A Discourse on Prayer

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General Books LLC, 2009 - Literary Collections - 154 pages
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This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1824. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... SECTION II. ON WANDERING THOUGHTS IN PRAYER. "We, that acquaint ourselves with every zone, And pass the tropics, and behold each pole; When we come home, are to ourselves unknown, And unacquainted still with our own soul." Davies. In that little world within, are found many winding, intricate, crossing tracks; many byeroads and dark lanes, but seldom explored, because few are accustomed to travel there. It is true, the Bible supplies us with a good map of the human heart, correctly delineating all the swamps and torrents, the rocks and ruins, the wilds and deserts, of this dreary and barren region. By a strict attention to this guide, we should make daily discoveries of great use to us. Know thyself-- the oracular sentence written over the entrance of the temple at Delphos, though a heathen maxim, deserves a place in the code of Christian morality. It points to a kind of science, confessedly difficult to acquire, but universally necessary. Those who make the most rapid and astonishing progress in other branches of study, are often grossly deficient in self-knowledge. It would be thought strange, if the possessor of a large estate should eagerly hurry from province to province in foreign countries, and never visit or examine his own lands, to learn how they were bounded, guarded, and cultivated. We might justly say of him, it would be well for that man to stay at home; as it can neither be to his honour nor advantage, that he should suffer his estate to be injured by wanton vagrants, or invaded by ravaging foes, while he is running hither and thither, as humour prompts, or fashion calls. Is there one of us, upon whom this censure does not fall? Is it not of far greater moment, wisely to keep and cultivate the mind, than carefully to superintend the best ...

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