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thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, how can this man give us his flesh to eat ? Then Jesus said unto them, verily, verily I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life ; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven : he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.” “ And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." Debts, trespasses and sins. These terms convey throughout the sacred volume similar ideas. “ Forgive us our debts." All who are directed to pray, are debtors or sinners; but as offenders are directed to supplicate for pardon only from God; it is clear that against God only have they offended, and to him only are accountable. Against thee only, said the royal prophet, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight. We are directed to pray that we may be forgiven, as we forgive others. Viewing Christ and the people, as making one complete whole ; the christian man unites with the sweet singer of Israel, and faithfully saith, Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people, thou hast covered all their sin. Selah. Thou hast taken away all thy wrath ; thou hast turned thyself from the fierceness of thine anger; or he adopts the language of Isaiah, gratefully repeating, And the inhabitants shall not say, I am sick; the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquities; and he listens with devout love, gratitude, and admiration, to him who spake as never man spake, while he hears him declare that all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men. Well doth the believer know, and boldly doth he assert, that the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin ; and adoring, he beholds the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world.
« And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen." What is temptation ? Temptation is of two kinds; the one for trial, the other for the purpose of seduction; the one is of God, the
other originates with the adversary. My brethren, saith the apostle James, count it all joy when you fall into divers temptations; and again, Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man. To be led into temptation, and to be tempted, are not synonimous terms. Our Saviour was led up by the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil, but the arch fiend, after exhausting all his power, found him superior to temptation. The first Adam was not only led into temptation but was tempted, he became an easy victim to the allurements of our general mother, who was seduced by the tempter. Not so, Adam the second, firm and unyielding was the rock of our salvation. The Redeemer of the world was led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, to be tried; and thoroughly was he tried, yet not |_ tempted to evil. The head of every man towered above every temptation. It is written, said Jesus thou shalt not tempt the LORD thy God; get thee behind me Satan, for it is written, thou shalt worship the LORD thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
This may be considered as the last scene of temptation. We never again hear of God's spirit leading the Saviour to be tempted. Having evinced his Omnipotence in the contention with the adversary, it was sufficient, and when we see that nothing short of Almighty power was requisite to defeat the adversary, we are convinced of the necessity of praying, lead us not into temptation. Trials justify, and necessarily originate supplication and prayer. Prayer is sanctioned both by the precept and example of Emmanuel. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me ; nevertheless, not as I will but as thou wilt. Persecution on account of the truth, is a kind of temptation operating as a trial. Blessed be the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the LORD hath promised to them that love him.
“Deliver us from evil." Evil is of two kinds, sin and suffering. The heart of the sons of men are full of evil. Suffering is an evil. But shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil? Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? Shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it? I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.
Yet we are directed to pray, without discrimination, that we may be delivered from evil.
“ For thine is the kingdom." There was given him dominion, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. The kingdom is the LORD's: and he is the Governor among the nations. "And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever."
“The power.” And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven, and in earth. All power over angels. They are ministering spirits, and they fly to execute his commands. Over deyils who tremble at the sound of his voice. Come out of him, said Jesus, even in the day of his humiliation, and instantly the devil quitted the mansion he had so long possessed and distressed. He bindeth the fallen spirits, and casteth them out, and he will finally confine them to outer darkness. All power is also given to him in earth, that he may remove the covering from the face of all flesh, that he may open lhe understanding, and become eyes to the blind, ears to the deaf, and speech to the dumb. That he may turn men from the power of Satan unto God, that he may fill the earth, all animated earth, with the knowledge of his blessed self,
“The glory.” “Thine is the glory.” And he said, I beseech thee shew me thy glory. And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together : for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.
This glory shall be from everlasting to everlasting-ForeverANEN-SO BE IT,
First, HYPOCRITES were punctual in their observance of fasts, because it was generally believed, that devout and honourable professors fasted, and that they were very abstemious, and very regular in this devotional act.
Secondly, They had their reward. They were admired, and held in high estimation by their brethren : they appeared unto men to fast, but they had forgotten the word of the LORD, by their prophet. Joel ii. 12, 13, “ Therefore, also, now saith the LORD, turn ye to me with all your hearts, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning : and rend your hearts, and not your garments, and turn unto the LORD your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness.” It appears that these hypocrites had not the most remote idea of the fast described by the prophet Isaiah, lvii. 5–7, speaking to those who fasted for strife, he says, or rather the spirit of God, speaking by the prophet, says, “ Is it such a fast that I have chosen ? A day for a man to afflict his soul ? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush ? and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him ? wilt thou call this a fast? Is not this the fast that I have chosen ? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked that thou cover him, and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flcsh ?"
Thirdly, The disciples of our blessed Master paid no attention to this religious institution as it obtained among the Jews. Matthew ix. 14, “Then came to him the disciples of John, saying, Why do we and the Pharisees fast often, but thy disciples fast not?” But the Redeemer defended his disciples. “ Can the children of the bride chamber mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away, and then shall they fast."
Fourthly, The disciples of Jesus Christ cannot mourn while blessed by the light of the Redeemer's countenance. John xvi. 16, “A little while and ye shall not see me : and again a little while and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” Matthew xxviii. 20, “ Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you : and, lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Amen.” It is unnecessary to multiply instances to prove that the soul cannot be afflicted which is cheered by the irradiating spirit, and presence of the Redeemer.
MATTHEW vii. 7, 8.
First, The Redeemer teacheth his disciples to ask with holy confidence, and what is asked shall be given.
Secondly, The disciples are assured, if they seek they shall find.
Thirdly, They are commanded to knock and it shall be opened unto them.
Fourthly, Who are to receive ? Every one who asketh.
Sixthly, Unto whom shall it be opened ? Unto him that knockcth. The following scriptures will elucidate and corroborate our text. Genesis xxxii. 26-28, “ And he said, let me go, for the day breaketh: And he said, I will not let thee go except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said Jacob. And he said, thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel : for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Psalm cxviii. 5, “I called upon the Lord in distress: the Lord answered me, and set me in a large place." Psalm cxxiii. 2, “Behold as the eyes of servants look unto the hands of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us." John xiv. 13, “ And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” John