ŇAnd lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.Ó Matthew 6:13

 

 

ŇAnd lead us not into temptationÓ

These words contain the sixth and last petition, which is not needless, as some may think, but for weighty causes set after all the former, though a man had the fruition of all the graces there desired; to wit:

 

First, to teach us who they be that are most troubled with temptations; namely, the children of God, that set themselves to seek His glory, to advance His kingdom, to do His will, to depend upon His providence, and to rely upon His mercy for the pardon of their sins. These of all others are most subject to temptation, for being escaped out of the devilŐs snare, he bestirs himself by all possible means to bring them in again. Grievous temptations do always accompany remission of sin, which is joined with endeavour to glorify God, as both the Word of God and Christian experience do fully witness. Which must be well observed, both to stay the mind of those that are deeply humbled through saintsŐ temptations, thinking that they are not the children of God because they are so troubled with sin and Satan, whenas the case is clean contrary; for spiritual temptations, if they be resisted with godly sorrow, are rather a sign of GodŐs love, because the devilŐs hatred is most toward them whom God loves best; and on whom God shews mercy, toward them will the devil exercise his malice. As also this discovereth the folly of those that sooth up themselves in this fond conceit, that God surely loves them, and they are deep in His favour because they are freed from temptations; whenas indeed they ought rather to suspect themselves to be under the power of Satan; for when the strong man armed keep the hold, the things that he possesseth are at peace (Luke 11:21). Whereby is signified that the wicked of the world being possessed of Satan, are at peace in themselves in regard of temptations; for what needs he to trouble them which are already at his command? But let them begin to repent and to seek mercy for their sins, with endeavour to leave them, and they shall soon find that GodŐs favour is not enjoyed without the devilŐs malice.

 

Secondly, this petition is enjoined with the former to teach us that as we must be careful to beg mercy and pardon for our sins already past, so we must be watchful to prevent sins to come. He that saith, Forgive us our trespasses, must pray also not to be led into temptation. And therefore, as we would not have our consciences pricked with the sting of our old sins, so we must be careful we fall not into them again, neither be overcome with new temptations.

 

 

The meaning.

The words themselves contain only one petition (though some have thought otherwise), consisting of two parts: The first is the petition itself, And lead us not into temptation; the second is the exposition thereof, But deliver us from evil. For in effect it is thus much: That we be not led into temptation, deliver us from evil.

 

1. For the first, that we may rightly understand it, we must search out two things: First, what a temptation is, secondly, what it is to be led into temptation.

 

(1) There be two sorts of temptations, good and evil. I call that a good and holy temptation, whenas God tempts a man, and it is an action of God whereby He proveth and trieth man, to make manifest unto man himself and unto others, what is in his heart. God knoweth well enough before He try him. Thus He tempted Abraham by the offering of his son (Gen. 22:1,2); and the Israelites, by sending false prophets amongst them (Deut. 13:3). And in this sense, afflictions are called temptations (Jam. 1:2), because God trieth man by affliction, as gold is tried in the fire. And all these are good, both in respect of the author, which is God, and of the end, which is the good of His servants (Job 23:10), He knoweth my way and trieth me, and I shall come forth as the gold. An evil temptation is a wicked motion, allurement or persuasion, whereby man is provoked to sin against God in the transgression of some commandment. Example: When a man is in distress, he shall find provocations to impatience, distrust, and murmuring against God; as also to the unlawful means to help himself. And in prosperity he shall find sundry allurements to presume upon GodŐs mercy in some evil course, to neglect the ordinary means of grace and salvation; as the Word, prayer etc., and all these and such like are evil motions, arising partly from our own corruptions, and partly from the suggestion of the devil, who by himself, and by his instruments, thus seeks to draw men from their duty to God. And these evil temptations be they which in this petition we pray against.

 

(2) What is it to be led into temptation? Answer: A man is led or carried (as the word imports) into temptation, when the temptation possesseth him, and holds him after it hath assaulted him. For we must know that in every temptation there be two actions; one of God, whereby in His just judgment He leaves a man to himself, whereby being left of God, he enters into the midst of the temptation, as it were plunging himself into it. For the better conceiving hereof, we must know that a temptation has four degrees by which it proceedeth, till it bring a man unto destruction, unless it be cut off; to wit, suggestion, delight, consent and perfection (Jam. 1:14,15). Suggestion is when the mind conceives a wicked thought, put in by Satan, or arising from natural corruption. Delight is when the evil thought conceived, and for a time retained in the mind, descendeth to the heart, and there pleaseth the will and delighteth the affections. Consent is when the will yields to the evil motion, and the heart resolves to practise it. Perfection is when a sin is often committed, and by custom becomes as it were ripe, whereupon follows destruction. Now in the first and second of these degrees, a man is said to be tempted only; for suggestion and delectation do not defile the heart, but when the will consents, then the temptation takes hold upon him and possesseth him; and by often practice, he is plunged into it, entangled, and held captive under it. Now then (to apply this to the point in hand), a man is led into temptation when he is left of God to an evil motion suggested into his mind, so as he gives consent unto it, and goes on to the practice of it. See this in Judas (John 13:2). Satan cast this evil motion into his heart: Judas betray thy master. This he thought upon, and was delighted with the gain that he hoped to reap thereby. And here God left him to himself for his hypocrisy and other sins, and then Satan entered into his heart, got consent of will, and so carried him to the practice of this treason. Hereto also the apostle seems to allude (1 Tim. 6:9), They that will be rich fall into temptations and snares, being left of God to their corruption in covetousness.

 

But some will say that GodŐs own children have been thus carried into temptation; as David in the case of his adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11); and Peter in denying his master (Matt. 26:70,74). Answer: It may seem that they were carried into temptation, for their evil motions were not only received with delight, but consented unto and practised. Yea, David lay in his sin almost a whole year. But we must consider that they were the children of God by adoption and regeneration, and therefore howsoever God left them to be tempted, yet He forsook them not wholly or finally, but still loved them, so as they were not carried into temptation with full consent of heart; but GodŐs saving grace remained in them, which when God stirred up, they were recovered by repentance. Indeed they went as far as they could, and in regard of themselves, far enough to have cut off their salvation; but that was laid up with God in Christ, for His foundation remaineth firm (2 Tim. 2:19), and whom He loves, He loves to the end (John 13:1), His gifts and calling are without repentance (Rom. 11:29). So then, to be led into temptation is to be carried into it with full consent, being left of God unto the malice of Satan, and the powerful working of a manŐs own corruptions; and ChristŐs meaning is as if He had taught us to say thus: O Lord, we are every way subject to temptations, and by our sins we deserve to be left therein, to the malice of Satan, and in the power of our own corruptions; yet we beseech thee not to forsake us in any temptation, but give an happy issue thereto, still upholding us by thy grace.

