THE DOCTRINE OF Practicall Praying: TOGETHER, With a Learned Exposition ON THE LORDS PRAYER.

By the Right Reverend Father in God, George Downam, late Ld Bishop of Derry in Ireland.

Pray without ceasing, &c.’ 1 Thes. 5. 17.

After this manner therefore pray ye, Our Father, &c. Mat. 69.

LONDON, Printed by W. H. for Nicolas Bourne at the South entrance of the Royall Exchange. 1656.

To the Christian Reader.

THere is no duty more ex­cellent in it self or profi­table to us then that of Prayer: Wherein we have sweet communion with God and free ac­cesse to the throne of grace, laying o­pen to a gracious Father all our wants and grievances, in hope and confi­dence to have our suits granted, our sinnes pardoned, our necessities sup­plyed, and our griefs removed and relieved. It is that hand and key which helpeth to unlock and open the treasury of all Gods graces for the enriching of our souls with all his blessings, the horsmen and chariots of the Israel of God, whereby they get victorie over all their enemies, yea [Page] they prevail with God whē he seem­eth to oppose against them as an ene­mie, and to wrestle with them that he may foil and overthrow them, as he did with Jacob. In all which and in­numerable other respects as it is to be esteemed the chiefest exercise of a godly and Christian life, which can never be too much practiced, as the Apostle implyeth where he injoyn­eth us to pray continually, and in all things to give thanks; so can it never be sufficiently insisted upon in the do­ctrine of it, whereby we are pressed & perswaded to the frequent exercise of it, and taught to perform it in a right and acceptable manner. In which regard though much already hath been excellently spoken and written upon this subject, yet let no man think it superfluous to have more [Page] published of this argument; seeing that can never be too much taught which is never sufficiently learned and loved.

The ensuing Treatises were the la­bours of that learned, judicious and godly Divine D. Downame, late Bi­shop of Dery in the Realm of Ire­land, my most dear brother, which were penned with his own hand for his private use, but for the publick service of that part of Gods Church over which he was a painfull and faithfull Pastour, conteining the summe of many of his sermons which he preached on this argument. The which if he had been pleased to have polished and perfected with his own learned hand, no doubt much would have been added to their lu­stre and beautie. Yet seeing this was [Page] not done according to his better abilities, I thought it a dammage to Gods people, that they should lose the substance for the want of some circumstance, and have no use of a well-compacted bodie, fit to do God and his Church good service, be­cause it was not decked with gay or­naments. And therefore I have pre­sented it to the view of the world, and indeavoured to perform the du­tie of a brother to him that is decea­sed, though not to raise this spiritu­all seed to him (for it was of his own begetting and composing) yet to give unto it birth and being in the world, without which it would have proved abortive, and so have been buried in perpetuall oblivi­on.

The which service I have the [Page] more willingly undertaken for the benefit of all that will take pains to peruse this work, because I am now disabled by age and many infirmi­ties to produce any further labours of mine own in this kind; where­in I have not been wanting in my more able and mature times, accord­ing to the proportion of my small ta­lent which my great Lord and Ma­ster hath entrusted me with: Herein imitating the example of the weaker sex, who after they have been fruit­full in bearing children themselves, and now being come to older age are disabled to have any more con­ceptions, do some of them become midwives, who are helpfull to those who are young and fruitfull for the bringing of their children into the world.

[Page]The Lord, whose onely blessing maketh all our indeavours profitable by giving efficacie unto them by the inward operation of his holy Spi­rit, blesse these and all other labours of his servants, that they may bring forth plentifull fruits for the advance­ment of his glory and the benefit of all his children, who are willing to make use of them to these ends.

Thine in the Lord Jesus, to do thee any Christian service, JOHN DOVVNAME.
¶ The contents of the Chapters of the first part of this Treatise, viz. The Doctrine of Prayer; together with the chief points there­in handled.
  • Chap. 1. OF the definition of Prayer, and of the persons who are to pray Pag. 1
  • Of the name of Invocation and Prayer 2
  • Of the generall nature of prayer 3
  • Of the proper nature of prayer 4
  • What is required in invocation acceptable to God 5
  • Who ought to pray 6, 7, &c.
  • 2. Reasons moving to the dutie of prayer 8, 9, &c.
  • 3. Other motives to the dutie of prayer 11
  • 4. Three questions cleared 14
  • Whether prayer be efficacious to obtein our desires 15
  • That prayer is necessary notwithstanding Gods de­cree 16, 17, &c.
  • 5. Of the great and wonderfull efficacy of prayer 21
  • 6. Whether by prayer we alwayes obtein our desires 26
  • 7. Of the profit of prayer 29
  • 8. A threefold necessity of prayer 32
  • 9. Who are to perform the duty of prayer 33
  • 10. None but the faithfull can pray effectually and acceptably 37
  • That the impenitent cannot pray acceptably 39
  • In what respect God heareth the wicked 47
  • 11. That God alone is to be called upon 51
  • 12. That we ought not to invocate any creature 58
  • That Angels and Saints are not to be invocated. 59
  • [Page]That Saints departed are not to be invocated 61
  • Chap. 13 That we must conceive of God in prayer as he hath re­vealed himself in his word 64
  • Whether Christ as Mediatour is to be invocated 66
  • 14. That Christ alone is the Mediatour of intercession as well as of redemption 68
  • 15. That we must pray onely in the name of Christ 77
  • 16. Of the manner how we are to call upon God 80
  • That we must pray with upright hearts 82, &c.
  • That we must not pray with feigned lips and wan­dring thoughts 83, 84, &c.
  • 17. Of knowledge required necessarily in prayer 89
  • That prayer ought to be made in a known tongue 92
  • 18. Of Faith which is required in prayer 101
  • 19. Of Humilitie required in prayer 106
  • Faith and Humility must be joyned in prayer 110
  • 20. Of Reverence required in prayer, and Heartinesse 113
  • 21. Of the Gesture to be used in prayer 116
  • 22. Of the Voyce to be used in prayer 125
  • Of Battologie in prayer 129
  • Of the quantitie and qualitie of our prayers 133
  • 23. Whether a set form of prayer may be used 135
  • What we are to think of extempor all prayer 137
  • Of conceived prayers and set forms 139
  • 24. Of things required out of the action of prayer 141
  • Of Preparation unto prayer 142
  • Of duties to be performed after prayer 144
  • 25. Of the Subject matter of our prayers, and what is re­quired thereunto; namely, that it be good and accord­ing to Gods will 146
  • That being unable to pray we are assisted by the Spirit 147
  • [Page]Chap. 26 Of the circumstances of prayer 150
  • Of Publick prayer 151
  • Of Private prayer in the family, and alone 154
  • 27. Of the time of prayer 156
  • The Euchetae confuted 157
  • 28. Concerning the Place of prayer 161
  • The vanity of Pilgrimages 163
  • 29. Of Prayer or Petition: and what is required unto it 164
  • Prayer and thanksgiving must be joyned 165
  • What things are required in prayer 167
  • We must pray in sight and sense of our wants 169
  • We must pray with fervency of de [...]ire 172
  • 30. Of Faith, which is chiefly required in prayer 173
  • We must pray in faith and submission to Gods will 176
  • 31. Of duties to be performed after prayer 178
  • 32. Distinctions of prayer in regard of the object 181
  • For whom we must pray 184
  • Of prayer against others 188
  • Of Imprecations 189
  • 33. Of the reall object of prayer, or the things to be prayed for 191
  • We must pray for temporall blessings 193
  • 34. Of Deprecation 195
  • Of Confession of our sinnes 196
  • How this Confession is to be made 197
  • 35. Of Thanksgiving 201
  • What is required in Thanksgiving 202
  • 36. Speciall duties required in Thanksgiving 206
  • 37. Of the outward expressing inward thankfulnesse by pray­sing God 212
  • 38. Duties to be performed before & after thanksgiving 216
¶ The chief things handled in the second part of this Treatise, viz. The exposition of the Lords Prayer.
  • [Page]THe generals of Invocation applyed to the Lords Prayer 226
  • The Preface 231
  • How God is called Father ibid.
  • Of the name Father; and what duties it teacheth us 234
  • What is meant by the word Our 237
  • The meaning of these words, Which art in heaven 244
  • The division of the Petitions 251
  • The meaning of the first Petition 252
  • How Gods name is sanctified by us 255
  • How Gods name signifying his Glory is sanctified by us 257
  • How it is sanctified, signifying his Titles 259
  • How it is sanctified, signifying his Word 263
  • How it is sanctified, signifying the Doctrine of religion 264
  • How it is sanctified, signifying his Works 265
  • How God himself sanctifieth his name 269
  • The second Petition handled 271
  • What Gods kingdome is 272
  • What it is for Gods kingdome to come 275
  • Christs kingdome cometh by means 279
  • The impediments of Gods kingdome to be prayed against 282
  • Uses concerning the coming of Gods kingdome 289
  • Of the coming of the kingdome of glory 293
  • We must expect and pray for the second coming of Christ 294
  • [Page]How we must expect the second coming of Christ 298
  • The third Petition explained 301
  • Of the will of God, and things which he willeth 303
  • How Gods will is done on earth 307
  • How Gods will is done on earth as in heaven 310
  • The matter and manner of our obedience 314, 315
  • Wherein our obedience resembleth that of the Angels 319
  • The exposition of the fourth Petition 324
  • Why we ask temporall blessings before spirituall 325
  • What is meant by Bread 327
  • What is meant by daily bread 330
  • How God is said to give us daily bread 333, &c.
  • Duties to be performed by them that ask daily bread 339, 340, &c.
  • The fifth Petition expounded 350
  • We must be justified before we can be sanctified 352
  • That our sinnes are debts 355
  • What is meant by forgiving our trespasses 359
  • By this petition we are put in mind of our misery and Gods mercy 361
  • No man can satisfie Gods justice for his sinnes 362
  • Severall duties arising out of the fifth petition 368, 369
  • Our forgiving no cause of Gods forgiving us 376
  • How we can be said to forgive 379
  • Reasons moving us to forgive 385, &c.
  • The sixth petition expounded 390
  • Those whom God pardoneth the devil tempteth 391
  • The necessity of this prayer, Not to be lead into tem­ptation 392
  • Of probations and trialls, 1. by prosperity, 2. by afflicti­ons 394, 395
  • [Page]Of divers sorts of temptations 396
  • 1. Of the flesh ibid.
  • 2. Of the world 397
  • 3. Of the devil 400
  • Of the divers sorts of the devils temptations 401, &c.
  • How God may be said to tempt 406
  • Satan can neither tempt or overcome without Gods per­mission 409
  • That temptations are good for Gods children 410
  • How we must pray against the temptations of the flesh, the world, and the devil 413, 414, 415, &c.
  • The Conclusion of the Lords Prayer both authenticall and necessary 419
  • Our faith confirmed by this Conclusion 420
  • What is meant by, thine is the kingdome 422, 423
  • What is meant by, the power and the glory 424, 425
  • Everlasting kingdome, power and glory belongeth to God 427
  • What the word Amen signifieth 429
CHAP. I. Of the defi …

CHAP. I. Of the definition of prayer; and of the persons who are to pray.

AMong all the duties of Christianitie, as there is not any more honourable in it self, more glorious to God, more profitable and necessary for us then the exercise of prayer and in­vocation, so is there none wherein we do more need direction and instruction, and consequently nothing wherein my labour in speaking and yours in hearing may better be imployed. For, as Chry­sostome saith, Pulcherrima est scientia veré (que) Chri­stiano homine digna quae docet rectè precari: That is the most excellent knowledge and truly worthy a Christian man which teacheth rightly to pray. In treating whereof I purpose (by the help ofThe method observed in this tractate, Of prayer. God) to observe this order: First, I will set down the doctrine of invocation, and then explain that absolute form or pattern of prayer prescribed by our Saviour Christ, wherein the practice of the doctrine is conteined.

The doctrine must first be generall and common to both the sorts of invocation, viz. prayer and thanksgiving; and then speciall and peculiar to ei­ther.

[Page 2]The generall doctrine consisteth of such points as are either more substantiall, [...] ▪ or acciden­tall, [...].

The substantiall points are all of them compri­sed in this definition; Invocation or prayer is aThe defini­tion of Pray­ [...]r. religious speech of the faithfull, directed unto God in the name of Christ, framed according to the will of God by the help of the holy Ghost, concern­ing good things apperteining to his glory and our good.

The phrase of invocating or calling upon the name Of the name of Invocati­on & Prayer. of God sometimes signifieth the profession of the true religion whereby we take the name of God up­on us, and are called after his name: as Gen. 48. 16. and 4. 16. Isa. 63. 10. Acts 9. 14. 1. Cor. 1. 2.

And first, as touching the name; This part of Gods worship is usually in the Scriptures expressed by the phrase of calling upon the name of God, and therefore is fitly called invocation, that is, cal­ling upon God, whether it be by way of praying or praysing. In which generall sense the Hebrew word [...], tephillat, is sometimes used; 1. Sam. 2. 1. Psal. 86. 1. Isa. 56. 7. Domus orationis, oratio, and invocatio in Latine: and by a Synecdoche pray­er in the English tongue; though properly it signi­fieth that species or kind of invocation whereby we crave any thing at the hands of God. By a Metony­mie of the signe it is sometimes called the lifting up of the hands, Psal. 141. 2. and 44. 20. sometimes, the lifting up of the eyes, Psal. 123. 1. more properly, a lifting up of the heart unto God, Psal. 25. 1. where­of the other are but sign [...]s. Which must teach us [Page 3] when we pray, to lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens, as Jeremie speaketh Lam. 3. 41. So much of the name.

In the definition the nature of Invocation is setOf the ge­nerall na­ture of Pray­er. forth: both the generall, which Logicians call the genus; and proper, in that which is called the diffe­rence. The generall, in that I call it a religious speech. For of religious speech there are two speciall sorts: the one of man unto man in the name of God and in the stead of Christ; which is preaching: the other of man unto God in the name and mediati­on of Christ; which is prayer or invocation: And both of them somewhere in the Scriptures are ex­pressed by one and the same name of prophesying: which for Preaching is used, 1. Cor. 14. 3, 4. and else­where for Invocation, both in the sense of praying, 1. Kings 18. 29. with 26. and of praysing, 1. Chron. 25. 1, 2, 3. First, I say, it is a speech. And because the religious speech is the chief speech which we can use, therefore as preaching is called Sermo, so prayer is of the Latines [...] called Oratio.

But where I say prayer is a speech, you are to un­derstand, that whereas there is a twofold speech, [...], outward and inward, the inward being also called [...], or [...], a speech conceived in the mind: the outward, [...], or [...], a speech uttered with the voice: prayer is not the out­ward speech chiefly or onely, but the inward of the soul; either alone, when in prayer the voice is not used, as Gen. 24. 45. Exod. 14. 15. 1. Sam. 1. 13. and is called oratio mentalis, which is usuaîl in me­ditation,Psal. 5. 1. and is sometimes so called: or chi [...]fly [Page 4] when the voice is used, as most commonly it is: Whereupon some define prayer to be [...],Da [...]asc. O [...]thodoxa [...]ide, lib. 3. cap. 24. the speech or communication of the soul with God; others, [...], the ascending of the mind unto God. In which respect the holy Ghost calleth it the lifting up of the heart unto God, Psal. 25. 1. and the pouring forth of the soul before the Lord, Psal. 62. 8. 1. Sam. 1. 15. As for that prayer which is onely the outward speech of the mouth without the inward of the heart, it is not a prayer in truth, but a meer lip-labour. For to call upon God in truth, is to pray with our souls, and to call upon him with our hearts, to lift up our hearts and to poure forth our souls before the Lord, as I shall shew more fully hereafter.

But I adde, that it is a religious speech, to note that prayer is a part, and indeed a principall part of that religious adoration and worship which we ow unto God: and consequently to teach us, that it is a dutie to be performed religiously and devoutly, as intending thereby an holy and acceptable service unto God. So that true prayer is not a bare reading or recitall of any form of prayer without under­standing, without affection, without devotion, with­out faith; but a religious service devoutly offered unto God out of an upright and pure heart, 2. Tim. 2. 22. Psal. 119. 7.

The proper nature of Invocation is described in [...] prop [...]r nature o [...] In­ [...]ocation. the rest of the definition, conteining six substantiall points necessarily required in all prayer, viz. Quis, Quem, Cujus nomine, Quomodo, Cujus ope, De qui­bus; that is, Who must pray, Whom we must pray [Page 5] unto, In whose name, In what manner, By whose help, and For what. For in all invocation that shall be acceptable unto God, there is required, 1. ThatWhat is re­quired in all invocation acceptable to God. the person which prayeth be faithfull; 2. That the partie to whom we pray be the onely true God; 3. That the prayer be made in the name of Christ; (For sinne having made a separation between God and us, there is no accesse for us unto God in our own name.) 4. For the manner, that it be [...], according to God, Rom. 8. 27. or, as S. John speaketh more fully, 1. Epist. 5. 14. according to the will of God, that is, that in our invocation or prayer we perform those things which God hath willed and required in his word to be performed in prayer. 5. Because we are not able of our selves to perform any of those things which God hath required, I adde, that we are to call upon God by the help of the holy Ghost. 6. And lastly, I shew that the object of our invocation, that is, the things concerning which we do speak unto God in prayer, are good things apperteining to his glorie and our good; as namely and especially, the benefits and blessings of God, for which we do either pray unto him, or praise him. Of these six in order: And first for the partie which is to pray. When I say that pray­er is a speech of the faithfull, you are to understand, 1. That we speak of prayer as it is officium via [...]o­rum, a duty injoyned unto men living here upon earth as pilgrimes in the Church militant, unto whom alone the doctrine of Invocation doth ap­pertein; and not as it is exercitium spirituum beato­rum, the exercise of the Saints and Angels in the [Page 6] Church triumphant in heaven, to whom neither the commandments injoyning this duty, nor the promi­ses made to prayer, nor the directions which teach how to pray are directed. For although the word of God hath revealed that they are conversant in the one part of invocation, that is, in praising & glo­rifying God (wherein we are to imitate them, that we may do this will of God, 1. Thess. 5. 18. as the Saints and Angels do it in heaven) yet as touching the other part, which is prayer or petition, for what or for whom they pray in particular, the Spirit of God in the Scriptures hath not revealed: and it is but foolish curiositie to seek to be wise above that which is written. For herein especially is that ve­rified, Qu [...] supra nos nihil ad nos, that is, Things above us belong not unto us: much lesse ought we with the superstitious Papists upon an erroneous conceit of theirs, I mean the Saints and Angels in particular, that is, such Saints and Angels praying for us in particular, ground an idolatrous practice of our praying unto them. But of this also more hereafter.

2. Seeing we consider it as the dutie of the li­ving, Isa. 38. 19. we are more particularly to consi­der both who in this world are required to pray, and also what is required in them that do pray. This dutie is required of all men living without excepti­on: All are to call upon God. And that their pray­er may be accepted of God, it is required of all that they should have faith. For as much therefore as we are to define prayer as it is effectuall and acce­ptable, for that cause I defined it to be the speech [Page 7] of the faithfull: not but that all are bound to pray, but that none pray effectually and acceptably but they onely that believe. Concerning the partie therefore which is to call upon God, I am to shew these two things: 1. That it is required of all to pray; 2. That it is required of all which do pray that they be faithfull. The former I am the rather in this place to perform, lest when I have defined Quid sit, and so taught how we are to pray, I leave place to the question An sit, Whether we are to pray at all or not.

For howsoever it is a great honour and favour for a sinfull man who is but dust and ashes (as A­braham upon this occasion confesseth, Gen. 18. 27.) that the Lord should admit him to familiar speech with his great and glorious Majestie (For as Chry­sostome saith, Quis non admiraretur tantam benigni­tatem De [...] Deo, l [...]b. 1. cap. 1. quam in nos declarat Deus, qui nos mortales di­gnos habuerit qui cum ipso colloquamur, nostr áque vo­ta apud ipsum deponamus? that is, Who would not admire this so great goodnesse which God declareth towards us, who esteemeth mortalls worthy to talk with him, and to lay before him all our suits?) and that he should be near unto us in all that we do call upon him for, Deut. 4. 7. and therefore a thing greatly to be desired and highly to be esteemed of us; yet naturally men abhorre from the perfor­mance of this dutie: which caused the Prophet Isaiah to complain that there was none that calledIsa. 64. 7. upon the name of the Lord. The reason is, because sinne having made a separation between God and us, the man whose conscience condemneth him of [Page 8] sinne unrepented of, as not being reconciled unto God, flieth from his presence as the guilty person or malefactour from the sight of the judge; so farre is he from presenting himself voluntarily before the Lord: as we see in the examples of our first pa­rents, Gen. 3. 8. in Peter before his effectuall cal­ling, who perceiving by the miraculous draught of fish the Divinitie of our Saviour Christ, desireth him to depart from him, for I (saith he) am a sin­full man: in the Gergasines or Gadarenes, who be­ing strucken with fear at the miraculous dispossessing of the legion of devils, besought our Saviour to de­part out of their coasts, Matth. 8. 34. Luke 8. 37. It shall be needfull therefore to use some reasons and motives to move us to the performance of this dutie.

CHAP. II. Reasons moving to the dutie of prayer.

FIrst therefore the law of nature teacheth all1. Reason, tak [...]n from the law of n [...]ture. men this principle, That there is a God, and that this God is to be called upon and worshipped. For which cause all nations being never so barbarous, though they know not the true God, yet by the in­stinct of nature think themselves bound to call up­on that which they suppose to be God. If therefore those nations which did not call upon the true God, whom indeed they did not know, are subject to the curse of God, Psal. 69. 6. Jer. 10. 25. how shall they escape the curse of God who knowing him do not call upon him? for by their not calling upon [Page 9] him they do deny him, Tit. 1. 16. and therefore this is observed as a note of the foolish Atheist, who saith that there is no God, that he doth not call upon the Lord, Psal. 14. 4.

Secondly, It is a principall part of that worship2. Because it is the end of our creation and redemp­tion. of God for which the nature of man was at the first created according to his image, and for which it was redeemed, viz. that we might worship him in holinesse and righteousnesse: and therefore those who will not call upon him rob God of that honour that is due unto him, and as much as in them lyeth go about to frustrate that end for which they were created and redeemed: So principall, that some­times the duty of invocation is put for the whole worship of God, as Gen. 21. 33. & 26. 25. as if it were all in all. In which regard the temple which was provided for Gods worship was called the house of prayer, Esa. 56. 7. And no marvell, for by this one duty of invocation we exercise and testifie our religion, our faith, our love both of God and man, our affiance and hope, &c.

Thirdly, It is injoyned in the morall law of3. Because it is injoyned in the morall law. God, which is generall and perpetuall, and is there­fore also required in the gospel. And if you ask in what part of the law; I answer, In both ta­bles; as a duty of religion to God, and of charity to our neighbour, for whose good we either pray or give thanks: In every commandment; as the common means whereby we are enabled to per­form the severall duties, and to attein those ver­tues which are therein prescribed: But chiefly it is commanded in the commandments of the first ta­ble; [Page 10] the obedience whereof in a great part consist­eth herein: For hereby God is worshipped in the spirit or inwardly, praecept. 1. adored in the body or outwardly, praecept. 2. sanctified or glorified in the mouth, praecept. 3. and a good part of the san­ctifying of the sabbath praecept. 4. standeth in this.

Now if any man shall object, That he is a sinfullObject. man, and that by his sinne he hath made him­self unworthy to tread upon the earth or to look up unto heaven, and much more unworthy to present himself before the Lord with hope to be heard; and consequently, that it were great presumption for him to call upon the Lord: I answer, That itAnsw. were indeed greater presumption to come before God then it was to rush into the presence of theEsth. 4. kings of Persia, were it not that the Lord did in like manner hold out unto us the sceptre of his word, therein by his manifold commandments in­joyning us this duty, and by his gracious promises encouraging us thereunto. This therefore may be a fourth argument or motive: For if God hath commanded us to call upon him, and hath promi­sed to heare us, in obedience to his commandment and in faith in his promises we are to call upon him, being assured that he who hath commanded us to pray and hath promised to heare will graciously ac­cept our prayers.

The speciall commandments are dispersed inSpecial com­mandments injoyning prayer. many places of the scripture, and so likewise the promises. I will cite a few places where they are conjoyned: Psal. 50. 14, 15. Offer unto God thanks­giving: [Page 11] and call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me. Matth. 7. 7, 8. Ask and ye shall have; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you: for whosoever asketh receiveth, &c. Joh. 16. 23, 24. Verily verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name he will give it you: Ask and ye shall re­ceive, that your joy may be full. To these com­mandments adde 1. Thess. 5. 17, 18. Pray without ceasing; in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. And to the promises that in Psal. 145. 18. belongeth, The Lord is near to all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. And therefore they can no sooner call but he heareth, Dan. 9. 23. Yea, before we call the Lord hath promised to heare, Esa. 65. 24. Which sheweth that he is more ready to heare then we are to call upon him.

CHAP. III. Other motives to the duty of prayer.

UNto these we may adde three principall mo­tives;1 From the excellency of it. viz. the excellency, the profit, the ne­cessity of invocation: that the excellency may in­vite, the profit allure, the necessity draw us to the performance thereof.

First therefore it is excellent and honourable: For this is a great honour and high favour for a sin­full and mortall man, who is but dust and ashes, to have ordinary accesse unto God and free conference with him; but especially to have the Lord near un­to [Page 12] us in all things that we call upon him for, Deut. 4. 7. For it is no small honour for a man to have free accesse to his prince who is made of the sameLib. De [...]. p. 120. mould, and to have as we say the kings eare. Illud maximum (saith Chrysostome) quòd quisquis orat cum Deo colloquitur. Quantae autem dignitatis sit ho­minem cum Deo miscere sermonem, nem [...]nem l [...]tet: That is the greatest priviledge, that whosoever prayeth talketh with God. And how great a digni­ty it is for a man to be admitted conference with God none can be ignorant.

But it is not onely honourable unto us, but (which is much more to be regarded) unto God himself: For hereby we asscribe unto him om­niscience, omnipotency and all-sufficiency, infinite mercy and goodnesse, acknowledging him to be the authour and fountain of all good things. And therefore he preferreth the sacrifice of prayse and of prayer, which are the calves of our lips, before the sacrifice of goats and bulls; Psal. 50. 8. ad 16. [For as touching the sacrifice of a broken and humble soul poured forth in prayer, the holy Ghost testifieth that the Lord esteemeth it in stead of all sacrifices, Psal. 51. 17. And for the other of praise, the Lord professeth Psal. 50. 23. He that offereth or sacri­ficeth praise honoureth me. By prayer we glorifie God: for magna est Dei gloria, saith Augustine, ut nos simus mendici ejus; that is, It is the great glory of God that we are his beggers. But by praysing much more: for to prayse God is to magnifie and glorifie him, and by these terms it is expressed in the scriptures.

[Page 13]But profit is that respect which most men look2 From th [...] profit of it. after: Psal. 4. 6. There be many which say, Who will shew us any good? And in this particular; What will it profit us if we shall call upon God? Job 21. 15. First, for prayse: If we glorifie God he will glorifie us; 1. Sam. 2. 30. Secondly, for prayer: The profit is so great, that it is the ordinary means of obteining all good things which we do desire, and of avoyding all evil which we fear. It hath the promises both of this life and of a better: nei­ther is there any good thing which the Lord hath ordeined for us, whether temporall for our good, or spirituall for our salvation, but he hath appoint­ed that we should obtein it by prayer. Prayer is the key of Gods treasury, yea it is clavis coeli; that is, theAugust. key of heaven: It is armour of proof against allChrysost. tentations, serving for all parts, and therefore not assigned to any one, Ephes. 6. 18. flagellum diaboli, [...]. De Psal. 6 [...]. the scourge of the devill; [...] [...] sove­reigne remedy against all evil. In the spirituall life it is as the hand in the temporall, [...], the instrument of instruments. But the profit is best manifested by the promises of God which are in­fallible, especially if ye will compare Matth. 7. 7, 8. with John 16. 23. and 1. John 5. 14. Whoso­ever asketh any thing whatsoever in the name of Christ according to Gods will, it shall be granted. What promise can be more large then whosoever and whatsoever? In a word, God is rich unto all that call upon him; for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, Rom. 10. 12, 13.

CHAP. IIII. Three questions cleared.

NOw for the further clearing of this point con­cerning1. Whether prayer be efficacious to obtein our desires. the profit and efficacy of prayer there are three questions to be decided:

  • 1. Whether prayer be opu [...] impetratorium or of any efficacy to obtein our desires.
  • 2. And if it be, Whether by prayer we do alwayes obtein our desires.
  • 3. Whether there be any other profit or fruit to be expected by our prayers besides the obteining of our desires.

The decision of the first question is needfull, not onely because some hereticks have held prayer to be superfluous, but chiefly because our adversaries father this heresie upon us.

