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2. Temptation to fin, or whatsoever draws the soul to fini that is the evil of the world, John xvii. 15. The soul-ruining snare that is in any thing, is the evil of it. For as fin is evil, so every thing that has a native tendency to draw into fin is evil.
Secondly, What is meant by deliverance from evil? It stands in two things.
1. To be brought out of it, by way of recovery when fallen into it, Psal. li. 12. Temptation nay get the child of God down, his foot may be fast in the snare, and he needs an omnipotent hand to rid him out of Saran's net.
2. To be kept from it, that he fall not into it again. The snares are so many, that it is hard to stand; there is need of a divine power to keep back the finner's soul from the pit of fin, Jude 14. to take part with him, when engaged with a temptation.
Thirdly, What is the import of this part of the petition ? We may take it up in these three things.
1. There is no escaping of temptation, in greater or lesser measure, while we are in this world. Though we should watch ever so narrowly, fo as not to cast ourselves into temptation ; though by no special providence we be led into temptation ; yet the heart within is so full of corruption, the world without is so full of snares, and Satan goes so constantly about, that we are in danger every where, and no where safe.
In prosperity we are apt to be prond, vain, carnal, fecure; to forget God, and grow tasteless of heavenly things, &c. In adverfity, we are impatient, and ditcontented, and fretting, and dead to good things, Psal. cxix. 107. In company we are apt to be infected, or to infect others; and in folitude to be. come a prey to the tempter. House nor field, bed nor board, civil duties nor religious duties, are not such, but temptations will haunt us at them.
2. God's children would fain be delivered from evil, from fin and temptation to it, Rom. vii. 24. O wretched man that I am! says Paul : who fall deliver me from the body of this death? The new nature in them makes them long and groan for it, as ever the captive exile longs for deliverance from his captivity. And there is a threefold deliverance which their souls defire here.
(1.). A deliverance in temptation, that God would powerfully support and enable them to find in the hour of temptation, 2 Cor. xii. 8. ; that when they are engaged in the battle with Satan, the world, and the fleth, the Lord himself would come
in for their rescue. They see they are not man enough for their enemies; and they would fain have heaven to interpose, and cast the balance of victory to their fide.
(2.) A deliverance under temptation, Pfal. li. 8. Sometimes they are trod under foot by their lufts and paflions; they are lying in the mire, and cannot get out. But they look again towards the Lord, as Jonah out of the while's belly, that he would afford them his heiping hand, and so fanctify their lot to them, as all may work for their good.
(3.) A deliverance completely from all fin, and temptation to it, Rom. vii. 24. forecired. And thus the petitions of this prayer end with a longing cry for perfect freedom from sin in another world. And this good the Lord brings out of the hard handling which his people get here, that thereby they are made to long for heaven.
3. They believe that God, and he only, can deliver them from evil. Without this faith they could not put up this
petition ; but the belief of the power and willingness of God to grant this deliverance to his people, daily excites, them to cry unto him, Deliver us from evil.
I shall conclude this part of the sixth petition with a few in. ferences.
Inf. 1. Sinning is more terrible than suffering, in the eyes of the children of God. They pray to be delivered from sin absolutely, at any rate, cost what it will. And they have good reason for it ; for there is more evil in the least fin than in the greatest suffering. In tinning we are conformed to the devil, but in suffering to Jesus Christ. Let us then cry earnestly to God, that he may deliver us from evil.
2. It is a black mark of one that belongs not to God, when there is no parting betwixt him and his lufts. The word and providence works to the delivering the man from his fin, but he wiil not part with it; he is not content to let it go. It is not the spot of God's children.
3. A careless, fearless way of going through the world, without daily care of being ensnared into fin, is an evidence that the man is at home, and is not travelling Zion-ward, For those who are going through this world as a wiiderneis, are walking with fear and trembling through it, ftill saying, Lord, lead us not into temptation.
4. Lastly, It is in the nature of all God's children, to de. fire to be home. Our Father, which art in heavin,-deliver us from evil. They know that this will never be completeiy and fully anfivered till they be beyond the clouds : but from their
hearts they desire it. Let us evidence ourselves to be the children of God, by our ardent defires for this complete deliverance from fin.
The Conclusion of the Lord's Prayer.
MATTHEW vi. 13. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for
E come now to the conclusion of the Lord's prayer, which teachech us,
to take our encouragement “ in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise “ him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to him. And, “ in teftimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we “ fay, Amen."
In this conclusion three things are to be considered.
