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amination of their principles, frames, and actings of grace in them, it is no wonder if they walk in all uncertainty.

2. When the soul finds a sweet spiritual complacency in and after its duties, it is an evidence that grace hath been acted in its spiritual thoughts and desires. Jer. xxxi. the prophet receiveth a long gracious message from God, filled up with excellent promises and pathetical exhortations unto the church. The whole is as it were summed up in the close of it, ver. 25. For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Whereon the prophet adds, Upon this I awaked, and beheld, and my sleep was sweet unto me.' God's gracious message had 80 composed his spirits, and freed his mind from trouble, as that he was at quiet repose in himself, like a man asleep. But after the end of it, he stirs up himself unto a review and consideration of what had been spoken unto him: 'I awaked and beheld,' or I stirred up myself, and considered what had been delivered unto me; and, saith he, my sleep was sweet unto me;' I found a gracious complacency in, and refreshment unto, my soul, from what I had heard and received. So is it ofttimes with a soul that hath had real communion with God in the duty of prayer. It finds itself both in it, and afterward when it is awakened unto the consideration of it, spiritually refreshed, it is sweet unto him.

This holy complacency, this rest and sweet repose of mind, is the foundation of the delight of believers in this duty. They do not pray only because it is their duty so to do, nor yet because they stand in need of it, so as that they cannot live without it, but they have delight in it; and to keep them from it, is all one as to keep them from their daily food and refreshment. Now we can have no delight in any thing but what we have found some sweetness, rest, and complacency in. Without any such experience we may do or use any thing, but cannot do it with delight. And it ariseth, 1. From the approach that is made unto God therein. It is in its own nature an access unto God on a throne of grace; Ephes. ii. 18. Heb. x. 19, 20. And when this access is animated by the actings of grace, the soul hath a spiritual experience of a nearness in that approach. Now God is the fountain and centre of all spiritual refreshment,

rest, and complacency: and in such an access unto him, there is a refreshing taste of them communicated unto the soul. Psal. xxxvi. 7-9. ' How excellent is thy loving kindness, O God! therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings. They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house: and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light we shall see light.' God is proposed in the excellency of his loving kindness, which is comprehensive of his goodness, grace, and mercy. And so he is also as the spring of life and light, all spiritual powers and joys. Those that believe, are described by their trust under the shadow of his wings.' In his worship, the fatness of his house, they make their approaches unto him. And the fruit hereof is, that he makes them to drink of the river of his pleasures,' the satisfying, refreshing streams of his grace and goodness; they approach unto him as unto the 'fountain of life,' so as to drink of that fountain, in renewed communications of life and grace; and in the light of God, the light of his countenance, to

see light,' in satisfying joy. In these things doth consist, and from them doth arise, that spiritual complacency which the souls of believers do find in their duties. 2. From the due exercise of faith, love, and delight, the graces wherein the life of the new creature doth principally consist. There is a suitableness unto our natural constitution, and a secret complacency of our natures in the proper actings of life natural, for its own preservation and increase. There is so in in our spiritual constitution, in the proper actings of the powers of our spiritual life unto its preservation and increase. These graces, in their due exercise, do compose and refresh the mind, as those which are perfective of its state, which quell and cast out whatever troubles it. Thence a blessed satisfaction and complacency befalls the soul. Herein he that believeth hath the witness in himself. Besides, faith and love are never really acted on Christ, but they prepare and make meet the soul to receive communications of love and grace from him; which it never faileth of, although it be not always sensible thereof. 3. From the testimony of conscience, bearing witness unto our sincerity, both in aims, ends, and performances of the duty. Hence a gracious repose of mind and great satisfactoriness doth epsue.

If we have no experience of these things, it is evident that we walk at random in the best of our duties ; for they are among the principal things that we do or ought to pray for. And if we have not experience of the effects of our. prayers in our hearts, we neither have advantage by them, nor give glory unto God in them.

