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good pleasure ; renouncing our own designs, as far as they are inconsistent with the determination of God's wisdom. We also pray, that all the gracious designs of God may be accomplished on earth without opposition, and that every where an humble, hearty, and full obedience may be rendered to his commands. We likewise pray, that God will grant us grace to perform what he requires, to bear whatever he lays upon us, acknowledging his wisdom and goodness in all his dispensations. By daily bread is meant, whatever is necessary to sustain our lives from day to day. After having paid the proper tribute of praise to our heavenly Father, our Lo R D directs us to request good things for ourselves, by doing which we imply the sense we have of our entire dependence upon God’s care and bounty, disclaiming
all confidence in our own abilities, worldly possessions,
and earthly friends, since these are ours no longer than it shall please God to continue them. We are taught to ask for them from day to day, to keep a constant remembrance of our reliance on Divine Providence, and to restrain all covetous desires of amassing such stores of wealth, as shall endanger our thinking ourselves secure from future want without the care of Go D. By asking only for BREAD, we are instructed to restrain our appetites within proper bounds, and to be contented with the coarsest diet, and meanest apparel, if our condition in life requires it, and if we cannot in an honest way obtain any better. We have no right to claim from God’s goodness, any more than is necessary to support life; but we may thankfully enjoy more, if it is His pleasure to give it us. The best of men daily commit many sins, and omit many duties; it is therefore necessary to seek for reconciliation and forgiveness. For this purpose, our - - Lok p
Loop teaches us humbly to confess the sense we have of our guilt, and our need of God's mercy, and to express our readiness to forgive those offences which others have committed against us." By temptation, is here meant dangerous occasion to sin, which may arise from our own corrupt inclinations, the delusions of the devil, or the allurements of the world; and by praying that God will not lead us into temptation, we implore his grace to guide and direct our minds at all times, that we may be delivered from those evils, which, if left to ourselves, we should fall into. We may likewise pray to be delivered, when it shall please God, from those afflictions which his wisdom sees fit to send, either for our chastisement, or the trial of our faith and other virtues; though these are not properly evils, being intended for our eternal welfare. The Le RD's PRAY FR concludes with a Doxology, or form of giving glory to God ; in which we acknowledge, that He has supreme authority over all things; that the kingdom of the Messi AH proceeds from Him; and that the power and glory of it must continue to be ascribed to Him for ever and ever. The word AMEN signifies so be it; by which we express our earnest desire, that God may be glorified, and our own petitions accepted. After our Lord had concluded this prayer, He strongly recommended to his disciples universal charity and good-will towards others. Let us remember, then, that it will be to no purpose to repeat this, or any other form of words, unless we banish from our minds hatred and revenge, and every unchristian sentiment.
Vol. V. H SECTION
continu Ation of our Lord's sermon on the MO U note
From Matthew, Chap. vi.
Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say "unto you, they have their reward. - . " But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face: that thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break * through and steal. . - But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where - neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. ... The light of the body is the eye; if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other ; or else, he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on ; Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? . Behold 'Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, nei“ther do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your -heavenly Father feedeth them. Are not ye much better than they Which of you, by taking thought, can add-one cubit unto his stature ? And why take ye thought for raiment Consider the * lilies of the field how they grow ; they toil not, neither do they spin. And yet. I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field - which to-day is, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, s shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith ? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat or what shall we drink 2 or where withal shall we * be clothed : - (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have no need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. , Take therefore no thought for the morrow : for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONs.
It was customary for the Jews, not only to observe days of public national humiliation, but to keep private fasts. These our LoRD approved of, as excellent means to promote piety; but he cautioned them against osten...tation in this duty, as well as in that of prayer; advising them not to make any alteration, in their outward H 2. appearance appearance at such time, since it was sufficient if they humbled their souls before God. What Isaiah spake to
: the Jews by Divine inspiration, will be the best comment on this part of our Lord's discourse; and it may
be applied both to private and national fasts.
: Is tuch then the fast which I chosier that a man should afflict hit soul for a day # Is it that he should bow down his head like a bulrush; and spread sackcloth and ashes for his couch # Shall this be called a fast, and a day acceptable to Jehov AH Is not this then the fast which I choose? To dissolve the bands of wickedness; to loosen the oppressive burdens; to deliver those that are crashed by violence; and that ye shall break asunder every yoke P Is it not to distribute thy bread to the hungry; and to bring the wandering poor into thy house? When thou seese the naked, that thou clothe him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thy wounds shall speedily be healed over; and thy righteousness shall go up before thee; and the glory of Jehov AH shall bring up..thy rear. Then shalt thou call, and JE Hov AH shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Lo, I am here / If thou remove from the midst of thee the yoke; the pointing of the finger and the injurious speech. If thou bring forth thy bread to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the moon-day. And Jehov AH shall lead thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in the severest drought; and he shall renew thy strength; and thou shall be like a well-watered garden, and like a slowing pring. Having