 

Question: How can God lead a man into temptation, and yet not be the author of sin? Answer: Well enough; for as temptation is a punishment of sin, so God may lead a man into it by permission, leaving the party to himself, and SatanŐs malice, for some former transgression. Again, God never puts any evil motion into the mind, but yet He suffers Satan to do it; and though the devil be a most wicked instrument, yet such is GodŐs power and wisdom, that He can use him without sin, in a good manner, and to a good end.

 

Uses.

(1) This petition serves to confute a gross error of the papists, who teach that a man truly justified before God, may finally fall from grace and be condemned. As also, the opinion of some Protestants, who though they will not say that the child of God may finally fall away and perish, yet they hold that he may wholly fall away for  a time, and that every grievous sin which he commits, cuts him off totally, till he do repent; for look what the child of God asketh in prayer, according to GodŐs will, by the teaching of Christ Himself, Lead us not into temptation; and therefore it shall be granted. Indeed, it stands with the will of God, and the good of His children, that sometimes they should be buffeted by Satan in temptation; and therefore we pray not here to be freed from all assaults, but that we be not wholly left unto ourselves, nor forsaken of God, but so preserved by His grace, that we be not swallowed up in temptation. And this petition being according to GodŐs will, shall be granted to him that asks in faith (1 John 5:14). And hence it is that he that is once the child of God indeed, shall so remain for ever, and cannot finally nor totally fall away from grace. DavidŐs fall, and PeterŐs, were great and fearful, but yet therein, they were not wholly forsaken of God, unless it were in their own feeling for a time.

 

Objection: But David by his two sins became guilty of GodŐs wrath, and so lost his right of this prerogative in being the child of God. Answer: If we consider the desert of those sins, that undoubtedly should have been his estate; but yet in regard of GodŐs election, and free grace of adoption, wherein God changeth not, as also in regard of the inward seeds of GodŐs grace in his heart, he remaineth still the child of God, though the signs of GodŐs favour were changed into the signs of His anger and displeasure.

 

Objection: But by such sins a man loseth the graces which formerly he had. Answer: The graces of God in man are of two sorts: some are necessary to salvation, as faith, hope and charity, without which no man can be saved; others be very excellent and profitable, but not of like necessity with the former; and the sense and feeling of GodŐs love and favour, peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, alacrity in prayer, courage and boldness with God; and these latter may be lost, but the necessary graces cannot, howsoever they may be greatly weakened; for so it was with David, by his fall he lost for a time the feeling of GodŐs favour, the joy of the Spirit etc., but faith, hope and love were not extinguished, but sore weakened and covered, as fire in ashes.

 

(2) Wants to be bewailed.

Here also we are taught to mourn for the corruption of our nature, whereby we are prone to yield up ourselves to every temptation of sin and Satan, and be slack and negligent in resisting. We do not watch and pray against temptations diligently, nor shun the occasions of sin as we ought to do; nay, we order ourselves into temptation, and minister occasion unto Satan, and to our own corruption to assault us often. This we shall find to be true in ourselves, if we search out thoroughly our own estate; and therefore it should grieve our hearts when we feel the law of our members rebelling against the law of our minds, and leading us captive unto sin.

 

(3) Graces to be desired.

Here also we must learn to desire of God all such graces as may help us against temptation, and they are many:

 

(i) Spiritual heed and watchfulness to prevent temptations and to avoid the occasions thereof.

 

(ii) Grace to pray in the time of temptation, that God would lessen and moderate the violence and force thereof.

 

(iii) That in temptation God would be so far from withdrawing His grace from us, that He would then add grace to grace, even new grace unto the former.

 

(iv) That in the continuance of temptation, when it abideth long upon us, God would strengthen us to hold out.

 

(v) That He would give us patience to bear the irksomeness and burden of it.

 

(vi) That in the end of it, God would give a comfortable issue, for His glory, and our own good.

 

(4) Here also we are let to see how great our weakness is, even when we be GodŐs children and have true grace; for we must daily pray that God would not lead us into temptation. Whereby we import that of ourselves we are so far from withstanding a temptation that if God should leave us, we would give up ourselves as slaves unto the devil. Here then behold thine estate and condition, whosoever thou art, considered in thyself. If God leave thee, thou canst not stand in any temptation, but must needs fall into the bondage of Satan. Yea, so exceeding great is our weakness in ourselves, that in temptation there doth scarce appear any difference between the child of God and a wicked one; for both are subject to the temptations of Satan. Nay, the child of God is usually more assaulted than the wicked. When the evil motion ariseth, or is suggested into the mind, the wicked receive it and delight therein. So did David, and so do we all. The wicked give consent of will, so do the godly, if God leave them. The wicked fall to practise sin, and so do the godly, if God keep back His grace from them. The wicked lie in sin, and so do the godly, till the Lord by grace do raise them up. Where then is the difference? Surely the persons themselves do differ in temptation, for the wicked is carried with violence into sin, and without resistance into temptation; but the godly hath some resistance in himself; when he gives consent to sin, the evil that he doth, he would not do (Rom. 7:19). But the main difference is GodŐs grace and mercy, vouchsafed to the child of God, but denied to the wicked. For if we escape temptation, it is of grace and mercy; if we stand in temptation, and yield not to evil suggestion, if we deny consent of will, or be kept from the practice of sin, it is all of grace. And if we be fallen into sin, and rise again by true repentance, that also is GodŐs special grace, without which undoubtedly we should run on with the wicked unto destruction. Here therefore we must learn to renounce all confidence in ourselves, and to walk in all humility before God, relying wholly upon His grace and mercy in Jesus Christ. We must make His arm our strength, and His grace our shield, to defend us from temptation. This was DavidŐs practice, who in all trouble and distress had recourse to God, calling Him, his hope, fortress and deliverer (Psa. 91:2,3); his secret or hiding place, who preserveth him from trouble, and compasseth him about with joyful deliverance (Psa. 32:7). And when his enemies increased, yet the Lord was his buckler, his glory, and the lifter up of his hand (Psa. 3:3). And thus should we rest upon God, considering that if we receive a good thought, we can hardly retain it; and when evil motions come, we cannot of ourselves resist them.

