Imatges de pÓgina
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thority Mhall be put down under his Feet, to the Conviction and Confusion of all his Enemies, and the everlasting Security and Joy of all his true Children and Servants, and particularly that we our felves may in that Day be admitted into his Presence, to live for ever with him in his Kingdom of Glory. And is it not a Petition meet for God's Children, that his Government, who rules not only with the Authority, but with the Justice and Clemency of a Father, may visibly prevail against all Opposition whatsoever that is made against it? For this is in effect to desire, That all Unrighteousness and Iniquity, that all the Sin and Misery of this World may vanish, and give place to Charity, Truth, Sincerity, Good-will, Righteousness and Equity; that all Power may fall out of the Hands of Wickedness, and Oppression, and Deceit, and may be taken into the Hands of the infinite Goodness of the all-good and all-wise Father of Men and Angels, and committed to none but to the Wife and Good.

In the mean time we pray, as in the third Petition, that his Will may be done in Earth as it is in Heaven (i. e.) till the Kingdom of God thus gloriously appear, tliat there may be fome Proportion between the Obedience that we pay unto him_upon Earth, and the clearful and perfect Readinefs wherewith the Angels obey him in

Heaven,

Heaven. And now shall I need to shew you that this is also a congruous Petition? What is more plainly the Duty of a Child than Obedience? To whom is Obedience more naturally due than to a Fatber?

Give us this Day our daily Bread; which is as much as to say, while we live let us enjoy such a Proportion of Food and Rayment, and all other Necessaries of this Life, as may be sufficient for the constant Performance of our Duty. And upon whom have Children their Dependance? From whom do they expect Maintenance, but from their Parents? But their Desire ought to be within Reason, they ought not to ask Superfluities, but only what is convenient for them, all that is more must be left to a greater Wisdom and Judgment than their

In the next Petition, Forgive us our TresPalles, as we forgive them that trespass against us, we do not only pray for Pardon of our Sins, but we make Profession of our Repentance. As we forgive others, we defire to be forgiven; for that is one Condition of being forgiven, and it being an Eminent one, and something Difficult, it is profess’d in behalf of all the rest; forgive us, as we do engage our selves to be governed by thy good Will and Pleasure in all Things, particularly as we do from our Hearts remit Injuries done to us, and have no re

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vengeful Inclinations against those that have done them. Now is it not meet for a Sinner, To say with the prodigal Son,I will arise and go to my Father, and say, Father, I have finned against Heaven and before thee, and an no more worthy to be called thy Son? To beg Pardon for what is past; To profess a fincere Purpose not wilfully to offend him any more; and particularly To acquit himself of all Disposition to be severe with those that have offended himself; To protest that he for God's Sake, who is a common Father to us all, doth from his Heart forgive them?

The last Petition, Lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us fron Evil, doth in general suggeit our Desire, that God would not forsake us, nor deprive us of his gracious Protection; in particular, that he would not put us upon very hard Trials of our Affečtion and Obedience to him, and also that he would not leave us to the Power of those Temptations to Sin which we are in Danger of; that by the Grace of his Providence, he would keep the Temptation from being over great, and by the Grace of his Spirit, enable us to resist and overcome it, how great soever it be. To make which Request to God we have this Encouragement, that he is our Father, and of himself inclined to supply our Weakness by the Power of his Grace.

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And now we have greater Encouragements and stronger Reasons to ask all these Things of God, if we consider that he is our HEAVENLY FATHER.

For whose. Honour in the first place) should be so dear to us as His, who made us out of nothing; who hath given us our Being; and who hath begotten us again to a lively Hope of immortal Happiness by the Refurre&tion of Jesus Christ from the Dead? These are Benefits infinitely greater than we can receive from our Earthly Parents.

Whofe Dominion and Kingdom should we wish to prevail against all Opposition, but His, who governs all Things by infinite Goodness?

To whose Authority should we desire to submit our felves absolutely and unreservedly, but to His, whose Will is always just; whose Commandments are ever righteous, which is not always true of Earthly Parents; who hath it in his power to protect us in our Obedience, and to reward us for it, which they have not always, and to reward us with infinite Bleslings, which they never can?

Of whom should we daily ask all Things necessary to our present Well-being, but of Him, that is always able and always willing to do what is beit for us; who is our constant Refuge; who can never fail us? When My Father and my Mother forjake me, thea

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the Lord will take me up, says the Psalmist, Psal. 27. 10. When all Human Means fail, His Power and Goodness is not at a stand. Upon whom should we depend but upon Him, to whom all Things must be subject ; whose is the Earth, and the Fulness thereof; who is the Proprietor of the whole world?

Of whom should we more chearfully and humbly ask Pardon, than of Him whom we have most ungratefully offended, but who is yet infinitely pleased with our return to our Duty; who hath proclaimed himself the Lord God merciful and gracious, longfreffering, abundant in Goodness and Truth, keeping Mercy for Thousands, forgiving Ini. quity, and Transgression and Sin? Exod. 34.

Lastly, To whose gracious Protection should we constantly commit our selves, that we may be preserved from Evil, but to His, who fully understands the Measure of our Strength; who perfectly knows what we are able to bear, and is able to consider our Infirmities under all our Temptations, to proportion our Trials to our Abilities, and to deliver us in all our Straits and Necessities?

And thus you see, that in all Respects the Invocation, which our Lord hath taught us to begin this Prayer withal, is suitable to every Petition which he hath taught us to ask in the Prayer, all the Things we desire

6, 7.

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