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Let them also be concerned to approve themselves wise, and good, and loyal subjects, to the best of Princes so that, instead of disgracing him, they may be to him for a name and a praise among all those who shall hear of so great a people.
But woe to those who reject his sceptre. As for these mine enemies who would not that I should reign over them, bring them forth and slay them before me.
OCT. 31.-"Prayer shall be made for him continually." Psalm lxxii. 15.
WE are not only to pray; but to pray without ceasing. We are not only to pray for ourselves; but for others. We are to pray for kings, and all that are in authority-for ministers-for all saints-for even our enemies, who despitefully use us and persecute usand, what may seem strange-we are to pray for Jesus Christ. "Prayer also shall be made for him continually."
Is prayer then necessary for him? Is he not above the reach of danger, pain, and want? Yes. He who once had not where to lay his head, has all power in heaven and in earth; he dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. The meaning, therefore, cannot be, that prayer should be continually made for him personally; but relatively. Owing to the interest he has in certain objects; what is done for them, is done for himself; and so he esteems it. We therefore pray for him, when they pray for his ministers; his ordinances; his Gospel; his Church -in a word, his CAUSE. David, therefore, exemplifying what he had foretold, immediately breaks forth and says " And blessed be his glorious Name for 3 A
ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen, and amen. The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended."
But what should we pray for on his behalf? Our prayers should vary with the state of his cause: but we should always bear four things upon our minds. First. The degree of its resources; that there be always a sufficiency of suitable and able instruments to carry on the work-To this the Saviour himself directs us: "The harvest truly is great; but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he would send forth labourers into his harvest."-Secondly. The freedom of its administration; that whatever opposes or hinders its progress may be removed. "Pray for us," says the Apostle, "that the word of the Lord may have free course and be glorified."-Thirdly. The diffusion of its principles; that they may become general and universal; spreading through every family, neighbourhood, and province, and realm. So prayed of old even the pious Jew: "That thy way may be known on earth; thy saving health among all nations. Let the people praise thee, O God; yea, let all the people praise thee."-Fourthly. The increase of its glory, as well as its extent; that it may abound more in wisdom, purity, spirituality, charity, and zeal: that the light of the moon may be as the light of the sun; and the light of the sun be sevenfold as the light of seven days that for brass, he would bring gold; and for iron, silver; and for wood, brass; and for stones, iron. Thus, they that make mention of the Lord are to "give him no rest"-not only until he "establish”— but "make Jerusalem a praise in the whole earth."
But why should we be concerned to pray for Him?-Consistency requires it. We are the professors of Christ. We profess to be his servants-but can we be wise and good servants, if we are neglectful of our Master's affairs? We profess to be his subjects-but can we be loyal subjects, if we are
indifferent to the glory of our Sovereign? We profess to be his friends-but can we be true and faithful friends, unless we make his interests our own; mourn over his dishonour, and rejoice in his prosperity?-Benevolence aequires it. The Gospel is the greatest of all blessings to the children of men. Wherever it enters, the wilderness and the solitary place is made glad, and the desert rejoices and blossoms as the rose. It is the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth; and where it does not save the soul, it yields a thousand advantages to the community. Who would not wish him success? His career is the march of truth, and righteousness, and peace. He makes the widow's heart to sing for joy. In him the fatherless findeth mercy.
"Blessings abound where'er He reigns;
"The pris'ner leaps to lose his chains:
Gratitude requires it.
How much do we owe him! When we consider what he has done, is doing, and will do, for us; all we are, and all we have, appear to be his, by a thousand claims: and nothing can equal our vileness, if we are not led hourly to ask, What shall I render unto the Lord for all his benefits? Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?
But what reason have we to conclude that these prayers for him will be heard? Much every way. The prayers, indeed, even of good men, are not always answered. Sometimes they know not what they ask. And when they implore what would prove evil, God's wisdom and kindness lead him to refuse. But whatsoever we ask according to his will, he heareth us. And has he not commanded us to pray, that his kingdom may come? Has he not promised it? Is not the grand condition fulfilled-" When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed; he shall prolong his days; and the pleasure
of the Lord shall prosper in his hands?" Can his death be unavailable? Can the engagements of the everlasting covenant be made void We cannot pray for him in vain.
But what is necessary to evince that our praying for him is sincere? For there is much prayer that is a mere mockery of God. Out of their own mouths many will be condemned hereafter: and they would feel themselves condemned already, were it not that the heart is deceitful above all things, as well as desperately wicked. A man prays to redeem his time, and to have his conversation in heaven; and goes and sits in the play-house for the answer. A father prays for the salvation of his child; and does all in his power to leave him affluent; and surrounded with temptations that render his conversion a miracle. A third prays to be damned; for he prays, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us and he is implacable.-When a man sincerely desires a thing, and in proportion as he desires it, he will seek after it; and use all the means placed within his reach to obtain it. When, therefore, a person professes a great concern for a thing, and neglects whatever is necessary to it, we make no scruple to tax him with folly or falsehood. Let us do, in religious matters, what we do in other casesLet us judge of our faith, by our practice; and of our hearts, by our lives.
What then, you say, must we do to prove that our prayers in the cause of Christianity are sincere? Do! Some of you should come forward and offer to go forth as missionaries. What hinders? Nothing in your condition: nothing in your connexions. Nothing but the love of ease; and the fear of suffering; and the want of the spirit of the prayer-Arise, O Lord, and plead thine own cause.-Do! Live for him. All cannot go abroad. But all have a sphere in which they may be useful. They may hold forth the word of life, by their temper and conversation.-Do!
Employ all your influence with others; provoking them to love and to good works.-Do! Give according to your opportunity and ability-exercising selfdenial, to enlarge your ability. Read the whole verse of our text-"And he shall live; and to him shall be given of the gold of Sheba: prayer also shall be made for him continually; and daily shall he be praised."
NOVEMBER 1.-" How readest thou ?" Luke x. 26.
It is well to be able to read. Thousands are not; and so cannot thus agreeably fill up their leisure moments; nor improve their minds by the written. communications of others. But whatever a thing be in itself; the use we are to make of it, is to deter mine, whether it be to us, good or evil; a blessing
or a curse.
Some will lament for ever, that they were taught to read. They never improved so great a talent. Yea, they perverted and abused it. They read books which undermined their principles, defiled their imaginations, and demoralized their lives. But others are thankful for such an attainment. It has afforded them not only gratification, and profit; but spiritual improvement, and consolation. One, in reading, has been converted from the error of his ways. Another, has been guided in his experimental and practical doubts and difficulties. A third, has been revived while walking in the midst of trouble
And if this has been the case while reading other books, how much more while reading the Scriptures of truth. This volume you are bound, above all other books, to read. It is your duty. It is your privilege-But how readest thou? How ought you to read it?