« ÎnapoiContinuați »
may come forth as gold from the hands of the refiner; to humble and prove us, and to show the difference between hypocrites and believers. The Lord thy God led thee forty years in the wilderness to
humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine
heart. Deut. vi'i. 2. 16. The Lord your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the
Lord your God, with all your heart, and with all your soul.
Deut. xiii. 3. My servant Job still holdeth fast his integrity. Job ii. 3. When he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold. Job xxiii. 10. They on the rock-have no root, which for a while believe, and
in time of temptation fall away. Luke viii. 13. Blessed is the man that endureth temptation. James i. 12. Ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations, that the trial
of your faith might be found unto praise at the appearing of
Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. i. 6, 7. What then are we taught to pray for in the former part of
this petition? That God would neither suffer us to be led into temptation to do what is evil, from our own lusts nor from the devil; but that he would support us under temptation, and not permit us to fall by it. Keep back thy servant from presumptuous sins; let them not
have dominion over me. Ps. xix. 13. Watch and pray that ye enter not into temptation. Matt. xxvi.
41. Luke xxii. 40. 46. 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 what ye are able; but will with the temptation make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." 1 Cor. x. 13. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.
2 Pet. ii. 9. Be watchful over your thoughts, desires, and tempers, which often prove strong temptations. See that you do not yourselves run into temptation, but shun all wicked companions which might lead you into sin, and all places where danger to your soul might be expected.
We must not suppose, because we have been preserved for a great length of time from being overcome by any particular sin, that therefore we are no longer in danger of committing it. David and several other holy persons fell into gross sins in the decline of life, and after a long and consistent profession of religion. We must never cease to watch. What is the evil from which we pray to be delivered ?
1. We pray " that it will please him to save and defend us in all dangers, both of soul and body," or those to which our persons are liable, as diseases, accidents of various kinds, and sudden death. Innumerable evils have compassed me about. Ps. xl 12. Because thou hast made the Lord—thy habitation, there shall
no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come near thy dwelling. Ps. xci. 1-13. That we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men.
2 Thess. iii. 2. The Lord shall deliver me from every evil work (of men,) and
will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom. 2 Tim. iv. 18. 2. " That he will keep us from all sin and wickedness. He will keep the feet of his saints. 1 Sam. ii. 9. o that thou wouldest keep me froin evil, that it may not grieve
me. 1 Chron. iv. 10. I pray that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. Jo
xvii. 15. 3. That he will keep us “from our spiritual enemy i. e. Satan, who uses all possible means to persuade us commit sin, that he may accuse and torment us.
See pages 24, 25. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand
against the wiles of the devil. Eph. vi. 11. Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walking about, seeking whom he may deyour. 1 Pet. v. 8. He that is begotten of God, keepeth himself, and that wicked
one toucheth him not. 1 John v. 18. Satan does not possess so much power as to compel us to sin, unless we consent to him. He is only permitted to use suhtlety, not force, and if we resist him, he will fly from us. When our Saviour was exposed to his temptation, this wicked one, no doubt, put forth his utmost strength: and yet "he forced him not: he touched him not: he only said, Cast thyself down ; that we may know, that whosoever obeyeth the devil, casteth himself down; for the devil may suggest, compel he cannot.”—Chrysostom on Matthew iv. 6.
4. That he will keep us " from everlasting death.” Not the death of the body, which is not everlasting, but the dreadful state of the souls and bodies of the wicked in hell, where the worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched. It is called death, because they are for ever separated from God, the fountain of life, and because they are no longer capable of enjoying happiness, or of doing any thing that is good. But they do not cease to exist. Life still animates them ; but if the life that is in them be death, how dreadful is that death?
These (the wicked) shall go away into everlasting punishment.
Matt. xxv. 46. For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall
be salted with salt. Mark ix. 49. The wages of sin is death. Rom. vi. 23. Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. James i. 15. He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death, Rev.
ii. 11. The lake of fire; this is the second death. Rev. xx. 14. The lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the
second death, Rev. xxi. 8. To whom should we look for deliverance ?
To God, whose grace is all-sufficient, and who can so strengthen us with might by his Spirit, in our inner man, that we shall be able to stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. And this I trust he will do, of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help.
