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Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
For 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.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. In respect to sounding a trumpet, &c. our Saviour alluded to many customs of the Pharisees. The general instruction contained in this part of his exhortation is so evident, that it needs but little comment; for we may readily perceive, it was intended to caution his followers against ostentation and vain-glory in their religious ex. ercises.
Some learned authors are of opinion, that the word righteousness, in the beginning of this section, should be substituted for alms : and that instead of translating, they have their reward, it should have been, they hinder their reward. Others adhere to the present translation, and explain it to mean, that hypocrites are to expect no farther reward than that they seek, the applauses of
It was customary for the heathen to use, in their in. vocations of false deities, repetitions, as in the instance of Baal's worshippers, who contested with Elijah: these called upon the idol from morning till night, O Baal, hear us! O Baal, hear us! and the Jews were running into the same fault. To preserve his disciples from this, and to afford them a perfect pattern of devotion, our
SAVIOUR taught them that excellent prayer which is called the LORD'S PRAYER, which is at once so concise and comprehensive, as to include all that Christians need
for. Under the word PR ÁYER * is' comprehended all devotion or worship addressed to God, consisting of praise for his glorious perfections, and thanksgivings for the numberless benéfits he confers on us ; acknowledgment of entire dependence on his goodness; professions of our faith in him, and resolution of serving him ; confession of sins ; supplication for mercy; petition for all things needful; intercession for the happiness of others. The Lord's PRAYER, though very short, is admirably calculated to answer all these purposes.
The words Our Father imply, that we should consider all men, especially all good Christians, as God's children and our brethren; and on this account bear them good will and charitable affection.
The appellation of Father ought to remind us of our relation to God as our creator, preserver, and constant benefactor ; who provides for all our necessities, with tenderness exceeding that of the kindest parent, and who is consequently entitled to every return of duty, love, and gratitude. It likewise encourages us to hope for His favour; and intimates, that we should strive to obtain it, by living as becomes the children of God.
God is every where present, but doth not display his glory equally in all places. The Scriptures frequently mention a peculiar residence, where He is more immediately attended by the angels, which place is called Henven. By praying to God as in heaven, our hearts are raised above earthly objects to desire heavenly joys.
* See Dr. Barrow on the Lord's Prayer, from whence I have ex. tracted the principal part of the comments on the Lord's Prayer.
Our thoughts being properly elevated, we proceed to pray, that God's name may be hallowed or sanctified. By God's nam', we are to understand all that immediately relates to him. To kallow or sanctify His name, is to acknowledge that He is worthy of all possible adoration. The glory of God ought to be the first object of our devotions; we should render the honour due unto His name, before we presume to ask any thing for ourselves. By praying, that God's Name may be hallowed, we not only perform our own duty, but express our de. sire, that all minds may entertain proper sentiments of the SUPREME Being, all tongues celebrate his praises, and all creatures worship and obey him with truth and; sincerity, zeal and fervency : but we in a more especial manner pray for ourselves, that we, by religious conver-> sation, may bring honour to His boly name. By the Kingdom of Heaven we are to understand the Gospel. dispensation, which the immediate disciples of CHRIST had particular reason to pray might come, and be settled i upon earth : and though Christianity is now so firmly, established, that no human power can overturn it, yet it is not so universally received, but that we may continue to pray, that it may come to the who live in ignorance of it: neither has it such entire influence on the lives of those who call themselves Christians, but that there is room to pray it may come to many who slight and reject it. This petition is calculated to ex. press what ought to be the wish of every one who professes to believe in Christ, that His holy religion may prosper and flourish in the world to the utmost extent, and that it may particularly rule in our own hearts, to the exclusion of all wicked desires.
By praying, that God's will may be done on earth as it is. in heaven, we profess our approbation of all God's Counsels, and our cheerful submission and consent to his
goud 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 like. wise 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 Lord 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 God.
By asking only for BREAD, we are instructed to re, strain our appetites within proper bounds, and to be con. tented 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 re. conciliation and forgiveness. For this purpose, our
Lord 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 tempta. tion, 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 Lord's PRAYER concludes with a Doxology, er form of giving glory to God; in which we acknow. ledge, that He has supreme authority over all things; that the kingdom of the Messiah 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 ex. press 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,
every unchristian sentiment.