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wisdom sees fit to grant it. All, therefore, that we can safely understand by this expression, is an humble desire that God will neither try us himself, beyond our strength (as we often tempt him to do, by our sinful presumption), nor suffer the devil, the world, or our own flesh, so far to have the mastery as to wean us from his favour. And to secure this divine help we must be uniform in the rules our Lord himself has presented to us: (1.) to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation, for this serious reason, that though the spirit is willing (to help), the flesh is weak: in applying for or using it, (2.) to take heed, because it is the natural lot of our present state to be tried, or tempted, and yet not to faint, because no temptation shall take us, but what is common to man, and that God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above what we are able (if we trust in him for help), according to the declaration of St. John, in Rev. iii. 10, that whosoever keepeth the word of his patience, he also will keep them from the hour of temptation; not from being wholly tempted (for that will come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth), but from the power of it that it shall not hurt them.
With a due impression, therefore, of our own weakness and unworthiness, we pray further in these words, that, if it be God's will, we may not
be exposed to any great temptations at all; but if, for any ends of his wise providence, he shall be pleased to suffer us to be tempted, according to the instance just mentioned, of king David's numbering the people, as recorded in 2 Sam. xxiv. 1, and in 1 Chron. xxi. 1; and the trials of Job; that then he would mercifully vouchsafe to strengthen and support us under the temptations, and carry us through them with innocence and integrity; and, especially, not so far to desert us, as to suffer them to hurry us into wilful sin, but to give us grace to attend to the exhortations of his holy Apostle St. Peter (1 Ep. v. 8), to be sober and vigilant, because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may permitted to devour; and whom we are commanded to resist, by continuing steadfast in the faith; knowing that some afflictions (or temptations, as they are here called) are accomplished in our brethren that are in the world; but to build on this hope continually, that the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that we have suffered awhile, will make us perfect, stablish, strengthen, and settle us.
Having been so very full and particular in the explanation of this part of the sixth petition of the Lord's Prayer, it being so essential for every Christian clearly to understand it, I
shall have less occasion to say much upon these concluding words, "but deliver us from "evil."-The general import of this petition is a prayer against every thing hurtful both to soul and body; and hence, also, it may be received in a double acceptation, as signifying either an evil person or an evil thing. In the former point of view, it may not only respect all wicked men (as instruments of evil to us), but especially the wicked ONE, the ruler and employer of these instruments; or, as he is called, Matt. iv. 3, the TEMPTER; who is the author of all sin and wickedness, and, as before so abundantly shown, the scourge of those who do evil; as also the occasional limited chastiser of those who become objects of correction. But if we confine these words-deliver us from evil, as relating to what we usually term misfortune or temporal calamity; then it does not so much respect the evil of sin itself, as the evil of temptation, to which it seems most properly to refer, according to this prayer of Christ to God for his preservation of the Apostles (John, xvii. 15), And I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from the evil; that is, the danger of it, the temptations it abounds with, and every thing that may weaken their faith, or render them comfortless under their
necessary trials, of which they must have their share as long as they continue in it.
To conclude: We may sum up the short and plain meaning of this petition in the expressive language of a pious Prelate of our own church" O God and Father, who hatest iniquity and knowest our infirmities, leave us not to the malice and power of the evil one; let not the devil deal with us as he pleases; neither leave us to ourselves, and to our own corrupt hearts and lusts, lest we rashly run into TEMPTATION; but keep us, good Lord, out of the way of them, and always under the direction of thy Holy Spirit. Suffer us not to be surprised by them, nor tempted above what we are able to bear, but give us grace to withstand them, by being always on our GUARD; that is, to watch and pray daily, lest we fall." In this pure interpretation, let us all henceforth constantly petition God, not to lead us into temptation, but that he will most graciously deliver us from evil, and that for His sake, who taught us thus to pray; and to whom, as we are indebted for all we have power to do or hope for, to him, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three Persons and one God, be all the praise for ever and ever. Amen.
THE LORD'S PRAYER-CONCLUSION.
"For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen."
1 TIMOTHY, 1. 17.
Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
ST. Jude, with very little alteration of this text, supplies equally appropriate language to introduce the subject of the doxology, or concluding part of the Lord's Prayer: To the only wise God our Saviour be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
By doxology* is meant the form of giving
*The above word is taken from the Greek language, signifying literally, to speak or give praise: it is a compound, and forms a verse or short hymn, anciently appointed in the church, and used as the conclusion of our Lord's Prayer, for thine is the kingdom, &c. in the same manner as ascribing due honour to the Almighty in the Gloria Patri after the Psalms. The latter words are taken from the Latin