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tamination of their influence. As it regards transgressors and their ways, let your language and that of your household be,-“O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united. I have hated the congregation of evil doers, and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocency; so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.”

Finally, to the frequent and fervent exercise of prayer, we are not only called by the consideration of need in every case, but we are also encouraged to it by the example of holy men recorded in the scriptures, and of Christ himself, and by the kindest and tenderest invitations of God's own word. As to the encouragement arising from example, I need only observe, that there is not a good man of whom we have any biographical notice in scripture, who is not shown to be a man of prayer. We cannot read of the patriarchs, or of Moses, or of the prophets, or of the apostles, without being impressed with their eminent devotional character. And the devotions, too, of these men of God, so far as they are known to us, breathe much of the public and patriotic spirit; they evidently bear close upon the circumstances of the times in which they lived, and the interests of the country to which they respectively belonged. But the highest and most attractive example is that of our Lord himself: how frequent, how fervent, and o how benevolent were his prayers to the Father, in behalf of his disciples, and of all that should believe through their word! Do we want any farther encouragement ? Our gracious God is represented as seated on a throne of grace, whence he commands, invites, and even intreats us to draw near,-to make our requests known to him,-to ask, and to ask with importunity. He says not to any of us, “Seek ye my face in vain :" on the contrary, he promises to hear and to bestow. In prayer he meets us as a father meets his children. The Saviour teaches us that, “if we who are parents, and sinful parents, give good gifts to our children when they ask us, much more will our Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him. No language can be more powerfully inviting. “Let us then come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

LECTURE II.

THE DUTY OF CHRISTIANS AT THE PRESENT

TIME.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmove. able, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.”1 Cor. xv. 58,

BRETHREN, to decree and control the events of time is the prerogative of the Almighty. It is his to “change the times and the seasons, to remove kings and to set up kings; and to do according to his will, in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth.” It is our duty and privilege to study, with reverential attention, the operations of his hand, that we may acquaint ourselves with his will and pleasure, as indicated by them. It is for God to ordain, to appoint our lot, to give the law-it is for us in humble acquiescence, in grateful acknowledgment, to bow to his sovereignty. We are satisfied that he wills nothing incompatible with the best reason, whether that reason be discoverable by us, or not; and that, in all his dealings with us, his object is to promote his own glory and our best interests. A settled conviction that such object is ever present in the Divine mind, is the principle on which every inquiry we institute into the special reasons for this or that dispensation of his hand, ought to be conducted. Numerous, however, are the cases, where special reasons do not appear. “His way is” often “in the sea, and his path in the great waters, and his footsteps are not known. He doeth great things, past finding out, and giveth not account of any of his matters.” What, then, is our part? What, but to adore; and whatever our intellectual pretensions among men may be, to bow to infinite wisdom, and say, each one for himself, “Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do ?” Of a truth, without this humble and obedient spirit, no observance of God's providence, no inquiry into the purposes of his operations, can be expected to

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