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From Rev. Thomas B. Montaine, Southampton, Pa. by Rev. J. Going, 10,00
4,00 Col. at monthly concert for prayer in first Bap. Ch. Cambridge, 30,82 Female Judson Soc. Cambridge,
30,00 Mrs P. Farwell, Cambridge, for Bengal Christian School Soc. 30,00 Per L. Farwell, Esq.
95,37 Proceeds of a pair of gold ear-rings, received by Mr C. Bennett, and sold by Master W. C. Bolles,
3,92 Carey Soc. of First Bap. Ch. Boston, for the support of an Indian child
at the Carey Station, by the name of James M. Winchell, per Miss T. Rogers, Treas.
30,00 Abel Parker, Esq. Jaffrey, N. H. per Mr E. Lincoln,
15,00 From two members of one of the Baptist churches in the County of
Hunterdon, N. J. $5 each, for publishing the Bible in Burmah, 10,00
2,00 Proceeds of a Masonic ornament, from a member of Rev. Mr Knowles' church,
,40 A member of the Bap. Ch. in Kingwood, Hunterdon County, N. J. for
publishing the Bible in Burmah, by a Friend to the Scriptures, 5,00
10,00 Collection taken at the late meeting of the Convention in Philadelphia, 59,65 Mrs Mayhew, for the Carey Station, per Mr E. Lincoln,
1,48 Mrs Esther Waters, widow of a Baptist minister, for the Burman mission, per Rev. J. Going, of Worcester,
20,00 Mr Archer B. Sinith, student in the Theol. Inst. Newton, to aid in publishing the Bible in Burmah, per Rev. Dr Bolles,
20,00 Samuel Day, Esq. Treas. of Lincoln (Me.) Aux. For. Miss. Soc. 52,50 The Oliver-Street, N. Y. Bap. For. Miss. Soc. per Rev. S. H. Cone, * 250,00 A Friend, being an annual contribution to aid in the education of an In
dian child by the name of Elizabeth Green, at Valley Towns, per Rev. H. Grew,
30,00 Calvin Blanchard, Treas. of Middlesex Bap. Miss. Soc.
30,00 The Oxford, (Me.) Aux. Soc. per Mr E. Lincoln,
35,00 For Burman Female Schools, from a female friend, per Mr. E. Lincoln, 1,00 From Hon. Walter Lowrie, Washington, D. C. in aid of the Burman translation of the Bible,
* The Treasurer has often had occasion to notice the liberality of the Missionary Associations connected with the Oliver-Street Baptist Church; and it is with great pleasure that he now records another proof of their Christian benevolence. This extra effort was made for the purpose of purchasing a “Super Royal Washington Printing Press,” (now on its way to Burmah, with a pious and efficient Printer) the beneficial operations of which it is believed will be experienced in future years by Millions of the heathen who shall be converted to the faith of the Gospel.
of Communications are received from our respected correspondent, at Kingsville, Ohio, for which he has our thanks; and we regret that the information they contain was not received at an early period. The moneys received for the Newton Theological Institution, the account of the Federal-Street Baptist Maternal Society, and several other articles on file, are unavoidably deferred to the next Number.
That prayer is a duty we need not labor to prove. The volume of inspiration has decided the matter; for it in for ins us that our Lord spake a parable to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.' It directs us to pray without ceasiny. It points to Calvary; it exhibits there the blood of atonement, and shows us the way of access to the mercy seat.
It teaches us how to come, • lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.' It abounds in exhortatious and commands to offer prayers, and in assurances that, ascending from contrite and believing hearts, they shall be heard. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.'
We live in a world of trouble. Often the brightest morning is soon overcast with clouds and darkness. Our favorite plans are frustrated. Our fairest hopes in life are cut off, as the blossoms of spring by an untimely frost. We are visited with losses and sickness. We see our dearest kindred and friends torn from us, and laid in the
Living troubles also, in various forms, arise from sources from which we least expected them. Perhaps, too, the light of God's countenance, which once beamed upon our souls, is withdrawn; while the sinfulness of our hearts and of our lives fills us with distress and gloomy doubts.
At such a time, brethren, you well know where, and where only, relief can be found. • Is any among you afflicted, let him pray.' Instead of increasing the weight of his afflictions by an obstinate and silent melancholy, or by constantly complaining to men, let him retire and pour out his complaints in secret to God. He may then hope to come forth comforted, sweetly resigned to the will of his heavenly Father, and rejoicing in the precious promise, 'As thy days, so shall thy strength be.' AUGUST, 1829.
It is not under great and overwhelming calamities only, and those which come in a manner directly from the hand of God, that we are to resort to prayer. Afflictive events frequently befall us, which, compared, for instance, with the death of a dear relative, would be accounted small, but which, however, in no small degree, imbitter our existence. We daily think of them, and perhaps complain; and especially if they have arisen froin the misconduct of others, we are apt to make them too often the subjects of conversation with our friends, while we neglect to mention them to our “Father who seeth in secret.' Surely this is not the method in which He, without whose notice not a sparro:v falls to the ground, would have his children receive his dispensations.
Were half the breath thus vainly spent,
Hear what the Lord has done for me. We are daily exposed to temptation. Each is liable to be drawn away by his own lust and enticed. The perverse tempers with whom we have to deal, the insidious designs of others, and our peculiar circumstances, sometimes all conspire to lay a snare for us. Alas! how many have been taken in an evil hour !
