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or if he ask for any other favour, temporal sovereign pleasure as well as his percepor spiritual, for himself or for others, he tive will-what he wisely purposes as to may ask with an unwavering assurance the event, no less than what he commands that he shall receive, and receive the very as a matter of duty, (and we can see no thing he asks. Which of these opinions reason why an interpretation thus comis true? To aid in determining this ques. prehensive should not be given,) then it is tion, let me solicit your attention to the obvious that we do not ask according to following remarks:'
his will, in the full meaning of the apostle,
unless three things can be affirmed of our We regret that our space for- petitions; first, that they are authorized, bids us to give more than the state- embracing proper subjects of prayer; sement of the several particulars, condly, that they are offered in the spirit and a few detached remarks, under they coincide with his purpose or his
which God requires; and thirdly, that one or two of them.
sovereign pleasure, being such requests
as in his wisdom he will deem it proper to “ 1. First, it is more desirable in itself, grant. When all these circumstances conand a far greater privilege to the believer,
cur, no doubt can be entertained that God to have the promise understood with the
will hear our prayers, and answer us in limitation we have suggested, than to suppose that God is pledged to give the very ing the principle advocated in the preced
the very thing we ask. But this is adoptthing which is asked, be it wise or un
ing remarks, that God is no farther bound wise, for his own glory on the contrary. by his general promise to hear the prayers “ 2. Besides: who that is any measure
of his people, than to give such things as sensible of his own weakness and fallibi- in the case."
in his wisdom he shall judge most suitable lity, but must be compelled to acknowledge that, in a thousand cases, when he prays, be knows not what, all things con
The professor here continues to sidered, would be for the best. His de- illustrate his “ adopted principle,” sires may be ardent, and directed to an at considerable length, and with object lawful in itself, and apparently of an overwhelming force of scripgreat moment, when yet he cannot tell
tural evidence. But we have alwhether, in the whole view of the case, it would be better for God to give or with. ready trespassed on the bounds hold. * * * * *
we had allotted to ourselves, as “ 3. But farther: it has commonly been preliminary to the result of the supposed that our prayers, for many things at least, should be offered with submission. whole, and the inferences deduced But it is difficult to conceive of any case
from it, which we have promised where this ought to be done, if we inter- to give at large. We hope our pret the general promises made to prayer readers will give this quotation, without any restriction. * * * * *
long as it is, a very attentive “But if all the promises made to prayer perusal, for it is highly instrucare to be understood without any limitation or restriction, pledging God in every tive, and cannot, we think, fail to case to give the very thing which is asked, prove edisying, if it be duly conhow could it ever be our duty to ask with sidered. submission? Our requests, it would seem, ought to be as unqualified and as absolute
“ From this extended view of the subject, as the promise; and the only point to be what other conclusion can be drawn, ihan aimed at would be firmly to believe that that the promises made to prayer must be our requests would be granted. * * * * * understood with limitation in all cases “ 4. Again: it is not unimportant to re
where the will of God is not known. mark that the apostle John appears to
If the question then return, how does have interpreted the promises made to faith regard the promises of God? our an. prayer with the same limitations which swer must be as before-it regards them we have done; in all cases, I mean, where as they are, and embraces them according the will or purpose of God is not known. to their true intent and design. Absolute (1 John v. 14, 15.). • This,' says he, 'is promises it regards as absolute, conditionihe confidence which we have in him, al as conditional; those which are definite that if we ask any thing according to his as holding true in every case, subject to no will he heareth us.' That is, as I under restriction or limitation; and those which stand the passage, he lends a gracious are general or indefinite it regards as indeear, and grants our requests: if we ask finite, and interprets them accordingly.any thing according to his will. But Some of the promises it considers as spewhen can this be said of us? If the will cifically made to the apostles, and others of God here be understood to mean his in the primitive church, and not applicable
to Christians in general; others as belong: built? It cannot be drawn from the proing to Christians of all ages, and designed mise, as we have seen, for that pledges to awaken hope and encourage prayer. nothing until this faith is in being; nor
