A Companion for PRAYER In Times of extraordinary Danger.

By Richard Alleine, Author of Vinditiae Pietatis.

Re-printed at the Desire of the late Rev. Mr. Webb.

To which is added, by Way of Appen­dix, from Dr. Increase Mather's Dis­course on the Prevalency of Prayer; Sundry remarkable Instances of a gra­cious Answer of Prayer in N. E. and elsewhere.

Printed and Sold by S. Kneeland, oppo­site the Prison, in Queen-Street. 1750.

Reverend [...],

THE Me [...] made in yours, concern­ing P [...]a [...] [...] much affected me, and hath occasi [...]ned some workings of my Thoughts, which though (in a Conscience of mine own Weakness) [...] more than once laid aside, yet they still return'd upon me; and I do now here offer the Result of them it your Consideration.

We all knew an [...] teach, that they are only returning and reforming Prayers that will prevail with God; and 'tis to be doubted, that, in this dead and decayed Age, there are too many Prof [...]ssors who will joyn in the Design of Prayer, whom this must serve instead of Reformation; 'tis to such especially that the Directions on the inclosed Paper are intended. I send them to you, desiring you to read them, and then do what you please with them; beseeching you, and trusting upon your friendly Faithfulness herein, that you would take your full Free­dom, either to keep them in Silence to your self, or else to communicate and make them Publick. I should thankly accept of any Expungings, Alterations or Additions that you shall think needful. The Lord pardon the Failings, and accept the sincere Aims of my Soul herein. To his Grace I com­mend you, and in him I rest,

Dear Sir,
Your unworthy Friend and Servant, RICHARD ALLEINE.
[Page 1]


TO make Way for, and to press to the diligent observing the following Directions, let these three Things be premised.

1. That the Power of Religion is much fallen, at least, is at a stand, among Multitudes of Professors of the present Day. Sure this needs no Proof, when we have so many sad ocular Demonstrations hereof before us.

2. That for this, the Lord hath a Controversie with us at this Day, Rev. 2.4. Whatever Controversie the Lord hath with the Belials amongst us, [Page 2]who [...]e h [...] [...] We [...]kedness hath even ri­pened them for V [...]ngo [...]ce, his special Quarrels seems to be [...] [...] ­ple. We may [...] whom the soe [...]. An [...]er is, [...] [...]bserving at wh [...]se Faces [...] are [...]ve [...]ed. A [...] [...] whom do our Enemies, the R [...]d [...] Anger make a w [...]ce [...] and draw [...]or [...]n the Tongue, and attempt their fiercest Hands?

3. No Prayers will avail, nor have the least Help in them, but the Prayers of such, with whom the Lord's Contro­versie is taken up and composed; those with whom he hath a particular Quarrel, are like to be unhappy Mediators for others. We chuse the Favourites of Princes to be our Intercessors with them.

4. There can be no taking up GOD's Controversie, unless the Matter fit he­re noved, by Repentance and Reforma­tion, Rev. 2.5. Isa. 1.15, 16, 18. When ye make many Prayers. I will not hear, your Hands are full of Blood; wash ye, make you clean, &c. Come now and let us Reason together. Josh. 7.10. Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy Face? Israel hath sinned— they have taken the accursed Thing; and v. 12. [Page 3] I will not be with you any more, except the accursed Thing be destroyed from amongst you. Is there no accursed Thing amongst, even the Professors of Religion? Behold the Wedg of Gold, and the Babylonish Garment, their Pride and their Cove­tousness, hid in their Hearts for a Tent. God search out these, and every other accursed Thing within you, let them be destroyed, if ye would have the Lord to be at Peace.

5. If there may be such a Spirit of Prayer stir'd up among us, as may have its Fruit unto Holiness, and real Refor­mation of the Evils of our Ways; this would Comfort us, and give us great Hopes in the hardest Cases.

6. Therefore, in all our crying to God for his Help, in Case of publick Fears, Dangers or Distresses, our Eye should be firstly upon, and we should wrestle with the Lord for the pardoning, purging, and Sanctification of our own Hearts and Lives; wherein if we pre­vail not, we shall be as a rotten Tooth, or a Bone out of joynt, for any Help there is in us, or in any Thing we do; unless we can pray up a Spirit of Holi­ness in our selves, a Spirit of Love, and [Page 4]of Power, and of a sound Mind, we are not like to do any Thing to Purpose, in praying down Mercy for the People; the Devil will give us leave to visit the Throne of Grace, so we will but carry our hard and uncircumcised Hearts with us; if we cannot get to be of the Lord's holy Ones, though we make many Pray­ers, he will not hear; here the Interest and the Hopes of the People of God lye, in the shedding abroad of the sanctifying and quickning Spirit upon them; for this therefore should we firstly pray.

