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and ejaculatory, I could not handle distinctly, because of the brevity I intended when first I resolved to appear in print on this needful and useful subject.
A subject which I believe all truly wise and sensible persons,
who take notice of the outgoings of God in the way of his providence towards these kingdoms, will be forced to confess is of as great use to sinking England, &c. as ever it was.
And, notwithstanding the great necessity there is of this generation's being acquainted with, and practically taken up and employed about, right, prayer, the last remedy which souls in distress usually betake themselves to for help and deliverance; yet, such is the subtilty of the devil, and the vanity of men's deceived hearts, that they will rather spend and waste away the precious time, which should be spent in wrestling with an offended and seemingly departing God, in frothy and vain disputes about prayer, than conscientiously to fall on so needful and important a duty.
If the saying of the ancients be true, that prayers and tears are the church's weapons,
I am very confident that, when the approaching storm which threatens ruin to God-provoking England is at its height, it will be experimentally found that the prayers and tears of a poor, despised, and persecuted people in England, will be found to be the most formidable weapons, which will terrify and dispirit that luciferian monster of France, who
pleaseth himself with the self-flattering hopes, lodged in his graceless breast, that, as there is but one God, so he hopes and brags there shall be but one king on earth, and but one religion.
Now who he intends shall be that one king; and which of all the abominable religions now professed in the world, whether popery or deism, turkism or professed atheism, shall be the religion he intends universally to establish by his dragooning law; is left to thee to judge and determine.
I dare engage for him he never designs that the Son of God shall be that one king, though he, and he alone, excluding all others, will appear to be the head and king of that people whom the other designs to make a sacrifice to his ambition and dragooning potency.
And, as he is far from designing that the Son of God shall be that one king who shall rule the world, which he hath already brought to his foot in imagination and conceit only, so I do on the same ground presume to believe he never designs that the scriptural religion, established by the determined council of heaven, and made known in the revealed will of God, shall be the religion he intends to be established.
We have many instances on record, in God's word, of the prevalency of believers' prayer with God in the very instant of the church's sinking fears, when nothing but death and destruction looked them in the face. Dangers drew near,
the very jaws of death were ready to close on them, they cried to God by right prayer in the name of Christ, and the scale was immediately turned. God wrought their deliverance and escape, and in so doing he gave an everlasting proof that he is, what he hath styled himself in his word, viz. A God hearing prayer; Psal. Ixv. 2. And this is recorded in scripture for the lasting comfort and encouragement of all true believers, who only, excluding all others, are endued with the spirit of right prayer.
In king Ahab's time, what a prevailer with God was Elijah for delivering Israel from the judgments and miseries their sins deserved! Yea, so prevalent, that on that very account he was styled, the chariot of Israel, and the horseman thereof; 2 Kings ii. 12. The meaning is, that Elijah wrought more for Israel's deliverance by his powerful
prayers to God for them, than all their men of valour who fought in chariots and on horseback did in battle.
And not only in the case of danger, which threatened the Israelites by war, was Elijah a prevailer with God for them; but, when God himself seemed to fight against them by shutting up the sluices or windows of heaven, so that no rain descended on the earth for the space of three years and an half, and this at the earnest prayer of Elijah. Again, when nothing but famine and death stared them in the face, Elijah prays, and the Lord gave rain, Jam. v. 17, 18; 1 Kings xvii. I, 2. This,
and similar instances, are recorded in scripture to inform God's elect and chosen people, that in all times of danger, prayers and tears are the surest and most proper arms or weapons for God's people to fight the powers of darkness with. Not that I am pleading for the doctrine of non-resistance, as if prayers and tears were the only arms or weapons which God's people ought to make use of for preventing the ruin and destruction designed against them by the enemies of God and his people. There are times and seasons when it is proper for the churches of God to fight with prayers and tears, excluding all carnal weapons; and there are times and seasons wherein the people of God are to make use of the temporal sword, not, however, excluding prayers and tears.
and tears. The holy scriptures afford instances of both these.
And the time is near, I verily believe, when he who is skilled and spirited, as David was, to use both these sorts of arms aright, will appear to be of the greatest use and service to the kingdom. The queen
of Scotland, in the times when darkness and popery broke in upon that kingdom, was heard to say, that she was more afraid of the prayers of one John Knox than of ten thousand armed men.
Had the present Lewis Le Grand of France as much sense or conviction in his natural conscience as she had, he would tremble and quake to think of the horrid and desperate attempts he designs to make upon these three kingdoms, &c. where I
hope he will find many thousands of precious souls, who are richly blest with the spirit of prayer, as John Knox was.
These things I do but glance at, to lay before every
serious reader an occasion to bethink himself that, if ever England had an awakening call from heaven to pray and cry mightily to God for her preservation from ruin, it is now. And, to let him see how heartily desirous and willing God hath made me to be instrumental in awakening every reader to his duty, and that by laying before him so material a point as to understand and know what kind of prayer that is which will prove of effectual avail to preserve these kingdoms from the ruin and devastation which is designed by men against them.
If any reader engages in a quarrel against me, for the plainness and faithfulness used in this small tract, time will prove him to be either an absolute stranger to the spirit of right prayer, or else an avowed friend and well wisher to the interest of France and Rome, the capital enemies of poor England and the protestant religion.
Courteous Reader, the Lord be with thy spirit to enlighten and teach thee from above, so as thou mightest be able to say, experimentally, that what I have, as briefly and plainly as possibly I could, said on this subject of right prayer, is most certainly agreeable with the written word of God. The which if God, by reading the ensuing treatise, grant thee to understand and believe of a