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For the Christian Spectator. those who profess to be the worship-
On wandering thoughts in Prayer. pers of God, it is an indubitable mark

of hypocrisy.
It is a characteristic of hypocrites, But there is a degree of this evil,
that they draw nigh to God with their . to which real christians are subject.
mouth, and honour him with their They often complain of wandering
lips, while their heart is far from him. thoughts in prayer. Owing to their
Their religious services are all formal. sinful imperfection, when they would
In these they may perhaps be abun- do good, evil is present with them;
dant. This was the fact with respect and probably in no case, do they find
to the hypocritical Jews in the days this declaration more frequently veri-
of Isaiah, and with respect to the fied, than in their addresses to the
Pharisees in the days of our Saviour. throne of grace. Often in their clos-
The former were not deficient in the ets, vain thoughts intrude upon their
multitude of their sacrifices, in the devotions; and oftener, in the sanctu-
celebration of their sabbaths and ap- ary and in the social circle, when
pointed feasts, nor in any of the they join in the prayers of others,
forms of worship prescribed in their they find their heart wandering from
ritual : and the latter' were scrupulous- its object. This to the christian is a
ly exact in the external performance source of grief and lamentation, while
of religious duties. They fasted by the hypocrite it is disregarded,
much, prayed often and made long and rarely, if ever, made the subject
prayers, paid tithes of all that they of complaint.
possessed, and were very strict in It is to be feared, however, that
their observance of the Sabbath.- even the christian, has but a faint
But all their religion was hypocritical. sense of the nature and magnitude of
It consisted in a routine of mere ex- the ril, and should the following re-
ternal services, which being perform- marks serve to stimulate any one to
ed without any love to God, resemble greater diligence in keeping his own
a body without the soul, and are with heart, they will not utterly fail of
great propriety denominated dead their object. It may be useful to
works. But "God is a Spirit, and contemplate, the sinfulness; the cau-
he seeketh such to worship him, as ses, and the remedies of the evil in
worship him in spirit and in truth.” question. That it is highly sinful
“ Man looketh on the outward ap- to suffer our thoughts to wander upon
pearance, but the Lord looketh on the the world while engaged in the duty
heart.” Those who draw nigh to of prayer, is apparent from many con-
him with their mouth while their siderations.
heart is on other objects, not only It is utterly inconsistent with the
fail to secure his approbation, but divine requirements. “My son give
are guilty of great provocation, and me thine heart," is a command which
where this is so uniformly the case, runs through all the preceptive part
as to form the habitual character of of the Bible, and is implied in every

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