7. 'Tis not praying alone that will do: to the bringing on our Reforma­tion, there must be also a constant and sedulous Use of all God's other Means, in our whole Course of Life.

8. Some of these Means are presented in the following Directions.

1. General Directions.

Direct. 1. Take up a deep and serious Design of making an advance in serious Religion. Set not down by, take not up with, what you have already attained, but resolve for reaching forward, and following after, towards that which you have not attained; content not your [Page 5]selves to drive gently on, as your Flesh will bear, but stir [...]pvour selves to fol­low hard after the Lord; and let this be the deliberated cree and intent of your Hearts. Say to thine Heart, How is it with me? Doth my Sold prosper? Are my Ways such as please and Lord? What is mine Expectation and mine Hope? What is the Aim and Business of my Life? is it that Christ may be magni­fied by me, and that I may be made Partaker of his Holiness, and shew forth his Vertues in my Generation? Can I say with the Apostle, To me to live is Christ? Ah Wretch that I am! How deeply hath this Self and this World gone shares with my Lord! O! How little of my Time, my Parts, my Strength, yea, and of my very Heart also have been inclosed and consecrated as Holi­ness to the Lord? How much of me hath been left out in common for the World? Well, but what meanest thou for the future? Wilt thou henceforth change the purpose and intent of thine Heart? Come Man, wilt take up a De­sign for, and henceforth centermine, and set thine Heart upon a more watchful, fruitful and heavenly Life? If thou wilt [Page 6]not be brought to decree, and resolve upon a better Life, much less wilt thou be perswaded actually to it. What's be­gun well, is half done; and an holy Design deeply laid, is a good beginning.

Direct. 2. Let God's Calls to extraor­dinary prayer, and a Sense of the necessity of your Recovery and Reformation, to year prevailing in Prayer, quicken you on in the vigorous pursuance of your holy Design. Now is a Time, wherein you have your Hearts at the Advantage, having such weighty Arguments before you, and the Opportunity of doing two such great Things more, as the saving of your selves and also o [...] the People, both from Ini­quity and Calamity.

Direct. 3. Do all you do, in pursuance hereof, in the Name of the Lord Jesus. Be not discouraged at any prospect of Difficulty, trust in him for his Help. En­courage your Hearts with the Words of the Apostle. Phil. 4.13. I shall be able to do all Things through Christ that strengthens me.

Direct. 4. Keep your Eye and your Heart much upon God and the other World. Be able to say with the Apostle, Phil. 3.20. Our Conversation is in Heaven; [Page 7]that is, there the Business of our Life lies; and that not only above spiritual and heavenly T [...]gs, but with God himself. Live at the [...]t tain & Spring­head; thence all [...]our l [...]ght, and Life, and Holiness, and Si [...]on [...]th must flow down. Be much in to king upwards; and beholding in [...]a G [...]'s the Glory of the Lord, you will be changed from Glory to Glory, into the same Image, 2 Cor. 3.18. Look much and often upon the Things that are not seen, if ye would be delivered from the Power and ma [...]ign Influence of the Things that are seen; let your Eye be upon the Sun, and you will see a dimness and darkness upon the Earth; get you cloathed with the Sun, and you will get the Moon un­der your Feet.

Direct. 5. See that there be no allowed Sin in your Heart or Practice. Psal. 66.18. If I rega [...]d Iniquity in mine Heart, God wi [...] not hear my Prayer, nor help me. An allowed Sin is as the dead Flesh in the Wound; whatever Methods or Medicines be taken, there will be no healing till the de [...]d Flesh be eaten off; you may profess, and pray, and hear all your Life long, and yet will never pros­per [Page 8]whilest you are privy to any one indulged Sin.

Direct. 6. B [...] [...]ant and in [...]ant in day [...]y, secret and family Prayer. Let not extraordinary Prayer excuse your ordina­ry; and let not your neglect of ordinary Prayer unfit you or extraoordinary: Let not your Way to your Closet be untrod. He thath bolds h [...] 3 Acquaintance in Hea­ven, by being o [...]ten with God, w [...]li [...] [...]o the most like to prevail with God in the most pressing and difficult Cases; those that are much in Prayer, those are the Men that use to be mighty in Prayer.

