Religion is so mucli the business of our lives, and the worship of God so much the business of our religion, that what hath a sincere intention, and probable tendency, to promote and assist the acts of religious worship, I think cannot be unacceptable to any that heartily wish well to the interest of God skingdom among men. For if we have spiritual senses exercised, true devotion, that aspiring flame of pious affection to God, as far as in a judgment of charity we discern it in others (though in different shapes and dresses, which may seem uncouth to one another) cannot but appear beautiful and amiable, and, as far as we feel it in our own breasts, cannot but be found very pleasant and comfortable. Prayer is a principal branch of religious worship, which we are moved to by the very light of nature, and obliged to by some of its fundamental laws. Pythagoras golden verses begin with this precept. Whatever men made a god of, they prayed to; Deliver me, for thou art my God, I sa. xliv. 17. Nay, whatever they prayed to, they made a god of Deos qui rogat ille facit. It is a piece of respect and homage so exactly consonant to the natural ideas which all men have of God, that it is certain, those that live without prayer, live without God in the world. Prayer is the solemn and religious offering up of devout acknowledgments and desires to God, or a sincere representation of holy affections, with a design to give unto God the glory due unto his Name thereby, and to obtain from him promised favours, and both through the Mediator. Our English word Prayer is too strait, for that properly signifies Petition or Request; whereas humble adorations of God, and thanksgivings to him, are as necessary in prayer as any other part of it. The Greek word Proseuche, from Euche, is a vow directed to God. The Latin word Votum is used for prayer. Jonah smariners, with their sacrifices,
(Typographical errors above are due to OCR software and don't occur in the book.)
About Matthew Henry
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Published June 26, 2012
by Forgotten Books.
Arts & Photography, Religion & Spirituality.