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to qualify an individual to be an apostle. And thirdly, we have the pleasure of knowing that the prophecy quoted and applied by Peter to Judas is interpreted according to the mind of the Holy Spirit. Cork.

I. J.

THE PARTS AND TOPICS OF PRAYER.

(Continued from page 17.) In the word “ prayer,” we usually include all the parts of which our addresses to God are composed ; yet strictly, it means petition or supplication: and whatever share the delightful work of praise and thanksgiving, or the solemn and incumbent duty of confession, may have in our worship; of that worship, petition must ever form a chief and an important part.

Prayer is asking God to avert or remove evil from ourselves or others; and to secure or communicate good. This is at once our privilege and duty; a privilege so great, a duty so obvious, as scarcely to need comment. It may not however be uninteresting to inquire, what we are required or permitted to pray for.

We are enjoined by the apostle to pray, διά πάσης προσευχής και Benoews, “ with all prayer and supplication.” This comprehensive phrase may be understood not only as directing us to use all kinds of prayer, whether silent or audible, secret, social, or public ; but to make ail things topics of prayer. God is our Creator, our Preserver, and Benefactor, our Redeemer, our Governor, and our Judge. We, who are his creatures and his subjects, are exposed to evils and want good both temporal and spiritual: and, as in all those relations he is the proper object of prayer, so with regard to each of these kinds, both of evil and of good, are we to address his throne.

We may purpose nothing, do nothing, without prayer; there is not a want of body or of soul, which should not be matter of prayer; in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgivings are we to make known our requests unto God.

Things seen and temporal, then, are to be made topics of prayer. We mention this, not so much because it is not admitted ; as because, we fear, it is not sufficiently acted upon. Most of us feel more acutely and anxiously respecting our worldly than our spiritual interests ; yet strange to say, we do not commit them as frequently and as entirely to God. They are however as much under his control, and as much require his superintendence. Our animal life is no more in our own power than our spiritual ; we are as dependent on our Heavenly Father for our daily bread, and the nourishment we may derive from it, as for the manna that feeds our souls ; whilst he is as much the author of our happiness as men, as parents, or as children, as of our life and peace as Christians. It is God only can make our way on earth, and among men, prosperous or adverse ; and multiply or diminish the barrel of meal or cruise of oil. Is godliness with contentment sometimes said to be great gain? It is he that makes it so, lifting his servants from the dunghill, raising the lowest and the meanest to honour, in spite of obstacles and of foes. Has the wicked man, who was lately in great power, and who spread himself like the green bay tree, passed away? It is because his breath has gone over him, and introduced the moth into his garments, the rust into his riches, death into the pot. Our going out is blessed if he commands ; our coming in is cursed if he permit. “Our times are in his hand.”

The things of this life, then, should be made topics of prayer. Reader, do you make them such ? Are they not often forgotten before God? Perhaps the more important of them you do commit to his direction, whilst others you deem too trifling and insignificant to mention in prayer. But can you distinguish between the little and the great ? Does not the smallest incident often lead to large results, or the merest oversight conduct to ruin ? Perhaps you belong to that class of persons whom we call thorough men of business ; you are prompt and diligent, sagacious and foreseeing; and while some around you, who have the reputation of great piety, fail in all their worldly schemes, everything prospers to which you put your hand. You are in great danger, from this circumstance, of neglecting to make these things matter of prayer. Has it not already induced self-dependence ? Are you not conscious of contempt and impatience towards your inferior fellow-tradesmen ? And has not the habit been induced, of conducting your business, and expecting to reap the fruit of your industry and care, without the interposition of Him who maketh poor and maketh rich ? But ought it so to be? Is there no defect but incapacity observed by God? Is not the spirit of proud independence as offensive in his sight as the presumptuous expectation? And though it should be admitted that it is a law of God's natural government, that feebleness and indolence can neither produce nor gather much fruit, does he not also frequently show that he is God, by taking the wise in their own craftiness, and overturning the schemes of the wary and the bold ?

There is another consideration besides our dependence, which goes to show the importance of thus committing our way to God. Temporal good and evil are closely and intimately connected with spiritual. What God does or permits as a God of providence, has even a more frequent reference to the state of our souls than of our body; to our character than to our outward condition; and to what we are as accountable, religious, immortal beings, than to what we are as earthly and mortal. All the circumstances of our history here, all our possessions, all our movements, every event of every day, has a bearing and influence on our spiritual state, on our piety, on what we are before God; on our faith and hope, our spirituality and mental peace, our stedfastness and consistency, on the advance or decline of the life of God in the soul, on our position at the judgment seat of Christ, on our everlasting destiny. It is of consequence to every man, as a moral and religious being, whether his bread be this day given or withheld : in the one case, his gratitude will be tested ; in the other his faith. It is of consequence whether in going forth to your business on the morrow, your way be made prosperous or adverse ; in the former case, you may be full and deny God, or display a becoming humility, and develope a heavenly mind; in the latter, you may offend him by your murmuring, or by your patience and submission glorify his name. It is of consequence, whether in the morning, you slumber until break of day, rise not from your pillow till it is too late to enter into your closet and shut to the door ; or go forth to catch the early dew, and send your matins up to God: in the one case, unprepared with grace, your temper, your integrity, your peace, may yield to the temptations of the day; in the other, the baptism you have received may enable you to triumph. When you walk abroad, it is of consequence which way you take ; in one path you may consort with the wise, or meet with angels unawares ; in the other you may become the companion of fools and be destroyed. It is of consequence, whether you receive this domestic or that into your house, whether you accept or refuse the overtures of the neighbouring family, that court your friendship; whether in choosing the place of your abode, you are content to dwell, like Abraham, in Mamre, or select, like Lot, the plain of the Jordan, which looketh toward Sodom : the decision to which you are led may prove to yourself and your children a blessing or a curse. Does the fact then, of God's government extending over our temporal affairs, render it incumbent upon us to commit our way to him? The duty is rendered still more imperative, by the connexion between our present state and our character ; our temporal and our eternal welfare. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy steps ;" and the godliness that does this, shall be found to have the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

