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ings of heart, sorrows of mind, fainting fits, un. believing fits, fits of love-sickness, fits of carnal and spiritual jealousy, hardness of heart, rebellion of heart, and ingratitude of heart; together with every other disorder, as the leprosy, the evil of the heart, the plague of the heart, and the plague of the head; together with deaf ears, blind eyes, feeble knees, languid hands, halting feet, and a stiff neck; with many oppositions, persecutions, false charges, Nanderous accusations, and vile reproaches; and have, by this simple mean, got rid of them all at times. I have gone to this change with all sorts of devils, as an unclean devil, a false preaching devil, a blafphemous devil, a refoệming deyil, a furious devil, a fawning devil, and a sleepy devil, and have left them in the hands of him that could manage them, when my strength has been all gone, and self-despair has seized me. All these, and thousands more, have I taken to this royal-exchange; and you know that one of the names of a believer is that of an exchanger (Matt. xxv. 27); and I have received in return thousands of kisses, blessings, mercies, and deliverances; many refreshings, renewings, revivals, restorations, and returns of comfort, peace, love, and joy; together with fresh discoveries, love tokens, wholesome truths, profound mysteries, glorious glimpses, bright prospects, terrestrial views, undoubted evidences, infallible proofs, heavenly lessons, confirming visits, conspicuous deli verances, carnests, pledges, and foretastes, reviving cordials, precious promises, or bank notes, payable this day, and every day through life, and even to millions of ages after date, figned, fealed, and delivered, by Jehovah himself: and God knows, and conscience too, that I lie not.
Prayer has scattered many confederate enemies of my soul, marred the schemes of Jacobins, frustrated the tokens of liars, and made diviners mad. It counteracts the designs of Satan and his dear children; it hath made me the enemy of the world, the rival of impostors, the envy of hypocrites, an eyesore to the devil, an admiration to perishing finners, a spectacle to the world, and a wonder to myself. “ He that prays to his Father, that seeth in secret, shall be rewarded openly.”
By prayer the poor come up from the dust, and the beggar from the dunghill, and get a seat among the princes of God's people, and an inheritance in the throne of glory. Mental prayer hath brought me from Neeping in a barn to a comfortable lodging, from a lodging to a cottage, from à cottage to a house, and from a house to a little farm ; it hath brought food for my need, apparel for my use, furniture for my dwelling, fuel to my hearth, money to my pocket, and faithful friends to my heart, and hath kept my pot boiling almost thirty years. “ For all these things I will be inquired of by the house of Israel, that I may do these things for them.” Ezek. xxxvi. 37. K4
Prayer brought me from the coal-barge to a pulpit, from being a servant of servants to be a ruler in the Lord's household; it delivered my hands from the shovel, and my thoulders from the facks.
Yea, earnest desires hath raised four houses of prayer for God, and brought the presence of God into the houses; it hath brought living waters to my well, oil to my cruse, joy to my heart, and a blessing to many souls. And what shall I say more? Why, prayer hath brought little animals to my fields, living creatures to my yard, a hor? for my use, when the King's business requires haste, and a vehicle at my command in inclement weather. This has caused the very abjects to gather together about me, and the eyes of the envious to look on me, who have seen it, and grieved, grudged, and gnashed, and wandered up and down, and gone round the walls of my dwelling grinning like a dog. “ No good thing will I withhold from them that walk uprightly."
Prayer hath brought the souls of some, when departed, back into their bodies again. It engages the Almighty on the side of the suppliant, and establishes an alliance with God. It hath stopped the bottles of heaven for three years and fix months, and opened them again at the expiration of that term; yea, and brought a miraculous plenty into the house of a poor widow, while destruction and famine were riding all around in universal
triumph, triumph. “ All things are possible to him that believeth ;" “ and whatloever ye ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Prayer hath brought health to the fick, hearing to the deaf, speech to the dumb, eyes to the blind, life to the dead, salvation to the loft; and even driven the devil himself from the heart of many, and brought the God of heaven to dwell in his room.
Prayer is pouring out the foul before God, and sewing him our troubles; it is casting our cares upon him that careth for us, and our burdens upon him in whom we are to say we have righteousness and strength; it is opening to our wellbeloved, opening our minds, our hearts, and our mouths, to him who tells us to let him hear our voice, and see our faces, the one being sweet, and the other comely. This is besieging an everlasting kingdom, moving the throne of grace, and coming with a treble rat-tat at the door of mercy. In prayer we must take no denial, if we have but a feeling sense of our wants, a scriptural warrant to go upon, or one promise to plead; we must sue, argue, reason, plead, fupplicate, intercede, confefs, acknowledge, thank, bless, praise, adore, repeat, importune, observe, take hold of, and turn every thing that we can to our own advantage, so as we can but get something for the soul. Sensible finners, that are poor and needy, have goten many invitations, encouragements, precedents, promiles,
the covenant, the oath of God, the merits of Christ, and all his covenant engagements, undertakings, and performances; the covenant characters that he sustains, his incarnation, and near relationship to us; together with all the glorious train of divine perfections found in the proclamation of the name of God to Moses; for they all harmonize and shine in Christ crucified. Thus far I had written in this second epiftle, my dear fifter, when your last letter came to hand. I see where you are, and will endeavour to point it out to you. !
And now observe: when God the Father is about to bring us, as his chosen children, to his dearly beloved Son, that we may be openly and experimentally espoused to him, he comes near to us in a broken law, as it is written, “ Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law, that thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, till the pit be digged up for the wịcked.” This rest from the days of adversity is to be found only in Christ Jefus. He is our rest and our refreshing; and this rest Christ promises to them that are weary and heavy laden. This lading is sin, guilt, and wrath; and this labouring, and being weary of it, is our fruitless toil under the legal yoke; for the law works wrath and death in us, and this is truly hard labour ; and, as we have no success in it, we faint, and get weary of it. This, my sister, is our heavenly Father's teaching; and so faith the