« AnteriorContinuar »
and anguish of spirit for having violated or neglected our duty; blindness of mind, hardness of heart; want of love, reverence, devotion toward God, of charity and good-will toward our neighbour; of sobriety, humility, regularity of passion, and calmness of temper, in respect to ourselves and the inward frame of our souls; these, I say, and such like evils,). we should absolutely request of God, that he in mercy would deliver and free us from them ; they being irreconcilably repugnant to his will and glory, and inconsistent with our eternal welfare. Yet even these, and all other things, we do request only in general terms, leaving the distinct matter, and manner, and measure, according to which they should
be dispensed, to the wisdom and goodness of God; Matt. vi. 8. who doth, as our Lord telleth us, know what things Eph. iii. 20.
'we have need of, before we ask him; and is not only able, as St. Paul says, but willing also, to do for us superabundantly above what we can ask or think. We are hereby (it seems) taught this point of good manners in our devotion, not to be tediously punctual and particular in our prayers, as if God needed our information, or were apt to neglect the particulars concerning our good.
We shut up all with a doxology, most suitable to the nature of devotion, signifying our due faith, our affection, and our reverence toward God.
ffor thine is the Kingdom, the power, and the
Glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
THAT is, for thou hast a perpetual and unmoveable authority, whereby justly to dispose of all things; thou hast an indefectible and irresistible
power, whereby thou canst effect whatever seems just and good to thee; wherefore we profess only to rely upon, and seek help from thee; with hope and confidence we address ourselves to thee for the supply of our needs : thine is the glory; all honour and reverence, all love and thankfulness are due unto thee; therefore we render our adorations and acknowledgments to thee. Even so to thee, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, be for ever ascribed all glory and praise. Amen.
ALTHOUGH this system of precepts may seem to have been in its design rather political, than moral to regard public and external, rather than private and interior action; that great branch of morality, which respecteth ourselves in our private retirements, or in our particular conversation, sobriety of mind and manners, being scarce touched herein, at least not openly and plainly expressed; as also devotion toward God, in any of its kinds, of praise, thanksgiving, confession of sin, prayer and intercession,) that great part of natural religion, being not explicitly and positively enjoined: although also (as by the introduction thereto, and some passages therein, especially as it is delivered in Deuteronomy, may appear) it seemeth particularly to concern the Jewish nation; a people called and chosen by God out 'o gàę ir of all nations, to be governed in a more special and aquest mon immediate manner by God himself, obliged to him outros by peculiar benefits and favours, designed by him to &
Mart. Dial. a separate manner of living; being also perhaps in cum Tryph temper and disposition, as well as in condition and circumstances of life, different from other people ; whence laws convenient (or in a manner necessary)
for them might not so well suit to all others; upon which accounts, as other of their laws, so perchance some passages in this notable part of them, may not unreasonably be deemed peculiarly to concern them; although however this system doth more directly and immediately oblige that people, all being formally, and in style of law, directed only to them, promulged in their ears, expressed in their language, inserted into the body of their laws, as a principal member of
them; it being also expressly called a covenant with Deut. iv. that people, (He declared unto you, says the text, 13. X. 2. Éxod. his covenant, which he commanded you to perform,
even ten commandments,) and accordingly was reposed in the ark, hence it seems named the ark of the covenant, the which, when all nations should be converted to God, and admitted into the church,
was, as the prophet Jeremiah foretold, to be utterly Jer. iii. 16, discarded and laid aside; (In those days, saith God
in him, they shall say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord: neither shall it come to mind: neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more.) Hence, although some passages herein, according to their primary, strict, and literal meaning, might never have been intended universally and perpetually to oblige;
Yet, notwithstanding these exceptions, if we consider,
1. The manner of its delivery ; with what extraordinary solemnity it was proclaimed; how it was dictated immediately from God's own mouth; and written with his finger; or,
2. The matter of it, containing the prime dictates of natural reason, the chief rules of piety toward