How many have brought anguish to their own bosoms, and a soproach to religion! Where then is our own security ? Our Lord has left a solemn admonition : '\Patch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation.' Prayer is admirably adapted to calm the tumult of the passions, to repress every unholy desire, and awaken a becoining recollection that the eye of God is upon us. And if deeply impressed with this recollection, could you, brethren, plunge into sin ? On the contrary, you would find that God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able to bear; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape.' It is folly, it is sin, to wait for the near approach of danger. Let us rather secure beforehand the protection of the Almighty. But however sudden and strong may be the temptation, nothing can excuse us from turning away, or making a pause, and raising at least a silent prayer to heaven.
Is the appearance or demeanor of any around us disagreeable ? Perhaps the fault is in ourselves. But whether it is or not, we shall find that prayer for them in particular, is one of the best expedients for enabling us to bear with them, and for preventing in them, as well as in ourselves, the tendencies to strife and animosity.
Have we been injured by any persons unfriendly to us ? We are in danger of indulging unchristian feelings towards them. To guard against those feelings, to produce in ourselves the forgiving temper which the gospel requires, and the pity which our enemies need, what can be better adapted than to pray for them? And what is the direction of our Lord ? •Pray for them who despitefully use you and persecute you.' Indeed it is impossible to offer for ourselves an acceptable prayer, while in our hearts we have ill
will towards any person. This the Saviour most explicitly teaches; and of this he would have us solemnly reminded whenever we bow before God, and ask the forgiveness of our trespasses.*
Has a brother fallen into sin, or by some means has he had his affections alienated ? We endeavor to reclaim him.
But 'a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.'t Shall we go in our own strength? Shall we not rather first of all spread the case before Him without whom we can do nothing, and engage him to undertake for us? Perhaps it is a personal offence against us that the alienated brother has committed. It has been repeated, and others have been added, till we can endure it no longer. We feel that he must either make retraction or be excommunicated; and perhaps we have so far lust our charity for him that we insensibly begin to prefer that he be excommunicated. But, though we do not expect to gain him, we must, for the sake of form, take the previous steps requisite in order to bring him for trial before the church. Brethren, whenever such are our feelings, we are in the utmost danger of going to the offender with a wrong spirit. Would it not be wise for us to retire, and humble ourselves in prayer at the feet of the great Searcher of hearts ? Would it not be wise to pray for ourselves and for the offending brother, not only once, but again and again, till the injury done to us, or to our particular friends, becomes the least of the motives that actuate us; till the bleeding cause of Christ fills our view, and constrains us; till we feel that tenderness of heart, that sincere and ardent desire for our brother's reformation, which will lead us to entreat him with tears? Prayer thus attended to, we are sure, would be followed with a blessing. Many new offences would be prevented, and many an old one would be healed forever, The number of doubtful and distracting cases brought for the decision of the church, would thus be diminished, while the spiritual health of her members, and the honor of her Redeemer, would be promoted.
Is any one in doubt with regard to some doctrine or duty of religion, or with regard to the place which he should occupy in the church? He is exposed to error. Even while he is laboriously employed in seeking the path in which he should go, his own heart may secretly incline to lead him astray. He needs the faithful hand of a kind, a heavenly Father to guide him. Is he a child, and will he not ask for it? Prayer, genuine prayer, cannot but tend to produce that teachable and obedient disposition, that humility, that entire resignation to the divine will, which says from the heart, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' Then with increased faith he may read, 'If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not ; and it shall be given him.'I
In our worldly concerns, as well as in our spiritual, we need the guidance of an unerring friend, and the blessing of Heaven. Whenever, therefore, we think of taking any important step, let us
* Matt. vi. 12 and 15.
† Prov. xviii. 19.
James i. 5.
not neglect the best of counsellors. 'In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.' *
Our remarks have hitherto related to prayer as performed chiefly in secret. We can now say but a few words concerning it as performed elsewhere.
Who can number the benefits which prayer in the family is obviously adapted to produce ? " It is a good thing,' says the Psalmist, 'to give thanks unto the Lord-to show forth thy loving kindness in the morning, and thy faithfulness every night.'
It is a most reasonable service. It promotes habits of regularity. It reminds those who are under our care, that in our government of them, we are acting under the authority of the great Parent in heaven. Above all, it tends to produce on our own minds, and on the minds of those whom we are commanded to bring up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,' a deep impression of dependence on God, and of obligation to him. It affords us daily the most favorable opportunities of reading the words of eternal life to our families, and of giving them to perceive, as we bear them in our hearts to the throne of grace, our ardent desires for their salvation. In this duty, dear brethren, let us be constant. Let us have some fixed tiine allotted for the service—an early hourma time when, in general, the family can most conveniently be together. Then, if possible, let no worldly business intrude upon the season assigned for devotion. In our prayers let us aim to be simple and pertinent; simple, that our children may understand us; and pertinent, alluding to the occurrencies of the day, or whatever may be of special importance to any of the family, that all may be interested. And let us be concise, that none may be wearied. Thus our prayers, varied, and solemn, and brief, and frequent, will be likely to ascend warm from the heart. rest assured that they will not ascend in vain. Only let us remember that through the day our conduct before our families, must attest the genuineness of our devotions.
In public worship prayer holds a most important place. It imparts additional weight and solemnity to all the other performances; and often its influence upon a congregation is not less salutary than that of preaching. But were we to avoid more carefully, an indolent, not to say a disrespectful position of the body, the roving eye, and the wandering inind; were we never to forget that it is our duty, not only to hear a minister or another person pray, but devoutly to join with him, and, as with one heart and one voice, to pray ourselves, we have reason to believe that the public supplication would oftener be answered in copious showers of heavenly blessings upon the people.
Meetings designed principally for social prayer, have ever been among the most precious to Christians. How often at such meetings, dear brethren, have your drooping spirits been revived, your faith invigorated, your very souls refreshed! How often have your hearts glowed with increased love to the disciples of Christ ! How often have you had an affecting view of the infinite value of
* Prov. iii. 6.