 

(5) Here we also learn that in temptation, Satan can go no further than God permits him. He could not touch JobŐs goods, his children, nor his body, till God gave him leave (Job 1:10; 2:6). Neither could the legion of devils enter into the herd of swine, till Christ bid them go (Mark 5:13). We therefore must be patient in temptations, and bear them as coming from GodŐs hand. Neither must we fear the devil overmuch, though he pinch our souls by his violent assaults, nay, though he should torment and possess our bodies really, for whatsoever he doth, is by GodŐs permission. Only we must be careful to please God, and to rely on Him, who will shortly tread Satan under the feet of all His children (Rom. 16:20).

 

(6) That which we ask of God in prayer, we must sincerely endeavour after in life; and therefore as we pray to God not to be carried into temptation, so must we seek to arm and furnish ourselves with grace, that we may be able to encounter with our spiritual enemies, and to withstand their assaults. This is the apostleŐs counsel (Eph. 6:11ff.), Put ye on the whole armour of God; that ye may be able to stand against the assaults of the devil, etc. Then after, he nameth those Christian virtues, which as spiritual armour, the child of God must take unto him and arm his soul withal, if he would persevere in grace unto the end. The first part of this armour is truth, or verity, wherewith the loins must be girt about. And this is an excellent grace, whereby a man professeth true religion, and endeavoureth himself in the practice of all the duties of religion in sincerity, his speeches and his actions are suitable proceeding from an honest heart, that truly meaneth whatsoever the tongue uttereth, or the members of the body doth practice. The second part is justice, or righteousness, when a man leads his life so unblameably and uprightly, that he can truly say with the apostle Paul, I know nothing by myself (1 Cor. 4:4). Indeed the best Christian hath his faults and failings, but yet he must not live in known sins; for then he cannot say, I know nothing by myself. The third is the preparation of the gospel of peace, wherewith the feet must be shod. By gospel of peace is meant the glad tidings of salvation by Christ revealed in the gospel, which promiseth pardon of sin, and life everlasting by Christ, and commandeth us by way of thankfulness, to deny ourselves, to take up our cross, and to follow Christ. Now when we find our affections thus cleaving unto Christ, though it be through tribulation, then we have put upon our feet this spiritual furniture. The fourth is the shield of faith, by which a man lays hold on the mercy of God in Christ for his salvation, and under it shrouds himself against the fiery darts of Satan. The fifth is hope, by which we wait for that salvation which we apprehend by faith. The sixth is the Word of God, which we must make a rule and square to all our thoughts, words and deeds, seeking to subdue thereby all contrary motions that would take place in our hearts. The last is prayer, whereby we betake ourselves to God in all estates, craving mercy for the pardon of our sins, and strength of grace to resist temptation, and a happy deliverance out of the midst of it. And he that can take to himself these excellent virtues, and put upon him this complete armour of Christianity, is ready and fit to meet with any temptation whatsoever; and howsoever he may be assaulted, yet he cannot be overcome, neither shall the gates of hell ever prevail against him to hinder his salvation.

 

 

2. But deliver us from evil.

These words contain the second part of this petition, which is added as an exposition of the former; for then are we not led into temptation when God delivers us from it, giving strength to withstand, and a good issue out of it.

 

The meaning.

Some think that by evil here is meant Satan only, that evil one, as he is called (Matt. 13:19). But we are to enlarge it further, to comprehend all our spiritual enemies; for first, this title evil, is not only given to Satan but to sin also (Rom. 12:9), Let us abhor that which is evil; (1 Pet. 3:11), Eschew evil. And to the world (1 John 5:19), The whole world lieth in evil; (Gal. 1:4), Christ gave Himself, to deliver us from this present evil world. And to the flesh; that is, the corruption of our nature, for that is the evil treasure of the heart (Matt. 12:35). Secondly, that advantage which the devil hath against us, is by the world, the flesh and sin; and therefore with that evil one the devil, sin, the world and the flesh must be understood. Indeed the devil is the main and principal evil, that great tempter against whom we pray chiefly; but yet we also pray against sin, the flesh and the world, because they are SatanŐs agents and instruments in temptation against us. We pray not to be delivered from SatanŐs presence, for that is not possible while we live in this vale of tears, where the devil is a prince, with an infinite multitude of wicked spirits, all which bestir themselves to get advantage against GodŐs child; neither is his presence so dangerous, though it were visible. But here we have a greater matter in hand which we pray against, even SatanŐs sleights and policies which he exerciseth against GodŐs children for their ruin and destruction. They indeed are many, but here I will propound six most dangerous policies of Satan, which we are to watch against:

 

(1) When men have many good things in them, as knowledge in the mystery of salvation, beside other moral virtues, as repentance, justice etc., then the devil labours that concupiscence may still reign in their hearts, by their lying and living in some one sin or other, whereto they are naturally inclined. Cain no doubt was brought up in the knowledge and service of God, as well as Abel; for he offered sacrifice unto God (though not with the like truth of heart that Abel did) but herewithal the devil so wrought that the horrible sin of hatred and malice should possess his heart, which brought him to kill his brother, and so to destruction. So Judas no doubt had excellent gifts of wisdom and providence, and therefore among all the disciples he was made as it were the steward of our Saviour ChristŐs family; he had questionless much knowledge, and his carriage was such in his profession that the disciples knew not he should be the traitor, but everyone was afraid of himself, when our Saviour Christ said, One of you shall betray me (John 13:21). Yet for all this, the devil so wrought in his heart that the concupiscence of covetousness should reign in him, which moved him to betray his master, and so brought him to perdition. And this course Satan holds to this present day in the bosom of the church of God. He labours by might and main to hold the professors of religion in some one sin or other; and therefore we must always pray, as we are here taught, that this natural concupiscence may be daily mortified and made weak, so as it bud not forth in any branch of sin reigning in us.

 

(2) When Satan cannot procure some gross corruption to reign in the child of God, then he labours to get him  to commit some offence and sin whereby the name of God may be dishonoured, his profession disgraced, his conscience wounded, and GodŐs children offended. Thus he dealt with David in his sins of adultery and murder (2 Sam. 11; 12:9) and with Peter in the denial of his master (Matt. 26:74). We therefore must pray according to this petition, that we may be sanctified throughout, and that our whole spirit and soul and body may be kept blameless unto the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ (1 Thess. 5:23); and that our hearts may be established in every good word and work (2 Thess. 2:17); God delivering us from every evil work, and preserving us unto his heavenly kingdom (2 Tim. 4:18).

