« IndietroContinua »
he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had. and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow serrants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought hiin, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellow-servant, even as I had pily on thee. And his lord, was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Mark, xi. 25, 26. And when ye stund praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any; that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. Luke, xvii. 3, 4. Take heed to yourselves : if thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, for
give him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.
7. Q. What think you of those who say their Lord's Prayer, and yet either continue at variance with their neighbour, or at least do not truly, and from their hearts forgive him ?
A. I think that they do not pray for pardon, but for vengeance: they imprecate the wrath of God upon their own heads, and do, in reality, pray after this desperate manner: thou, O God, hast commanded me to forgive my brother his trespasses: thou hast declared that unless I do so, thou wilt not forgive me my sins. Well; let what will come, I am resolved to stand to the hazard of it. I will not forgive, nor be reconciled to my brother; do thou deal as thou pleasest with me.
Sect. XL. Of the Sixth Petition-And lead us not into Tempta
tion, but deliver us from Evil.
1. Q. What is the sixth and last petition of this prayer ?
X. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
2. Q. What is meant by temptation ?
A. It in general signifies no more than trial, and may be taken in an indifferent, or even in a good sense, to denote any occasion of proving and experimenting a man's faith or obedience. So God tempted Abraham. Gen. xxii. 1. And it came to pass after these things that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.
Christ. Philip. John, Ti. 6". And this he said to prove kiat: for he himself knew what he would do.
And thus afflictions and persecutions are in Scriptare called temptations. Luke, viii. 13. They on the rock art they which when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while behere, and in time of temptation fall away. xxii. 28. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. James, i. 2. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into dicers temptations. 2 Pet. ii. 9. Th* Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.
But it is more usually taken in an ill sense, to denote such a trial as is designed to seduce and lead us into sin. So the decil tempts us. Gal. vi. 1. Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself lest thou also be tempted. 1 Thess. iii. 5. Lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be vain. Heb. ii. 18. For in that he himself hath suffered, being templed, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
So every man is tempted by his own lusts, James, i. 14. So God tempteth no man, James, i. 13.
Proofs Subjoined.—Mai. iii. 15. And now we call the proud happy; yea, they that work wickedness are set up; yea, they that tempt God are even delivered. Matt. xxii. 18. But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites. Acts, v. 9. Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? James, i. 2, 12. My brethren, count it all joy, when ye fall into divers temptations. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he. shall receive the crown of life which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
3. Q. What is the evil which you here pray against? A. That also may be taken in a double sense; and
signify either an evil person, or an evil thing. In the former it may respect all wicked men, but especially the wicked one, the tempter. In the latter, not so much the evil of sin itself, as the evil of temptation to which it seems most properly to refer.
Proofs Subjoined.—Matt. iv. 3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God command that these stones be made bread. John, xvii. 15. I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
4. Q. What then is the full import of this petition? A. I therein desire that God would neither try me
himself beyond my strength, nor suffer the devil, the world, or my own flesh to do it. That, if it be his will, I may not be exposed to any great temptations at all: but if for any ends of his wise Providence he shall think fit to "suffer me to be tempted, that then he would be pleased bgraciously to strengthen and support me in my temptations; and carry me with innocence and integrity through them; and not suffer me to be led into si?i by them.
Proofs Subjoined.—Matt. xxvi. 41. Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is v;eak. 1 Cor. x. 13. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape
that ye may be able to bear it. Heb. ii. 18. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Rev. iii. 10. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
*2 Sam. xxiv. 1. And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. Compare I Chron. xxi. 1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. Job,
i. See passim. 1 Pet. v. 8. Be sober, be vigilant: because your adversary, the devil, like a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour.
"Psalm xxiii. 4. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me: thy rod and thy staff comfort me. 1 Cor. x. 13. There hath no temptation taken you, but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 2 Pet ,
ii. 9. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.
Of the Doxology, or Conclusion, For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
1. Q. What does the last part of this prayer consist of?