Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

160 FOURTH SERMON speechless, Matt. xxii. 12. Rom. iii. 19. nay, the best of us " know not to pray as we ought, except the Spirit be pleased to help our infirmities,' Rom. viii. 26. When we are taught what to say, if God do not with- draw his anger we shall never be able to reason with him, Job ix. 13, 14. " Withdraw thine hand from me, let not thy dread make me afraid, then í will answer, then I will speak," Job xiii. 21, 22. If he do not reveal mercy, if he do not promise love or healing ; if he do not make it appear that he is a God who heareth prayers, flesh will not dare to come near unto him, 2 Sam. vii. 27. We can never pray till we can cry, Abba, Father ! we can never call unto him but in the multitude of his mercies. As the earth is shut and bound up by frost and cold, and putteth not forth her precious fruits till the warmth and heat of the summer call them out so the heart under the cold affections of fear and guilt, under the dark apprehensions of wrath and judgment, is so contracted that it knows not to draw near to God ; but when mercy shines, when the love of God is shed abroad in it, then also is the heart itself shed abroad and enlarged to pour out itself unto God. Even when distressed sinners pray, their prayer proceeds from apprehensions of mercy, for prayer is the child of faith, Rom. x. 14. James v. 15. and the object of faith is mercy. 2. The way to prize this mercy is to grow ac- quainted with our own sickness ; to see our face in the glass of the law ; to consider how odious it ren- ders us to God ; how desperately miserable in our- selves. The deeper the sense of misery, the higher the estimation of mercy. When the apostle looked on himself as the chief of sinners, then he accounted it a " saying worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners," 1 Time