 

(3) When the child of God is fallen into any sin, then the devil labours to cast him asleep therein, that he may lie in it without remorse, and so never repent of it. Thus he dealt with David, who lay in his sin of adultery and murder without repentance, one whole year alone. And thus he hath dealt with the nation of the Jews, blinding their eyes and hardening their hearts from the knowledge of the Messiah, whom they crucified, even unto this day. And thus he dealeth with many Christians in the church of God. In regard whereof, we must pray in temptation as David did, that He would not forsake us overlong (Psa. 119:8); but though in justice He may leave us to ourselves for a time, yet He would please to renew His mercies toward us, and repair us by His grace.

 

(4) When the Lord vouchsafeth to men the means of salvation, as the Word and sacraments, and chastisement for sin, then Satan labours to make the same void and of none effect, that so they may not only miss of salvation, but be condemned more deeply for the neglect and contempt of the means vouchsafed unto them. This Paul knew well, and therefore he sent Timothy to the Thessalonians, to know their faith, lest the tempter had tempted them, and so their labour upon them had been in vain (1 Thess. 3:5). For this cause, he is called the evil one, who steals away the seed of the Word from out of their hearts (Matt. 13:19); and that envious man who soweth tares among the seed (v.28). Here therefore we must pray against this practice of Satan, that as the Lord vouchsafeth the means of grace unto us, so He would give His blessing withal, that they may be profitable unto us; for without this, the means will turn to our deeper judgment.

 

(5) When he cannot work his will in their souls inwardly, as he desires, then he assays to do them mischief by some outward satanical operations; as possession, witchcraft, or striking their bodies with strange diseases, or abusing their dwelling places with fearful noises and apparitions. Thus he plagued Job (Job 1,2) in his goods, and in his body, when he could not prevail against his soul. And when he could not prevail against Christ by temptation, then he vexed Him by transportation (Matt. 4:5,8). And thus he bound a daughter of Abraham eighteen years (Luke 13:16). Here therefore we pray for the comfort of GodŐs providence, and for the presence and assistance of the good angels, that we may be preserved, though not from temptations inward in mind, yet from such bodily and outward abuses and injuries as the devil would inflict upon us; for herein he is curbed and restrained ordinarily, in respect of that malice and cruelty which he bears to the children of God. Whereupon (I take it) the child of God may lawfully pray against all the outward crosses and afflictions, so far forth as they are evil, and proceed from that evil one the devil; for this is GodŐs promise to the godly person (Psa. 91:10): There shall none evil come unto thee, neither shall any plague come near thy tabernacle; that is, so far forth as it is evil. For otherwise it is most true that many are the troubles of the righteous (Psa. 34:19), because it is many times good for them to be afflicted (Psa. 119:71).

 

(6) Lastly, Satan labours to bring GodŐs children to some fearful and miserable end; not so much for the bodily death, as in regard of the inward horror and terror of conscience; for though he seldom spares any man, yet he reserves the extremity of his power and malice to manŐs last gasp. Indeed he is many times restrained, so as many a child of God can say at his end, despite of Satan, Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace (Luke 2:29). But where he is not restrained, there he labours to bring men either to presumption or despair. Here therefore we are taught to pray to God for a good and comfortable death in the Lord, and that we may be so preserved therein, and enabled by grace, that our end may neither be evil to ourselves, nor in appearance; but that we may have both time and grace to prepare ourselves, so as our death be never so sudden, yet we be not unprepared. For though sudden death be very uncomfortable, yet it is never dangerous to him that is ready for the Lord. But the unprepared death is the plague of plagues; for after it there is no time nor means allowed unto man to alter the state of his soul (Eccl. 9:10).

 

Uses.

(1) That which we here pray for, we must endeavour to practise; and therefore our special care must be to resist the devil, and to keep ourselves from the assaults of Satan unto sin, whether they come from our own corruption, or from this evil world. (1 John 5:18), He that is born of God sinneth not, but keepeth himself; that the wicked one toucheth him not. This we see may be done, and it is a notable sign of our adoption and regeneration. Now the way to do it is set down by the apostle Paul (1 Tim 1:18,19), Fight the good fight; which he expounds in the words following, which prescribe two duties: having faith and a good conscience.

 

(i) To have faith is to hold and maintain true religion in life and death, renouncing all heresy whatsoever, whether of Jews, Turks, papists, or any other; which, whosoever would do, must not content himself with a shew of godliness in profession, but must get the power of religion fast rooted in his heart, which he must express in his conversation. And for this end these rules must be remembered:

 

(a) First, we must have in our hearts sincere love to God in Christ, and to His church, and true religion. Christ must have the chief place in our hearts, and our love to God in Him must be so strong, that is must overwhelm all other attractions, so as we may truly say with Paul, I count all things loss, and do judge them to be dung, that I might win Christ (Phil. 3:8). And this must be the order of our love, we must love God and Christ for themselves, and the church of God, and true religion, for GodŐs sake.

 

(b) Secondly, we must not only know and believe that Christ died for our sins, and rose again for our justification; but we must labour to feel the power and efficacy of His death, killing sin in us, and the virtue of His resurrection, raising us up to newness of life. He that hath only a shew of religion, may make profession of faith in ChristŐs death and resurrection; but herein stands the power, when we be made conformable unto His death in regard of the death of sin, and know the virtue of His resurrection by our holy endeavour in new obedience, and do frame ourselves to His example in all such things wherein He left Himself a pattern unto us.

 

(c) Thirdly, we must not content ourselves to know and profess that God is merciful, but withal we must take observation of His loving favour towards us particularly, adding one observation to another, that so our hearts may be rooted and grounded in the love of God. A man may make profession of GodŐs grace and mercy from a mere general conceit and apprehension of it in his brain; but herein stands the power and pith of true religion, when a man by observation and experience in himself, knows the love of God in Christ towards him. And thus is faith and true religion held and maintained.

 

 

(ii) To have a good conscience (which is the second duty in the Christian fight) is to preserve and keep our conscience so, as it may excuse us, and not accuse us unto God, in respect of living in any sin, howsoever there may be infirmities in us. To this end we must observe these rules:

 

(a) First, we must have a double calling: the general calling of a Christian, wherein we must serve God; and a particular calling, according to our place and gifts, wherein we must exercise ourselves for the good of men. These two must not be severed so as either be wanting; but he that would keep a good conscience must practice his general calling in doing the duties of his particular calling. It is an easy thing to profess Christianity in the church, and many a man doth so, that keeps no good conscience in his private calling at home. But this is the evidence of a good conscience, when a man shews himself a Christian in his calling at home, and conversation among his brethren.

