« AnteriorContinua »
that comes in competition therewith; 1 Cor. ix. ult. But I keep under my body, and bring it into fubjection; left that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a caft-away. Gal. vi. 14. But God forbid that I fhould glory, fave in the cross of our Lord Jefus Chrift, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.
Q. 20. What is the third inference ?
A. That it is in vain, yea, a provocation, to pray, if we be not obedient to God's will; Prov. ii. 8, 9. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preferveth the way of his faints. Then fhalt thou understand righteoufnefs, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.
Q. 21. What is the fourth inference?
A. That the law ftill hath the authority of a rule to believers, because it reveals God's will, which they must do.
Concerning our daily Bread.
Hat do we pray for in the fourth petition? A. In the fourth petition, which is, [Give us this day our daily bread], we pray, that of God's free gift we may receive a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.
Q. 1. Why is this petition placed after the three former? A. Because those concern immediately and generally God's glory, in the advancement of his name, kingdom and will, which ought to be preferred to all our perfonal concerns; Pfal. lxix. 9. For the zeal of thine houfe hath eaten me up. Acts xxi. 13. For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerufalem for the name of the Lord Jefus.
Q. 2. Why is it put before the two following petitions?
A. Not for its worth, but for its order; for we can have no fpiritual bleffings, unless we have a natural being in this life.
3. What kind of bread is here meant ?
A. Not spiritual bread, or our Lord Jefus Chrift, (as fome), but corporal and temporal.
Q4. What is included in this word bread?
A. Not that only which we call ftrictly bread, but all the good things of this prefent life.
Q5. Do we hereby beg pure neceffities only?
A. No, we pray for conveniences for our comfort, as well as neceffaries for our life.
Q6. Do we herein pray only for perfonal good things for our being?
A. No, we pray for civil good things for our condition, that according to our degree in the world, in which God hath pla ced us, we may have a convenient allowance.
Q.7. Do we pray here for ourselves only?
A. No, but alfo for our charge, children, and family, that under and with us they may have the good things of this life. Q. 8. Why do we pray to God for thefe good things, can we not get them ourselves, or our fellow-creatures give them to us?
A. Not without God: whatever we have of these things, they are from God; whoever be the second cause or inftrument: If ourselves, God gives us ability and fuccess to get them; if others, God inclined their hearts, and opened their hands to bestow them; Deut. viii. 17, 18. And thou fay in thine heart, My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou fhalt remember the Lord thy God; for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.
Q. 9. Why do we pray to God to give us bread?
A. Because the least crumb of bread is a free gift, and never can be merited by all we can do or fuffer; Luke xvii. 10. So likewife ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, fay, We are unprofitable servants.
10. Why are all these things couched under the expres fion of bread?
A. (1.) Because bread is one of the most neceffary and useful things to preserve life. (2.) Because we must not ask de licacies and dainties of God.
Q. II. What is meant by day in our petition?
A. Either, (1.) A natural day of twenty-four hours; or, (2.) The day of our whole life.
Q. 12. Why do we pray for daily bread ?
A. Becaufe God muft give us the mercies and good things of every day, or else we cannot have them.
Q. 13. Why fhould we not pray for weekly, or monthly, or yearly bread, as well as daily?
A. (1.) Because it is fit we should be still fenfible of our dependance upon God. (2.) Because we do frequently pray to God, and fo exert our graces, and maintain communion with him, and daily render thanks for daily favours; Pfalm lv. 17. Evening and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud, and he fhall hear .my voice.
Q. 14. What need we to pray for daily bread, when we may have ftores laid up for years?
A. They that have the good things of this life need to pray
this petition, as well as they that have them not. Not that they may have bread, but that it may be bread to them; for except God give his blessing upon it, bread would be ashes, and not fuftentaneous to us; neither could all the comforts of this life do us any good; Ifa. iii. 1. For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hofts doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, thẻ whole ftay of bread, and the whole ftay of water. Mal. ii, 1, 2. And now, Oye priefts, this commandment is for you: if ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, faith the Lord of hofts, I will even fend a curfe upon you, and I will curfe your bleffings; yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.
