Imatges de pÓgina
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therefore, when Ahab grew discontented at Naboth's refusal; and after that the malice and cunning of Jezebel had destroyed him, went down and took possession of his vineyard, the event shewed his coveting to have been criminal; and that his desire was as inordinate as the effect of it was tragical.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-1 Kings, xxi. passim, 5, 6, 7. But Jezebel his wife came to him, and said unto him, Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread? And he said unto her, because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? Arise and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite. Verse 16. And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite.

5. Q. What think you of such a desire, as though it be violent and immoderate, yet is presently suppressed, and does not proceed to any wicked resolu tions, endeavours, or actions, in order to the accomplishing of what it covets?

A. St. James seems to warrant us to think favourably of it; James, i. 12, 14, 15. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Every man is tempted

when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Yet it cannot be doubted but that all such desires proceed from an evil principle within us; and we ought to watch all we can, even against the first motions of them, and suppress them. Matt. v. 28, 29, 30. But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thes that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

6. Q. What is the duty required in this commandment?

A. Contentment with our estate whatsoever it be, so as neither to murmur against God, nor to envy our neighbour upon the account of any thing which he possesses. There being nothing more certain than that he who is not satisfied with what he himself enjoys, will be apt, upon every occasion, criminally to covet what is another man's.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Matt. vi. 25, &c. Therefore 1 say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on? Is not the life more than

meat, and the body than raiment? 1 Cor. xiii. 4. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not. Phil. iv. 11. Not that I speak in respect of want; for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 1 Thess. iv. 11, 12. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business; and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;

that ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing. Tim. vi. 6. But godliness, with contentment, is great gain. Heb. xiii. 5. Let your conversation be without covetousness: and be content with such things as ye have.

PART IV.

OF PRAYER.

SECT. XXXIII.

Of the Duty of Prayer in General.

1. Q. We have now done with the several branches of that duty which God requires of us; and which our Godfathers and Godmothers promised at our baptism that we should fulfil: Is there any thing yet remaining necessary to be known by us in order to our salvation?+

A. Yes, there is; namely, to understand what those means are which God hath ordained for the conveying of his grace to us, and to enable us to fulfil that duty which he has required of us.

2. Q. By what means may we obtain the grace of God in order to this end.

A. * Chiefly by these two: hearty prayer to God for it; and a right use of the holy sacraments.

3. Q. What is prayer?

A. It is a religious calling upon God; founded upon the belief of his infinite knowledge, power, and presence; and of his gracious goodness and mercy towards us in Jesus Christ: and by virtue whereof he is not only always present with us, to hear and receive our prayers, throughly acquainted with all our needs, and fully able to supply them; but is also

↑ See the Preface to this Prayer, Ch. Cat.

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most willing and ready so to do, if we call upon him as we ought to do.

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PROOFS SUBJOINED.- Psalm iv. 1. Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer. 1. 15. Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. xcix. 6. Moses and Aaron among his priests, and Samuel among them that call upon his name; they called upon the Lord, and he answered them. cxvi. 17. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the Lord. Prov. xi. 28. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer: they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me. Jer. xxix. 12. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. Rom. x. 12, 14. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? 1 Cor. i. 2. Paul, unto the church of God, which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. 2 Tim. ii. 22. Follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 1 Pet. i. 17. And if ye call on the Father, who, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourn ing here in fear.

John, xvi. 24. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name; ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

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Psalm 1xv. 2. O thou that heareth prayer, unto

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