 

(b) Secondly, we must always be exercised in doing some good duty, either of our general or particular calling, or in some commendable furtherance thereunto; for idleness is the devilŐs pillow, whereon men either plot or devise some evil, or are lulled asleep in security. But diligence in our calling is our way, wherein we have promise of protection by GodŐs angels from the devil (Psa. 91:11). But if we be out of our calling, we lie open to the hurt of the enemy. When Peter without warrant from his calling, general or particular, would needs go warm himself in CaiaphasŐ hall, what fell out? Upon a final assault by a silly maid, he denied Christ in most fearful manner (John 18:25-27).

 

(c) Thirdly, in every estate of life we must labour to see a special providence of God, and therein to rest contented, be it better or be it worse. It is an easy thing to see and acknowledge GodŐs mercy in health and peace and plenty, and to rest contented therewith. But if we would have peace toward God in our own hearts, we must labour to quiet ourselves with His disposing hand in the day of trouble, sickness or any other distress of life or death.

 

(d) Fourthly, whatsoever we would do when we die, that we must now begin, and continue doing it every day while we live; to wit, repent of our daily sins and leave them, desire earnestly to be reconciled to God in Christ, and steadfastly to believe all His gracious promises. He that hath these graces shall die in peace; and therefore if we would live in the peace of conscience, we must labour for them every day.

 

(e) Fifthly, in all societies and conversings with men, we must be careful either to do good unto them, or to receive good from them; for where neither of these is, there Satan shews his presence, and therefore we must shun such company as give themselves to plot or practise some iniquity; for evil conversings corrupt good manners (1 Cor. 15:33).

 

(f) Sixthly, we must lead our lives, not after our own fancy, but according to the rule of GodŐs Word. We must live by faith and not by sight. When we see no sign of GodŐs favour, but rather of His anger and indignation, yet then must we trust in Him and rely upon His mercy. This is against reason, yet a work of faith, which is the evidence of things which are not seen (Heb. 11:1).

 

 

(2) If we pray God to deliver us from evil, then we must beware of all satanic practices, as means of help in any distress. This is gross hypocrisy, to pray against the evils of Satan, and to give ourselves to the practice of them. Herein many offend; for the papists say this prayer, but yet their religion in many things is a gross practice of magic and sorcery; for: first, the consecration of their host in the mass is plain conjuration; and so are their exorcisms in hallowing salt, bread and water, their calling out of devils by certain words, by the sign of the cross, the application of relics, and such like. Nay, come to ourselves, what is more common among us than to use charms and amulets, to seek to witches and sorcerers when any strange affliction doth befall us? And the setting of a figure, though it be not gross magic, yet therein is a close and privy work of the devil; his hand is deep therein. And the church in former times hath condemned it for witchcraft; for charms, characters and amulets be but the devilŐs watchword and sacraments to set him a-working. What though the word used be good, yet there is SatanŐs deeper policy, who turns himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:14), under fair shews working the greater mischief. But what horrible impiety is this; that when God gives us occasion to come unto Him, we leave Him and run for help to His professed enemies.

 

 

(3) This branch of the petition serveth to direct us what to do in this case. Say that a dwelling house, or some other place is by GodŐs permission haunted and abused by some evil spirit, whether may a man lawfully frequent, or abide in such a place? Answer: By this petition it is plain that he may not; for here we pray to be delivered from evil, and therefore we may not voluntarily thrust ourselves into such a place as is haunted by the devil. Would we come within the compass of the lionŐs paw, or within the chain of a mad dog, or a hunger-bitten bear? Why then should we rashly thrust ourselves into the danger of the devil, who like a roaring lion seeks continually whom he may devour (1 Pet. 5:8). Many ignorant people are so bold-hardy that they will rail upon and defy the devil, and command him to be gone. But without a calling thereunto, we may not so do. Indeed, if by GodŐs providence we be called to live in such places necessarily, this we may do, we must not reason with the devil, but betake ourselves to God by humble and earnest prayer, and complain of SatanŐs vexation, making God our shelter and defence both for soul and body; else if we presume to meddle with him without a calling from God, we may justly be foiled and abused by him (as the sons of Sceva were (Acts 19:14.16)), because we have no promise from the Lord to be protected from him.

 

 

 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen.

These words contain the reason of the former six petitions; touching which we must observe two things in general:

 

First, that they are not a reason to move God, whose will is unchangeable; but to persuade the child of God that praying thus, that God will grant his requests.

 

Secondly, that this reason is not peculiar to the last petition, but generally belongeth to them all; as, Hallowed be thy name, because thine is the kingdom, power and glory, and so on for the rest.

 

The meaning.

Kingdom. This here imports three things: First, that He is all-sufficient of Himself to do all things whatsoever, needing no help nor instrument beside His sovereign will. (Gen. 17:1), I am God all-sufficient. Secondly, that he hath a sovereign right and title to all things in heaven and earth, as a king hath to those which belong to his territories and jurisdiction. Thirdly, that He hath sovereign rule and authority over all things in heaven and earth, governing them as He pleaseth, and bringing them into an absolute subjection.

 

Further, the kingdom of God is twofold: The kingdom of His providence, whereby He rules and governs all things in heaven and earth, even the devil and all his angels and instruments; and the kingdom of grace, whereby He governs His church by His Word and Spirit. And both these are here to be understood.

 

Thine. The kingdom is here called GodŐs, for two causes: First, to shew that God hath His kingdom of Himself and from Himself alone. Thus the kingdom of grace and of providence are both His. Secondly, to distinguish God from earthly kings; for though they have a kingdom, power and glory, as Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar; yet they have all these from God, not of themselves. But God hath them of Himself, and not from any other.

 

Now, because our nature is blind in the things of God, I will here propound some reasons to prove that God hath such a sovereign kingdom, as also to shew the excellency of it.

 

First, this appears by that excellent order which God hath set in all His works by their creation; for how fitly do times and seasons, as springtime and summer, autumn and winter, succeed one another? How sweetly do the heavenly creatures, the sun, moon and stars, serve for the creatures here below, as herbs and plants, how do they serve for beasts and fowls? And all of them for the use of man. As this proves against the atheist that there is a God, so it shews the sovereignty and most wise regiment of His kingdom. When a man sees a great army in good array, and everyone keeping his place and standing constantly, he will presently commend the wisdom and authority of the leader. Why then should we not acknowledge the power and sovereignty of the Almighty, in that constant station of the creatures in that sweet order which they observe from the creation?