Those that take away the use of prayer ground their fansie on the knowledge and providence of God. For first, If God our heavenly Father do knowObject. 1. our wants, and be of himself ready to supply them, shall not we seem to doubt either of his knowledge or of his goodnesse if we pray unto him. Answ. Answ. Our Saviour indeed doth teach us that God our hea­venly Father doth know our wants, and is willing to supply them, Matth, 6. 32. but yet in the same chapter he teacheth us to pray, and promiseth that by prayer we shall obtein, Matth. 7. 7, 8. and there­fore in obedience to the commandment, and in faith in the promise, we are to call upon God, whatsoever flesh and bloud can object to the contrary. Gods [Page 15] knowledge of our wants and readinesse to supply them must free us from distrustfull care, and move us with affiance to seek unto God in all our necessi­ties; to which end our Saviour Christ informeth us of Gods knowledge and fatherly love. And so the Apostle Phil. 4. 6. [...], Be not distrust­fully carefull for any thing, but in every thing let your requests by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving be made known before God. The perswasion there­fore of Gods knowledge and love must not hinder us from prayer, but rather incourage us with faith and affiance to call upon him. Neither do we call upon God either to inform him in that which he knoweth not, or to move him to that which he hath not purposed, but to do our duty to God and our selves: to God, in worshipping him by this exer­cise, and acknowledging him by prayer and thanks­giving to be the authour of all good things: to our selves, in using that means which God hath ordain­ed for the obteining of our desires. God hath pur­posed and promised to give good things, not to all but to those that use the means: There is a promise of receiving and obteining, but to those that ask; of finding, but to those that seek; and of opening, but to those that knock. And moreover, as Augu­stine saith, the Lord would have us to exercise and increase by prayer our desire, our hope and our faith, that so we may be the more capable of those good things which God hath promised to give; For they are great, sed nos ad accipiendum parvi & an­gusti Epi [...]t. 121. ad Probam. sumus. Tantò quippe illud quod valde magnum sumemus capaciùs quantò & sideliks credimus, & spe­ramus [Page 16] sirmiùs, & desider amus ardentiús, But we are little and strait to receive: For that which is ve­ry great we take more capaciously when as we do more faithfully believe, and more firmly hope, and more ardently desire.

The second objection is taken from the decree ofObject. 2. Gods providence. For whereas we teach that all things come to passe according to the counsel of Gods will, Ephes. 1. 11. which is unchangeable because it is alwayes the best, hereupon some ob­ject that we take away the use of prayer: For if allHunnius, De Providentia. things come to passe according to the immutable counsel of God, then to pray for any thing is needlesse or bootlesse: Needlesse, if God have already appointed that which we desire: bootlesse, if he have determined the contrary; for we may not think that by our prayer we can alter his de­cree which cannot be changed. Answ. It mayAnsw. well be that some do thus abuse the doctrine of Gods providence, as many do to the like purpose the doctrine of predestination, falling into the er­roneous conceit of the Predestinatours. For if I be elected (say they) a godly life is needlesse; if not, it is bootlesse. But the same answer will serve for both: 1. Where God hath appointed any thing as the end, he hath also preordained the means whereby it is obteined. Finis imponit necessit [...]tem [...]. [...]. 2. his quae sunt ad finem, The end imposeth a necessi­ty unto those means which conduce to the end. Wherefore as it is necessary in respect of Gods de­cree, that the end appointed shall come to passe; so is it as necessarie in respect of the same decree, that [Page 17] it should be obteined by the preordained means whereby it is to be obteined. Now prayer is the means which God h [...]th ordained whereby we areTh. [...]. 2. 2. [...]. 83. 2. c. to obtein good things, &c. Non propter hoc ora­mus (saith Thomas) ut Divinam dispositionem im­mutemus, sed ut id impetremus quod Deus disposuit per orationes sanctorum esse implendum: ut, scilicet, homi­nes postulando mereantur accipere quod iis Deus omni­potens ante secula disposuit donare: that is, We do not therefore pray that we may change the Divine disposition, but that we may obtein that which God hath disposed to be accomplished by the pray­ers of the Saints; to wit, that men by praying may deserve to receive that which God omni­potent hath before all times ordained to give them. 2. God in his word hath injoyned us the use of this means, and graciously promised a blessing; and therefore farre be it from us, under a pretense of conforming our selves to the secret will of God which we know not, to rebell against his will re­vealed which we know. 3. God in his word by his gracious promises hath revealed his will con­cerning those that do pray as they ought, that they shall obtein. If therefore God hath enabled thee to pray effectually, thou mayest be assured that thou shalt obtein thy desire, or that which is better: For much availeth the prayer of a righteous man: and the Jam. 5 16. Rom. 10. 12. Lord is rich to all that call upon him. 4. Though the will and purpose of God for the granting or deny­ing thy desire were revealed unto thee, yet were it thy dutie notwithstanding to call upon God. First, for denying by threatnings: for though God non [Page 18] novit mutare consilium, yet novit mutare senten­tiam, knoweth not to change his counsel, yet he knoweth to change his sentence. The threatnings of God are conditionally to be understood, namely if we do not use the contrary means, Ezek. 33. 11. Jer. 18. 7, 8. Jon. 3. Joel 2. 12, 13, 14. When Heze­kiah was sick unto the death, the Prophet Isaiah brought this message from the Lord, Set thy house in order, for thou shalt die and not live: notwithstand­ing by effectuall prayer he obteined the prolonging of his life, Isa. 38. 1, 2, 5. So Judg. 10. 13, 16. Matth. 15. Secondly, For granting by petitions and promises. For Daniel though he knew by reading the prophesie of Jeremie, that the captivitie of theJer. 2 [...]. 11, 12 Jews in Babylon should continue but seventie yeares; yet when the seventy yeares were expired he thought it his dutie to beg the deliverance of the people by fasting and prayer, Dan. 9. 2, 3. To Isaac was the promise made of Seed in which all the na­tions should be blessed; and yet he prayeth to the Lord that he might have seed, Gen. 25. To Elias the Lord had revealed his purpose concerning rain, which Elias believed, and in the name of God pro­mised to Ahab; and yet notwithstanding he goeth up into the mount Carmel to beg it of God: And the obteining of this rain after the long drought, though purposed and promised by God, is ascri­bed to the efficacie of Elias his prayers, Jam. 5. 16, 18. Conferre Acts 27. 24, 25, 31. God hath pro­mised and purposed to give good things, sed roganti, quaerenti, pulsanti, to him that asketh, seeketh, knock­eth, and not to those who tempt him in the neglect [Page 19] of means. See Jer. 33. 3. Luke 18. 41. Psal. 2. 8.

Moreover, the Papists object against us, that weBellarm. De bonis operib. in particul. lib. 1. cap. 3. take away the efficacie of prayer in obteining re­mission of sinnes or any other good things. The former, because we teach that faith alone justifyeth: the latter, because we teach that the prayer which must obtein any thing proceedeth from speciall faith, which cannot be had. But more worthily the Papists may be charged for denying the efficacy of obteining remission both to faith and to prayer, which they ascribe to the Sacraments, especially of Baptisme for sinnes going before, and Penance for sinnes following after Baptisme, which they hold do free from sinne, and conferre the grace of justifi­cation ex opere operato; whereunto they require nei­ther prayer nor faith, nor any other good motion or disposition in the party, save onely that he do not ponere obicem peccati mortalis, put in the way the barre or stop of mortall sinne; affirming that the Sa­craments do contein grace as vessels, and that they are physicall causes of grace, justifying by efficacie put into them by God, as the heat of fire is the cause of burning; abusing that place, Acts 22. 16. Be baptized and wash away thy sinnes, having called on the name of the Lord. But let us come to their ob­jections. To the first I answer, That we do teach that remission of sinnes is obteined by prayer; and that to that end our Saviour hath taught us to crave remission and hath acquainted us with the example of the Publicane who by prayer obteined justifica­tion; as David, Manasseh, and the faithfull and peni­tent sinners in all ages have done: which hindreth [Page 20] not but that we are justified by faith alone. For it is not every prayer, but the prayer of faith, as S. James calleth it, which is impetratory; I say, it is the prayer of faith which by prayer obteineth pardon.

To the second: Where our Divines define faith to be a full and certain perswasion of Gods love to­wards us in Christ forgiving our sinnes, &c. they define it in the highest degree and perfection there­of whereunto we must alwayes aspire. But there are two principall degrees of faith: The first is an assent to the truth of Gods word, and more especi­ally to the promises of the Gospel, assuring salvati­on to all that believe in Christ. This assent in the judgement to the Law and Gospel, if it be true, lively, and effectuall, worketh in the heart and will a lothing of our sinnes, a resolution to leave them, a desire of grace, and a hungring and thirsting af­ter Christs righteousnesse, and a resolution to ac­knowledge Christ to be our Saviour, and to rest upon him alone for salvation. And howsoever those who have but this degree cannot say that they are assured of forgivenesse and salvation, yet their desire of grace proceeding from this lively faith expressed in their prayer is acceptable before God, and obteineth that which is desired. Now they which have this degree must proceed to the se­cond: For seeing the promises belong to them concerning justification and salvation, they ought to apply them to themselves. And look how sure a man may be that he believeth, that is, giveth a t [...]e and lively assent to the doctrine of the Gospel, [Page 21] so sure ought he to be of the remission of sinnes and salvation by Christ. And of this assurance there are degrees according to the measure of grace re­ceived.

To conclude therefore this point; We ascribe to faithfull prayer efficacie to obtein that which we desire in the name of Christ according to the will of God, and by the Scriptures do demonstrate the efficacie of prayer; which now we are to shew by the wonderfull effects which by prayer have been brought to passe.

CHAP. V. Of the great and wonderfull efficacie of prayer.

AS first in the elements, the earth, the water, theOf the effi­cacy of pray­er, in respect 1. of the ele­ments: aire, the fire. At the prayer of Moses the earth opened her mouth and swallowed up Korah, Da­than, and Abiram with their families, Numb. 16. At his prayer also the hard rocks sent forth rivers of waters, Exod. 17. Samson having slain a thou­sand Philistines with the jaw-bone of an asse, Judg. 5. 18, 19. (whereupon the place was called Lehi, which signifieth a jaw-bone) and being ready to pe­rish with thirst, by prayer obteined a well of living water which continued to posteritie, which the Lord opened unto him in Lehi (not the jaw-bone, but the place so called) which for a perpetuall mo­nument of the efficacie of prayer, he called En­hakkore, the fountain of him that prayed. At the prayer of Moses, Exod. 14. the waters of the red sea gave place to the Israelites and overwhelmed their enemies.

[Page 22]But come we to the aire. Elias being a man subject [...]. to the like passions with us (which the Apostle James noteth chap. 5. 17, 18. that we might in like manner hope to be heard) prayed a prayer, that is, prayed effectually, that it might not rain, and it rained not on the earth for three yeares and six moneths: and he prayed again, and the heavens (that is, the aire) gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

Concerning fire, we have two examples of the same Elias: the former, 1▪ Kings 18. where by pray­er he brought down fire from heaven to consume the sacrifice: the latter, 2. Kings 1. where also by prayer he brought down fire from heaven to de­stroy the two captains with their fifties.

But leaving the elements, let us in our cogitations2. of the heavens and heavenly bodies. ascend into heaven. For most admirable is that ex­ample Josh. 10. 15. where at the prayer of Joshua (for he is said to have spoken to the Lord, and the Lord to have hearkened to his voice) the sunne stood still in the middest of heaven for the space of one whole day, untill the Israelites were avenged on their enemies. And no lesse admirable is that example of the Pro­phet Isaiah, 2. Kings 20. 11. at whose prayer not onely the shadow in the sunne-diall but the sunne it self in the firmament went back ten degrees, Isa. 38. 8. Ecclus 48. 23.

Neither is the efficacie of prayer seen upon those creatures alone which are without sense, but upon those also which are indued with sense and reason. Jonah when he was swallowed up of the whale, and lay in the belly thereof as in a grave for the space of three dayes and three nights, having cried to the [Page 23] Lord de profundis, he was restored safe to land, Jonah 2. As touching men; the efficacie of prayer3. of men. appeareth in the deliverance not onely of particular men, but also of whole cities and countreys from the fury and force of their enemies were they never so mightie or so many. When Peter was by Herod cast into prison, and kept by foure quaternions of souldiers, lying in the night before he should be put to death between two souldiers bound with two chains, the keepers also before the doore keeping the prison, at the instant prayer of the Church which effectually prayed for his deliverance, the Lord sent his angel to set him at libertie, Acts 12. 5. Elias the Prophet being armed with the spirit of prayer when Ahaziah the king had sent three ca­ptains of fifties one after another to apprehend him, he not onely brought down fire from heaven to de­stroy the two first with their fifties, as I said before, but also he brought the third captain upon his knees, humbly intreating him that his own life and the lives of all his companie might be precious in his sight, 2. Kings 1. Elisha also, upon whom the spirit of Elias was doubled, when Ben-hadad king of Sy­ria had sent an armie of men with horses and chari­ots to apprehend him, the armie having by night en­vironed the citie where the Prophet was and besie­ged it, by prayer he had them in his power, striketh them blind, leadeth them to Samaria, and having2. Kings 6. by prayer opened their eyes that they might see their present danger, he victualleth them, and send­eth them away as vanquished.

Now for the defense and deliverance of whole [Page 24] peoples and common-wealths, such is the efficacie of prayer, that those who are indued with the spirit of supplication may not unworthily with Elias and Elisha be called the horsemen and chariots of Israel. By prayer Asa, 2. Chron. 14. Jehoshaphat, 2. Chron. 20. 25. Hezekiah, 2. Kings 19. overcame most mighty armies of their enemies, which by their own strength they were in no sort able to resist. But most remarkable is that example of Moses at the battel of Rephidim: whereby it appeareth to be true which Chrysostome upon that occasion no­teth,Ch [...]ysost. De o [...]at. lib. 2. cap. 1. Preces justorum plus valere quàm arm [...], the prayers of the righteous more prevail then arms. For whilest Moses being on the hill with Aaron and Hur holdeth up his hands and is fervent in prayer, Israel hath the better; but when his hands fall down and he ceaseth to pray, Israel hath the worse; as if the welfare of Gods people did depend upon his prayer.

But what speak I of men? That which subdueth4. of sick­nesse, death, [...]nd devils. all men giveth place unto prayer, as sicknesse and death. For the former; Jam. 5. 15. The prayer of faith shall save, or make whole, the sick. Examples, Num. 12. 13. in Miriam; Acts 28. 8. in the father of Publius; but especially in Hezekiah, who, though he had received the sentence of death, obteined by prayer the prolonging of his life, 2. Kings 20. 2. For the latter; we reade of many who by prayer have been restored from death unto life: as namely, the widows child of Sarepta, 1. Kings 17. 21. the sonne of the Shunamite by Elisha, 2. Kings 4. 35. Dorcas by Peter, and all by prayer. Yea, the devils [Page 25] themselves, who are said to have the power of death, give place to prayer: yea, that kind of devil which by no other means can be cast out, is cast out by prayer, Matth. 17. 21.

And yet we stay not here: For the efficacie of5. of God, prayer is of greatest effi­cacie. prayer is not onely seen in and upon the creatures; but the effectuall prayer of a righteous man availeth much with God, Jam. 5. 16. For the Lord being omnipotent and of a most simple and pure nature, and therefore not subject to passive power, cannot properly be said to suffer any thing: yet having by most gracious promises bound himself to grant the faithfull prayers of his children, they are said to prevail with him; both because they obtein such blessings at his hands as otherwise would not be granted, and turn away such judgements as other­wise would have been inflicted. For else when the Lord was ready to have destroyed the Israelites for their idolatry, had not Moses stood up in the gap, Psal. 106. 23. why did the Lord bid him let him alone, Exod. 32. 10. but that Moses by prayer laid hold upon God, as the Prophet speaketh, Isa. 64 7. and staid his hand? And why is Jacob said to have prevailed with God, and thereupon is called Israel, but that the Lord suffered himself as it were to be overcome by his prayer? whereby he laid hold up­on Christ, who is meant by that Angel, and would not suffer him to depart untill he had granted him a blessing, Gen. 32. 26, 28. And so the Prophet Ho­sea teacheth, that when Jacob wrestled with the Angel, he prevailed with him not so much by strength of body, as by earnest and effectuall pray­er: [Page 26] He had power, saith he, chap. 12. 4. over the An­gel and prevailed, he wept and made supplication to him, &c. And in this sense the Apostle exhorteth the Romanes, chap. 15. 30. [...], together with him to wrestle in their prayers for him. And Epaphras in like manner is said, Col. 4. 12. to have wrestled for the Colossians in prayer. And what else mean­eth the parable of the widow and the judge, Luke 18. 2. and of the two friends, Luke 11. 5. but that the importunitie of our prayers prevaileth with the Almighty? And thus the woman of Syrophenicia, Matth. 15. 22, 28. having taken divers repulses, yet at the length by the importunitie of her faithfull prayer prevailed with Christ.

The use of this doctrine is, 1. That by conside­rationThe uses. of the great efficacie of prayer we should be moved upon all occasions to pray without fainting: Luke 18. 1. Jam. 1. 16. 2. That we may be encoura­ged to pray with confidence and assurance to be heard. And so much of the first question.

CHAP. VI. Whether by prayer we alwayes obtein our desire.

THe second, Whether we do alway obtein our desire. The promises are generall as you have heard, Matth. 7. 7, 8. John 16. 23. Notwithstand­ing some ask and do not receive, Psal. 22. 2. some seek and do not find, Cant. 3. 1. some knock toA three [...]old limitation of Gods promi [...]e to heare. whom it is not opened, Luke 13. 25. Wherefore the promises are to be understood with a threefold limitation; in respect of the Person, Prayer, and [Page 27] Thing. Of all which we are hereafter to speak more fully.

For first, if the party be an impenitent sinner, the1. God hear­eth not the impenitent sinners. Lord hath not promised to heare such, John 9. 33. Examine therefore thy self whether thou dost lie in any sinne unrepented of: for that doth make a se­paration between God and thee, Isa. 59. 2. and that being repented of, God will heare thee, Isa. 1. 15, 18.

The second limitation in regard of prayer is, That2. That we must pray according to Gods will. it be according to Gods will, 1. John 5. 14. in regard of the manner or the end. For the manner: In ge­nerall it is required that it be [...], Jam. 5. 16. that is, efficax, effectuall.

To be effectuall and to avail is all one: and so weObject. shall make S. James say, that prayer which availeth doth avail.

There is duplex actus, [...], or [...]: the firstAnsw. inward, as being the form or nature of a thing: the second outward, as the motion or effect. And as in respect of the latter, the word [...] is of an active signification, as Gal. 5. 6. Ephes. 3. 20. Col. 1. 29. so in regard of the former it is passive, as 2. Cor. 1. 6. In which sense they are said to be [...] who are acted by a spirit either good or bad: So prayer is [...] when it hath the inward [...], it being acted and effectuated by the Spirit of God, who helpeth our infirmities, and teacheth us to pray [...], Rom. 8. ingenerating this inward efficacie in our prayers which we in our selves are not able to give them. So that the orati­on of an oratour is efficax in respect of the inward efficacie, when therein is performed what art requi­reth; [Page 28] in respect of the outward, when it perswa­deth; and that efficacie dependeth on the hearers pleasure. But prayer which is effectuall in it self, alwayes prevaileth with God.

In particular, that we pray in truth, fervencie,What in particular is required to effectuall prayer. and faith. In truth: for to that is the promise re­strained, Psal. 145. 18. In fervencie, Jam. 5. 16. In faith, Mark 11. 24. Jam. 1. 5, 6, 7. With out the first prayers are dead: without the second, cold: with­out the third, uneffectuall: for it is the prayer of faith which is effectuall, Jam. 5. 15.

For the end: Jam. 4. 3. Ye ask and receive not, be­cause ye ask amisse, that ye might consume it on your lusts. The end must be good or the prayer is bad. The end must be that God may be glorified, Psal. 50. 15.

The third limitation is in respect of things. GodThe third li­mitation, in respect of the things prayed for. hath promised to give good things to them that ask, Matth. 7. 11. But if the thing which thou desi­rest be not good, either in it self, as if it be unlaw­full, or not to thee, as if it be unprofitable, it is not within the compasse of the promise, nor ought to be within the compasse of thy desire. Or if it be good, perhaps it is not yet good for thee to have it, but in due time thou shalt find grace. In the for­mer case the Lord seemeth to denie, in the latter to delay our suits; and yet in both he doth grant our prayer, if it be rightly conceived. For first, we must not circumscribe God, or prescribe unto him the time and means, but so desire that our request may be granted as he shall judge most fit both for his glorie and our good. Secondly, when as the good things which we ask are either necessarie to [Page 29] salvation or otherwise; the former we are to ask absolutely, and absolutely we are to believe that we shall obtein them. Yea, know this for thy com­fort, that if God hath given thee grace to ask spiri­tuall and saving graces effectually, thou hast alrea­die obteined: for the sincere desire of any grace is the beginning of that grace which is so desired. But those blessings which are not necessary to salvation, whether spirituall or temporall, we are not to ask absolutely, but with condition if the obteining thereof may be for Gods glory and our good. So shall we be sure to obtein our desires of the Lord, who alwayes heareth his children, if not ad volun­tatem, according to their will, yet ad utilitatem, for their profit (as wise parents deal with their children) seeming many times to denie to his children in fa­therly love that which in anger and indignation he granteth to others. Perhaps therefore, as Augustine saith, negat tibi propitius quod aliis concedit iratus, In mercie he denieth that to thee which in anger he granteth unto others. And therefore the hearing of our prayers is not to be measured by sense but by faith.

CHAP. VII. Of the profit of prayer.

THe third question: Whether any further pro­fit is to be expected from prayer besides ob­teining our requests.

The profit is twofold: the one of reward freelyTwo benefits accrewing by prayer. bestowed by God on him that calleth on his name: [Page 30] the other, the increase of grace wrought in them by Gods Spirit who give themselves to prayer.

As touching the former; Though by reason of our wants and imperfections in prayer the Lord if he should deal in rigour with us might justly reject our prayers, yet such is his mercie that he doth not onely cover our wants, and for the intercession of Christ accepteth our prayer, but also granteth our desire; and not onely that, but because prayer is a dutie of pietie, and a principall part of that wor­ship whereby we glorifie God, he doth graciously reward it, godlinesse having the promise of this life and that which is to come. Our Saviour therefore promiseth, Matth. 6. 6. that when we call upon God, though it be but in secret and private prayers, and much more in publick, our heavenly Father will reward us openly. The Lord is rich to all that call up­on him: for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be saved, Rom. 10. 12, 13.

For the other: By the frequent and religious ex­ercise of this dutie our faith and affiance in God is increased, our experience of his bountie and good­nesse towards us in hearing us confirmed, our love to his majestie augmented, Psal. 116. 1. our hope nourished, our patience exercised. By it we grow in acquaintance with God, and tast how good and gra­cious the Lord is: By it we learn, being Gods dai­ly suiters, so to behave our selves as not to be asha­med to appear before him: By it we elevate our minds above earthly cogitations to mind things that are above, and to have our conversation in heaven: By it we grow into assurance of our ele­ction, [Page 31] because the same spirit, which is the spirit of supplication, is also the spirit of adoption whereby we cry in our hearts, Abba, Father; and which testifieth Rom. [...]. 26. to our spirits that we are the sonnes of God; and if sonnes then also heirs, &c.

But the Papists not content herewith, ascribe twoThe Papists confuted, who hold that prayer is satisfacto­rie and me­ritorious. other fruits to their prayers; that they are also Sa­tisfactorie for their sinnes, and Meritorious of eter­nall life. Satisfactorie, as being penal works; and therefore both voluntarily undertaken, and by their Priests injoyned by way of penance. So that this exercise which is so honourable and so profitable as you have heard, being also a chief prerogative to the faithfull to have free accesse to God, is to them a punishment or work of penance to satisfie for sins. But their prayers performed with these conceits of satisfaction and merit are sacrilegious and deroga­torie to the all-sufficient satisfaction and merit of Christ, though otherwise they were commendable. But the impietie of their assertion will better appear, if we take a brief survey of their prayers. For first, whereas our prayers ought to be directed unto the Lord alone, they pray to Saints and Angels, yea before images and crosses, and by their prayers commit most horrible idolatry. 2. Neither do they pray in the name and mediation of Christ alone, but unto him joyn other mediatours of intercession, by whose merits and intercession they desire and hope to be heard. 3. The most of them pray with­out understanding for that which they utter in pray­er, as praying in an unknown language; and conse­quently pray without attention or actuall intention, [Page 32] which they say needeth not; without faith or hope, without reverence. 4. They number their prayers upon beads oftentimes by most grosse [...]attologie, repeating the same words, perswading themselves that the more Pater nosters, Ave Maries, and Creeds (for those also are prayers with them) they shall mumble upon their beads, the more satisfactory and meritorious their prayers b [...]. Now their prayers being thus every way abominable and odious, what horrible impudencie and impietie is it to obtrude such prayers upon God, not onely as acceptable ser­vice unto him, but as satisfactory and meritorious? by which they can merit nothing but damnation, and for the wickednesse whereof they shall never be able to satisfie but with endlesse torments.

Let this suffice us, that prayer is of so great pro­fit and admirable efficacie, that our prayers rightly conceived and made are alwayes heard and grant­ed; that besides the benefit of obteining, our pray­ers have their reward with God, and notable fruits, conferring and increasing Gods graces in us.

CHAP. VIII. Of a threefold necessitie of prayer.

NOw I come to the necessitie of prayer: which is necessary by a threefold bond of necessitie: 1. Necessitate praecepti, necessitie of precept; as be­ing a dutie most straitly injoyned, and a principall part of that worship and service which we ow unto God. This necessitie is not absolute, but if we will avoid his curse, Jer. 10. 25. 2. Necessitate medii, ne­cessitie [Page 33] of the means; as being the means ordained by God for the obteining of all good things which he hath either purposed or promised to bestow up­on us for our good: so that if we ask aright, we have; if we ask not we have not, as S. James saith chap. 4. 3. Necessitate signi, necessitie of the signe; as being a necessarie signe and cognizance of all true Christians, who are described in the Scripture to be such as call upon the name of God: As contrari­wise the foolish Atheist who saith in his heart, There is no God, is deciphered by this note, that he doth not call upon the Lord, Psal. 14. 4. In which respects the holy man Daniel held the performance of this du­tie so necessary, that when the king had published a decree which might not be revoked, That whosoe­ver should ask a petition of either God or man save of the king for thirtie dayes, he should be cast into the lions den, he chose rather to be cast into the den of the lions, then to omit this dutie but thirty dayes, Dan. 6. neither did he omit it one day; see vers. 10.

CHAP. IX. Who are to perform the dutie of prayer.

ANd thus you have heard that it is required of all to call upon God: Now let us considerThat the [...] onely [...] ad­mitted to pray. what is required in all those that do call upon him. That I expressed in the definition, when I defined prayer to be a speech of the faithfull, or, as the holy Ghost styleth them also, the righteous, the godly, the Saints of God. Where by the way note, that all faithfull and true Christians are righteous, are god­ly, [Page 34] are the Saints of God. And thus are they to be qualified who will either pray unto God or praise him. For prayer, the holy Ghost saith, that every one that is godly shall pray unto God, Psal. 32. 6. and the prayer of a righteous man availeth much, Jam. 1. 16. For praise and thanksgiving; unto God be glory in the Church, saith the Apostle, Ephes. 3. 21. that is, in the company of the faithfull. And so David, Sing unto the Lord, O ye Saints of his; give thanks at the re­membrance of his holinesse, Psal. 30. 4. It is true that all the works of God do praise him, as the matter of his praise; but the Saints do blesse him, as the instruments of his praise, Psal. 145. 10. For both, see Psal. 50. 14, 15, 16. where the Lord, as he com­mandeth the faithfull (to whom his speech is di­rected v. 5, 7.) to offer unto him thanksgiving, and to call upon him in the day of trouble; so he taketh exception against the wicked: But unto the wicked God saith, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, or that thou shouldst take my covenant in thy mouth, see­ing thou hatest instruction, and castest my words behind thee?

But here we are carefully to consider who are the godly and righteous, lest we exclude from hope of being heard those whom the holy Ghost doth not exclude. There is therefore a twofold righteous­nesseTh [...]e is a [...]: Legall; mentioned in the Scriptures; the one Legall, the other Evangelicall. According to the legall righteousnesse none can be said to be righteous who doth not perfectly and perpetually perform what­s [...]ever the law (which is the Divine rule of perfect righteousnesse) doth prescribe: For if a man do not [Page 35] abstein from all things forbidden, if he do not also the things commanded, if he do not all, and that in that manner and measure which the law prescribeth, if he do not continue in doing all the things requi­red, but breaketh the course of his obedience by any one sinne, though but of omission, though but in thought, he is notwithstanding all his obedience by the sentence of the law not onely a sinner but al­so accursed, Gal. 3. 10. By this righteousnesse no man since the fall of Adam could be said to be righ­teous, Christ onely excepted: but we had all need to pray with David, Psal. 143. 2. Enter not into judge­ment with thy servant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no flesh living be justified: viz. by the works of the law, Gal. 3. 16. For there is not a just man upon the earth that doth good and sinneth not, Eccles 7. 20. Yea, in many things we offend all, saith S. James, chap. 3. 2. And if we say we have no sinne, saith S. John, 1. epist. 1. 8. we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. Wherefore the law concludeth all under sinne, and consequently under the curse, Gal. 3. 22. So that there is no man so godly and righteous, but in him­self by the sentence of the law he is a sinner. Which serveth notably to confute the Popish hypocrites, which teach that none are justified but such as are formally just by a righteousnesse inherent in and performed by themselues (that is, habituall and actuall) according to the law of God; and that no man who is a sinner in himself, by reason of sinne inherent can be said to be justified. But whatsoever Pope-holy men do conceive of themselves, we must confesse with the forenamed Apostles, that we are [Page 36] sinners in our selves, and had need daily to pray as our Saviour taught them, for the forgivenesse of our sinnes, and so to appeal from the sentence of the Law to the promise of the Gospel: for the law hath concluded all under sinne, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe, Gal. 3. 22.

