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MEMORIAL FOR UNITED PRAYER. To the Children of God scattered abroad throughout the world, this second
Miemorial is humbly submitted, with renewed desires that grace and peace may be abundantly multiplied to them all, through the knowledge of God uur Suviour.- 1 Cor. xii.
The Lord having been graciously pleased to bless the concert for prayer last year, as a means of spiritual refreshment to the souls of many of his own people, and various applications having been made for its renewal this presevt year ( 1842.) the Society with whom the former proposal originated, feel themselves called upon in the providence of God, to meet these requests. In doing so, they trust that no apology on their part is necessary, as if they were assuming anything like authority over their fellow-Christians. It is manifest that iť a measure of this kind be adopted at all, a proposal to that effect must emanate from some quarter. The nature of the exercise engaged in is, woreover, that of a free-will offering; and the cordial manner in which the former proposal was responded to, leaves no ground to doubt that the present call will receive a similar welcome on the part of those to whom it is made.
There is something truly delightful in the thought of that community of principle, of feeling, and of interest, which subsists among real Christians. Amidst all external diversities, and considerable diversities too, of opinion, the people of God are, alter all, truly one. There is one body and one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all, Eph. iv. 4–6. It surely, then, must be our bounden duty, and ought to be a congenial exercise, to endeavour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace, v. 3. And nothing, perhaps, contributes more to this end tban habitual and stated union in prayer.
1. In the former address which issued from this Society, a number of topics were snggested as forming suitable subjects for united prayer. The whole of these may be summed up in three particulars—the glory of God, the salvation of his people, and the overthrow of his enemies; the two latter, again, resolving themselves into the former. Christ, again, and his people being one, the church being his body, the fulvess of bim w bo tilleth all in all, Eph. i. 23, it is manifest that till every child of God has been called to the fellowship of his Son, something must be awanting both to the full manifestation of the glory of the divine Head, and to the complete blessedness of the mystical body. To this consummation all things tend. For this end the whole framework of providence has been arranged, and all the ordinances of grace appointed, 2 Peter ii. 7-9; 1 Cor. xi. 26 ; Mat. xxiv. 14. When all the living stones composing the holy temple destined to be an habitation of God through the Spirit, Eph. ii. 22, have been built upon the precious corner-stone laid in Zion, 1st Peter, ii. 5, 6, the temporary scaffolding shall be taken down, and the head-stonie brought forth with shouting of Grace, grace, unto it, Zech. iv. 7. Surely, then, it becomes us to have continually in our eye this day of the Lord, when Christ shall appear in his own glory, Mat. xxv. 31, and in the glory of his Father, xvi. 27, attended by the holy angels,- the day of the muwifestation of the sous of God, Rom. viii. 19, when the Lord Jesus shall come to be gloritied in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe, 2 Thes. i. 10; when, seeing him as he is, they shall (oh! blessed consummation) be like him, 1 John iii. 2-the entire church thoronghly sanctified and cleansed-presented to bimself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but holy and without blemish, Eph. v, 26, 27, and every individual member made perfect both in soul and body, Phil. iii. 20, 21-com
pletely blessed in serving and enjoying God to all eternity. I Cor. xv. 2429; Rev. sxi. 1—7, 10, 11, 22 ; xxii, 1–7. Is it not to be feared that many Christians in the present day are too little in the habit of looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God? 2 Pet. iii. 12, 13; and does not this argue a deficiency in the grace of faith, which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen? Heb. si. l; giving them, however distant they may be in respect of time, a present reality and subsistence in the mind; and a deficiency in the grace of love, which should make us desire the full manifestation of the Redeemer's glory, and our perfect enjoyment of his love to us? Certain it is, that in the New Testament we find this great event, the coming of the Lord, continually referred to as a grand motive to boliness and comfort, and therefore we should seek to stir up ourselves and one another, that we may be put into that attitude of mind which answers the calls of the word in this respect; so that, with an eye to the full meaning of the petition, we may be able to pray, “ Thy kingdom come” (comp. I Cor. xv. 24), and to respond to the solemn announcement, “ Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him," with our Even so, Amen. See Heb. ix. 29, x. 37, xi. 16, xii. 28, xiii. 14; James v. 8; 1 Pet. i. 3-9, v. 4; 2 Pet. ii. 10–14; 1 John ii. 28, iv. 17; Rev. i. 7; Jude 14, 15; Rev. ii. 25—29, iii. 11, xx. 11-15, xxji. 20; Col. iii. 4; 1 Thess. iv. 13-18, v. 1-4; 2 Thess. ii. 1; 1 Tim. vi. 13, 14; 2 Tim. i. 18, iv. 7,8; Titus ii. 13; Eph. iv. 30; 1 Cor. xvi. 22, xv. tbroughout, vi. 2; Rom. xiv. 1-12; Matt. xxv. 31-16.
