PRAYER AND ATONEMENT.
Thoughts unuttered are not unknown to the infinite Intelligence comprehending them, to whom a desire is prayer, and no loss can occur from trusting God with our desires, to mould and make higher before they are evolved in action. But prayer has its motives, and what are they? To make him better that prays, or to benefit his hearers, to inform the Infinite of what he is ignorant, or to be heard of men? First, are we benefited by praying? Were God a person to be moved by the breath of praise, or less than Infinite in understanding, or changing in Love and Wisdom, He might do more good because of our petitions, and grant them on the ground of the petitioner, in which case lip-service were an advantage not to be overlooked. But God is Love, and do we ask Him to be more than this to man? God is Intelligence, and can we inform the infinite Wisdom, or tell of our needs, the infinitesimal part already comprehended? Do we hope to change perfection in one of its arrangements, or shall we plead for more of the open fount, pouring in all we will receive, and more cannot be given? Does prayer bring us nearer the divine source of all being and blessedness? then it is the prayer of works and not words; asking to love God never made us love him, but his desire, expressed in daily watchfulness and assimilation