But it may be asked how can these pro- . from any other source, conceivable by us, mises encourage prayer unless we believe short of an immediate and special revelathem ? And if we believe them, do they tion. That such a revelation is possible not insure to us the very things we ask? will readily be admitted, but it will be Is it not said, “All things whatsoever ye long, if we mistake not, before, in the ask, believing, ye shall receive?" and judgment of the Christian world, it will again, “ Whatsoever things ye desire, be regarded as in any degree probable. when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, It is again inquired, however, if Chrisand ye shall have them?" True: but these tians do not draw near to God in the full promises were made to the immediate dis- assurance of faith, and if they are not reciples of Christ, who had the power of quired to ask in faith, nothing wavering? working miracles, and from the connexion Certainly; this is their privilege, and this it appears, ought to be limited to them and is their duty. But what is their faith asto others gifted with the same power. sured of? Not that they shall receive every Whenever they exercised the faith neces- thing they ask, whether it be best for them sary to a miracle, the divine veracity stood or otherwise; but that God is a being of pledged that the miracle should be per- infinite perfection, ready to do for his peoformed. But as these promises were made ple more than they can ask or even think, to a peculiar kind of faith, it is evident and who will do all that they desire, unless that they cannot be applicable to Chris- his eternal wisdom shall decide to the contians at large, by whom no such faith is trary. This is what their faith is assured exercised. But farther : suppose that these of, when it is grounded upon the sacred promises had respect to all true Christians oracles. And is not this enough? Does not equally, it is plain that they secure nothing this place their hopes and expectations on until the events prayed for are believed. the best possible foundation ? Besides, let “ Believe that ye receive them and ye shall us suppose that when they pray they refer have them," is the promise. It is not enough their petitions to the sovereign pleasure of of course to believe that God is able to God, as they ought most surely to do in grant our petitions, we must believe that all cases, where that pleasure is not known; he will, or the condition of the promise is what is the import of such reference? Is not complied with, and God is not bound. it not that God should grant or not grant, But how shall we come to this belief? We as it may seem good in his sight? Let the cannot come to it through the medium of event then be as it may, their prayers are the promise, because the promise pledges virtually answered, though they receive nothing, and secures nothing, until we not the very things they desired. They actually believe. It affords no evidence receive what is best for them; and so far that God will grant our requests, until we as they were sincere in submitting the mathave first believed that he will grant them, ter to the will of God, they have what they and then the evidence comes too late to ultimately chose. be the ground of our faith, because we Should the question then return, with have believed already. We cannot apply which this lecture commenced, “ What is the promise until we have fulfilled the con. it lo pray in faith, and how far has God dition of the promise; but in fulfilling this bound himself to hear such prayer?” the condition we have exercised the faith re- answer will be obvious. If the faith conquired, which is a fact prior to the appli- cerned be the faith of miracles, then it is cation of the promise and not subsequent to pray believing that the very thing which to it; and consequently does not depend is asked will be granted; but if reference upon this application. It must be obvious, be had to the faith common to all true we think, to all, that faith in this case Christians, then it is to pray firmly believcannot depend on the promise, whatever ing in the being and attributes of God, in else it depends on; but the promise, as to the truth of his gracious promises, and in its obligatory force, depends on faith, the general fact that he is ready to hear which must always be presupposed before prayer, and to grant to his people whatsothe promise can be applied. To suppose, ever they ask according to his will, withas some have done, that faith is founded holding nothing which he perceives best on the promise, is to suppose that the ef- for them, and most for his glory. In all fect exists anterior to the cause, or that the this, however, it is to be understood that effect has no cause ; for until faith exists, we ask in Christ's name, and expect a gra. the promise avails nothing, as to the cer- cious hearing on his account solely, as the tainty or probability of the desired event, great Mediator of the new covenant, and cannot be the ground of faith, unless through whom all the blessings of that it be to believe that God will hear us, if covenant are bestowed. we first believe that he will hear us. From We conclude this long discussion with what quarter then must the evidence be two remarks. derived on which this prior faith is to be And first: if we have taken a right view