The Evangelicall righteousnesse is that whichEvangelical: what it is. without the Law is revealed in the Gospel, whereby men that are sinfull in themselves, I mean believing sinners, and penitent sinners, are accepted of God as righteous in Christ. And it is twofold: For it is ei­ther imputed to a believing sinner, as the righteous­nesse of justification; or infused and so inherent in a repentant sinner, as the righteousnesse of sanctifica­tion. The former is perfect and not inherent, being the righteousnesse of Christ apprehended by faith: The other is inherent but not perfect, being our new obedience wrought in us by the spirit of regenerati­on. In respect of the former it is said, that the righ­teous H [...]v. 2. 4. man shall live by his faith: In respect of the lat­ [...]er, that he is a righteous man which worketh righ­teousnesse. And this twofold righteousnesse must of necessitie concurre in the same partie, &c. By the doctrine therefor [...] of the Gospel he is a righte­ous, a godly man, a Saint of God, who doth be­lieve and repent. And this is to be understood not onely of those who are indued with perfect faith and repentance, or the higher degrees thereof, but even of the lowest degrees of true faith and unfeign­ [...]d repentance. So that whosoever truly assenting in [...]is judgement to the promises of the Gospel con­cerning [Page 37] salvation by Christ, doth earnestly in his heart desire to be made partaker of Christ and hi [...] merits, and unfeignedly resolveth in his will to ac­knowledge Christ to be his Saviour, and to rest upon him alone for salvation, he doth believe to ju­stification. And whosoever being displeased with himself for his sinnes doth unfeignedly desire and truly purpose amendment of life, he doth repent to sanctification. And he that but thus believeth and repenteth is within the latitude of those faithfull and righteous men whose prayers are acceptable unto God, and whose persons are accepted, yea, blessed of him; Matth. 5. 3, 4, 5. and 11. 28. Psal. 34. 18. Examples, of Manasseh, 2. Chron. 33. 13. the Publicane, Luke 18. And these beginnings of faith and repentance do alwayes concurre in our re­generation or conversion unto God. For in regene­rating us t [...]e holy Ghost doth ingenerate in us the grace of faith; and contrariwise.

CHAP. X. None but the faithfull can pray effectually and acceptably.

NOw how necessarie it is that he which prayeth acceptably should be a righteous or faithfull man indued with some measure of true faith and unfeigned repentance, it may appear both by mani­fest reasons and manifold testimonies of holy Scri­ptures: wherein the promise of hearing the prayer is restrained to the righteous, and all hope of being heard denied to the wicked.

[Page 38]First then it is necessary that he who calleth upon God should be indued with faith: For how shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? Rom. 10. 14. and, Without faith it is impossible to please God, Heb. 11. 6. and likewise with repentance: For un­lesse a man repent he reteineth a purpose to go on in sinne; and this his impenitencie or sinne not re­pented of is as a wall of separation between God and I [...]. 59 1, 2. John 9. 31. him. God heareth not impenitent sinners, as hereafter we shall shew.

Secondly, before our prayers or other actions can be accepted of God, our persons must be ac­cepted in Christ: Neither can the fruit be good while the tree is bad: neither can we hope to pre­vail with God by intreaty, whiles we do not desire to be reconciled unto him; but as we were born the children of wrath, so his wrath abideth upon us, John 3. 36. and we do continue in our enmitie a­gainst God.

Thirdly, there is no accesse to God but through Christ by the holy Ghost, Ephes. 2. 18. and 3. 12. But the unbelieving and impenitent sinner, as he hath no part in Christ, so is he void of the holy Ghost.

Fourthly, it cannot be but that the prayer of the unbelieving and impenitent sinners is very absurd and odious in Gods sight, because they ask many times such things as they do not desire, and promise such things as they do not mean to perform, and bear the Lord in hand that they be such men then whom they are nothing lesse, going about to deceive the Lord with their mouthes, and with their lips [Page 39] speaking lies unto him, Psal. 78. and in all their prayers and praises concerning spirituall things playing the notorious hypocrites before God. For the manifestation whereof let us take a brief sur­vey of the Lords prayer, whereof the impenitent sinner is not able to utter one word aright; and if not of that then of none, for that is the summe of all.

First therefore they call God their Father inThat the impeniten [...] is not able truly to utt [...] any petition in the Lor [...]s Prayer. Christ, when as they are nothing lesse then his chil­dren: For he that committeth sinne is of the devil, 1. John 3. 8. and, his children they are whose works they do, John 8. They say, Our Father, Give us, as though in brotherly love they prayed for the whole bro­therhood of the faithfull, whereas they being void of Christian charitie seek onely themselves, and have no part in the communion of Saints. They direct their prayers to God who is in heaven, infinite in majestie, glory and power, themselves being on earth vile and base creatures, Eccles 5. as if they came in great humility in respect of their own un­worthinesse, and reverence in respect of the glorious majestie of God; whereas indeed they rush into the presence of God with lesse regard, and speak unto him with lesse reverence then they would to a mor­tall man, who is but a little their superiour. They call him Father, noting his love, which art in heaven, noting his power, as if they believed that their prayers should be granted, as being assured that God is both willing and able to grant their desires, and yet have no faith in God, and therefore call not up­on him aright in whom they have not believed.

In the first place they beg the advancement of [Page 40] Gods glory, as if that were more deare unto them then their own good; whereas in truth they have no zeal of Gods glory, but unto it preferre the obtein­ing of any worldly and sinfull desire. They pray that his name may be sanctified, which they do daily pollute with their mouthes, and by their lives do cause it to be blasphemed. They desire that his kingdome may come, and that his will may be done, as though they did first seek the kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, whereof indeed they have no studie or care, but are wholly addicted to worldly desires. They pray that the kingdome of grace may be advanced, and that God would rule and reigne in them by his Spirit according to his word; when they are in the number of those who say, We will not have this man to reigne over us, resisting the spirit, and casting the word behind their backs. They pray that the kingdome of glory may be hastened by the speedy coming of Christ unto judgement, and yet desire nothing lesse then the second coming of Christ. They desire that Gods will may be done, which themselves will not do. The will of God is their conversion and sanctification, that they should abstein from those sinnes whereunto they are more specially addicted: but though they know it to be the will of God that they should turn unto him, they will not turn; that they should leave their spe­ciall sinnes, they will not leave them, as the drun­kard his drunkennesse, the whoremaster his fornica­tion, &c. and yet like egregious hypocrites do pray that they may do the will of God as it is done in heaven, that is, after an angelical manner, readily, chearful­ly, [Page 41] speedily, uprightly, faithfully, constantly, fully; when as in truth they do the will of God no other­wise then the devils in hell, which howsoever in re­spect of their intent rebell against the will of God, yet if you respect the event, they become (maugre their spite) the instruments to bring to passe that which God hath willed and decreed.

They crave bread at the hands of God, as if a small thing would content them, when they desire excesse of riches, neither can be satisfied with abun­dance. They crave daily bread, or, as the word si­gnifieth, such a portion of temporall blessings as God shall judge most expedient for them; as if they meant not to be their own carvers, but in these out­ward things resigned themselves into the hands of God, and submitted themselves to his fatherly pro­vidence, when they are such as have set down with themselves that they will be rich, 1. Tim. 6. and will come to great matters whether God give them good means or not, and will frame their own for­tune. They beg for a day, as if they would depend upon God for tomorrow, & yet distrustfully hoard up for many yeares. They desire temporall things to be given them of God, and yet seek them by wic­ked and unlawfull means.

They desire God to remit their sinnes, as if they repented of them; which they still retein, as if they did in mockery desire the Lord to forgive the sinnes which they will not forgo. Yea, they desire the Lord in hypocrisie so to forgive them their trespasses, as they forgive those that trespasse against them, when as they nourish hatred and a desire and purpose of re­venge: [Page 42] & so in stead of obteining mercy and forgive­nesse at Gods hands, they call for the fierce wrath and vengeance of God to be executed upon them.

They desire that God will not lead them into ten­tations, and yet themselves run into tentations, and seek occasions of evil. They desire that they may be delivered from evil, and yet wilfully go on in evil, and will not be reclaimed, as though they had made a covenant with hell.

They ascribe kingdome to the Lord, and yet will not obey him as his subjects; power, and yet neither fear nor trust in him▪ glory, & yet do not glorifie him

They subscribe to their prayers and say Amen, as though they unfeignedly desired and assuredly be­lieved that their requests should be granted, when as they neither desire that which in hypocrisie they ask, nor believe the granting of that which with­out faith they have begged. And finally, in all these requests they draw neare to the Lord with their mouth, and with their lips do honour him, but they re­move their hearts farre from him, Isa. 29. 13.

It is evident therefore, that as the prayer of the righteous is acceptable to God as the evening sacri­fice, Psal. 141. 2. so the prayer of the wicked is de­testable unto him. Which may further be proved by expresse testimonies of the holy Scriptures. The sac [...]ifice of the wicked, saith Solomon, is an abominati­on to the Lord; but the prayer of the righteous is acce­ptable unto him, Prov. 13. 9. and again, v. 29. The Lord is farre from the wicked, but he heareth the prayers of the righteous. The same doth David testifie Psal. 34. 15, 16. The eyes of the Lor [...] are upon the righteous, [Page 43] and his eares are open to their erie: but the face and angry countenance of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth. The man which had been blind, John 9. 31. deli­vereth this as a received truth in the Church of the Jews: This we know, saith he, that God heareth not sin­ners, that is, impenitent sinners: but if a man be a worshipper of God and doeth his will, him he heareth. Wherefore it is manifest, that the promises made to them that call upon God, are restrained and (as it were) appropriated to the godly. And therefore whosoever desireth to pray unto God with hope to be heard, must turn unto the Lord by repentance, and lay hold upon Christ by faith, unfeignedly pur­posing amendment of life: For the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth unto it and is exalted, or set in safetie, Prov. 18. 10.

But it will be objected, That the promises are ge­nerall;Th [...]t all pro­mises are li­mited with the conditi­on of f [...]ith and rep [...]n­tance. and therefore belonging to all they are not to be restrained to some. I answer, That they and all other promises of the Gospel are to be under­stood with the condition of faith and repentance, which many times are expressed, and where they are not, they are alwayes to be understood, as re­straining the promises to the faithfull. For whereas Joel saith, chap. 2. 30. that whosoever calleth upon the name of the Lord shall be saved, our Saviour restrain­eth it to the righteous, Matth. 7. 21. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, (that is, which calleth upon me) shall enter into the kingdome of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven: and the Apostle, Rom. 10. 13, 14 to the f [...]ithfull; [Page 44] But how shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? And whereas our Saviour saith, That whatsoever ye shall ask in my name the Father will grant it, John 16. 23. that also is restrained in the 1. epistle of John 3. 22. to the righteous; Whatsoe­ver we ask we receive of him, because we keep his com­mandments, and do those things which are pleasing in his sight. And so our Saviour, John 17. 7. If ye abide in me and my words abide in you, ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you.

As for the wicked, the Lord denieth to heare them, though they cry loud in his eares, and make many prayers unto him: Isa. 1. 15. When ye spread forth your hands (saith the Lord to the impenitent Jews) I will hide mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers I will not heare: whom not withstand­ing upon their repentance he promiseth to heare and to receive into favour, v. 16, 17, 18. So in Ezek. 8. 18. Though they cry in mine eares with a loud voice, yet will I not heare them. Psal. 18. 41. & Micah 3. 4. They shall cry unto the Lord, but he will not heare them; he will even hide his face from them for their wicked­nesse. Jer. 14. 12. When they fast I will not heare their cry. Neither doth he onely refuse to heare them, but the godly also praying for them, 1. Sam. 16. 1. Jer. 15. 1. Ezek. 14. 14, 20. and therefore forbid­deth many times the godly to pray in their behalf, Jer. 14. 11. or if they do he protesteth that he will not heare them, Jer. 7. 16. and 11. 14. When as therefore impenitent sinners do call upon God and are not heard, let them not think that the Lord is not able to heare or help them. Behold, saith the [Page 45] Prophet Isaiah, chap. 59. 1. the Lords hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor his eare he [...]vy that he cannot heare; but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sinnes have hid his face from you that he will not heare. And then he de­scendeth to particulars: For this mercy of hearing our prayers is not onely denied unto ungodlinesse in generall, but also to particular sinnes; as contrari­wise it is promised to particular graces, which being linked together in a golden chain, are each of them severall evidences of a true faith:

As first to Cruelty & Oppression, Isa. 1. 15. Though ye make many prayers I will not heare, for your hands are full of bloud. And not to cruelty onely, but also to Unmercifulnes, & Want of pitie towards the poore: For, he that stoppeth his eare at the crying of the poore, shall cry himself and not be heard, Pro. 21. 13. Whereas contrariwise those that be mercifull shall find mercy with God, Matth. 5. 7. Then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he will say, Here I am, Isa. 58. 9. If we love not in word and tongue alone, but in deed and truth, hereby we may have confidence before God, 1. John 3. 18, 19.

Secondly, to Want of love in forgiving offenses; and contrariwise: Mark 11. 25. When ye stand pray­ing, forgive if ye have ought against any, that your Fa­ther also which is in heav [...]n may forgive you your tres­passes. But if [...]e do not forgive, [...] will your Fa­ther which is in heaven forgive your trespasses.

Thirdly, to the Not-hearing or hearkening to the word of God: For as we heare so we shall be he [...]rd; Prov. 28. 9. He that turneth [...] his care from [...] [Page 46] the law, his prayer shall be abominable. For as we speak unto the Lord in prayer, so the Lord speaketh unto us in the preaching of the word: and therefore good reason it is that if we will not heare the Lord when he speaketh unto us, he should not heare us when we speak unto him, as the Prophet Zacharie saith, chap. 7. 13. It is come to passe, that as he cried and they would not heare, so they cryed and I would not heare, saith the Lord. On the other side, If the word of Christ abide in us, we may ask what we will and it shall be granted us, John 15. 7. If men harden their hearts against the word of God, the wisdome of God hath threat­ned not to heare them, Prov. 1. 24. He covereth him­self with a cloud that our prayer should not passe through, Lam. 3. 44. But if men humble themselves before God and tremble at his word, being of humble and contrite hearts, the Lord hath promised to heare, Psal. 66. 2. and 34. 18. and 51. 17. The prayer of the humble pierceth the clouds, Ecclus 35. 17. If men choose not the fear of the Lord, the Lord will not heare them, Prov. 1. 28, 29. on the other side, He will fulfill the desire of them that fear him; he will also heare their cry an [...] will save them, Psal. 145. 19.

Neither doth the Lord refuse to heare those alone who are open and notorious sinners, but those also which making outward profession of pietie do play the hypocrites: Job 27. 9. Will God heare the cry of the hyp [...]crite when trouble cometh upon him? To which purpose there is a notable saying of David, Psal. 66. 18. If I regard wickednesse in my heart, saith he, the Lord will not he [...]re m [...]. Whereas contrariwise, if men would walk uprightly before God, he [Page 47] would deni [...] u [...]to them nothing that is good, Psal. 84. 11.

Wherefore it behoveth every one that nameth the name of Christ to depart from iniquitie, 2. Tim. 2. 19. and to purge his hands from sinne, Jam 4. 8. and to wash them in innocencie, Psal. 26. that so he may without doubting lift up holy hands unto the Lord, 1. Tim. 2. 8. [...], 2. Tim. 2. 22. Heb. 10. 22. with true hearts sprinkled from an evil consci­ence: Mala conscientia januam nobis claudit, An evil conscience shutteth the gate against us, Calv. In­stitut. 3. 20. 7. §.

But against this doctrine it may be objected, ThatObject. the Lord many times heareth the wicked when they call upon him; and therefore that the promises made to prayer are not peculiar to the godly, but common to them with the wicked.

For answer hereunto we are to remember, ThatAnsw. God heareth not the wic­ked for spiri­tuall bles­sings. prayers are made unto God either for spirituall blessings belonging to a better life, or for tempo­rall blessings apperteining to this corporall life. The former are peculiar to the children of God, as be­longing to their inheritance, and are never bestowed on the wicked, who never have so much grace as truly to desire them; and therefore if they do at any time ask them, they do pray in hypocrisie, asking with their lips that which they do not desire with their hearts nor labour for in their lives.Th [...]t God often hear­eth the wic­ [...]ed for t [...]m­porall [...]; and how.

As for temporall benefits, I cannot deny but that the Lord many times in respect of them doth grant unto the wicked their hearts desire. But yet even in these also there is great difference betwixt the Lord [Page 48] his hearing of the godly and the wicked. For in temporall matters the Lord heareth men either as a gracious and loving Father, or as a mercifull Cre­atour, or as a severe Judge.

1. In speciall favour as a gracious Father in Christ he heareth his faithfull children, ever sub­ordinating their good to his own glory; not alwayes satisfying their carnall or worldly desires, but al­wayes granting their requests as shall be most for his glory and their spirituall and everlasting good: under which conditions our prayers for temporall blessings ought alwayes to be framed, and being so conceived they are ever granted.

2. As a mercifull Creatour the Lord heareth men crying unto him in their extremity: And thus he heareth all sorts of men, but especially the god­ly: for he is the saviour, that is, the preserver, of all men, but chiefly of the faithfull, 1. Tim. 4. 10. The godly have a promise of deliverance when they call upon God; Psal. 50. 14, 15. and 145. 19. and 91. 15. and 34. 17, 19. So have not the wicked; Psal. 51. 16. and 18. 41. Yea, in many places, as ye have heard, he threatneth that when they cry unto him in their trouble he will not heare them. The affliction and deliverance of the godly do both turn to their sin­gular good; Rom. 8. 28. and being delivered they glorifie God, consulting with themselves what to render unto the Lord for his benefits, and t [...]king the cup of salvation, that is, of thanksgiving for their salvation and deliverance; Psal. 116. 12, 13. The wicked not being bettered by their affliction, are many times delivered according to their desire, the [Page 49] Lord giving them over as incorrigible: Isa. 1. 5. Jer. 2. 30. and when they are delivered they seek not to glorifie God, nor repent of their sinnes, but re­turn to their vomit, making shew of repentance no longer then the hand of God is upon them: And so both their affliction and deliverance (through their own default) turneth to their ruine. Notwithstand­ing deliverance out of affliction when men cry un­to God is a common benefit, the Lord hearing and delivering men of all sorts as a mercifull Creatour and Preserver, as is testified Psal. 107. where it is often repeated, that divers sorts of men when th [...]y cry unto the Lord in their trouble, he doth deliver them out of their distresse. But because many are unthankfull, the holy Ghost doth as oft repeat this exclamation, O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his good­nesse, and declare the wonders which he doth for the sonnes of men. For though the Lord doth hate the wic­ked in respect of their sinnes, and therefore many times doth refuse to heare and to deliver them; yet he loveth them as his creatures, and therefore some­times as a mercifull Creatour he doth deliver them: And thus he promiseth to heare the cry of the poore, the fatherlesse, and the widow, because he is mercifull; Exod. 22. 23, 27. Psal. 22. 24. And how­soever the cry of men in distresse cannot many times be said to be a prayer, but onely that voice which the extremity of their grief expresseth from them, yet it is vox creaturae clamantis ad Creatorem, the voice of the creature crying to the Creatour; and the Lord as a mercifull Creatour heareth the same. So he is said to have heard the cry of the child Ishmael, [Page 50] Gen. 21. 17. And thus also he heareth the cry of the young ravens, and lions, and of the rest of the crea­tures, giving them their food in due season, Psal. 147. 9. and 104. 21, 27, 28. and 145. 15. Which I do the rather note for the comfort of the faithfull: For if the Lord doth heare the cry not onely of carnall men but also of those creatures which want reason, yea sometimes of the devil himself, Mark 8. 12. Job 1. and 2. how shall he not heare the cry of his own children?

3. As a severe Judge the Lord heareth the wic­ked,God hear­e [...]h the wic­ked as a [...] Judge. granting unto them temporall things in his wrath, which it were better for them to want. Thus he granted flesh to the impenitent Israelites, & fed them with quails: but while the flesh was between their teeth he struck them with a grievous plague, and they were burned in Kibroth-hattaavah, that is, the graves of lust, Num. 11. 31. So in his anger, when they would needs have a king, he granted a king unto them, 1. Sam. 8. 7. Hos. 13. 11. And thus when worldlings, whose hearts are wholly ad­dicted to earthly things, desiring and begging them, the Lord in his anger giveth them over to their own lusts, and satisfieth their desire, giving them their portion in this life, Psal. 17. 14. where they receive their good things, Luke 16. 25. and all the consolation they are to look for, Luke 6. 24. whereas to them that first seek Gods kingdome and his righ [...]eousnesse, he doth not onely give that which principally they seek; but also by way of advantage over and besides he giveth them temporall blessings as shall be most convenient for them.

[Page 51]So that in spirituall things the wicked are not heard, but the godly. In temporall when he seem­eth to denie the request of the godly, he heareth them in speciall mercie, though not ad voluntatem, yet ad utilitatem, not to their will but profit: and when he seemeth to grant the prayer of the wicked,August. ad P [...]bam, E­pi [...]t. 121. he heareth them in judgement, ad voluntatem, though not ad utilitatem, to their will not their pro­fit; impiis concedens iratus quae piis negat propitius, granting in his wrath that to the wicked which in his mercy he denieth to the godly.

CHAP. XI. That God alone is to be called upon.

HAving spoken of the person which doth invo­cate, we are now to intreat of the party who is called upon, that is, God. Where we are to shew two things: 1. That God alone is religiously to be called upon; 2. That in our prayers we are so to conceive of God as he hath revealed himself in his word. Both which points are of great moment: for if we do religiously invocate any besides the true God, we commit sacrilegious idolatry; or if we shall conceive of God, either in respect of his nature or of the persons, otherwise then he hath re­vealed, we shall in stead of the true God worship an idole of our own brain.

That God is to be called upon I have already shewed, and it needeth no further proof. Call upon me, saith the Lord, Psal. 50. 15. When ye pray, say, Our Father, Luke 11. 2. The true worshippers shall worship [Page 52] the Father, John 4. 23. But that God alone is to be called upon religiously, though it follow upon the former, (for God will be worshipped alone or not at all, praecept. 1.) yet it is gainsaid by the Anti­christian church, the mother of spirituall fornicati­ons, which in this part of Gods worship addeth to him both Angels and Saints departed. For the con­futation of which blasphemous er [...]our, I will first prove in generall, That God alone is to be called upon; and then particularly, That neither Angels nor Saints are.

For first, Whomsoever we do religiously invo­cate,1. Reas [...]n. him do we worship and adore: For invocat [...] ­on is a principall p [...]rt of worship and adoration, as I have shewed, the Lord esteeming the sacrifice of praise and prayer above all outward sacrifices of the law, Psal. 50. But God alone is religiously to be worshipped and adored. For the exhibiting of reli­gious worship unto any that is not God, is idolatrie; such as is religious adoration, invocation by prayer and thanksgiving, reposing our affiance and trust, vows, oathes, sacrifices offered to any creature: 1. Sam. 7. 3. Direct your hearts unto the Lord, & serve him onely. Matth. 4. 10. Thou shalt adore the Lord thy God, and him onely shalt thou worship or serve.

Against which allegation they do object, ThatAn ob [...]cti­on of the [...]; [...]. the words do appropriate not adoration but Divine worship unto God: so that notwithstanding this place, [...], adoration, may be given to the crea­ture, though [...], Divine worship, be reserved as peculiar unto God; Rhem. in Matth. 4. 10.

For answer of which shift we must consider what [Page 53] the tempter demanded of Christ, vers. 9. All these things will I give thee, [...], if thou shalt fall down and worship me: which demand our Sa­viour might have yeilded unto if he had allowed this Popish distinction: But it appeareth by his an­swer that there is no such difference to be made be­twixt [...] and [...], that is, between Divine worship and religious adoration. For he would not [...], that is, adore, the tempter, as he required, because he must [...], that is, worship, God alone; thereby plainly shewing, that if he did [...], he should also [...]. Indeed [...] or adoration may be either civill; which may be performed to creatures, Gen. 23. 7, 12. or religious; and that as well as [...] must be reserved as proper to God.

The like distinction they have forged betweenThe distin­ction of [...] and [...] dis­cussed. [...] and [...], that is, Service and Worship: where­of the former, as they say, may be given to the crea­tures, the latter onely to God. If by these words they distinguished civill worship from religious, as Augustine doth, they might be born with: For, asDe civit. Dei lib. 10▪ [...]p. 1. he saith, both is servitus, Sed e [...] servitus quae debetur hominibus, secundùm quam praecipit Apostolus, SER­VOS DOMINIS SUIS SUBDITOS ESSE [...], alio nomine Graecè nuncupari solet, scilicet [...] : ea ve­rò servitus quae pertinet ad colendum Deum, dicitur [...]: Both is Service: But that service which is due to men, according to which the Apostle com­mandeth servants to be subject to their masters, in the Greek it is used to be called by another name, to wit, [...], and that service which belongeth to the worship of God is called [...]; But when under [Page 54] the name of [...] they would cloke religious ser­vice performed to creatures, they are intolerable. For between religious service and [...] there is no difference: and both [...] and [...] are alike in the Scriptures ascribed to God, & both of them used asA [...] 20. 10. 1. Thess. 1. 9. Rom. 7. 6. and 12. 11. the translation of the Hebrew [...], Exod. 23. 33. SI SERVIERIS DIIS EORUM. Hîc Graecus, saith S. Augustine, [...]habet, non [...]. unde intelligi­tur [...]. [...] Exod. lib. 2. 94. quia & [...] debetur Deo tanquam Domino, [...] verò non nisi Deo tanquam Deo: IF THOU SERVEST THEIR GODS. Here the Greek hath [...], not [...] whence it is understood that [...] is due to God as unto our Lord, but [...] to none but God as God. Lodovicus Vives in August. De civit. Dei, lib. 10. cap. 1. saith, Valla docet, [...] & [...] idem esse, & utrumque significare Servitutem. Suidas ait, [...], servitus mer­cenaria. Lev. 23. 7. opus servile dicitur [...]. 18. 21. Desemine tuo non dabis servire [...], principi: [...], juxta Septuaginta: Valla (saith [...]e) teacheth us, [...] and [...] to be the same, and that both do signifie Service. And Suidas saith, that [...] is service for a reward, or mercenarie service. Lev. 23. 7. a servile work is called [...]. and chap. 18. 21. Thou shal [...] not give any of thy seed to serve the prince (or, the idole Molech:) which service the Septuagint expresseth by the word [...], Heb. 8. 3. But if a difference between these words is to be urged, it will be found that [...] is the greater, and [...] the lesse; the former being derived of [...], which si­gnifieth [...] a bond slave, the latter of [...], which si­ [...]nifieth an hired [...]: For Suidas telleth us that [Page 55] [...], that is, service, for a reward. And so by this distinction they shall gain thus much, That they give the greater to the creatures, and reserve the lesse for God. Neither can this distinction be applyed to either of these places alledged; 1. Sam. 7. 3. Matth. 4. 10. in both which the vulgar Latine hath servire: in the former, eique soli servite, and serve ye him alone; where the Greek also hath [...]: in the latter, eique soli servies, and thou shalt serve him alone.

Secondly, he that is to be called upon is to be be­lieved2. Reason. in: Rom. 10. 14. How shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? God alone and none but God is to be believed in: Psal. 73. 25. whom have I in heaven but thee? According to the Creed the object of our faith is God and the Church: but with this difference, that we believe in God; but as touching the Church, we do not say that we believe in it (for the Church is not God, but domus Dei, as Augustine hath observed) but onely that we believe the holy catholick Church. Now if we are not to believe in the Church, much lesse in the members thereof, whether they be of the Church militant or triumphant.

Thirdly, no part of Gods glory is to be commu­nicated3. Reason. to any thing else: Isa. 42. 8. My glorie will I not give to another. To be a hearer and granter of our requests is a great part of Gods glory: Psal. 65. 3. O thou that hearest the prayer, to thee shall all flesh come: and in the conclusion of the Lords prayer; thine is the glory, namely of hearing and granting our prayers. And therefore this glory is not to be [Page 56] communicated to any other: and consequently no other is to be called upon.

Fourthly, the commandment of Christ is broken4. Reas [...]n. if in prayer we call upon any to whom we may not say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, thy kingdome come, &c. For thine is the king­dome, &c. When ye pray, say, Our Father, Luke 11. 2. But without horrible blasphemie we cannot use this form of words to any but onely to God: therefore if we call upon any other we break the command­ment of Christ. If the Papists alledge, that in their prayers they usually do say their Pater noster, I con­fesse they do, but in so doing they commit blasphe­mous idolatry, saying this prayer to the Rood or to the Crosse, which they worship cultu [...], saying with the old idolaters to a piece of wood, Pater me­us Jer. 2. 27. Thom. part. 3. qu [...]t. 25. [...]. 4. [...]. Reason. Thou art my father, and before the images not onely of men but also of women departed.

