« PreviousContinue »
Our faviour, in his excellent sermon on the mount, and again, on the request of his disciples to be instructed how to pray, gives us a plain rule on this subjedt : « After this manner, therefore, pray ye, Our “ Father, who art in heaven*.” No precept can be clearer; and it is repeated frequently, with promises, that the Father would hear their prayers. “ But “ thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and « when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father, « who is in secret; and thy Father who seeth in “ secret, shall reward thee openly t. Verily, verily, I “ say unto you, whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father « in my name, he will give it you. And when ye « stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against « any, that your Father also, who is in heaven, may “ forgive you your trespasses g. If ye then, being evil, “ know how to give good gifis unto your children; * how much more shall your Father, who is in hea« ven, give good things to them that ask him l. « Again, I say unto you, that if two of you shall « agree on earth, as touching any thing that they " shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father, « who is in heavenq”.
Our faviour, indeed, had no idea of any other object of worship besides the true God, and quotes a
* Matth. vi. 9. Luke xi. 2.
f Matth. vi. 6. Mark xi. 25. Matt. xviii. 19.
passage from the writings of Moses, who eressly
If we attend to the practice of Jesus Christ, we
“I thank thee, O Father, lord of heaven and earth,
because thou hast hidden these things from the wise
A3 . . " this
Luk: vi, 12. ** John xvii. 1. .
this prayer, it is a model for your own prayers;
Our saviour continued to his death in this true and
From the precept of our faviour illustrated by his
& Acts ii. 46, 47. compare iii. 8, 9. X. 2. 31, 33.
66 art God, who haft made heaven and earth, the
You may object, perhaps, that there is an instance to the contrary in the deacon Stephen, who, on the point of death, called out, “ Lord Jesus, receive my « spirit||.” But you are to recollect the particular circumstances in which he then was, that he saw Jesus Christ himself in glory, and seeing him, made, with great propriety, this address. If any of you, my
brethren, * Acts iv. 24, 27, 29, 30. + Acts xii. 5. xi. 18. xvi. 25.
| Acts xiv. 25. xxvi. 20. compare attentively the three speeches of St. Paul, xvii. 23. $ A&s xxvii. 35. xxviii. 15.
Acts vü. 59. compare Matth. viii. 25, xiv. 30.
brethren, should see our faviour in the fame circumstances, such an address would be very proper.
The precepts of the apostles, in their letters, point out only one object of worship. “ Now I “ beseech you, brethren, for the lord Jesus Christ's « fake, and for the love of the spirit, that ye strive, “ together with me, in your prayers to God for me*, “ Be careful for nothing, but, in every thing, by “ prayer and supplications, let your requests be made “ known unto Godt. If any of you lack wisdom, “ let him ask of God, who giveth to all men libe« rallyf. Giving thanks always unto God, even the “ Father, in the name of our lord Jesus Christs. “ By him, therefore, let us offer the sacrifice of « praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our « lips, giving thanks to his namel. Now the God “ of patience and consolation grant you to be like« minded one towards another, according to Jesus 6 Christ, that ye may, with one mind, glorify God, « even the Father of our lord Jesus Christe.”
To these precepts, their practice also was conformable. " Wherefore, I also cease not to give “ thanks for you, making mention of you in my « prayers, that the God of our lord Jesus Christ, o the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit
* Rom. xv. 30. xii. 1. + Phil. iv. 6. Col. iii. 17.
Jam. i. 5. 27. § Eph. v. 20. 1 Cor. x. 31. || Heb. xiii. 25.
Rom, xv. 5. 6.