תמונות בעמוד

the riches, both of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God!." “ Which art in heaven ;”—the Lord and Ruler of all, superintending and disposing all things; who art the King of kings, and Lord of lords, the blessed and only Potentate; who art strong and girded about with power, doing whatsoever pleaseth thee; the Alınighty; for whensoever thou willest, to do is present with thee. “In heaven;”-eminently there. Heaven is thy throne, the place where thine honour particularly dwelleth. But not there alone; for thou fillest heaven and earth, the whole expanse of space. “Heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most high!”

Therefore should we “serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice unto him with reverence.” Therefore should we think, speak, and act, as continually under the eye, in the immediate presence of the Lord, the King.

7. “ Hallowed be thy Name."--This is the first of the six Petitions, whereof the prayer itself is composed. The Name of God, is God himself; the Nature of God, so far as it can be discovered to man. It means therefore, together with his existence, all his attributes or perfections ;-His Eternity, particularly signified by his great and incommunicable Name, JBHOVAH, ' as the apostle John translates it: to A, xal to 12, agxcn xa tehos, o W xei o XQt O ESXOuevos, -" The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end; He which is, and which was, and which is to come;”-His Fulness of Being, denoted by his other great Name, I AM THAT I AM :--His Omnipresence ;-His Omnipotence; who is indeed the only Agent in the material world; all matter being essentially dull and inactive, and moving only as it is moved by the finger of God; and he is the Spring of Action in every creature, visible and invisible, which could neither act nor exist, without the continual influx and agency of his almighty Power ;–His Wisdom, clearly deduced from the things that are seen, from the goodly order of the universe ;-His Trinity in Unity, and Unity in Trinity, discovered to us in the very first line of his written Word; Sinhx 873: literally, the Gods created, a plural noun joined with a verb of the singular number; as well as in every part of his subsequent revelations, given by the mouth of all his holy Prophets and Apostles ;--His essential Purity and Holiness ; and above all, bis Love, which is the very brightness of his glory.

lo praying that God, or his Name, may be hallowed or glorified, we pray that he may be known, such as he is, by all

that are capable thereof, by all intelligent beings, and with: affections suitable to that knowledge; that he may be duly honoured, and feared, and loved, by all in heaven above and in the earth beneath; by all angels and ment; whom for that end he has made capable of knowing and loving him to eternity.

8.“ Thy Kingdom come."--This lias a close connection with the preceding petition. in order that the Name of God may be hallouce, ire pray that his kingdom, the kingdom of Christ, may come. This kingdom then comes to a particular person, when he wropenis and believes the suspel;” when he is taught of Ciod, not only to know himself, but to kno: Jesus Christ and him crucitied. Is this is the eternal, to know the only true Gud, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent;” so it is the kingdom of God begua below, set up in the believer's heart; the Lord God Omnipotent then riigneti, when he is known through Girist Jesus. The lakeih unto himself his mighty power, that lie may subdue all things into himself. He goeth on in the soul conquering and to conquer, till lie hath put all things under his feet, till “crery thouglit is brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”.

When iherefore God shall “ give bis Son the licather for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession ;” wien "all kingdoms shall bow before him, and all pations shall do liim service;” when “the mountain of the Lord's house'," the Church of Christ, “shall be cstablished in the top of the mountains ;” when the fuluess of the Gentiles shall come in, and all Isracl shall be saved ; " then shall it be seen, that “the Lord is King, and hath put on glorious apparci," appearing to erery soul of mau as King of kings, and Lord of lords. And it is meet for all those who love his appearins, to pray that he would hasten the time; that this his kingdom, the kingdom of grace, may come quickly, and swallow up all the kingdoms of the carth; that all mankind, receiving him for their King, truly believing in his name, may be filled with righteousness, and peace, and joy, with holiness and happiness,-till they are removed hence into his heavenly kingdom, there to reign with him for ever and ever.

For this also we pray in those words, “Thy Kingdom come:” we pray for the coming of his everlasting kingdom, the kivgdom of glory in hicaren, which is the continuation and perfection of the kingdom of grace on earth. Consequently this, as rell as the precerli - petizion, is offered up for the whole intelligent creation, who are all interested in this grand event, the final renovation of all things, by God's putting ani end to misery and sin, to infirmity and death, taking all things into his own hands, and setting up the kingdom which endureth throughout all ages.

Exactly answerable to all this, are those awful words in the prayer at the burial of the dead : “Beseechiug thee, that it may please thee of thy gracious goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom: that we, with all those that are departed in the truc faith of thy holy name, may have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in thy everlasting glory.”

9. “Thy Will be done in carth, as it is in heaven."--This is the necessary and iminediate consequence wherever the kingriom of God is come; wherever God dwells in the soul by faith,. and Christ reigns in the heart by love.