Q. 15. Why do we pray only for daily bread, or a compe tency, may we not pray for abundance and riches?
A. No, because riches are a great fnare and temptation; Matth. xix. 23, 24. Then faid Jefus unto his difciples, Verily I fay unto you, that a rich man fhall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I fay unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. Prov. xxx. 8, 9. Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches, feed me with food convenient for me: left I be full, and deny thee, and fay, Who is the Lord? Or left I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
Q. 16. What shall we then do with riches, if providence cast them upon us, fhall we call them away?
A. No, for fome of the best of men, and greatest of God's favourites, have lived and died rich. But, (1.) We must wean our hearts from them; Pfalm lxii. 10. Truft not in oppreffion, and become not vain in robbery; if riches increase, fet not your heart upon them. (2.) Be thankful for them; and, (3.) Fruitful with them in acts of piety and charity; 1 Tim. vi. 17, 19. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor truft in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy laying up in store for themfelves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Q. 17. Wherefore is the bread called our bread ?
A. Not because we are abfolute lords and poffeffors of it, for it is God's only; Pfalm xxiv. 1, 2. The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the feas, and established it upon the floods. Pfalmi 1. 10, 12. For every beaft of the fo VOL. VIII. T
reft is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee, for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof. But, (1.) Because we must have a covenant right to it; and, (2.) A civil right; we must come lawfully and honestly by, and fo keep the good things of this life; 2 Theff. iii. 10. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
Q. 18. Having prayed for our daily bread, need we to labour and endeavour to get it?
A. Yes, we muft labour in good and honeft callings; God's bleffing and man's industry muft concur towards the prefent maintenance of life; Pfalm cxxviii. 1, 2. Bleffed is every one that feareth the Lord: that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Prov. x. 4, 22. He becometh poor that dealeth with a flack hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. The blefling of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no forrow with it.
Q. 19. What is the first inference from it?
A. That we must not feek great matters for ourselves, nerther make them the matter of prayer to God; nor the end and defign of our labours and callings among men.
Q. 20. What is a fecond inference from hence?
A. That having food and raiment, we must be therewith content, and therefore thankful; 1 Tim. vi. 8. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content. 1 Theff. v. 18. In every thing give thanks.
Q. 21. What is the third, inference?
A. That we afcribe not our fuccefs in the world to our own fkill and industry, for the wifeft and most industrious do fometimes labour in the fire, and put their gain in a bag of holes; but to God's free donation to us, and to his bleffing upon our endeavours; Gen. xxxiii. 5, 11. And he lift up his eyes, and faw the women and the children, and faid, Who are those with thee? And he faid, the children which God hath graciously given thy fervant.-Take, I pray thee, my bleffing that is brought to thee, because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. Deut. xxvii. 3. Bleffed fhalt thou be in the city, and blessed fhalt thou be in the field. Ver. 6. Blefled fhalt thou be when thou comeft in, and bleffed fhalt thou be when thou goeft out,
Concerning Forgiveness of Sins.
Quest. 105. WH Hat do we pray for in the fifth petition?
A. In the fifth petition, which is, [And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors,] we pray, that God, for Chrift's fake, would freely pardon all our fins; which we are the rather encouraged to ask, because by his grace we are enabled from the heart to forgive others.
Q.1. Why doth this petition immediately follow the former? A. To teach, that all temporal and corporal good things, without special and spiritual ones, are little worth; Pfalm iv. 6. There be many that say, Who will fhew us any good? Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. Pfalm xvii. 14, 15. From men which are thy hand, O Lord, from men of the world, which have their portion in this life, and whose belly thou filleft with thy hid treafure. They are full of children, and leave the rest of their fubftance to their babes. As. for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I fhall be fatisfied, when I awake with thy likeness.
Q. 2. Why is it annexed to the former with the copulative and?
A. To teach, that to be one minute in the confluence of all earthly good things, without the pardon of fin, is a very dangerous and dreadful condition; Luke xii. 16, 20. And he spake a parable unto them, faying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: But God faid unto him, Thou fool, this night fhall thy foul be required of thee, then whose shall those things be which thou haft provided?
Q3. Why is forgiveness of fins placed in the front of fpiritual bleffings?
A. Because till fin be pardoned, we are under wrath, and can have no special faving grace applied to us, till we are ac cepted; till we are in Chrift, we have no covenant-right to the bleflings of Chrift; Mat. xi. 28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft. Ver. 30. For my yoke is eafy, and my burden is light; John xv. 4, 5. Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the fame bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.Ver. 7. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you; ye shall afk what ye will, and it fhall be done unto you. John iii. ult. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlafting life; and he that believeth