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speak and say before the Lord thy God, a Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous. Then thou shalt say before the Lord thy God, I have brought away the hallowed things out of mine house, and also have given them unto the Levites, and unto the stranger, to the fatherless, and to the widow, according to all thy commandments which thou hast commanded me.
Sect. XXXIV. Of the Lord's Prayer in particular; and therein
first, of the Introduction of it. 1. Q. Say the Lord's Prayer.
A. Our father which art in heaven; hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, før ever and ever. Anien.
2. Q. What are the general parts of this prayer?
A. It is divided into three general parts : *a preface or introduction; * the petitions; and *a doxo. logy, or 'conclusion.
3. Q. What is the preface to this prayer ? · A. Our Father which art in heaven.
4. Q. Wherefore did our Saviour begin his prayer with this compellation of God, Our Father ?
A. As for the other reasons hereafter mentioned, so especially to put us in mind that all our hope of being heard, or accepted by God, is by virtue of that relation wherein we stand to him, in and through his Son Jesus Christ. John, xiv. 6. No man cometh unTo the Father but by me. John, xv. 16. xvi. 23, 24. Verily, verily, I say unto you; whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. See Col. jii. 17. And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. Epb. ii. 18. For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.—John, i. 12. As many as received him, to them gare he power to become the sons of God, even to them that beliere on his name. Rom. viii. 15, 16. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear: but ye have received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. Gal. iii. 26. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Gal. iv. 5, 6, 7. To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God, through Christ.
5. Q. Why was that circumstance added, Which art in heaven?
A. To shew the difference between him and our earthly parents, who sometimes are hard toward their children, and will not give them what they ask; oftentimes are not able to supply their needs; and, in many cases, cannot tell what is best for them; but either deny them when they ought to have given them
what they desired; or give them when it would have been more advisable not to have done it. Whereas our heavenly Father is all-merciful, all-powerful, and all-wise; and by consequence, liable to none of these defects.
PROOFS SUBJOINED,–Kings, viii. 39. Then hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest ; for thou, even thou only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men. Psalm cxv. 3. But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased. cxxiii. 1. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Luke, xi. 13. If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? James, i. 17. Every good gift, and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. .
6. Q. What do you learn from this introduction ?
A. To come to God with great assurance, but with great reverence too: who as our Father will not fail to hear his children, if they ask as they ought of him; as he is our heavenly Father, can give us whatsoever we stand in need of. 1 John, v. 14, 15. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
PROOFS SUBJOINED.—Psalm cïïi. 13. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord pitieth them that fear him. Lamen. iii. 40, 41. Let us search and
try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens. Eccles. v. 2. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth; therefore let thy words be few. Matt. vi. 9, 10, 11. What man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone ? or, if he ask a fish, will he give him u serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Futher which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him.
7. Q. Is God so in heaven as our earthly fathers are upon earth ?
A. No, by no means; for God being infinite, is every where present; neither shut out of any place, nor circumscribed by any. “But because God is pleased to shew himself in heaven, in the highest excellences of his Divine majesty and glory: and is there attended by his holy angels; therefore heaven is considered as his court and his throne. And we very properly direct our prayers to God there, where our Saviour sits to intercede with him for us; and where the blessed spirits attend upon him, and fall down before him and worship him.
Proofs SUBJOINED.—Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off? Can any hide himself in secret places, that I shall not see him ? saith the Lord. Do not I fill heaven and earth? suith the Lord. 1 Kings, viii. 23, 27, 38, 39. And he said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in heaven above, or on earth beneath, who keepest covenant and mercy with thy servants that walk before thee with all their heart.
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded. What prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people Israel, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands to this house: Then hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling place, and forgive, and do, and give to every man according to his ways, whose heart thou knowest ; for thou, even thou, only, knowest the hearts of all the children of men. Isaiah, xl. 22. It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in. Psalm cxxxix. 7. Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence ?
a Psalm xi. 4. The Lord is in his holy temple ; the Lord's throne is in heaven. cxxiii. 1. Unto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou, that dwellest in the heavens. Isaiah, lxvi. 1. Thus saith the Lord, the heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest ? Matt. v. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father, which is in heaven. v. 45. That ye may be the children of your Father, which is in heaven. xii. 50. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother. xxiii. 9. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Acts, vii. 49. Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord.