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done, in earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily 11 bread; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; 12 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil ; for thine is 13
Being will do nothing but what is ble here, that our sins are forgiven for our good, and that he knows directly by God, upon the fulfilbetter than we ourselves what is ment of the conditions he has imso.
posed, and that nothing is said, or 11. Give us this day our daily anticipated, relative to their being bread. The first three petitions are forgiven by any intervention of the for the world; that the true wor- blood of an innocent being, shed to ship of God, the knowledge of his placate the divine wrath.-As we will, and obedience to his com- forgive our debtors. This is stated mands, may be universal. The as the condition on which we may last tbree petitions of the Lord's trust to be forgiven. Not that rePrayer relate to the temporal and pentance and reformation are not spiritual wants of ourselves. The necessary for forgiveness, but that a first is for temporal good, and de- merciful disposition in us qualifies cides the question, whether it is us preëminently for the reception right to pray for any such blessing. of mercy from God. With what Bread stands here for food, cloth- face can a harsh and unforgiving ing, and whatever we need in the man pray for pardon, when by the flesh. This prayer reminds us that very act he becomes, as it were, his our daily blessings, as well as the own accuser ? It becomes us ever sublime promises of eternity, de to recollect that we stand in the scend from the Father on high. same relation to God as offenders, The prevalent anxiety and worldli as those who trespass against us do ness with which men labor for rich to us; nay, rather that none can es and renown are rebuked here; have offended against us by any for only one petition relates to tem- comparison so deeply as we have poral favors, and that, to good of offended against God,
and pone can the humblest, though most necessa have that need of our mercy that ry kind, daily bread; whilst the
we have of the divine mercy. other five requests are for spiritual 13. Lead us not into temptation. objects. Prov. xxx. 8.—This day. This is a Hebraism, meaning, suffer Or, according to Luke, xi. 3, day by us not to fall into trials that will day.- Daily. The original word is lead us into transgression. The not used in the Classics, or the trials of life are the school of virScriptures, except here and in the But the spirit of this petition parallel place in Luke, and its is that we may not encounter tempmeaning is therefore doubtful. The tations too strong for our virtue; most probable sense is either neces may not be abandoned, unprotected, sary or sufficient.
to the assaults of evil; may not run 12. Forgive us our debts. Remit recklessly and needlessly into any our offences. Faults and trans occasion of sin. 1 Cor. x. 13. How gressions are called debts. The beautiful and appropriate is such a same figure of speech in some par- supplication for those hemmed in ticulars prevails in our language. on all sides by moral dangers and One man is said to owe another a difficulties, and liable at every mofavor, or an apology. It is observa- ment to overstep the sacred limits
14 the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. For if
ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive 15 you ; but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Fa
of virtue! The sense of our ex- leaves it out; also the French verposed moral situation will rendersion of Sacy. On the whole, it is this a hearty, frequent, and earnest probable that it was interpolated petition.—But deliver us from evil. from the Jewish or Christian liturOr, the evil one; as it is customary gies. But it harmonizes neverthein the Scriptures to personify evil, less with the preceding prayer, and and call it a person. This is a forms an appropriate and sublime prayer that we may be emancipated conclusion. from sin and its miseries, and that 14. Christ enforces this truth the natural evils of life, sickness, often and urgently. Mat. xviii. 21 misfortune, bereavernent, may re -35. Mark xi. 25, 26. Luke vii. dound to our spiritual good. How 40—48. xvii. 3, 4. He beautifully great a petition! It is that we may exemplified bis forgiving disposiattain spotless virtue and perfect tion to his enemies even happiness. For thine is the king- cross. His disciples breathed the dom, &c. The for implies that as same merciful spirit. Acts vii. 60. God is all-powerful and glorious, Eph. iv. 32. Col. jii. 13. The forthe King over all, he is able and giveness of enemies is one of the disposed to grant the foregoing pe surest tests of a Christian charactitions. His power can supply eve And those who call themry present and future want. His selves Christians might take a valuglory is to do good to his creatures. able lesson even from the followers We can therefore approach him in of Mahomet; that with greater a glad contidence that he hears and light they should not prove to be of answers our prayers.