2. Babitually desiring the coming of the Lord, we shall be naturally led to abound in prayer for the accomplishment of those objects which we have every reason from the word to believe must be fulfilled before that great final everit takes place. Glorious things are spoken of the state of the church in the latter day. It will be a time of universal enjoyment of the blessings of Messial’s kingdom. The figures by which it is described are often manifestly taken from the heavenly state itself, as in Rev. vii. 9–17; as the figures which describe those awful judgments whereby the millennial rest is to be introduced are frequently taken from the terrible accompaniments of the judgment day, according to the usual way of prophetic description. Comp. Isa. xiii. 9-14 (Babylon); Joel ji. 30, 31 (Jerusalem); Rev. vi. 12–17° (Pagan Rome); Rev. xix. 17-21 (Antichrist). For the glory of God, the exaltation of Christ, and the salvation of men, we ought greatly to long and pray for the coming of this time. Earth will then, in a great measure, resemble heaven. All nations shall be blessed in Jesus, Ps. Ixxii. 17. All families of the earth shall be blessed in him, Geu. xij. 3. The whole earth shall be filled with his glory, Ps. Ixxii. 19. The number of believers shall be so great as to be like the grass which covers the face of nature with its verdure (v. 16), or like the dewdrops of the morning, which reflect the rays of the sun, so shall Messiah's people be in that day of his power, Ps. cx. 3. Who would not with his whole heart desire this blessed time? Ja that day the Lord shall have bound up the breach of bis ancient Israel, and healed the stroke of their wound, Isa. xxx, 26. Their conversion is to be a principal link in the chain of divine providences, whereby the world is to be made alive unto God, Rom. xi. 15; and therefore the children of God should never cease to say, For Zion's sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth, Isa. lxii
. l. They should desire this, we say, for the sake of the Gentiles (v. 2); they should desire this, like Paul, for Israel's sake, Rom. x. i.; they should desire it for their own sake, Gen. xii. 3; they should desire it for the church's sake, as being at once an evidence and effect of the Lord's mercy to the Gentile church, Rom. xi. 31; they should desire it for Immanuel's sake, who is the glory of his people Israel, Luke ii. 32, as Israel will, in a very special manner, be to his glory, Isa. Ixii. 3—who has given his very pame to their Jand, Isa. viii. 8, and will hereafter inake Jerusalem his throne, Jerem. iji. 17, from whence his word, the sceptre of his kingdom, shall go forth with resistless, all-conqnering power, Ps. cx. 2.-See Rer. xx, 4–6; Isa. lix. 20, 21, 1x. throughout, lxvi. 5—24; Jer. XXX., Xxxi., xxxiii. ; Amos ix. 13–15; Mic. iv. thronghout, vii. 15–17; Zeph. iii. 14 to end; Zech. ii. 10–13, viii. 18– 23, x. 6–12, xii. 6-14, xiv. 16-21; Isa. ii. 1-5, xi., xii.; Ezek. xxxvi. xxxvii.; Dan. ii, 44, vii. 27; Joel iii. 18—21.
3. When we descend in our contemplation from the heights of Zion, Jer. xxxi. 12, and turn to things as they now are, oh, how changed is the scene presented to us! The world still lieth in wickedness, 1 John v. 19. Satan, its god, holds men in bondage, 2 Cor. iv. 4. The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty, Ps. Ixiv. 20. Hundreds of millions of the human race are still in a state of heathenism. Of those who are called by the Christian name, the vast majority belong to churches that are corrupt. Antichrist survives, and his power is again on the ascendaut. Of protestants, how many have a name to live while they are dead ? Rev. iii. 1. Intidelity and iniquity abound, and the love of many waxes cold, Matt. xxiv. 12. The num. ber of true, living Christians is very small. Compared with the mass of man. kind, the people of God are still a little flock, Luke xii. 32. They are also, for the most part, an afficted and poor people, Zeph. iii. 12. But are we, on account of these things, to despond ? No, verily. The worm Jacob will yet thrash the mountains, Isa. xli. 14–16. The darkness may even increase which now envelopes the earth, Isa. Ix. 2; danger may thicken around the church, Luke xxi.; the enemy may come in like a flood, Isa. lix. 19; but let the people of God lift up their heads, for their redemption draweth nigh, Luke xxi. 28. It is the property of faith to say, Though he should even slay me, yet will I trust in Him, Job xiii. 15. Faith renounces all confidences save the word of God, the arm of God, the love of God. Faith, with a divine promise in its hand, laughs at impossibilities. It cau remove monntains, and cast them into the sea; because, venting itself in prayer, it moves the hand that moves the world, See Gen. iii. 14, 15; Rev, x8. 1-3, 10; Rom. xvi. 20; 1 Joho jjj. 8; Luke x. 17-22; Eph. vi. 10-20; Rev. xii. 11; Dan. vii, 9-14, viii. 13, 14; xii. l; Rev. xix. 11-21; Rev. viii. 3-5.
