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Prayer in General
 [From The Saint's Everlasting Rest.  Part IV, ch. xiii, I.  Works, ed. W. Orme (1830), 
Vol. XXIII, pp. 406f.; ed. London, 1838, Vol. III, pp.m 329 f.  Cp. note on No. 141.]
from Chapter XV. Prayer from Anglicanism: The Thought and Practice of the Church 
of England, Illustrated from the Religious Literature of the Seventeenth Century, 
Compiled and Edited by Paul Elmer More, and Frank Leslie Cross, S.P.C.K., London, 1935.


[Prayer in General]
As thou makest conscience of praying daily, so do thou of the acting of thy graces in meditation; and more especially in meditating on the joys of Heaven. To this end, set apart one hour or half hour every day wherein thou mayst lay aside all worldly thoughts, and with all possible seriousness and reverence, as if thou wert going to speak with God Himself or to have a sight of Christ or of that blessed place, so do thou withdraw thyself into some secret place, and set thyself wholly to the following work. If thou canst, take Isaac’s time and place who went forth into the field in the evening to meditate; but if thou be a servant, or poor man, that cannot have that leisure, take the fittest time and place that thou canst, though it be when thou art private about thy labours. 

When thou settest to the work, look up toward Heaven. Let thine eye lead thee as near as it can. Remember that there is thine Everlasting Rest. Study its excellency, study its reality, till thy un-belief be silenced and thy faith prevail. If thy judgement be not yet drawn to admiration, use those sensible helps and advantages which were even now laid down. Compare thy heavenly joys with the choicest on earth, and so rise up from sense to faith. If yet this mere consideration prevail not (which yet hath much force, as is before expressed), then fall a pleading the case with thy heart. Preach upon this text of Heaven to thyself; convince, inform, confute, instruct, reprove, examine, admonish, encourage, and comfort thy own soul from this celestial doctrine; draw forth those several considerations of thy Rest, on which thy several affections may work, especially that affection or grace which thou intendest to act. If it be love which thou wouldst act, show it the loveliness of Heaven, and how suitable it is to thy condition; if it be desire, consider of thy absence from this lovely object; if it be hope, consider the possibility and probability of obtaining it; if it be courage, consider the singular assistance and encouragements which thou mayst receive from God, the weakness of thy enemy and the necessity of prevailing; if it be joy, consider of its excellent ravishing glory, of the interest in it, and of its certainty, and the nearness of the time when thou mayst possess it. Urge these considerations home to thy heart. Whet them with all possible seriousness upon each affection. If thy heart draw back, force it to the work; if it loiter, spur it on; if it step aside, command it in again; if it would slip away and leave the work, use thine authority. Keep it close to the business till thou have obtained thine end. Stir not away, if it may be, till thy love do flame, till thy joy be raised, or till thy desire or other graces be lively acted. Call in assistance also from God; mix ejaculations with thy cogitations and soliloquies; till having seriously pleaded the case with thy heart, and reverently pleaded the case with God, thou hast pleaded thyself from a clod to a flame, from a forgetful sinner to a mindful lover; from a lover of the world to a thirster after God, from a fearful coward to a resolved Christian, from an unfruitful sadness to a joyful life. In a word, what will not be done one day, do it the next, till thou have pleaded thy heart from earth to Heaven, from conversing below to a walking with God; and till thou canst lay thy heart to rest, as in the bosom of Christ, in this meditation