The word a worse temper. When a brutal Amen signifies so be it, being de man had struck an Arabian philosorived from a Hebrew verb, mean- pher, instead of a blow he received ing to be true, faithful. The people from the good man thuis melting apare supposed to have responded peal: “Were I vipdictive, I should this word at the close of the prayers return outrage for outrage. Were of the minister, in the Jewish syn I an informer, I should accuse you agogues. The same custom ap
to the Calif. But I bad rather pray pears to have prevailed among the God to grant that in the Day of early Christians. 1 Cor. xiv. 16. Judgment I may enter into heaven This doxology, or ascription of with you.”— Your heavenly Father praise, is not found in Luke xi. 4, will also forgive you.
6 We are appended to the Lord's Prayer. not, however, to understand hereby The manuscripts of the best au that the practice of this or any thority do not contain it, and it is other single duty can obtain God's not cited by the most ancient eccle- favor, where other Christian virtues siastical writers. It occurs how are neglected; for, though negative ever in some of the early versions. precepts are absolute, yet affirmaGriesbach, in his critical edition of tive promises admit of this limitathe New Testament, decides against tion, if no other condition of salits genuineness. The first Eng- vation be wanting."" lish version, by William Tyndale, 15. To make the injunction more
ther forgive your trespasses.- -Moreover, when ye fast, be not, as 16 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, 17
impressive, he states here negatively nance. Or, according to the derivawhat he had laid down in the last tion of the word, look not sourly, verse affirmatively. This is a com- or like a Scythian or Tartar. This mon method in the Bible. Deut. morose and gloomy expression was ix. 7. Is. jji. 9. xxxviii. 1. Jer. assumed by the hypocritical Pharixxix. 11. We are all sinners against sees for appearance's sake.—They God, needing, and professing to disfigure their faces. They destroydesire forgiveness from him, and ed the natural appearance of their dependent on his mercy for par- countenances by neglecting their don. How unsuitable, then, that usual dress and cleanliness, and afour fellow-men, who may have fecting great sorrow and penitence. done us wrong, and wbo may be in Such fasting had no reality, and our power, should find in us an un- therefore no acceptableness with forgiving spirit! If they implore God. Is. lviii.5. No severer condemmercy in vain from us, how can nation is pronounced by Jesus upon we expect to receive mercy from any class of sinvers than upon God?
hypocrites. They convert the no16. Jesus continues an applica- blest things, even the observances tion of the same principle to Fast- of that religion which they disobey, ing. Reality and sincerity alone into instruments of self-aggrandizecould make this external observance ment. But they have their reward; of any value in the sight of God. the miserable reward of supposing In this passage he neither enjoins they have enjoyed the reputation nor prohibits fasting, except so far of that virtue which they do not as verse 17 may be viewed as sanc- possess—when in reality they are tioning the observance. Christ understood, most likely, by men, does not refewhere, probably, to the and certainly by God, in their actual regular Jewish fasts, but to those character. It has been said that voluntary and frequent ones, in the hypocrite is like the waterman, which seekers after a reputation for who looks one way and rows anpiety were accustoined to make a other; the true Christian, like the show of their austerities. Some traveller, has his journey's end in fasted twice a week. Luke xviii. his eye. 12. And some even went so far as 17. Anoint thine head, and wash to do it four days in a week. At thy face. That is, affect nothing, obthese times, besides abstinence from serve your customary habits of dress food, they practised austerities upon and ablution. Fast in heart, not in their bodies, beating and wounding appearance. Orientals daily wash themselves, and disfiguring their and anoint themselves with frafaces, Without their customary grant ointments, except at times of bathings, perfumes, and anointings, grief and humiliation. Deut. xxviii. their personal appearance
10. Ruth ji. 3. 2 Sam. xiv. 2. squalid. Their hair and beards Dap. x. 3. Mark xiv. 3. Luke vii. were left uncombed, and the whole 46. This practice is rendered negarb was unsightly.–Sad counte- cessary by the warmth of the cli
18 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, 19 shall reward thee openly.-Lay not up for yourselves treasures up
on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break 20 through and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven,
mate, and the looseness of the attire break through. Or, dig through the of the people. Of course the di- walls of a house to commit burglarection of Jesus is not literally ap- ry. This precept is also found in plicable now. His aim was not to Luke xii. 33, 34, and John vi. 27. define the mode of keeping a reli- It is not to dissuade from industry gious ceremony, but to teach the and frugality, but from absorption worth of reality and substance con in the pursuits of wealth as the trasted with Pharisaical hypocrisy. chief good. The phrase is a He
18. Openly. This word, accord- braism, for instances of which see ing to Griesbach, is spurious, and Hos. vi. 6. Mat. ix. 13. Acts v. 4. should not be admitted into the A positive and negative expression text. It was probably first placed are united to give the idea of prein the margin by some transcriber, ference, not to express an absolute as affording an antithesis to seeth in value. So here. The idea is, Do secret, and was afterwards copied not lay up for yourselves earthly into the body of the page.
