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Wonder if we Return without a Bleffing. But then we must not charge God foolishly; we must not charge his Ordinances with Unprofitableness, or Weakness and Infufficiency: The Means that God has appointed us are abundantly fufficient to the End he Defign'd us, which is, to make us Wife unto Salvation; for the Gospel of Chrift is not only the Word, but the Power of God unto Salvation.

To Conclude all: We must not rest in the Opus Operatum, in the bare Outward Performance of Religious Duty, and content ourselves with having given the Word of God the Hearing, but we must lodge it within us, that it may take Root in our Hearts, and may Dwell in us Richly in all Wisdom. For Col.iii. 16. if we think that All is done, fo foon as we are difmifs'd the Congregation, and go directly from the House of God to Worldly Business or Pleasures, or to News or common trifling Conversation, our Saviour has plainly taught us by his Parable of the Seed and the Sower, what the Effect will be"When any (faith he) Hear the Word of "the Kingdom and Understand it not, pon"der it not in their Hearts, having no Root "in themselves they foon fall away; Then Mat. xiii. "cometh the Wicked One, and catcheth "That which was Sown out of their Hearts, Luke viii. " left they should Believe and be Saved: Or "when they have Heard the Word, they go

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"forth and are choaked with Cares and "Riches and Pleasures of this Life, and bring "no Fruit to Perfection. But they that re"ceive the Good Seed of God's Word into "Good Ground, into an Honest and Good "Heart, having Heard the Word, They "Keep it, and bring forth Fruit with PatiRom. vi. ❝ence."-They have their Fruit unto Holinefs, and their End Everlasting Life.


Therefore, O Lord, we beseech thee, to all thy People give thy Heavenly Grace, and especially to this Congregation here Prefent, that with meek Heart and due Reverence they may Hear and Receive thy Holy Word, truly Serving thee in Holiness and Righteousness all the Days of our Life, through Jefus Chrift our Lord.



The Cafe of Diftractions in Prayer. How far they are Sinful, and what Helps there are against them.

The Fifth SERMON on this Text.

ECCLES. V. 1. Keep thy Foot when thou goeft to the Houfe of God.

The whole Verse runs thus,

Keep thy Foot when thou goeft to the Houfe of God; and be more ready to Hear, than to give the Sacrifice of Fools; for They confider not that they do Evil.


RATER is one of the Principal Duties that we have to perform in the Houfe of God, which is a great Inftrument

of Piety, and a powerful Means to bring down the Bleffings of God upon us: For We are invited and encourag'd in all our Wants and Diftreffes, and on all Occafions, Phil. iv. every thing by Prayer and Supplication to make our Requests known unto God; who has Promis'd to Hear our Prayers, and Anfwer our Requests.

Yet it is not All Prayers that he will Hear: So he has declar'd, Prov. i. Te have fet at nought my Counsel; therefore when distress and anguish cometh upon you, ye fhall Call upon me but I will not Anfwer. And Ifaiahi. When ye Spread forth your Hands I will hide Mine Eyes; yea, when ye make many Prayers I will not Hear. But we may learn from the Apostle, what fort of Prayer it is that God will Hear; Fam. v. 17-The Effectual Fervent Prayer of the Righteous: It is the Δέησις ενεργεμένη, The Prayer that is quicken'd with Life and Spirit, with Inward Fervency of Heart and Affection, and has the Strength and Vigour of our Spirits infus'd into it; This is the Effectual Fervent Prayer that is fo Powerful and Prevalent with God.

But there is nothing does fo much damp and deaden the Fervour of our Minds in Prayer, and cool and flacken our Affections and Defires, as Loose and Careless Wandering Thoughts. When they intrude themselves and get Poffeffion of the Soul, they eat out the very Heart of our Prayers, and make


them nothing but Dead Words, Vain Oblations, the Sacrifices of Fools. This therefore is an Evil of all Evils to be avoided, as the Wiseman Wisely cautions us,-Keep thy Foot when thou goeft to the House of God; and be more Ready to Hear than to give the Sacrifice of Fools; for They confider not that they do Evil. Which we may thus paraphrafe, "When thou goeft to the Houfe of "God, if thou expecteft there to find any Benefit, or Comfort, or Reft unto thy "Soul, be not fo foolish as ever to think to please him with any Sacrifice of the Lips, "without the Sacrifice of a Devout and Fer

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vent Heart; Therefore keep thy Foot, take "good heed to thy felf, Caft all Abomina"tions out of thine Heart, and set a guard

upon it, left the Lufts of the Flesh, or the "Cares of the World, or the Business of

Life, or any of the Vanities under the Sun, "intrude themselves, and lead thy Heart "aftray, whilft thou art in the House of "God; For fo fhalt thou consult Evil, in"stead of Good to thy Soul.

And yet this Distraction and Wandering of the Thoughts in Prayer, though it is so very Pernicious, is I fear an Epidemical Disease that All are more or lefs Subject to; but with this great Difference, that fome are little fenfible of the Evil of thofe Distractions, but can fatisfy themselves with their Cold Formal Heartless Prayers, and though they offer to God

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