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evidence of what Jehovah would actually grant. From the Father's repeated declaration concerning Christ, firft at his baptism, and then at his transfiguration ; the complacency he had in his prayers, as well as in his perfon, is manifest and clear. This (said he) is my beloved Son, in whom I

am well pleased,” Matth. iii. 17. and Matth. xvii. 5. and, from what our Lord himself faid to the Pharisees, it is plain he had the believing persuasion, the delightful conviction, that in prayer às well as in other duties, he always, without exception, fquar'd his conduct by the divine pleasure. “ He that fent me (faid he) is with me; the Fa«ther hath not left me alone, for I do always “thofe things that please him," John viii. 29. As an obvious consequence from this, our Lord's cry never failed of success, his prayer never missed an answer. Saints may pray once, again, and again, to no purpose; they, in manifold instances, may, with the church complain, “Thou coverest " thyself with a cloud, that our prayers shall not

pass through,” Lam. iii. 44. But, whatever defertion the Man Christ, as to his Father's comfortable presence, groaned under, his prayers were never fent empty away: For “ he lift up

his eyes “ (says the evangelift) and faid, Father, I thank thee « that thou hast heard me; and I know that thou “ hearest me always,” John xi. 41, 42. The most remarkable circumstances, however, in which the prayers of the Man Christ differed from those of other men, was, his fometimes demanding, rather than begging, of the Father. As to mere men, they must fall down, as unworthy creatures, at the footstool of mercy, the throne of grace ; fenfible they deserve not what they ask; persuaded that Jehovah may, without injustice, deny their request: and quite fatisfied that, unless the sovereign


ty of grace turn the scale in their favour, no blessing can be granted to them, or enjoyed by them. So much is comprehended in the highest boldoers, assurance, and confidence of faith, that was ever exercised, by any heir of promise, in his dealings with God. But our Lord, even in the days of his flesh, fometimes pled in a strain very different; in a strain unprecedented, inimitable, and peculiar. “ Father, I will (faid he) that they also whom " thou hast given me, be with me," John xvii. 24. Strange! I will!' and not, If thou wilt! Yes; our Lord, having the Father's everlasting obligation to him, for that purpose, in his hand, makes a demand on the promifer, for the accomplishment of his promise ; there is an immediate requisition in this case. Nay more, the Redeemer speaks in strains of his divinity; and speaks his purpose into being; fpeaks as co-equal with the Father, respecting the crowning mercy he intended to perform toward all his spiritual-feed.

SECT. IV. What beauty, fimplicity, and grandeur, appear in the Redeemer's character, as represented ? What an amiable, fignificant, and important picture does it fet before us? Never was the exercise of patience screwed up to such an amazing pitch ; never did the grace of patience shine with cqual splendor, advantage and glory. Never did that divine virtue receive such honour, or appear with such' magnificence, as in the humiliation of Jesus Christ, his people's Lord. Compared with this, the patience of Job, what is it? to what fum total does it amount? Compared with this, even the patience of Job is as a twinkling taper, to the fun in his brightness; weighed in the fcales of the scripture, lighter than nothing, absolute vanity. Here is patience without a spurn, beauty without a blot, and perfection without the smallest flaw. What, but Divinc Wisdom, could have formed such a grand design? what, but Divine Love, could have execute such a coftly plan? God manifested ! manifested in the flesh ! manifested in the likeness of sinful flesh! manifested in the character of a subject ; under authority as a fon; in waiting as a servant ! However low this grace of our Lord Jesus Christ in the view of naughty mortals, it is celebrated in the highest strains of angelic praise, heavenly wonder, and seraphic joy. Though small and defpifed, without form and comeliness, in the eyes of unbelievers, and partly too in the eyes of militant faints themselves; the Jerusalem above is filled with ceaseless hosannahs unto this son of David ; as once humbled, though now exalted; once obedient, though now obeyed; wounded, though now healed; dead, though now alive; entombed, though now enthroned. As the circumstance of his former humiliation gives peculiar life to the whole confort within the vale ; it should excite the wonder, as well as command the attention, of the churches below, and encourage the travellers of hope to essay the exercise of humble patient waiting for God. What a distinguishing grace does it give to this path of the faints, that it was trode before them by the King of saints? In the exercise of believing patience, holy obedience, may they not trade the prints of their Redeemer's feet, as the Divine Forerunner ? may they not see the way all along paved by himself? And what encouragement is afforded to the enemies of Jesus Christ, to fall in with the gospel design of saving finners; since, in order to win, gather and ransom their fouls, he humbled himself; and to them sends this word of salvation, for their improvement; in the way, for the ends, to the praise of Divine Grace?

without word cry? fashion

Did Jesus Christ, the New Testament Jacob, cry? then all the true Ifrael of God will be praying and wrestling perfons. Wherever the same fpirit directs, wherever the same motives prevail, wherever the same practice appears, though mixed with numberless, nameless, imperfections and discouragements, there is reason to conclude, you belong to Christ's family, make a part of his little flock. Do ye find it a relief, under pressures, afflictions, and temptations, to retire from fociety, and pour out your hearts to God ? without such opportunity of retirement, for that purpose, are your hearts as bottles like to burst, and your feelings too big for mortality to endure? Is any place a palace to you, where liberty to draw near to the Lord's seat, and to fill your mouths with arguments, is commanded and enjoyed ? have you fecret, sensible, unutterable uneasiness, when your closed lips are not opened, your languid hearts not enlarged; but when lifelessness and formality are written upon all your praying seasons? Is it your ambition to have your chains broken, your fetters knocked off, and your souls taken out of prison, that you may glorify the name of the Lord ? or, is the felt or feared want of such concern,' matter of exercise and bitterness to you? Then it would seem you were animated with the Spirit of Christ. And therefore, whatever arguings against yourselves prevail, you are surely Galileans, your speech bewrayeth you.

Nor are your privileges less distinguishing, than is your character; fince our Lord cried, and cried for you, in the days of his humiliation. Had he not cried, our crying would have been in vain, our prayers ineffectual, and all our expectations as the giving up of the ghost. But did the Redeemer cry? were such peritions offered up by the blessed Immanuel ? and did the hearer of prayer himself become a supplicant? Then all hail, my praying friends ! it is the furest earnest, your cry is heard, and your tears are come up before Gud. Nor is this all, for our dear Lord continues to act in the capacity of an Intercessor within the vail, until all the ends of his cries and groans are fully reached, in the final falvation of your souls. However distant in respect of comfortable enjoyment from the Lord as your God, the Redeemer abides in the divine Presence, and abides for your behoof. Put honour therefore upon him, by presenting his cry to the Father, as your plea for access and acceptance. Put honour upon him, by committing your wants, weaknesses and requests, into his hand, who has so much to say with the hearer of prayer; nay, who in his Divine Nature, is the hearer of prayer himself. Nor give place to discouragement, since you have such a noble, generous, and prevalent friend at the court of heaven.

Prayerless persons, however, have no pretensions to the character and privileges of Christians. You who can be whole days and nights, without bowing a knee at the throne of grace ; who can ly down, and rise up, without praying to the God of your life, the length of your days, and the rock of your salvation; who can find and take time for every thing else but devotion; who prefer any employment to that of prayer, any fociety to that of folitude, any enjoyment to that of secret intercourse with heaven; who can make public, or at most family prayer fuffice, without studying closet devotion ; who can enter your families, your shops, your barns, your folds, and even your churches, day after day, as prayerless as the grovelling little animals that follow you; and who, whatever

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