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Then he may look up to God, as a merciful God, "forgiving iniquity, transgression, and sin;" for, "to as many as receive Christ," and the atonement through him," he giveth power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe in his name;" and to such only is "the spirit of adoption" given, whereby they cry, "Abba, Father." For it is one thing to use the word father, and another to approach him as a loving child comes to a tender parent, with a persuasion of his being able and willing to supply his wants. To such persons this name is full of comfort for they are emboldened to believe, that if earthly parents, though evil, know how to give good gifts to their children, God, our heavenly Father, is much more disposed to do them good, and bless them with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus.

But this name teacheth us also the greatness of God. Children ought to treat their earthly parents with great respect; but what reverence is due to the Father of spirits, whose throne is in the heavens! yea, "the heaven of heavens cannot contain him," God is every where present; he is not confined to heaven; but he is said to dwell there, because there he displays the brightest beams of his glorious majesty; and there angels and saints bow low before his feet, crying day and night, "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty!" Such thoughts as these should possess our minds when we say, Our Father which art in heaven! Think of his goodness and his greatness when you pray. Take care to lift up your hearts to heaven, when you pray to him who dwells in heaven, or else your prayers will never reach his throne.

II. Hallowed be thy name! tion; and is placed first to and chief desire should be that for that is the meaning of it.

This is the first petishow us that our first God may be glorified;

The name of God

signifies God himself, as he is pleased to make himself known to us by his names and titles, his words and works; for as a man is known to us by his name, so God has made himself known to us in the gospel. There all his glorious perfections shine and unite. There he shows himself, "a just God and a Saviour." Now, to hallow God's name is to sanctify it; to hold it sacred for to sanctify any thing is to set it apart from every profane and common use. In this petition, then, we pray that God would enable us to glorify him in all things whereby he makes himself known. We must glorify him in our hearts, by high, holy, reverent thoughts of him. We must glorify him by our tongues, by always speaking of him in the most serious manner. We must glorify him in all our actions; not only by acts of solemn worship, but by the most common actions of life; for, whether we eat or drink, all should be done with a view to the glory of God.

Now, how dreadfully far from this are many who say this prayer, and who no sooner rise from their knees than they profane and blaspheme this holy name. Think of this, you who curse and swear, or take the Lord's name in vain! When you say in a thoughtless manner, God bless us! O God! O Christ! &c. is this to hallow the name of God? Leave off praying, or leave off swearing; for they cannot agree together.

But let every one that fears God remember, that the glory of God is the first and chief thing that we are to ask for, and to desire, and seek, even before our own good. Now, that we and others may do this, we are taught, in the next place, to pray,

III. Thy kingdom come! Now this does not mean the kingdom of God's providence, which rules over all; this cannot be said to come, for it is come already, and will never cease; but it means that

spiritual kingdom which Christ came to set up in the world. That kingdom of the Messiah, which the pious Jews had long expected, and which, when this prayer was given to the disciples, was said to be at hand. This kingdom of Christ did come soon after. It was set up when Christ ascended to heaven, and the Spirit descended from it. But still the prayer is as necessary as ever: for we pray that this kingdom may be established in our hearts, and extended to all the world.

The kingdom of Christ is erected on purpose to destroy the kingdom of Satan. The devil has usurped a dominion over all mankind; and though he does not now possess the bodies of men, as once he did, yet he "ruleth in the hearts of the children of disobedience," who are "led captive by him at his will:" and in some parts of the world he is actually worshipped as God. Now, in order to destroy this infernal kingdom, Jesus Christ came into the world; he overcame Satan in all his attempts to seduce him; and on the cross he spoiled principalities and powers, and conquered when he fell; he deprived Satan of his power, and led captivity captive. Wherever he sends his gospel, he proclaims liberty; and wherever he gives his grace to any person, there Satan is dethroned; and being made willing to submit to Christ, the believer is translated out of Satan's kingdom of sin and darkness, into the holy and happy kingdom

of God's dear Son.

Now when we say, thy kingdom come, we pray that the light, power, liberty, and glory of Christ's spiritual kingdom may be more fully experienced in our own hearts, more fully established in our own souls. For, as one observes, "In worship we pay our homage to God. In the word, we come to learn his laws. In the sacrament, we renew our oaths of allegiance. In almsgiving, we pay him tribute. In

prayer, we ask him leave, and praise is our rent to the great Lord, from whom we hold our all."

Thus also we express our souls' desire for our poor fellow-sinners. Deeply affected with the state of Heathens, Jews, Mahometans, and wicked Christians, we pour forth our souls in holy longings for their conversion, earnestly desiring the joyful day when it shall be said "The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever." Rev. xi. 15.

IV. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. God, the glorious Maker of the world, has a right to govern it. His will is the proper rule of his creatures' actions; and it is obeyed by them all, except by men and devils. God has made known his will to us in his word. The law of the ten commandments shows what obedience he requires of us; but, as fallen creatures, we have rendered ourselves incapable of perfect obedience to it, and so of obtaining life by it. God has graciously given us the law of faith, or the gospel of salvation, by Jesus Christ; and "this is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another." But the natural man refuses obedience to this also; he is either unconcerned about salvation, or dislikes the way of it; and while he remains in this state, he cannot do the will of God in any respect acceptably; for, "without faith it is impossible to please him." In short, "the carnal mind is enmity against God:" the will of the flesh is directly contrary to the will of God; but it accords with the will of Satan, sinners being "led captive by him at his will."

How necessary, then, is this petition-Thy will be done! And it includes, 1. A desire to know it; as the Psalmist prays, (cxliii. 10) “Teach me to do thy

will, for thou art my God;" or, as converted Saul, "Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?" 2. A heart to do it; a heart on which God has written his laws. I remember a person who told me, when he was teaching his child to say this prayer, and came to this petition-" Thy will be done," the child refused to say it, and would have it, "My will be done." This poor simple child was far more honest than many of us, who say, thy will be done, and yet determine to follow our own will: but the real Christian's desire is, "Oh that there were such an heart in me to fear God, and to keep all his commandments always!" Deut. v. 29. We pray also, 3. For strength to do the will of God; for, "to will" may be present, and yet how to perform that which is good we may not find but, knowing that the Lord worketh in his people both to will and to do, we hereby pray that he would "make us perfect in every good work, to do his will; working in us that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ." This petition also includes holy submission to the will of his providence, however afflictive; and that we may learn to bear it without murmuring, knowing that it is his will, and for our good.


Now, we pray for grace to do all this, in imitation of the spirits of just men made perfect, and of the sinless angels in heaven. "God's will is done in heaven." The angels that excel in strength do his commandment, hearkening to the voice of his word; they do it humbly, cheerfully, diligently, constantly; and so do glorified saints in heaven; "for there his servants shall serve him." So let it be our meat and drink to do the will of our heavenly Father, and to bear Christ's yoke, which is easy; and his burden, which is light.

V. Give us this day our daily bread. This petition implies our dependence on God for food and all

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