Wright - BT300 W8 1788

LORD and SAVIOUR, 7L'SUS CHRIST., tare thofe men who will not pray! We are poor neceffitous creatures ; we (land in need of various bleffings ; God Kati; all things to give ; and God hath faid, Aft, and ye flail receive t he hath ereéted a throne of grace, and is at all times ready to hear and anfwer our prayers ; and (hall we be fo very deficient as not to pray ? Shall we, when in diflrefs, and preffed with the moil urgent neceflities, fland at a gloomy dirlance, and refute to afk ? What folly . and madnefs is this ! It is highly incumbent on all who have negle&ed this duty, to confider their ways, to treafure up our Lord's words in their hearts, and daily, with fervent prayer, approach the throne of that God, who is willing to hear and able to help, in every time of need. And -when we feri- oufly refle& on this excellent prayer pro pored by the Son of God,and are admi- ring the wit extent of divine mercy and forgivenefs, we ought to remember, that in this prayer, we are reminded of our duty to forgive one another; and we may learn from hence, that a mild, placable, forgiving fpirit, is not only well -pleafing to . our heavenly Father, but has a mánifeft tendency in it's own nature, to prepare us, in the habitual temper of our minds, for the forgivenefs of God. The next point, which our Lord treated on in his admirable fermon, was the duty of falling. In this part of his difcourfe, he feverely blamed the conduét of the Pha- rifees, who made the greateft oftentation of their religion, and were particularly fond of mortification and failing. Hence, that they might be remarked for fuperior degrees of flrifnefs and fanfhity, and ap- pear to men of the moil reclufe and mor- tified difpofition, they disfigured theirfaces, and appeared with fad and forrowful coun- tenances ; but our Lord enjoins us not to perform our religious exercifes, with defign . to be feen of men, but, with all upright- nefs and fincerity of heart, to regard the omniprefe'nce of our heavenly Father, who No. 5. 53 /eeth in fecret, and will reward openly all his faithful worfhippers. The divine orator then turned his difcourfe to another fub- jet1, and inculcated the neceffity of hea- venly-mindednefs on his attentive and re* fpeitful audience. So vaflly important in their nature, and extenfive in their dura, tion, are the concerns of the-foulabove thofe of the body, that it is the highell wifdom of man, clofely to attend to heavenly things, and at all times to give them the prefer- ence to the frail and fleeting trifles of this prefent world. Lay not up for yourfelves treafures upon earth, faid the heavenly Teacher, where moth and rult doth corrupt, and where thieves break through andfleal ; but lay-up for yourfelves treafures in hea- ven, where neither moth nor ruft doth cor- rupt, andwhere thieves do not breaks through nor flea : for where your treafure is, there will your heart be alto. The fhort- nefs and uncertainty of our abode in this prefent Hate, with the many difaflers which may happen to us, and take away our worldly porfeflions, fhould excite us not to put our truft or confidence in any thing which belongs to this world ; it is greater wifdom to contemplate on heavenly things, to confider their fuperior excellency, and the extent of their duration, with fuch a fixt and unremitting attention, as may work in the foul an habitual defire after them, and prepare us, in the prevailing temper of our minds, for the enjoyment of them. Our Lord was the more earneft in recommending this heavenly-mindednefs to his hearers, becaufe it was a doarine which they had not been ufed to hear from their former teachers. The Jewifh donors were, in general, ftrangers to the bleffednefs and glory of an happy eternity. The rewards promifed to the keepers of the law, were.chiefly of a tem- poral nature ; and as it was the gofpel of CHRIST, which brought life and immor- tality to light, the dofrine of eternal happinefs was the peculiar province ofour O Redeemer ; J