of this subject, it is easy to perceive that But I hear it said, would God breathe they must labour under a mistake who into my heart such desires, so sincere, so imagine that their prayers shall infallibly ardent, unless he intended to answer be answered in the very thing they ask, them? I may reply, it is not very proba. provided they ask in the manner which ble, but still there is no certainty. Had God has prescribed, or in a way acceptable not Paul very sincere and ardent desires to him. They ask, it may be, for the con- for the salvation of his brethren, his kinsversion of an individual, or for many indi- men according to the flesh ? and were not viduals; and if they ask with a certain de- these desires the fruit of the Spirit? These gree of fervour, connected with confidence desires, however, though often expressed in God as the hearer of prayer, they sup- in prayer, were not granted. And it may pose that he is bound by his proinise to be so with respect to many who offer fergrant their requests; and hence it has been vent prayers now. Besides, where has common for such persons not only to in. God said that he will not move his people dulge the hope that their prayers will be to feel and pray as they ought to do, with. literally answered—a circumstance which out giving them the very things which we do not condemn-but to predict with they ask? Are they not bound to plead confidence that the thing prayed for will for every blessing, and especially for spiri. certainly be given. They are sometimes tual blessings, with the utmost sincerity, heard to say that they have gotten a pro- and, where the blessing is supremely im. mise to this effect, because, as God has portant, with all the strength and fervour promised to hear prayer of a certain cha- of their souls ? Would they not thus racter, and believing that they themselves plead if they were perfectly sanctified? have offered such prayer, they conclude and would it not be a privilege to plead in that God is now pledged by his promise, this manner, though God should not al. and will verify it to them. Their mistake, ways grant the very thing which they dehowever, lies in this: God has made no sire? Who can say that God does not of. such promise as they suppose to prayers
ten impart this spirit of prayer chiefly for which his people offer to him in the exer- the purpose of bringing his children near cise of a true and living faith. They con. to him, and perfecting that holy fellowstrue the promise as if it were definite or ship which they have with the Father and universal; holding true in every case, and the Son? subject to no limitation or restriction: Far be it from us to dampen the faith whereas we believe, and have endeavour. and hope of Christians by these remarks, ed to show, that the promise is indefinite or in any degree to diminish the proper in in all cases where the will or purpose of ducements to prayer. Would thai they God is not known: of course, that the ve- might feel a thousand times more confiracity of God is not pledged to grant the dence in the power, and wisdom, and very things we solicit; but that he gives grace, and covenant faithfulness of God or withholds according to his sovereign than they do; and that they took a far pleasure. But, to prevent all misconcep- deeper interest in the cause of truth and lion, let me explicitly state that there is the salvation of their fellow men! But the utmost encouragement to pray, and we desire to guard against a spirit of prethat the hopes of God's people may justly sumption, and to promote a correct mode rise high that he will hear and answer their of thinking and speaking on this deeply prayers, and often in the very things which momentous subject. they desire; that they have cause to hope 2. We remark, secondly, that as we have the more, the more their hearts are drawn no authority for predicting any particular out to him, the more they can see of his event simply on the ground of our prayers, glory, and lie at his feet, and exalt his as though God had bound himself to grant eternal majesty in their hearts; the more whaisoever we desire, so, on the other they can take hold of his strength, and hand, it is venturing too far to assert that apprehend the truth of his promises; the we shall not have this or that mercy unmore they can see of Jesus, the great Me- less we pray for it. We must be careful diator, at the right hand of God, and the not to limit God where he has not limited stronger their reliance upon the fulness of himself. There are many favours which his righteousness, and the preciousness of he ordinarily gives in answer to prayer, his blood. Nay, they may have so much and some perhaps which he will not give hope, arising from these and other circum- unless duly solicited at his hands. But it stances, that God intends to hear their is wise in us not to invade his sovereignty, prayers in the very things which they ask, nor to set bounds to his goodness where he as to indulge in a prevailing expectation has set none. It is usual for God to conthat he will; but they have no certainty, nect the salvation of children with the nor can they arrive at it by any process fidelity of parents; and if a parent is unwhatever. God is not bound, nor can they faithful, and neither prays nor labours for certainly tell what he will do until the the conversion of his children, as he ought event shall declare it, unless you suppose to do, it might justly be said that he has a special revelation.
