Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

out purse, and scrip, and fooes, wanted ye any thing? And they said, Nothing.

2. To our own spiritual welfare: Thy name, &c. Tly kingdom, &c. Thy will, &c. Then, Forgive us our debts, &c. It speaks the disposition of the saints in fubmitting even their spiritual comforts and ease unto the glory of their Father. An eminent instance of this we have in David, 2 Sam. xy 25. 26. And the king said unto Zadok, Carry back the ark of God into the city: if I shall find favour in the eyes of the Lord, he will bring me again, and jhew me both it, and his habi. tation, But if be thus say, I have no delight in thee: behold, here am I, let him do to me as seemeth good unto him. And we have another eminent instance of it in David's Lord, Pfal. xxii. 1. 2. 3. My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring ? 0 niy

God, I cry in the day-time, but thou hearest not; and in the night safon, and am not silent. But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitelt the praises of Israel. To this holy sovereignty Mary was required to stoop, and she did it, John xx. 17. Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not: for I am not yet ascended to my Fatker : but go. to my

, brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God. And why Thould not all the children of God submit the whole of their spiritual comforts, and the way of their travelling through the wilderness, unto their heavenly Father, that he may dispose of it to his own glory, and according to his will? I make no question, but men are to submit their eternal falvation to the honour of God; but as soon as one is brought into God's family, that is fecured, and put beyond a poflibility of losing.

The reason of this point is, That God is man's chief end, and the chief good. All things are from him, and fo must be for him, Prov. xvi. 4. Rev. iv. ult. And to alter thiş order, is for men to make God's ho.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

nour the means, and their ownwelfare the end, which
is to lift up themselves very poudly above God.

Use. 1. This fpeaks death tothose who make the in-
terest of God's name, kingdm, and will, lacquey at
the foot of their personal private interests; and who
cut and carve in their religion as may be most subfer-
vient to advance their own interest, Phil. ii. 2 1. They
will drive over God's honour conscience, juitice, and
equity, to compass their owı ends, and sacrifice all
that is sacred to their own worldly interest.

2. It speaks comfort to the who first seek the kingdom of God in the habitud conduct of their lives, Matth. vi. 33. These seek in the order prescribed, and so cannot miss to come speed. Heaven is a-top with them, and earth under their feet. They confent to the cutting and carving of their own lot, as may be most fubfervient to God's honour. They look mainly to God's honour, and God will fee well to their welfare.

In the text God is represented as the universal Be. nefactor, Maintainer, and Supporter of all, out of whose hands every one muft receive his portion; and to whom Christ fends rich and poor, to beg their bread of him, And here fee,

1. What we are to seek of him, for our bodies; bread, i. e. all the means of life, neceffaries and conveniencies ; for a man may be killed with thirst, and starved with cold, though he had abundance of other things, if he want things necessary in these cases.

2. What bread, daily bread; i. e. a competent portion of the good things of this life; God as the great Steward giving to all their portion meet for them, as a master or steward of a family gives to every mem.ber his stated allowance.

3. What fort of daily bread ; our own ; such as we lawfully come by; for what is unlawfully gotten, and we have no right to by God's gift, Satan puts it in mens hands, not God.

4. When we are to seek it; this day, i. e. every

day. God keeps all nen hanging on him for every day's provision. In espect of God, thofe who have the greatest fulness live from hand to mouth, and they are indebted to God fo every day's mercies, as well as the poor.

5. How we are to se:k it; Give us, i. e. by way of free gift. We cannot plead the merit of a crumb; but grounding our plez on mercy through Chrift, we may seek all we need.

6. Lastly, For whom we are to seek; us, i. e. for ourselves and others; for we are one needy company, and must be all furnished from the same hand.

Before I proceed to a particular consideration of this petition, I shall observe this point of doctrine from it, viz.

Doct. Men depend wholly and entirely on God's bounty, for all the means and comforts of life. There are some who are quite broken, have nothing left them, and can do nothing for a livelihood: how do they live? they hang on about their friends hands, and they have nothing but what they give them. That is the case of all men with respect to God, the best friend of the creatures; and have what ye will, ye know not your own state, if ye know not that ye thus depend on him.

