Caryl - Houston-Packer Collection BS1415 .C37 v11

Chap. 3s. . fvfn Expoftion upon the Bookof Jos. Verf. 5 3. 93 an her word,when he fail to the King of Ifrael,(2 King. 3. t 4,) intuitus eJl fo- p, ere it not that I regard theprefence of the King of,7udah, Iwould licite cbferea- notloekto thee, norfee thee. The Lord will not regard, he will not look tovanity, to the prayers of vaine men , he will as it were (hut his eyes, he will not fee though he loth fee ; The Almighty, wall not regard it. Hence Note ; Firfi, The prayers of vaineand evil perj4ns, are vaine things. The Text doth not fay, their oaths are vaine,and their lies are vaine, and their idle words are vaine, but their cry, their crys in . prayer toGod are vaine, yeavanity. There may be vanity in the prayer ofagood man, but his prayer is not vanity . That's a jufl re- proof upon the goodworks ofmany,which Chrifi gave the Angel of the Church ofSardis, ( Rev. 3.3.) Ihavenot found thy work, perfect, or, Ihave not found thy worksfull. Though that Angel had done good works, and poffiible was full ofgood works, yet his wo ks were not full. A"man may be full of prayer,pray often, yet his prayer not full, his prayers may be empty, vaine prayers; that's a vaine thing which is an empty thing. How vaine are they whofebell thingsare vanity ! Ifthe prayers ofa man are vanity, then certainly ali is vanirn and we may fay of him in the whole bulke ofall,he is vanityofvanities, all isvanity, When once God calls a mans prayer,and hearing,vanity;when he calls thole works, which are good for the marrer ofthem, vanity, then the man is indeed altogether vanity. You will fay, when is prayer vanity, or a vaine thing ? I (ball anfwer it in a few pa:titulars. Firf+, That prayer is vain, or vanity, which is not put up in faith. A faithlefs prayer is a fruidefsprayer. All the prayers of an unbeliever, or of him who is in a Bare of unbeliefe are vaine and the prayers of a believer, that is, who is in his flare a belie- ver, are vaine, if he bath not faith about that thin; for which he prayeth. Now if the prayer of a believer is vaine, when he bath not a&ual faith, then the prayer of anunbeliever mull needs be vaine, who bath no habitual faith. Secondly, All the prayers that are for our lulls, or when we refolve to continue in thepraáife ofany lut+, are vaine prayers. Whenwe do not pray with a purpofe toglorifie Cod, with what we hail obtain by prayer, but only to ferve our own turns , and fo