I. Let us consider the connection of this conclusion with the petitions, in the particle for ; which shews it to contain arguments to be used in prayer for hearing : q. d. Lord, hear us, for the kingdom is thine, the power is thine, and the glory is thine ; and teaches us, that when we pray, we should plead and pray, press our prayers, and enforce our petitions with arguments and reasons, to be heard. I shall thew you,
1. The truth of it. 2. The reason of it.
First, I shall thew you the truth of this pleading. And that it is so, appears from,
1. The Lord himself's teaching us so to do, which shews it to be acceptable to him, fince he himself directs us to it. We have the Mediator's direction for it in this pattern
prayer, petition 5. and conclusion. See alio Luke xi. 5. 6. 7. 8.9. And the more of the Spirit that one has in prayer, he will have his mouth the more filled with arguments.
2. The practice of the saints. See how Mofes pleads and, reasons with God in prayer, Exod. xxxii. 11. 12. 13. Lord, why doth thy wrath wax hot against thy people, which thou hast brought forth out of the land of Egypt, with great power, and with a
mighty hand? Wherefore should the Egyptians Speak and say: For mischief did he bring them out, to fiay them in the mountains and to consume them from the face of the earth ? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel thy servants, to whom thou Swarest by thine own self, and failft unto them, I will multiply your feed as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have Spoken of, will I give unto your feed, and they shall inherit it for ever. See also how Asa pleads, 2 Chron xiv. 11. Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with themi that have no power ; help us, Ó Lord our God; for we reft on thee, and in thy name we go against this multitude : Lord, thout art our God, let not man prevail against thee. Job, thought it, a good way of praying, and longed to be at it, Job xxiii. 4. I would fill my mouth with arguments, says he. The woman of Canaan recovered her arguments, when they seemed to be anfwered, Matth. xv. 22.–27. Have mercy on me, says the, O Lord, thou son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. Ånd his disciples came and befought him, saying, Send her away, for fe crieth afler us. But he answered and said, I am not sent, but unto the lojt sheep of the house of Israel. Then came fhe and worsbipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is 19€ meet to take the childrens bread, and to cast it to dogs. And sbe Siid, Truth, Lord : yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their master's table.
3. The nature of the thing. In prayer men are upon bufiness of the greatest weight and outmost neceflity, and should be in deep earnest in it; and ordinarily the Lord does not answer but to importunity. Is it not very natural in such a case to plead ? Yea, what cafe can men be in that requires more importunate pleading, than that which relates to God's glory and their everlaiting felicity ?
Secondly, I come to thew the reason of this pleading, why we should do so.
1. It is not to move, persuade, or bring over the Lord, to give us what we desire. Force of argument may prevail with man to change bis mind, but the unchangeable God cannot be turned about with any reason or thing whatsoever. For with him there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning, Jam. i. 17. He is in one mind, and who can turn him ? Job xxiii. 13
2. But it is to exercise and strengthen our own praying graces, faith and fervency, doc. So that the effect of the pleading is on ourselves, not on God, though the confequent
of it, by the divine purpose, is prevailing in prayer. It is true, the detign of the pleading person is not on himself, cho' the effect is ; neither ought it to be upon God, to move him, but upon the thing itself, to luy it out before the Lord, in the ne. celli:y and reifonableness of it. It is as it a hungry child should apply to his father for bread, and the father should say, “ Child, wherefore thould I give you bread?” and thereupon the chill thould fay, “ Alas! I am prined with huoger, and who will give it me if you reture? will it not be a retec. tion on your name, to fay your childrin faint for lack of bread ?” While the child pleads thus, the tear strikes in his eye, and his earnestness increases : whereupon he is answered. Here it is evident, that the effcct of the pleading is not on the father; it woulù be but the child's weakness to think that the father is overcome with his arguments, though the confequent of the pleading is the child's getting bread : But the effect of it is plainly on the child himielf, though the child defigns it not fo : And suppose the child to have fo much wit, as to know that his arguments are not needed to persuade his father, his defign of pleading in that cafe is on the thing itself, to hold out the neceffity and reasonableness of it.
II. Let us consider the concluding fentence, Thine is the kingdon, and the power, and the glory for ever. Here I ihall
1. What is meant by the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever.
2. What is the import of this fentence.
FIRST, I am to thew what is meant by the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever.
By the kingdom is meant, not the kingdom of grace, por the kingdom of glory either ; but God's effential kingdom, his universal sovereignty over all persons and all things whatso
2. The power is not authority whereby God may do, but the ability whereby he can do what he will, in that kingdom.
3. The glory is not God's essential glory, but the declarative glory, arising from what he doth in that kingdom, which wil Thine forth for ever through eternity.
SECONDLY, I am to thew what is the import of this fentence. It is twofold, praife, and pleading arguments.
Firft. Praise. Hereby we praise him in our prayers, expresling high and honourable thoughts of him, Thine is the kling tom, &c. Thus we exalt him above ourselves and all creatures whatsoever.