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SER MON X. The Eighth and last Sermon on the
LOR D's P R A YER.
MATTH. VI. xiii. For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever. Amen..
Hen I began to explain to you the
Lord's Prayer, the several Petitions of which I have now gone thro', I shewed you in discoursing of the Form of Invocation wherewith it is begun, viz. Our Father, &c. how proper it is for Prayer in the gederal, and for this Prayer in particular. For whose Honour should we be more concern, ed for than our Father's? And therefore we pray that the Name of God may be hallowed, and that his Peerless Majesty may be acknowledged by all Men, and that nothing may be profaned or irreverently ufed which relates to his Worship. What Kingdom or Government should we desire constantly
thie Advancement of more than of a Paternal Kingdom, where there is Righteousness, and Godliness, and Justice, and Charity ? And this we desire when we say, Thy Kingdom come. To whom is Obedience more naturally due than to a Father? And therefore we pray, Thy Will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Upon whom do Children depend but upon their Father? And our Lord hath taught us to ask of God our daily 'Bread. What is more proper for an offending Son than to arise and go to his Father, and say, I have finned? And our Lord harh taught us to beg of God the Forgiveness of our Trefpasses. Lastly, It is upon this Ground that we also beg of him Protection and Defence against our Spiritual
Enemies, that we may not be led into ! Temptation, but delivered from Evil. All
this is the more considerable, because we do by these Petitions express, as far as Words can do it, the Duty we owe to our heavenly Father, viz. in the first our Reverence to his Majesty, in the second our Love to his Goodness, in the third our Subjection to his Authority, our Obedience to his Commands, in the fourth our Dependance upon his Providence, Care and Bounty,' in the fifth our Hope in his Mercy, and our Belief of his Promises; in the last our Trust in his Power and Wisdom. And the Importance of these several Petitions doth not only re
quire our Earnestness and Importunity in praying, as I have shewn you all along, but the Consideration of this, that God, who is our Father, doth encourage us thereto.
I shall now shew you that the Close of this Prayer is of like Use with the Begining of it, For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, for ever and ever.
Amen. *1. Concerning God's Kingdom. In the Explication of the second Petition I shewed you the several Notions of God's Kingdom in Scripture. That which belongs to this Place is the first that I then mentioned, viz. God's rightful Sovereignty over all the World, as when the Psalmist says, His Kingdom ruleth over all; this could not be meant in the Petition, because the Kingdom there mentioned is that which we pray may come, that is, the farther Success of the Gospel, and the Consummation of all in the Kingdom of God's Glory. But here where we acknowledge absolutely the Kingdom to be God's, we can understand nothing but his Sovereign Rule and Authority over all.
2. The Power is his Omnipotence, which is of a distinct Consideration from bare Authority and Right to govern.. The Meaning is, that God's Authority over all Things is not only unquestionable, which is what we mean by his Kingdom, but that he can do what he pleafes in all Places of bis Don
minion, and his Power is uncontrolable and irresistible. 3.
The Glory is that Praise and Thanks which are due to him for all that we have receiv'd, or hope to receive, from his Bounty and Goodness. He that offereth Praise glorifieth me.
Finally, whereas it is said, For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory, the Meaning is, that we ask these Things of God, we make these Requests to him, because he is Lord over All, because he is Almighty, and because all Praise is du him. Whereby you may perceive, that that which remains for me to shew is, how our Requests are enforced by these Considerations, what reason they contain why we should pray earnestly, and hope to prevail; only it must not be forgotten, that we are to take in the Consideration of God's being our Father, and to add it to all the reft, to make the Reafon strong; if that be left out there is little Motive in the rest, or none at all; for set this aside, that is, the Consideration of God's Goodness to us, and there will be little Encouragement left to ask any thing of him, because he is our Sovereign, Almighty, and because we are to praise him when we receive from him. It is therefore not unobservable that our Saviour taught us to call God Father in the beginning of the Prayer, because this is that
Motive to Prayer which gives Force to all the rest. 'I take then thefe Things which we ascribe to God at last, King doni, Power, and Glory, to be Explications of that Clause in the beginning, which art in Heaven. For Our heavenly Father is as much as to say, Our Father, whose Dominion is over all, whose Power is irresistible, to whom ali Glory and Praise is due; and therefore in the Conclusion we may conceive the Doxology to run thus : “ For thou art our “ Father, whose Kingdom is everlasting, “ whose Power is infinite, and who only “ art worthy of all possible Glory and " Praise.” I doubt' not but every one of thefe Considerations is applicable to enforce every Request, but I shall at first observe where the reason is most obvious.
1. When we pray that the Name of God may be hallowed, that is, that his own most holy Majesty may be had in Reverence and due Acknowledgment, and for his Sake all Things relatively holy, that are separated for his Service, may be reverently used, we have not this only to enforce the Earnestness of the Request, that he, whose Honour we are so tender of, is our Father, but such a Father too as has absolute Dominion over us, because he made us and redeemed us, which our Earthly Parents could not do for us, whose Right to us is therefore limited and bounded, who withal +