 

Secondly, the terror and accusation of a guilty conscience doth argue evidently the absolute sovereignty of GodŐs kingdom; for when a man hath committed some grievous sin, either against the law of nature or the written Word of God, though it be so secretly that no man know of it, yet will his conscience accuse and fright him; which it would not do, unless he were to answer for that fact to God, the sovereign Lord of all.

 

Thirdly, men of death, that is, such as by some notorious crime deserve death, though through the ignorance or negligence of magistrates they be let to escape, yet ordinarily they are overtaken with some fearful judgment, and one way or other meet with their desert; which is a special work of GodŐs sovereign providence.

 

Fourthly, the gospel preached is as contrary to manŐs corrupt nature, as fire is to water; and yet hath it in all ages won men unto it, to possess it, and to love it so, as they have been content for the gospelŐs sake to forsake house and lands, wife and children, yea, and life itself. This no word of man could ever do, and therefore it argues plainly that some supernatural power worketh with it, which draws the heart of man unto it.

 

Here some may say that the devil hath a kingdom contrary to GodŐs kingdom, wherein he reigneth; and therefore GodŐs kingdom is not absolute. Answer: If we regard the malice of Satan, or the practice of the wicked, it may seem GodŐs kingdom should not be absolute, because they continually rebel against His revealed will; but consider the power of God, which overruleth Satan and all his instruments, disposing most wisely of all their works, to His own glory, the good of His church, and their own ruin, and then we shall plainly see that God ruleth over all. For howsoever the devil and his angels, and all other his instruments, oppose themselves unto the Word of God, which is the law of His kingdom of grace, yet God willingly permits all such works, and restrains them all at His pleasure; so as that which comes to pass against GodŐs revealed will, is not contrary to His absolute will.

 

 

Thine is the power.

By power is meant an ability in God whereby He can do whatsoever He will, and more than He will do. For the better conceiving of it, note these two things:

 

First, that God is not only powerful, but even power itself in regard of His nature, as He is goodness and wisdom etc. Men and angels are called powerful, as receiving power from God; but God only is power itself, because His nature is infinite in power, as in all other properties.

 

Secondly, that power and will in God are one and the same. For the better conceiving of them, they may be distinguished, but in themselves they differ not; for GodŐs willing of a thing is the effecting and doing of it. It is not so in us; for we will many things which we cannot do; but whatsoever God willeth, that He doth; and that which He cannot do, He cannot will. The scripture saith, God cannot lie, nor deny Himself, nor die etc. Now as he cannot do these things, so neither can He will them; for they are no works of power, but of weakness and frailty; and therefore is God omnipotent, because He can neither do nor will the same.

 

Thine is, Here also we say, GodŐs power is His own, that is, of Himself alone, not received from any other, as is also said of kingdom and glory, to distinguish the true God from all creatures who have not power and kingdom and glory of themselves, but from God; whereas all these are of Himself alone.

 

And the glory.

By glory, is meant excellency and majesty. And this property rightly ariseth from the two former; for seeing He hath an absolute sovereignty over all things, and power answerable to dispose and govern them at His pleasure; therefore of right all glory, and majesty, and excellency belongs unto Him. Yea, the glory of all creatures is from Him; so that sinful man must say with Daniel, Unto us belong shame and confusion (Dan. 9:7-9), but unto God be honour, and glory, and power, and dominion, for evermore.

 

The Use.

1. This reason thus conceived and understood, contains a notable ground of trust and confidence in God, and of prayer to God in all distress of life and death; for we have a Father whose is kingdom, power and glory. Now His power assures us that He is able to help us. And is He our King and we His subjects? Then He is willing to help us. Is glory His? Why, what can make more for His glory than to shew mercy to His people, in hearing their prayers, and helping them in distress? (Psa. 50:15), I will hear thee, and thou shalt glorify my name.

 

2. These words are a notable form of giving thanks and praise to God; for when the heavenly creatures are said to give thanks to God, they do it to this effect: (Rev. 4:9,11) Thou art worthy O Lord, to receive honour, and glory, and power. Again (Phil. 4:6), Be distrustful in nothing, but in all things let your requests be made known to God with giving of thanks; where we see that prayer and thanksgiving must go together. Now this being a perfect form of prayer, we must needs comprehend thanksgiving with petitions, as therefore in the six petitions, Christ taught us to ask all needful things of God; so in this reason He teacheth us how to give thanks; for these three, kingdom, power and glory, do generally comprehend all matter of praise and thanksgiving unto God; yea, it is the sum of all the psalms of praise; and therefore when David blessed God, it was to this effect (1 Chr. 29:11,12), Thine, O Lord, is greatness and power, and glory, and victory, and praise; for all that is in heaven and earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou excellest as head over all; both riches and honour come from thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and strength, etc.

 

This point well observed, directeth us in two Christian duties:

 

First, that we must be earnest and frequent in giving praise and thanks to God; for the first thing we ask is grace to glorify GodŐs name, and the last thing we here do, is to ascribe glory to God indeed.

 

Secondly, here we see in what manner we must give thanks to God, namely, in every blessing we must ascribe kingdom, and power, and glory unto God; as in the use of meat and drink, first, therein labour to see, and accordingly to ascribe the kingdom to God; that is, acknowledge GodŐs sovereignty in that creature; that the right and interest thereto belongs to God, and that thou hast it from Him, and not of thyself. Secondly, see and acknowledge the power and providence of God in that creature; His providence in that thou hast it; and His power in that it serves for thy good and comfort, in thy nourishment and refreshing. Thirdly, when thou art comforted therewith, give honour and glory to God, so thou shalt be truly thankful. And thus must we be thankful to God for His Word, and all other blessings that we enjoy. Yea, this direction must we observe for our behaviour in affliction; we must labour to see GodŐs sovereignty and power over us as we are His creatures, and that he hath right to dispose of us at His pleasure, and therefore we must humble ourselves under His hand, desiring grace so to behave ourselves therein, that we may glorify His name. And thus shall we honour God even in affliction.