Fifthly, all acceptable prayers are made in faith that they are accepted, and in hope that they shall be granted: For without faith it is impossible to please [...]. 11. 6. [...]. 14. 23. God; and what is not of faith is sinne: and prayer which is made without hope is in vain. But those prayers that are made to God, and they onely, are made in faith and hope: In faith, because God hath commanded us to call upon him, and hath pro­mised to heare us: In hope, because God to whom we pray is omnipresent; and therefore is acquainted with our wants, and secret desires, Psal. 38. he is omnipotent, and therefore able to do for us exceedingly above all that we can ask or think, Ephes. 3. 20. and for his bounty and goodnesse more [Page 57] ready to heare and to grant then we are to ask, Isa. 65. 24. On the other side, prayers made to crea­tures are made neither in faith: For there is no war­rant in the Scripture for such a prayer, no doctrine which teacheth it, no precept that injoyneth it, no promise to confirm it, no example to commend it. And this is confessed by Eckius, viz. That neither it is warranted or taught in the Old Testament, be­cause the people were prone to idolatry, and the fa­thers deceased were in Limbo; nor in the New, lest the Gentiles should return to their old idolatry, and lest the Apostles should seem to direct Christians to invocate them after their decease. And therefore by their own confession no testimonie of Scripture can be alledged to this purpose. Neither can such prayer be made in hope: because none but God is either omniscient or omnipresent to know the wants or heare the desires of men in all places calling up­on them, nor omnipotent to grant their desires. Hereunto may be added the testimonies of the Fa­thers: Origen Contra Celsum, lib. 8. Solus adorandus est Deus, God onely is to be worshipped. Eusebius, De praeparat. Evang. 4. 5. Solum Deum adorare didi­cimus, We have learned to worship God onely. Na­zianzen, De Spir. sanct. [...]; If it be to be adored, why is it not to be worshipped? if it be to be worshipped, how is it not God▪ Ambrose, De Spiritu, lib. 3. 12. Neque adorandum quicquam praeter Deum legimus, We do not reade of any thing which ought to be worshipped except God alone. Cyrill, Thesaur. lib. 2. 1. Vnanatura Dei­tatis est quam solummodo adorare oportet, There is one [Page 58] nature of the Deitie which alone ought to be wor­shipped.

CHAP. XII. That we ought not to invocate any creature.

THus have I shewed in generall, That no crea­ture is to be called upon. Now more specially, That neither Angels nor Saints. Civil honour in­deed is due to both, as to our fellow-citizens of the same city: but religious honour done to either is ido­latry.

First, for Angels. Our fellow-servants are not to That Angels ought not to be worship­ped. 1. Reason. be adored of us: Angels are our fellow-servants, being ministring spirits sent forth into the ministery for their sake that shall be heirs of salvation, Heb. 1. 14. And by this reason the angel, Revel. 19. 10. and 22. 19. disswadeth S. John from adoring him, and in both places appropriateth [...], adoration, to God. Likewise the Apostle admonisheth the Co­lossians, chap. 2. 18. to take heed that none ber [...]ave them [...]ide Am­ [...] in Rom. 1. pag. 177. of their prize (which is their salvation) under shew of humilitie (as the Papists do, as though it were too much boldnesse to go directly to Christ) commend­ing unto them the worshipping of angels: whereunto those countreys of Phrygia were very much ad­dicted, as Theodoret sheweth in Col. 2. And there­fore it was decreed in the councel of Laodicea, the mother-citie of those parts, that no man should pray unto angels.

Moreover, he that is the authour and fountain of 2. Reason. all good things, and is onely able of himself to help [Page 59] us, he is to be invocated, and not those who being but his instruments are not able to help us otherwise then he appointeth. But God is the authour and fountain of all good, James 1. 17. Our onely help and refuge, Psal. 46. 1. and 124. 8. The angels are but his instruments, who neither can nor will help us fur­ther then God himself appointeth.

Objection out of Jos. 5. 13. and Judg. 13. 20. That Object. Joshua and the parents of Samson worshipped the angels which appeared unto them.

He that appeared unto them was not a created an­gel, Answ. but the Angel of the great covenant, the second Person in Trinity, who oftentimes in assumed forms appeared to the Patriarchs. He that appeared to Joshua calleth himself the Prince of the Lords ar­mies, Jos. 5. 14. and 6. 2. he is called the Lord. He which appeared to Samsons parents being demand­ed his name, said it is Wonderfull, which is the name of Christ, Isa. 9. 6. And such was their opinion of him; for Manoah calleth him God, and his wife termeth him Jehovah.

Now that Saints are not to be prayed unto it shall That Saints departed ought not to be invocated 1. Reason. appear by these reasons:

I. To them which neither heare us nor know us, prayer is made in vain: But the Saints departed nei­ther heare us nor know us. That they do not heare us it is manifest. For what is it which they do heare? the voice of the mouth or the speech of the heart? If the voice of the mouth, then the voice which moveth the aire for a small distance and so vanish­eth, shall not onely pierce all the regions of the aire but the heavens also, where the aire, which is the [Page 60] medium, ceaseth. If the speech of the heart; then are they [...], the searchers of the heart, and therefore gods: for it is a property peculiar to the Lord, 1. Kings 8. 39. Jer. 17. 9. Acts 1. 24. That they know us not it is testified by Isaiah, chap. 63. 16. Abraham is ignorant of us, and Israel knoweth us not: Eccles 9. 5.

The Papists except, First, That the Saints having 1. Exception of the Pa­pists. the blessed vision of God, they do see in speculo Tri­nitatis the things done in earth. By which reason they should know all things which God himself doth know, neither should the day of judgement be hid from them. But this glasse is a forgerie of their The glasse of the Tri­nity forged. own brain: For if they say it is the essence of the whole Deitie, then is it most simple and unvariable; if the glory or splendour of God whereby he en­lighteneth the place of the blessed, it will no more fellow that they beholding this light should see those things which God beholdeth, then that he which looketh on the sunne should see all that the sunne shineth upon.

Secondly, That God acquainteth them with our A second [...] of the Papists [...]. prayers made to them, which they understanding become intercessours for us unto God. But what a foolish circumstance is this? They will not have us go directly unto God or our Saviour, but (as in Princes courts) to some that are neare unto them, that they may mediate our cause; and in the upshot, we cannot go directly unto them, I mean the Saints, but God himself must be fain to be a mediatour be­tween us and them, to acquaint them with our pray­ers, that so they may pray unto him for us.

[Page 61]Thirdly, That they do not worship the Saints as A third p [...]e­tense avoid­ed. gods, but as the friends of God. As if a woman taken in adultery should alledge for her self, that she loved the adulterer not as her husband but as her husbands friend. For religious worship doth as pro­perly belong unto God as conjugall love unto the husband. But do not they give Divine worship to the Saints whom they invocate, prescribing thereby unto them omnipresence, omniscience, omnipoten­cie, and thereby also professing themselves to repose their trust in them? For when they pray to Saints departed, do they speak unto them as present or as absent? If as to present, they being in heaven & they on the earth dispersed in many places & countreys, then they ascribe unto them omnipresence; if as to absent, they ascribe to them omniscience: Both which are blasphemous. Besides, when they invo­cate they ascribe omnipotencie to them, and there­fore repose their trust in them: But God alone is to be trusted in, because he alone is omnipotent; and cursed is he that trusteth in man, Jer. 17. 5.

II. Again, mere men are not religiously to be 2. Reason. adored: It is Peters reason, Acts 10. 26, and Pauls, Acts 14. 15. If Christ himself had been but a mere man or a creature, though a god by creation, yet ought not he religiously to be adored; and much lesse the Saints, who are but the servants of Christ. Therefore the ancient Fathers termed the Arians (who supposed Christ to be God by creation, and yet worshipped him) idolaters; and the Nestorians likewise, who supposed the humanitie of Christ to be a distinct person from the Sonne of God.

[Page 62]III. To leave God, who hath commanded us3. Reason. to call upon him, and hath promised to heare us, and is most willing and onely able to help us, and to run to the Saints, who neither have commanded us, as having no such authoritie, nor have promised to heare and help us, as having no such power, yea are so farre from hearing and helping that they neither know us nor our desires, and so farre from com­manding us to call upon them as they have forbid­den us so to do, and alwayes directed us to call upon God, Acts 10. 26. and 14. 15. is a thing in religion impious and in reason absurd.

IV. To call upon Saints is a thing most injuri­ous4. Reason. unto God and Christ our Saviour: d [...]ogatorie from the glory of God, as though they were either more ready to heare, or more willing or more able to help us; or that we had more confidence in thei [...] love then in the mercies of God and intercession of Christ our Saviour.

But it is lawfull to intreat the Saints upon earthObject. to pray for us; why then may we not desire the Saints in heaven much more to pray to God for us?

To intreat the Saints living on earth to pray forAnsw. 1. us hath warrant in the Scriptures, as having been a dutie injoyned by God, Gen. 20. 7. Job 42. 8. Jam. 5. 14, 16. and also practiced by the faithfull, Rom. 5. 30. Ephes. 6. 19. But praying to Saints departed hath no warrant in the Scriptures, as the Papists themselves are forced to confesse. Nay, it is direct­ly forbidden; and those which do it commit two evils, forsaking God the fountain of living waters, and digging out to themselves cisterns, broken cisterns [Page 63] that can hold no water, Jer. 2. 13. They worship the creature [...], Rom. 1. 25. praeterito Crea­tore, passing by the Creatour, ut Hilarius interpreta­tur De Trinitate lib. 12.

2. The Saints living with us are acquainted with our persons and our wants, and therefore may pray in particular for us, and so cannot the Saints de­parted.

3. The request made in this behalf to the faith­full living is a civil intreaty of a Christian duty, but as it is made to the Saints departed, it is a religious invocation of them to do that for us which is the peculiar office of the Mediatour. Neither do they onely intreat the Saints to pray for us, and desire God that for the merits & intercession of the Saints he would grant their desires, which is to give the office of Christ to them: But also they desire the Saints themselves to bestow upon them such bles­sings as they desire both spirituall and temporall, and to avert from them such evils as they fear. Wherein the Papists have made the Saints to suc­ceed the heathen gods, ascribing unto them their se­verall offices and functions, insomuch that there is no countrey, citie, or town, but hath certain Saints to patronize them, as the heathen had their tutelares deos: no trade or occupation which hath not a pecu­liar Saint; no kind of cattel or tame fowl which have not their patrones; no kind of disease but some Saint or other is called upon for the curing thereof, as the dii averrunci, or [...], among the heathen: So that if there were no other fault in Popery, their idolatry were sufficient cause of separation from them.

[Page 64]But the Saints departed do pray for us, thereforeObject. we ought to pray unto them.

It may well be supposed that the Saints departedAnsw. do pray in common for the faithfull upon the earth, as fellow-members of the same bodie. But they are not acquainted with particular persons, or their particular wants or desires; or if they were, yet it would not follow that we should pray to them, no more then we are bound to invocate religiously the Saints upon earth, whom we know according to their dutie do pray for us. August. contra Faust. Ma­nich. lib. 20. c. 21. Colimus martyres eo cultu dilectionis & societatis quo & in hac vita coluntur sancti homines, We worship the martyrs with that worship of love and societie with which even in this life holy men are worshipped. Notwithstanding the Papists think this consequence to be so strong, as they take it for granted, that if the Saints make intercession for us we must pray to them: Insomuch that BellarmineIn Apoleg. when he would prove against our King, That invo­cation of Saints was taught by the ancient Fathers, in stead of that he proveth ridiculously the interces­sion of Saints for us.

CHAP. XIII. That we must conceive of God in prayer as he hath revealed himself in his word.

SEeing then the Lord alone is to be called upon religiously, it remaineth that we consider how we are to conceive of God when we do call upon him; viz. not according to the fansies of our own [Page 65] brain, but as he hath revealed himself in his word; both in respect of the Divine nature and also the Di­vine persons. In respect of his nature, that he is a spirit invisible and incomprehensible, omnipotent and infinite, most holy, wise, just and mercifull, &c. And in regard of the Divine persons, that being a God in essence & substance one and indivisible, he is notwithstanding distinguished into three persons, the Father, the Sonne, and the holy Ghost, who as they be not in nature disjoyned, so are they not to be se­vered in their worship, but the Unitie in Trini­tie and Trinitie in Unitie is to be worshipped and adored.

Whosoever therefore in respect of Gods natureRom 1. 23. Psal. 106 20. do circumscribe God, worshipping him under any form, whether outwardly expressed or inwardly conceived, as namely in the form of an old man, &c. in stead of the true God they do worship an idole. Such was the erroneous conceit of the Anthropo­morphites, and such is the superstitious worship of the Papists at this day. Likewise in respect of the per­sons, whosoever shall call upon God as not distin­guished into three persons, howsoever they may professe that they invocate one onely true God ma­ker of heaven and earth, yet they do not worship the true God but an idole: for the true God is the Father, the Sonne, and holy Ghost. Forasmuch therefore as the Jews and Turks do not worship the Trinity, they are not worshippers of the true God; but as our Sa­viour said of the Samaritanes, They worship they know not what, John 4. not acknowledging the true God, nor Jesus Christ whom he hath sent: John 5. 23. Hc [Page 66] that honoureth not the Sonne honoureth not the Father, and, Whosoever denieth the Sonne hath not the Father, 1. John 2. 23.

Here therefore it may be demanded, That seeing we are to worship the holy Trinitie, whether it beWhether it be lawfull to direct our prayers unto any one per­son in the Trinitie. lawfull to direct our prayers to some one person, as to the Father, to the Sonne, or to the holy Ghost.

He that acknowledgeth the Trinitie, when in his prayers he nameth one onely person, he doth not exclude the other persons but rather includeth thē. For in every person or supposite that is named the Divine nature is presupposed: so that when the Fa­ther is nominated, Christ and so the holy Ghost is the same God which is invocated; and therefore as there is one essence of all the persons so one worship.

Furthermore, concerning our Saviour Christ it may also be demanded, That seeing God is the one­lyWhether Christ as Mediatour [...] to be in­vocated. object of religious invocation, whether he being the mediatour between God and man is to be invo­cated: and if he be, how and in what respect we are to call upon him.

That he is to be called upon as our Lord and Sa­viour, in whose name we are baptized, in whom we believe and trust, there is no doub: All men must ho­nour him as they honour the Father, John 5. 23. and, All the angels must adore him, Heb. 1. 6. and, to his name must every knee bow, Phil. 2. 10. Examples: Stephen, Acts 7. 59. Thomas, John 20. 28. the Apostles, Luke 24. 52. [...] worship Christ in his whole per­son, and not in his man­hood alone.

But all the question is, Whether we are to call upon Christ as God alone, or as man alone, or as [Page 67] both God and man. Since our Saviour Christ was incarnate and did personally and inseparably unite unto himself the humane nature, his whole person as he is [...] or Immanuel, God manifested in the flesh, is to be worshipped by one and the same act of invocation and worship, without separati­on or division. The Papists have found out a pe­culiar worship for the humanitie of Christ, and for the blessed Virgin, which they call [...]. But the humanitie of Christ, as it doth not subsist of it self, so are we not severally to worship it with Ne­storius, but the whole person both God and man: But yet so as that our prayer be not directed to the hu­manity, which is a creature, but to the Sonne of God having assumed and united unto himself the humane nature. So saith Cyrill, Non igitur tanquam homi­nem Ad Theodu [...]. De rect. fide. adoramus Emmanuelem: Absit. Delir amentum enim hoc esset, & deceptio ac error. In hoc enim nihil dif­ferremus ab his qui creaturam colunt ultra Conditorem & Factorem: that is, We do not therefore worship our Emmanuel as man alone: God forbid. For this were a dotage, a false conceit and errour: neither should we in this differ from those which worship the creature more then their Creatour and Maker.

To conclude this second point. Whereas the whole world almost is overflown with idolatry, as with an universall deluge, the Paganes invocating a multitude of false gods; the Jews and Turks wor­shipping one God, but not in the Trinitie of per­sons, nor acknowledging Jesus Christ; the Papists (which call themselves the Catholick Church) in­vocating besides the true God a multitude of angels [Page 68] and Saints, images, the crosse and Eucharist, and in their prayers representing the invisible and incom­prehensible God in a visible form: notwithstanding God in his great mercy hath taken us who professe the reformed religion into the ark of his Church, teaching us by his word and spirit to call upon him the true God in the name of Christ his Sonne, himself also being near unto us, as he was to the Church of Israel, in all that we call upon him for, Deut. 4. 7.

CHAP. XIIII. That Christ alone is the Mediatour of intercession as well as redemption.

HAving spoken of the subject of invocation, viz. men; and the object, viz. God: we are now in the third place to enquire, how it cometh to passe that man being stained and polluted with sinne, and by reason thereof an enemie to God, should have any accesse unto God, or be admitted to any speech with him, who is most just and terrible, a consu­ming fire, & hating all iniquitie with perfect hatred. Indeed it must be confessed, that sinne maketh a se­paration between God and man, and that both we are unworthy in our selves to appear before God, and our prayers also by reason of our manifold wants and corruptions unworthy to be offered unto him. And therefore of necessitie a mediatour was to come between God and man, who reconciling us unto God, and covering our imperfections, might make both our persons and our prayers acceptable [Page 69] unto God. And for as much as it was needfull that the justice of God should be satisfied in the same na­ture wherein he had been offended, neither could obedience be performed to the law given to man, nor the punishment due to the sinnes of man be sa­tisfied but by man, neither could the righteousnesse be meritorious for all, nor the price of ransome suf­ficient, if the person which should perform both were not God. It was likewise needfull that the mediatour who should reconcile us unto God and make us and our prayers acceptable unto him should be both God and man: therefore God in his unspeakable mercy hath appointed and given his onely begotten Sonne to be our Mediatour, Advo­cate and Intercessour, who having assumed our na­ture should therein satisfie his justice and appease his wrath; and having performed perfect obedience for us, and given himself a ransome for our sinnes, should ascend into heaven, and there sitting at the right hand of the Father should make intercession for us, that both the persons of such as believe in him and their prayers which call upon God in his name should be accepted of him.

But as in the former points we were forced to prove two things, not onely that God is to be invo­cated, but that he alone is to be called upon, and not Saints and Angels; so in this we are by the like su­perstition of the Papists compelled to demonstrate two things: first, that Christ is the onel [...] Mediatour of intercession; and secondly, that we are alwayes to call upon God in his name. For as they invocate others besides God, and so are indeed worshippers [Page 70] of more gods; so have they appointed other media­tours and intercessours besides Christ. And the rea­son is alike in both. But the Apostle teacheth us, That as there is but one God, so there is but one Media­tour [...]. [...]. [...]. between God and man, the man Christ.

The Papists make two sorts of mediatours, theTh [...] P [...]pists make two sorts of me­d [...]atours. one of redemption, the other of intercession; and they do confesse in word that Christ is the onely Mediatour of redemption, but of intercession they adjoyn other mediatours unto him, viz. the Saints departed.

Here therefore I will shew two things: 1. That they seem to acknowledge other mediatours of re­demption, and so in deed overthrow that which in word they confesse; 2. That none can be mediatour of intercession who is not also of redemption. For as touching the first; in many of their authorized prayers they desire God to have mercie on them in forgiving their sinnes, and in giving unto them good things as well spirituall as temporall for the merits and intercession of the Saints; and so plainly thrust the Saints into the office of Christ. And not onely so, but they invocate also the Saints as they do Christ to bestow good things upon them, and to aveit evil from them, substituting them, as I have shewed before, into the room of the tutelar gods of the heathen.

But let us see whether there be any mediatours of intercession who are not also of redemption. We denie not but that in a large sense they may be c [...]lled mediatours and intercessours who are med [...]i inter, namely between God and man. So Moses [Page 71] is termed [...], Gal. 3. 19. Deut. 5. 5. and 27. 31. Pastours likewise and preachers, who are both the mouth of God to the people in preaching and of the people to God in prayer: But they are not in that sense intercessours as we acknowledge Christ, and the Papists do esteem the Saints, that we for their merits & intercession should hope to be heard. In like manner the Saints upon earth, who in mutu­all charity do pray and make intercession one for an­other, as they are required 1. Tim. 2. 1. Jam. 5. 15, 16. may be called intercessours, but such as whose intercession dependeth wholly upon the intercession of Christ, and whose prayers are alwayes made in his name.

Why then may not the Saints in heaven beObject. esteemed intercessours?

For the intercession of Saints departed there isAnsw. no testimonie of Scripture. It is not to be doubtedHow the Saints in heaven may be said to pray, and for what. but that they do use to invocate the name of God by praise and thanksgiving, bearing a part (as it were) in the quire of Angels. And it is not unlike­ly but that they pray for that which is wanting unto them whilest their bodies sleep in the dust, that is, their full redemption; that the number of the elect being accomplished, the Lord would hasten the se­cond coming of Christ for their full redemption. In which prayer also they pray for us, as we also do for them; and in regard thereof we are as well interces­sours for them as they for us. It is also probable, that they being members of the same mysticall bo­die, indued with perfect charitie, do in generall pray for their fellow-members upon earth. But that in [Page 72] particular they pray for any of us it is improba­ble, because they know not our persons, nor heare our prayers, nor understand our particular wants: or if they did, yet would it not follow that either we should pray to them, as I have shewed before, or that we should desire the Lord for their merits and intercessions to grant our desires. Neither is it to be doubted, but what praises or prayers they utter un­to God, they offer them onely in the name and me­diation of Christ, desiring that for his merits and in­tercession their invocation may be accepted.

And in this sense Christ alone is the Mediatour of intercession. So Augustine speaking of those words [...] Epist. [...]. lib. 2. cap. 8. of S. John, 1. Epist. 2. 1. saith, John doth not say, You have an advocate, for so should he separate himself from sinners: nor doth he say, You have me for a mediatour (as Parmenianus in a certain place maketh the Bishop a mediatour between God and the people) for then what good and faithfull Chri­stian could indure him? who would look upon him as an Apostle of Christ and not as Antichrist? And again, All Christians do mutually commend them­selves unto God in their prayers: pro quo autem nul­lus interpellat sed ipse pro omnibus, hic unus ver úsque mediator est: that is, but for whom none interce­deth but he for all, he alone is the true Mediatour.

Now that Christ is the onely Mediatour of inter­cession as wel as of redemption it is evident; because these being the two parts of his mediation, and not two sorts of Mediatours; the latter of intercession dependeth on the other of redemption, as being the representation of it unto God, and the application [Page 73] thereof to the faithfull: the dignitie, I say, efficacy and vertue of his intercession dependeth on the me­rits of redemption. For had Christ not been the Me­diatour of redemption he could not have been the Mediatour of intercession. For when it is said that Christ maketh intercession for us in heaven, we are not thus to understand it, that he falleth down upon his knees and prayeth to God for us (John 16. 26. I say not unto you that I will pray the Father for you) but that sitting at the right hand of his Father he repre­senteth his own merits unto him, and offereth the prayers of the faithfull unto God perfumed with the odours of his own sacrifice, as he is described, Revel. 8. 3, 4. So Anselme in Rom. 8. Vnigenitum Fi­lium pro hominibus interpellare, est apud coaeternum Pa­trem seipsum hominem demonstrare: The onely begot­ten Sonne is said to make intercession for men, when he sheweth himself man before his coeternall Fa­ther. And the Apostle describeth his intercession to be, [...]: his appear­ing in the presence of God for us, Heb. 9. 24.

The holy Ghost therefore joyneth both the partsThe holy Ghost joyn­eth interces­sion and re­demption both in one. together, 1. Tim. 2. 5. where speaking professedly of prayers, and saying that Christ is the onely Me­diatour between God and man, he addeth, who gave himself a ransome for all. So 1. John 2. 1, 2. If any man sinne we have an advocate Christ Jesus the righteous, & he is the propitiation for our sins. He onely is the ad­vocate, because he onely can plead his merits for us. He onely is perfectly & fully just, he onely is the propitiation for our sinnes. And as he is the onely Intercessour because he is the onely Saviour, Acts 4. [Page 74] 12. so is he the perfect Saviour, because he ever liveth to make intercession for us, Heb. 7. 25. For whereas they ordain other intercessours for whose sake they desire to be heard, they do it altogether without warrant of Scriptures, wherein there is no doctrine, no precept, no promise, no example to warrant it: and consequently such prayer cannot be made in faith, neither can it please God. And with what forehead can they take from Christ his office and the honour thereof which he purchased with his bloud, and without any warrant from him assigne it to others: as though Christ having for a short time exercised the office of mediation, should to the end of the world have resigned it to his servants. But the holy Ghost teacheth the contrary Heb. 7. 25. that Christ is therefore able perfectly and fully, [...], to save those which by him do come to God, be­cause he liveth ever to make intercession for them. Yea, the Scripture every where directeth us unto Christ and to no other mediatour, and therefore to no other must we slie, Ephes. 3. 12. Heb. 4. 16. and 7. 19. Christ is the onely way and the onely accesse un­to God: Those that leave this way and this accesse, they have no way nor accesse to God with hope or comfort; or if any will go to God any other way, in stead of a throne of grace they shall find a tribu­nall of justice and terrour, and in stead of a mercifull Father a just & terrible Judge. Our Saviour Christ in plain terms saith, John 14. 6. No man cometh to the Father but by me: and the Apostle, 1. Tim. 2. 5. That as there is but one God, so but one Mediatour between God and man, the man Christ, who is both God and man. [Page 75] For as S. Augustine, The Mediatour between GodCont [...]a Par­men. lib 2. Epist. cap. 8. and man ought to have something like to God, something like to man, lest being in both like to men he should be farre from God, or being in both like to God he should be farre from men, and so should be no Mediatour. But Christ alone is both God and man, and therefore he alone is Mediatour.

The high Priest in the law was a type of Christ:The high Pri [...]st a type of Christ. but the high Priest in type was mediatour both of redemption and expiation in offering sacrifices, and of intercession in making prayers for the people▪ to which purpose bearing the names of the twelve tribes, he entred into the holy place to make inter­cession for them; therein representing Christ, who being entred into the heavenly sanctuary maketh intercession for us.

But to what purpose do they flie to other media­tours? is it because the mediation of Christ is not sufficient? or is it because the Saints are in greater fa­vour with God? or lastly, because the Saints are more favourable to us then our Saviour Christ? If the first, they denie Christ to be a perfect Saviour, which the Apostle affirmeth Heb. 7. 25. If the se­cond, they denie him to be the Sonne of God in whom he is well pleased with the Saints them­selves. If the third, they deny him to be their lo­ving and mercifull Saviour, who hath loved us with the greatest love, unto which the love of the Saints being compared is as a little spark to agreat flame, or a drop of water to the great sea. He took our nature and infirmities, that he might have compassion on us, Heb. 2. 17, 18. and 4. 15, 16. He graciously inviteth [Page 76] us to come unto him, and who do come he promi­seth not to reject, Matth. 11. 28. John 6. 37. Inju­rious therefore and blasphemous are they against Christ, esteeming him as austere, and seeking to the Saints as more propitious; especially when they commit the administration of justice to Christ, and of mercy to his mother; and therefore appeal from the tribunal of his justice to the throne of his mo­thers mercy. But besides the horrible superstition and idolatry, besides the sacrilegious injurie offered unto Christ, besides their own infidelitie and un­thankfulnesse towards Christ, it is extreme folly and madnesse rather to seek to other mediatours, seeing in Christ nothing is wanting which is requi­red in a perfect Mediatour. For by his all-sufficient merits he hath satisfied the justice of God, so that for his merits we may trust to be heard: He is in highest favour with God, in whom the Lord graci­ously accepteth whomsoever he loveth; & therefore we may be bold to pray that for his sake we may be heard: He heareth our prayers & is acquainted with our persons and wants, and he is most gracious and favourable in commending our suits unto God: He hath commanded us to call upon God in his name, and hath promised that we shall obtein: Whereas the Saints have no merits to plead for themselves, and much lesse for others, but those of Christ. In Christ they are loved and graciously accepted. They heare not our prayers, neither are acquainted with our persons or wants; and all the love they have is but a small reflexion of the beams of Christs love shed abroad in their hearts by the holy Ghost: [Page 77] neither have they either by commandment or pro­mise moved us to seek to their mediation, but al­wayes have directed us unto Christ.

If it be objected, That for Abrahams or Davids sake the Lord is said or requested to do something; In these examples not the merits of those Saints, but the covenant of grace which the Lord made with them is interpofed. If they plead antiquitie for their using the mediation of Saints, the first that brought in this superstition into the East-churches was Petrus Cirapheus the heretick, about the yeare 500, and in the West Gregory about the yeare 600.

The Scriptures in this case give us the like coun­sel to that which was given to Themistocles: For having occasion to use the favour of Admetus the King of the Molossi, who was offended with him, he asked counsel of the Queen how he might obtein the Kings favour; and being instructed by her, when the King returned from the Temple, held the Kings sonne between his arms, as desiring that for his sake he would receive him into favour, by which means the King was pacified towards him.

CHAP. XV. That we must pray onely in the name of Christ.

BUt to leave them. For our own instruction we are to learn, that we are alwayes to call upon God in the name of Christ. Now they are said to pray in the name of Christ, who believing in him and reposing their affiance in the merits and inter­cession of Christ, do desire the Lord that not re­specting [Page 78] their own unworthinesse or demerits, he would be pleased to heare them for Christs sake, and for his merits and intercession accept of their prayers.