Direct. 7. In all your Praying, both ordinary and extraordinary, let your Eye be (I say not chiefly, but) firstly upon the Case of your own Souls. What Im­provement you obtain here will be of this double Advantage; 1. There will be the more hope of your being heard for the Publick. 2. If the Lord be not prevail'd with for publick Mercies and Deliverances, yet you will be the better prepar'd for Sufferings. If God should shew Mercy as to the Publick, should scatter our Clouds, and blow over our Scorms, should cause our Light to break forth as the Morning, and our Righte­ousness [Page 9]also as the Noon-day; yet what would all this be to thee, who are un­righteous? What would it be to thee, if in all the Land of Gos [...]en there should be Light, and thou in the midst thereof shouldest be covered over with the Darkness of Egypt? If there should be Dew on all the Grass of the Field, and thy Fleece only should be dry? If thou shouldest live to see thy People a saved People, and an holy and fruitful Nation, and thou should'st stand as a withered and dry Tree amongst all the flourishing Cedars? Get up thine own Heart into good Proof, or whatever spi­ritual Plenty thou mayft see in Israel, yet thou wilt not eat thereof. Talk no more of thine Hopes of seeing good Days, how little would that be to thee, unless thou get thee a better Heart?

Direct. 8. Let your Prayers be fol­lowed with a constant Care of your Ways. Let not your praying serve you instead of repenting and reforming, but let it quicken you to your whole Duty; let your entring into your Closet be your ascending heavenwards; and let not your returns thence be the falling down of your Souls from Heaven to Earth. [Page 10]Let your Duties and Ways be all of a Piece; live l [...]ke praying Children. Let not the Spirituality or your Mornings and Evenings, countenance or encour­age you in your all [...] Carna [...]ry. [...] in the Fear of the Lord [...] the Da [...]ings, Prov. 23.17.

Direct. [...]. Whatever Incomes you re­c [...]ive from G [...] into your o [...]n Souls, be free in [...] to o [...]ers: In mean in a Way of holy Discourse and Conterence. [...] sing and Commun [...]cating is the [...] Way to thriving. Prov. 11.24. There is that [...]atte [...]eth, and set [...] [...]seth, the [...]e is that wi [...] [...]th, and it tend [...]th is Poverty. 'Tis tr [...]e with respect to Spi­rituals as well as Temporals. There are none that grow more rich towards God, than those, who by bringing forth what [...] [...]ave received, labour to make others [...] also. Give the holy Fire within you a vent, and it will burn the clearer. Keep not your Religion to your selves; let your [...]ull Cup run over, let your Lips drop as the Honey-Comb, let your Mouth be a Well o [...] Life, and your Lips feed many, Prov. 10.11. B [...]ild up one another in the most Holy Faith: pro­voke one another to Love and to good [Page 11]Works; let your Families, your Wives and Children, your Neighbours and Ac­quaintance, have [...]ight from your Can­dle, and be warmed by your Fire. Doubtless its one special Part of God's Quarrel with Christians, that they are, so very many of them, of such carnal and unsavoury Converses. Is it [thy] Case? Haft thou this to charge upon thy self? O! amend, amend, and see that thou continue not such a barren Soul; as low as 'tis with thee in Grace, think not to rise high, unless thou wilt make better Use of what thou hast.

2. Particular Directions.

Direct. 1. Consider what it is where­to you have [...]eady uti [...]ined, and be thank­ful; and thence be encouraged to press on and Hope for more. Hast thou abtained Grace from the Lord? And hath he caused his Grace to abound towards thee and in thee? And hast thou a witness within thee that thou hast not received the Grace of God in vain? But dost thou study to walk worthy of that Grace wherein thou standest? O rejoyce in the Lord, and let all within thee bless his Holy Name; and take what thou [Page 12]hast thus received as an earnest of more. Set thy Foot upon the Neck of every morified Lust, take the more Heart to thee to go on in the Fight, and rejoice in Hope of a total and final Victory. The Soldier, when one Wing of his Ene­mies Army is routed, or they do but give Ground, and begin to fall, this raises his Courage, and he falls more smartly on. Go thou and do likewise; and let thy beginning, much more thy growth in Grace, and thy Experiences hereof, be the oiling of thy Wheels, for thy more vigorous following on after yet a greater increase.