 

3. Here we see a way whereby we may obtain the things we ask of God; namely, we must confess our own unworthiness, taking shame and confusion to ourselves, and give all praise and honour and glory to God. Thus did Jacob (Gen. 32:10), I am not worthy of the least of thy mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast shewed unto thy servant. So (Dan. 9:7), To thee, O Lord, belongeth righteousness, but unto us open sin. And thus coming in humility of heart, renouncing ourselves and all that we can do, and endeavouring to give all glory to God, we shall find mercy with the Lord for the obtaining of all our requests.

 

4. Is kingdom, power and glory GodŐs? Then He is to be feared above all creatures; for howsoever Satan and earthly monarchs have dominion and power, yet it is not of themselves, but from God; they can do nothing but by power and permission from God, but God of Himself can punish and destroy.

 

5. Lastly, hereby we must be moved to love God, and to yield obedience to Him in all good duties; for to such will He shew His sovereignty and power for all good things, that so they may give the glory of all to God that gives them.

 

 

 

III.

Amen.

We have heard the preface and the petitions of this prayer; now we come to the third part of it, which is the conclusion, in this word, Amen; which is as much as verily, truly. It is commonly taken to be a word of wishing in this place, importing as much as, So be it, I wish it to be so, or such like. But we must know that it hath here a further use, to wit, not only to express our desire of the things we ask, but also to testify our faith in assurance of receiving them according to our desire. For so it is usually taken in the New Testament, where it is used to affirm or aver a thing with vehemency and certainty. Again, our Saviour Christ giving both direction and encouragement to prayer, saith thus (Mark 11:24), Whatsoever you desire when ye pray, believe that ye shalt have it, and it shall be done unto you; where He shews two principal things  required in prayer: first, an earnest desire of the grace and blessing we ask; the second is faith whereby we believe that God will grant us the things we ask. Now our desires were sufficiently expressed in the six petitions; and therefore, this being a perfect platform of prayer, here undoubtedly is propounded the testification of our faith, to this effect: As we have craved these things at thy hands, O Lord, so do we believe that in thy good time thou wilt for ChristŐs sake, grant the same unto us. So that it is not here to be taken, as it is commonly, only for a bare assent of the people answering the minister in the congregation; but for a part of the prayer both to minister and people that pray in faith, whether publicly or privately; and that so much more excellent than the former, by how much our faith excelleth our desire. Yea, it is the seal of our hearts, which we must set to every petition, for to ratify and confirm the same unto ourselves; as when we say, Hallowed be thy name, our hearts must say, Amen; that is, As I desire grace to glorify thy name, so I believe Lord, thou wilt enable me thereunto; and so for the rest.

 

The Use.

1. From the union of this word with the petitions, we learn that every child of God must believe particularly and certainly the pardon of his own sins, and endeavour by grace to attain thereunto, if as yet he cannot be persuaded of it. This the papists deny, teaching that a man must only believe in general that remission of sins belongs unto GodŐs church, and hope well for himself; and they make it presumption for a man to arrogate particular certainty unto himself. But it is no presumption, because we must believe to receive from God, that we ask according to His will. Now God bids us ask forgiveness of our particular sins, and therefore we must believe it, and so by faith, may be assured of it. As for their general faith, it differs not from the faith of devils; for they believe there is remission of sins in GodŐs church. And to say we hope well when we are not assured by faith, is to bewray both ignorance and negligence in the matter of our salvation; for faith is the ground of things hoped for, and therefore their hope without faith must needs be a blind presumption. And here further we may note that by their opinion they abolish a great part of the gospel; for with the gracious promises of mercy in Christ made therein, the gospel commandeth every penitent person that believeth, to apply the same promises particularly to himself; and this part of it they cut off, and so deprive the child of God of all the comfort.

 

2. This testification of our faith joined to our requests, shews that all prayer ought to be made in a known tongue, for else the assent and affiance of the heart cannot be given together.

 

Objection: The word here used is a Hebrew word, which was unknown to the Greek churches; now if one word of main use in prayer may be in an unknown tongue, why may not many, and so for a whole prayer? Answer: Though this word Amen be Hebrew, yet by use it became as familiar and well known in the Greek church, and so in other churches, as any word in their own dialect; as many Latin words by common use, become familiar and well known in our English tongue.

 

 

The use of the LordŐs prayer.

1. The principal use of prayer is to be a pattern and direction whereby the church of God, and every member in it, may frame their prayers to God on any occasion. And because many through ignorance fail on this point, therefore I will stand somewhat to shew how the LordŐs Prayer must be made a pattern to our prayers. For this end we must apply the several petitions of this prayer, both to the special times of prayer, as (1) morning and (2) evening, and also to the special occasions whereupon we pray; which may be reduced to some of these three, to wit: (3) Some weighty business we have in hand; (4) Some affliction we are in, or in danger of; (5) Or in regard of death.

 

Now to apply the petition to each of these severally:

 

(1) In the morning. A fit prayer for that time, before we set upon the duties of our calling, may thus be framed from these petitions:

 

(i) We must desire the Lord to give us grace to seek the advancement of His glory that day following, in the duties of our calling, and in everything we take in hand.

 

(ii) That He would rule in our hearts by His grace, and guide us by His Word that whole day.

 

(iii) Enable us to do His will that day, and not our own, even with readiness and delight.

 

(iv) Strengthen us to depend upon His providence that day for all things needful for this life.

 

(v) That he would humble us in ourselves for our sins, and give us repentance for them, and pardon in Christ Jesus, that so no judgment light upon us for them, and that out hearts may be inclined to love and mercy towards our brethren, as we desire mercy with God for our own souls.

 

(vi) That God would strengthen us against temptation, that neither the world, the flesh, nor the devil, prevail against us. And of these we must gather assurance, because all sovereignty and power and glory belongs to God.

 

 

(2) At evening also, we must fitly apply these petitions for the comfortable commending of ourselves to God that night:

 

(i) Entreating God to bless our rest unto us, that thereby we may be fitter to glorify God.

 

(ii) That we may rest and sleep safely as His true subjects, under His gracious regiment.

 

(iii) That we may do His will as well in rest as in labour, in the night and secretly, as in the day and sight of men.

 

(iv) That He would bless our rest and sleep, that it may comfortably serve for the preservation of our lives.

 

(v) That He would forgive the sins of the day past, that so no curse, terror nor fear meet with us for them the night following.

 

(vi) That He would keep us in our rest from all sinful lusts, from all wicked motions and suggestions either waking or sleeping.