To confirm this point, consider,

1. God is the Cirator of all things. He made us and all things, and particularly those which contribute to the fupport and comfort of our lives, Pfal. c. 3. What a precious thing is the 'life of man, for which lo many hands are set on work to maintain it? They that have a great family to maintain, will have several hands employed in several pieces of work, and all to provide for them. All mankind depend on God; his family of nature is a vast one: and he has made the hands to be employed in it accordingly. He made the corn, and the beasts of the earth, for this end ; the earth it. self to produce the one, and feed the other; and the heavens, with the glorious bodies therein, to influence

[ocr errors]

the earth for that effect. For thi cause the sun, that great servant of the world, is constantly going about, making day and night, feed-time and harvest, fc. and all for the support of the family.

2. He preserves then all in ther being, Heb. i. 3. The whole frame of the universe, and all the creatures in it, are upheld by him, as a ball in the air ; which would presently fall down, if he should withdraw his fupporting hand. The being of the creatures is in a continual flux; there is no necessary connection be. twixt their being one moment and another; so that if God should withdraw his hand, they would imme. diately dwindle into nothing. Our food would all evanish, the beasts disappear, the whole globs of the earth

go

like ashes in the wind, and the sun go out like a candle burnt to snuff, without his supporting influence.

3. He is the Proprietor of us and of all the creatures that we have the benefit of, in heaven or earth. He has given you the use of them, but the property re. mains with him : he is the true Owner and Lord of all. Have you got the corn into your barns or barnyards to feed you, and the wool to clothe you? rcmember, God says, it is my corn and my wool, Hof. ii. 9. Have you the bills plenished with your store? remember, God's mark is upon them all, small and great, Pfal. l. 10. As it is his earth that bears us, and his air that we breathe, so it is his food that maintains us, and his raiment that clothes us.

4. All things that have life, are maintained on his charges, man not excepted, Pfal. cxlv. 15. 16. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. He makes grats to grow for the cattle, and feeds the young ravens that cry. The same heavenly Father whom we seek our daily bread from, feeds the fowls of the air, Matth. vi. 26. If God fhould clofe his hand upon the creatures that wait on him for their food, where would man's comforts be that are drawn from nem for the support of his body?

5. All the usefulnds and comfort of the creatures to us depends on God, Matth. xix. 17. Whatsoever good is in them, is aropt into them from the fountain of goodness. Thecreature is a mere empty nothing in itself, and is foifonless without the blessing from the Lord, Matth. iv. 4. No creature can be more to another than God makes it to be, Hof. ii. 21. 22. The corn cannot hear Jezreel, nor the earth the corn, nor the heavens the earth, unless God hear first; and then the heavens will hear the earth, the earth the corn, and the corn Jezreel.

6. Wherefore God has a negative on all the creatures. Should they all fıy, Yea, if he fay, No, nothing can be done, Lam. iii. 37. He is the spring that sets all the wheels of the creation a-going. Should be stop and deny his influence, then all of them are motionless that moment. Thcu haft bread; but what will it avail thee without his blefling? if he withdraw it, thou mayst eat, and not be satisfied, Hof. iv. 10. Thy cloaths could not warn thee without it. Ye might plough and fow, and get nothing for your pains, if he but lay his charge on the earth to deny her fruits. Ye might tend your cattle and flocks, and do your best for them, and all to no purpose, if he keep back his own, Pfal. xcv. 4. which ye cannot crave as debt. Ye might rise early and fit up late, and ply your business with the utmost diligence; but when thou hast done all thou canst do by art or industry, remember what Moses says to the lfraelites, Deut. viii. 17. 18. Thou say in thine heart, My power, and the might of my hand hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. And conlider what the Lord fays, Pfal. cxxvii. 1. 2. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wa. keth but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to fit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for fi be giveth bis be

1

loved Jeep

[ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »