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PRAYER.

Prayer is the offering up of our desires to God, for things lawful and needful, with an humble confidence to obtain them through the mediation of Christ. And Common Prayer is founded upon our Saviour's promise, that if two shall agree on earth, as touching anything that they shall ask in his name, it shall be done for them of his Father which is in Heaven.

Prayer is the burthen of a sigh,

The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of the eye,

When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech,

That infant lips can try; Prayer the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,

The Christian's native air; His watchword at the gates of Death,

He enters heaven by prayer.

Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,

Returning from his ways; While Angels, in their songs rejoice,

And say “Behold he prays!”

O Trou! by whom we come to God,

The Life, the Truth, the Way; The path of Prayer thyself hast trod,

Lord ! teach us how to pray.

MONTGOMERY.

ON THE

CHARACTERS OF LANGUAGE.

In ancient times “the characters of language” were engraven upon stones, buildings, and rocks. Thus the law which was given from Mount Sinai, was inscribed upon two tables of stone; and in the time of Job it was customary to write upon rocks.

On the Arabian, as well as on the Egyptian mountains, various inscriptions are seen ; but as they cannot now be deciphered, we know not whether they relate to civil transactions, whether they relate to sepulchral records, or whether they be only the temporary and casualeffusions of the wayfaring man. In the line of improvement, we find plates of lead or brass made use of instead of stone; then linen or tables covered with wax, so that what was written could easily be altered or expunged. A Stylus, or iron pen, was employed in writing; and as the corrections upon the wax or soft materials were made with the broad end of the iron instrument, so, often to turn the Stylus, was a mode of expression among the Romans, for directing an author often to correct, and frequently to write again, those pieces of composition, which he was resolved to publish.

Thus too, from the Stylus, or iron pen, employed in writing, the word style is applied to the manner in which a person expresses himself, in communicating his sentiments. In certain stages of society, pastoral notes and verses were inscribed on the leaves of trees; but the rind, or inner part of the bark, was more especially made use of in writing; hence the Latin word liber, which means the bark of a tree, was at length employed to signify a book ; and such is also the Greek noun Biblos, from which our canon of scripture is denominated the Bible.

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