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use. The hypocrite is never classed with saints ; but commonly with the greatest sinners in the sight of God. Our Saviour pronounced the heaviest woes upon hypocrites, as being among the most offensive in the eyes of God. Hypocrites are saints in profession, and outward appearance only. That which denominates a person a hypocrite, is affecting to be godly, without any religion at heart. A person can. not be a hypocrite, in the sense of scripture, unless he be a wicked man; and from the same authority it is evident, that the prayers of such are not accepted with God. The effectual, fervent prayer of faith is peculiar to good men--the friends of God; and this only is prayer, in the strict sense of the word; but in this sense hypocrites never pray; for they never pray in faith. The very notion of a hypocrite excludes the idea. But the text implies, that hypocrites do pray-do call upon God; but denies that they pray always. And as they do not pray in faith, it is evident Job meant to speak of that kind of prayer, which a person may use, and yet be a wicked man-a hypocrite. Hence it is evident, that Job here speaks of the form of prayer, which hypocrites may, and often do use in publick and private : and which would be really good and acceptable to God, did the temper, and desires of the heart correspond with the language of the lips. It is in some sense necessary, that the words of prayer, or the external part of prayer, should be used by a person, in order to his coming under the denomination of a hypocrite ; for a hypocrite, in the sense in which the term, as before observed, is commonly used, is a

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person who pretends to religion, but has none-one “ who has the form of godliness, but denies the power." Now prayer is so manifestly a duty, so often inculcated in the word of God, that there seems to be no foundation, for a person to build any, even the least hope upon, that he is a christian, who disregards so mani. fest a duty. The neglect of this duty, is so evidently inconsistent with the christian character, that there seems to be no room for others to be deceived ; and esteem him the friend of God, who is a known neglecter of this duty. The prayerless man is, in the view of scripture, destitute of all right affection of heart towards God, and exposed to his wrath and curse. True religion includes the form of godliness, as the greater includes the less; and therefore though there may be the external part of prayer without the spirit, which is holy desires of heart-the very life and soul of the action, yet where there is not even the form, or external expression, we may conclude, there is not the spirit of prayer. Not that words uttered are always essential to prayer; they are not necessary to secret prayer; for Hannah prayed in spirit and truth, without uttering words aloud. Words were doubtless formed in her own mind, which expressed the desires of her heart. Even in secret prayer, some words must be framed in the mind, in which, as in the smoke from the altar, the incense must ascend. Not that God may understand us; but that we may understand ourselves. By this and other expressions of religion, people sometimes deceive themselves, and often others, and hence fall under the denomination of hypocrites. It is this form of godliness expressed in prayer, which is intended by calling upon God, in the text. It is manifest, that in appearance, hypocrites as well as saints call upon God; and the only distinction be. tween them is, one prays in faith, the other does not. When the saint and hypocrite pray, they appear alike to men, who judge by outward appearance; but yery differently do they appear to God, who searcheth the heart. Both call upon God—both use the words of prayer. deyout in their publick conduct, who yet never make a practice of secret prayer. Not that such persons never pray in secret, but they are inconstant, and commonly, after repeated intermissions, wholly discontinue the practice. It is evidently implied in the text, that there is a sense, in which it is true of all hypocrites, that they will not always call upon God. And as there are fewer motives to influence the hypocrite to secret, than to publick prayer, the words of the text may be considered as literally and strictly true in this sense. This is a sense in which hypocrites do not always call upon God, and by this they are distinguished from the sincere friends of God. This is a real, though not a publick distinction. It is not a mark by which persons can determine the religious character of others, but their own. We cannot determine what passes in the bosom and closet of another, but we can in our own. And this is a mark, designed to assist every man, in determining his own character. One obvious advantage attending this mark is, that every person is conscious of the fact. He knows whether he is, or is not a stranger to secret prayer; and he may, according to the testimony of conscience, conclude whether his religion is formal or sincere ; whether his hope is the hope of the hypocrite, or of the true friend of God. That this distinction does in fact exist, between saints and sinners of all classes and descriptions, is manifest from this ; christians, or the real followers of Christ, are characterised in scripture as persons of habitual prayer. · It is said of Cornelius, whose prayers and alms had come up for a memorial before God, “ that

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II. In what sense it is true, that hypocrites do not always call upon God. The text implicitly grants that they do sometimes call upon God, and intimates that they may do this often ; but in this they are distinguished from the truly godly, they do not always call upon God. From this it appears, as before remarked, that sincere and acceptable prayer is not here intended; for in this sense it is not true, that they ever call upon God; and therefore the words must be understood to import, that hypocrites do not persevere in the external part of prayer. They may assume the form, and continue the practice of publick, private and secret prayer, for a length of time, but not always. In respect to publick prayer, hypocrites are often as forward and zealous, and sometimes more so, than the true saint. They often make the highest professions, and pray with great apparent zeal. It is remarked of the Pharisees in our Saviour's time, whom he calls hypocrites, that they prayed often and long; and chose to pray in the most publick places in the synagogues

-at the corners of the streets. As the basest motives may, and often are the prompters to this kind of prayer, persons may persevere in the outward performance of it, so long as they place their happiness, in any considerable degree, in being thought pious by othersor think this disguise necessary to gain the confidence of their fellowmen, in order to gratify a worldly, or covetous spirit. This was at the bottom of the great apparent zeal displayed by the Pharisees in the minor parts of religion. They cloaked their covetous practices, with an uncommon appearance of religion. And it is probable, they made use of this appearance, as long as it contributed to promote their wicked designs. Indeed we have no intimation, that they ever relinquished this practice of calling upon God. Hence a person may keep up a form of devotion in the eyes of the publick, and perhaps impose on others by a hypocritical show, until the day of his death. But as there are many motives to publick, and even family prayer, which there are not to secret, it is very natural to understand the text as referring principally to secret prayer. And it is generally true of the hypocrite, that while he is comparatively steady, and even fervent in publick and social worship, yet as the applause of men is the idol at whose altar he lays his gifts, so while he stands on this publick ground, he may preserve the outward form of religion; but when he retires from this, into solitude, there is no motive to this duty, which arises from worldly considerations. And it is natural to conclude, that many, who make a high profession of religion, and often appear very

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