It is probable, many, perhaps the generality of men, at the first view of these words, are apt to imagine they are only an expression of, or petition for, resignation ;- for a readiness to suffer the will of God, whatsoever it be concerning us. And this is unquestionably a divine and excellent temper, a most precious gift of God. But this is not what we pray for in this petition; at least, not in the chief and primary sense of it. We pray, not so much for a passive, as for an active conformity to the will, of God, in saying, “Thy will be donc in earth, as it is in heaven.”

How is it done by the angels of God in heaven ? Those who now circle his throne rejoicing ? They do it willingly; they love his commandments, and gladly hearken to his words. It is their meat and drink to do his will; it is their highest glory and joy. They do it continually; there is no interruption in their willing service. They rest not day nor night, but employ every hour, (speaking after the manner of men; otherwise nur measures of duration, days, and nights, and hours, have no place in eternity,) in fulfilling his commands, in executing his designs, in performing the counsel of his will. And they do it perfectly. No sin, no defect belongs to angelic minds. It is true, “the stars are not pure in his sight,” even the morning-stars that sing together before him. “In bis sight,” that is, in comparison of Him, the very angels are not pure. But this does not imply, that they are not pure in themselves. Doubtless they are; they are without spot and blameless. They are altogether devoted to his will, and perfectly obedient in all things.

If we view them in another light, we may observe, the angels of God in heaven do all the will of God. And they do nothing else, nothing but what they are absolutely assured is his will. Again, they do all the will of God as he willeth, in the manner which pleases him, and no other. I'ca, and they do this, only because it is his will; for this end, and no other reason.

10. When therefore we pray, that the “ will of God may be done in earth, as it is in heaven," the meaning is, that all the inliabitants of the carth, cren the whole racc of mankind, may do the will of their Father which is in heaven, as willingly as the holy angels; that these may do it continually even as they, without any interruption of their willing service; yea, and that they may do it perfectly; that “the God of peace, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, may make them perfect in every good work to do his will, and work in them (all) which is wellpleasing in his sight.”

In other words, we pray that we and all mankind may do the whole will of God in all things, and nothing else; not the least thing but what is the holy and acceptable will of God. We pray that we may do the whole will of God as he willeth, in the mauner that pleases bim; and, lastly, that we may do it, because it is bis will; that this may be the sole reason and ground, the whole and only motive, of whatsoever we think, or whatsoever we speak or do.

11. “Give us this day our daily Bread.”'- In the three former petitious we have been praying for all mankind. We come now more particularly to desire a supply for our own wants. Not that we are directed, even here, to confine our prayer altogether to ourselves; but this, and cach of the following petitions, may be used for the whole Church of Christ upon carthi.

By Bread we may understand all things needful, whether for our souls or bodies; txt.pas Swriv xizi Eugeßarzy,the things portuiming to life and godliness: We understand not barely the outward bread, what our Lord terms “the meat which perisheth ; ” but much more the spiritual bread, the grace of God, the food “which endureth unto everlasting life.” It was the judgment of many of the ancient Fathers, that we are here to understand the sacramental bread also; daily received in the beginning by the whole Church of Christ, and highly esteemed, till the love of many waxed cold, as the grand channel, whereby the grace on his Spirit was conveyed to the souls of all the children of Guil.

"Our daily Bread.”—The word we render daily, has been differently explained by different Commentators. But the most plain and natural sense of it seems to be this, which is retained in almost all translations, as well ancient as modern; -what is sufficient for this day, and so for each day as it succeeds.

12. “Give us:"-For we claim nothing of right, but only of free mercy. We deserve not the air tre breathe, the earth that bears, or the sun that shines upon us. All our desert, we own, is bell: but God loves us freely; therefore we ask him to give, what we can no more procure for ourselves than we can merit it at his hauds.

Not that either the goodness or the power of God is a reason for us to stand idle. It is his will, that we should use all diligence in all things, that we should employ our utmost endeavours, as much as if our success were the natural effect of our own wisdom and strength: And then, as though we had done nothing, we are to depend on Him, the Giver of every good and perfect gift.

“This Day:"-For we are to take no thought for the morrow. For this very end has our wise Creator divided life into these little portions of time, so clearly separated from each other; that we might look on every day as a fresh gift of God, another life, which we may devote to his glory; and that every evening may be as the close of life, beyond which we are to sce nothing but eternity

13. “And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.”--As nothing but sin can hinder the bounty of God from flowing forth upon every creature, so this petition naturally follows the former ; that all hinderances being removed, we may the more clearly trust in the God of Love for every manner of thing which is good. .

"Our Trespasses :"-The word properly signifies our debts. Thus our sins are frequently represented in Scripture ; every sin laying us under a fresh debt to God, to whom we already owe, as it were, ten thousand talents. What then can we answer when he shall say, “ Pay me that thou owest ? ” We are utterly insolvent; we have nothing to pay; we have wasted all our substance. Therefore if he deal with us according to the rigour of his law, if he exact what he justly may, he must cominand us to be “bound hand and foot, and delivered over to the tormentors.".

Indeed we are already bound hand and foot, by the chains of our own sins. These, considered with regard to ourselves,

Vol. I. No.8.

2 fresh de representoperly sign

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