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happiness. These different methods are noticed by us while the causes for them are disregarded. Mankind are prone to look out of themselves for a cause, and are too inattentive to the similar states of mind, which are followed by similar providences; and hence the erroneous ideas of the different modes of operation, which are considered arbitrary in cases of providential interference and miracles, while his ordinary dealings are supposed to be by established laws, which, when once arranged, are afterwards abandoned by him to their own consequences. The different phraseology is necessary to distinguish the different methods; and if the terms were used only to designate the different states of mind and circumstances of mankind, there would be no false notions imbibed."
“ This is a different view of the subject from any I have ever before taken,” said Mr Henderson ; "and certainly it is more consistent with the character of God, than to suppose, as I have hitherto done, that in all the common concerns of life he holds himself at a distance, and is unconcerned how the world is going on; and that it is only on great occcasions, and in uncommon circumstances, that he condescends to interfere with the established order of things. In the view you have given, God is intimately acquainted with every event of every individual, even to his smallest emotion, as well as with his general state of feeling; and he adapts every circumstance to the exact state of mind of each individual, at all times, and in such a manner, as on the whole to be productive of the greatest benefit to each one of his creatures. I have never before taken such a view of our relation to God."
After a short pause, he added in a pensive tone, “I am afraid I have never prayed as I ought."
“How have you prayed, my dear husband ?" asked his wife. “You have always been sincere in your prayers, have you not ?"
“Yes," replied Mr Henderson, “I have not been hypocritical certainly. I have prayed sincerely as an act of devotion to God ; believing it a duty to acknowledge mercies received, to praise my Maker, to confess my sins and ask forgiveness. But I have never felt it a privilege, a delight, the highest honor, to be allowed to disclose my feelings to my God, as really and truly my best friend. I have never asked divine aid and direction, with a full and entire conviction, that I was addressing a Being present with me, and able and willing to grant me every blessing proper for me; and especially, I have never for a moment imagined I must ask him to influence my feelings and my mind, so as to produce the state which will be most agreeable to him, and most happy for myself. I never before conceived this to be the object of prayer. I have never felt it as I ought. But, I confess, my views are changed. The ways of Providence seem lighted up anew. I perceive grounds of resignation in view of our dear Elizabeth's death, which were concealed from me. My faith in God, as the infinitely kind Father of his children, has gained new strength. Never did my relation to this gracious Being seem so near and intimate as it does at this moment. Devotion will henceforward have delight for me that I have not be. fore been able to derive from it. You remember the beautiful hymn on SEASONS OF PRAYER, in the Christian Examiner, which you have often repeated to me? It breathes a spirit in perfect unison with my present feelings.”
SEASONS OF PRAYER. To prayer, to prayer ;-for the morning breaks, And earth in her Maker's smile awakes. His light is on all below and above, The light of gladness and life and love. Oh, then, on the breath of this early air, Send upward the incense of grateful prayer. To prayer ;-for the glorious sun is gone, And the gathering darkness of night comes on, Like a curtain from God's kind hand it flows To shade the couch where his children repose. Then kneel, while the watching stars are bright, And give your last thoughts to the Guardian of night. To prayer ;—for the day that God has blest Comes tranquilly on with its welcome rest. It speaks of creation's early bloom; It speaks of the Prince who burst the tomb. Then summon the spirit's exalted powers, And devote to Heaven the hallowed hours.
There are smiles and tears in the mother's eyes,
There are smiles and tears in that gathering band,
Kneel down by the dying sinner's side,
Kneel down at the couch of departing faith,
The voice of prayer at the sable bier !
Awake, awake, and gird up thy strength,