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for instance, affictions they stile judgments; and trials, more precious than the beloved gold, they call miseries. On the other hand, they call the preferments of the world by the name of honour, and its wealth, happiness; when for once that they are so, it is much to be feared, they are sent of God an hundred times for judgments, at least trials, upon their pofsefsors. Therefore, what to keep, what to reject, what to want, is a difficulty God only can resolve the foul. And since God knows better than we, what we need, he can better tell us what to ask, than we can him: which made Christ exhort his disciples to avoid long and repetitious prayers;ż telling them, that their heavenly Father knew what they needed before they asked: and therefore gave them a pattern to pray by; not as some fancy, to be a text for human liturgies, which of all services are most justly noted and taxed for length and repitition; but expressly to reprove and avoid them. But if those wants, that are the subject of prayer, were once agreed upon, though that might be a weighty point, yet how to pray is still of greater moment than to pray; it is not the request, but the frame of the petitioner's spirit. The what may
but the how defective. As I said, God needs not to be told of our wants by us, who must tell them to us; yet he will be told them from us, that both we may seek him, and he may come down to us. But when this is done, To this man will I look, faith the Lord, even to him
that is poor, and of a contrite fpirit, and that trembleth at my word: to the fick heart, the wounded soul, the hungry and thirsty, the weary and heavy laden ones; such fincerely want an helper.
$. XIV. Nor is this sufficient to complete gospel-worship; the fourth requisite must be had, and that is faith, true faith, precious faith, the faith of God's chosen, that purifies their hearts, that overcomes the world, and is the victory of the saints. This is that which ani. . mates prayer, and presses it home, like the importunate woman, that would not be denied ; to whom Christ, seeming to admire, faid, O woman, great is thy faith! This is of highest moment on our part, to give our addresses success with God; and yet not in our power neither, for it is the gift of God: from him we must have it; and with one grain of it, more work is done, more deliverance is wrought, and more goodness and mercy received, than by all the runnings, willings, and toilings of man, with his inventions and bodily exercises : which, duly weighed, will easily spell out the meaning, why so much worship Mould bring so little profit to the world, as we see it does, viz. true faith is loft. They ask, and receive not; they seek, and find not : they knock, and it is not opened unto them :d the case is plain ; their requeits are not mixed with purifying faith, by which they should prevail, as good
• Ifa. lxvi. 2. 63 'Tim, i. 5. Acts xv. 9. Tit. i. 1. 2 Pet. i. I 1 John, v. que
e Mat. xv. 28 James iv. 3•
Jacob's were, when he wrestled with God, and prevailed. And the truth is, the generality are yet in their fins, following their hearts lufts, and living in worldly pleasure, being strangers to this precious faith. It is the reason rendered by the deep author to the Hebrews, of the una profitableness of the word preached to some in those days ; Not being, says he, mixed with faith in them that heard it. Can the minister then preach without faith? No: and much less can any man pray to purpose without faith, especially when we are told, That the just live by faith. For worship is the supreme act of man's life; and whatever is necessary to inferior acts of religion, must not be wanting there.
. XV. This may moderate the wonder in any, why Christ so often upbraided his disciples with, Oye of little faith! yet tells us, that one grain of it, though as little as that of mustard, one of the least of seeds, if true and right, is able to remove mountains. As if he had said, There is no temptation so powerful that it can. not overcome: wherefore thofe that are captivated by temptations, and remain unsupplied in their spiritual wants, haye not this powerful faith : that is the true cause. So necessary was it of old, that Christ did not many mighty works where the people believed not; and though his power wrought wonders in other places, faith opened the way: so that it is hard to say, whether that power by faith, or faith by that power, wrought the cure. Let us call fpittle, one touch of the hem of Christ's gara ment, and a few words out of his mouth, did by the force of faith in the patients : Believe ye that I am able to open your eyes?' Yea, Lord, fay the blind, and see. To the ruler, only Believe;& he did, and his dead daughter recovered life. Again, If thou canst believe: I do believe, says the father, help my unbelief: and the evil spirit was chased away, and the child recovered. He faid to one, Go, thy faith hath made thee whole;" and to another, Thy faith hath faved thee; thy fins are for given thee.' And to encourage his disciples to believe, that were adıniring how soon his fentence was executed upon the fruitlefs fig-tree, he tells them, Verily, if ye have faith, and doubt not, ye fhall not only do this, which is done to the fig tree ; but also, if ye fhall fay unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and cast into the sea, it shall be done : and all things whatsoever ye shall alk in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. This one paffage convies Christ. endom of gross infidelity; for fhe prays, and receives not.
S. XVI. But some may fay, It is imposable to receive all that a man may ask. It is not impossible to receive all that a man, that so believes can ask.' The fruits of faith are not impoflible to those that truly believe in the God that makes them poflible. When Jesus faid to the ruler, If thou canst believe, he adds, all things are possible to him that believeth. Well, but then some will say, It is impoflible to have such faith: for this very faithless geReration would excuse their want of faith, by making it impossible to have the faith they want. But Christ's answer to the infidelity of that age, will best confute the disbelief of this. The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God. It will follow then, that it is not impossible with God to give that faith ; though it is certain, that without it, it is impossible to please God:o for so the author to the Hebrews teaches. And if it be else impoflible to please God, it must be so to pray to God without this precious faith.
& Mat. ix. 23. • John iv. 6. Luke viii. 47, 48. Mat. ix 29, 30. h Mark x. 52. Lake vii. 48, 50.
i Mat. xxi. 21, 22. * Mat. xviii. 19. Luke xviii. 27.
| Mark ix. 230
$. XVII. But some may fay, What is this faith, that is so necessary to worship, and gives it such acceptance with God, and returns that benefit to men? I say, it is an holy resignation to God, and confidence in him, testified by a religious obedience to his holy requirings, which gives sure evidence to the soul of the things not yet seen, and a general sense and taste of the substance of those things that are hoped for; that is, the glory which is to be revealed hereafter. As this faith is the gift of God, so it purifies the hearts of those that receive it. The apostle Paul is witness, that it will not dwell but in a pure conscience: he therefore in one place couples a pure heart and faith unfeigned together : in another, faith and a good conscience. James joins faith with righ
son Mat. xix. 26. Luke xviii. 27.
* Heb. xi. 6.