Page images
PDF
EPUB

Q. What do you mean by zeal ?
A. An earnest regard for religion.
Q. What does Fervency in Prayer signify?
A. Earnestness in prayer.
Q. What do you mean by Herseverance?
A. A continuing constantly in our duty.

Q. What do you mean by the Immortality of the Soul ?

A. That the sonl shall never die.
Q. What do you mean by a Future State ?
A. That other world which is to come after this.
Q. What do you mean by Eternal and Eternity ?
A. The continuing for ever and ever.
Q. What mean you by Felicity ?
A. Happiness.

Q. What do you mean by Consummation and Bliss both of Body and Soul ?

A. That fulness of joy and blessedness, which the righteous shall obtain in heaven.

cu Note here, There are some considerable words:

as Repentance, Faith, and others, which you must look for in the First Part, being there explained.

SHORT

FORMS OF PRAYER, &c.

FOR

SEVERAL OCCASIONS.

Matt. VI. 6. Pray to thy Father, which is in secret, and thy Father, 'which seeth thee in secret, shall reward thee openly.

PRAYER is the very life and soul of Religion, without which it is impossible to become holy in this world, or to attain to a life of happiness in the world to come. It is for want of considera. tion that any person or Christian family can live in the disuse of this necessary duty: The most unlearned must know, that they depend upun the goodness of God's providence for their health and strength, and for all the comforts and conveniencies of life. Men may toil and labour incessantly in the business of their calling; yet all their in. dustry and care, without the divine blessing will be abortive: For except the Lord build the house, their labour is but lost that build it. And it is but lost labour that ye haste to rise up early, and so late take rest, and eat the bread of carefulness, Psal. cxxvii. 1-3.

Many are our spiritual as well as our bodily necessities; we are not able of ourselves to withstand those manifold temptations which are likely

[ocr errors]

to beset us; we can do no good thing without the assistance of the Holy Spirit We are not able,” as our church expresses it, “ to walk in the Come mandments of God, and to serve him, without his special grace," therefore it is meet, right, and our bounden duty, to pray constantly for pardon and peace ; for strength and a disposition to do his will; for his blessing and protection by day and night; for a happy death, and a glorious resurrection to life eternal.

O! that there were such a heart in all of us, that we would fear the Lord, and serve him with our whole houses, that it might be well with us and our children for ever! The words of the wise man are very striking in Proverbs iii. v. 33. The curse of the Lord is in the house of the wicked ; but he blesseth the habitation of the just.

What an unsafe and dangerous condition must they be in, who live as it were, without God in the world; who do not seek for His aid and protection in this life, or shew any regard for their future and eternal welfare ? Who have not in their houses so much as the form and appearance of Religion ; where children and servants instead of being called to daily prayers in the family, have hardly an example set them of retiring for private devotion? The state of such Heathenish families must be truly deplorable; I know not low they can enjoy any peace of comfort, or hope to thrive in any of their undertakings; Surely they have little thought how they should be able to answer for such notorious impiety at the last day, when they shall stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, there to give an account how they have performed

G

the Commands of that Gospel which teaches us thar mun ought always to pray and not to fuint Luke xviii. 1. to pray without ceasing and in every thing to give thanks, 1 Thess. y. 17, 18.

On the other hand, they that daily worship God with sincerity of heart in their families, and in their closets will find great comfort in such a practice even here, besides those unspeakable rewards which they will receive hereafter. God will bless and give his Angels charge over them; 60 that no evil shall befal them, neither shall any plagues come nigh to their dwelling. He will grant them the continual comforts and assistance of his holy Spirit, to direct them in the way wherein they should go, and to bring them to everlasting life and glory at the end of their journey. Therefore “thou art inexcusable, Oman, whosoever thou art,” that neglectest to serve thy God to the best of thy power and knowledge.

Let none pretend they have not time to pray to God every day in private, or with their families, For does not God give us all the time we have. Is it not his hand that keeps us åll in health, and upholds our souls in life? Do not the men of business and the poor labourer, depend on God for strength to go through their daily round of labour. Therefore interest as well as gratitude calls upon all men, in every state, to acknowledge the bounty of their heavenly father, and continual dependence on his power and goodness.

Abraham had abundance of cattle and a great deal of ground to look after, but yet he made his children and his whole household serve the Lord, Gen. xviii. 19.

joshua was ruler over all Israel, and had always a multiplicity of business upon his hands, and yet he declared this pious resolution : As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Josh. xxiv. 15.

Holy David though he had the cares of a crown upon his head, yet constantly pruyed 10 God morning, evening, and at noon day. Psalms lv. 17. And another place he tells us, he was resolved to walk in his house with a perfect heart, and that none should be his scrvants but such as would be godly and religious. Psalms ci. 3. 6.

And Cornelius, though a soldier, was yet a devout man, and found time to pray to God always with all liis house. Acts x. 2.

We may be assured of this, that it is not time lost which we spend in God's service ; for He will repay and make it up to us, and we shall, sooner or later, find to our comfort that, if we liave been steadfast and abounding in the work of the Lord, our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.

But were we sure, to lose some worldly advantage, or to incur any danger on account of doing our duty to God; yet under such circumstances we must adhere to, and resolutely persist in it.--The history of Daniel to this purpose is worthy our serious attention, ch. vi. when he was threatened with the loss of his life if he offered any petition for thirty days, yet he would not be deterred from performing his duty to his great Creator and Preserver, but continued according to his custom to pray to God three times a day. For this he was cast inte a den of lions; but how wonder. fully did Go:l preserve his faithful servant, by shutting up the lions' months, so that they did bin

« PreviousContinue »