mon, breathing as it does an earnest desire that God may be glorified, and His kingdom established on the earth.

But we cannot close this section without putting to each individual reader the solemn inquiry, Has this kingdom come into your own soul? Have you been made willing in the day of the Redeemer's power? Are you seeking at once to know and to do His will, or are you of the number of those who know His will and do it not? "This is the will of God that we believe on Him whom He hath sent." Have you complied on this essential and all-important point with the will of God? If not, let it be your earnest prayer and your unceasing endeavour in the diligent use of all the means of grace, that you may be subdued under the power of Christ.

And let those who have been enabled to accept the invitations of His grace bear constantly in mind, that "this is the will of God, even our sanctification." He wills His people to be a holy nation, a peculiar people, zealous of good works.


MAT. VI. 11-13.

The Lord's prayer, as we have seen, may be divid

ed into two parts, the first referring to the relation which God holds to us, and the second referring to the relation which we hold to God.

It is the second part which forms the subject of our present exposition. The believer has, in the first three petitions, been breathing forth an earnest desire that the kingdom of God may come, that the reign of grace and of righteousness may be established in his own soul and in the souls of all mankind; and now he proceeds to pray that all the hindrances to the coming of that kingdom may be removed. The fourth peti

tion of this beautiful prayer is expressed in these words, "give us this day our daily bread." This evidently refers to our temporal affairs, the means of our worldly support. The word bread being spoken of in scripture as the staff of life, and being the principal article of food, is here used for food in general, implying all needful support for our bodies. You observe we are commanded so to frame our prayers in reference to the good things of this life, as to express the utmost moderation in our requirements. "Dost thou seek great things for thyself? Seek them not." "We brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out," and it is, therefore, an incumbent duty, as well as essential to our true comfort, that, "having food and raiment we should therewith be content." It is undoubtedly true that every child of God will combine diligence in his worldly calling

with fervency in his supplications at a throne of grace, and it is equally true, that amid all his unwearied activity in the labours of honest industry, he will ever view himself as an humble pensioner on the bounty of heaven. "Give us." "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning." And how does it sweeten all the enjoyments of life when they are received as if they had come down directly from the hand of God. The homeliest meal partaken of in this way has a rich blessing with it. We are thus recognizing the source whence all our mercies flow, and honouring Him who, whether in temporal or in spiritual matters, "giveth the increase.”

And this petition, further, is limited to what is sufficient for our present subsistence, "give us this day our daily bread." We are not authorised in asking of God that He would give us a large store of worldly blessings, but the very language of this prayer goes upon the supposition that prayer is as necessary as our daily food. We must come to God every day imploring Him to bestow what is sufficient for that day, and it is as needful that we should ask God to give, as it is needful to work that we may earn support. And yet, what a melancholy separation do we too often make between prayer to God and industry in our worldly calling. How would we

account otherwise of a man, but as a madman, who, though unprovided with the subsistence necessary for his body, should nevertheless refuse to work, expecting in some way or other to obtain food; but infinitely more foolish is the man who never bows the knee to that God who alone can prosper his labours to obtain even a moderate portion of the good things of this life. The position which this petition occupies in our Lord's prayer is well worthy of being noticed. It stands alone in the middle of the prayer, the only petition which has any reference whatever to temporal matters. And it is only, as it were, a passing word upon the subject, expressing the simplest and the most moderate requirements. It breathes eminently the spirit of Agur's prayer: "Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die : Remove far from me vanity and lies; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: Lest I be full and deny thee, and say, who is the Lord? or lest I be poor and steal, and take the name of my God in vain." And yet, however moderate the single petition which the Lord's prayer contains for temporal support, the believer hurries onward, as it were, to those spiritual desires which are engrossing his soul. He seeks first and above all things the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and that which is the first object of his anxiety is also the last. It is only in passing that he has a word to say about

his earthly subsistence. What a lesson is this! God must be our all in all. "One thing," and only one "is needful" for immortal beings like us, and it is "that better portion which shall never be taken from us."

Impressed, indeed, ought the child of God to be with this solemn truth, that even in using the petition before us, he should beware of limiting his desires to the bread that perisheth. A temptation of this nature was set before Christ, but he repelled it with these words, "Man liveth not by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God." And although no doubt this petition in its fundamental meaning refers to earthly bread, yet it is alike our duty and our privilege to rise in our affections and desires to that "bread of life of which they who eat shall never hunger." This is the spiritual meat which has been provided for the people of God as they pass through the wilderness of this world; and, like the ancient Israelites, they must gather this food daily. No store has been laid up from which, independently of prayer, they can draw at will. They must go daily to God for those supplies of spiritual nourishment which they so much need. "Give us this day our daily bread." Should their heavenly Father withhold the communications of His grace, their spiritual affections would become cold and languid, their spiritual graces would decline, and their spiritual health would wither and decay. If, therefore, their desires

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