so much as heavenly treasures. 19. In the following verses to Man, made for immortality, made the end of the chapter, lessons of to be a child of heaven, and comfaith in Providence, and freedom panion of angels and cherubim, from anxiety about life and its cir- must, to be happy, live to God and cumstances, are beautifully taught. eternity ; that is bis nature, his eleThese lessons were highly appro ment. Otherwise he is like a plant, priate to the disciples of that time, with its branches as well as roots to the Apostles, who went forth growing into the ground; like a poor to preach the Gospel. Yet bird, created for the ample scope of they are good now; they are the heaven, tamely creeping on the salt of that wisdom which is never earth as a reptile. Let him soar spoiled by keeping, but which is upward. fresh through all ages.—Treasures. 20. Earthly treasures are perIn the east, the most valuable pos- ishable, therefore they should hold sessions often consisted of the pro subordinate place ; heavenly ductions of the carth, the precious treasures are incorruptible, theremetals, and numerous suits of cloth- fore they should be supremely loved ing; which, as fashions are not and sought after. Men are anxious there fluctuating as here, retained to make provision for their old age; their full value for years. Gen. how much more should they gather xlv. 22. Judges xiv. 12. 2 Kings riches for an everlasting future ! v.5.—Moth. A sinall insect which Treasures in heaven.
What are eats and destroys clothing.-Rust. they ? Let our Saviour answer. Canker, or what consumes either Mat. xix. 21. Let Paul answer. 1 grain or metals. Their gold and Tim. vi. 17-19. Charity, good silver would rust, their grain be works, a pure heart, a finished blighted, and their garments moth- Christian character, love; these eaten. James v. 2, 3.-Thieves are treasures, above gold or dia
where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your 21 heart be also. The light of the body is the eye. If therefore thine 22 eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine 23 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 24 monds; richer than East or West; continued. If the eye be diseased, lasting forever ; glorious to behold; distempered, incapable of doing its happy to possess and enjoy. We proper office as an eye, then the may be poor in aught else, but we whole body, through the failure of may all be rich in soul, rich towards so small an organ, is enveloped God, rich for the life to come. Let in impenetrable darkness. Man us covet, as no miser ever did his gropes in uncertainty. He feels yellow dust, that eternal inheritance after things if he may peradvenlaid up for the good in the regions ture find them, but all his moveof the fairer world.
ments must be uncertain; his no21. There will your heart be also. blest sense is gone, “and wisdom at A profound truth. Every body has one entrance quite shut out.”—The some treasure, something he es- light that is in thee be darkness, how teems, desires, and loves ; some- great is that darkness! Luke xi. thing to which his heart turns, as 35, 36. Here is the application. It the needle to the pole. If we have is one of the sorest ills to have one's a treasure, and our heart is not with eyesight fail; how much more to it, it is no treasure to us. A real have the inner light quenched! In treasure draws the affections after is the emphatic word. The conit. Luke xii. 34. Happy will it be nection of verses 22 and 23 with the for us when we shall see that vir foregoing subject is now evident. tue, goodness, God, heaven, are Jesus had been urging the imporsuch treasures as are worth all our tance of heavenly-mindedness, of desires, hopes, and efforts. Laying laying up imperishable treasures; up our treasures in heaven, our riches subject to no earthly mishearts will spontaneously be drawn chance. But to do this, the soul
must be enlightened, the judgment 22. The light of the body is the must not be blinded, the mind's eye.
Luke xi. 34. He states a eye must not be diinmed by the physical fact to illustrate a spiritual glare of worldly splendor. If it is truth. The eye is the receptacle, diseased, if it see false shapes and not the producer, of light. But by appearances, then thoughts, wishes, a visual deception, it seems to make affections, are shrouded in error the light; when open, all is light and darkness; a darkness how about us; when shut, all is dark, as great! a gloom, as of Egypt, that if night itself were around us.- can be felt:
When the bodily Thine eye be single. Sound, clear. senses are impaired, the evil is -Full of light. The whole body slight compared with the perveris enlightened when the eye is in a sion of the powers of the soul. healthy state. It is in an atmos- When the inner world is dark, the phere of light. Its motions will spark of heaven, the light of God, all be sure and effective.
reason, conscience, are benighted, 23. Be evil. The same figure what a night is there! how much