little or no reason to expect their converCh. Adv.--Vol. X.
sion. It is God's usual method to connect have alluded to were not, after all, the imrevivals of religion with the prayers and mediate answer to prayer. Some person, fidelity of Christians in those places where however obscure or unheeded, may have revivals occur; and it might be proper to prayed for them some time or other, if not say that Christians have no reason to ex- immediately preceding their commencepect a revival in such places, while they ment. This, indeed, is possible; though remain in a great measure indifferent to no evidence can be produced of the fact. this object, and neither pray nor labour But, were this admitted, one thing is cerfor it with becoming zeal. But is it not tain: the churches, as collective bodies, going too far to assert that this is God's were asleep; and this is enough for our only method of building up his cause? purpose. It shows that the blessing was that a revival will never be experienced not necessarily suspended on their prayers and sinners converted until Christians -at least those solemn and earnest prayawake and cry mightily to God for the de- ers to which the promise of God is eviscent of his Špirit? In other words, that dently made. God has promised, for the God will not pour out his Spirit upon a purpose of encouraging his people to pray; congregation but in answer to solemn and and he fulfils his promises in such circumspecial prayer by his people for this ob. stances, and often with such particularity, ject? Such language is often employed, as to inspire his people with confidence but we think it unguarded: it is warrant- and joy ; but this hinders not the display ed neither by the tenor of God's promises, of his sovereign mercy towards individuals nor by the events of his providence. He and communities whenever and wherever does more for his people often than they he may judge it will subserve the purpose ask, and sometimes surprises them by a of his glory. Let us beware then of takmercy which they neither looked for noring ground which he himself has not requested. I could mention several im- taken, and of dealing out assertions conportant revivals of religion, (nearly twen. cerning the operations of his grace which ty,) if an ingathering of souls into the Re. neither his word nor his providence will deemer's kingdom ought to be so denoini. sustain. At the same time, let us also benated, which were not preceded, so far as ware, that our very caution do not betray human eyes could discern, by any special us into lukewarmness and unbelief; and spirit of prayer on the part of the Lord's that, under å pretext of divine sovereignpeople. They were manifestly asleep ty, we excuse our want of zeal in the when the heavenly bridegroom came, and cause of man's salvation. We act under were roused into action only by his al- a fearful responsibility, and danger awaits mighty voice calling dead sinners from us on every side. Our only safety lies in the tomb.
making God's word the rule of our faith, Such events do not happen to exculpate and his glory the end of our actions. the unbelief, the slothfulness, and stupidity May he give io us that humble, inquisitive, of Christians, but to display God's sove- and impartial spirit which is intimately reignty, and to overwhelm us with the connected with successful investigation, boundless riches of his mercy.
and which will be the surest pledge of our I know it may be said that it is not easy understanding and obeying the truth. to determine whether such revivals as I
Literary and Philosophical Intelligence, etc.
Liberia.-We have received the Liberia on the part of the friends of the candiHerald of the 7th September. The settle- dates." . A good example is set by this inment continues to flourish. The annual fant empire lo nations that are older and election of Vice Agent, two Councillors, should be wiser. During the month of High Sheriff, Treasurer, two Censors for August, the thermometer ranged at MonMonrovia, and two for Caldwell, Commit. rovia from 70 to 78 degrees, with but very teos of Health for Monrovia, Caldwell slight variations in the course of any one and Millsburgh, and Committees of Agri. day. The commerce of the settlement culture for the same places, took place in is constantly on the increase. Vessels the beginning of September. The elec. from Great Britain touch at the port al. tion for a Vice Agent was a close one.- most weekly. The 'masters of American A. D. Williams, the successful candidate, vessels, as they become better acquainted receiving 152 votes, and G. R. M Gill, his with the coast, pay but little regard to the opponent, 139. The Herald says that the seasons; and it is stated that during the election passed over in peace, " and though greater part of the last periodical rains we have no broken heads or limbs to re- there was much activity and bustle in the cord, it was not owing to the want of zeal business part of the town.--N. Y. Com. Adv.
