S. MATT. xxi. 22. 

All things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, 
believing, ye shall receive. 

  WHAT a world, then, my brethren, this would be,  if we believed ! Now it is full of discontent, heaviness, aching of the heart, weariness of soul, looking  forward to things which we have not, repining for  things which we have lost, feeding on ashes, complaining of what we have or have not, indulgence  in things which bring remorse, sowing the wind to  reap the whirlwind.  

And yet what idle fretting, what waste of heart  and soul and mind and strength all this is, since  our Lord Himself says, what we ask we may have!  Who would fret about that he had not, if he really  believed that for asking, he might have it? Who would be anxious about that which he feareth, if he  believed that, on asking, it might be removed ? Who would vex himself, as if life had no joy nor peace  nor abiding rest, if he believed that on asking, he  might have more than his fill, more than he could  contain of inward joy and radiant gladness or deep peace, and never-failing rest ? Who would, all his  life-long, in restless weariness, chase after shadows  of happiness which he never overtakes, if he knew  that, if he would ask it of God, it would, hour by  hour, be shed around him, meet him in all his ways,  brighten all sadness, deepen all gladness ?  

But you will say perhaps, ' Has this asking and  having no conditions ?' Clearly all promises have  conditions, in the very nature of things. A father  would not give his son poison or a sword, if he  thought he would destroy himself; or his patrimony, if he knew that he would waste it. To us  Almighty God makes promises, as to His children,  whom He loves and whom He has made to love Him.  He knows and wills and loves our good and our  well-being, better than we. It would not belong to  His character as All-wise and All-loving, to give us  foolish or vain or hurtful things. It cannot be  part of His meaning, that He would give us such  things, as it would be contrary to His very love to  give us, to our own hurt.   But it is true, that this asking and having has no  bound, except our own real good. 

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