love him.' In short, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, in this transitory world pain and suffering become easier to bear and trials and afflictions so improve the believer's character and increase his knowledge of God, his trust in God, and his fitness for admission to God's presence, that they are actually made means through which spiritual blessings and heavenly glory are bestowed upon him.

III. Another beneficial result which is obtained through accepting Christ's atonement and the salvation which He offers is the privilege of offering to God Most High earnest, sincere and spiritual prayer and adoration. This is closely connected with and dependent on the faith, trust and love which we have already mentioned. A true Christian's prayers do not require to be learnt off by heart in any specially sacred language, whether understood by him or not, nor have they to be composed by others, as is the case in so many other religions. A Christian may use certain fixed. forms of prayer if he wishes to do so, but the value of the prayer depends not upon any such fixed form but upon the sincerity of heart of the worshipper. But God knows all languages, and the secrets of men's hearts are not hidden from Him, therefore no special language is more sacred than another; and every Christian is encouraged to pray in his own words, and thus to pour out to his heavenly Father the desires of his heart, just as a trustful child may tell his



loving parents what he needs, with due reverence and respect and deference, but without undue formality. To a true Christian, prayer is not a burden,1 but a privilege, not only a duty but a comfort and a delight. It comes forth from a heart full of trust and love. It is therefore different from and far superior to formal worship performed with stated ceremonies, as that of certain religions, in which it is considered that worship is not acceptable to God unless the hands are raised aloft, for instance, at the recitation of certain words, and then lowered, and unless in other parts of the service the worshipper bows low, in others prostrates himself, and in others stands up. In these various postures there is, of course, nothing improper or unbecoming, and the Christian is at liberty to use them, if he finds it helpful to do so; but he knows that their use does not in any way add to the efficacy of his prayer. These rites and formalities have no real value, and do not affect the heart, being merely external. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. Christian worship does not depend for its acceptance with God upon fixed formulas of words or upon being offered at stated times or in specially sacred places. The one thing in it which is necessary is that prayer should be in

1 Contrast what is said by Qatada, that a proclamation was made when the fifty times of prayer at first enjoined on Muhammad were reduced to five, in which God said: عن عبادي امضيت فريضتى وخففت (Qatada, quoted by Sayyid Ahmad, Essay on Shaqqi Sadr and Mi'raj, p. 33).