The which includeth two things: 1. A desire that for Christs sake we may be heard. 2. A belief that for Christs sake we shall be heard. Of the de­sire we are here to speak; of the belief or faith af­terwards.

That we are thus to pray in the name of Christ, is proved, 1. by the commandment of Christ, John 16. 24. 2. by his promise, John 16. 23. and 14. 13, 14. 3. by his prediction, John 16. 26. 4. by the pra­ctice of the faithfull not onely since the ascension of Christ, who have alwayes used to conclude their prayers with this clause, per Dominum nostrum Je­sum Christum, through our Lord Jesus Christ; but also before the incarnation, Dan. 9. 17. for the Lords sake.

And this was diversly figured in the law. For 1. Whereas by the propitiatory which covered the ark Christ was represented, therefore the faithfull when they were to pray turned their face towards the place where the ark remained.

2. Hereunto tended their sacrifices, which were a figure of Christs sacrifice, that for the merit there­of the prayers of them which did offer the sacri­fice might be accepted.

3. Thirdly, as the high Priest once a yeare en­tred the sanctuary, bearing on his shoulders the names and on his breast twelve stones the tokens of the twelve tribes, prayed for the people, who stood [Page 79] in the courts of the house: even so Christ being en­tred into the heavenly sanctuary maketh intercessi­on for us, Heb. 10. 19. Apoc. 8. 3, 4. Therefore as Augustine saith, If you require a priest, he is above the heavens, where he maketh intercession for thee who in earth died for thee. He is the onely way by whom we have accesse unto God, John 14. 6. he is the onely Mediatour by whom we have accesse with boldnesse, Ephes. 3. 12. he alone in whom God is well pleased with us, and appeased towards us, Rom. 3. 25. so that coming in his name, neither the sense of the dreadfull majestie of God, nor the conscience of our own unworthinesse shall dismay us. He is the altar, Heb. 13. 10. on which the sacri­fice of our prayer or praise being offered is thereby sanctified, vers. 15. He is, as Ambrose saith, our mouth by which we speak unto the Father, our eye by whom we see the Father, our right hand by which we offer our selves to the Father, without whose intercession neither we nor the Saints have ought to do with God. And herein especially the prayers of true Christians do differ from the prayers of others, that we call upon God in the name and mediation of Christ alone.

The use of all is, Heb. 4. 16. and 10. 19. that see­ing we have such an high Priest who maketh inter­cession for us, that we should with boldnesse and as­surance of faith offer up our prayers unto God: For 1. the Spirit of Christ helpeth our infirmities, Rom. 8. 26. 2. God the Father justifieth and accepteth of us in Christ, v. 33. Who therefore shall lay any thing to our charge? who can condemn us seeing Christ died [Page 80] for our sinnes and rose again for our justification, and now sitteth at the right hand of God making intercession for us, v. 34. and with the odours of his own sacrifice perfumeth our prayers, making them acceptable unto God, Revel. 8. 3, 4.

CHAP. XVI. Of the manner how we are to call upon God.

IN the fourth place we are to intreat of the man­ner1. In respect of the soul, in t [...]uth and uprightnesse [...]f heart. how we are to call upon God. The manner is set down Rom. 8. 27. according to God, that is, as S. John speaketh, according to the will of God, 1. John 5. 14. So I said in the definition, That invo­cation is a religious speech of the faithfull made un­to God in the name of Christ according to the will of God: where by the will of God we are to un­derstand, not his secret will and counsel which we know not, but his will revealed in his word. Pray­er is therefore made according to the will of God, when in our prayer those things are performed which God in his word prescribeth to be perform­ed in prayer.

This and the former point are of great moment: for when a man prayeth and is not heard, it is, as Bernard saith, because out praeter verbum petis, aut propter verbum non petis, that is, because thou prayest either beside the word or not for the word; where­as on the other side we have this confidence in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will he heareth us, 1. John 5. 14, 15.

Now for the manner of prayer there are duties to [Page 81] be performed not onely in the action it self, but also out of the action, that is to say, both before and af­ter. In the action of invocation the duties respecting the manner belong either to the internall form or externall. The former are the inward duties of the soul, the latter the outward speech and gesture of the bodie.

Unto the speech referre
  • words
    • quantitie.
    • qualitie.
  • voice.

In the soul we are to consider what is requiredThat our prayer must be the speech of the soul. first in generall, and then in particular. In generall it is required that our invocation be a speech of the soul: and therefore as I said in the beginning, some define prayer that it is [...], that is, the communication of the soul with God: Others, that it is [...], that is, the ascending of the mind unto God. David expresseth his pray­er to be a lifting up of his soul unto God, Psal. 25. 1. and 86. 4. and elsewhere he calleth it a pouringPsal. 62. 8. forth of the soul before the Lord; as Anna also speaketh, 1. Sam. 1. 15. So that true prayer is not the lifting up of the voice, of the eyes, or hands alone; but a lifting up of the heart with the hands unto God that is in the heavens, Lam. 3. 41. To the same purpose in the Scriptures we are directed to pray in the heart, Col. 3. 16. and in the spirit, that is, the soul, Ephes. 6. 18. to pray with the whole heart, Psal. 111. 1. that is, with an upright heart, Psal. 119. 7. with unfeigned lips, Psal. 17. 1. in truth, that is, in sinceritie and uprightnesse of heart, Psal. 145. 18.

[Page 82]The necessitie of this praying in truth appeareth,The necessity of praying in truth prov [...]d by [...]ivers reasons. 1. By testimonie of our Saviour Christ, John 4. 24. God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth: 2. By all those testimonies even now cited, wherein we are stirred up to lift up our hearts and to poure forth oursouls, &c. 3. If the Apostle require servants to perform their duties to their masters [...], as unto the Lord; how muchEphes. 6. 6. more is it our duty to the Lord himself to perform our service from our hearts? 4. The uprightnesse and sinceritie of the heart is the soundnesse of all our worship and service of God, without which it is hypocrisie: therefore David professeth that he would call upon God with an upright heart, Psal. 119. 7. and with lips unfeigned, Psal. 17. 1. and to the same purpose we are exho [...]ted to seek the Lord with an upright heart, Deut. 4. 29. Jer. 29. 13. 5. The promise of hearing our prayer is restrained to this praying in truth: Psal. 145. 18. The Lord is near to all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth: for bodily exercise profiteth little, 1. Tim. 4. 8. and the Lord respecteth especially the voice of the heart. As for those that call upon him with their lips and not with their hearts, the Lord abhorreth their prayer, and taketh himself to be abused by them, and therefore he reproveth them by his Prophet Isaiah, chap. 29. 13. This people cometh near me with their lips, but their heart is sarre from m [...]: and else­where he complaineth of the hypocrites of his peo­ple, that when they howled unto him they cried not with their hearts, which he calleth speaking lies, Hos. 7. 13, 14. for what else doth a man but lie when [Page 83] he speaketh otherwise then he thinketh? This di­vorce of the heart and the tongue in all speech, even betwixt men, is detestable: Psal. 12. 2. it is called speaking with a heart and a heart: But when men speak so unto God it is ridiculous and impious: ridiculous, because they go about to deceive God, who be­holding he heart as well as the tongue, seeth them dance as it were in a net: impious, because it is not to lie unto men but unto God. Both which folly and impietie the Psalmist noteth in the Israelites, Psal. 78. 36. That when the hand of God was upon them slaying divers of them, they sought him and called upon him: neverthelesse they did flatter, or go about to deceive him, with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues; for their heart was not right with him.

Here therefore two faults are to be avoided: thePraying wit [...] feigned lips to be avoid­ed, and what it is. one, praying with feigned lips; the other, praying with wandring thoughts. He is said to pray with feigned lips whose lips agree not with his heart, nor his words with his desires and thoughts; So saith Be­da, Labiis dolosis or at quis, cùm vox oris non convenit voci cordis; A man prayeth with deceitfull lips, when the voice of the mouth agreeth not with the voice of the heart. This is to pray with an heart and an heart, and thus prayeth every one which asketh that with his mouth which he doth not desire with his heart, and pretendeth that in his prayer which he doth not intend, which promiseth that in his prayer which he meaneth not to perform, or praiseth God for that whereof his conscience doth not acknow­l [...]dge either God to be the giver or himself the re­ceiver. [Page 84] This is the condition of all impenitent sin­ners, to play the hypocrites before God in all their prayers concerning spirituall things.

We must learn therefore with David to pray with unfeigned lips, Psal. 17. 1. and to praise God with an upright heart, Psal. 119. 7. For if it be the propertie of a sound Christian, to speak unto his neighbour the truth which is in his heart, Psal. 15. how much more shall we think it to be our dutie when we call upon God who trieth the heart and search­eth the reins, to speak from the ground of our hearts. And if we will not stick to speak dissemblingly un­to the Lord, who seeth our thoughts long before, Psal. 139. 2. what hope is there that we will make conscience to speak the truth unto men, who see no further then our mouthes? Let us therefore avoid­ing this leaven of hypocrisie, which sowreth our prayers, imbrace integrity and uprightnesse of heart, setting the Lord before our eyes, and behaving our selves in our prayer as those who sought to approve themselves to him who trieth the heart. Thus seek­ing the Lord with upright hearts we shall be sure to find him, and calling upon him in truth we shall ob­tein our desires.

The second thing to be avoided is praying with2. We must not pray with w [...]ndring t [...]oughts. wandring thoughts: Which fault ariseth partly from the suggestions of Satan, who is most busie to with­draw our minds from this heavenly exercise; partly from our own spirituall sluggishnesse and carnall se­curitie, and the worldly vanitie of our minds; whereby it cometh to passe that we behave our selves as those who neither have reverence of the [Page 85] majesty of God to whom we speak, nor sense of those things whereof we speak: For if we consider­ed that we are speaking to the most mighty and glo­rious God, could we imagine that we ought to think of any thing rather then of that which we speak un­to him? Do not men (as it were) gather their wits and cogitations together, so that no part thereof be derived to any thing else, when they do speak be­fore any whom they do reverence? Or if our affe­ctions were unfeignedly set upon those heavenly things whereof we speak, would we suffer our co­gitations to wander about trifles on the earth? Wherefore as at all other times so especially when we pray we must (as the Wise man adviseth) above all observations observe and keep our hearts, Prov. 4. 23. that they wander not from God, (for, as Bernard saith, nihil cord [...] fugacius, nothing is more fugitive then the heart) and that with David, 2. Sam. 7. 27. we may find our heart to call upon God. And to the same purpose let us pray, that as at all times so espe­cially in prayer the Lord would knit our hearts unto him, Psal. 86. 11. that they go not astray after vani­ties. Let us resist the suggestions of Satan, let us shake off our own sluggishnesse; and to that end let us set before us the infinite majestie of God to whom we speak, the excellencie and necessitie of those graces for which we pray and give thanks: let us also pray with David, Psal. 141. 3. that the Lord would set a watch before our mouthes, and keep the doore of our lips, that neither our minds go a whoring af­ter vanities, nor our tongues, which should be as the pen of a ready writer, be rash to utter any thing before [Page 86] God; and to utter nothing but that which the mind doth indite. And therefore we must take heed that the speech of the mouth do not go before but al­wayes follow the conceit of the mind. For many times it cometh to passe, that as the musicians fin­gers will run over a song which he hath been used to play although his mind be otherwise occupied, so in prayer the tongue will run over that form of words which it hath been used to utter, though the mind be roving about other matters. But this ought not so to be: for howsoever the Schoolmen do not require an actuall intention of the mind in pray­er, but onely a purpose to pray in the beginning (therein framing their doctrine to their practice, and not their practice to Gods word) yet seeing this kind of prayer proceedeth from the mouth and not from the heart, it is but lip-labour in the sight of God. For as Cyprian saith, Quae est enim segnitia abalienari & capi ineptis cogitationi­bus Ser [...]. de O­rat. Domini. & profanis cùm Deum deprecaris, quasi sit aliud quod magis debeas cogitare, quàm quod cum Deo loquaris? Quomodo te audiri à Deo postulas, cùm te ipse non audias? Vis enim Deum memorem t [...]i cùm rogas, cùm tu ipse memor tui non sis? that is, What a negli­gent sloth is this, to be alienated and carried away with foolish cogitations and profane when thou prayest unto God, as though there were something else which thou oughtest rather to think on then of that whereof thou speakest with God? How dost thou desire that God should heare thee, when as thou dost not heare thy self? For wilt thou have God mindfull of thee when thou askest, seeing thou [Page 87] art not mindfull of thy self? And so G. Baldwin;Inter Ort [...] ­doxogr. 1399. Quomodo se audiri postulat qui seipsum non audit & quid loquatur ignorat? Nunquam enim orare dicitur qui flexis genibus orat, si vagatione distrahatur. Nihil igitur aliud cogitare debet animus orantis quàm quod precatur: that is, How doth he desire to be heard who doth not heare himself, & is ignorant of what he speaketh? For he cannot be said to pray who prayeth with bended knees, if he be distracted with wandring thoughts: and therefore the mind of him that prayeth ought to think of nothing else then what is prayed. And likewise Chrysostome, Si cor­pore Tom. 4. Ho­mil. 79. 641▪ B. in F. humi prostrato & ore incassum nugante mens totam domum & forum circumeat, quomodo talis dicere pote­rit, quòd in conspectu Dei precatus sit? Nam orat in conspectu Dei totam colligens animam suam & nil habens cum terra commune, sed in ipsum se transferens coelum, & omnem ex animo pellens humanam cogitationem: that is, If the bodie lying prostrate upon the ground and the mouth vainly trifling the mind wandreth throughout the whole house and market, how can such a one say that he prayeth in Gods sight? For he prayeth in the sight of God who recollecteth his whole soul, that he may have nothing to do with the earth, but may wholly raise himself into heaven, and banish all humane cogitations out of his mind.

And to conclude, let the absurditie of the fault it self, and the grosse abusing of the majestie of God, breed in us a lothing of this fault and a care to shun it. For when at any time our minds have wandred in prayer, let us endeavour to joyn into one speech the prayer of the mouth and the speech of the heart, [Page 88] both which do sound in the eares of the Lord, and then consider whether we would make such a speech, I say not, according to Malachi's rule, to our Prince, but, to any man whom we regard, which we are not abashed to offer unto the Lord.

And thus have you heard the two faults opposed to praying in truth: whereof the former is a note of hypocrites and impenitent sinners; the latter, though a foul fault and carefully to be avoided, yet incident to the children of God: For even in this sense the best of us may complain with David that our heart forsaketh us, Psal. 40. 12. and as Augustine citeth [...]entra Juli­an. lib. 2. ex Ambros. De suga seculi. out of Ambrose; Ipso in tempore quo elevare mentem paramus, insertis inanibus cogitationibus ad terrena ple­runque dejicimur: In the very time wherein we in­deavour to lift up our minds, vain thoughts being inserted we are for the most part cast down unto earthly things. Wherein if we please our selves and are satisfied with such wandring prayers, as though such wandring thoughts were not to be regarded, as the Schoolmen teach, we also play the hypocrites in our prayers, and speak in vain in the aire without fruit or efficacie; for such a prayer is dead and with­out life.

But if we come with upright hearts, intending a religious service unto God, though sometimes our devotions be hindred with wandring thoughts, yet if we be grieved for them and pray and strive against them, this infirmitie through Gods mercy and in­tercession of Christ shall not be imputed unto us.

CHAP. XVII. Of knowledge which is required necessarily in prayer.

THus much of that which is generally required in the soul: Now let us see what is more particu­larly required in the mind and in the heart. In the mind two things are required, Knowledge and Faith.

Knowledge 1. Of God to whom we pray, andFirst, we must know God. of his will according to which we are to pray; 2. Of that which we in our invocation do utter in the presence of God. First, there is required knowledge and acknowledgement of the true God, and of Jesus Christ whom he hath sent: otherwise we are subject to the censure of our Saviour given to the Samaritanes, John 4. 22. You worship you know not what. First we must know God before we can believe in him, and we must believe in him or else we cannot call upon him, Rom. 10. 14. Therefore David exhorteth his sonne Solomon, 1. Chron. 28. 9. first to know, then to worship the God of his fathers with a willing mind and an upright heart. For all worship of God which is not guided by knowledge is mere will-worship and superstition. Neither is that to be accounted religion or pietie which pro­ceedeth from ignorance; as the Papists hold igno­rance to be the mother of devotion. But that de­votion is blind superstition. Knowledge is as it were the stern which guideth us in the right way of serving God according to his word, without which we wander into will-worship and superstiti­ous inventions. And therefore as of God there is [Page 90] knowledge required, so also of his will revealed in2. We must know Gods will▪ and pray accor [...] ­ing unto it. his word: For we can have no assurance that we shall be heard, unlesse we pray according to his will, 1. John 5. 14. Neither can we pray according to his will, unlesse in some measure we do know it, Col. 3. 16.

Secondly, there is required knowledge and un­derstanding of that which we do pray; otherwise we are subject to our Saviours reproof, Matth. 20. 22. You ask you know not what. Prayer not under­stood is the lifting up of the voice, and not of the soul unto God, and a pouring forth of our breath and speaking into the aire, and not a pouring forth of our hearts and souls unto the Lord: for as Augu­stine saith; Seeing as it is Psal. 89. 16. Beatus populus In Psal. 99. qui intelligit jubilationem. Curramus ergò (saith he) ad hanc beatitudinem, intelligamus jubilationem, non eam sine intellectu fundamus. Quid opus est jubilare & non intelligere jubilationem? ut vox nostra sola jubilet, & cor non jubilet? Sonus enim cordis intellectus est: that is, Blessed is the people which understandeth the joyfull sound. Let us therefore haste (saith he) after this happinesse, let us understand this joyfull sound, and not vent it out without understanding. What use is there of a joyfull sound and not to un­derstand it? that our voice onely should make this joyfull sound, and not our heart? For the sound of the heart is understanding. Wherefore the Apostle, Col. 3. 16. exhorteth us that the word of God dwell in us plenteously in all wisdome, teaching and admo­nishing our selves in psalmes and hymnes and spirituall songs, singing with grace in our hearts to the Lord. [Page 91] Where the Apostle as he doth in generall require in every Christian a plentifull knowledge of the word of God to direct him in his worship of God, so he teacheth us the use of our Psalmes and songs which we sing unto the Lord, to wit, that we and those that heare us may be instructed and edified thereby, which without understanding of that which is said cannot be done, as the Apostle sheweth, 1. Cor. 14. And to the same effect doth the Prophet David ex­hort us, Psal. 47. 7, 8. [...], which words though diversly translated do in every sense require understanding in those that call upon God: whether you read it, Sing praises every one that hath understand­ing, or sing praises understandingly, or with understand­ing, or (as [...] also signifieth, as appeareth by the titles of divers psalmes) sing a Psalme of instru­ction whereby you may (according to the exhorta­tion of the Apostle, Col. 3.) instruct and edifie your selves and others.

Here therefore two sorts of men are condemned: the first of those who pray in an unknown tongue; the second of them who praying in their own tongue do not understand their own prayer.

The former fault is commited in the Church ofThe doctrine and practice of the church of Rome confuted, who pr [...]sse prayer in an unknown tongue. Rome both in publick and private prayers. And first for publick, the Church of Rome hath ordain­ed that all the publick Divine service in the West­churches should be done in the Latine tongue. And although this their practice be directly repugnant to the word of God, and contrary to common sense and reason, yet they do not onely stiffly retein andConcil. Trid. sess. 22. can. 9 maintein it, but also pronounce Anathema against [Page 92] him that shall say that the Divine service ought one­ly to be celebrated in the vulgar tongue: and yet this expressely is the doctrine of the Apostle, 1. Cor. 14. From whence I reason thus:

First, That which the Lord by his Apostle hath commanded to be done, that is necessarily to be ob­served: But the Lord by his Apostle hath com­manded that the sacred service should be done in a language known, and not in a strange language un­known to the people. For what he there teacheth he testifieth that they were the commandments of God, v. 37.

But let us heare the Popish shifts used to avoid the force of this testimonie.

1. That the Apostle speaketh not of prayer butThe Papists shifts avoided which they use to clude the Apostles words, 1. Cor. 14. of preaching and exhortation, which they confesse are to be made in a known tongue, otherwise that they are unprofitable and edifie not. Why then by the same reason do they not reade the holy Scri­ptures in a known tongue unto the people, but hide the light of Gods word under the bushel of a strange language? But I answer, That the Apostle speak­eth of the whole Divine service of God, the Church as well praying and praysing of God, as preaching and prophesying, v. 14, 15, 16, 17.

2. Yea, but the Apostle speaketh of such as ha­vingObject. the gifts of tongues, did pray in a tongue which themselves knew not; and of them he saith, that in their spirit, that is, in their affection, they pray; but their mind, not understanding what they say, is unfruitfull, namely to themselves.

It is not credible that they which had the gift ofAnsw. [Page 93] tongues did not understand the language which they spake (though some of the Fathers have so concei­ved) for that had been an unprofitable gift to them and others. Chrysostome in 1. Cor. 14. Homil. 35. You will say, Doth the tongue edifie no bodie? Not so. For he that speaketh, saith he, with tongues edi­fieth himself, v. 4. which verily cannot be except he understand what he saith. Neither is it the Apostlesvers. 14. meaning, that his understanding is unprofitable to himself (as Bellarmine affirmeth) for he saith that he edifieth himself, but to the hearers who under­stand him not. Neither is it to pray in the spirit in that place, to pray in affection without under­standing himself: but to pray in the spirit, is to pray in the closet of a mans soul, being not understood of others; and to pray with understanding, is to pray that others may understand. So the Apostle seem­eth to expound the phrase v. 19. In the Church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that I might teach others also, then ten thousand words in an unknown tongue.

Secondly, the people of necessitie ought to un­derstand the publick prayers made in the Church: therefore they ought to be made in a language known to them. The antecedent is denied by the Papists under this pretense; Publick prayer is madeObject. not to the people, but to God for the people, which may be as available for them in an other language as in their own.

If God understood or regarded no language butAnsw. Latine, there were some shew of reason in this an­swer: but all tongues are alike known & esteemed of [Page 94] God; and he is no accepter of persons, much lesse of tongues. Again, publick prayer as it is made for the people, so it is the prayer of the congregati­on; and we shall prove that every one ought to understand his own prayer. The Minister doth pray, but the people ought to concurre with him in their prayers, and to give their consent thereunto by saying, Amen: which they cannot do if they un­derstand not what is said, v. 16. Else when thou shalt blesse in the spirit, how shall he which occupieth the room of the unlearned say Amen at thy giving of thanks, see­ing he understandeth not what thou sayest?

But the Papists say, That the Apostle meaneth not every one unlearned in the Laitie, but the clerk of the Church, who supplieth the place of the Lai­tie. But the words do signifie not him who supply­eth the place or stead, but he that filleth or occupi­eth the place of the unlearned, that is to say, one of that rank, and so is expounded by the Greek Fathers.

Moreover, why is speech used at all in publick prayer? and why do the people assemble them­selves thereunto? For speech is not needfull in re­spect of God, who searcheth the heart; neither is the presence of the people necessarie at a prayer which is onely made for them: but words in pub­lick prayer are used that the people both might be guided and edified, and also that they might joyn with the speaker and adde their consent, in which respect also their presence, is necessary. So Augu­stine,Lib. De Ma­ [...], cap. 1. Opus est locutione in publicis precibus, non ut Deus sed ut homines audiant: Speech is needfull in [Page 95] publick prayers, not that God but that men may heare.

But that the people ought to understand the pub­lickThat the people ought to under­stand pub­lick prayers. prayers, I prove, 1. Because, as I have said, it is their prayer, whereunto also they are to give their consent, which the Apostle saith they cannot do unlesse they understand what is spoken, v. 16.

2. Prayer uttered in a language unknown is un­profitable to the congregation, as the Apostle saith; If I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you? v. 6. such an one speaketh in the aire, v. 9. that is, saith the Greek Scholiast, [...], in vain and unprofitably; &, his understanding is unprofitable, v. 14. So Basil, [...],Basil. in des­breb. 278. that is, When as the words of the prayer are not understood of those that are present, the understanding is without fruit, so that no man so prayeth with the profit of another. So Oecumenius; [...], We are not unpro­fitable unto you.

Thirdly, all things must be done to edification: Which generall the Apostle applyeth to this parti­cular, v. 26. For it is a most true saying of Augu­stine,De Genes ad literam, lib. 12. cap. 8. Nemo [...]dificatur audiendo quod non intelligit: No man is edified by hearing that which he doth not understand.

Fourthly, all things must be done decently and in order, v. 40. But when publick prayers are made in an unknown language, there happeneth much disorder and confusion, like that of Babel. The Minister though he speak Latine is a barbarian to the people, and the people to the Minister, v. 11. If [...] [Page 96] know not the meaning of the voyce, I shall be to him that speaketh abarbarian, and he that speaketh shall be a bar­barian unto me; not simply, but to me, saith Chryso­stome.In 1. Cor. 14. Hierome truly saith, Omnis sermo qui non in­telligitur barbarus judicatur: All speech not under­stood is deemed barbarous. So Ovid in banishment, Barbarus hîc ego sum, quia non intelligor ulli, De [...]. lib. 5. cleg. 11. I am barbarous here, because I am not understood by any. 2. The minister and people meeting to publick prayer use not publick prayer but private, for it is not the place but the congregation that ma­keth it publick. But the minister praying in an un­known language, his prayer is private; and the peo­ple when they do pray at all, betake themselves to their private devotions.

Hereunto adde examples and precedents. For the Patriarchs and Prophets under the law, the Apostles and Primitive Church did alwayes pray in a known tongue. Neither can any sound testimonie or ap­proved example be produced to the contrary for six hundred yeares after Christ. Vitalicus the Pope about the yeare 666, which is the number of the beast whose name is [...], is thought to have been the first authour of this ordinance, concerning Divine service to be done in Latine. Origen saith,Contra Cel­sum, lib. 8. That every nation in their mother tongue make their prayers unto God and yield him due praises. So Basil, Epist. 63. ad cler. Neocaesar. And to the examples of the ancient Church we may adde the practice not onely of the reformed Churches, but also of the Ethiopians and Egyptians, Syrians, Ar­menians, Moscovites, Moravians, and Sclavonians; [Page 97] all which at this day observe the ancient form of praying in their vulgar languages.

De Cyrillo Moraviorum praesule, qui vixit 900, Aeneas Sylvius Hist. Bohem. cap. 13. scribit, Ferunt Cyrillum cùm Romae ageret Pontifici supplicasse ut Scla­vorum linguâ ejus gentis hominibus quam baptizave­rat rem Divinam faciens uti posset. De qua re dum in sacro senatu disputaretur, essént (que) non pauci qui contra­dicerent, auditam vocem tanquam de coelo in haec verba missam, OMNIS SPIRITUS LAUDET DOMINUM,Chemnit. Ex­am. par. 2. 172. a. ET OMNIS LINGUA CONFITEATUR EI. Indéque datum Cyrillo indultum, &c. They report that Cy­rill when he was at Rome sued unto the Bishop, that executing Divine service he might use the tongue of the Sclavonians to the men of that nation which he had baptized. About which when they disputed in the sacred senate, and there were many that gain­said it, a voice sent as it were from heaven was heard uttering these words, Let every spirit praise the Lord, and let every tongue confesse unto him. And so Cyrills suit was granted, &c. And yet will the Papists be counted Catholicks, who in this point, as in ma­ny more, go against the practice and doctrine uni­versall of the Primitive Church for six hundred yeares after Christ.

But, say they, the Latine tongue doth better be­comeObject. the majestie of the Divine service, which is diminished in vulgar languages.

The commendation of prayer consisteth not inAnsw. the language, whereof there is no difference to be made in respect of God, but in the sense of the words and devotion of him that prayeth. That which [Page 98] the Apostle speaketh against praying in unknown tongues, is as much verified concerning the Latine tongue, in respect of them which understand it not, as concerning any other.

Yea, but holy mysteries are not to be communi­catedObject. to the vulgar, nor precious stones are to be cast unto dogs and hogs.

But holy mysteries are to be expounded to theAnsw. people of God; who may not be compared to dogs or swine, by whom are meant profane persons and scorners of religion.

But since prayers have been made in vulgarObject. tongues devotion is waxed colder in those parts and religion decayed.

Many are made worse by the preaching of theAnsw. Gospel; and where best means are used, the people if they be not the better are the worse. In respect of them devotion is decayed, but in respect of all sound Christians it flourisheth. Neither was that true devotion or religion which they say by vulgar prayers is decayed, but will-worship and superstiti­on, in which men are usually more fervent then in the profession of the truth. For such is the common hypocrisie of men, that when they think to satisfie the Lord with outward observations, they will be forward in that kind; Micah 6. 7.

Now as touching private prayers in an unknownOf private prayers in an unknown tongue, and the evils thereof. tongue, it is certain that they which so pray do scarcely perform any dutie that is required, or ex­ercise any grace which is to be shewed in prayer. For first, he prayeth without understanding, and therefore not as a man, but rather as an unreasona­ble [Page 99] creature, as Augustine saith; Quid hoc sit quod in In Psal. 18. Expos. 2. Psalmo dicitur, AB OCCULTIS MUNDA ME, in­telligere debemus, ut humanâ ratione non quasi avium voce cantemus: Nam & merulae & psittaci & pici & hujusmodi volucres saepe ab hominibus docentur sonare quod nesciunt: What this should be which is said in the Psalme, Cleanse me from secret sins, we ought to understand, that we ought to sing with humane rea­son, and not (as it were) with the voice of birds: For even black-birds, parrots, pies, and such like birds are often taught by men to sound that which they do not understand. So Cassiod. in Psal. 46. Ne­mo sapienter facit quod non intelligit: No man doth wisely that which he understandeth not.