4. How earnest should the people of God be for oue another; seeing that on them, instrumentally, are suspended results so momentoys. They are Christ's witnesses, Rev. xi. 3. Let us pray for one another that we may fulfil this high calling. They are the Lord's remembrancers. Isa. Ixii. 6, 7. pray that we may never hold our peace, day nor night, and may give him no, rest till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. They are the epistles of Christ. Let us pray that we may be manifesily declared to be so by our resemblance to Christ. 2 Cor. iii. 2, 3. Nothing can exceed the encouragements which we have to pray for the Lord's people. They are his chosen ones, John x. 29. The purchase of his blood, I Cor. vi. 20. The workmanship of His Spirit, Eph. ii. 10. The objects of the everlasting love of the Father, the redeeming work of the Son, and the saring grace of the Holy Spirit, 1 Pet. i. 2. In praying for them, we pray for the carrying out of that great design for which the Son of God became incarnate, Mait. i. 21. On which his heart is set, Isa. xlix. 16; and to which every thing in creation and proridence is subordinate, Rom. viii. 28; Deut. xxxii. 8. We pray for those for whom he intercedes, John xvii ; in whose welfare he delights, John xv. 8–11; in whose salvation he is glorifed, Isa xliii. 21; Eph, i. 7. They are the jewels which compose his crown, Mal. iii. 17,-the inheritance which he claims as peculiarly his own, Ps. cxxxv. 4; Deut. xxxii. 9. They are God's husbandry; they are God's building, I Cor. iii. 9. They are not inerely servants, but suns, Gal. iy. 7. And it children, they heirs
heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, Rom. viii. 17. We are sure, then, that we are doing what is agreeable to the mind of God, when we abound much in earnest supplication, prayer, and thanksgiving on bebalf of all saints. Let us seek the highest blessings for them as well as for ourselves, as we find the holy apostle doing, Epb. iii. 14-21. Let us pray, as he elsewhere does, that they may increase and abound more and more in knowledge, faith, love, hope, and every grace, Col. i. 9—12; ii. 1, 2. Philip. i. 9–11: Eph. i. 15– 23.1 Thess. 1. 2-4. 2 Thess. j. 3. i Cor. i. 4. Rom. i. 9. Eph. iv. 13—16. Rom. xv. 13. Let us desire that they may come behind in no gift, 1 Cor. i. 7,--seeking that their joy may be full
, 1 John i. 4. And giving thanks for the grace of God already bestowed upon them, Rom i. 8. Phil. i. 3—6. We should seek to remember the people of God at the throne of grace, accordiog to the various cases and circumstances, outward and inward, in which they may be placed, -that the feeble-minded may be comforted, 1 Thess. v. 14; that the bowed down may be raised up, Ps. cxlvi, 8; that those who are in darkness may obtain light, Mic. vii. 8; that those who are bound by Satan may be loosed, Luke xiii. 16; that such precious promises as these may be fulfilled, Isa. Ivi. 1-3; that those who are but babes in Christ may be strengthened to the full exercise of their spiritual senses, Heb. v. 12–14; the little children growing to the maturity of manhood, and the fathers glorifying God, and edifying others by their knowledge of Him who is from the beginning, 1 John ii. 12–14. Compare i. 1-4; v. 13;, see I Cor. xii, throughout; Rom. xii. 4-8. We should also desire sanctified bealth and prosperity to one another, 3 John 2; and seek that chastisements may be blessed, Heb. xii. 1-13; that death may be gain, Phil. i. 21; and that such as may be passing through the dark valley may have Jehovah's presence with them, Ps. xxiij. 4; and an entrance ministered to them abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, 2 Peter i. ll. We should pray that while in the world, being members of various communities, they may be enabled therein to glorify Him who has called them out of darkness into his marvellous light, 1 Peter ii. 9, 25; jji. 1-9; so that others may take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus, Acts iv. 13; and whether as superiors, inferiors, or equals, they may be blessed and made a blessing. See Gen, xxx. 27; sxxix. 5,21-23; xviii. 17–33. Jer. v. 1. Matt. v, 13. I Cor. vii. 16, Acts xxviii. 23, 24. 2 Sam. xxiii. 3, 4. Ezek. xxxiv, 26. Ps. Ixvii,
5. Abounding in prayer for the people of God, we will seek that the means of grace may be greatly blessed to them, especially the gospel ministry, given expressly for the perfecting of the saints,--for the edifying of the body of Christ, Eph. iv. 11, 12. We will plead for the presence of Christ in his or dinances, according to his promise, Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Exod. xx. 24. We will desire that He may be exalted and extolled, and made very high in a preached word, Isa. lii, i3. We will be ready to say like Moses, Exod. xxxiii. 15. " If thy presence go not with us, carry us not ap hence.” We will desire that He who walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, Rev. i. 13, may show us bis glory, Exod. xxxiii. 18. We will, if rightly exercised, never be satisfied with ordinances, however purely administered, unless we and other believers find him whom our souls love, Song ii. 1—4. For this end we will plead for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit—the revealer of Jesus --the conFerter of souls, Jobn xvi. 7-11; Ezek. xxxvi. 25-27, 37 ; Song iv. 16; v. 1. We will desire that the Lord's servants in the ministry mayenjoy a double portion of the Spirit—that they may be skilful in the word of righteousness, Matt. xiii
