Meditation is a Cure to Spiritual Sloth by Mr. SimmonsWhat the Bible says about Godly Meditation through the Word
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When we have beforehand earnestly prayed and prepared our souls for such activity.—When you say and do to your soul, as Jehu did to the worshippers of Baal, (2 Kings 10:19,) “I have a great sacrifice to offer, O my soul!” warn and summon-in all the power and parts of soul and body; be sure that not one be wanting, and so, by reading, meditating, and prayer, get our souls into a holy frame and gracious posture; and humbly, yea, heartily also, beg and beseech of God to carry us on eagles’ wings through the duty we are drawing near to. If we mount and soar aloft as aquila in nubibus, “eagles to heaven,” in that duty, we may safely and surely conclude that activity is from the Spirit. When mariners buy a wind of the witches, (as they do in Lapland and other places,) and they have it at every place and point, according to the purchase of the one and the promise of the other, they may undoubtedly conclude that wind came from the spirit of the devil. When we beg a wind from God, and we enjoy it at the time according to our desire, we may upon good ground say, that wind came from the Spirit of God. This will appear very clear, if you please to lay together these four things:—
(1.) It is God’s prerogative to hear prayer.—“O thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come.” (Psalm 65:2:)
(2.) It is God’s promise to hear prayer.—“Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it;” (Psalm 81:10;) spread thy sails by prayer, and I will fill them by my Spirit. He will “give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.” (Luke 11:13.)
(3.) It is God’s usual course to perform his promise, κατα το ῥητον,*in that very kind.—“Lord, thou hast heard the desire of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear.” (Psalm 10:17.) “I said not unto the seed of Jacob, Seek ye me in vain.” (Isai. 45:19.)
(4.) It hath been the constant practice of God’s people to look after their prayers, to see what success they have had.—Prayers come not out of the ark of their souls, as the raven did, never to return; but, as Noah’s dove, to come back again with an olive-branch into the soul. “I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints.” (Psalm 85:8.) Saints do not shoot the arrows of their prayers as children do,—shoot them away, and never mind them; but as archers that shoot their arrows up at a bird, and stand expecting their returns down again. If our activity come from the return of prayers, it must be from the Spirit. When Elias prays so fervently, that fire might come down from heaven, and consume the sacrifice, and it did so, the people might justly cry out, “The Lord, he is the God; the Lord, he is the God!” (1 Kings 18:37–39.) So when we pray for fire and fervour to come down from heaven on our service, and it comes, we may cry, “The Spirit of God! The Spirit of God!”
Nichols, J. (1981). Puritan Sermons (Vol. 1, pp. 452–453). Mr. Simmons, How We May Get Rid of Spiritual Sloth, Wheaton, IL: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers.