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Men could obtain from him.

And this Inference drawn from the whole, Verse 7. And if so, shall not God avenge his own Elečt, which cry day and night un. to him, though he bear long with them?

To allure us to the Practice of Prayer, Christ proposeth the Efficacy of it with an unjust Judge. It had been sufficient to have introduced the Person of a just and benign Man; that so his Justice, if compared with the divine Clemency, might demonstrate the Force of Prayer. For if a good Man receives those kindly who address themselves to him, how much more 'will God, the greatness of whose Bounty exceeds our comprehension? It had been enough, as I before said, to have proposed the Person of a just Judge; but to represent a cruel, impious, inhu. man Judge, unmerciful to others, but kind and easy to Supplicants; instructech us, that even a wicked Nature may be by Prayer inclined to Lenity and Mercy. This therefore our Lord chose to do, more lively to express the Force of Prayer.

When in the next place, he carrieth us from the Consideration of this severe Judge, cruel by Nature, but mollified by Prayer, to the Consideration of God the Father, most good, kind, gentle, merciful, how to anger, and forgiving fins, bear

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ing with insuperable Patience, 'the daily Affronts of Men, the Honours paid to his Adversary the Devil, and the Contumelies therein offered to his own Son ; what Success may we not then hope to. our Prayers made to him, if they be prefented with a due Reverence, and becef fary Preparation? The unjuft Judge, alo though he feared not God, nor regarded Man, yet did Justice to the Widow for her Importunity. What Fear could not do, Prayer obtained. Neither Threats por the Fear of Punishment could incline the Man to Justice; yet the Cries and Supplications of a poor Widow foftoed his Nature, and made him tractable. If the could obtain so much from a rough ill-natured Man; how much greater Kindness, Goodness and Love, may we not expect from God, who always desires to fhew Mercy, but never to exercise Severity ; whose very Threats and Punishments are intended for our good, and directed to deter us from Disobedience?

Let us once more review the Effect of Prayer upon this unjust Judge, that we may the better discover the infinite Kindness and Love of God to Men. if he, who never willingly and of his own accord did any good, changed on the fudden by the Petitions of a poor. Suppli


cant, and was moved to Compassion; much more will the importunate Prayers of Men be prevalent with him, whose Na. ture includeth an Infinity of Goodness; and who dipenseth the Emanations of that Goodness in vast and constant BeDefits, even without Intreaty. For who doth not see that the Light of the Sun, the Influences of Heaven, the Fruits of the Earth, Riches, Life and Health, are given by God to all Men, to the good and to the bad; and that only for his immense Kindness to Mankind? But if he so favours, cherisheth and maintaineth those who ask him not, and are not perhaps so much as sensible that the Benefit proceedeth from him; what will he not bestow on those, who spend a confiderable part of their Lives in Prayer and Supplication?

The last Reafon of doubting in Prayer is the Conscience of Unworthiness in the Supplicant; which Conscience is either founded in the natural Unworthiness of Man, or arifes from the Sense of his want of these Qualifications of Prayer, which are required to make it acceptable. The former falls in with that Doubt, , which I last spoke of, and the latter is in the Power of every Man to remove; and to persuade the Necessity and Convenience of that Removal, hath been


the Subject of this Day's Discourse. I fhall therefore add no more upon

this Head.

Upon the whole iť doth appear, that the Duty of Prayer is necessary, the Place of it to be regarded, the Posture not to to be neglected, the Conditions indispenfable, and the Success certain.



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Preach'd on the 4th of May, 1690.

: at Lambeth Chapel.

ACTS X. 40, 41.

Him God raised up the third day, and

Jhewed bim openly: Not to all the People, but to Witnesses

chosen before of God..

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HE Resurrection of our Lord from

the Dead, being so illustrious a Confirmation of the Truth of that Religion which he taught; so undeniable an Argument of the Divinity and Authority of his Person; so firm an Assurance of those Hopes which we conceive of our own Resurrection, deserveth at this Season more than a single Consideration. It is the Knowledge and Conviction of that, which chiefly establisherh the Faith of a Christian, continuVol. II.



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