Reynolds - BX5133.R42 S4 1831

176 FIFTH SERMON prayers of his servants never return emptrúnto them ; and usually the crop of prayer is greater than the seed out of which it grew, as the putting in of a little water into a pump makes way to the drawing out of a great deal more. Isaac and Rebecca had lived twenty years together without any children, and he grew now in years, for he was forty years old before he married ; hereupon he solemnly prays to God in behalf of his wife, because she was barren, and God gave him more than it is probable he expected, for he gave him two sons at a birth, Gen. xxv. 21, 22. As the cloud which riseth out of the earth many times in thin and insen- sible vapours, falleth down in great and abundant showers ; so our prayers which ascend weak and nar- row, return with a full and enlarged answer. God deals in this point with his children, as Joseph did with his brethren in Egypt ; he did not only put corn into their sacks, but returned the money which they . had brought to purchase it, Gen. xlii. 25. So he dealt with Solomon, he did not only give him wisdom and gifts of government, which he asked, but further gave him both riches and honour, which he asked not, 1 Kings iii. 13. The people of Israel when they were distressed by the Ammonites, besought the Lord for help ; he turns back their prayers, and sends them to their idols to help them ; they humble themselves, and put away their idols, and pray again, and the highest pitch that their petitions mounted unto, was, Lord, we have sinned, do unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee, only deliver us, we pray thee, this day," Judg. x. 15. and God did answer this prayer beyond the contents of it ; he did not only deliver them from the enemy, and so save them, but subdued the enemy under them, and delivered him into their hands ; he did not only give them the relief they desired, but a