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new life is imparted to the soul, and it begins to hold converse with God. Now there is spiritual light, and life, and power, and the soul moves in spiritual affections towards the great fountain of all temporal and spiritual good. Now the value of the soul is seen, the wants of the soul are felt, and the desires of the newborn soul centre in God. This is seen in the results of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. When the Holy Spirit opened his blind eyes, softened his stony heart, made him a new creature in Christ Jesus, he immediately began to speak to God about the interests of the soul, as he never did before. Then it was said, “Behold, he prayeth.” He was now sensible of his guilt in the sight of God, the deep corruption of his moral nature, and his pressing need of

Now he began to pray earnestly for the pardon of his many sins, for the Holy Spirit to cleanse his sinful heart, and for mercy to fit him for the service of God on earth, and for His service in heaven. The new birth is essential to all rightspeaking to God. Then there is faith in the only Saviour, supreme love to God, contrition for sin, humility of mind, and true earnestness to attain eternal life. When the Holy Spirit is poured out, and in proportion as it is so, there will be much speaking to God about the welfare of the soul, the progress of His cause, and the manifestation of His glory in the triumphs of the Gospel. There will be much speaking to God amongst Jews and Gentiles, when God appears in His might to fulfil the predictions of His word. I will pour upon the house of David,

Divine mercy

and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.”Zech. xii. 10-14. And here we see the immense value of Divine revelation. This encourages sinners, the chief of sinners, to speak unto God. This reveals His paternal character, way of access to His throne of grace, and His readiness to hear prayer. Let me on this account prize the holy Scriptures, and rejoice in their possession as one that findeth great spoil.

Praying is speaking to God-speaking to Him in reference to our own wants, and the wants of our families, and the church, and the world. This is regarded by the godly as a vast privilege. They are encouraged to speak to God in all places, in all circumstances, and on a variety of subjects. The Scriptures encourage us all to speak to God. This is the privilege of the monarch in his palace, and the poor man in his cottage. This is the privilege of the young and of the old, the parent and the child, the master and the servant. This is our privilege in the closet, in the family, and in the sanctuary.

The Scriptures encourage us to speak to God in our own behalf, ard on behalf of others. The promise in the text encourages, us to speak to God in prayer. He says to praying souls, “And while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” He is not offended by our speaking to Him, if we speak in a proper spirit. He wishes us to speak to

66 And

ye ask not,” &c. The speaker must be sincere, earnest, hopeful. Here see the glorious perfections of God. He sees all who speak to Him. He knows their state of mind, and is able to supply all their wants. What love is due to so gracious a Being! How many suppliants He blesses! What encouragement He gives us to seek Him! But He is a sovereign, and hears prayer when He pleases. Sometimes at once, sometimes years after.

H. H.

Him. He commands us.

He encourages us by the teaching of His own dear Son. He often anticipates our wants. He sees our desires, before expressed in words. He hears the groaning of the prisoner. “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer.” He often hears prayer at once. He forgives, comforts, quickens the soul at once. While Daniel was speaking to God on behalf of the captive Jews, God sent Gabriel to assure him of a gracious answer. - Daniel ix. 20-27. While they were speaking to God on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended and blessed many souls. And while many are speaking to God in America at the present time, God is sending the blessing. And it will be so when the Jews are converted and brought into the church with the fulness of the Gentiles. The promise in the text teaches us the readiness of God to answer prayer; and especially such prayers as are offered amidst a sincere revival of religion. Now, why is God so ready to hear true prayer ? This arises from the infinite benevolence of His nature. “He delighteth in mercy.” Prayer is the precious fruit of His own grace. This is the result of His own teaching The voice of the new creature.-Gal. iv. 6. And true prayer is offered in the name of His Son, which name has mighty power with God, and for blessings He has promised ; and it is offered by His children, the objects of His everlasting love.—Luke xviii. 8. Then let us continue to speak unto God. This will secure many advantages. There is much speaking to God which is of no avail. “Ye have not, because

