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A WICKED man scorneth prayer, in the shallow sophistry of reason;
He derideth the silly hope, that God can be moved by supplication :-
Can the unchangeable be changed, or waver in his purpose ?
Can the weakness of pity affect him? Should he turn at the bidding of a
Methought he ruled all things, and ye called his decrees immutable,
But if thus he listeneth to words, wherein is the firmness of his will ?-
So I heard the speech of the wicked, and, lo, it was smoother than oil;
But I knew that his reasonings were false, for the promise of the Scripture
Yet was my soul in daikness, for his words were too hard for me;
Till I turned to my God in prayer, for I know he heareth always.
Then I looked broad on the earth, and, behold, the Lord was in all things;
Yet saw I not his hand in aught, but perceived that he worketh by means;
Yea, and the power of the mean proveth the wisdom that ordained it,
Yea, and no act is useless, to the hurling of a stone through the air.
So I turned my thoughts to supplication, and beheld the mercies of Je-
And I saw sound argument was still the faithful friend of godliness,
For as the rock of the affections is the solid approval of reason,
Even so the temple of Religion is founded on the basis of Philosophy.
SCORNER, thy thoughts are weak, they reach not the summit of the matter;
Go to, for the mouth of a child might show thee ihe mystery of prayer:
Verily, there is no change in the counsels of the Mighty Ruler:
Verily, his purpose is strong, and rooted in the depths of necessity:
But who hath shown thee his purpose, who hath made known to thee his
will ? When, O gainsayer, hast thou been schooled in the secrets of wisdom? Fate is a creature of God, and all things move in their orbits, And that which shall surely happen is known unto him from eternity; But as, in the field of nature, he useth the sinews of the ox, And commandeth diligence and toil, himself giving the increase; So, in the kingdom of his grace, granteth he omnipotence to prayer, For he knoweth what thou wilt ask, and what thou wilt ask aright. No man can pray in faith, whose prayer is not grounded on a promise : Yet a good man commendeth all things to the righteous wisdom of his
God: For those, who pray in faith, trust the immutable Jehovah, And they, who ask blessings unpromised, lean on uncovenanted mercy.
Man, regard thy prayers as a purpose of love to thy soul;
Esteem the providence that led to them as an index of God's goodwill;
So shalt thou pray aright, and thy words shall meet with acceptance.
Also, in pleading for others, be thankful for the fulness of thy prayer
For if thou art ready to ask, the Lord is more ready to bestow.
The salt preserveth the sea, and the saints uphold the earth ;
Their prayers are the thousand pillars that prop
of nature. Verily, an hour without prayer, from some terrestrial mind, Were a curse in the calendar of time, a spot of the blackness of dark
Perchance the terrible day, when the world must rock into ruins,
Will be one unwhitened by prayer,—shall He find faith on the earth ?
For there is an economy of mercy, as of wisdom, and power, and means;
Neither is one blessing granted, unbesought from the treasury of good:
And the charitable heart of the Being, to depend upon whom is happi-
Never withholdeth a bounty, so long as his subject prayeth;
Yea, ask what thou wilt, to the second throne in heaven,
It is thine, for whom it was appointed ; there is no limit unto prayer:
But and if thou cease to ask, tremble, thou self-suspended creature,
For thy strength is cut off as was Samson's: and the hour of thy doom is
Frail art thou, O man, as a bubble on the breaker,
Weak and governed by externals, like a poor bird caught in the storm;
Yet thy momentary breath can still the raging waters,
Thy hand can touch a lever that may move the world.
O Merciful, we strike eternal covenant with thee,
For man may take for his ally the King who ruleth kings:
llow strong, yet how most weak, in uiter poverty how rich,
What possible omnipotence to good is dormant in a man!
Behold that fragile form of delicate transparent beauty,
Whose light-blue eye and hectic cheek are lit by the balefires of decline,
All droopingly she lieth, as a dew-laden lily,
Her flaxen tresses, rashly luxuriant, dank with unhealthy moisture;
Hath not thy heart said of her, Alas! poor child of weakness ?
Thou hast erred; Goliath of Gath stood not in half her strength:
Terribly she fighteth in the van as the virgin daughter of Orleans,
She beareth the banner of heaven, her onset is the rushing cataract,
Seraphim rally at her side, and the captain of that host is God,
And the serried ranks of evil are routed by the lightning of her eye,
She is the King's remembrancer, and steward of many blessings,
Holding the buckler of security over her unthankful land:
For that weak fluttering heart is strong in faith assured,
Dependence is her might, and behold—she prayeth.
ANGELS are round the good man, to catch the incense of his prayers,
And they fly to minister kindness to those for whom he pleadeth;
For the altar of his heart is lighted, and burneth before God continually,
And he breatheth, conscious of his joy, the native atmosphere of heaven,
Yea, though poor, and contemned, and ignorant of this world's wisdom,
Ill can his fellows spare him, though they know not of his value.
Thousands bewail a hero, and a nation mourneth for its king,
But the whole universe lamenteth the loss of a man of prayer.
Verily, were it not for One, who sitteth on his rightful throne,
Crowned with a rainbow of emerald, (15) the green memorial of earth,-
For one, a mediating man, that hath clad his Godhead with mortality,
And offereth prayer without ceasing, the royal priest of Nature,
Matter and life and mind had sunk into dark annihilation,
And the lightning frown of Justice withered the world into nothing.
Thus, 0 worshipper of reason, thou hast heard the sum of the matter;
And woe to his hairy scalp that restraineth prayer before God.
Prayer is a creature's strength, his very breath and being;
Prayer is the golden key that can open the wicket of Mercy;
Prayer is the magic sound that saith to Fate, So be it;
Prayer is the slender nerve that moveth the muscles of Omnipotence.
Wherefore, pray, 0 creature, for many and great are thy wants;
Thy mind, thy conscience, and thy being, thy rights commend thee unto
The cure of all cares, the grand panacea for all pains,
Doubt's destroyer, ruin's remedy, the antidote to all anxieties.
So then, God is true, and yet He hath not changed:
It is he that sendeth the petition, to answer it according to his will.
INQUIREST thou, O man, wherewithal may I come unto the Lord ?
And with what wonder-working sounds may I move the majesty of
heaven? There is a model to thy hand; upon that do thou frame thy supplication Wisdom hath measured its words, and redemption urgeth thee to use
them. Call thy God thy Father, and yet not thine alone, For thou art but one of many, thy brotherhood is with all: Remember his high estate, that he dwelleth King of Heaven; So shall thy thoughts be humbled, nor love be unmixed with reverence: Be thy first petition unselfish, the honour of Him who made thee, And that in the depths of thy heart his memory be shrined in holiness Pray for that blessed time when good shall triumph over evil, And one universal temple echo the perfections of Jehovah: Bend thou to his good-will, and subserve his holy purposes, Till in thee, and those around thee, grow a little heaven upon earth: Humbly, as a grateful almsman, beg thy bread of God,Bread for thy triple estate, for thou hast a trinity of nature: Humility smootheth the way, and gratitude sosteneth the heart, Be then thy prayer for pardon mingled with the tear of penitence; Yea, and while, all unworthy, thou leanest on the hand that should
smite, Thou canst not from thy fellows withhold thy less forgiveness. To thy Father thy weaknesses are known, and thou hast not hid thy sin, Therefore ask him, in all trust, to lead thee from the dangers of temp