2. Neither doth he pray in spirit, but the prayer not understood is a mere lip-labour. The sound of the soul is the understanding. Neither is that any speech of the soul which it doth not understand, neither can they pray but with continuall wandring thoughts: For the mind will not attend that which it doth not understand: or if they do, they do but at­tend to the words, and not to the matter, which they do not understand.

3. As he which prayeth before others in a lan­guage unknown to them, his understanding is unpro­fitable to them, neither are they edified thereby; so when a man prayeth in a language which himself understandeth not, his understanding is unfruitfull to himself. And as he which praying in an unknown tongue to others, is to them a barbarian; so he which prayeth in a tongue which he doth not understand, is a barbarian to himself.

[Page 100]4. Neither can he pray with faith that his request shall be granted, when he knoweth not what his request is.

5. What reverence is here shewed to the majestie of God, when men presume to babble before him they know not what? And what conceit have they of God, when they hope by such lip-labour to satis­fie for their sinnes and to merit eternall life?

6. How can men either ask with fervencie of spirit or give thanks with alacritie of heart when they do not so much as know whether they pray or give thanks?

7. Bodily exercise profiteth little, 1. Tim. 4. 8. for God respecteth not the mouth but the heart: But this prayer in an unknown tongue is a mere bodily exercise; and so in the church of Rome is usually in­joyned to penitents as a penall work.

8. Battologie is to be avoided in prayer, Matth. 6. But this babbling and multiplying of prayers without understanding, especially joyned with numbring of them on their beads, as though by how much the more and longer so much more meritorious and satisfactorie, is most grosse batto­logie.

I conclude with the Apostle, 1. Cor. 14. 37, 38. If any man think himself to be a prophet or spirituall, let him acknowledge what the prophet hath written con­cerning the use of a known tongue in the service of God, to be the commandments of God: But if any, saith he, be ignorant let him be ignorant.

The like may be said of those who praying in their mother-tongue, do not understand what they [Page 101] say. For the prayer which is made without under­standingPrayer un­profitable in our mother­tongue, if we pray not with under­standing. is also without faith, without feeling, with­out true devotion: neither is it a lifting up of the mind but of the voyce unto God, and a bare reci­tall of a set form of words without any inward grace; such as parrots might be taught to make. Wherein many are so grosse that they use the Creed and the ten Commandments for prayers, and recite them with the like devotion as they do the Lords prayer. I deny not but that it is good for the simpler sort to meditate both of the Creed & of the Deca­logue, the one conteining the summe of that which we are to believe, the other comprising the summe of that which we are to do; & likewise to pray unto God that he would increase our faith in the one and our obedience to the other. But neither of both is to be used as a form of prayer, because in neither we do either ask any thing which we want, or give thanks for that which we have received. Let men therefore which would call upon God, labour for knowledge and understanding. For a prayer of five words (such as was the Publicanes prayer, Deus, propitius esto mihi peccatori, God be mercifull unto me a sinner, uttered with understanding is better then a prayer of an houre long not understood.

CHAP. XVIII. Of faith which is required in prayer.

SEcondly, in the mind is required faith. For faith being a perswasion, and therefore called [...], thePsal. 5. [...]. proper seat thereof is the mind. Howsoever it is to [Page 102] be granted, that where this sound perswasion and assurance is in the mind, it worketh affiance and hope in the heart, as a proper fruit and necessarie effect thereof. And therefore in the phrase of believing in this affiance is implyed. For to believe in God, is not onely to believe that there is a God, and that he is such an one as he hath revealed himself in his word, but also that he is such an one to me: as that the Father is my Father, &c. and consequently, that therefore I repose my trust and affiance in him.

In invocation there is a double faith required: TheA double faith requi­red in invo­cation. one more generall, apprehending the main promise of the Go [...]pel; whereby we stand righteous before God in Christ, & whereby we are to be perswaded that both we and our prayers are accepted of God in Christ: The other more speciall, apprehending the speciall promises made to our prayers; whereby we are perswaded that our speciall request shall be granted unto us. The former, because it doth ge­nerally belong to all invocation, as well thanksgi­ving as prayer, is now to be intreated of. The other specially belongeth to prayer, and therefore in the speciall doctrine of prayer is to be considered. The former is that perswasion or assurance of the soul, whereby we believing in Christ are in the same mea­sure perswaded of Gods love towards us in Christ, and therefore are incouraged to come with confi­dence to the throne of grace, not doubting but that both we and our pray [...]rs are acceptable unto God in Christ, Heb. 4. 16. And this assurance of faith is grounded partly on the will and love of God, and partly on the merits and intercession of our S [...]viour [Page 103] Christ. On the will of God, 1. in generall, appear­ing1. Thess. 5. 17, 18. in his commandments injoyning this dutie, and his gracious promises. For if God hath command­ed us to call upon him, and hath graciously promised to heare us, why should we doubt but that this our service is acceptable unto him? 1. Thess. 5. 17, 18. Pray continually; in all things give thanks: for this is the will of God (the acceptable will of God in Christ) concerning you. But chiefly on the promises of God is our faith to be grounded: Which promises are either generall; and those not onely that he will heare and accept, but also graciously reward this exercise of piety performed to him, Matth. 6. 4. Godlinesse hath the promise both of this life and of that which is to come: or speciall, for the granting of that which we desire, as Gen. 32. 9, 12. Exod. 32. 13. 2. Sam. 7. 27, 28. 1. Chron. 17. 25. Secondly, in particular, that the thing which we either pray or praise be good; as being referred to Gods glory and our good. For if it be not good, we are neither, if we have it not, to desire it, and much lesse to pray for it, nor if we have it to praise God as the authour and giver of it. We must have warrant in Gods word that the thing for which we call upon God be such as God hath promised to give, otherwise our prayer is turned into sinne. And in this sense the Apostle saith, Let every man be perswaded in his mind: for whatsoever is not of faith is sinne, Rom. 14. 23.

Likewise our faith must be grounded on the love of God and goodnesse: First, in generall, that is, Psal. 5. 7. his bounty and readinesse to heare and re­ward all those that call upon him. Heb. 11. 6. With­out [Page 104] faith it is impossible to please God: For he t [...]at co­meth to God must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him. Rom. 10. 12, 13. The Lord is rich towards all that call upon him. Psal. 86. 5. Thou art plenteous in mercy to all that call upon thee. Isa. 65. 24. Secondly, in particular, to our selves in Christ: John 16. 27. Rom. 8. 32. and 5. 5. and 8. 15, 16. Psal. 55. 16, 17. I will call upon God, & the Lord will save me. Evening and morning and at noon will I pray, and he will heare my voice. Psal. 4. 3. The Lord will heare when I call unto him. Psal. 56. 9. When I cry unto thee, then shall mine enemies turn back: this I know, for God is for me. Psal. 86. 7. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee, for thou wilt answer me.

In the merits of Christ, whereby we are accept­ed, and in his intercession, whereby our prayers are made acceptable, Heb. 10. 22. And in this sense al­so we are to pray in the name of Christ, that is, not onely with desire that for Christs sake we may be heard, but also with perswasion and some measure of assurance that for Christs sake we shall be heard, John 16. 23. To call upon God in the name of Christ implyeth two things: 1. To desire that for Christs sake we may be heard; 2. To believe that for Christs sake we shall be heard.

That we are thus to pray in faith, appeareth bothT [...]at we must pray in fa [...]th, pro­ve [...], 1. By t [...]timonies; by testimonies & reasons. Rom. 10. 14. How shall they call upon him in whom they have not believed? Heb. 11. 6. Without faith it is imposible to please God. For as Bernard saith, How shall he please God whom God doth not please? for he that believeth not maketh God a liar.

1. God is to be worshipped with a willing [...]ind 2. By reasons [Page 105] and chearfull heart, 1. Chron. 28. 9. which cannot be done in prayer unlesse we be perswaded that our prayers are accepted of God.

2. There is no accesse unto God but by Christ, John 14. 6. nor to Christ but by faith. To come un­to God, Heb. 11. 6. and unto Christ, is to believe in him, John 6. 35. Through Christ we have boldnesse Ephes. 3. 12. and entrance with confidence; but it is by faith in him.

3. What benefit we reap by Christ we receive by faith: For which cause the same benefits which we have by Christ are ascribed to faith: And there­fore as without Christ we can do nothing, John 15. 5. nothing belonging to a spirituall life which may be acceptable to God: so without faith we can do no­thing, and much lesse pray as we ought. For with­out faith we are without Christ, and by faith we are ingrafted into him. I believed, and therefore I spake: that is, with faith I called upon God, Psal. 116. 10.

4. It is the prayer of faith which is available and acceptable, Jam. 5. 15, 16.

5. The promises made to prayer are to be under­stood with the condition of faith: Matth. 21. 22. If ye believe. Which may be understood of this more generall faith, or the speciall.

This is hard to be performed by a sinfull man,Object. &c. impossible to be performed by a Papist without speciall revelation. For he cometh in his own wor­thinesse; yet knoweth not whether he be worthy or not. Qualis [...]rit ista oratio, O Domine, ego quidem an exaudire me velis dubius sum: sed quia anx [...]etate pre­mor, ad te confugio; & si dignus sum, mih [...] succurras.? What a kind of prayer is this, O Lord, I am doubt­full [Page 106] whether thou wilt heare me or no: But because I am pressed with anxietie, I flie unto thee: and if I be worthy, help me? Vide Calv. Instit. 3. 20. 12.

But we know that in our selves we are unworthy,Answ. and yet believe that in Christ we are accepted. Our faith is grounded not on our own worthinesse in our selves, but on the love and promises of God, and on the merits and intercession of Christ. For though we be sinners in our selves, yet believing in Christ, God the Father justifieth us. Though we know not how to pray or what to ask as of our selves, yet God the Spirit maketh intercession for us, in helping our infirmities, and teaching us to pray ac­cording to God. And though our praiers be unperfect and unworthy to be offered to God, yet Christ our Saviour sitteth at the right hand of his Father ma­king intercession for us, Rom. 8. 26, 27, 33, 34. and perfuming the incense (that is, the prayers of the faithfull) with the odours of his own sacrifice, Revel. 8. 3.

CHAP. XIX. Of Humility required in prayer.

HItherto we have spoken of the mind: Now we are to enquire what is required in the heart. In the heart three things are requisite; humilitie, reve­rence, and heartinesse: The first respecting our selves; the second, God; the third, the things for which we do invocate. For the first, That properly is said to be humile which is even with the ground. Where therefore it is required that we should hum­ble [Page 107] our selves before the Lord when we call upon him, it is meant that we should abase our selves as it were to the ground, (to which purpose the faithfull were wont in the Eastern Churches to cast them­selves down to the ground when they called upon God) laying aside all manner of conceit of our own worthinesse whereby we might be lifted up in our selves, and acknowledging our own nullitie and un­worthinesse in our selves to appear in the presence of God. For compared unto God we are as no­thing, or as lesse then nothing, Isa. 40. 17. And therefore when our Saviour took upon him our na­ture, he is said as it were to have annihilated himself, Phil. 2. 7. For this cause prayer in Hebrew is called [...]: which hath affinitie with the verb [...], which fignifieth to fall or cast down our s [...]lves: To teach us to humble our selves before God when we call upon him. And to the same purpose AugustineTem 3. 632. defineth prayer thus, Oratio est mentis devotio, i. conversio in Deum per pium & humilem affectum: Prayer is the devotion of the mind, that is, a con­version unto God by an holy and humble affection.

How necessary and profitable this is, to be in­duedThe necessi­tie and pro­fit of humi­lity proved by [...] and [...]x­amples. with humility when we call upon God, may appear both by the testimonies of Gods word and examples of the godly. Psal. 10. 17. Lord, thou hearest the prayer of the humble: thou wilt prepare their heart; thou wilt [...]ause th [...]ne care to h [...]are. Psal. 7. 12. He forgetteth not the cry of the humble. Luke 18. 9. our Saviour telleth us a parable of a Pharisee and a Publicane which went to pray: The Pharisee cometh in a conceit of his own worthinesse; the [Page 108] Publicane, in conscience of his sinfulnesse: The Pharisee in a brave manner thanketh God that he was not a sinner like other men; the Publicane in most humble manner acknowledgeth himself to be a sinner, and craveth pardon for his sin. But what was the issue of their prayer? Which speedeth bet­ter? the humble sinner, or the proud justitiarie? The Publicane goeth home justified; the Pharisee remaineth in his sin: according to that John 9. 41. And the reason is, because, as our Saviour saith, every one that exalteth himself shall be brought low, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. To this accordeth Psal. 138. 6. The Lord is high, yet he be­holdeth the lowly: but the proud he knoweth a farre off. Psal. 51. 17. The sacrifices of the Lord (that is, that which he esteemeth above all sacrifices) are a con­trite spirit: a broken and contrite heart he will not de­spise; meaning, that he doth in speciall manner re­gard it. Esa. 66. 2. To him will I look, even to him that is poore and of a contrite spirit. Psal. 34. 18. The Lord is near to them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. For thus saith the high and lofty one that inhabiteth [...]ternity, whose name is holy, I dwell in the high and holy places, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of them that be contrite, Esa. 57. 15. Ecclus 35. 17. The pray­er of the humble pierceth the clouds, and will not depart till the most High shall behold to execute judgement, &c. But to speak more particularly: Humility hath the promise both of temporall benefits, Prov. 22. 4. The reward of humility is riches, glory, and life: [Page 109] and spirituall, Prov. 3. 34. grace; Prov. 11. 4. wisdome; Prov. 22. 4. the fear of God; and finally, blessednesse, Matth. 5. 3. And therefore let us follow the counsel of James, chap. 4. 10. to cast down our selves before the Lord, and he will lift us up; and of Peter, 1. epist. 5. 6. to deck our selves inwardly with lowlinesse of mind: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

In the examples also of the godly we may ob­serveExamples of the humility of the godly. that the most holy men have most abased themselves when they have come into Gods pre­sence. Abraham the father of the faithfull making request to God in behalf of the Sodomites acknow­ledgeth himself to be but dust and ashes, Gen. 18. 27. Jacob, who was called Israel because by his wrest­ing in prayer he prevailed with God, confesseth himself lesse then the least of Gods mercies, Gen. 32. 10. David a man according to Gods own heart in the humility of his soul desireth the Lord not to en­ter into judgement with him, &c. Psal. 143. 2. And 2. Sam. 6. 22. he professeth that he would be vile before the Lord. Isaiah the prophet, at whose prayer the sunne went back, being admitted into the pre­sence of God, crieth out that he was a man of pollu­ted lips. Daniel, a man greatly beloved, humbly ac­knowledgeth his sinnes, and refuseth to come in his own worthinesse, Dan. 9. 18. and likewise Ezra, chap. 9. 6. The Centurion, of whom our Saviour te­stifieth that he had not found the like faith in Israel, Matth. 8. 8. professeth himself to be unworthy that Christ should come under his roof. The woman of Syrophenicia, to whom our Saviour gave testimo­nie [Page 110] that great was her faith, confesseth her self to be but as a dog in comparison of the Israelites, Mat. 15. 27. The repenting prodigall received to favour con­fesseth himself unworthy to be called a son, Luke 15. 21. The Publicane who went home justified, shewedLuke 18. 13. great signes of humilitie. Let us therefore, avoiding the proud conceit of all Pharisaical & Popish justiti­aries, who are not afraid to present themselves be­fore God trusting in their own merits, follow the ad­vice of Paul, Rom. 12. 16. [...], that is, as some expound it, to go the same way with the humble: & so we shall come to the same end of the way, which is the salvation of our souls: the which unlesse we be humble even as children, we cannot attein; But he that is humble as a child shall be the greatest in the kingdome of heaven, Matth. 14. 3, 4.

Now these two graces whereof I have last spo­ken,Faith and humility must be joyned toge­ther. faith and humilitie, must necessarily go toge­ther. For we must not be so humbl [...]d in regard of our unworthinesse in our selves, but that notwith­standing we are to trust in Gods mercy accepting of us in Christ; & we are so to have affiance in the mer­cies of God & merits of Christ, that we disclaim all worthines in our selves. Here therefore they offend

1. Who come to God in a Pharisaicall conceit of their own worthinesse, for which they presume to be heard. If it be obiected, that the faithfull some­timesObject. alledge their own pietie in their prayers as an argument to obtein their desires: as David, Psal. 86. 2. Hezekiah, Isa. 58. 3. I answer; 1. They alledgeAnsw. their own pietie as a gift of God, and testimonie of his favour, to confirm their fait [...], not ascribing it to [Page 111] their own desert, but to the favour & grace of God, by which they do confesse that they are what they are, 1. Cor. 15. 10. For it is the nature of true faith to strip him where it is of all praise, that all glory may be given unto God, Psal. 115. 1. Non dignita­tem suam sed dignationem Divinam allegant: They al­ledge not their own dignitie but Gods acceptance. 2. Because the promises of hearing our prayers are restrained to the godly, they alledge their piety as a testimonie to their own souls that the promise be­longeth to them; 1. John 3. 22. Non hoc dico quin ac­c [...]a Bernard. De triplici modo orationis, se [...]m. 5. [...]ol. 22. D. gratia siduciam donet orandi: Sed non oportet ut in [...] constituat quisquam fiduciam impetr andi. Hoc solum conferunt haec promissa dona, ut ab cadem misericordia quae tribuit haec sperentur etiam ampliora: that is, I do not say this because grace received doth give confidence in praying: For none ought in it to place their trust of obteining. But these gifts promised do onely conferre this, that of that mercy which giveth these things we may also hope for greater. More particularly for Davids prayer, Preserve my soul, for I am [...], one on whom thou hast shewed great mercie: save thy servant that trusteth in thee: For Gods pro­mise is, not to fail them that put their trust in him. For Hezekiah; The Lord had promised David, That his sonnes, if they walked before him in upright­nesse, should not want a sonne to succeed them in the crown. Whereas therefore the prophet Isaiah brought this message to Hezekiah being sick, that he should die; having yet no issue, he desireth the Lord to remember that he had walked uprightly before him, and therefore intreateth the Lord, that accord­ing [Page 112] to his promise he might not die without a sonne to succeed him: and so obteined the lengthening of his dayes for fifteen yeares; in which time God granted him a sonne to succeed him.

2. Those that pray ambitiously to be seen and praised of men: for such hypocrites have their re­ward, Matth. 6. 5. Nisi humilitas omnia quaecunque August. E­pist. 56. bene fecimus praecesserit & comitetur & consecuta fuerit, & praeposita quam intueamur, & apposita cui adhaerea­mus, & imposita quâ reprimamur, jam nobis de ali [...]uo bono facto gaudentibus totum extorquet è manu superbia. Vitia quippe caetera in peccatis, superbia verò etiam in rectè factis timenda est, nè illa quae laudabiliter facta sunt ipsius laudis cupiditate amittantur: Unlesse hu­militie do precede, accompanie and follow all whatsoever we have well done, and be preposed that we may behold it, and apposed that we may adhere unto it, and imposed that thereby we may be repressed, pride will wring out of our hand all we have done, whilest we rejoyce of our doing any good deed. For other vices are to be feared in our sinfull actions; but pride onely is to be feared in our good deeds, lest those things which are laudably done be lost by our greedie coveting of praise.

3. Those that pray with spirituall pride and osten­tation, as the Brownists, being proud that they are able to conceive as it were ex tempore a prayer unto God, and with such varietie as to use no set form, nor twice to use the same words.

4. Those that by their prayer look to satisfie for their sinnes and to merit at the hands of God, as the Papists. For prayer made with such a proud conceit is abominable unto God.

CHAP. XX. Of Reverence required in prayer, and Heartinesse.

THe second thing required in the heart is a reve­rence of the Majesty of God to whom we speak, according to Davids both advice, Psal. 2. 11. Serve the Lord with reverence, and rejoyce with trembling; and practice, Psal. 5. 7. I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercie (that is, trusting therein) and in [...]he fear or reverence of thee will I worship towards thy holy temple.

That we are thus to call upon God, I shall not need to prove: For if when we are to speak to a Prince, we are touched with great reverence of an earthly Majestie, how are we to be affected when we speak unto God? And if the blessed angels being in Gods presence and sounding forth his prayse, are described in the Scriptures as having six wings, whereof two pair serve to cover their face & their feet, Isa. 6. 2, 3. thereby betokening their wonder­full reverence of God; how much more should we, who inhabit these houses of clay, subject to infir­mities and corrupted with sinne, be strucken with an awfull reverence of God?

If therefore we did but seriously consider, That weMeditations to stirre up reverence. are to speak vnto God, and did set him before our eyes who is in Majestie most glorious, and therefore to be reverenced; for power omnipotent, and there­fore to be feared, Luke 12. for greatnesse or infinite­nesse rather in every place, and therefore present with us to heare what we say and to behold what we do; for knowledge omniscient and a searcher of [Page 114] the heart, and therefore throughly acquainted with what disposition and affection we do come before him; for holinesse and justice a most pure Spirit, and therefore will be worshiped in spirit & truth; final­ly, who is, as Malachi speaketh, our Father, and therefore to be reverenced; our Lord, and there­fore to be feared, chap. 1. 6. If, I say, we did set him before our eyes, and our selves in his presence (as we ought alwayes to do, but especially when we call upon him) it cannot be but that we shall be touched with great reverence of his glorious Majestie, and therefore shall behave our selves ac­cordingly, doing speaking thinking nothing but that which may become his presence, and whereof we may be bold to admit him to be the hearer and the judge; all light behaviour, all wandring thoughts being far removed and abandoned, and we for the time being elevated above all earthly cogitations and having our conversation in heaven, supposing (as Chrysostome saith) our selves to be in the midst of the Angels, and performing the like exercise with them.

You see our duty: But what is our practice? Do no we vile wretches when we present our selves before the Lord behave our selves many times with lesse reverence or regard then if we were speaking to a mortall man that is our supe [...]iour? Insomuch that we hold it for good advice, (as indeed it is, respecting our weaknes) In such sort to speak to men as if God did heare us, so to speak to God as if man did heare us. And is not this an evidence that we are ca [...]nall, that our hearts are affected with no more [Page 115] then our senses apprehend, and that we want those eyes of faith which Moses had, Heb. 11. 27. where­by we might be moved to behave our selves in the presence of God as seeing him that is invisible.

Now to move us both to humilitie and reve­rence, let us consider, as Solomon adviseth Eccles 5. 1, 2. that God to whom we speak is in the heaven, full of majestie and power; (which consideration our Saviour also teacheth us to have in the begin­ning of our prayer, Matth. 6. 9.) and we which do speak are on the earth, base and vile, not onely in re­spect of our mould, being but dust and ashes, but especially in respect of our sinnes, whereby we have made our selves unworthy to appear in his pre­sence. And unto both these we are excited Psal. 95. which is prefixed as a preparative to our Liturgie, v. 6. Come let us worship and fall down, let us kneel be­fore the Lord our maker: For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hands.

The third thing is heartinesse, devotion, or ar­dourOf hearti­nesse, fer­ven cie, and devotion r [...] ­quired in prayer. of the mind, when we are throughly affected with those things whereof we speak, calling upon God with our whole hearts. For if that be good counsel which the wise Solomon giveth, That what we do we do it with all our might, Eccles 9. 10. it is especially to be followed in prayer, wherein we are not to be cold or careless [...]. This heartinesse in prayer, is servencie or earnestnesse of desire; in thanksgiving, alacritie and chearfulnesse: the former arising from the sense of our want, the latter from the sense and experience of Gods goodnesse to­wards us: And it is that which giveth wings to our [Page 116] prayers, and causeth them to ascend before God: This is called li [...]ting up our prayer, Isai. 37. 4. Jer. 7. 16.

Here therefore two things are to be avoided: The first is coldnesse; when men call upon God with­out sense either of their wants in prayer, or of Gods blessings in thanksgiving; calling upon God for fashion or custome sake, usu mag [...]s quàm sensu oran­tes, praying rather out of use then sense. Such a prayer wanting lively affections is dead, and there­fore counterfeit and hypocriticall, and a mere bodi­ly worship. For this is to call upon God with our mouthes but not with our hearts; this is to pray without desire, and to give thanks without grace in our hearts. The other is taedium in orando, weari­nesse in praying; That is, when mens hearts being set on other matters, all time that is bestowed in prayer is thought too long: and therefore the prayer as it is unwillingly begun so is it wearisomely per­formed, the end of the prayer many times being more desired then the end for which prayer was or­dained. But our invocation must be as a free-will­offering, and our service of God must be perform­ed with a willing mind: neither is that to be account­ed a service of the soul which is without either the understanding (as I said before) or the will.

CHAP. XXI. Of the Gesture to be used in prayer.

HItherto we have spoken of those things which in the action of Invocation are required in the [Page 117] soul. Now we are to speak of those things which are required in the body: For though bodily exer­cise being severed from the inward worship is little worth, yet being joyned with the inward it is of some moment. For where the Lord commandeth any duty or forbiddeth any sinne, there also he com­mandeth or forbiddeth the signes and appearances thereof; and therefore where he requireth the in­ward worship of the soul in prayer, as honorem facti, the honour of the deed, there also he requireth the outward of the body when it may be convenient­ly exercised, as honor [...]m signi, the honour of the signe. Now our bodies and members thereof, asThe signes of worship ought out­wardly to be expressed with our bo­dies: and the reasons why; 1. Reason. they are the instruments so also the indices and mani­festers of our souls: and therefore the signes of those graces which we contein in our souls must (when they may conveniently) be expressed in the body; and that for these reasons: 1. As at the first the Lord created and afterwards redeemed both our souls and bodies, so must we worship him in both, 1. Cor. 6. 20. therefore where the worship of God may be performed in both conveniently, both must be used.

2. In the two first commandments where the2. Reason. Lord forbiddeth this outward worship which we call honorem signi to be given to any other, there he requireth that it should be performed to himself, and he is jealous thereof. And so in other places, as the yielding of outward worship to any other is con­demned, Isai. 2. 9. Psal. 44. 20. and the deniall there­of commended, Dan. 3. in the three children; 1. Kings 18. 19. so the performance thereof unto [Page 118] God is commanded, Isai. 45. 23. Psal. 95. 1, 2, 6.

3. Neither is it for nothing that the holy Ghost,3. Reason. where mention is made of invocation, is so care­full every-where almost to speak of the voice of the mouth and gesture of the bodie. Yea, so much he seemeth to esteem the outward worship, that as the signe many times is put for the thing si­gnified, so the voice of the mouth and gesture of the bodie are oftentimes put for invocation it self; as we shall shew in the particulars.

4. The gesture and voice do greatly serve to help4. Reason. both the atte [...]tion of the mind and intention of the affections; as every mans experience can testifie. In publick prayers they are also good means to excite and stirre up one another.

In the outward worship to be performed in in­vocationOf the ge­ [...]ures which ought to be used in pray­er▪ we are to consider the gesture of the body and the speech of the mouth: For neither of which can there any certain universall rule be prescribed as necessarie to be observed alwayes in private prayer. In publick prayer we are to follow the cu­stome of the Church where we live, if it be without scandal and superstition. For as there is command­ed inward unanimitie in the publick assemblies, so also outward unif [...]mity: and to dissent from the Church in these outward things, being (as I said) free from scandal and superstition, is schismati­call.

Now the Church is to direct it self by the exam­ples of the godly recorded in the Scriptures, and practice of the Primitive Church. First for gesture: Concerning which thus much in generall may be [Page 119] prescribed: 1. That it be decent and comely, ac­cording to the generall rule, 1. Cor. 14. 40. The which decencie is for the more part to be measured according to the custome of the countrey. 2. That it be correspondent to the affections and disposition of the soul, serving as to expresse so also to incite and inlarge the same, otherwise the devoutest ge­stures are but histrionicall, that is, hypocriticall.

The varietie of gestures mentioned in the Scri­ptures do shew that we are not perpetually tied to any particular as necessary in it self: but that in them­selves they are indifferent and arbitrarie if not de­termined and prescribed by the Church. By the ex­amples of the godly in the Scriptures admonemur Ad Simpli­cian. lib. 2. qu. 4. To [...]. 4. (saith Augustine) non esse scriptum quomodo corpus constituatur ad or andum, dummodo animus Deo praesens peragat intentionem suam: We are admonished that it is not written how the bodie is to be disposed to pray, so that the mind present with God do perform its intention. But first I will shew the varietie of ge­stures which have been and may be used; and then I will commend that which is most conveni­ent to be observed usually.

