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that cleave to the dust, or even draw in a wrong direction. Who is so absolutely detached from the world, and from the love of present things, that does not feel some unallowed inclination towards them ? One needs to be drawn away from a natural love of gain; another from a natural love of distinction; another from an inordinate desire to present enjoyments, or an undue pursuit of ease, comfort, and the good opinion of other men. In fine, are there any so perfectly disengaged, that nothing unallowed attracts them ? Are any so willing, but that they have occasion to deplore some principle of resistance or reluctance in their natures, which it requires a gracious influence to constrain and to overrule ? Alas! we feel not only inability, but opposition to good; “there is a law in our members that warreth against the law of our minds.” And in this warfare, we call in the aids of grace; we look to the Captain of Salvation; and feeling an inward resistance to entire devotedness, we condemn ourselves for those backward tendencies, and the more earnestly entreat the Lord for drawing power.
Nor does the petition in the text imply distrust, but rather a delightful assurance of the Lord's willingness and power to draw
the soul after him to glory. It is not the prayer of unbelief, which will not come unto Jesus in its need; it proceeds from a previous knowledge and begun confidence in Christ. It is the exercise of a believer, signifying his own weakness, and expressing full reliance on the known ability of the Lord to overcome all his backwardness, and to perfect that which concerns him. He does not say-Draw me, if thou canst; for of the Redeemer's sufficiency and grace he doubteth not. He has seen the most reluctant natures overcome by grace; many a Saul has been converted; many an enemy reconciled ; many who ran hard in the paths of destruction have yielded to grace, and have run with ardour in the heavenly way. Why should we be diffident of Christ? Oh! if we are willing, let us confide in him, persuaded that, while we have grace to pray,
“ Draw me,” he has grace to draw us with effectual power.
Who, then, and what is his state, who thus prays, “ Draw me ?" It is one that is conscious of being far behind, desirous to advance, sensible of his inability-nay, of a native reluctance, yet confiding in the power and grace of Jesus Christ for all that is needed, and for all that is sought. This is
the frame of him who prays,
66 Draw me.”
Perhaps some will ask for practice rather than for prayer. Tell us not, they cry, how one prays, but how heacts: what avails an idle prayer ? Now, we might answer, that he is not idle in religion who prays. Let two men set out in the way to heaven, in all other respects equal, but unequal in the frequency and faith of prayer; soon will the man of prayer leave his fellow far behind. If some of those who seem so busy as to want leisure for prayer, did occupy a greater portion of their time in that exercise, they would lose nothing by their waiting upon the Lord. Their advancement would not be the less for the time spent in calling on him for strength to .run.
Alas! when we notice, on certain occasions, the apparent excitement of men's spirits, their importunity to go forward, and their haste; and yet mark their almost imperceptible progress; when we see them busy in religion, and yet just where they began, having the same uncertainty of faith, the same besetting sins, and the like distance from spiritual attainment, today as yesterday,we are compelled to attribute their speed without progress to an error in the matter of prayer. They are little
conversant either with the sentiment or the exercise of the
“Draw me.” Progress without being drawn, is, in our helpless condition of nature, impracticable; and they are not drawn, because they do not ask for it „seriously, with perseverance and with faith. . ; In the text, we see the believer praying, not to supersede his own exertions, not to dispense with his own performance or endeavours; but just to make them effectual. “ Draw me, and we will run after thee.” Here he resolves to exert himself, in the prospect of obtaining more grace; nay, to put forth the utmost means and might of a most strenuous activity. He determines with himself to do what he can. however desirous of progress, can do more than run; and to run is the resolution of those who here stand praying for grace. This shows the great sense they have of the importance of advancing with all diligence in the ways of salvation. If we see a traveller walking at a great pace, as if heedless of surrounding objects, we suppose him to have something importanton hand, which requires great dispatch; but if we see one running, we conclude that he is on business of the utmost urgency, which admits of no delays.
Now, when the believer comes to pray for drawing grace, he has practice and
progress in view. He sees the great importance of working out salvation, and is aware that the time for serving God here, and for obtaining meetness for heaven, is short-exceeding short! He therefore purposes to break through hinderances and delays, to summon every grace and faculty into action, and to run the way of God's commandments with persevering ardour. If he shall receive more grace, as he expects, his determination is to spend it on the journey to heaven. When we pray to be drawn, it is not to supersede future effort. It is not to promote self-indulgence; nor do we intend to make our own ease or convenience the measure of our exertions: our resolution is express and unalterable “ we will run."
When we say this, we mean more than a simple resolution of the mind; for it amounts to a promise unto the Lord, that on our receiving more grace, we will act answerably, and surrender ourselves to God in the duties of religion, with a most hearty concurrence. We pledge ourselves to future diligence, and engage to use the most faithful endeavours to grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. This way of promising unto the Lord, has