Direct. 2. Consider what your special Corruptions, Infirmities, Want [...], Neglects, Temptations, or your most [...]rainary Falls are. 1. What your special Corruptions are, how far forth you have conquered them, and where you stick. In some Professors, Pride, in others Cove [...]eous­ness, in others Sensuality, in others Sloth­fulness, in others Peevishness or Froward­ness, or the like, may have gotten such head in them, that these Weeds overtop, and even choke up all their Flowers. 2. What your special Wants or Weak­nesses are in Point of Grace; what [Page 13]Graces the [...] are, whether Faith or Love, of Peace [...]u [...]nes [...], or Meekness, or Humi­lity, or Patience, &c. wherein you are most ef [...]c [...]ent or weak. 3. What Duties the [...] are, as either Prayer, Meditation, C [...]nmuning with your own Hearts, &c. [...]ich you are most apt to neglect, or [...]nd most difficult to go comfortably through. 4. What Temptations they are, by which you are most commonly assaulted or foiled. 5. What your most ordinary Falls are in point of Practice. And here let Professors of Religion be warned to consider, if they be not over­taken (besides many others) by some of these three Evils. 1. An over-eager and greedy following after the World: The Zeal of some Mens Spirits after Riches, hath eaten up all their Zeal of God. O! Into what Poverty hath thy Soul fallen, whilst thou hast been so bus [...]e in the World, and hast selt the P [...]ospe [...]ities thereof come [...]rouding upon thee! Some rich Professors may remember the Days of old, and be troubled. This Thought, When I was but a little one in this World, then was it better with me than now; this Thought may be an Arrow in their Hearts, and kill the Joy, [Page 14]and let out the Juice an [...] Sweetness of their greatest Abundance I remember the Kindness of my Youth, & the Love of mine Espousals; but O where I now! My very rising hath given me the fall. 2. A Liberty for carnal Jolli [...], a jovial and vainly merry Life, such the [...] are, who have left off to walk mourn­fully before the Lord of Hosts, and have given themselves to live merrily with the World; who have given over to weep with them that weep, and are fallen in to a laugh with them that laugh, to jest and sport and be vain with the vain ones, yea, and it may be to drink and to sit by it with those that drink. It's now grown too creditable to fre­quent drinking Houses: Tradesmen that are Professors, especially in Cities or great Towns, how ordinarily do they, upon Pretence of Dispatch of Busness, sit many Hours over a Dish of Coffee, or a Cup of Ale, or a Glass of Sack; and carry it so, that they can hardly be distinguished from the good Fellows of the World; but perhaps by this only, That they are now down-right drunken into Breasts. If there be a Liberty of such Houses, and meetings in them sometimes [Page 15]necessary (as perhaps it may) yet let not this Liberty be used as an occasion to the Flesh. 3. Gaudiness or over-cost­liness in Apparel, wherein some of them glitter and shine amongst the greatest Gallants of the Earth. Some amongst Professors do not only shun but disdam and despise the old Self-denial that was wont to be among Christians in these and the like Particulars, as if they were set at Liberty by the Gospel from the Laws of Christ, as well as from the Law of Moses. To these three let me add one Evil more: 4. A neglect of your Fa­milies; of the Instructing, Catechising, and due Disciplining them; the Conse­quents of which Neglect are very sadly to be seen in the Ignorance, Errors, Rudeness and Disorderliness abounding amongst many of them: there are not a few, who take some Care of themselves, but leave the Bridle on the Necks of theirs, and reap many Heart breaking Crops in them, as the Fruits o [...] their own Negligence. O let holy Jeshua's Resolution be yours: As for me & mine House, we will s [...]rve the Lord, Josh. 24.15.

Now diligently search and consider thy self in all these Things; and when [Page 16]thou hast faithfully studied thy self and Ways, and hast found what it is that thou art most peccant or wanting in, and most prejudiced and hindred by; then conclude, here my great Difficulty lies, and therefore here my great Work lies, if ever I would prosper, to get this or that Corruption to be mortified, this or that Grace strengthened, such & such Temptations to be shunned or provided against, and such and such Faults to be amended; now I have found what hin­ders me; and that which doth hinder will hinder, till it be taken out of the Way.

Direct. 3. Bend the main Fores of all your Religion upon these very Points wherein you are most failing or foulty. The Devil will allow us to be busy in other Matters of Religion, so he can but keep us off from those Things where our great Stresses lies: And the deceit­ful Heart will take up with that which is most easy and pleasant, that thereby it may the better shift it self of that which is more hard, and would go to the quick with it. We never purge or bleed to any Purpose, till we hit upon the right Humour, and strike the right Vein.

[Page 17] This is to act rationally and in Judg­ment; to bend our great Strength there, where our great Difficulty and Weakness lies. When you have by searching found out what you mostly stick at, let it be your first grand Errand in every Prayer, whether ordinary or extraordinary, to beg special Help in this particular Case: your weakness in any particular Grace or Duty, the Power of any particular Lust, Corruption or Temptation, your most ordinary and common Falls in Point of Conversation; let these have a special Place in every Prayer you make: And also let them be most heedfully watched and laboured against in your Lives. Turn in the Strength of Prayer & Watch­fulness upon the Strength of Sin; let your main Batteries be against the strong­holds, and where your Walls are weak­ned, there set the strongest Guard and Watch.