The gestures to be considered in prayer are either of the whole body, or of the parts. As 1. the turning of the body towards some part of the heavens, east or west, &c. Among the Jews it was required and observed, that wheresoever they were when they prayed they turned themselves towards the temple, wherein was the ark, which was a type of Christ, in whom alone we are to come unto God. If therefore they were in the east from it, [Page 120] they were to turn into the west; and to pray towards the east, turning their backs towards the temple, was a fault, Ezek. 8. 16. Daniel, when the edict was given against prayer, went into his house, and his win­dows being open in his chamber towards Jerusalem, [...]e kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and gave thanks before his God as he did aforetime, Dan. 6. 10. And this was first intended in the building of the temple and placing of the ark there, 1. Kings 8. 29, 30, 35, 38, 44, 48. where Solomon by the spirit prayeth, that if any being absent from the temple should pray towards it, they might be heard. The ancient Christians prayed towards the east: D [...]masceneVide Damas. De o [...]thod. fide, lib. 4. cap. 13. 1. Praying towards the [...]. saith, Trad [...]tionem esse Apostolicam ut ad orientem con­vers [...] precemur, That it is an Apostolicall tradition that we should pray turning our selves to the east. And to that end the Churches were built east and west. In which respect we are in publick prayer to conform our selves to their practice, putting no su­perstition therein. But in it self the thing is indiffe­rent which way we turn our selves; because God who is in heaven is every-where present, and heaven it self is every way alike distan [...] from us; and Christ our Saviour, to whom we are to turn in our prayer as the Jews to the temple, is ascended into heaven, and thither are we to direct our prayers, as the Jews did to the temple.

2. Standing: For that is a token both of reve­rence2. Standing. and of service: as 2. Kings 5. 25. 1. Sam. 16. 21, 22. 1. Kings 10. 8. Job 29. 8. Dan. 1. 4. Psal. 135. 2. and 134. 2. This gesture is used by Abraham, Gen. 18. 22, 23. & 19. 27. by Jehoshaphat, 2. Chron. [Page 121] 20. 5. by the Publicane, Luke 18. 13. by Stephen, Acts 7. 59. approved by our Saviour Christ, Mark 11. 25. When ye stand praying; and practiced by him, John 11. 41.

3. Kneeling: Which is a fit gesture to signifie3. Kneeling. our humilitie and earnestnesse also in prayer, and is warranted both by the word of God, as Psal. 95. 6.Con [...]erre 1. Kings 8. 22. with v. 54. and 2 Chron. 6. 12, 13. Isai. 45. 23. insomuch that sometime it is put for prayer, Ephes. 3. 14. and by the practice of the god­ly, as of Solomon, 2. Chron. 6. 12, 13. Daniel, chap. 6. 10. Ezra, chap. 9. 5. Stephen, Acts 7. 60. Peter, Acts 9. 40. Paul, Acts 20. 36. and finally by the ex­ample of all examples, Christ himself, Luke 22. 41. Which serveth to confute certain hereticks calledDamasc. De haeres. Agnoe [...]ae, who alwayes stood in prayer, holding it unlawfull to kneel.

4. Prostration, or falling on the ground, or fal­ling4. Prostrati­on. on the face: A gesture of the greatest humilia­tion, but not in use among us, or in these parts of the world: but used by Moses and Aaron, Num. 16. 23. and 20. 6. by Joshua, chap. 5. 14. by Ezekiel, chap. 9. 8, 11, 13. and by our Saviour Christ, Matth. 26. 39.

5. Sitting: Which though among us it do not5. Sitting. seem a fit gesture in publick prayer, yet privately it hath been and may be used. Examples: of David, 2. Sam. 7. 18. of Elias, 1. Kings 19. 4. and when he put his face between his knees praying earnestly for rain, Jam. 5. 18. he prayed sitting as Augustine saith;Ad Simplic. lib. 2. quaest. 4. Sede [...]s or avit Elias quando pluviam or ando impetra­vit, Elias prayed sitting when by prayer he obtein­ed rain.

[Page 122]6. Lying in bed: So David, Psal. 6. 6. and Heze­kiah,6. Lying in bed. Isai. 38. 2. and is usually practiced by the faith­full not onely in their sicknesse but at other times.

7. Walking, riding, journeying, Gen. 24. 12, 36.7. Walking, riding, &c. Jehoshaphat in his chariot, 2. Chron. 18. 31.

The gesture of the parts.

First, the uncovering of the head in men, whichOf the ge­sture of the severall parts: 1. The un­covering of the head in men. among us is an usuall signe of reverence. In the fe­male sex it is otherwise; in which the covering of their head and face is noted in the Scriptures to have been a token of subjection, 1. Cor. 11. 4, 7. But in men it is a fit gesture to betoken their reverence, be­ing the uncovering and so abasing of the highest and chiefest part; and by some is called depositio magnifi­centiae, the laying aside of magnificence: as we see in the foure and twenty elders, Apoc. 4. 10. which fell down and cast their crowns before the throne.

2. Of the eyes; as the lifting up or casting down2. Of the [...]yes. of them. The former is most usuall, betokening the lifting up of our hearts unto God, and our faith in expecting help from him; and is sometime put for prayer it self, Psal. 123. 1, 2. Vnto thee lift I up mine eyes, O thou that dwellest in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants, &c. Psal. 141. 8. But mine eyes are unto thee, O God the Lord, in thee is my trust, Psal. 25. 15. 2. Chron. 20. 12. To omit other examples, C [...]rist himself is ofen noted in the Gospel to have lift up his eyes to heaven when he called upon God: as Matth. 14. 19. John 11. 41. and 17 1.

The casting down of the eyes is a note of great dejection and humiliation, whereby we being con­founded in our selves, as knowing our selves un­worthy [Page 123] to look up unto heaven, do cast down our eyes on the earth. Example, the Publicane, Luke 18.

3. Of the hands.3. Of the hands.

As 1. the Lifting up & stretching forth of the hands: A gesture fit to expresse our humilitie, our earnest affection, as being the gesture of suppliants and ear­nest suiters; as also to testifie our faith and hope, and to signifie the lifting up of our souls. And it is a ge­sture of such moment that it also is put for prayer, Exod. 9. 33. Psal. 28. 2. and 44. 20. and 63. 4. and 88. 9. Isai. 1. 15. Examples, in Moses, Exod. 9. 29, 33. and 17. 11. David, Psal. 141. 2. and 143. 6. Solomon, 1. Kings 8. 22, 54. It is commanded Psal. 134. 2. Lam. 2. 19. and 3. 41.

The other gesture of the hands is the Knocking of the breast: Which is most fit in deprecation; for thereby is signified both our acknowledgement of guilt, and an earnest desire of pardon; as Luke 18. 13. and 23. 48.

Thus have you heard the several gestures: Among which I would commend unto you as fit most usu­ally and ordinarily to be observed, uncovering of the head in men, standing, or rather (if we may con­veniently) kneeling, lifting up of the hands and of the eyes to heaven. For whereas in the soul are re­quired faith, humilitie, reverence, and ardour of af­fection, which we are to expresse in the bodily ge­stures, whereby we give God honorem signi, the ho­nour of the signe; these gestures are most fit to ex­presse these inward graces. For the uncovering of the head signifieth reverence and humility; which [Page 124] also are more expressed by kneeling: Faith and hope is represented in the lifting up of the eyes & hands; in which also, as in kneeling, the ardour of affection is expressed.

But here our greatest care must be (because it is easie to observe these outward gestures) to give God in truth the inward worship of the soul as well as the outward of the body, which without the other is hypocriticall: And therefore as we unco­ver our heads, so to lay aside all opinion and conceit of our own worthinesse, and with all reverence to set our selves in the presence of God; and as we kneel outwardly, so to bow the knees of our hearts and to humble our souls before the Lord; and with our eyes and hands, to lift up our souls unto God who is in the heavens. And withall we must be care­full to lift up pure and innocent hands to God, 1. Tim. 2. 8. For if our hands be stained with sinne or polluted with bloud, the Lord will not heare, Isai. 1. 15. Quid manuum in oratione vult extensio? Ch [...]ysosi. Hom ad pop. 79. T. 4. pag. 643. [...]. Hae multis sceleribus ministerium exhibent, & propterea jubemur eas extollere, ut orationis mi [...]isterium sit eis vinculum nequitiae & à malitia separatio; ut cùm raptu­rus vel oppressurus vel alterum sis percussurus, recorde­ris quò [...] has ad Deum pro patronis emissurus es, & per has illud spirituale sacrificium offerre debeas, nec illas confundere, nec actionis pravae ministerio fiduci à priva­r [...]. Eas igitur emunda per eleemosynam, per misericor­diam, per indigentium tutelam, & ita [...]as offer a [...] ora­tionem: that is, What meaneth the stretching out of the hands in prayer? These offer their service to much wickednesse; and therefore we are command­ed [Page 125] to lift them up, that their ministery in prayer may be unto them a bond to tie them from wickednesse and a separation from maliciousnesse: That when thou art about to use rapine or oppression, or to strike another, thou mayest remember that thou must lift up these hands to God for thy patrones and benefactours, and that with them thou must offer unto God a spirituall sacrifice, and therefore ought­est not to confound or disable them, nor spoil them of their confidence by making them instruments in an evil action. Cleanse them therefore by alms, by mercy, and defense of the needy, and so offer and lift them up in prayer.

CHAP. XXII. Of the Voyce to be used in prayer.

COncerning the voice it may be demanded whe­therQuest. it be needfull in prayer, seeing the Lord heareth as well and regardeth more the prayer of the heart then the voyce of the mouth. And this doth Elias signifie 1. Kings 18. 27. when he mock­eth Baals priests, saying, Cry aloud: he is a god, insinu­ating that if he were a god he could heare them though they did not cry aloud. I answer, That theAnsw. voyce is needfull not in respect of the Lord, who heareth and respecteth especially the cry of the heart, but in respect of us and others with whom we pray, & therefore is to be used when it may conveni­ently, for the reasons before alledged. Indeed some­times in the private prayer of one alone it is more convenient to use the inward speech of the heart [Page 126] alone, when the outward speech of the tongue can­not be used but that it shall be heard or perceived of others. For private prayer must be made in secret, as Christ commandeth Matth. 6. 6. lest we pray, or at least seem to pray, that we may be heard or seen of men. When as therefore we are occasioned to pray by our selves alone in presence of others, we must pray in the closet of our heart, using no voyce nor making any outward shew of prayer: and the Lord which seeth the secrets of the heart will reward openly. Thus Abrahams servant standing at the well, unto which was ordinary resort, prayed in his heart, Gen. 24. 45. and Moses being among the peo­ple, Exod. 14. 15. and Nehemiah being in the Kings presence, Neh. 2. 4. and Annah the mother of Sa­muel in the presence of Eli, 1. Sam. 1. 13. Other­wise in private prayer it is most convenient, and in prayer with others, whether in the Church or fa­mily, it is necessary that the voice in prayer should be used: for otherwise those that are present cannot consent to our prayers and say Amen; neither can they be edified thereby unlesse they heare and un­derstand the prayer.

Our duty is (as I have said before) to worship God both in body and soul: And as we are to glo­rifie God with all our members and powers, so espe­cially by our tongue and speech: For therefore hath God given us the facultie of spee [...]h above other creatures, that we might not onely be the matter of his glory as they are, but also the instruments to sound forth his praise. And therefore is our tongue called our glory, Psal. 16. 7. and 108. [...] because it is [Page 127] that instrument by which we are to set forth Gods glory.

Moreover, as the gesture of the body so much more the voyce of the tongue doth serve both to stirre up the affections of the heart and also to con­tein the cogitations from wandring about other matters. And of such moment is the voice in pray­er, as that first the voice, or cry with the voice, is put sometime for the prayer it self, 1. Sam. 7. 8, 9. Psal. 66. 17. and 77. 1. and 142. 1. Secondly, the holy Ghost in many places where he speaketh of in­vocation is carefull to mention the voice; as in the places even now cited out of the Psalmes, and else­where, as Psal. 71. 23, 24. and 119. 171. my lips shall utter praise. For which cause prayer and prayse are called the calves of our lips, Hos. 14. 2. Thirdly, Da­vid prayeth, Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise, Psal. 51. 14, 15.

But here we must alwayes remember, that with our voice we must lift up our hearts to God, and that the cry of the voyce must proceed from the cry of the heart: For the Lord respecteth the heart; and if the cry come not from thence he will not heare it, Hos. 7. 13, 14. no, though men should cry loud in his eares, Ezek. 8. 18.

The voyce used in prayer is either inarticulate, or articulate.

The inarticulate is that which is uttered in sigh­ing, groning, and weeping: For the children of God many times do best expresse their desires by sighs and grones a [...]d tears▪ The which proceed from an humble and servent spirit, and are wrought in us by [Page 128] the spirit of God, which teacheth us to pray with sighs that cannot be expressed, Rom. 8. 26. And he that searcheth the heart knoweth what is the mind of the spirit, v. 27. For as David saith Psal. 38. 9. Lord, all my desire is before thee, and my groning is not hid from thee. Thou tellest my wandrings: put my tears into thy August. [...]pist. 121. bottle; are they not in thy book? Psal. 56. 8. Plerunque hoc negotium plùs gemitibus quàm sermonibus agi­tur, plùs sletu quàm affat [...]. For the most part this businesse is acted more with grones then with words, more with weeping then with speech. He­zekiah professeth that he did chatter like a crane or a swallow, and did mourn like a dove, Isai. 38. 14.

The articulate voice is the externall speech it self whereby the prayer is expressed: Wherein we are to consider two things, the words which be uttered, and the language wherein they are uttered.

In the words we are to con [...]ider the quantitie, theWhat is to be consider­ed in our words. Prolixity not to be af­fected. Rea [...]ons. qualitie, and the form.

For the quantity; We must not affect prolixity, as though for the multitude of our words we did look to be heard. Neither may we use any superflu­ity of words or idle repetitions: First, because our Saviour Christ forbiddeth all battology in our pray­ers, Matth. 6. 7. which Theophylact interpreteth [...], futilitie: Hesychius, [...], idle and unseasonable speech. But the meaning may best be gathered from the notation: for, as the Etymologist saith, the word is compounded [...] of Battus a certain Grecian who was accustomed to adorn images with long and ted [...]ous inscriptions which [Page 129] were full of vain repetitions: For so Ovid also speak­eth of him, Montibus, inquit, [sc. Battus] erant, & erant in mon­tibus illis: and therefore he saith it signifieth [...], verbosity. Which agreeth with the exposition of Christ, who is the best expounder of himself: For in the words following he calleth it [...], for so he saith, [...]. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. So that [...], according to the meaning of our Saviour, is in p [...]ayer to use multitude of words and idle re­petitions with this conceit, That for the multitude of our words we shall be heard.

Secondly, For the reason which our Saviour gi­veth; Christians in their prayer must not be like to the heathen. The heathen affected prolixitie and used superfluity of words and idle repetitions with this perswasion, that for their much babling they should be heard. But why must not Christians be like the heathen? Because the God on whom we call is most unlike. The heathen might well imagine concern­ing their gods (the best whereof were men deceased) that by multitude of words they might be perswa­ded; and that alwayes they did not hearken unto them, as being otherwise imployed, as Elias telleth Baals priests, 1. Kings 18. 27. and therefore thought it needfull to repeat the same things oft, that if they did not heare them at one time they might at ano­ther. As we see those priests of Baal to call upon [Page 130] him from morning, v. 26, 29. untill the time of the evening sacrifice, crying again and again, O Baal, heare us. But the true God on whom we call, he is our heavenly Father; and therefore for his love most ready and willing to heare us, even before we call upon him, Isai. 65. 24. And for his knowledge he knoweth what we stand in need of before we pray, as our Saviour sheweth v. 8. Which may be a third reason.

Fourthly, Solomon, Eccles 5. 1, 2. dehorteth from the same fault by two reasons: First, God is in heaven, and thou on earth: therefore let thy words be few. God sitteth in the heavens, as his throne full of majestie, power and glory; and we are on the earth, base and vile, being as nothing in comparison of him: therefore in great humility and reverence we are to speak unto him, framing and moderating our speech so as there be nothing idle or superfluous therein. For when a man is to speak to his prince or any whom he doth reverence, he will labour that his speech may be pithy, avoiding all vain, idle and superfluous talk.

Fifthly, Because in multitude of words folly is committed; For as multitude of businesse causeth dreams, so multitude of words argueth folly, v. 2, 3.

Sixthly, If in our speech with men ther [...] wanteth not iniquitie in multitude of words, as Solomon saith Prov. 10. 19. and if of every idle word men must give an account at the day of judgement, as our Saviour testifi [...]th Matth. 12. 36. If it be true as one saith, Non est ejusdem & multa & oppor [...]na d [...]ere; [...], i. sejuncta sunt haec, [...] how much [Page 131] more are these true of our speech with God, wherein all superfluitie of idle words is joyned with irreve­rence and abuse of the majestie of God?

Seventhly, Plato, though an heathen Philoso­pher, yet in his wisdome, for which he was called divine, he saw that brevitie and pithinesse in prayer was to be affected rather then prolixite; and there­fore preferreth the short prayer of the Lacedemoni­ans, That God would give them [...],Al [...]ibiad. 2. farre before the longer prayers of the Athenians, wherein they studying to be long, uttered many things which neither became the majestie of God nor w [...]re expedient for themselves: and therefore he saith, as if he had read that counsel of Solomon, [...].

But never did the heathen so grossely offend in their battologie as the Papists at this day; who num­bring upon their beads their prayers which them­selves understand not, perswade themselves that the more often they do repeat their Pater-nosters and their Ave-Maries, the more satisfactory and meritorious their prayer is before God: yea, and to the greater multitude of such idle repetitions the Popes have granted the greater indulgences. For whereas according to the invention of Do­minick their rosary or string of beads consisteth of 55 beads, whereof five (that is, every eleventh) be greater, to signifie that to every Pater-noster they must recite ten Ave-Mari [...]; they have devised since that time the Ladies Psalter conteining three rosa­ries, that is, [...] fifteen Pater-noster [...], an hundred and fifty Ave-Maries, according to the number of [Page 132] Davids Psalmes. Not to speak now of that Ladies Psalter; in which what is spoken in Davids Psalmes of God or Christ our Lord, is transferred to the virgin Mary most sacrilegiously and blasphemously: to the saying whereof divers Popes have given large indulgences, which in all arise to threescore thousand yeares pardon.

What then? is it not lawfull to make long praiers? I answer, That prayer is not condemned of batto­logie or too much prolixity, wherein nothing is su­perfluous, neither is made with that opinion that for the lengths sake it shall be heard. Where is varie­ty of good matter uttered with the attention of the mind and vigour of affection, there the longer we continue in prayer the better it is. We are exhor [...]ed in the Scriptures to continue in prayer, and to watch in the same with thanksgiving, Col. 4. 2. and our Savi­our himself, to give us example, sometime con­tinued in prayer whole nig [...]ts. Absit ab oratione, saithSpist. 21. pag. 403. Augustine, multalocutio; sed non desit multa precatio si fervens perseverat intentio: Let much speech be ab­sent from prayer; but let not much praying be wanting if the intention persevere to be fervent. But we are to moderate the length of our prayers according to the measure of grace received, of faith and devotion, appearing both in the attention of the mind and intention of the affections: for, as Augu­stine saith, Intentio sicut non est obtundenda si perdu­rare I [...]d pag. 402 non potest, ità si [...] non [...]itò est relin­quenda: As the intention is not to be dulled if it can­not hold out, so if it can last it is not to be easily left.

[Page 133]Howbeit men may pray long and continue in prayer though their prayers be not long. To which purpose Chrysostome giveth this advice, Deum Homil. 74. Tom. 4. pag. 641, 642. orans non longos extendat sermones, nec in longum ora­tionem producat, sed pauca simpliciáque dicat verba. Non [...]nim in verborum multitudine sed in mentis solertia positum est ut exaudiatur. Oportet igitur orantem ne (que) longos extendere sermones & jugiter orare. Breves enim & frequentes orationes fieri Christus & Paulus praeceperant parvis ex intervallis. Nam si sermonem in longum extender is, in negligentiam frequenter l [...]psus multam diabolo surrependi facultatem dederis, & sup­plantandi & abducendi cogitationem ab his quae dicun­tur. Si verò continuas & crebras orationes facias, to­tumque tempus interpo [...]ans frequentiâ, facilè poteris modestiam exhibere, & ipsas orationes cum multa facies solertia: He that prayeth unto God let him not make long speeches, nor draw out his prayer into length, but let him utter few and simple words: For his hope of being heard is not placed in multitude of words, but in the right disposition of the mind. Therefore he that prayeth must not extend his speech to a great length in a continued prayer: For our Saviour Christ and S. Paul have injoyned short and frequent prayers to be made, with small pauses between them; for if thou draw out thy speech in a continued length, thou wilt become negligent, and wilt give great occasion to the devil of stealing in and of supplanting thee, and of withdrawing thy thoughts from those things which are spoken. But if thou continuest and makest many prayers, and throughout the whole time dost refresh them with [Page 134] frequencie, thou mayest use moderation and make thy prayers with much skill.

Agreeable to which advice was the practice of the faithfull in Egypt; of whom Augustine, Dicun­tur [...]pist. 121. 402. fratres in Aegypto crebras quidem habere orationes, sed eas tamen brevissimas & raptim quodammodo jacula­tas, né illa vigilanter erecta (quae oranti plurimùm ne­cessaria est) per productiores moras evanescat atque hebe­tetur intentio: The brethren in Egypt are reported to have made many prayers, but withall such as were very brief, and in a manner suddenly darted, lest that intention vigilantly raised (which is very necessary to him that prayeth) should by long con­tinuance vanish and be blunted. And herein our Sa­viour Christ hath given us a precedent. Matth. 26. 39, 42, 44. Wherefore howsoever some do carp at the short prayers in our Liturgie, calling them shreds, and wishing that in one continued prayer all our requests should be joyned; notwithstanding the wisdome of those learned and godly men who out of the most ancient Liturgies compiled ours is to be commended, who considering that our long con­tinued prayer would to the greatest sort seem tedi­ous and breed distraction and wandring thoughts, have set forth many short prayers to avoid weari­somenesse, and to keep the mind of the people at­tentive.

CHAP, XXIII. Of the qualitie of our speech in our prayer; and of the form which is to be used.

AS touching the quality of our speech; As we need not to be curious in respect of the style, because God looketh to the uprightnesse of the heart rather then the elegancie of the speech, so must we not be more carelesse & negligent for the manner of speech then we would be if we were to speak to any mortall man. And because we are but too car­nall, let us make use of Malachi's rule, chap. 1. 8. Of­fer it to thy Prince; that is, Let us examine our selves whether we be as carefull to speak unto the Lord as we would be unto a Prince: and herein also let us shew that reverence which we ow unto the Lord. The godly in the Scriptures have been very exqui­site and accurate in those prayers and Psalmes which are recorded in the Scriptures.

Concerning the form it may be demanded, Whe­therWhether a set form of prayer may be used. we may use a set form of prayer: for that is denied by our Separatists, insomuch that they hold it unlawfull to pray in that set form which Christ himself hath prescribed. But they are plainly confuted by the words of our Saviour, Luke 11. 2. When ye pray say, Our Father, &c. unlesse they will persist in their contradiction against Christ himself, forbidding us when we pray to say, Our Father.

Besides that prayer of Christ there are other set forms in the Scriptures prescribed to be used in the Church of God. The whole book of the Psalmes was penned and committed to Asaph and other mu­sicians, [Page 136] as is mentioned in divers of their titles, to the end that they might be sung in the congregati­on. More especially, the ninety second Psalme was penned to be used on the Sabbath-day; and the hundred and second Psalme is A prayer of (or f [...]r) the afflicted when he is overwhelmed and poureth out his complaint before the Lord.

But why may not a set form be used? Because the faithful praying in the holy Ghost, as Jude speaketh v. 20. must pray as they are moved by the Spirit, and not as they are provided beforehand.

The assistance of the Spirit is seen not so much in helping our invention, (The gift of invention or conceiving a prayer, is a gift of the Spirit, but a common gift, and not a proper grace of the sanctify­ing Spirit: for a man of a present wit and good speech wanting the spirit of sanctification may do much that way, especially if he be studied in Divi­nity) as in these three; 1. in rectifying our judge­ment, teaching us to ask that which is good for us, especially in time of affliction. For we being led by sense know not what to ask; but the Spirit helpeth our insirmities, and teacheth us to pray according to God, asking those things which tend to his glory and our good. 2. His help is seen in inslaming our affe­ctions, teaching us to pray with sighs and grones that cannot be expressed, v. 26. And to the same purpose the Prophet Zacharie foretelleth, that the faithfull by the spirit of grace and supplication shall be mo­ved when they look upon him whom th [...]y have pierced, to mourn as one mourneth for his firs [...]-born sonne, Zech. 12. 10. 3. The spirit of Adoption crieth [Page 137] in our hearts, Abba, Father, that is, teacheth us to pray in faith, and to call upon God as our Father in Christ, Rom. 8. 15, 16. Gal. 4. 6.

Moreover, where they say that they must pray as the Spirit moveth them, they seem with the Enthu­siasts to look for extraordinary inspirations, and are in the number of those which tempt God: for this conceit of theirs as well taketh away all meditation and preparation beforehand as set prayers. But we are to follow the counsel of the Wise man, Ecclus 18. 23. Before thou prayest prepare thy self, and be not as one that tempteth the Lord.

The promise made the faithfull, that they should not need to study beforehand what they should speak, but that they should speak as the Spirit should move them, is to be understood of the extraordina­ry gift of Gods Spirit wherewith they were fil­led in inspiring them in their preachings, apologies and prayers, without their own study and industry. Wherefore as in preaching, to neglect study, and to expect extraordinary inspiration of the Spirit, that we may speak ex tempore as the Spirit moveth, when a man is not upon some present exigent and necessity put to it, is to tempt God; so likewise in prayer. And therefore we must not presume ( [...] it be upon some present necessity) to con­ceive a long prayer, especially prayer ex tempore, without some former study and meditation used ei­ther against the instant or in former times; but we must come prepared either with some set form (which notwithstanding with help of meditation we are to vary upon occasions) or with such a form [Page 138] as we have conceived in our meditation, that so we may with David call our prayer our meditation. Neither do I doubt, but that a good desire, vow or promise made in prayer upon former deliberation is more accepted of God, and is like to be more constant, and may likewise be uttered with bet­ter fervency of affection and begged with more assurance of faith then that which is rashly uttered upon a sudden. And therefore Salomon saith. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thy heart be hasty to utter any word before God, Eccles 5. 1. Neither do I condemn all that seem to pray ex tempore: For as his faculty is to be commended that is so well studied in Divinity and exercised in preaching as that he is able to preach as it were ex tempore; not that he casteth himself upon extraordinary inspira­tions, but is inabled by the help of his former stu­dies and exercise: so is his faculty to be commended who is so well studied in Divinity and exercised in applying the severall parts of religion to the use of prayer that he is able as it were ex tempore to con­ceive a prayer; not that in so doing he casteth him­self upon the extraordinary inspiration of the holy Spirit, but is inabled by the help of his former stu­dies and meditations.

Now if I be asked the question, Whether isA set form is to be prefer­red before ex tempo [...] pray­ [...]r without preceding meditation. better, a set form of prayer or a prayer conceived; I answer by distinction: For if they speak of such a prayer as is conceived ex tempore without former study and meditation, by such an one as expecteth extraordinary inspiration, meaning to pray as the spirit shall move him; I answer, that a se [...] form is [Page 139] to be preferred before such an extemporall prayer. First, because it wanteth due reverence of God,Reasons: 1. when men dare speak to God quicquid in buccam venerit, whatsoever first cometh into the mouth, when as if they were to speak to their prince or any whom they reverenced, they would use prepa­ration; and directly against the advice of Salomon, Eccles 5. 1. Secondly, because it is joyned with2, the presumptuous fansie of the Enthusiasts and tempting of God. Thirdly, because in prayers3, rashly and suddenly made many times things are ut­tered which beseem not the majestie of God nor are expedient for men. Such sudden prayers are of the mind rather then of the heart. Fourthly,4. Though the thing uttered were good without ex­ception, yet that good which is uttered upon pre­meditation and mature deliberation is more accep­table unto God then that which proceedeth from a sudden motion.

If they speak of a prayer conceived upon due meditation, I distinguish again, in respect of private prayer of one, and that which is common and publick. For private prayers, that course is to be followed for which most do find themselves best qualified, being alwayes carefull to avoyd those inconveniences to which either a set form or a con­ceived prayer is more subject. The set form is more subject to wandering thoughts and want of attention of mind; the conceived, to want of affe­ction, the powers of the soul being wholly occu­pied in invention. But for the most this will be found the most behooffull course, to have a set [Page 140] form or forms rather for the generall and the many blessings for which we are either to pray or to prayse God ordinarily, whereunto extraordinarily something is to be added as occasion is offered: I say, forms rather, for the avoyding of distraction and wandering thoughts. And because our prayers are defective, it shall be expedient to conclude them with that absolute form which Christ hath taught us.

As for prayers publick and common with others; Though a conceived prayer be more com­mendable in the speaker if it be performed without spirituall pride and ostentation, yet a set form or forms is more profitable for the hearers, who with a known form may easily concurre in prayer with the speaker, which in a conceived form unheard of before they cannot so well do. All which I have the rather noted, because I understand that in these times both many hearers do erroneously magnifie extemporall prayers, contemning all set forms, and also the oratours or speakers themselves in great ostentation and spirituall pride affect such variety of extemporall prayers, as if they scorned to use the same form twice; when as our Saviour in the garden is recorded to have prayed thrice and to have used the same form, Matth. 26. 29, 42, 44.

CHAP. XXIV. Of things required out of the action of prayer.