. 52; Heb. v. 13. That they may preach, not themselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord, 2d Cor. iv. 5; as ambassadors for Christ, sent to beseech men in his name to be reconciled to God, 2 Cor. v. 20. We will seek that they may be enabled to deelare all the counsel of God, Acts xx. 27—that they may feed the church of God purchased with his own blood, -that out of love to Christ they may feed his sheep, -may feed his lambs, John xxi. 15–17; that they may be instant in season, out of season, able to reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and doctrine, 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2. We will earnestly desire the increase of faithful ministers, and an abundant blessing to rest npon their labours, 1 Cor. iii. 7 ; i. 21-2+; ii. 2. We will fervently plead that the Lord of the barvest may send forth many such into his harvest, Luke x. I, 2. We will with our whole hearts desire the purity, the unity, the efficiency, the enlargement, the universal establishment of the Christian church, pleading the fulllment of such promises and declarations as these, Matt. iii. 11, 12; John ii. 13–17; xvii. 20—23; Matt. sxiv. 14; I Cor. xii. ;' xiii.; Isa. liv. 2, 3; lij. 1, 2; ii. 1, 2, 4; Ps. Ixviii. 9-14, &c. &c. We will give thanks for any revivals vouchsafed in former or later times, and pray for their diffusion on every side, Zech. x. 1; so that, by the plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit, pentecostal days may be revived and surpassed, Acts ii. 2, 17, 18, 36–47; iv. 31—33; vi. 7 ; viii. 5, 8; ix. 31; xi. 21; xii. 24 ; xiii. 40, 48 ; siv. iii.; xix. 20; Ps. civ. 30. We will mourn over our own sins and the sins of the church, as having provoked the Lord to withhold his blessing, and seek that they may be pardoned and purged away,—see Isa. lix. 1, 2; Dan. ix.; Ezra is.; Neh. ix ; Isa. iv. 2–6; Joel iii, 21; and will earnestly desire that all things may be conformed to the mind of Christ as made known to the church universal, Rev. ii.; iii.- The exhortations, warnings, encouragements, and reproofs contained in which passages should be taken home by each several church, minister, and individual, according as they may apply.
6. It should also be our desire, that wherever the gospel is already possessed, nations as such may be brought under its sauctifying and humanising influence, and every domestic relation purified and elevated by the power of the truth as it is in Jesus; that all power, being derived from God, Rom. xiii. I, may be consecrated to bim who bestows it for wise, good, and holy ends ;—that seminaries of learning may be nurseries of piety, instead of being, as they too often have been. the means of spoiling multitudes through philosophy and vain deceit, being formed after the rudiments of this world, and not after Christ, in whom dwell eth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, Col. ii. 8, 9;--and that every institution designed for the welfare of society, may be sanctified by that which alone can do it-the word of God and prayer. | Tim. iv. 5; Zech. xiv. 20, 21; Ezek. xlvii. 1-12; Isa. xlix. 23; Rev. xi. 15; Isa. i. 26; lx. 16, 18. Ps. ii. 10, 12; Esod. xx. 1–17.
Fiually, it behoves us all, each one to look narrowly to bimself, and while engaged in seeking blessings for others, to spread out his own case before the Lord, that out of the fulness that is in Christ, he may receive, according to his need, grace for grace, John i. 14. Every one should know the plague of his own heart, 1 Kings viii. 38, and should make his prayer accordingly. And much need have all the people of God to be frequently putting up the petition, “ Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, aud know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Ps. cxxxis. 23; cxxxviii. 6–8. Prov. iv. 23. Song viii. 12. 2 Thess. ij. 5. Jude 20, 21. Heb. xii. I, 2. 2 Cor. iii. 17, 18. Gal. v. 1-6. 1 Cor. xii. -Luke xiv. 25–35. I John v. 20, 21.
And now may the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make us all perfect in every good work to do his will : working in us that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ,--to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with us all. Amen.
It is proposed, God willing, that the space of time between 8th and 17th October, inclusive, be set apart for United Prayer among the people of God