Page images
PDF

I will satisfy her poor with bread. Ps. cxxxii, 15.
Bread shall be given him ; his waters shall be sure. Isa. xxxiii, 16.
I will break your staff of bread. Ezek. V, 16.
What further is included in this petition ?

We pray for the preservation of our lives; for health and strength of body; for success in our lawful callings, and endeavours to procure the comforts and conveniencies of life; and for God's blessing upon the mercies we enjoy. The blessing of the Lord it maketh rich. Prov. x, 22. She did not know that I gave her corn and wine and oil. Hosea is, 8.

Why are we taught to pray for our daily bread? · In order that we may trust to God's Providence, and look to him daily for fresh supplies. When we ask for bread, it seems to imply that we shall be content with what is necessary to support our lives, and are not anxious about superfinities : and when we pray that we may

have it daily, we express our willingness to be supplied · with food and raiment from day to day, without being

eager to have “ much goods laid up for many years." · Such a petition is equally suitable for rich and poor ; for

though a man have abundance of the good things of this life, they can do him no good, unless accompanied by the blessing of God. And though a poor man may have but a scanty subsistence, he should not murmur, but remember that he is indebted to divine mercy for every morsel he receives.. They gathered it (nanna) every morning. Exod. xvi, 21. Ye shall eat, and not be satisfied. Lev. xxvi, 26. They that seek the Lord, shall want no good thing. Ps. xxxiv, 10. Trust in the Lord and verily thou shalt be fed. Ps. xxxvii, 3. Give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient

for me, Prov. xxx, 8. Therefore, take no thought, saying, what shall we eat, &c. but seek

ye first the kingdom of God and bis righteousness; and all these , things shall be added unto you. Matt. vi, 31--33. Having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. 1 Tim, vi, 8, Casting all your care upon him ; for he careth for you. 1 Pet. v, 7.

What is taken from others by fraud or force, cannot be called our daily bread, nor can we consider it as sent us by our Heavenly Father. All that is obtained by fraud, is the wages of unrighteousness, and the maintenance given by Satan to his servants.

R

Does this dependence upon God, render our own exertions

needless ? No: while we lay aside every anxious care, we should endeavour to gain a livelihood in an honest way, avoiding slothfulness, and looking up to God for his blessing. The hand of the diligent maketh rich. Prov. x, 4. He that tilleth his land shall bave plenty of bread. Prov. xxviii, 19. These hands have ministered unto my necessities. Acts xx, 34. Not slothful in business. Rom, xii, 11. This we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should

he eat. 2 Thess. iii, 10, 12. If any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own

house, he hath denied the faith. 1 Tim. v, 8, Should you not also understand this petition in a spiritual

sense? Yes : I pray unto God that he will send us all things that be needful both for our souls and bodies. We should pray daily that our souls may be fed by faith in Christ, who is 6 the bread of life.” John vi, 35. And we should labour more diligently for his grace, than for the support of our bodies, remembering, What is a man profited, if he sball gain the whole world, and lose bis

own soul? Matt. xvi, 26." I have esteemed the words of his mouth, more than my necessary

food. Job xxiii, 12. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth

out of the mouth of God. Matt. iv, 4. Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God. Luke

xiv, 15. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which,

endureth unto everlasting life. John vi, 27. My Father giveth you the true brea Lord, everniore give us this bread. John vi, 31. Desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.

1 Pet. ii, 2. - Take care that you do not lose sight of God in your daily mercies. Do not depend too much on your health and strength, on your habits of industry, or on any prospects, however promising. Remember, God can send you sickness, destroy your property, or deprive you of employment, whenever he thinks proper. Labour with all diligence, and then look for his blessing on the work of your hands.

Spiritual prosperity, also, is a state which can only be secured by a constant and diligent use of those means

of grace which God has appointed, and which those who are slothful in religious duties, can never enjoy. Watch continually, pray without ceasing, and whatever work of piety or charity your hand findeth to do, do it with your might... Now he that ministereth seed to the sower, both minister bread for

your food, and increase the fruits of your righteousness; being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth

through us thanksgiving to God, 2 Cor. ix, 10, 11. Collect, 8th Sunday after Trinity - God, whose never-failing

providence ordereth all things, both in beaven and earth; put away from us all bortful ibings, and give us those things which be profitable for us.

On the Lord's Prayer. No. 7.

