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Vol. II. we our felves can bear them much long
Our Contentions and Divisions, our Frauds and Cheats, our Pride and Luxury, and above all, our Infidelity and Apostacy, are so notorious, and so scandalous, that I cannot tell how to think but that God will visit us for them, unless the final Judgment be so near, that there needs no Temporal one in the mean time.
The Duty of PRAYER and
Preach'd November 7. 1710.
Col. iv. 2a
HIS Direction may con-Vol. II.
Tis good Advice, whether
we regard our Spiritual or Temporal Prosperity , Conquest over Temptations, or over our Enemies.
V Now of the First more briefly; of the
Second more fully
I. First therefore of Prayer and Thankfgiving, as the Means of Spiritual Prosperity,
And here, 1. As to Prayer.
ift, Prayer has many great Promises
made to it in the Scriptures. The effectual James V.
fervent Prayer of a righteous Man availeth
much. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, Matt. vii. and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be
opened unto you. For every one thăt asketh, re
ceiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and Heb. iv. to him.that,knocketh, it shall be opened.' Let
us therefore come boldly unto the Throne of
Grace, that we may obtain Mercy, and find James i 5.
Grace to help in Time of Need. If any of you lack Wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all Men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
2dly, It renders us more spiritual and heavenly: Prayer is a drawing nigh to God, a converfing with him, and a withdrawing from the World. And will not
a Soul derive from him Light and Life? Exod. 34 Mofes's Face shin'd when he had con
vers’d with 'God. And it is said of our Luke is. Saviour upon the Mountain, that as he
prayed, the Falbion of his Countenance was Serm, alter'da
XII. 3dly, It is pleasing and acceptable to God; for Prayer is an Effect of Faith and Humility, an Acknowledgment of God's Power and Goodness, and our Indigence and Weakness. Now God refifteth the iPet. 5.5. Proud, but giveth Grace to the Humble,
2. As to Thanksgiving ; this also ought to be regarded as a great Means of Spiritual Success. For,
If, It engages God to us. The Bene; fit is lost that is conferr'd on the Ungrateful. Ingratitude makes us not only un worthy of Mercies, but unfit for them. God delights indeed to do Good, but it is where he meets with a Subject proper to receive it.
2dly, This Exercise will make us better Men. It will nourifh and increase the Love of God in us; it will strengthen our Faith in him, and dispose us to mark and observe those good Providences we meet with continually every Day, nay, almost every Hour, and in every Place.
And let not'any one now think this Part of my Discourse impertinent to the Day.. If it tends to make us better Men, it hath answer'd the chief Design of this Day's Solemnity; for what makes us good, will certainly make us great and
Vol. II. prosperous : Our Sins only can deprive us
of God's Favour, and only Repentance and Reformation can entitle us to the Continuance of it. But to come to what I propos'd more especially to insist on,
II. Secondly, Consider Prayer and Thank giving with respect to our Secular Capacity and Temporal Prosperity. I have chose such a Text as joyns both together, because the Times demand both. There is a Mixture in our State: Our Success is great, but is our Reputation Abroad or Credit at Home proportionably greater? We have sat down before no Town but we have taken it; and when ever the Enemy has dar'd to look us in the Face, we have defeated him; fo that morally speaking, the War grows nearer to an End, but can we say that we are nearer to the Enjoyment of what we fought for? Are we freed from Discontents and Fears? Are 'our Enemies more discourag’d? Do they make us greater Proposals of Peace? Are our Confederates and we more closely united ? Have they a greater Value for us, and a greater Confidence in us? And as a Consequence of all this, have we lefs reason to be follicitous for our Religion, Property and Liberty? I am very defi