Direct. 4. Measure your proficiency in Religion, by the Power you get in those Particulars, wherein you have been most deficient or foulty. Judge not your selves by those Things which are most easy in Religion, but by your coming off in your most difficult Case.

[Page 18] Some Professors may at Times seem to be full of good Affections, strangely elevated and enlarged in their Prayers, yea, and to live in so great Peace, as to take themselves to have attained to the riches of full Assurance, and yet for all this may be but very poor Christians all the while. Let them be asked: How is it with your Soul? O! [...]bless the Lord, I find it very comfortable: I have sweet Communion with God in Prayer, and I live in the sweet and refreshing Light of his Countenance; he washeth my Steps with Batter, and has Sun shi­neth upon my Paths; I thank the Lord I go comfortably on. But stay Man. How is it with thine old Corruptions? Thou wer't once in o [...]e [...]ably proud, or froward, or earthly, or a joly & vainly merry Soul; what Ground hath thou gotten of those very Corruptions [...]er which thou must gro [...]n [...]t? How is it with thee with Respect to Temptation? Dost thou fear [...] Temptation, and do what thou can't to keep thy self out of H [...] Wa [...] [...] And when thou fal est into Temptation, when thou art actually tempted to Pride or Covetous­ness, when thou art provoked to Passion [Page 19]or Impatience, how goes it with thee then? How standest thou in the Day of Temptation? How is it with thee it Regard of thy wonted Evils in th [...] Con­versation? Hast thou founded a Retreat from thy eager chase after the geat Things of the World? Thou hast leen a Zealot for increasing thine earthly Substance, art thou now become more moderate? Thou wert once a sl [...]thful, lazy Soul in the Matters of God, art thou now more diligent and industrious? Art thou servent in Spirit serving the Lord? Thou once lived a jolly, frothy and merry Life, dost thou not carry it with more Seriousness? Hast thou left thy lying and deceitful Dealing? Thou hast been a Self seeker and a Flesh-pleas­er, but can't say, through the Grace of God, I have now betaken my self to a self-denying Life; and dost thou deny thy self in those very Things wherein thou wert us'd most to seek thy Self? Put thy self upon a close and severe Trial here, and know that if the strong hold be not battered and broken, it thine old Lusts do still hold their Power in thee, if the old Sore be still issuing out, the old Stream be still running its Course: If [Page 20]thou canst not say, I have kept me from [mine] Iniquity, or at least am fighting more resolvedly against it; if thou still st [...]keft where thou wert wont to stick, (whatsoever flash thou seemest to have of good Affections, whatsoever Confidence thou hast of thy good Condition) 'tis a sure sign it is not so well with thee. Look to what degree of Success thou hast attained in those Things wherein thy great Difficulty lay; to such a degree of Soul Prosperity thou hast attained, and no more.

Direct. 5. Measure your Hopes of the answer of your Prayers for the Publick, by your Experiences of their speeding in your [...]n particular Cases. If thy Sin can stand before all thy Prayers, thine Ene­mies, and Fears, and Dangers are not like to fall ever the sooner for such pray­ing; what God may do upon the Pray­ers of others, thou knowest not; but nothing is like to go the better for thee. If thou hast run with the Foot-men (within thee) and these have been too hard for thee, how wilt thou contend with them that ride upon Horses? If thou canst not stop the muddy Streams of thine own Cistern, how wilt thou [Page 21]stand before the swelling of Jordan? If thy Prayers prevail so little to the seting thine own Heart, or thine own House in order, how canst thou think they they will do any Thing against the Hosts of the Uncircumcised? God heareth not Sinners; not only such Sinners as are in a State of Sin, and totally alienated from the Life of God, but even such also, who though for the main, they have been once washed in the Blood of Christ, are again fallen into, and wal­lowing in the Mud and Mire of any one allowed Sir; they are all like to be but miserable Comforters in the Day of Distress. Remember that Scripture men­tioned before. Psal. 66.18. If I regard Iniquity in my Heart, God will not hear my Prayer.

