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the truth *: Therefore the unbelieving and the unclean hath no part in Christ. God's way is the way of righteousness and true holiness; yet no man by his works can procure for himself, or deserve any part of his glorious salvation : If therefore thou continueft not in the faith, following after peace with all men, and holiness, thou art none of his, and canst never see the Lord. Those whom God saves by grace are created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we mould walk in them t. But trust not in thyself for wisdom, strength, or stedfastness, to do that which is right in the fight of God: For be hath put no trust in his faints I. Therefore trust not thou in thy own faithfulness, but in God's faithfulness, to make and keep thee faithful unto death, thro' Jesus Christ our Lord.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen|l.

* Theff. ii. 13. Ibid, xv, 15.

I Job iv, 18.

Eph. ii. 10.
U Jude 25.



EPHE s. vi. 18.

Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance, and fupplication for all saints.

THE Apostle (in the preceding verses) ha

1 ving described the whole armour of God, and exhorted the Christian soldier to put it on, that he might be able to withstand his spiritual enemies in the day of trial, and quench all the fiery darts of the Devil: He, in the words of our Text, counsels and directs him to make use of earnest and constant prayer to God, in all his conflicts, and warrings against sin and Satan. Hereby he plainly shews, that unless we supplicate, and obtain


help from God, and Christ the Captain of our satvation, the armour before mentioned with profit us but little : For he only that clothes us with it. can keep it on, and help us to make a saving and profitable use of it. Therefore, altho' the Chriftian is completely armed wich. the whole armour of God, the Apostle exhorts him not to trust in . himself, nor in his armour, but still to look unto his glorious Captain and Redeemer; and acknowledging his own weakness, to rely upon God in Chrift, and ask help and allistance from him continually : Thus he exhorts the believer to pray always; for in every time of need it behoves him to fee to Christ, and make him bis hiding place, and strength. Neither must he draw nigh to GOD, and call upon him with his lips only, but with the whole heart. Not praying to the God of his life in a cold, careless, and formal manner, but with diligence and fervency of Spirit ; and watch thereunto with all perseve. ránce, without fainting : Because our adversary the Devil is noử despicable nor Nothful, but subtil and powerful; who, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. —He wills and commands the Christian likewise, not to pray thus for himlelf alone, but for all saints; that is, for the whole army of believers; that they together, as one body, may stand firm, and stedfast in the faith; and there


by prevail, and triumph over all the rage and might of the enemy.

The Hebrew word for prayer is derived from a verb which signifies to separate, divide, or determine judicially, for which appeals are made (as in all matters of controversy) to the supreme ruler or judge. Hence prayer is an appeal to God; wherein the person praying presents both himself and kis cause before God, to be heard and determined by him who judgeth righteously. Wherefore he faith, the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers t: But, on the contrary, if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not bear me f. And again, of the wicked he faith ; they cried, but there was none to save them ; even unto the Lard, but be answered them not 1). The Apostle also assures us, that if our bearts condemn us not, then bave we confidence towards God; and whatsoever we ask we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his fight g.

Therefore if we pray unto God, and ask any thing of him either for ourselves or others, we · must have a special regard to the righteousness of

God + Pfal. xxxiv. 15. Psal. Ixvi, 18. | Pfal. xviii. 41, § 1 John jii. 21, 22.

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