But yet here, as in most other spiritual things, one of the worst of vices is ready to impose itself in the room and place of the best of our graces." And this is, self-pleasing in the performance of the duty. This instead of a grace steeped in humility, as all true grace is, is a vile effect of spiritual pride, or the offering of a sacrifice unto our own net and drag. It is a glorying in the flesh; for whatever of self any doth glory in, it is but flesh. When men have had enlargements in their expressions, and especially when they apprehend that others are satisfied or affected therewith, they are apt to have a secret self-pleasing in what they have done, which before they are aware turns into pride and a noxious elation of mind. The same may befall men in their most secret duties, performed outwardly by the aid of spiritual gifts. But this is most remote from, and contrary unto, that spiritual complacency in duty which we speak of, which yet it will pretend unto, until it be diligently examined. The language of the spiritual complacency is, I will go in the strength of the Lord God, I will make mention of thy righteousness, of thine only ;' Psal. lxxi. 16. That of spiritual pride is, God I thank thee that I have done thus and thus;' as it was expressed by the Pharisee. That is in God alone, this is in self. That draws forth the savour of all graces: this immediately covereth and buries them all, if there be any in the soul. That fills the soul eminently with humility and self-abasement; this with a lifting up of the mind, and 'proud self-conceit. That casts out all remembrance of what we have done ourselves, retaining only a sense of what we have received from God, of the impressions of his love and grace. : This blots out all remembrance of what we have freely received from God, and retains only what we have done ourselves. Wherever it is, there is no due sense either of the greatness or goodness of God.

* Some, it may be, will say that if it be so, they, for their parts are cut off. They have no experience of any such spiritual rest and complacency in God, in or after their prayers. At the best they begin them with tears and end them with sorrow; and sometimes they know not what is become of them, but fear that God is not glorified by them, nor their own souls bettered.

I answer, 1. There is great spiritual refreshment in that godly sorrow which is at work in our prayers. Where the Holy Ghost is a Spirit of grace and supplication, he causeth mourning, and in that mourning there is joy. 2. The secret encouragement which we receive by praying, to adhere unto God constantly in prayer, ariseth from some experience of this holy complacency, though we have not a sensible evidence of it. 3. Perhaps some of them who make this complaint, if they would awaken and consider, will find that their souls, at least sometimes, have been thus refreshed, and brought unto a holy rest in God. 4. Then shall you know the Lord, if you follow on to know him. Abide in seeking after this complacency and satisfaction in God, and you shall attain it.

3. It is a sure evidence that our thoughts of spiritual things in our supplications are from an internal spring of grace, and are not merely occasioned by the duty itself, when we find the daily fruit and advantage of them; especially in the preservation of our souls in a holy, humble, watchful frame.

Innumerable are the advantages, benefits, and effects of prayer, which are commonly spoken unto. Growth in grace and consolation is the substance of them. Where there is continuance in prayer, there will be spiritual growth in some proportion. For men to be earnest in prayer and thriftless in grace, is a certain indication of prevalent corruptions and want of being spiritually minded in prayer itself. If a man eats his daily food, let him eat never so much or so often, if he be not nourished by it, his body is under the power of prevalent distempers. And so is his spiritual constitution, who thriveth not in the use of the food of the new creature. But that which I fix upon with respect unto the present inquiry, is the frame that it preserves the soul in. It will keep it humble and upon a diligent watch as unto its dispositions and actings. He who prays as he ought, will endeavour to live as he prays. This none can do who doth not with diligence keep his heart unto the things he hath prayed about. To

pray earnestly and live carelessly, is to proclaim that a man is not spiritually minded in his prayer. Hereby then we shall know what is the spring of those spiritual thoughts which our minds are exercised withal in our supplications. If they are influenced unto a constant daily watch for the preservation of that frame of spirit, those dispositions and inclinations unto spiritual things which we pray for, they are from an internal spring of grace. If there be generally an unsuitableness in our minds unto what we seem to contend for in our prayers, the gift may be in exercise, but the grace is wanting. If a man be every day on the exchange, and there talketh diligently and earnestly about merchandise and the affairs of trade, but when he comes home thinks no more of them, because indeed he hath nothing to do, no interest in them, he may be a very poor man notwithstanding his pretences. And he may be spiritually very poor, who is on occasions fervent in prayer, if when he retires unto himself, he is not careful and diligent about the matter of it.

4. When spiritual affections and due preparation of heart unto the duty do excite and animate the gift of prayer, and not the gift make impressions on the affections, then are we spiritually minded therein. Gifts are servants, not rulers, in the mind; are bestowed on us to be serviceable unto grace, not to lead, but to follow it, and to be ready with their assistance on its exercise. For the most part where they lead all, they are all alone. This is the natural order of these things. Grace habitually inclineth and disposeth the heart unto this duty. Providence and rule give the occasions for its exercise. Sense of duty calls for preparation, Grace coming into actual exercise, gifts come in with their assistance. If they lead all, all is out of order. It may be otherwise sometimes. A person indisposed and lifeless, engaging into prayer in a way of obedience, upon conviction of duty, may, in and by the gift, have his affections excited, and graces engaged unto its proper work. It may be so, I say; but let men take heed how they trust unto this order and method. For where it is so, there may be little or nothing of

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