ON THE FIFTH PETITION. What is the fifth petition ?

Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.

Trespasses mean sins. We here ask mercies for our souls, and intreat God to save us from that punishment which our numerous offences against him deserve. Mine iniquities have taken hold upou me, 80 that I am uot able to

look up. Ps. x1, 12. Unto us belongeth contusion of faces. Dan, ix, 7.

(See Pages 3, and 87, 88.) Why must we pray daily for the forgiveness of our sins?

Because we daily commit sin, and therefore need forgiveness daily. For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity : for it is great.

-Forgive all my sins. Ps, xxv, 11, 18. Hide thy face from ruy sins, and blot out all mine iniqnities. Ps, li,9. The wages of sin is death, (Rom. vi, 23.) even the second death, to which we are therefore exposed; for we can make no satisfaction for our sins: Through whom, then, must we pray for pardon ?

Through Christ only, who has saved us by his grace. Neither is there salvation in any other : for there is none other name

under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Acts iv, 12. Him bath God exalted to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. Acts v, 31.

[ocr errors]

Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Pet. ii, 24.

(See also Pages 88, 89.) Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.

Ps. xxxii, 1, 2; Rom. iv, 6,7. Havewe reason to expect that the Lord will hear our prayer ?

Yes, if we come to him in faith, and with a deep sense of our need of pardon. Let the wicked forsake his way, and let him return unto the Lord,

and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will

abundantly pardon. Tsa. iv, 7. Take with you words, and turn to the Lord, &c. I will heal their backsliding. I will love them freely. Hosta xiv, 2, 4.

(see also Page 89, and 167.) Let us earnestly beg, “ that he will be merciful unto us, and forgive us our sins." What do we learn from the latter part of this petition,

" as we forgive them that trespass against us?. It should teach us to exercise à forbearing and forgiving temper towards our fellow-creatures.

This is a most difficult duty, and requires much selfdenial before we can practise it. Our Saviour's example ought always to be before our eyes. Luke xxiii, 34. If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also

forgive you : But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither

will your Father forgive your trespasses. Mat. vi, 14, 15. How oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him ? till

seven times ? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until

seven times : but until seventy times seven, Matt, xviii, 21, 22. So likewise shall my Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from

your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses,

Mat. xviii, 32--35. Love ye your enemies; forgive, and ye shall be forgiven. Luke

vi, 35--37. If thy brother trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven

times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent ; thou shalt

forgive him. Luke xvii, 3, 4. Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another,

even as God, for Christ's sake, bath forgiven you. Eph, iv,

31, 32. Put on bowels of mercies, meekness, long suffering ; forbearing one

another, and forgiving one another, it any man have a quarrel against any ; even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye, Col.

iii, 19, 18. He shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy.

James ii, 13.

If you forgive others the injuries they may have done you, may you, on that account, expect to receive from God the forgiveness of your sins ?

No, it is only through the blood of Christ our sins can be forgiven; but if we can forgive others, how much more will God forgive us.

The Christian Religion inculcates a spirit of love. True repentance and faith always produce a disposition to forgive others; and habitual malice and revenge are proofs of impenitence and unbelief. We must not only forbear doing revengeful actions, but we must not harbour grudges in our bosom. However we may have been offended, we must bear no malice or hatred in our hearts, but forgive freely, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven us. There cannot be a more likely method to destroy an unforgiving temper, than the frequent use of the Lord's Prayer. How can we use this prayer at night, and then lie down with malice and hatred rankling in our breasts. In such a case we pray for a curse, when we say “ forgive us as we forgive." If a believer be betrayed into such a spirit, he must not expect communion with God till he be brought to a better temper.

Before we can pray with earnestness that our sins may be forgiven, we must have a deep sense wrought in us by the Holy Spirit, of the exceeding sinfulness of sin. Pray therefore, that God would show you the odious nature of sin; that he would humble you under a sense of your sins; and that he would give you a greater love for Christ, through whom all pardon is procured. 21th Sunday after Trinity. Lord, we beseech thee, absolve

thy people from their offences ; that through thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed,

On the Lord's Prayer. No. 8.

ON THE SIXTH PETITION. What is the sixth petition?

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

The word temptation in Scripture often means trial. God lid tempt Abrabam. Gen. xxii, 1.

« PreviousContinue »