Imatges de pÓgina
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SECT. XXXIX.

Of the Fifth Petition-And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.

1. Q. What are the blessings which we are taught in this prayer to ask of God for our souls?

A. The forgiveness of sins past; and the prevention of them for the time to come.

2. Q. How do you pray to God for the forgiveness of your past sins?

A. In these words: And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.

3. Q. What do you mean by forgiving of trespasses?

A. I pray that God would do away all my sins, of what nature or quality soever they be; that he would wash away the guilt, and remit the punishment

of them.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Psalm xxxii. 2, 3, 5. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile. When I kept silence, my bones waxed old through my roaring all the day long. I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. cxxx.3, 4. If thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? But there is forgiveness with thee: that thou mayest be feared. Prov. xxviii. 13. He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. 1 John, i. 9. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

4. Q. Do you trust that God will do this?

A. Yes, if I take care to make good the condition upon which I ask it of him, by forgiving of those who trespass against me. Matt. vi. 14, 15. 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.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Mark, xi. 25. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. Luke, vi. 37. Forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.

5. Q. Will that alone suffice to entitle you to God's forgiveness?

A. No, it will not: without forgiving of others, I shall never be myself forgiven, Matt. vi. 15. But that I may be forgiven by God, I must not only forgive others, but must myself repent of my sins, and ask pardon for them, in the name, and through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Saviour.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-1 John, i. 8, 9. If we say that we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. See above, sect. xviii.

6. Q. Why then is this added as the condition upon which we are to pray to God for his forgive

ness?

A. It was fit to be mentioned upon several accounts: first, as a consideration very proper to be offered by us to God, to induce him to forgive us. If we, who are proud and peevish, easy to be af fronted, and hard to be reconciled; yet, for God's

sake, and in obedience to his commands, forgive those who have offended us, how much more shall our most gracious and merciful Father forgive us in what we have offended him. It was fit to have been added, secondly, as a motive upon the same grounds, to assure us that if we truly repent of our sins, and beg of God the forgiveness of them, God will certainly remit them to us. It was fit to have been added, thirdly, to put us continually in mind of the necessity we lie under to forgive injuries, though never so many, never so great, never so often and provokingly committed; and to engage us readily and heartily so to do: considering that till we have done it, we cannot pray to God for his forgiveness; and that if we do not do it sincerely, God will certainly find it out: and though by pretending a reconciliation, where really it is not, we may delude men, yet we cannot possibly deceive God.

PROOFS SUBJOINED.-Luke, xi. 4. And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. Matt. vi. 14. For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matt. vi. 15. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. xviii. 21 to 35. Then came Peter unto him, and said, Lord, 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. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as

he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pity on thee. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.

Mark, xi. 25, 26. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Luke, xvii. 3, 4. Take heed to yourselves: if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, for

give him. And if he 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.

7. Q. What think you of those who say their Lord's Prayer, and yet either continue at variance with their neighbour, or at least do not truly, and from their hearts forgive him?

A. I think that they do not pray for pardon, but for vengeance: they imprecate the wrath of God upon their own heads, and do, in reality, pray after this desperate manner: thou, O God, hast commanded me to forgive my brother his trespasses: thou hast declared that unless I do so, thou wilt not forgive me my sins. Well; let what will come, I am resolved to stand to the hazard of it. I will not forgive, nor be reconciled to my brother; do thou deal as thou pleasest with me.

SECT. XL.

Of the Sixth Petition-And lead us not into Temptation, but deliver us from Evil.

1. Q. What is the sixth and last petition of this prayer?

A. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

2. Q. What is meant by temptation?

A. It in general signifies no more than trial, and may be taken in an indifferent, or even in a good sense, to denote any occasion of proving and experimenting a man's faith or obedience. So God tempted Abraham. Gen. xxii. 1. And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.

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