PERSEVERING PRAYER. The persevering prayer of faith is perhaps, the most difficult as well as the sublimest exercise of which the human mind is capable. It demanés the sustained exertion of the highest moral and spiritual qualities. He who thus prays must have a habitual overshadowing sense of the presence of God--a filial spirit, resting in the assurance of His paternal character and relation--a clear anticipation of that future judgment which will fir his eternal state--a pressing convietion of his infinite need of God's favour--an undying love to God--an elevation of soul above the world and its delusive promises--a confidence in the power and willingness of God to grant his petitions, which no present disaster nor lengthened delay in the answer to prayer can repress.

If such are the necessary conditions of the persevering prayer faith, we cannot wonder that the Scriptures abound in enforcements of it, and heap up promises, arguments, illustrations, at the door of our unbelieving hearts, to quicken and sustain our flagging spirits in their approaches to the throne of grace.



blessed be God that such inducements abound in His holy word; that no trial, temptation, sorrow, perplexity, nor even sin can overtake them, from which they may not be delivered by a resort to this sure refuge. God is more ready to hear than we to pray; more ready to give than we to ask. " If a son ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? or if he | ask an egg, will he offer him a scor

pion ? If ye then, being evil, know 1

how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give good things to them that ask Him?”

If the unjust judge avenge the poor widow, to be rid of her importunity, shall not God, who loves the importunity of His children, graciously reward it? They cry unto Him day and night; that is, they never cease the practice. The world may laugh, troubles may thicken around, calamity may break upon them with startling suddenness, but still they pray. Their prayers become the embodiment and expression of singlehearted love, of tried and confirmed fealty, of sublime faith, that whispers as it stays itself upon God, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him."

Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be on the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.” If this be the spirit of our habitual prayer, never will our God disregard it.

“ God will avenge

his own elect, that cry day and night unto Him."

The parable to which we have alluded above is designed to encourage persevering prayer--" that men ought always to pray, and not to faint,” and hence it is asked, " Will He not avenge, though He bear long with them ?” that is, delay the answer to prayer. But our Saviour's reply runs thus: “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily." How is it that He will long delay, and yet speedily answer prayer? With God there is no division of time into periods, long and short; the past and the future are to Him one eternal

“ We should not be ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day!” Even though He seem to delay, “the Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness." But there is another consideration more in point. The assertion of a seeming contradiction, that answers to prayer long delayed are yet speedy, is harmonised in the experience of the devout soul. The long night of darkness and storm, in which the sailor watches for the dawn, is only long while it is passing. It shrinks into a brief space in memory, as the sun breaks forth upon the subsiding tempest. “ To be pained for a minute, to fear for an hour, to hope for a week--how long and weary! But to remember fourscore years is to look back upon a day. An avenue seemeth to lengthen in the eyes of a wayfaring man; but let him turn, those stationed elms crowd up within a yard." The trouble or necessity that leads the soul to cry to God for aid, may




while its heavy pressure lasts, convert weeks into months, and months into years; yet when the deliverance comes from on high, the lengthened trial is forgotten, the answer to prayer is counted swift. And though the struggle of life itself seems long, and the days and nights of watching and prayer tempt us to feel weary, when once to our enraptured sight the pearly gates unfold, and the Saviour beckons us to His unclouded rest, we shall rejoicingly say,

God hath avenged me speedily."--" I cried day and night unto Him, and my light affliction, which was but for a moment, has wrought for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."


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In the churchyard of a large town in the county of Kent stands an immense figure of a lion, over the grave of a prize-fighter, and intended as a monument to his memory. The idea evidently conveyed to the mind is, that such is the strength of the British character, that it can triumph in and triumph over death.

We were deeply pained at beholding such an instance of the vanity of man. It convinced us that men may die fools. We thought, how strong is that delusion which, in the face of truth, compels our fellow-creatures to believe a lie, and thus to seal their destruction!