 

 

(3) When we enterprise any weighty matter or business of our callings, we may fitly apply these petitions in prayer to God for ability and good success therein; for whatsoever we take in hand, we must do it in the name of the Lord:

 

(i) We must pray that in this whole business our hearts may be set sincerely to seek the advancement of GodŐs glory.

 

(ii) That the Lord would vouchsafe to guide and govern us in doing the work whatsoever it be.

 

(iii) That in doing of it, we may make conscience to do the will of God, and to obey Him, from the beginning to the end of it.

 

(iv) That we may by faith rely upon GodŐs providence for the issue and effect of our whole endeavour.

 

(v) That none of our sins may bring a curse upon us in the work.

 

(vi) That neither Satan nor any other enemy of our souls, may hinder us by temptation, but that God would deliver us from them all.

 

 

(4) When any affliction lies upon us or ours, we may hence frame holy requests to God, entreating:

 

(i) That we may honour God by patience and obedience in that affliction, and not dishonour Him.

 

(ii) That God would shew in us the power of His gracious regiment in that affliction, and not suffer Satan or our own corruption to reign in us.

 

(iii) That we may obey God therein, as well as in any other estate of peace or ease.

 

(iv) That we may see His providence therein, and be patient, relying also upon the same hand of God for our deliverance.

 

(v) That our sins may not turn it into a curse, but that we having the pardon of our sins, may make good use thereof, for our humiliation and reformation.

 

(vi) That we may not in that our weakness be assaulted of Satan above our strength, but that God would deliver us from all temptations.

 

 

(5) In the hour of death, we may most comfortably commend ourselves to God, following these petitions; praying:

 

(i) First, that we may glorify God in sickness and death, as well as in life and health.

 

(ii) That God would now shew the comfortable work and regiment of His Word and Spirit in our hearts, even above all that we have felt in the time of our health.

 

(iii) That we may as readily and cheerfully obey God dying as living.

 

(iv) That God would give His blessing upon all means we shall use for our comfort or recovery, making us contented with His providence, even in death itself.

 

(v) That we may be truly humbled for our sins, and having comfortable assurance of mercy and pardon, may with joy render up our souls into the hands of God in the moment of death.

 

(vi) That seeing Satan is most busy and malicious in our greatest weakness, it would please the Lord to magnify His mercy in strengthening our souls against all the assaults of sin and Satan.

 

 

Thus we see how in all estates of life and death, we may have sweet and comfortable recourse to God following these petitions. We must therefore labour to know and understand this heavenly prayer, that so we may use it on all occasions to the glory of our God and the comfort of our souls. We cannot give more evident testimony of the grace of adoption, than by the sincere exercise of the gift of prayer, when we can come with boldness into the presence of our heavenly Father. And therefore we must give ourselves to the serious and often imitation of this heavenly pattern, and not content ourselves to say over the words, but from a feeling heart pour out our souls before God, according to the meaning of this prayer in all estates.

 

 

2. These petitions may serve for a notable direction according to which we may frame our whole lives; and therefore according to our requests in these petitions, must we spend our time in a godly endeavour after these six things:

 

(1) Our chief care and endeavour must be every day to bring some glory to God.

 

(2) We must every day yield up ourselves in souls and bodies unto God, submitting ourselves in all things unto His godly regiment.

 

(3) We must endeavour to do His will in all things, every day; making conscience of all sin whereby we rebel against Him.

 

(4) We must apply ourselves faithfully to our callings, yet so as we still depend upon GodŐs providence for a blessing in everything we take in hand.

 

(5) We must humble ourselves every day before God in regard of our daily offences, still confessing our sins, and craving pardon for them at the hands of God.

 

(6) We must daily fly to God for help and succour in our spiritual combat with sin and Satan, striving manfully against our own corrupt nature, against the world and the devil.

 

 

3. This prayer of Christ, ministers most heavenly comfort to every child of God, by certifying him of his adoption; for out of every petition he may gather a special note thereof, as:

 

(1) An earnest and hearty desire in all things to further the glory of God.

 

(2) A care and readiness to resign ourselves in subjection to God, to be ruled by His Word and Spirit in thought, word and deed.

 

(3) A sincere endeavour to do His will in all things with cheerfulness, making conscience of everything we know to be evil. This is an infallible note of the child of God.

 

(4) Upright walking in a manŐs lawful calling, and yet still by faith to rely upon GodŐs providence, being well pleased with GodŐs sending whatsoever it is.

 

(5) Every day to humble a manŐs self before God for his offences, seeking His favour in Christ unfeignedly, and so daily renewing his faith and repentance.

 

(6) A continual combat between the flesh and the spirit, corruption haling and drawing one way, and great resisting the same and drawing another way. Where this striving and resistance is in mind and heart, there is the Spirit, for else all would go full sway with corruption.

 

Hereby, then, make search in thyself for these graces of God, and if thou find them in thee, comfort thyself in assurance of thine adoption; and though thou canst not find them all, yet if there be an unfeigned desire after them, when thou puttest up these requests unto God, comfort thyself, for thou art the child of God; for without the spirit of prayer, which is the spirit of adoption, we cannot call God Father, nor say, Hallowed be thy name, from a true heart, unfeignedly desiring GodŐs glory.

 

 

4. Out of these petitions we may observe the plain marks of a carnal man, as:

 

(1) To neglect the glory of God, and to seek his own praise and glory.

 

(2) To follow the sway of his own corruptions, suffering them to be his guide, and to neglect to yield subjection and obedience to the Word of God.

 

(3) To make no conscience of sin, if it fit his humour, so his own will be satisfied, he cares not for the doing of GodŐs will.

 

(4) Not to rest on GodŐs providence for the things of this life, but wholly to rely upon the means; if they fail, his heart is down, and his hope is gone.

 

(5) To go on in sin, without remorse, or humbling himself unto God. This impenitence is a plain mark of a carnal man.

 

(6) To run headlong into temptation, without fear or feeling, so as he finds no occasion to pray for deliverance from sin.

 

He that hath any of these six things reigning in him, is a carnal man; therefore try thyself, if thou find them in thee, turn unto God by true repentance.

 

And look what we have said of prayer, according to the pattern of the former petitions, may also be said of thanksgiving, after the example of these words: For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory. We have shewed the use of them before, and so accordingly as all GodŐs blessings and works of His providence, for which we must give thanks; we must first labour to see therein the sovereignty and power of God, and then we must ascribe the same to God, with all glory, and praise, and thanksgiving. And not only give assent, but with affiance of heart wait for the fruition of every grace and blessing we ask of God according to His will. Amen.