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vowest a vow unto God defer not to pay it.
THE CONDITIONS OF PREVAILING Better that thou shouldest not vow, than vow and
PRAYER. not pay.” In this sense also it may be, “Whatso. ever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in indwelling of the Holy Ghost.
Power in prayer is one of the results of the
In the old times heaven," and we may not say, “It is nothing."
there were men,“ subject to like passions as we are,” And let us never be " ashamed” of this chain who had power with God, to move His will, to enlinking every moment of our life with the life of stay His hand, to recall the words that had gone the Eternal, binding our will with the will of God, without natural weaknesses of character, he was by
forth from His throne. Abraham was a man not for in the end it shall be manifest that He is not
no means perfect; yet the time came when, being ashamed to own our souls as “bound in the bundle full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, the privilege of life" with Himself.
“bonds” to the was his to stand between the Most High and his Lord be seen in all the region where we are ; and fellow-men, to hold back the hand of judgment, “in all other places," as were Paul's, " for Christ;"
and to plead with God to such an extent that had
there been ten righteous within the Cities of the that now, as then, the brethren,“ waxing confident” Plain, vengeance would not have overtaken them. thereby, may be “much more bold to speak the Moses was a man compassed about with infirmity word without fear.” It is worth while, for the life like unto his brethren, but there was a crisis in of liberty that now is, and the life of glory which is his life when he became filled with the Spirit of to come.
God. After that, Moses might ask what he pleased, As an outcome of this binding to the will of even ask for the suspension of Nature's laws, that
and it was granted; as the servant of God he might Jehovah, we hear of one being “bound in the judgment might be poured out upon the heathen. Spirit.” We know little the full signification of the The Lord dared to trust this man, because He knew words. --So constrained by the mighty power, or that he would ask for those things only that were
, pressure, of God,,he was “pressed,” we read in in accordance with His own will. Moses was trustanother place,—that other than His will becomes an Elijah was another such trustworthy man.
worthy, because he was filled with the Holy Ghost. impossibility. If this be their import, it is a goal | prayed earnestly that it might not rain, and it still before us, yet to be attained.
rained not on the earth by the space of three years Also there is a binding to praise, “ bound to thank and six months; and he prayed again, and the God,” which is another outcome, scen among all heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her
fruit." Now contrast such men with a man like those who have yielded themselves to this blessed Jonah. This prophet was no doubt inspired by yoke of the Master; and every day it waxes greater, the Spirit of God to make known His will; but he and more and more, as they are drawn closer to was not "filled with the Spirit.”. As a machine, Him they serve.
God might use him ; as a mere bond-servant, the If, as this new year dawns, we are beholding he could not. Filled with self, a slave to self-will,
Lord might send him on His errands, but trust him glimpses of what this life of bond-service of free he was utterly untrustworthy ; his whole life was a dom is, let us go away to live, what we see. The constant grieving of the Spirit of the Lord, how paradox is understood as the Life is lived. The was it possible that he could have any power either less we are, the more space we have, in a given
with God or with man ! space;
I have named some remarkable cases of men whose when a Giant-self intrudes into the heart-Habitation of God there is little room for liberty, or
prayers prevailed with the Most High, but it would
be a great mistake to suppose that power in prayer movement of thought or action ; but when self in the days of old was confined to such notable becomes dwarfed,-nothing, then there is room to be servants of the Lord. In Israel's best and purest at large; the less our will occupies the place of times, in the reign of David, if we may take the the will of God, the more perfect is the liberty where - Psalms as any indication of the spiritual life of the with He can make us free. Though it is å narrow people, there must have been many of the saints of way, yet somehow all who have entered it, and who that old dispensation who were endued with this walk therein, are constrained to say, “He hath power. And even in Israel's darkest days there brought me forth into a large place !" And when were ever a few trustworthy men in whom the Spirit thus,
of God was dwelling, who knew how to plead with ... the soul by grace subdued
Him—men of the Daniel stamp, men, like Ezekiel, Sobs its prayer of gratitude.
who mourned deeply over the sin of the people, and Then there is joy in Heaven.”
who gave God no rest as they cried, “Return, we B. G. L. H. beseech Thee, O God of Hosts: look down from
heaven and behold, and visit this vine and the vine- ever. Now, if I were an infidel, that would be yard which Thy right Hand hath planted.”
