Page images
[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

that comes in competition therewith ; 1 Cor. ix. ult. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection ; left that by any means when I have preached to others, I myself should be a cast-away. Gal. vi. 14. But God forbid that I should glory, fave in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, 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 preserveth the way of his faints. Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity ; yea, every good path.

Q. 2i. What is the fourth inference ?

A. That the law still hath the authority of a rule to believers, because it reveals God's will, which they must do.

Concerning our daily Bread.
Quest. 104. 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 personal concerns ; Pfal. lxix. 9.

For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up. Acts xxi. 13. For I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

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 spiritual blessings, unless we have a natural being in this life.

e 3. What kind of bread is here meant ?

A. Not spiritual bread, or our Lord Jesus Christ, (as fome), but corporal and temporal.

Q. 4. What is included in this word bread?

A. Not that only which we call strictly bread, but all the good things of this present life.

Q. 5. Do we hereby beg pure neceffities only?

A. No, we pray for conveniences for our comfort, as well as neceffaries for our life.

Q. 6. Do we herein pray only for personal good things for our being?

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


to us?

A. No, we pray for civil good things for our condition, that according to our degree in the world, in which God hath placed us, we may have a convenient allowance.

Q. 7. Do we pray here for ourselves only?

A. No, but also 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 these good things, can we not get them ourselves, or our fellow-creatures give them

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 success to get them; if others, God inclined their hearts, and opened their hands to bestow them; Deut. viii. 17, 18. And thou say in thine heart, My power and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt 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 suffer ; Luke xvii. 104 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants.

Q 10. Why are all these things couched under the express Gion of bread?

A. (1.) Because bread is one of the most neceffary and useful things to preserve life. (2.) Because we must not ask delicacies and dainties of God.

Q. 11. 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. Because God must give us the mercies and good things of every day, or else we cannot have them.

Q. 13. Why should we not pray for weekly, or monthly, or yearly bread, as well as daily?

A. (1.) Because it is fit we should be still sensible of our de: pendance upon God. (2.) Because we do frequently pray to God, and so exert our graces, and maintain communion with him, and daily render thanks for daily favours; Psalm lv. 17. Evening and morning, and at noon will I


cry aloud, and he shall hear my voice.

Q. 14. What need we to pray for daily bread, when we may have stores laid up for years?

A. They that have the good things of this life need to pray

8; 9.

this petition, as well as they that have thein not. Not that they may have bread, but that it may be bread to them ; for except God give his blefing upon it, bread would be ashes, and not sustentaneous to us; neither could all the comforts of this life do us any good ; Isa. iii. ii For behold, the Lord, the Lord of hosts doth take away from Jerusalem, and from Judah, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. Mal. ii, 1, 2. And now, O je priests, 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 hosts, I will even fend a curre upon you, and I will curse your blessings, yea, I have curled them already, because you do not lay it to heart.

Q. 15. Why do we pray only for daily bread, or à compéé tency, may we not pray for abundance and riches ?

A. No, because riches are a great snare and temptation; Matth. xix. 23, 24. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I lay uitto you, that a rich man fhall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you; It is eafier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich maii to enter into the kingdom of God. Prov. XXX. Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: lest I be füll, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? Or left I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.

Q. 16. What thall we then do with riches; if providence cast them upon us, shall we east them away?

A. No, for some of the best of men, and greatest of God's favourites, have lived and died rich. But, (1.) We must weani our hearts from them ; Pfalm Ixii. 10. Trust not in oppreffion; and become not vain ini robbery; if riches increase, fet not your heart upon them. (2.) Be thankful for them; and, (3.) Fruitfül 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 trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy : laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

0. 17. Wherefore is the bread called nur bread ?

A. Not because we are absolute lords and poffeffor's 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 tlie feas, and established it upon the floods. Pfalmi 1. 10, 12. For every beast of the fo, VOL. VIII.


you, that if

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


this we commanded 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 must labour in good and honest eallings; God's blessing and man's industry must concur towards the present maintenance of life ; Palm cxxviii. 1, 2. Blefied is every one that feareth the Lord : that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands : happy thalt thou be, and it shall .be well with thee. Prov. X. 4, 22. He becometh poor that

dealeth with a Black hand; but the hand of the diligent maketh sich. The blessing of the Lord maketh rich, and he addeth no forrow with it.

Q. 19. What is the firkt inference from it?

A. That we mult not seek great matters for ourselves, neither make them the matter of prayer to God; nor the end and design of our labours and callings among men.

Q. 20. What is a second inference from hence ?

A. That having food and raiment, we muft be therewith content, and therefore thankful ; 1 Tim. vi. 8. And having food and raiment, let us be there with content. i Theff. v. 18. In every thing give thanks.

Q. 21. What is the third inference ?

A. That we ascribe not our success in the world to our own skill and industry, for the wiselt and most induftrious 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 blessing upon our endeavours; Gen. xxxiii. 5, 11. And he lift up his eyes, and saw the women and the children, and faid, Who are those with thee? And he said, the children which God hath graciously given thy servant.--Take, I pray thee, my blessing that is brought to thee, because God hath dealt graciously with me, and because I have enough. Deut. xxvii. 3. Blessed shalt thou be in the city, and blefled fhalt thou be in the field. Ver. 6. Blefled flialt thou be when thou comeft in, and blessed thalt thou be when thou goeft out,


Concerning Forgiveness of Sins.
Quest. 105

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 Christ'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; Psalm iv. 6. There be many that say, Who will shew 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 fillest with thy hid treasure. They are full of children, and leave the rest of their substance to their babes.

As. for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness : I shall be fatis. fied, 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 fpake a parable unto them, saying, The ground.of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night shall thy soul be required of thee; then whose shall those things be which thou haft provided ?

Q. 3. Why is forgiveness of sins placed in the front of spiri. tual blessings?

A. Because till sin 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 Chrilt, we have no covenant-right to the blessings of Chrift; Mat. xi. 28. Come unto me, ali


that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you reft. Ver. 30. For my yoke is easy, 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 ab

abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Ver. 7. If bide in mes


my words abide in you; ye shall alk what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. John iii. ult. He that believeth on the Son, hath everlaiting life; and he that believeth.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

ye a.

« PreviousContinue »