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prays for his support and direction at every step. He prays not from ostentation and form, but from principle and feeling. He does not merely use words; he knows that these are but signs of our ideas; he therefore prays with his heart and soul: he prays that he may be taught how to pray in such a manner, that his heavenly Father may grant what he asks.
It is a pretty general custom, to read prayers from a book, without consideration as to their adaption to peculiar circumstances. The person has prayed, and he considers that as amply sufficient. Let him consider the matter seriously, and he will find, that there must be something more wanting. Let him imagine himself in great trouble; how impulsively will he in the most simple and forcible manner, call upon God to assist him; this shows how prone our weak nature is to seek for higher support, than it can derive from its own energies. If we be so sensible then of this weakness, ought we not to be continually lifting up our hearts to God, and praying for his guidance and support through the various difficulties of this world? We can pray at all times; for, as a modern Poet beautifully expresses it
PRAYER is the soul's sincere desire,
Utter'd, or unexpress'd;
The motion of a hidden fire,
That trembles in the breast.
Prayer is the burden of a sigh,
The upward glancing of an eye
Prayer is the simplest form of speech
Prayer, the sublimest strains that reach
Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,
The Christian's native air;
His watch-word at the gates of death;
He enters beaven with prayer.—MONTGOMERY.
We would seriously advise our readers to constant prayer. They know not the comfort and consolation of this privilege, which God himself hath even entreated them to use. He has requested you to pray without ceasing, and has promised not to deny his Holy Spirit, to those who ask him.
AIMING AT HEAVEN, without any proper perception of the Divine character, how many perfectly satisfied with themselves, neglect to seek for the Holy Ghost, the Comforter.
The human heart may be compared to a noble building, erected for the habitation of its omnipresent Creator, who made man after his own likeness, "in knowledge, righteousness, and true holiness." But the Holy Builder having left this once stately temple, it is become a desolate heap of ruins. Its beautiful proportions are a mass of confusion,-every thing is impure; even the noble powers of the soul, so lofty-so sublime, are alienated to the service of the pomps, vanities, and lusts of the world. The faded glories and present impurities of this once noble edifice, proclaim but too surely, that its Mighty Possessor has departed! and that a "legion of devils" have taken possession, and have been busily employed in producing the filth, and dilapidation which we at present behold. The heart of man must be the dwelling of either God, or Satan. If God rule not there by his Spirit, Satan does; and it is generally very easy to find out which has the dominion. "Little children let no man deceive you; he that doth righteousness is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil. In this
the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil."
It is evident, then, that although the Holy Spirit exerts his influence to drive out Satan from the station which he occupies in our hearts, (of which we are sensible by various stings of conscience) yet it is necessary before we can efficiently receive the Holy Spirit and become true heirs of salvation, that we both submit to, and seek for, this Comforter;— that we co-operate with him in all his manifestations, and as we yield to the convictions of grace in our own bosoms, we shall find, as has been beautifully expressed by an eminent writer, that "there is a sure link of concatenation in the processes of divine grace, by which a growing spiritual discernment, is made to emerge out of a growing conformity, to the will and to the image of the Saviour." Sincerely do we wish that our Unitarian brethren would thus seek to know the Lord. Let them lay aside the pride of human reason, and with the simplicity of little children receive the illuminating and sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost. Remember, for it is the declaration of Him who cannot lie,— "the children of the Lord shall be all taught of the Lord, in righteousness shall they be established, and great shall be their peace."
In conclusion, we would query of our readers, as St. Paul did of some of the disciples, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost?" We have, in a former
chapter of our work, proved his sacred influences: Have ye any experience of them? if not, on what are you resting your hopes of salvation? for "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his." Honor, then, the blessed Spirit, by seeking his assistance and submitting to his direction; so shall your peace flow as a river, and your righteousness as the waves of the sea."