But the incident suggested also a pleasing fact. A Lion has conquered death. “The Lion of the tribe of Judah,” the Lamb of God, God's Son, has abolished death, and brought to light life and immortality. He said,

“O death, I will be thy plagues; 0 grave, I will be thy destruction :" and · He has fulfilled the promise. Believing in Him, now we can ask, "O) death, where is thy sting? 0 grave, where is thy victory ? Thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Dear fellow-pilgrim in the way

of eternal life! You have a “lion” fighting against you. “ Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." But if you are truly Christ's disciple, "greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” And the promise is left for your encouragement,-oh, plead it at the throne of grace, --- The Lord Jesus shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly." " Whom resist, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.”

Dear fellow-sinner! You have no strength of your own whereby to combat death. You must die, and it is because you are without strength that Christ died for you. " The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.” But Christ has fulfilled the law, taken away the sting of death, and opened the kingdom of heaven for all believers. JehovahJesus is our refuge and strength. He is our peace. Trusting in Christ, and ceasing from your own muchloved fleshly reliance, you will feel and exhibit real strength, and find the grave, when you come to die, an illuminated passage to eternal day. “ Jesus saith, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by me."

* This

is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he

that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”


Biblical Illustration.

there or not.


THE HOLY LAND. "As for the stork, the fir-trees are her

house."--Psa. civ. 17. DOUBDAN informs us, that returning from Cana to Nazareth, on the 8th of May, he saw the fields so filled with flocks of storks, that they appeared quite white with them, there being above a thousand in each flock; and when they rose, and hovered in the air, they seemed like clouds

. He says that they rest on trees in the evening, but does not tell us whether they build their nests

If the storks of Palestine roost in trees, there, where they rest when the wanderings of the day areover, may be said to be their house.

Chardin, in describing the magnificent pillars that he found at Persepolis

, tells us, that the storks make their nests on the top of these columns with great boldness, and are in no danger of being dispossessed. The inhabitants do them no hurt, on account of their devouring serpents, adders, &c., and clearing the country of all kinds of venomous animals.

Baron de Tott says, that the stork is revered by the Orientals, as a species of household god. WATCHMEN EMPLOYED IN

THE NIGHT. "A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night.”---Psa.

drums, give them notice that a fourth part of the night is passed. Now, as these cries awoke those who had slept in that quarter of the night, it appeared to them but as a moment. There are sixty of these people who perform this task by day, and as many by night; that is, fifteen for each division.

It is plain that the ancient Jews knew how the night passed away, which was probably by some public notice given them; but whether it was by simply publishing, at the close of each watch, what watch was then ended, or whether they made use of any instruments of music in this business, is not easily to be determined, and still less what measures of time were used by the watchmen. Dr. Russel says,

The watchmen at Aleppo do not call the hour ; but the criers from the mosques sing at evening, midnight, and day-break." The watchmen in the camp of the caravans go their rounds crying, one after another, “God is one. He is merciful ;" and often add, “ Take heed to yourselves.” FREQUENT CHANGE OF VES

TURE. “As a vesture shalt thou change them."

Psa. cii. 26. A FREQUENT change of garments is very common in the East, and that both to show respect and to display magnificence. Thevenot tells us, that when he saw the Grand Seignior go to the new mosque, he was clad in a satin dolimar, of a flesh colour, and a vest nearly similar ; but when he had said his prayers, then he changed his vest, and put on one of a particular kind of green. To this frequent change of vestments amongst the great the Psalmist might allude in the words above.

XC. 4.

Sir J. CHARDIN says, that the people of the East have no clocks, but that the several parts of the day and of the night, which are eight in all, are publicly taken notice of. In the Indies

, the parts of the night are made kuown, in large cities, as well by instruments as by the rounds of the watchmen, who, with cries and small

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