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trath; and if those who have the spirit of right prayer be also hereby occasionally awakened and rouzed up to wrestle, Jacob-like, with God, for England's deliverance from that impending ruin, which threatens the whole protestant interest all the world over; I have what I chiefly aimed at. The glory of which service I heartily desire may be ascribed and given to God alone.
Thine in the Lord,
DISCOURSE ON RIGHT PRAYER.
HERE are two things, which to know are of the highest concernment to all who desire to be found ranked among the true worshippers of God.
First, To know the certain character of the person whom God will vouchsafe to hear.
Secondly, "To understand and know what kind of prayer that is which God will accept as pleasing to him
Both these are plainly and graphically described and set down by the Holy Ghost in James v. 16, “ The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Ques. First. What is the distinguishing character of the man whom God will vouchsafe to hear?
Ans. The person whom God will vouchsafe to hear in prayer must be a righteous man; so saith the Spirit of truth in the scripture now quoted. In this term, righteous, which characterizeth the person whom God will hear, two things are intended.
First, The state of the man Godward.
First, His state Godward. He must be a justified person; one to whom the great God hath imputed the mediatorial, spotless righteousness of the God-man for justification, as truly as if that righteousness imputed had been performed by the sinner himself personally.
He must be one to whom God hath fully and freely pardoned all his sins for Christ's sake, as truly as if the sinner had never been guilty of such sins.
In these two acts of God lies or consists the true and saving justification whereof the gospel speaks. And this twofold act of God is every way free, having no manner of dependence on any thing like a previous qualification in the person of the sinner justified: “ Being justified frecly by his grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ,” Rom. iii. 24. “ But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ: by grace are ye saved,” Ephes. ii. 4. 5.
Here every saved sinner may plainly see that, as the great God, who acts all he doth in a way of absolute sovereignty, did elect and choose to himself, out of lapsed Adam's fallen and sinful posterity, as many as hé purposed to reconcile to himself by Jesus Christ his Son, not for any good which he foresaw would be in them, such as
faith, repentance, or any inclination or previous disposition in themselves to answer God's call, and to turn themselves in the work of saving conversion; as Papists and Arminians hold and teach as the motives which moved the Almighty to fix his decree of conditional and temporary election; a dream so altogether repugnant to the revealed will of God, and contradictory to the experience of every real convert, that I am not afraid to affirm it to be a part of that smoke which ascended out of the bottomless pit, Rev. ix. 2, 3; and which the Jesuits and their followers, those infernal locusts, are still endeavouring to propagate every where, where the sound of the gospel of God's grace comes, that they may, by their sophistical distinctions in divinity, darken and obscure the brightness of the doctrine of gospel grace, and, under a specious and plausible pretence of opposing and running down antinomianism, insensibly draw away the people from the ancient gospel delivered by the Son of God, to imbibe those poisonous notions wherewith their pretended new gospel law is stuffed. As God, I say, did elect and choose those whom he purposed to reconcile to himself by his Son Jesus Christ, for no foreseen good in the elect, so, in the work of effectual calling
He is not moved to call them, or to justify and pardon them, for any thing like previous qualifications inherent in themselves, or for any performances acted personally by them in a way of con