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Seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you, for your Heavenly Father knoweth what things ye have need of. Ye have need of patience, that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. Be content with such things as ye have, for he, that is God, hath said, I will never leave thee nor for sake thee.
And now to God, &c.
St. MATTHEW vi. 12, 13. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive
our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
I SUPPOSE you all remember, that I am now employed in explaining the Lord's Prayer to you, that is, in telling you what it means, and what you pray to God for, when you use it. I trust and hope, that you do make use of it, every morning and every night, and that you use it, not with your lips only, but with your hearts. For God regards the heart, and he expects that, in all your services to him, you will let your hearts go along with your lips. And, unless you understand what you say, or try to understand it, you will only be
mocking the Almighty God of Heaven and earth. I hope, therefore, you have paid the greatest attention to all that I have said to you, and will continue to pay it, for I have your good only in viėw, and I should be sorry, extremely sorry to see, that you slight this or any other opportunity given to you of knowing more and doing better than has been the case hither
to with you.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. My friends, we owe to Almighty God the service of our whole lives,
pay is a debt. We therefore pray to God to forgive us our debts or sins against him, as we forgive our debtors or them that sin against us. On this account, another writer of our Lord's life, in giving this prayer to us, says, trespasses instead of debts, and we use the prayer in the same manner and say, Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass
ugainst us. It makes little difference which words we use, as they amount to the same thing: the meaning of them is the same.
You find what a stress is laid by our Lord on our forgiving each other. Nay, we cannot be forgiven ourselves by the Almighty, unless we forgive each other. This is our own request: we pray to be forgiven as we forgive. You cannot, therefore, put up this prayer to Heaven with an unforgiving thought, if you do, you say as much as this, we cannot forgive others, and therefore, we do not expect to be forgiven by God. The Bible, my friends, excels all other books, and our blessed Saviour all other teachers in this instance. Other books have many good things in them: Other teachers have said many good things; but no book and no teacher make it such a point with us to forgive them who do us any wrong, as the Bible and Jesus Christ insist on us to forgive them. Nay, by putting this in his prayer, our Lord meant to shew us that whenever we say these words, we must drive from our hearts all thoughts of illwill, anger, and malice ;-must put on, as the elect of God, bowels of kindness, mercy, and long-suffering, forbearing and forgiving one another, if any man hatha done an evil towards us, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven us.
You see what a good religion the Christian religion is—that religion, in which I am instructing you, and which I am endeavouring to make you all acquainted with. For 'take my word for it, that nothing makes people so unhappy and so wicked, as the doing of spiteful things to one another, revenging ourselves upon others, keeping malice and anger in our hearts, and venting them on those who offend us, in our words and our actions.
And lead us not into temptation. The