But on the other Side, if thou dost obtain, if thou dost prevail in thine own personal Case, this hath good Hope in it. 'Tis an Argument that thy Prayers are accepted with God; and if the Lord accept thee when thou prayest for thy self, or for thine House, thence the greater Hope will spring that he will accept thee when thou prayest for his own House and People. And if he doth [Page 22]accept thee for them, he will either de­liver them out of their Distress, and thou shalt have the honour to be one of those for whose sake Deliverance comes; or if he should not grant thy Requests as to the Publick, yet he will not fail to give thee thine own Soul for a Prey, tho' he do not give thee the Lives of them that sail with thee in the Ship.

And now you see the best Way that is open to you, to help at a Pinch, to save the poor distressed Churches of God in this Time of their Need, such praying as may have its Fruit unto Holiness in your selves; by this you may do much to promote the Holiness and Happiness of the People; if any Thing, this will do it.

Wherefore gird up your Loins, and set in in good earnest upon this seasona­ble and mighty Duty. Go into your Closets, lift up your Hearts, draw forth your Souls, pour out your Tears, weep in your Prayer, weep over your own and the Peoples Sins and Fears, and bow your selves with your might before the Lord; this once try what you can do, try the Strength of Prayer. Pray all to rights within you and at home, and then seek and cry, and wrestle, and trust, [Page 23]and wait for the Salvation of God to be revealed in due Time upon his People.

Let us at length hear the Conclusion of the whole Matter, What shall be the Fruit of all this: what will you now do? If I should only ask, Who among you will join in and pray pray [...]or the Peace of Jer [...]sal [...]m, the Church [...] the living God? every one would readily answer, I will be for one, I [...] another, God forbid I should hold my Pe [...]ce, I will pray for the Peace of Jerusa [...]em: Let them prosper that love thee: Peace is within thy Walls, and Prosperity within thy Palaces. For my Brethren & Companions sake I will pray, Peace be within thee because of the House of the Lord our God, I will seek thy Good.

If it be asked fur [...]her, and who will pray for the Destruction of Babylon? O, every one of us who have an Heart for the Peace of Jerusalem. Down with it, down with it, even to the Ground. Re­member, O Lord, the Children of E [...]om, in the Day of Jerusalem, who said, Raze it, raze it even to the very Foundation. O Daughter of Babylon, that art to be destroyed, happy let him, be that reward­eth thee as thou hast served us.

[Page 24] But w [...] [...]ou that your Prayers should b [...] [...] Then arise out of your Places, and [...] every Man on a personal Reform [...]n. Down with your [...]m and [...]ut with the Word; [...]t up Christ in [...]earts of you would have A [...]christ [...]ll in the E [...]th; let Christ have a Name within you above every Name, and let every one th [...]t names the Name, of Christ depart from Iniquity, from his own Ini­quity; seek not for Corn, and for Wine, or for Freedom to sit down every Man under his own Vine, and under his own Fig-tree, where none shall make them afraid; but seek the Lord, that the Lord God may dwell among you, may delight in you, and be exalted by you, that you may indeed become the People of his Holiness, and the People of his Prayer; seek to be made Partakers of his Holi­ness, and so follow after it, that ye may ob [...]. Let there be such an Heart in you S [...] an [...]oly Design heartly taken up, and zeal [...] sly pursued by you, and the [...]rd w [...]ll certa [...]nly [...]ccept you, and answer you [...]rayers; and your profane Enemies w [...] then le [...]rn to take heed how [...]ey again mock or boult them­selves again the Prayers of the Saints. [Page 25]It was [...] eat Church man that wh [...] [...] turn'd out [...] N [...] [...]mity, he [...], W [...] turn them out, [...] them in [...] [holy] Hands [...]o [...] gave such M [...] [...] will take heed of boast­ [...] [...] Prayer. And if yet [...] take unto them the h [...]ness [...] your God? Doubt not [...] F [...]ime you shall have this [...] Mouths. Le this is [...] for him, and he [...] this is the Lord, we have [...] we will be g [...] & rejoyce in [...] Sa [...].

[...] f [...]t must suffice you to pray, and y [...]u w [...] [...] go on to traverse your old Wave suffering your Sins and the World to h [...] the Head of you, let not such Men think they shall receive any Thing o [...] the [...].

Wherefore once again be exhorted to c [...]me to a Point in this Matter, and determine what ye will do; If ye will not heartily come in, in this necessary Design of advancing in Holiness, you may even stand aside, and sit out from [Page 26]that of Praver, for any Good we can expect from you: But if you are re­solved on the former, and that with all imazinable seriousness, you will the more prosper in the latter; let both go toge­ther in one, and thenceforth lock for good speed in either.

