find; knock, and it shall be opened unto already heard, it is a faith which works by you: for every one that asketh receiveth; love.
and he that seeketh findeth ; and to him How this faith is put forth in the duty that knocketh it shall be opened-it can of prayer, may require some elucidation. hardly be made a question that this lanI cannot better express my own views, guage authorizes every man, and espethan by saying that faith in this case is cially every true Christian, to ask what directed chiefly to two things—the attri. he will for himself or for others, pertainbutes of God, and the promises which God ing to this life or the next, and to ask has made in and through his dear Son. with the hope that he shall receive, pro
1. Faith in the first place is directed to vided the object be lawful, and that he ask the attributes of God, and has much to do for it in a right manner. And to give the with these in the article of prayer. This greater encouragement to prayer, Christ is clearly implied in the declaration of the adds, “What man is there of you, who, if apostle, “ He that cometh to God must his son ask bread, will he give him a believe that He is, and that he is the re- stone? Or if he ask a fish, will he give warder of them that diligently seek him," him a serpent? If ye, then, being evil, as if there could be no acceptable worship know how to give good gifts unto your without such belief."
children, how much more shall your Fa
ther which is in heaven, give good things The author here goes on to show
to them that ask him.' Here, then, is a that the faith of which he speaks promise, that if we ask, we shall receide;
if we seek, we shall find, if we knock, it is “in most of the prayers record- shall be opened unto us; and it restricts us ed in the Bible, seen to fix upon to no particular kind of blessings—but its some one or more of the divine language is broad enough to cover all our attributes—and that often, if not wants, and all our desires, which at any
time we may have occasion to present to always, it takes hold of the divine the throne of divine mercy. power.” After a very satisfactory
A serious question now arises : how are illustration of this particular, he we to interpret this promise, and other proceeds to show
kindred promises, alike comprehensive in
their character? I know of but two general “ 2. How faith regards the pro- opinions which are entertained upon this mises of God, all of which are subject. One is that which I have already made in and through his dear suggested, that promises of this kind are to Son. Shall I say, it regards them be regarded as indefinite, so far, at least,
as they stand related to the things where as they are, or according to their
the will or purpose of God is not known: true intent and design. In other holding true in a sufficient number of words, that it makes them speak a cases to encourago hope and excite to language which the Holy Spirit prayer—but in no degree pledging the diintended they should speak, with- vine veracity that whatsoever we ask
with the faith common to true believers, out narrowing them on the one
or if you please, in a right and acceptable hand, or giving them an improper manner, we shall certainly receive. The latitude on the other. These pro- other opinion is, that God has bound himmises are different in their cha- self in these promises to give to his chil. racter, and faith knows how to dis. dren whatsoever things they ask believing,
making no exceptions—but construing the tinguish them.” It is then shown promises as being strictly and universally that the promises are either abso. true, applying to every case where the lute or conditional, definite or inde- blessing is sought in the manner required. finite; and the nature of each of Thus, if a man were to ask for his daily
bread, and to ask it with that faith which these classes of promises is ex- he is bound to exercise, the truth of God plained, and examples of each are stands pledged in the promise to grant it;