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shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Acts, xvii. 25, 28. Neither is (God) worshipped with mens hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing- he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. 1 Pet. v. 7. Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
8. Q. Are the rich as much concerned thus to pray to God as the poor?
A. They are altogether: our Saviour composed this prayer for both alike. It is the same Providence of God which maintains both; and gives an abundance to the one as well as a competency to the other.
9. Q. Is it unlawful for any man to take care of, or provide for any thing more than the next day?
A. No, by no means; God himself has sent us to the ant to learn the contrary. Prov. vi. 8. Who provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.
Such a care as goes no farther than a prudent foresight, and neither prompts us to any evil, nor keeps us back from any good, is certainly not only innocent, but commendable.f Without this the world could not subsist otherwise than by a continual miracle, which we ought not to expect where ordinary methods are to be had. *The solicitude which our Saviour forbids, and which is indeed sinful, is that which proceeds from an immoderate concern for the future: when men are uneasy and discontented; distrustful of God's Providence, and still hoarding more up, as if they could never have enough, but were to trust rather to their own care and foresight, than to God's blessing.
Pboofs Subjoined.—f Acts, xi. 28, 29, 30. And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout all the world, which came to pass in the days of Claudius Casar. Then the disciples, every man according to his ability, determined to send relief unto the brethren which dwelt in Judea: which also they did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul. 1 Cor. xv i. 1. Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Cor. viii. 12, 14. For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a tnan hath, and not according to that he hath not. For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: but by an equality that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for your want, that there may be equality.
* Matt . vi. 25 to 31. Therefore I say unto you. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, wJiat ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air ! for they sow not, neither do t/iey reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto thee, that even Solomon, in all his glory, teas not arrayed like one of Uiese. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to-day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith.
as we forgive them that trespass against us.
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 iniquily 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. 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 Gods
A. No, it will not: without forgiving of others, I shall never be myself forgiven, Matt. vi. 15. But that 1 may be forgiven by God, J 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. It vve who are proud and peevish, easy to be affronted, and hard to be reconciled; yet, for God's sake, and in obedience to bis 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 fiud 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