Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

140 FOURTH SERMON have stones turned unto bread. If God hath provided stairs, it is not faith but fury, not confidence but mad- ness, to go down by a precipice ; where God pre- scribes means and affords secondary helps, we must obey his order and implore his blessing in the use of them. This was Nehemiah's way, he prayed to God, and he petitioned the king, Neh. ii. 4. This was Esther's way, a fast to call upon God, and a feast to obtain favour with the king, Est. iv. 16. v. 4. This was Jacob's way, a supplication to God, and a present to his brother, Gen. xxxii. 9. 13. This was David's way against Goliath, the name of the Lord his trust, and yet a sling and a stone his weapon, 1 Sam. xvii. 45.49. This was Gideon's way against the Midian- ites, his sword must go along with the sword of the Lord, not as an addition of strength, but as a testi- mony of obedience, Jud. vii. 18. Prayer is called sometimes a lifting up of the voice, sometimes a lift- ing up of the hands, to teach us, that when we pray to God we must as well have a hand to work as a tongue to beg. In a word, we must use second causes in obedience to God's order, not in confidence of their help ; the creature must be the object of our diligence, but God only the object of our trust. We will now consider the ground of the church's prayer and promise, from which we learn, that the way unto mercy is to be in ourselves fatherless. " The poor," saith David, " committeth himself unto thee, thou art the helper of the fatherless," Psa. x. 14. cxlvi. 9. When Jehoshaphat knew not what to do, then was a fit time to direct his eye unto God, 2 Chron. xx. 19. When the stones of Sion are in the dust, then is the fittest time for God to favour her, Psa. cii. 13. When Israel was under heavy bondage, and