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working with us: not operating upon us, as mere irrational machines; but coope rating with us, as fallen but still reasonable beings; as moral, and therefore responsible agents. For, For, although as the Apostle affirms, and as we glory with him in avowing, "neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth, but God that giveth the increase;" still we are assured on the same unerring autho rity, that whilst we act" according to the grace of God which is given unto us," God regards us as "workers and labourers together with him;" and does not disdain to promise that "every man shall receive his own reward, according to his own labour."

1 Cor. iii. 7. d Rom. xii. 6.

* 1 Cor. iii. 8. 9,

SERMON XXIII.

EFFICACY AND REQUISITES OF PRAYER.

LUKE xviii. 1-6.

And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray and not to faint : Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God neither regarded man:

And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.

And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man ;

Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.

And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.

AND well may we hear it, my brethren; well may we hear it, and attend to it, and

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study to profit by it too; for it is to be feared that there are few, if indeed there be any, of us, who do not stand in need of being reminded, that we ought always to pray and not to faint."

66

Many persons, it is true, come to church almost as regularly as the Lord's day returns; but all that come, do not seem to be well aware of the nature of the place, where they are; nor of the business, for which they come thither.

Many are satisfied with themselves, and think perhaps that they have done as much as can be required or expected of them, if they come once to church: and having thus pretended to keep holy a part of that day, the whole of which God has sanctified and set apart for his service; they seem to think themselves at liberty to spend the rest of it in whatever manner they please.

Many think and act as if the whole of their religious duty was performed by their coming to church once, or it may be,

twice, on the Sabbath-day; and dismiss all care of God on leaving his house, and never think to worship him in private the other days of the week.

Some again, who may have so much feeling of religion about them as sometimes to cast a thought towards God when they are alone, have not a care beyond this. And it perhaps never occurs to them to call their families about them; and teach them, that the best way of securing the good blessing of God upon their labours is by being diligent and sincere in asking for it.

It is to be feared that there is too much occasion for these complaints not merely in this or that parish, but throughout the country. And it is the disgrace, and will perhaps in the end be the ruin, of the country that it is so.

What therefore we have to do is to look to ourselves; to see if we are answerable for any of these faults; and if so, to endeavour with God's grace to amend them.

It is not sufficient that we may sometimes pray to God; but we ought, as our Saviour teaches us, 66 always to pray and not to faint;" that is, we ought to be really sincere and in earnest, when we do pray to him; and we ought to pray to him not only fervently, but regularly and frequently also.

I have made choice of this parable for our consideration, because the subject of it is such as I am particularly anxious that you should reflect on with seriousness. And I pray our most merciful Father, for the sake of his well-beloved Son, to grant you the aid of his Holy Spirit; and to dispose your minds to such serious reflection on the duty of prayer, as may confirm you in the performance of it, where you have been in the habit of doing right, and improve your practice, where you have been careless or neglectful.

I proceed therefore to lay before you such remarks as the parable most naturally holds out to us and shall consider, in the first place, the arguments, which it fur

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