He is to sing praises” (5:13). How can he expect it, when he has once understood that his affliction comes from God? This is the perfection of Christianity, to carry an equal pious mind in unequal conditions (Philippians 4:12). Can it be that, as there are so many who rate the efficacy of drugs by their loathsomeness to the taste, so men would rather seek some painful process or mighty labour than the simple means which God's Word provides? God hath planted in a man affections for every condition, grace for every affection, and a duty for the exercise of every grace, and a season for every duty. Mercies work one way or another; they either become the fuel of our lusts or our praises; either they make us thankful or wanton. (1)That we may ask patience. (4) They are under Divine control.II. By all which is meant, when we go into particulars, that they ought to fancy that they have something above all other men; ought to neglect their worldly calling, or at best only bear it as a cross; to join themselves to some particular set of religionists; to take part in this or that religious society; go to hear strange preachers, and obtrude their new feelings and new opinions upon others, at times proper and improper. How does one pray then, when it is difficult to pray for oneself? Let him praise God; let holy David's psalter be as familiar words in his mouth, his daily service, ever repeated, yet ever new and ever sacred. However you try, you cannot do works to compare with those which faith and prayer accomplish in the name of Christ.(J. And this brings hope with it; a hope unlike the earthly hopes which we have seen mocking us and coming to nought; or, if fulfilled, mocking us still more, till we loathed their fulfilment, and despised ourselves for indulging in them; but this, a hope that maketh not ashamed; for its root is in the love of God and the Holy Spirit which He has given us; its blossom is in the multiplying graces with which the Saviour rewards every step in our sanctification; and its fruit is found in the certainty of that heavenly region where hope itself can no longer find a place, but dies into fruition, as the night dies into the morning. Must it not be even in the spirit of cursing? Awaken yourselves to this service; every new mercy calleth for a new song.7. In such cases the object pursued naturally absorbs the mind, and excludes all thoughts but those relating to itself. Excitements are of two kinds — secular and religious. A man may live from week to week in the fever of a decent covetousness, to which he gives some more specious name (for instance, desire of doing his duty by his family), till the heart of religion is eaten out of him. Must it not be even in the spirit of cursing? Did not St. Paul "pray" during his three days of blindness? Is any merry? With what advantage may we strike when the iron is hot! )Prayer and praise v. oathsA. Now viewing scripture range from the book of James chapter 5:13 through chapter 5:16... James Chapter 5. What a state of transport must have been theirs! let him pray. "Is any afflicted? All prosperous; all sing.(B. And what an excited and critical state was theirs! (4)That we may ask a gracious improvement. Here we see one very momentous use of prayer and praise to all of us; it breaks the current of worldly thoughts. If there was a time when those particular irregularities, which now are so common, were likely to abound, it was in the primitive Church. 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