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as the servatits of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. 1 Pet. ii. 15. For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. 1 John, ii. 17. And the world passetIt away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abidmtk for ever.
A. Q. Why is this circumstance added, As it is in heat-en?
A. To shew us what kind of obedience we ought to pay to God's will. That as the angels in heaven not only do the will of God, but do it with all readiness, cheerfulness, constancy, and delight; so may we in like manner, if it shall please God, in some measure fulfil it too. Psalm ciii. 20, 21. Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.
5. Q. Is it possible for us ever to attain to such a perfection of obedience in this present life?
A. It is hardly to be expected; yet we must pray for it, and endeavour to come up as near as it is possible to it: and in the mean time, must learn from hence, not only how we ought to serve God now, but how we shall hereafter do his will; when we come to the blessed state, as well as place, of those holy spirits in heaven.
Of the Fourth Petition—Give us this day, SfC
1. Q. What is the first of those petitions which you said related to our own needs?
A. <gfoe us t&fe nap ourTKHlp breati*
2. Q. What do you observe from the general composure of this part of the present prayer?
A. That as man consists of two different parts, a soul and body; and has need of several things to be given him for the good of both; so we are here directed to beg of God; first, what is necessary to our present life; and secondly, what may conduce to the everlasting happiness of our souls, in the life that is to come.
3. Q. How does our Saviour express what is necessary to be asked by us, for the sustenance of our present life?
A. He calls it our daily bread.
4. Q. What does the word bread denote?
A. It is commonly used in Scripture for all sort of provision, as it is indeed the chiefest and most necessary; and such as may supply the defect of all other. And it is here made use of to signify all that is necessary for our support; not only meat, *but drink, raiment, lodging, and the like: excluding at the same time whatsoever is superfluous, and desired rather to gratify our lusts than to preserve our life.
Proofs Subjoined.—Gen. iii. 19. In the sweat of thy face s/ialt thou eat bread. xviii. 5, 6, 7. And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, so do, as thou hast said. And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth. And Abraham ran unto the herd, andfetcht a calf, tender and good, and gave it unto a young man, and he hasted to dress it. xlii. 31, 32. And he washed his face and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread. And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves. 1 Kings, xxi.
7. And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thon 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. Psalm xxxvii. 25. I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. xli. 9. Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Mark, iii. 20. And the multitude cometh together again, so that they could not so much as eat bread. 2 Cor. ix. 10. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower doth minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness. 2 Thess. iii.
8, 12. Neither did we eat any man's bread J'or nought; but wrought with labour and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you.—Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
*Gen. xxviii. 20. And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way, that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so that I come again to my father s house in peace; then shall the Lord be my God. Isaiali, iii. 1. For, behold, the Lord, the Lord of Hosts, doth take away from Jerusalem and from Judah the stay and the staff, the whole stay of bread, and the whole stay of water. 1 Tim. iy. 8. For bodily exercise profiteth little, but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
5. Q. What is meant by our bread?
A. It may imply these two things: either, first, what is necessary for us; that is to say, for ourselves and for those who depend upon us. Or else, secondly, it may be called our bread, upon the account of the propriety we have in it: as being either the product of our estates, or the effect of our own labour, or others' charity; not the bread offraud or oppression; of stealth or covet ousness: that so we may live upon what is truly our own, and not devour our neighbour's bread.
Proofs Subjoined.—Prov. xxx. 8. Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches: feed me with food convenient for me. 1 Tim. vi. 6. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.
6. Q. What do you understand by the word daily? A. What is sufficient for the next day: but then
we add withal, this day, or day by day, to shew that though (because such is the uncertainty of our present life, that how many or how few days we may have to come, we cannot tell, therefore) we ask no more of God than what is needful for our support: yet we trust that God, of his goodness, will every day give us our bread, as he did the Jews their manna in the wilderness, £xod. xvi. 4, 5, so long as he shall think fit to continue us in this state of our pilgrimage; until he shall bring us to our heavenly Canaan, that good country which he has provided for us.
Proofs Subjoined.—Matt. vi. 25. 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? Heb. xiii. 5. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 1 Pet. v. 7. Casting all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.
7. Q. Wherefore do we pray to God for such a support?
A. "Not to exclude our own reasonable care in providing for it, much less to excuse our labouring after it; but bto shew that we depend altogether upon the Providence of God, and owe our lives, and all the support of them, not to our own cunning or industry, but to his blessing: and to engage us thereby both to rely the more confidently upon God, and to make those suitable returns of love, and praise, and gratitude, that we ought to do to him.
Proofs Subjoined.—*Gen. iii. 19. In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread. Acts, xx. 34. J have shewed yon all things, how that so labouring, ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive. 1 Cor. iv. 12. And we labour, working with our own hands. 2 Thess. iii. 10, 12. For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.
b Deut. viii. 3. And he humbled thee, and sn/fered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Comp. Matt. »v. 4. But he answered and said, It is written, man