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serve thy sheep in the midst of wolves; and when our ways please thee, thou wilt make our bitterest enemies to be at peace with us. Lord, let us not be overcome of

evil; but may we overcome evil with good!

44. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; 43. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on

the unjust. 46. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47. And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

How does the glory of thy heavenly goodness shine in these precepts, which are just a transcript of thy own example! Lord Jesus, thou didst love thy enemies; thou didst bless them that cursed thee; thou didst good to them that hated thee, and prayedst for them that despitefully used thee and persecuted thee: yea, thou didst lay down thy life for them, and become a curse, that they might be blessed for evermore. O Divine Love! who would not be ambitious to imitate it! Heavenly Teacher! give us indeed to love our enemies: they are our brethren, partakers of the same nature: they are liable to blindness, and prejudice, and passion, and are, alas! all diseased with sin; they are, for aught we know, those for whom thou prayest, and whom thou pitiest, and whom thou wilt yet bring to the knowledge of thyself, and tọ bitter remorse for what they are now doing. Give us then to love them: we may yet dwell together in heaven. And when any shall curse or wish evil to us, may we indeed bless them before thee. And if any act as if they hated us, may we seek an opportunity to do them good. And if any shall despitefully use us, may we carefully remember earnestly to pray for their welfare, especially for their eternal salvation. Lord, how excellent and amiable is such a temper of mind! It is agreeable to the example of our heavenly Father,

who maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good. Wicked men will shew respect to their friends and companions, and will love those that love them; but thy disciples must seek to be perfect as their Father in heaven is perfect. O Heavenly Father, what glory hast thou called us to ! Dost thou allow, and even command us to imitate thy high example, and to aspire to be children of God, and to seek to be perfect in goodness as thou art? O help us by thy Divine Spirit. Abba Father! Deliver us from all malice, envy, wrath, sinful anger, and form our souls into thy love.




Of Alms and Prayer.

AKE heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. 2. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. 3. But when thou doest alms, let not

thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: 4. That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, himself shall reward thee openly. 5. And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward.

O Searcher of hearts, who knowest all things, keep us from doing alms, or any good works, to be seen of men. Thou allowest us to seek thy approbation, and this is enough. What a poor reward is the praise of men! Give us that honour which is from thee; and let us not forfeit this by seeking any other. Thou seest in secret, and hast graciously promised to reward openly. Make us sincere and diligent in doing good, as under thine eye, and as secret as possible; doing it before thee, and not before men.

6. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy

door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall re

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We thank thee, O heavenly Father, that thou hast allowed us to pray to thee in secret. It is the highest honour, and the greatest pleasure, and the best employment of the faculties thou hast given us, to pour out our hearts before thee in secret. We would not want this comfort for the whole world. Keep us from using vain repetitions, or a needless multitude of words; for thou knowest what we need before we ask thee. May every prayer of ours be the language of a dutiful and loving child to a parent, who is both able and willing to help all his children. May our chief desire in prayer be, that thou mayest be known, and feared, and loved; that the gospel of thy Son may conquer all hearts; and that thy Holy Spirit may make all inen to know, and obey, and submit to thy will in all things, as the angels do in heaven. As for the good things of this life, may we be satisfied with a moderate portion of them, chiefly desiring thy blessing with what thou givest us; for thy blessing maketh rich, and addeth no sorrow. And when we beg of thee the forgiveness of our sins for the sake of our Redeemer, may we feel ourselves by thy grace heartily disposed to forgive all who have done us any wrong. may we be solicitous to be kept from the power of sin and Satan; and that thou wouldst graciously either keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted. And in all our prayers may we take our encouragement from thee only, and confide in thy power, mercy, and faithfulness; and let our petitions ever be attended with adoration and praise to thy excel


lent name, which is worthy of all power, and dominion, and glory, for ever and ever.

14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, neither will their trespasses, your heavenly your Father forgive your tresFather will also forgive you: passes. 15. But if ye forgive not men

May we expect no forgiveness from thee, if we are not willing to forgive others: and when we find our hearts by thy grace sincerely inclined to forgive others all trespasses, may it encourage us to hope for pardon from thee, through the blessed mediation of him who teacheth us this comfortable truth.


Of Fasting.

16. 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. 17. But thou, when

thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; 18. 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.

From this, and the two former instances of prayer and alms-giving, it plainly appears to be thy will that we should carefully avoid all ostentation. Lord, give us therefore to pray and fast to our Father in secret. May our hearts be right with God, full of pious and charitable dispositions; and may our external behaviour be a natural but modest expression of these. O keep us from the abominable hypocrisy of affecting in our demeanor what is not in our hearts.


Worldly cares to be avoided.

19. Lay not up for your in heaven, where neither moth selves treasures upon earth, nor rust doth corrupt, and where moth and rust doth cor- where thieves do not break rupt, and where thieves break through nor steal: 21. For through and steal: 20. But where your treasure is, there lay up. for yourselves treasures will your heart be also.

What will treasures on earth avail these immortal souls, which are soon to be in eternity: Lord, give us a treasure in thy kingdom above. Thou art our treasure: in thee we have treasures of wisdom and knowledge; in thee we have a treasure of righteousness to justify us; treasures of grace to sanctify us; and treasures of glory inexhaustible laid up in heaven. Let our heart be where our treasure is; let this earth disappear, and let our thoughts and affections be set upon the things which are above, where thou sittest at the right hand of God.

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Lord, give us light; give us to see things as they are, and let our aim be right. If we imagine we see a glory in any of the things of this world, and make it our aim to attain them, how great and dreadful is the delusion! But if we follow thee fully, and make it our endeavour to please thee, we shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. O give us a single eye, a single heart.

Trust in God enforced.

24. No man can serve two Which of you by taking thought masters: for either he will hate can add one cubit unto his the one, and love the other; or stature? 28. And why take ye else he will hold to the one, and thought for raiment? Consider despise the other. Ye cannot the lilies of the field, how they serve God and Mammon. 25. | grow; they toil not, neither do Therefore I say unto, Take no they spin: 29. And yet I say thought for your life, what ye unto you, that even Solomon in shall eat, or what ye shall drink; all his glory was not arrayed like nor yet for your body, what ye one of these. 30. Wherefore, shall put on. Is not the life if God so clothe the grass of the more than meat, and the body field, which to-day is, and tothan raiment? 26. Behold the morrow is cast into the oven, fowls of the air: for they sow not, shall he not much more clothe neither do they reap, nor gather you, O ye of little faith. 31. into barns; yet your heavenly Therefore take no thought, sayFather feedeth them. Are yeing, What shall we eat? or, not much better than they? 27. What shall we drink? or, Where

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