Gold Mines in Egypt.-A letter from Education of the Blind.—The situation Alexandria, in Egypt, dated Aug. 12, of no class of sufferers deserves more com. sta tes that M. Linant, a French traveller, miseration, and generally excites more has discovered a rich mine of gold in the sympathy, than that of the unfortunate mountains that run along the Isthmus of blind, who are deprived of that sense, Suez. He conveyed 9 chests of the ore to which, of all others, perhaps, is the source Cairo, some of which, on being smelted, of most enjoyment to those who have it in rendered one-fifth of pure metal. The vigorous exercise. They who were demost productive of the mines of Peru do prived of sight in early life, prior to the not afford a larger proportion.
cultivation of the mind by education, suf. The following is a statement of the coin fer comparatively, in a greater degree, struck at the mints of France from the perhaps, than those in whom blindness is commencement of the reign of Napoleon:
a natural consequence of age, but whose fr.
minds, well furnished, afford materials for Imperial coinage, 1,415,854,495 50
reflection. To supply this deficiency, is Coinage under Louis,
truly desirable; and it appears that a per. XVII.,
1,004,163,169 75 son well recommended and acquainted Do. under Charles X., 685,430,240 50
with the art of instructing this class of Do. under Louis Philip, 279,852,948 50 sufferers, is at present in the city, ready to
engage in the business, if encouraged to
We do not know whether the de
sign of the Wills' Hospital embraces the In 1831, the issue was 254,619,578 fr.
education of the inmates; but we presume 50c., of which 49,641,380fr. in gold, and
it would naturally have had a place in the 264,978,196fr. 50c. in silver. fr.
benevolent mind of the founder of that inThe Paris mint struck, 104,900,000 50 stitution; if so, a better opportunity than Lille do.
that now afforded, by the presence of Mr. Rouen do.
42,162,207 25 FRIENDLANDER, of obtaining a suitaLyons, do.
ble instructor, may not soon offer. We Marseilles do.
were not aware of the number of the The mints of Paris, Lille and Rouen,
blind in the United States, until induced are the only ones that struck gold coin.
by the notice of his being here, we exaIn the specie in circulation are comprised
mined the last census, which furnishes in. . not only the 3,385,200,854fr. 25c. struck
formation on the subject. It appears from
it that there were in 1830—5444 of this since the reign of Napoleon, but also, the old coin and that of the Republic. This
class in the United States, viz: 3974 specie has not remained in France, as
whites, and 1470 blacks, being about one French coin is to be met with all over
in every 2363 persons of the whole popuEurope. But the loss is compensated by
lation. From a hasty calculation, it apo the introduction of foreign coin into
pears that the coloured population of this France. Hence it is evident that France
class are more numerous in proportion
than the whites; as the whites are one in possesses the greatest portion of the metallic circulating medium.
2650, and the coloured one in 1584; the
proportions are very different in the differThirty millions of bushels of barley are ent states. In Pennsylvania, there are annually converted into malt by the brewe
503 blind, viz. 475 white, and 28 coloured; ries of Great Britain; and upwards of being about one in every 2680 of the poeight millions of barrels of beer, (of which pulation. What proportion are of a suitamore than four-fifths are strong,) are
ble age to receive instruction, cannot be brewed annually. This enormous con-,
accurately ascertained.--Hazard's Regissumption attests the fondness of the people for the beverage of their forefathers. -London Mirror.
The small space to which we lieve the most of our readers have are obliged to confine our Religious heard but little. It gives a very Intelligence for the present month, affecting view of the moral princiwe fill with an article from the ples, as well as religious superstiLondon Missionary Chronicle, for tions of the Chinese-a people October last. We select this ar- whom some infidel writers extol ticle because it relates to a mis- for their ethicks—It is, we think, sionary station, of which we be worthy of notice, and certainly is