Well, shall this Decree immediately go forth? Say the Word once, but let it be with an unalterable Resolation; at lea [...], be advised to this (which I pray forget not) from the Day of your next solemn appear [...]ing be [...]e God in this Du­ty of Prayer for the Publick, let your Decree he da [...]ed; and it need be, let the very Day he written down, and so go, and let if be heedfully prosecuted; and upon each return of this solemn Ser­vice, let it be actually and expresly re­newed. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, keep this for ever in the Ima­gination of the Thoughts of the Heart of thy People, and prepare their Hearts unto thee.


APPENDIX from Dr. Increase Mather's Discourse on the Preva­lency of Prayer.

IT was a great Word which Luther spoke, when he said, 'There is a Kind of Omnipotency in Preyer.— Where do we find in all the Book of God a more wonderful Expression, than that of the Lord to praying Meses, Now let me alone?— Prayer is stronger than Iron Gates. At the Prayers of the Church the iron Gates fly open, and the Apostles Fetters fall off. Sometimes the Prayers of one Man that hath an eminent Inte­rest in God, are a Means to preserve a whole Town, yea a whole Land from De­struction.—

The Emperor Ma [...]cus Aurelius going to War against his Enemies, who were nine Hundred seventy five thousand Mer. The Emperor's Army were so cooped up by their numerous Enemies, in strait, dry and hot Places, and being destitute of Water for five Days together, were all like to have perished for thirst. In this Extremity a Number of Christian Soldi­ers being in the Army, withdrew from [Page]the rest & [...]illing prostrate on the Earth, by a [...]ent Prayers prevailed with God, that he immediately sent a most plenti­sul Ram, whereby the Army that other­w [...] had perished, was refreshed, and dread u [...] hightnings flashed in the Faces of their Enemies, so as that they were [...]iscomfitted and put to flight.

—At one time five Hundred praying Saints overthrew two Thousand and five Hundred of their Enemies.—

—What a black Appearance of Death and Ruin was upon the poor People at Quabrog in this Province, when they were all cooped up in one unfortified House, and surrounded by a barbarous Multitude of cruel Indians, who thirsted after their Blood? But God by a strange Providence, sent Major Willard, who with a small Party of Soldiers, came a few Hours or Minutes before it was too late, by which the remaining Inhabitants of that Place had their Lives given them for Prey. After that, the western Plan­tations, Nerth Hampton, Had [...]y, Hatfield &c. were in the most eminent Danger, by Reason of the Enemy taking up their Rendezvous in those Parts, but God preserved and delivered them, in Answer to Prayer.

[Page] —An Englishman mortally wounded by an Indian, the Indian upbra [...]ded him with his Prayers, saving to him, You were wont to prey to J [...]us Christ, new pray to him, he connet h [...] you: — immediately upon which, a Bullet took him in the Head, and ea [...]h [...]d out his Brains.

I have heard a worthy Divine in Dub­lin, speak of a Man, that being under bodily Possession by an evil Spirit, a Com­pany of praying Christians met together to seek the Lord on his Behalf; amongst them there was a precious holy Woman, who kneeled behind the Door in the Room where they were praying toge­ther, and there were strong Actings of Faith in her Soul; at last the Devil was forced to depark; only as he was going out of the possessed Party, he cried out, O the Woman, the Woman behind the Dear!

That Moses of his Time, Dr. Dod (concerning whom Mr. Burroughs gives this Testimony, that he was the meekest Man upon the Face of the Earth) had a godly Sen, whom it pleased the most High to leave unto sorel) straction to his Mind, where upon M [...]. D [...]d called some of his p [...]dly praying Friends together, who set a Day a-part solemnly to seek the Lord about that Matter, and wh [...]st [Page]they were yet speaking in Prayer, God heard them, so as that the distracted Person was not only restored to his right Mind again, but did himself conclude that Day of Prayer with solemn Thanks­giving unto God. This Information I received from Reverend Minister, who was present in Mr. Dea's House, when that Day of Fasting and Prayers was there observed, upon the Occasion mentioned.