the ground I should take. To such damaging But, without doubt, the gift of the Holy Ghost in statements there is an answer; but it is one which Gospel days was intended to be far more widespread covers us—the people of the Lord - with shame. than in the days of the former dispensation. "The God is the hearer of prayer; His ear is not deaf promise is unto you and your children, and to all that He cannot hear. Jesus, who promised that that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our whatsoever we ask in His name should be granted, God shall call ;” and to-day it is the fact that in is the Intercessor at the right hand of God. It is every nation there are men and women and children true that millions of prayers are day by day ascend who have received the Spirit of God. By that Spirit ing to Heaven ; but-and here is the reason of much they have been quickened from death unto life, and of the failure—the conditions on which alone prayer more or less they are living in the Spirit, and the can prevail, have not, in the great majority of cases, Spirit is dwelling in them. I say more or less, be-been fulfilled. What are these conditions ? cause it is to be feared that in the case of many it I. Abiding union with Jesus. “If ye abide in is less rather than more; that the Spirit of God is ME, and My words abide in you, ye shall ask what limited in His grace, and hindered in His mighty ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John xv. 7). working. Take this test of power in prayer. Now, II. Habitual and unhesitating obedience to the as of old, power in prayer depends on the indwelling commands of His Woril and to the promptings of of God the Holy Ghost-an indwelling so complete His Spirit. "Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, that the Spirit of the Lord has full control over the then have we confidence toward God. And whatheart, and all its emotions, over the life, and all its soever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep plans, and all its issues.
His commandments, and do those things that are The question is often asked, and with good reason, pleasing in His sight” (1 John iii. 21, 22). How is it that there are so few answers to prayer ? These are the two most important conditions of If I were an infidel, instead of ridiculing the theory prevailing prayer. They apply, of course, to the of prayer, and proclaiming the absurdity of supposing child of God, not to the unconverted sinner. All that God, the Eternal God, can be influenced by the that is required of the penitent is sincerity. The prayers and entreaties of ignorant and short-sighted Great Physician stands not on ceremony. It is mortals, I would challenge the Christian Church enough that a poor, helpless, dying soul, is lying at to prove the reality of this theory, and to bring His door. A cry, a sigh, a tear, will bring the forth the evidence of the efficacy of her prayers. infinite Lover of souls to his aid. But it is altoI would point to the millions of prayers that go up, gether different when the children of God draw or that are supposed to go up to Heaven, day by nigh, asking not for pardon, but praying for blessings day; I would point to the promises to His praying on theniselves, and interceding on behalf of others. people which God is said to have made in the In them the conditions of prevailing prayer must be Bible; and I would ask for the answers. My fulfilled. argument, if I were an infidel, would be this: You There must be, first, the abiding in Christ. Apart Christians declare that God is the hearer of prayer, from his Lord the believer has no standing whatthat He is no respecter of persons, and that whosoever. At our conversion, we
"accepted soever in sincerity and in truth shall call upon in the Beloved.” It was because we were one with Him shall be heard. Your Great Teacher left it on His beloved Son that the Father received and record, “ Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my adopted us. All the promises of God are ours in name that will I do.”
shall ask anything Him, and not apart from Him. Just as many an in my name I will do it.” Very well ; now there earthly father, in making his will, leaves certain is not a single moment in the twenty-four hours but legacies to be paid to his children on condition that thousands of prayers wing their flight to Heaven. they remain true and faithful to their mother so long On Sundays you meet in your assemblies; you as she lives, so the promises of God to us depend make your common supplications unto God; you for their fulfilment upon our faithful abiding in ask for all kinds of things, temporal and spiritual; Christ. Now, is not one reason why so large a you pray for the salvation of sinners, and for the number of prayers seem to be unanswered thisconversion of the world; you plead that God will put that those who offer them have lost their first love, down war, and intemperance, and idolatry, and vice; and are no longer abiding in their Lord ? They are your prayers include sometimes the recovery of not altogether backsliders, but their life is not a life the sick, and the restoration of the dying. All in Christ; much of it, at any rate, is lived out of this kind of thing has been going on for the last fellowship with Him, and independently of His eighteen hundred years, and with what result ? | will. Their plans are made, their business is carried Where are the answers to these countless prayers ? on, their pleasures are enjoyed, their friendships are Idolatry, intemperance, vice, still hold the world formed, and the daily duties of life are undertaken, in bondage. War still desolates the nations. The apart from any counsel with their Lord. Jesus, so world is as far from what you call conversion as far from being “ All in All," " Alpha and Omega,"
is often nowhere. Such lives are not, perhaps, UNION OF “ALL FOR JESUS” DISCIPLES. positively sinful, but they are negatively so. Removed to a distance from the living Christ, dwelling
January, 1882. outside the circle in which His Spirit moves—the
1. TEXT: “Jesus !” (Matthew i. 21). circle of holy communion—the heart of such a First word for the New Year: first Name on our lips : first disciple is incapacitated for prayer. What he calls theme of our thoughts: first joy in our hearts—Jesus! prayer is a far-off
cry; it is not, it cannot be, the Our Saviour, our Friend, our Guide, our Counsellor, our close communion of one who dwelleth in the secret Sympathiser, our Companion, our Deliverer, our Protector, place of the Most High. Such cries are not, indeed, Priest, our King: God's own Incarnate Son, our All in all!
