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Object. But is not the heavenly Father often far from helping his children? Anf. The children of God often think fo, when their trouble is continued, and the deliverance comes not quickly. But he is their Father: therefore (1.) He designs their good by all the hardships they meet 'with, Roni. viii. 28. All thing's shall work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (2.) He pities them under their hardships.' (3.) He is a God of judgement, knows belt when to remove them, and will do it in due time. The child cries, "Father, remove this affliction or this trial, for it W pains me.” The Father pities, but his judgement leaves it till it be good for the child that it be renioved.'
a II. I proceed to thew what our being directed to call God our Fatber teaches us. Negatively, Not that we may not pray, saying, My Father, or that we are always to speak plurally, faying, We pray. For we have fcripture examples for praying in the lingulár number, Ezra ix. 6. Luke xv. 18. 19. But, it. That we are not only to pray fecretly by ourfelves alone, but with others, joining with them in pu. blic and private. And hence may be brought noinconfi- . derable argument for that too much neglected duty of family-prayer; which the guilty would do well fé. riously to confider. · 2: That we are to pray not only for ourselves, but for others also, according to scripture example and précept, Acts xii. 5. 1 Tim. ii. 1. 2.
Praying with and for others is a piece of the communion of faints. And it is one of the privileges of God's family on earth, that they have the prayers of all the family there. God is a rich Father who has bleflings for all.
III. I come now to fhew what we are taught by our
being directed to address ourselves to God as our Father in heaven.
1. That we are to eye his sovereign power and dominion over all in our addrefses to him, believing that he is able to help us in our greatest ftraits, that nothing is too hard for him, but he can do whatfoever he will, Pfal. cxv. 3. This is a noble ground for faith. Our fathers on earth may be unable to help; but our Father in heaven is almighty, and has power to help in every cafe.
2. That we should be filled with heavenly affections in prayer, Psal. cxxiii. 1. and that.God's glorious greatness above us should strike an awe upon us in our approaches to him, Eccl. v. 2.
3. God's glorious and wonderful condefcenfion, who vouchfafes to look froin his throne in heaven unto us poor worms on earth, Il. Ixvi. 1. 2.
4. Lastly, That we go to God as those who are strangers on this earth, and to whom heaven is home, because it is our Father's house, 1 Pet. i. 17. looking on this world as the place of our pilgrimage, and the men and manners of it as those we desire to leave, that we may be admitted into the society of angels
, and confort with the spirits of jutt men made perfect
I shall conclude with a few inferences.
Inf. 1. Let us fee here the miserable condition of those who have no ground to call God Father. They were never adopted into the family of heaven, but are of their father the devil, still members of the fa. mily of hell; and if they be not delivered from that helih fociety, they must perish for ever. They have never yet prayed aright; for none can pray in a proper manner but those who have the Spirit of adoption. Oh cry to God, that he may be gracioufly pleased to translate you from the family of Satan into the family of God, and invest you with the privileges of the children of his family.
C. There is no right praying without faith. For
without faith it is impossible to please God, and whatever is not of faich is fin. We cannot call God Father, nor love or reverence him without faith : nor can we have any fellowship or communion with him, but by faith in him as our Father in Christ.
3. Hence see the happiness of the saints in the love of the Father who is their Father, of the Son who has made them the children of God, and of the Holy Spirit/who teaches them to call God their Father. How happy must those be who are so nearly related to all the three perfons of the adorable Trinity, and are loved by and have communion with each of them! O feek above all things to become the children of God, and ye shall be thus happy. 7.4. There is no cafe a child of God is much to mean sing in the world, as long as he has a Father in heaven, to whom he can have access by prayer at all times and in all cases, whether it be in life or in death, Micahaii. 7. : The believer's Father is a very present help in trouble; and when all help fails, he will never fail his own children ;' but will fanctify their troubles, be present with them in their greatest Atraits and afflictions, support them under them, and deliver them as he sees it will be for his own glory, and their good. O then let us plead our interest in him as our Father, and engage his Spirit and presence to be ever with us, in every circumstance of life, and in the awful scenes of death and the
which we fhould view not with terror, but with joy, as the mersenger sent to convey us to the houie of our Father which is in heaven.
The First Petition,
Hallowed be thy name.
three are for God's honour, and other three for Vol. III.
our own good. Those which concern the honour of God take the lead of what concerns our good; for it is highly reasonable that the creature's interest vail to God's interest. The first of these petitions relates to the name of God, and the hallowing of it, or fanctify: ing of it, that is, the glorifying of it. So the first petition is for the glory of God's name. This is first of all put in our mouths, because of all things it should lie nearest our hearts. In discoursing further from this subject, I shall
1. What is meant by the name of God.
II. In what sense God's name is to be hallowed or fanctified.
III. Why hallowed or fanctified, rather than glori. fied, since it is evident, that it is the glorifying of his name that is intended.
IV, What is the import of this petition.
V. Why this is the first petition that is put by our
VI. Deduce some inferences.
1. God himself. So names are put for persons, Rev. iii. 4. Thou hast a few names in Sardis ; that is, a few persons. And the name of God is put for God himself, Deut. xxviii. 58. – that thou mays fear this glorious and fearful name, The LORD' THY GOD. Accordingly as we pray here that God's name may be hallowed or sanctified, fo he tells us he will be fanctif. ed, Lev. X. 3.
2. Every thing whereby he makes himself known to his creatures, Pfal. viii. 1. O Lord our Lord, how exa cellent is thy name in all the earth! These are his names, Jehovah, I am, &c. though there is no word sufficient fully to express what he is; therefore his name is recret, wonderful, or incomprehensible, Judg. xiii. 18. His titles; Old-testament titles, as Hearer of prayer ; New-teltament ones, as, The God of peace, the God of
patience and confolation, Rom. xv. 33. 5. His at ributes or perfections. Exod. xxxiv. 5. His word and ordinances, Pfal. cxlvii. 19. 20. and his works, Job xxxvi. 24. In a special manner Jesus Chrift, by whom, and through whom, and in whom God manifests him. felf to us, John i. 18. And God's name is in him. But of the various senses in which the name of God is taken, I spoke more largely in the expoấtion of the third commandment.
II. I am to fhew in what fense God's name is to be hallowed or fanctified. 1. Not effectively, by making holy. Holy is his
He is infinitely holy, and cannot be made more holy. Whatever he is, whatever he fays, whatever he does, is perfectly holy, and cannot be made more fo, 1 Jchni. 5. Indeed he sanctifies his creatures by. making them holy, but himself is originally and eternally holy, incapable of
addition, 2. But manifestatively and declaratively, viz. when the holiness of his name is manifested, declared, shewn, and acknowledged, ll. xxix. 23. They shall fančtify my name. · The holy name, in the dark parts of the earth, and in the dark men of the earth, is a candle under a bushel ; it has a glorious light, but it is not feen: the bushel being removed, and the splendor breaking forth to open view, it is hallowed : men then shew, declare, and acknowledge it.
JII. I come to fhew why God's name is said to be hallowed or fanctified, rather than glorified, since it is evident that it is the glorifying his name that is intended.
1. Because God's holiness is his glory in a peculiar manner, Exod. xv, 11.---glorious in boliness. It is the glory of all his other attributes ; it is the beauty of them all, and of every one of them. It is an universal attribute which runs through all the other. It is that vein of infinite purity, that goes thro' the feve