Mr. Simp [...]'s Wife (a gracious Wo­man) falling sick, was sorely assaulted by Satan, who told her, that she should be given over into his Hand; The Temp­tation and Affrightment preva [...]ed so [...]ar as to resolve in a visible Distraction, that the good Woman, most unlike her for­mer Wa [...], whilst she was her self, would break forth sometimes with dreadful and [...]rid Ex [...]essions; Th [...]s was and could not be otherwise [...]a m [...]st bitter Affliction to her precious Husband, who told those about her, that he was assured, that Satan's Malice should at last receive a shameful F [...]i [...]; wherefore he retired himself into his G [...]r [...]en, and shutting the Door, betook himself to Fasting and Prayer. O [...]e He [...] Ga [...]er (a godly Woman) being [...]ollicitous for Mr. Si [...] ­son as fearing that his Labours, [...] & [Page]Fasting, might be too hard [...] him, used some Means to get over into the [...], where Mr. Simpson was alone w [...]ching with God.—After going forward, she found Mr. Simpson lying on the Ground, nor would he reveal to her what he had met with, until Promise was made, not to speak of it whilst he was alive in this World. Upon this he said, O wh [...] I being Dust and A [...]es, that the [...] [...]ni­string Spirits should be [...]s [...]nt by the Lord to deliver a Missage to not, and shewed, that Angele from. Heaven had [...] to [...]lible Voice given him Answer conceiting that which he had been pr [...]ing about. [This was a Thing extraordinary, and in [...]o wise to be expected by Christians [...] ­rily [...] And returning into his [...], he but those that were in the R [...]om with his Wife, be of good Comfort; not be was assured that within ten Hours she should be delivered from m [...] Distraction. After this he went to Pro [...]et by the Bed [...]si [...]e: and as he was in Prayer, mentioning Jacob's wresting with God, his W [...]e sat upon the Bed, and casting aside the Curt [...], said, Thou art this Day Jacob, thou hast wre [...]led, and hast privailed, and n [...]w God hath made good his Word which he spoke to you this Morning, for I am [Page]plucked out of the Hands of Satan, and he shall have no more Par [...]er ever me. This Interruption made him ste [...]tior while, but after in great Meltings of Heart be procceeded in Prayer, magnifying the Riches of divine Grace and Love, and from that H [...]ar his Wise co [...] [...] discease christian's and comfo [...]t [...]bly, even to her [...]dving Hour.

I have read of one who having ano­ther that treat his T [...]ne in Hanking, Drinking and other p [...]p [...]r [...]e Van [...]es; upon a [...] [...] ­ther [...] he set that very Day [...]part [...] and P [...]e. to be [...] God that [...] [...] ­ther might be con [...]ted. And the Lord answer'd his Prayers wonderfuls; for within a Week after, his Brother was stranged engaged, and [...] himself (in­stead of spending his Time in Hawking and Drinking observe man. Days of se­cret Humilitition between the Lord and his own Sou [...], on the Account of the Sins he had been guilty of is the Days o [...] his Vanity, and made a very godly End at last.

That precious and famous Minister of Christ, Mr. Welid, being in a Jour­ney, his Entertainement came to more [Page]than he expected, so that the next Morn­ing he had not wherewith to pay for his Horse Meat: The Holster swore and raild exceedingly for his Money: Mr. We [...]th shut his Chamber Door and went to Prayer, and the Holster standing at the Door over-heard him, and was con­verted by that Prayer; ever after that Time, highly respecting Mr. W [...]th, and refusing to accept of any Thing for his Entertainment, either then or at any o­ther Times afterwards, when Occasion was offered.

I knew one, the Son of an holy, and eminently faithful Minister, who in some of the Days of his Youth, had been wild and vain, but was (through the Grace of Christ) converted in his young Years, and after his Father's Death, perusing his private Papers, he perceived, that not many Days before he was in the Pangs of the new Birth, his Father had been by secret Fasting and Prayer seeking un­to the Lord that converting sanctifying Grace might be bestowed upon that Son of his.

That notable Israel i. e, Mr. Hugh Ken­nedy. Provest of Mr in Scotland, one Day being long alone [...]n Prayer, while some of his intimate Friends stayed a great [Page]while to [...]k with him, upon their enquity into the Reason why he made them wait so long; he told them it was no Wonder, for (said he) I have this Day obtained Mercy for me and all mine. And so indeed it came to pass; for not so much as one of his Children, but evi­dent Signs of Conversion and true God­liness were observed in them. This was that Kennedy, who when he was a dying could say, If the Walls of this House could speak, they could tell here many sweet Days I have had in secret Fellowship with God, and how familiar he hath been with my Soul. This is he, concerning whom Mr. Welch once said, Happy is that City, yea happy is that Nation that hath an Hugh Kennedy in it.

The D [...]in the Conclusion says thus, I shall finish this Discourse with the so­lemn Expressions of my blessed Brother and Predecessor in this Place. I had ra­ther (saith he) be invirened with Armies of armed Men, and compassed round with drawn Swords & Instruments of Death, than that the hast praying Saint should head the edge of his Prayers against me; for there is not st [...]naing before the Prayers of Saints especially it they unite their Force and join together in the same Requests.


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