our Advocate, our Pattern, our Teacher, our Prince, our entirely unheard, but they have no prevailing “Jesus !"' On! how the very mention of this sweet Name power. A partial answer, an occasional answer thrills us, as we hear it spoken, or breathe it ourselves! It there may be, but no fulfilment of the promise, makes us intensely glad. It comes to us as the music of
awakens our sympathies; it goes straight to our hearts ; it “ Whatsoever ye
shall ask the Father in my name, beaven; and yet I will do it." Far too untrustworthy are such
“No music like that sacred Name, disciples to be trusted with that " whatsoever," for
Nor half so sweet can be." they are not filled with the Holy Ghost; their
JESUS—Saviour! The “lost” were the objects of His prayers are their own, not His; the cries of their compassion : and though Calvary, with all its untold suffer. own heart, not the inward intercession of His voice. ings, was involved in the work, He came " to seek and to
The second condition of prevailing prayer is, save that which was lost.”. The tremendous sacrifice offered, habitual and unhesitating obedience to the will of most farthing; God's holy law honoured, His righteousness
the all-cleansing Blood shed, the great debt paid to the utter. God, however that will may be made known to us established, His word kept; sin atoned for, its punishment — by the direct command of the Word, or by the exhausted, its penalty paid, its power overcome-Jesus is promptings of the Spirit. Long ago, King David
“able to save to the uttermost.” And, believivg in Him, we said : “ If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord tion to us. Glory to God, the purpose of the Incarnation of
are saved, we have everlasting life, and there is no condemnawill not hear me." How is it possible that the His dear Son is, so far, accomplished in us,
Alleluia ! child of God can with confidence appeal to His Now for the “showing forth" of this salvation in the New Father when he is living in the daily practice, or Year: no burdeu on the conscience, no stains of sin on the permission in his heart or life, of that which his soul, no terrors in the heart. “Jesus is mine," the believer
" and I am His.
, own conscience condemns ? Before that child of the saved one, and go on with the work He has given me to
Now I may know the life of God can pray aright, he must be right with his do, and continue the warfare and the pilgrimage, remembering Father. Faith without obedience is dead; it has with joy that I no power to take hold of God. Sin, however secret,
'. . . nightly pitch my moving tent however small and unobservable, paralyses its hand,
A day's march nearer home.' even as there are poisons, one drop of which is suffi- “JESUS !-Saviour from wrath, condemnation, fears of the cient to paralyse the nerves of the body. So long as we
future, and all other consequences of personal sin- I adore consent to any known unrighteousness, condemned by Thee, o Thou Son of God-my precious, gracious, all-glorious
Thee! I am at Thy feet! s magnify Thy Name! I praise our own hearts, we can have no confidence towards Redeemer !" God, and God can show no favour to us. It may be “He sball save His people from their sins !" This is a fur. some sin of the heart, unknown to our nearest ther feature of the great deliverance. Their “sins"; the term friend, or the besetting weakness of our nature, that is universal—it includes all – sins of babit, infirmity, individual is allowed again and again to betray us; some little tions. This is grand! God's children may sometimes, per
tendency-mental, spiritual, bodily sins—sins of all descripbit of dishonesty, or untruthfulness, or worldliness; baps, imagine they are under a necessity of sinning—that they some ill-will, or self-will; some duty to man neg- must sin so long as they are in tho body; the old Adam, not lected, some service to God refused it matters not being utterly and actually dead, impels, yea compels them what, the merest trifle; for, as a speck of dust will in all the word of God, can a shadow of foundation be seen
to sin, at all events occasionally. Is it not dreadful ? Where, blind the eye, so will a speck of sin render the soul for these sad, Christ-dishonouring theories ? Surely there is incapable of seeing God.