Hos. xiii. 9. [Christ] gave himself, that he might deliver us from this present
evil world. Gal. i. 4. He is able to succour them that are tempted. Heb. i. 18. The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations.
2 Pet. ii. 9. Unto him that is able to keep you from falling. Jude 24. How are we to obtain the assistance of God?
We can only expect it in the way of prayer and obedience to his commandments. When Paul was buffeted by a temptation from Satan, he prayed for deliverance, and was answered. My grace is sufficient for thee. 2 Cor. xii. 9. The word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the
wicked one. 1 John ii. 14. How little reason have men to be proud when they consider their helpless and dependent situation. If we are enabled to resist the power of temptation, we must ascribe our preservation to God, and not to ourselves, recollecting into what grievons sins some of the best men recorded in Scripture have been betrayed. Apply then to him who is mighty to save. Put your trust in him, and he will either prevent temporal evils from befalling you, or make them work together for your good. Above all, fly to him for refuge from the assaults of your spiritual enemy, and let it be with full purpose of heart. We should shun whatever we know has a tendency to cause us to sin. We find it very difficult to keep our hearts from sinful desires,
when we meet with objects to excite them, and very hard to refrain from sinful actions when once sinful desires have been awakened. Keep your hearts therefore with all diligence; for out of them are the issues of life. Let every avenue be closed, that when Satan assaults them he may find no entrance there; for if we sin, the force of the temptation will be no excuse; we have only ourselves to blame. Though Satan suggest impure and sinful thoughts, yet the yielding to temptation is our own free act, and the sin lies at our own door. Collect, 4th Sunday after Epiphany.-0 God, who knowest us to
be set in the midst of so many and great dangers, that by reason of the frailty of our nature, we cannot always stand upright; grant to us such strength and protection, as may support us in all dangers, and carry us through all' temptations, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
ON THE DOXOLOGY.
What is the Doxology with which the Lord's Prayer con
cludes ? For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.
This Doxology is not mentioned in Luke xi. 4. In the services of the Church it is used when the subject is thanksgiving; at other times it is omitted. What do we here ascribe to God?
Sovereignty, omnipotence, excellency, and eternity. Similar doxologies occur in other parts of Scripture. Thine, O Lord, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory,
and the victory, and the majesty: 1 Chron. xxix. 11, Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel, who only doeth
wondrous things. And blessed be his glorious name for ever : and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Ps. Ixxii.
18, 19. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise
God, be honour and glory, for ever and ever. 1 Tim. i. 17. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that
sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever. And the
four beasts said, Amen. Rev. v. 13, 14. Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour,
and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Rev. vii. 12. He can answer all our prayers, supply all our need, pardon all our sins, deliver us from all evil, and preserve us from all enemies. The kingdom is his, and all is at his disposal ; the power is his, and he is both able and willing
to do for us more than we can ask or think. We trust he will hear our prayers, and desire that his may be the glory: for if we are disposed to give him the glory of what he does for us, we may hope that our petitions will be granted. In what sense do you say, Amen?
To express my trust that God will, of his mercy and goodness, through our Lord Jesus Christ, hear and answer my prayers. Therefore, I say, Amen, so be it. Au' things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye
shall receive. Matt. xxi. 22. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father, in my name, he will give
it you. John xvi. 23. Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. Rom.
xi. 36. All the promises of God in him are Yea, and in him Amen,
unto the glory of God by us. 2 Cor. i. 20. [Unto him that] is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all
that we can ask or think, &c. Eph. iii. 20. While you repeat this prayer, endeavour to have your hearts as well as your lips engaged. Do not imagine that you honour Christ by a mere repetition of the words used by his disciples, while you lead the life of rebels and enemies. The most excellent form of prayer will avail you nothing, unless your heart be affected by it.
ON THE SACRAMENT'S.
many Sacraments hath Christ ordained in his Church ? “ Two only, as generally
necessary to salvation ; that is to say, Baptism, and the Supper of the Lord.” What meanest thou by this word Sacrament ??
“I mean an outward and visible sign of an inward and spiritual grace, given unto us; ordained by Christ himself, as a means whereby we receive the same, and a pledge to assure us thereof."
The word was originally used to express the oath by which the Roman soldiers bound themselves to be faithful to their general. It is, therefore, very appropriately used to show the fidelity and zeal which the followers of Jesus