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13. We must beg for the powerful assistance and influence of the blessed Spirit of grace in our prayers.
Lord, we know not what to pray for as we ought, but let thy Spirit help our infirmities, and make intercession for us a.
O pour upon us the spirit of grace and supplication b: the spirit of adoption, teaching us to cry Abba Father c: that we may find in our hearts to pray this prayer d.
O send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead us, let them guide us to thy holy hill and thy tabernacles ; to God, our exceeding joy e.
O Lord, open thou our lips, and our mouth shall show forth thy praiseg:
14. We must make the glory of God our highest end in all our prayers.
This is that, which thou, O Lord, hast said, that thou wilt be sanctified in them that come nigh unto thee, and before all the people thou wilt be glorified h: we therefore worship before thee, O Lord,
that we may glorify thy name i ; and therefore we call upon thee that thou mayest deliver us, and we may glorify theek.
For of thee, and through thee, and to thee are all thingsl.
15. We must profess our entire reliance on the Lord Jesus Christ alone for acceptance with God, and come in his name.
We do not present our supplication before thee for our righteousnessm; for we are before thee in our trespasses, and cannot stand before thee because of them ń: but we make mention of Christ's righteousness o, even of his only, who is the Lord our righteousness p.
We know that even spiritual sacrifices are accepta
a Rom. viii. 26.
6 Zech, xü. 10.
c Rom. viii. 15.
Psal. li. 15.
Psal. l. 15. n Ezra ix. 15.
ble to God, only through Christ Jesus a: nor can we hope to receive any thing but what we ask of thee in his name b, and therefore make us accepted in the beloved c, that other angel who put much incense to the prayers of saints; and offers them up upon the golden altar before the throne d.
We come in the name of the great High Priest, who is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, who was touched with the feeling of our infirmities e, and is therefore able to save to the uttermost, all those that come to God by him, because he ever lives, making intercession g.
Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed h: in whom thou hast by a voice from heaven declared thyself to be well pleased ; Lord be well pleased with us in him i.
Of the second part of Prayer, which is confession of sin, com
plaints of ourselves, and humble professions of repentance.
Having given glory to God, which is his due, we must next take shame to ourselves, which is our due, and humble ourselves before him in the sense of our own sinfulness and vileness ; and herein also we must give glory to him as our Judge k, by whom we deserve to be condemned, and yet hope, through Christ, to be acquitted and absolved.
In this part of our work,
1. We must acknowledge the great reason we have to lie very low before God, and to be ashamed of ourselves
when we come into his presence, and to be afraid of his wrath, having made ourselves both odious to his holiness, and obnoxious to his justice.
O our God! we are ashamed, and blush to lift up our faces before thee, our God; for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up into the heavens a.
To us belong shame and confusion of face because we have sinned against thee b.
Behold we are vile, what shall we answer theec? We will lay our hand upon our mouth, aud put our mouthin the dust, if so be there may be hoped, crying with the convicted leper under the law, Unclean, unclean e.
Thou puttest no trust in'thy saints, and the heavens are not clean in thy sight: how much more abominable and filthy is man, who drinketh iniquity like water g!
When our eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts, we have reason to cry out, Wo unto us, for we are undone h.
Dominion and fear are with thee, thou , makest peace in thy high places: there is no numbering of thine armies, and upon whom doth not thy light arise ? How then can man be justified with God, or how can he be clean that is born of a woman i?
Thou, even thou art to be 'feared, and who may stand in thy sight when once thou art angry k ? Even thou, our God, art a consuming firel, and who knows the power of thine anger í?
If we justify ourselves, our own mouths shall condemn us; if we say we are perfect, that also shall prove us perverse; for if thou contend with us, we are not able to answer thee for one of a thousandn. a Ezra ix. 6. 6 Dan, ix. 8.
c Job xl. 4. d Lam. iii. 29. e Lev, xiii. 45.'
& Job xv. 15, 16. h Isa. yi. 5.
i Job xxv. 2, 3, 4.. k Psal. lxxvi. 7. | Heb. xii, 29. m Psal. xc. 11. n Lob ix. 3, 20.
If we know nothing by ourselves, yet were we not thereby justified, for he that judged us is the Lord a, who is greater than our hearts, and knows all things b. But we ourselves know that we have sinned, Father, against heaven, and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy children c.
2. We must take hold of the great encouragement God hath given us to humble ourselves before him with sorrow and shame, and to confess our sins.
If thou Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who should stand! But there is forgiveness with thee, that thou mayest be feared; with thee there is mercy, yea, with our God there is plenteous redemption, and he shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities d.
Thy sacrifices, O God, are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise e;nay, though thou art the high and lofty One that inhabitest eternity, whose name is holy g; though the heaven be thy throne, and the earth thy footstool h, yet to this man wilt thou look that is poor and humble, of a. broken and a contrite spirit, and that trembleth at thy word, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.
Thou hast graciously assured us, though they that cover their sins shall not prosper, yet those that confess and forsake them, shall find mercy i. And when a poor penitent said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord, thou forgavest the iniquity of his sin; and for this shall every one that is godly, in like manner, pray unto thee in a time when thou mayest be found k.
We know that if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us; but thou hast said that if we confess our sins, thou art faithful and just to a 1 Cor. iv. 4.
61 John ïü. 20. c Luke xv. 21. d Psal. cxxx. 3, 4, 7, 8. e Psal. li. 17. g Isa, lvii. 15. h Isa, lxvi. 1, 2. i Prov. xxviii. 13. k Psal. xxxü. 5, 6.
forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteous
3. We must therefore confess and bewail our original corruption in the first place, that we were the children of apostate and rebellious parents, and the nature of man is depraved and wretchedly degenerated from its primitive purity and rectitude, and our nature is
Lord thou madest man upright, but they have sought out many inventions b; and being in honour did not understand, and therefore abode not, but became like the beasts that perish c.
By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned; by that one man's disobedience many were made sinners, and we among the rest d.
We are a seed of evildoers e, our father was an Amorite, and our mother a Hittite g, and we ourselves were called (and not miscalled) transgressors from the womb, and thou knewest we would deal very treacherously h.
The nature of man was planted a choice and noble vine, wholly a right seed, but - it is become the degenerate plant of a strange vinei; producing the grapes of Sodom, and the clusters of Gomorrah k. How is the gold become dim, and the most fine gold changedl !
Behold we were shapen in iniquity, and in sin did our mothers conceive us m. For who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean ? Not one n. We are by nature children of wrath, because children of disobedience, even as others o.
All flesh hath corrupted their way p ; we are all gone a 1 John i. 8, 9. Eccl, vii, 29. c Psal. xlix. 12, 20. d Rom. v. 12, 19.
e Isa, i. 4.
Ezek. xvi. 3. h Isa. xlviü. 8. i Jer. ï. 21. k Deut. xxxii. 32. I Lam. iv, 1.
m Psal. 1. 5. n Job xiv, 4. . Eph. ii. 3.
p. Gen. vi. 12.