not any! On the other hand, God gave this sweet Name to These, I apprehend, are at least some of the His beloved Son, because He intended and purposed that He
should “ reasons why so many of the Lord's people are
save His people from their sins,"- -save “to the
uttermost.' devoid of power in prayer, and are incapable of word! Does this require great boldness and courage? Then
Let us accept His will and take Him at His pleading with Him so as to prevail. Importunity, may He enable us to be bold and courageous, and to desire, earnestness, frequency, constancy, go for nothing ask for, and expect that the “uttermost” be fulfilled to us. if these conditions of acceptable prayer are wanting. Is it not false humility to seek a less full blessing? Why For these are the result of the indwelling of the not rise to the level of His own most grand and glorious Holy Ghost, and it is the “ praying in the Holy word, and believe Him to be willing and ready to honour
"it ? Ghost” that alone can prevail with God.
“JESUS!” What temptation can prevail when instantly met ROBERT Dawson,
with this great Name—the heart confidently resting on
Him for immediate deliverance ? Surely “all the fiery London City Mission. darts of the wicked” may thus be " quenched.” And so,
"sin shall not have dominion,” do not to any extent at all. The onward course shall be uniformly victorious, the triumph.
song alway on our lips, the heart ever rejoicing in the Lord.
'Tis to see Thee in Thy beauty, Jesus will honour the Name given to him by His Fatber, and
And to know as we are known; be to His people all that it implies, in response to their faith
All the soul's intensest longings, in Ilim for this very thing! And so,
Satisfied in Thee alone :
Where the glory paleth never,
We shall be with Thee for ever!”
LUCY A. BENNETT. Then, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, yea by Himself, yea
3. INTERCESSIONS (Daily): by the Father also, will not the mighty power of the Name
Forbe known as it is used in prayer ? " If ye shall ask anything
(a) The Union. That God may be pleased to use it for in my Name I will do it,” are His own gracious words : and His glory. these also—"Verily, verily, I say unto you: Whatsoever ye
(b) The Members. That each one may be enabled to live shall ask tbe Father in my Name, He will give it you !”
“ All for Jesus” faithfully and fully. Oh for the experience, in this New Year, of the full power
(c) All Christians. That God may fulfil in them all the and blessedness indicated by this great Name! Let " JESUS ! " good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with be our watchword all through the year: our shout as we
power. meet every temptation : our joy.note as we serve : our song
(d) Parochial Missions held this day. That many souls as we live to Him, follow Him, and do His will with grateful may be saved. devotion and loving loyalty. Yes, let it be “ Jesus!”—ever,
(e) Meetings held this day for the promotion of Holiness only, everywhere, and amid all circumstances, “Jesus !” amongst God's people. -"All for Jesus !”
REQUESTS : 2. FULL CONSECRATION.
“The conversion of my dear father.”
“The removal of every hindrance in me to the fulfilment (Matt. i. 21.)
of God's will.” Jesus! Name of ma-chless splendour,
“Much after-blessing at C—, and at W-" Name all other names above;
“An undergraduate, that he may be blessed to many at Glorious Son of God incarnate,
"Me, that I may know more fully the blessedness of Name that to our hearts is dearest,
resting and abiding in Him!” Name that to our hearts is nearest.
" Deaconess' work in the bands of members of the
A. F. J. U."
“Grace be with you all. Amen."
From iniquity within :
J. T. W.
THE HOLY SPIRIT.
We have arrived at the manifestation of the Holy
Spirit in the New Testament. Let us look first at
1. At the birth of John the Baptist, of both his
parents it is said, they were filled with the Holy
Ghost; Elizabeth before his birth (Luke i. 41), and
Zechariah after his birth (Luke i. 67). Both were
thus inspired to testify of God's love and powerYea, our very All in all :
the keeping of His Covenant both to Abraham and
This is the beginning of a great manifestation of
God ; and it is instructive to see that its primary
purpose is to show us how the promises given centuJESUS! Bow our souls before Thee,
ries before were to be fulfilled. The outburst of Teach, oh teach us to adore Thee!
