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concerning it :
-for, perhaps, it would be unreasonable to expect that the daylabourer, or he that supports a numerous family by the sweat of his brow, should spend as much of his time in devotion, as the man of leisure and unbounded wealth.—This, however, in the general, may hold good, that we are bound to рау
this tribute to God, as often as his providence has put an opportunity into our hands of so doing ;---provided that no plea, drawn from the neceffary attention to the affairs of the world, which many men's situations oblige them to, may be supposed to extend to an exemption from paying their morning and evening sacrifice to GOD.For it seems to be the least that can be done to answer the demand of our duty in this point,-successively to open and shut up the day in prayer and thanksgiving ;since there is not a morning thou risest, or a night thou liest down, but thou art indebted for it to the watchful providence of Almighty God.-David and Daniel, whose names are recorded in Scripture for future example :—the first, though a mighty king, embarrassed with wars abroad, and unnatural disturbances at home, a situation, one would think, would allow little time for any thing but his own and his kingdom's fafety ;-yet found he leisure to pray seven times a day: the latter, the counsellor and first minister of state to the great Nebuchadnezzar; and, though perpetually fatigued with the affairs of a mighty kingdom, and the government of the whole province of Babylon, which was committed to his administration ;-though near the person of an idolatrous king, and amidst the temptations of a luxurious court, yet never neglected he his GOD ; but, as we read,-he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before him.
A frequent correspondence with heaven, by prayer and devotion, is the greatest nourishment and support of spiritual life :-- it keeps the sense of a God warm and lively within us, which fecures our disposition, and fets such
guards over us, that hardly will a temptation prevail against us. Who can entertain a base.or an impure thought, or think of executing it, who is incefsantly conversing with his Gop ?-or not despise every temptation this lower world can offer him, when, by his constant addresses before the throne of God's inajesty, he brings the glorious prospect of heaven perpetually before his eyes ?...
I cannot help here taking notice of the doctrine of those who would resolve all devotion into the inner man, and think that there is nothing more requisite to express our reverence to GOD, but purity and integrity of heart,~-unaccompanied either with words or actions. -To this opinion it may be justly answered, that, in the present state we are in, we find such a strong sympathy and union between our souls and bodies, that the one cannot be touched or sensibly affected, without producing some corresponding emotion in the other.-Nature has assigned a different look, tone of voice, and gesture, peculiar to every passion and affection we are subject to ; and, therefore, to argue against this strict correspondence which is held between our souls and bodies,- is disputing against the frame and mechanisın of human nature. We are not angels, but men clothed with bodies, and, in some measure, governed by our imaginations, that we have need of all these external helps which nature has made the interpreters of our thoughts.-And, no doubt, though a virtuous and a good life are more acceptable in the sight of God, than either prayer or thanksgiving -for behold, to obey is better than facrifice, and to hearken, than the fat of rams ;- -nevertheless, as the one ought to be done, so the other ought not, by any means, to be left undone.-As God is to be obeyed,--so he is to be worshipped also.-For although inward holiness and integrity of heart is the ultimate end of the divine dispensations ;---yet external religion is a certain means of promoting it. - Each of them has its juft bounds ;---and there
fore, as we would not be fo carnal as merely to rest contented with the one,--fo neither can we pretend to be so fpiritual as to neglect the other.
And though God is all-wise, and therefore understands our thoughts afar off, -and knows the exact degrees of our love and reverence to him, though we should withhold thofe outward marks of it ;-yet God himself has been graciously pleased to command us to pray to him ;--that we might beg the allistance of his grace to work with us against our own infirmities ;-that we might acknowledge him to be, what he is, the supreme Lord of the whole world ;-that we might testify the sense we have of all his mercies and loving kindness to us,--and confess that he has the propriety of every thing we enjoy,--that the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.
Thus much of this duty of prayer in general.--From every individual it may be reasonably expected, from a bare reAection upon his own station, his perfonal wants, and the daily bleflings which he has received in particular ;