The direct spiritual evils that surround us, are so numerous and formidable ; our spiritual wants are so many and urgent; the provision which has been made for the soul is so ample and complete ; that a wide range for petition is here presented ; and all that is included in the Gospel should certainly be turned into topics of prayer. We are nothing, we are less than nothing, without the Gospel. It is a scheme of deliverance, and a plan of salvation. Its design is large and comprehensive ; its bounty is exuberant ; its mercy is infinite; its gifts reach to eternity. The least of its donations is precious. If altogether destitute of its grace we shall be lost for ever; but possessed of its blessings, in the smallest measure in which they can be bestowed, we are comparatively rich ; still as long as we are satisfied with partial

.X. S. VOL. VII.

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communications, evils will encompass us, and our peace remain imperfect. The fulness of its riches is necessary to the fulness of our joy : and its boundless treasures are offered to us freely. “If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink." The Gospel then, in all its provisions, and in all its promises, may be, must be, made matter of prayer.

Are we ignorant and sinful? Light and pardon must be sought. These are our first and most pressing wants. Daily light, daily pardon. Without these, whatever our earthly condition, we are miserable and poor indeed. But when God makes his face to shine upon us, and says, “Thy sins which are many are forgiven,” it brings peace. With respect to these then, it becomes us not so much to ask for them frequently, as to keep our souls constantly and habitually in the attitude of prayer ; so that when the lips may not be moving, nor the knee bent, the hidden man of the heart may yet be saying, Lighten my darkness I beseech thee, O Lord, and wash me from all my sins in the precious blood of Christ. But this is not all we need. Do many spiritual and deadly enemies surround our path? We must pray for a guard of angels to attend us, and for the wisdom and strength of the Holy Spirit to be given to us. Is there a world around us, and is there another world within us, too ready to answer to its solicitations, and to form with it an alliance; and is it true that if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him? Then by day we must watch, and by night must keep our vigils; that that faith may be replenished, which overcometh the world; that while passing through it, we may be kept from its evils. Is the Christian life a life of faith, of hope, of love, of patience, of constancy, a life of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost? And do these states of mind enter into the very being, and constitute the strength and vigour and beauty of the spiritual man? And are these principles and graces, both because of our dependence and our corruption, continually liable to decline? Then that influence that creates, sustains, and revives them must be diligently sought. Has a state of prosperity and adversity each its perils; and yet, may each be made to subserve the great purpose of purifying and ennobling our character ? Then with what earnestness should we pray, that the trial of our faith, in any form, which is much more precious than of gold, may be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ? Is Christ our Redeemer ? Is Christ our Lord, our Portion, our vital Head ? Is his presence our support, his smile our joy, his love our heaven, his death our life, his cross our all; the mediation he now conducts the security for our eternal inheritance? Should not Christ then be the theme of our daily prayers, and his fragrant name perpetually on our lips ? And who applies these benefits to us? The Holy, the Blessed, the Eternal Spirit is the comforter and sanctifier of man, and stands engaged to rebuild this desolate temple, and to make of our ruined and dismantled frame an appropriate habitation for the God of the whole earth. How important, that his grace should be desired, his power invoked, and his skill secured by prayer. And, whatever may be our progress in the Divine life, does there yet remain much land to be possessed here, many fears to be conquered, and great treasure to be amassed ? Is the goal yet to be reached, the kingdom to be gained, the crown to be won, the glory to be revealed ? What extensive, what grand, what exciting topics of prayer !

These are emphatically the best gifts. There is not one, that is not choicer than thousands of silver and gold; there is not one we may omit in prayer. Every moment should they occupy our thoughts ; every hour should our aspirations rise to God, that they may be freely given; daily does it become us to mount the ladder of communication, and breathe our prayers

into the ear of our Father who is in heaven. But there is nothing selfish or restrictive in the spirit of prayer ; and the philanthropy, the Divine benevolence which the Gospel creates, will pervade the believer's devotions. The seed of the kingdom is of all seeds the most productive; and its fruits must perfume the closet, and fill the sanctuary with their odours. He whose heart is enlarged, so as to present all prayer for himself, will present it for others ; and those invariable promptings of our first love, which secure supplications and intercessions for all men, will continue to bring them as a daily offering and sacrifice to God, of a sweet-smelling savour.

He who has been redeemed out of the world, will often retire to sigh and cry for the abominations among men. That disciple, whose name is engraven on the Redeemer's breastplate, will often put his brother's name on his own. That father, whose soul is saved by grace, that mother who has been bought with blood, will again and again bemoan Ephraim before the Lord, and ask that their sons may be as plants grown up in their youth, and their daughters as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. “If I forget thee,” will be the language of every Israelite, to whom the fellowship of the church on earth has been the antepast of the communion of heaven, -" If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning; if I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.” “Clothe thy ministers with righteousness," will be the cry of those to whom the word comes with power ; let utterance be given them; let the word they preach have free course and be glorified ; make all thy chosen people joyful. And if there be any other topic of appropriate supplication, which memory refuses to supply at the hour of prayer, it will be embraced in the comprehensive language of the Psalmist, “And let the whole earth be filled with thy glory;" or, in the still sublimer words of the Divine Redeemer ; “Our Father, who art in heaven. Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Amen and Amen.”

An interesting question here arises, what profit shall we have by

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