praise from the lips of Zechariah is full of detail of Brightness of the Father's glory,
the blessings about to be bestowed both on Israel Brightness of the Father's face, Thou alone art Sun and Centre
and the Gentiles. It is to be observed that in the Of Thy kingly dwelling place :
case of both Zechariah and Simeon, it is said—“ He 'Tis for Thee the spirit yearneth When to that fair Home it turneth !
was full of the Holy Ghost ” (Luke i. 67), and " He
came in the Spirit into the temple" (Luke ii. 27). 4. But we must not pass over the important Both these passages seem to be at variance with the promise given to us through the Baptist : “He shall generally-received impression that before the Pente. baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire” cost the Holy Spirit moved and acted upon the (Matt. iii. 11). A fire was to be kindled which minds of the saints, but did not dwell in them. It should burn up all the chaff. Flashes of light had may not be possible for us entirely to remove this appeared from time to time-many light-bearers, apparent difficulty ; but may it not be that our Lord, too, had been raised up as witnesses for God—but in His remarkable words to the disciples, when the Light of the World had now appeared (John giving the promise of the Pentecost (John xiv. 17), is viii. 12). He baptised, and still baptises, in the referring to a permanent abiding of the Spirit in all Holy Ghost and fire ; for this is its literal rendering believers, which was to be secured by His sacrifice. and meaning. Does our Lord refer to this when The days of the overflowing of the Spirit were not He tells His disciples subsequently that “He came yet, because that Jesus was not yet glorified (John to cast fire on the earth”? (Luke xii. 49.) Surely vii. 39).
He does. His subsequent words show this, "What 2. At the birth of our Lord, in His Incarnation will I if it be already kindled ?" we find the Holy Spirit specially present (Luke i. 35). The baptism of suffering of which He immeThis was a manifestation of His power, which at diately speaks, straitened Him. This was the one present stands alone. Not only were the ordinary interposing event yet to be fully accomplished, after laws of being to be set aside, but such an over- which the baptism of fire should come. Its dividing shadowing was to take place as should protect that power was then seen. The separating power of the Holy One—the Son of God—from being tainted by Truth has been seen ever since in proportion to its the corruption of the Fall. We stand in the pre- full reception. Households are divided (Luke xii. sence of the Holy God here with humility and 53); the chaff is burnt up-all that is of the flesh with awe.
has to be mortified-put to death (Col. iii. 5), 3. But the third manifestation of the Holy Spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells in His fulness. Nor was made when our Lord entered upon His ministry, is this all. Holy, burning zeal is kindled too, in after His baptism by John. The Evangelists give the place of the false fire of nature, and Christ us the scene much in the same terms—Matt. iii. and His glory is supreme in the heart, and mani16, 17; Mark i. 10, 11; Luke iii. 21, 22. This fested in the life. These manifestations of the Holy mainly, during the ministry of our Lord, until the Spirit's power are now being generally revived. great Sacrifice was accomplished, was to be the The call is to the Church to arise and put on her Spirit's work-viz., to fill the Son with power to beautiful garments of truth, holiness and praise. accomplish His work on earth. Not by His own 5. Let us only now glance at the special promises power was He to speak, or walk, or do; but by that of the Holy Spirit, given by our Lord. We notice of His Father (John v. 19; xiv. 10, &c.); and the that two titles are given to Him by our LordHoly Spirit was to reveal that will and power to Comforter and Spirit of Truth (John xiv. 26; xv. 26, Him all the way through. We are on holy ground, 27; xvi. 7). Then also see what He was to do. indeed, now; and well may we ever stand still to
(a) To be the Teacher and Remembrancer of our contemplate this wondrous state. The Mighty God Lord's own instructions (John xiv. 26); (6) To be is in the form of a Servant, and we hear and see the Witness for Christ, and to enable His disciples Him speak and act in simple but entire obedience to be His witnesses also (John xv. 26, 27); (c) He to His Father. Surely this is one of the greatest was to convince the world of sin, righteousness and lessons we have to learn. His sacrifice was for us
judgment; and (d) To guide the Church into all His obedience was for us; but more-it was to set truth, to glorify Christ, and to take of the things us an example as to the true place of the servant, which are His and show (impart) them to His viz., dependence. As He hung upon His Father's people, onward to the end (John xvi. 8-15). lips, and depended unceasingly upon His Father's
In our next paper we shall see how these
proPower, so are we to depend on Him in the same mises were fulfilled. Only thus can we be partakers of His
HENRY. F. BOWKER. life.