HItherto we have spoken of such things as are required in the action of invocation: Now we are to treat of those things which must be done out of the action, that is to say, both before and after.I. Prepara­tion. The reasons why prepa­ration is ne­cessary.

Before there is required preparation. For [...]. if we ought to prepare our selves when the Lord is to speak unto us in the ministery of the word, that we may be fit to heare; as Exod. 19. Eccles 4. 17. then mu [...]h more are we bound to prepare our selves when we our selves are to be speakers, that we may be fit to speak to so great a Majestie. 2. If we will not speak to our superiours, especially our Prince, without preparation, how much more ought we to come prepared when we are to speak to the King of kings, and that concerning matters of great importance? Thirdly, we may not be rash with our mouthes, nor let our hearts be hastie to utter any thing before God, Eccles 5. 1. But as the sonne of Sirach adviseth, Before we pray we ought to prepare our selves, and not be as those that tempt God, Ecclus 18. 23. Fourthly, we have the example of David Psal. 108. 1. and 57. 7. O God, my heart is prepared, so is my glo­ry; I will fing and give praise.

Now this preparation consisteth partly in remo­vingThis prepa­ration con­sisteth, 1. in removing impediments the impediments, and partly in the using of the means. For first, We must look to our feet, Eccles 5. 1. that is, with what affections and dispositions we come to prayer▪ and consequently are to lay aside all carnall thoughts and worldly cares which might [Page 142] distract our minds. Quicquid ante orationis horam Cassian. Col­lat. 9. cap. 3. anima nostra conceperit, necesse est ut orantibus nobis per ingestionem recordationis occurrat. Quamobrem quales orantes volumus inveniri tales nos ante orationis tem­pu [...] praeparare debemus: Whatsoever before the houre of prayer the mind hath conceived, it is ne­cessary that whilest we are praying it offer it self by the ingestion of the remembrance. Wherefore such as we would be found to be whilest we pray, we must prepare our selves to be such before the time of prayer. Secondly, we must put off the shoes off our feet; as Exod. 3. Jos. 5. that is, our pollutions and corrupt affections: as carnall lust, which maketh the heart speak lewd things; and anger, as 1. Tim. 2. 8. 1. Pet. 5. 7. Matth. 5. 23, 24. Thirdly, we must not suffer our heart to be made heavie with surfeting and drunkennesse, Luke 21. 34, 36. but contrariwise, with prayer upon extraordinary occa­sions to joyn fasting, 1. Cor. 7. 5. and with the ordinarie a moderate diet. Fourthly, if we be guil­ty of any sin unrepented of we must repent thereof, promising and purposing amendment for the time to come; for sinne not repented of is as a wall of sepa­ration between God and us, Isai. 59. 1, 2. God heareth not impenitent sinners, John 9. 31. Isai. 1. 15, 16, 18. & therefore, as Psal. 26. 6. we must wash our hands in innocencie, and so come to the altar of the Lord to of­fer the incense of our prayers, lifting up holy hands unto God, 1. Tim. 2. 8.

The means. First, because the Lord prepareth the 2. In using the means. heart, Psal. 10. 17. we are to desire him to prepare our hearts unto prayer. Secondly, we must use me­ditation: [Page 143] In which regard David calleth his prayer his meditation, Psal. 5. 1. that is to say, that which he had meditated of, Psal. 142. 2. Effundam coram eo meditationem meam, I will poure out my meditation before him. There is such affinity between medita­tion and prayer, that the Hebrew word [...] signifi­eth either of both, to meditate, or to pray: and there­fore Gen. 24. 63. some reade that Isaac went out to meditate; others, to pray: And it is likely that he did both; first meditate, and then pray.

Now the end of this preparation being to makeMeditation required be­fore prayer. us fit to perform such duties as are required in prayer, our meditation must be referred thereunto. And first if we find ourselves backward in the duty it self, we may meditate on those reasons which before we used to this purpose. And that we may perform it in an holy manner, we must stirre up our hearts, as David doth in many places, as Psal. 103. 1. that so we may call upon God with our hearts. And if our knowledge be so small that we are notable to conceive a prayer of our selves but must be fain to use a form prescribed by others, we must beforehand meditate thereof, that we may be able both to un­derstand it and to use it aright. And that we may pray in faith, we are to meditate on the promises of God made to our prayers, and on the mediation and intercession of our Saviour Christ, on which our faith is to be grounded. Likewise we are to me­ditate on our own unworthinsse, that so we may pray in humilitie; of the glorious Majestie of God our heavenly Father, that we may call upon him in re­verence; of the excellency, profit, necessitie of those [Page 144] blessings for which we either pray or give thanks, that so we may pray with fervencie and give thanks with alacrity. And further, if we conceive a prayer before not used, we are to meditate not onely of the matter but also of the manner and order of our speech, that we may be able to say with David, My Psal. 108. 1. heart is prepared, so is my tongue; I will now call upon the name of the Lord. And thus much of Prepara­tion.

After the action there ought to be such a disposi­tionII. Of the duti [...]s to be performed after prayer. as the severall kind of invocation doth especi­ally require: Whereof in due place. In the mean time this admonition in generall may be given, That when we have at any time called upon God, we take heed that we do not end our prayers as we end epistles, with a Vale, bidding the Lord Farewell till the time of prayer come again, as though we had then ended our task and had performed all the service we ow unto God, in the mean time neither thinking of God or godlinesse, but following our own corrupt wayes. For howsoever we cease to speak unto God for a time, yet we cease not to be in his sight and presence; and therefore cannot do as untoward children and unchast wives, who though in absence they have behaved themselves lewdly, yet approve themselves to their parents and hus­bands by their demure carriage in presence: But we are continually in Gods sight and presence; and therefore if after we have called upon God we play the lewd children even in his sight, and go a who­ring after vanities in his presence, how cannot this but greatly amaze us against we shall pray again, [Page 145] and put us out of hope to be heard. Wherefore the frequent exercise of prayer is a notable bridle to re­strain us from sinne, whether you respect that which is past or that which is to come. For when a man is about to commit sinne, let him call to mind his pray­er past; Am I that man who so lately called upon God, making such shew of pietie, pretending a zeal of Gods glory in advancing his kingdome and doing his will? &c. or that which is to come; With what face can I appear before God guilty of such offenses? with what affiance can I lift up these eyes unto God, that behold vanities; these hands unto God, that commit such sinnes? &c. Let us therefore with David use to meditate, If I regard wickednesse in my heart the Lord will not heare me, Psal. 66. 18. following the advice of the Apostle, 2. Tim. 2. 19. Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from ini­quitie. For, not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdome of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in hea­ven, Matth. 7. 21. Inessicax est petitio cùm preca­tur Cyprian. Deum sterilis oratio, i. sine operibus: Petition is uneffectuall when we call upon God with a bar­ren prayer, that is, without good works. And thus much of the manner of Invocation.

CHAP. XXV. Of the matter and subject of our prayers, and w [...]at is required thereunto; namely, that it be good and according to Gods will.

NOw followeth the matter or the subject; that is, the things for which we either do pray or give thanks. Concerning which this is to be noted in generall, That we have a sound perswasion grounded on the word of God that they be lawfull and good: First, because what is not of faith is sin, Rom. 14. 23. Secondly, for what we do either pray or give thanks to God, thereof we acknow­ledge God to be the authour: but it is blasphemous to make God the authour of that which is wicked & unlawfull. Thirdly, prayers must be made in faith, viz. that God accepteth our prayers and will grant them unto us. This faith must be grounded on Gods promise; and God promiseth to give good things to them that ask, Matth. 7. 11. Evil things are not within the compasse of Gods promise; for the fore­telling of that which is evil is rather a threatning then a promise. Fourthly, the assurance that we have to be heard, is when we ask any thing accord­ing to Gods will, 1. John 5. 14. but to ask evil things is not according to Gods will. Fifthly, they that call upon God for evil things are like the wicked, Psal. 50. who think that God is like unto them. Sixthly, if we ask good things we have assurance to be heard, Matth. 7. 11. 1. John 5. 14. [...] Menande [...]..

For our direction in this behalf our Saviour [Page 147] Christ hath prescribed a most perfect form of pray­er, which is summa petendorum, the summe of things to be desired: So that whatsoever may be referred thereunto we may be assured is according to Gods will; but what cannot be referred to some part of the Lords prayer, that our Saviour hath not taught us to ask nor the Father promised to give.

There remaineth the last point: For now it mayHow we may be ena­bled to pray according to Gods will. be demanded, How we being so corrupt and sinfull in our selves, should be able to pray according to the will of God.

Of our selves indeed we are not able to think a good thought, and much lesse to conceive an accept­able prayer? Of our selves we cannot say that Je­sus is the Lord, and much lesse call upon God as our Father in Christ: But the Spirit of God helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray as we ought; but the Spirit it self maketh intercession for us with gronings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the heart knoweth the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh interc [...]ssion for the Saints according to God, Rom. 8. 26, 27. Quodnon sic est intelligendum, saithEpist. 121. Augustine, ut existimemus sanctum Spiritum Dei, qui in Trinitate incommunicabilis Deus est, & cum Patre & Filio unus Deus, tanquam aliquem qui non sit quod Deus est interpellare pro sanctis. Dictum quippe est, INTERPELLAT PRO SANCTIS, quia interpellare sanctos facit. Sicut dictum est, TENTAT VOS DE [...]S VESTER UT SCIAT SI DILIGATIS EUM: hoc est, ut scire vos faciat: Which is not so to be under­stood, that we should think the holy Spirit of God, which in the Trinitie is God incommunicable, and [Page 148] with the Father and Sonne one God, should pray for the Saints unto one who is not that which God is. But it is said, He prayeth for the Saints, because he inableth the Saints to pray: as it is said, Your G [...]d tempteth you that he may know whether ye love him: that is, that he may cause you to know it. It is well said of Chrysostome, Supravires hominis est facere cum Lib. 2. De [...]do De­ [...]. 120. Deo colloquium nisi adsit vis & actus Spiritus sancti: It is above the strength of man to conferre with God unlesse the vertue & operation of the Spirit be present. And therefore when we pray we are to crave the assistance of Gods spirit, which is the spirit of grace and prayer, Zech. 12. 10. which God hath promised to give to them that ask him, Luke 11. 13. and in and by his holy spirit we are to call upon God, Jude v. 20. For whereas many graces and du­tiesZech. 12 10. Heb. 10. 29. are required in prayer all which are above our own strength, the spirit of God, which is the spirit of grace and supplication, effecteth them all in the children of God. It is he that prepareth our hearts to prayer, Psal. 10. 17. that open [...]th our lips that our mouth may shew forth his praise, Psal. 51. 15. It is he that anointeth our blind eyes that we may see, and touch­eth our senselesse hearts that we may feel our misery and want, that in true humility of soul we may poure forth our hearts before God. It is the spirit of the f [...]ar of God that maketh us to come with due reve­rence of his Majestie. It is the spirit of supplications that maketh our frozen and benummed hearts to pray fervently with sighs that cannot be expressed. It is the spirit of adoption who testifieth unto our spirits that we are the children of God, by which we do [Page 149] cry in our h [...]arts, Abba, Father. Finally, it is the spi­rit of grace which helpeth our infirmities, and fur­nisheth us with those graces which be requisite in prayer, and teacheth us to pray according to God. And this is that which Paul teacheth us, that we have ac­cesse to the Father through the Sonne and by the holy Ghost, Ephes. 2. 18. that is, in the name and mediati­on of Christ, by the help and assistance of the holy Ghost. For being both unworthy in our selves, and of our selves unable to call upon God as we ought, if we come in the name of Christ craving the assi­stance of the holy Spirit, in Christ we shall be ac­cepted, and by the holy Ghost enabled to pray ac­cording to God.

But here we are to take heed that we abuse not this doctrine concerning the help and assistance of the holy Ghost in prayer, by neglecting our own in­deavour and presuming of the extraordinary inspi­ration of the holy Ghost: for that is to tempt God: But in doing the uttermost of our own indeavour, we are to crave the assistance of Gods Spirit, who will not be wanting to those who are not wanting to themselves. Now if it be demanded how theseQuest. things may stand together, that no man can pray without the spirit of God and without faith, and yet both the spirit and faith is to be obteined by prayer; I answer, God by his preventing graceAnsw. worketh in us a true desire of grace and of faith; which desire of grace is the beginning of the grace desired. And therefore the grace of the spirit and faith in order of nature go before prayer, which is [Page 150] the effect of that desire, and yet prayer goeth before the knowledge or feeling of either of both.

CHAP. XXVI. Of the circumstances of prayer.

ANd thus much of the substantiall points of In­vocation: Now follow the accidentall, which1. Of the persons: In which re­spect it is publick or private. are the circumstances of Person, Time, and Place. Prayer in regard of persons is either publick or pri­vate. Publick invocation is the prayer of a congre­gation, as of a parish or colledge. Of publick prayer we are to make speciall account: For if the prayer ofOf publick prayer. some one man can avail so much (as heretofore I have shewed) what shall we think of publick, where the prayers of so many ascend together unto the Lord? As the flame of one faggot-stick to the flame of the whole faggot or bundle, so is the prayer of one man to the prayer of the whole congregation: for Vis unita est fortior, force united is so much the stronger; and a threefold cable is hardly broken. Our Saviour Christ hath bountifully promised that where two or three be gathered together in his name, there is he in the middest of them, Matth. 18. 20. Yea, such is the presence of the Lord in publick assem­blies, that those which have been excluded thence have thought themselves banished from the pre­sence of God, and to be put away from his face. It was the punishment of Cain; and so he esteemed it, Gen. 4. For when the Lord had banished him from that earth which had received his brothers bloud from his hand, v. 11. which was the place of the visible Church, v. 14. he saith, that by reason of this pu­nishment. [Page 151] he should be hid from Gods face. We see the same in the practice of David; Who when he was in banishment desired nothing more then to have liber­tie to come into the assemblies of the saints: & when he had liberty he rejoyceed in nothing more. For the first, reade Psal. 27. and 42. and 84. In Psal. 27. 4. One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I require, even that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the dayes of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to visit his temple. Psal. 42. 1, 2. As the hart brayeth for the rivers of waters, so panteth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirsteth for God, even for the living God: when shall I come and appear before the presence of God? &c. And v. 4. he saith that his soul languished when he considered, that had it not been for the tyrannie of his oppressours he might have gone with the rest of the assembly into the house of God. Psal. 84. 1. O Lord of hosts, how amiable are thy tabernacles! My soul longeth, yea and fainteth, that I might come to the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out after the living God. In the third verse he seemeth to en­vie the sparrows and the swallows which had liber­ty to lay their young ones there where he had no accesse: And then he cryeth out abruptly with a wonderfull patheticall exclamation, O thine altars, Jehovah, my King and my God! In the three next verses he pronounceth them happy not onely that dwell in the Lords house to praise him, but also those who have liberty to come to the Church, al­though it were by redious and troublesome jour­neys, both in respect of the way and the weather: thereby signifying, that he would think himself [Page 152] happy if he might have liberty to come to the as­sembly, although he went through thick and thin: and that no way or weather should hinder him. And again, v. 10. he saith, that one day spent in the house of the Lord is better then a thousand [...]lsewhere, and that he had rather be a doore-keeper in the house of God then to dwell in the tents of iniquity. Thus we see Da­vids affection to the assembly of the Saints, when he might not enjoy them. And as he placed happi­n [...]sse therein when he wanted them, so when he in­joyed them his chief joy was therein: Psal. 122. 1. I rejoyced when they said to me, We will go to the house of the Lord. Reade 2. Sam. 6. 14, 16. When the ark of the Lord was to be brought to the city of David, David for exceeding great joy danced and leaped before the ark with all his might, as if he had not been his own man, insomuch as his wife despised him, & v. 20. derided him, O how glorious was the king of Israel this day, which was uncovered to day in the sight of the maids of his servants as a fool uncovereth him­self! If we were men according to [...]ods own heart, as David was, we would have the like estimation of the assemblies of the Saints; both when we could not frequent them, most earnestly to desire them, and when we have liberty, with wonderfull chear­fulness [...] and alacrity to frequent the Churches, as for other exercises of religion so for prayer. In re­spect whereof it is called the house of prayer, Isai. 56. 7. Neither must our private prayer exempt us from the publick: For although it be an excellent exer­cise and in no case to be omitted, yet if it come in comparison it must give place to the publick. But [Page 153] the frequenting of the publick assemblies is especi­ally to be understood on the Sabbath, on which is mercatura animae, the merchandise of the soul; and the market-place is the Church.

Now as we are to frequent the publick assemblies,Private pre­paration re­quired be­fore publick prayer. so we must be carefull before we come thither to prepare our selves, according to the counsel of the Wise man Eccles 4. 17. to look to our feet, that is, to our affections, lest we offer the sacrifice of fools; and to lift up holy hands [...], without wrath or doubting, 1. Tim. 2. 8. And also when we are there, to behave our selves both in soul and body as I have shewed before; labouring also inwardly for unani­mity, that we may call upon God [...], with one mind and heart, (To unanimity is the promise made, Matth. 18. 19. If two of you shall consent, &c.) as the Primitive Church did, Acts 1. 14. and 4. 24. and outwardly for uniformity so farre forth as it is joyn­ed with decency and order, and severed from super­stition.

Concerning the voice, which I said was alwayesOf the voice to be used in publick prayer. to be used in publick prayer, we are to know; If it be uttered in one voice, as in praier, the mouth of the people ought to be the minister: because it is part of prophecie; and the Apostles Acts 6. 4. make it part of their function. If by the voice of many, as in singing (For singing also is warranted in the word of God both by the example of Christ, Mark 14. 26. & by the commandment of the Apostle, Col. 3. 16. Ephes. 5. 19. & of James ch. 5. 13.) then such singing is to be used as we may sing with grace in our hearts and spirits, with understanding to instruct and edifie [Page 154] both our selves and others. But we may not so sing as that neither we our selves can attend to the mat­ter, nor they which heare us understand what is said. That both unanimitie and uniformitie may be used, it is fit that there should be set forms of publick prayer: for then may the people best joyn their consent and desire of heart when they know before­hand the very form of the request. Indeed to that which they understand they may at the end of the prayer say, Amen; but when they know before­hand what shall be asked, there may be a better con­currence between the prayer of their heart and the speech of the minister who is the mouth.

Private prayer is either the prayer of a familie,Of p [...]ivate prayer. or of some one. To the former doth the promise of Christ also appertein; When two or three are ga­thered together in my name, there am I in the middest of them, Matth. 18. 20. And it is so much to be pre­ferred before the other as it seemeth to draw nearer to publick prayer: And therefore it is the duty of an houshoulder to call his familie togethe [...] and to pray with them.

The prayer of some one man is properly called private: For privi with the ancient Latinists is the same with singuli. That which properly is re­quired in this prayer is this, that it be private: as that we be not heard to pray of any man. This is done either when we are alone and ordinarily, or in the sight of others upon occasions offered. If when we are alone; we must neither be heard nor seen of any, but obey the commandment of Christ, Matth. 6. 6. When thou prayest enter into thy chamber; and [Page 155] when thou hast shut thy doore, pray unto thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. And therefore we are to be care­full to contein our voyce within the compasse of the private place wherein we pray. For otherwise we break the commandment of Christ; and it is all one as if we prayed openly. For, as Tertullian saith, petitiones suas quid minùs faciunt quàm si in publico orent? What do they lesse in their petitions then if they prayed in publick?

Again, if we so pray privately as that either we be seen or heard of men, our prayers wil not be void of ostentation. But as we are to avoid evil, so we are to shun all appearance of evil. Now to pray for ostentations sake is a thing simply evil and forbid­den by our Saviour Christ, Matth. 6. 5. And there­fore we are to forbear not onely from it but also from the shew therof.

Is privately thou art to pray upon occasions of­fered in the presence of others, then thou art to pray in the closet of thy heart without using the voice, according to the example of Moses, Exod. 14. of Abrahams servant, Gen. 24. and Hannah, 1. Sam. 1. Nehemiah, chap. 2. 4. But this is not to be under­stood of him who praying in the company of others is as it were the mouth of the rest: For we are to conceive of that as of the prayer of the family, wherein the voice is necessary.

CHAP. XXVII. Of the time of prayer.

NOw we are to enquire of the time of invocati­on, when we are to call upon God. The holy Ghost telleth 1. Thess. 5. 17, 18. that we must pray [...], that is, continually, and [...], in all things to give thanks: and not in that place alone, but also in divers others; as Luke 18. 1. that we must pray [...], alwayes; and 21. 36. as also Ephes. 6. 18. [...], in all seasons.

What then, will you say, must we do nothing elsObject. in the whole course of our life but pray?

I say not so. This was the phantasticall opinionAnsw. of the fanaticall hereticks the Euchetae, which thought they might do nothing else but pray, and grounded their hersies upon these places of Scri­pture. But for the answering of them and informingThe Euchetae confuted. our selves in the truth, first we are to search out the true meaning of those places of Scripture: First, therefore where it is said 1. Thess. 5. 17. that1. Thess. 5. 17. expounded. we must pray continually, it may be fitly expounded by that in the 18. verse, [...], in all things; for the sense would be the same if we should say, [...], in all things pray, and continually give thanks, that is, upon every just oc­casion pray and give thanks. Now that these can­not be understood of perpetuall continuance in pray­er, excluding all other actions and duties, it is plain by this; Paul in divers places of his epistles doth professe of himself that he did pray and give thanks alwayes, continually, without ceasing; Rom. 1. 9. [Page 157] Col. 1. 3. 1. Cor. 1. 4. Ephes. 1. 16. Col. 1. 9. 1. Thess. 1. 2. 2. Thess. 1. 3. and yet notwithstanding he nei­ther denied to obey the necessities of nature, neither omitted the duties either of his calling or of a godly life: Nay, he laboured in his calling more then all the rest of the Apostles. The like may be said of Cornelius, of whom the Scripture doth testifie Acts 10. that he prayed alwayes, which is all one with in all things; and yet by his calling a Centurion, and therefore sometimes in fight: and for the duties of a godly life, it is said that he was a just man, v. 22. and therefore exercised the duties of the second table, and gave alms.

Secondly, as touching the place in Luke 18. 1.Luke 18. 1. expounded. where it is said that Christ spake a parable to this end that we ought alwayes to pray, the holy Ghost ex­poundeth his meaning in the next words by remo­ving the contrary, that we should pray alwayes and not saint: So that to pray alwayes in this place, is not to saint in prayer: Which in other places is [...], to persevere in prayer: as Rom. 12. 12. that is, with some pertinacie (if I may use this word in the good sense) to persevere in prayer. And that this is the meaning of the words it appeareth by the scope of the parable it self, which is nothing else but this, That when we have prayed unto God and he seemeth not to heare us, we must not faint and give over, but stedfastly persevere untill we have an answer.

Thirdly, for the other places: Luke 21. 36. andLuke 21. 36. and Eph [...]s. 6. 18. [...] Ephes. 6. 18. it is not said, [...], in every time, but, [...], in every s [...]son; that is, upon every [Page 158] just occasion, whensoever opportunity is offered. To confirm this exposition this reason may be used; The Lord in his word inioyneth us a great sort of duties besides Invocation; which if we do omit, for the omission of them, although we should do no hurt, we shall be condemned: Matth. 25. 42. the sen­tence of condemnation is pronounced against the wicked for the omission of certain duties, which ne­cessarily must be omitted if we should do nothing else but pray. Again, it is a received distinction, That the negative commandments of God do bind both semper & ad semper to the absteining frō those things which are forbidden; but the affirmative command­ments, howsoever they do bind us semper, yet for the most part they do not bind us ad semper. And therefore although we be alwayes bound to the per­formance of this duty, and never exempted from it, yet we are not bound to do it alwayes. So that these commandments of continuing in prayer are to be un­derstood of the whole life and not of every mo­ment of time.

Now that we are alwayes bound to this duty ap­pearethThat we are alwayes bound to the duty of pray­er. both by our continuall necessitie to pray, in regard first of our necessities and wants both spiri­tuall and temporall; secondly, of the continuall rage of our spirituall enemies, who are never at truce with us except we be at league with them; thirdly, of innumerable dangers which are alwayes immi­nent, from which by Gods continuall mercy and goodnesse towards us we are delivered, for which we must return thanks unto him. For if there were no other cause of thanksgiving (as there are many) [Page 159] but onely this, that he hath spared us, and not con­founded us for our sinnes, this were matter suffici­ent: Lam. 3. 22. It is the mercy of the Lord that we are not confounded.

Now that we may perform these command­ments of continuance in prayer, it is requisite that we call upon God both ordinarily at set times, and extraordinarily as occasion and opportunity is offer­ed. And therefore in respect of time prayer is thusOf stinted prayers at set times, & un­stinted upon occasions of­fered. distinguished; Preces sunt statae vel vagae: which di­stinction belongeth both to publick and private prayer.

For publick prayer; What set houres in the day­time are to be appointed for Divine service, it is to be left to the discretion of every Church. Onely in the night-time it seemeth inconvenient in the flourishing and quiet estate of the Church, that publick assem­blies should be held: but in time of persecution it is otherwise. For vagae: They are so often to be used publickly as occasion is offered either by any pu­blick danger and calamity to pray, or by some pu­blick blessing of God to give thanks.

But concerning private prayer, there is no timeNo time ex­empted from private pray­er. of day naturall which may not be imployed there­unto. It hath been the practice of the godly to call upon God both night and day. So did David, Psal. 22. 2. Annah, Luke 2. 37. and not onely she, but all right widows, of whom Paul fpeaketh 1. Tim. 5. 5. So did Paul himself, 2. Tim. 1. 3. 1. Thess. 3. 10. But more specially for the day; David saith that he would call upon God seven times a day, that is, many times, Psal. 119. 164. In another place he saith that [Page 160] he would pray in the morning, in the evening, and at noon. And again, for the morning; Psal. 5. 3. and in another place, that he would prevent the morning watch. For the noon, Acts 10. 9. For the night our Saviour gave us a precedent Luke 6. 12. where it is said that he spent the whole night in prayer unto God. And to omit other speciall times; There is none so unseasonable as midnight; yet often in this time have the godly given themselves unto prayer: Psal. 119. 62. At midnight will I rise to give thanks unto thee. And so did Paul and Silas, Acts 16. 25. So that we see no time excluded from private prayer.

But to apply the former distinction to private prayer also: and first for statae: That our infirmi­ty may be helped, and our backwardnesse in this duty relieved, we are to appoint to our selves some certain houres in the day which we will not let passe without invocation on the name of God: but yet so as we place no religion in one time more then in an­other, as the Papists do in their canonicall houres, as though God were more ready to heare one time of the day then another. This practice which I have named the most holy men of God have used: As David, Psal. 55. 17. In the morning, at noon, [...]nd in the evening will I pray: And Daniel, chap. 6. 10. used to pray three times in the day. Which practice of theirs we are thus to imitate: 1. to pray in the morning, before we go about the works of our cal­ling; 2. in the mid-day, in the time of intermission of our works; and thirdly, at evening, before we take our rest: and besides, whensoever we take mea [...] we are to use both prayer and thanksgiving, 1. Tim. 4. 4, 5.

[Page 161]2. Concerning vagae: We are to follow the ad­vice of the Apostle Col. 3. 17. In every thing which we do, in word or deed, both to take it in hand by cal­ling upon the name of the Lord, and to end it with thanksgiving. Not that we are alwayes to use the voice and gesture of the body; for sometime it is sufficient to lift up the soul unto the Lord: Which kind of short prayers among the ancient Fathers were called ejaculations. And thus if we shall use statae & vagae orationes, stinted and unstinted pray­ers, omitting no just occasions, we shall perform the commandment 1. Thess. 5. 17. but otherwise we shall break the same, and in so doing we shall incurre the wrath of God.

CHAP. XXVIII. Concerning the place of prayer.

THirdly, concerning the place: To no one cer­tain place is that promise made that then wasThat there is no limita­tion of place for prayer. made to the temple of Jerusalem; viz. That what­soever men in their extremitie should ask of God in it, God would grant it in his holy habitation in the heavens. Jesus the Messias then looked for, whose presence was sought in the mercy-seat and between the Cherubims, is now entred between the veil, that is, in the heaven, and there abideth onely Me­diatour for us: unto whom from all the coasts of the earth we may lift up pure hands with assurance that we shall be heard. Howsoever the Israelites under the Law were tyed to pray either in the temple and tabernacle, Deut. 12. 5, 14. Psal. 99. 6. or else [Page 162] towards the same, 2 Chron. 7. 38. 1. Kings 8. 44, 48. Psal. 138. 2. Dan. 6. 10. yet now all such di­stinction and difference of place, being but ceremo­niall, is abolished. For that one place of prayer and sacrifice was a type of Christ Jesus the alone altar; and the praying in or towards the same did figure out thus much, That onely in the mediation of Jesus Christ, who is the onely Mediatour both of redem­ption and also of intercession, we are to call upon the Lord: Wherefore seeing these were but shadows and ceremonies of things to come, and seeing the substance and truth it self, Jesus Christ, is already exhibited, whereunto the shadows and ceremonies do and ought to give place; we are not now tied to one place more then another, as one being more typically holy then another. In the 4. of John v. 21, 22, 23, 24. our Saviour himself resolveth this doubt: for when the Samaritane had demanded of him, which is that place wherein God is to be wor­shipped, the mount Gerizzim where the Samari­tanes temple was, or the mount Moriah whereon the temple of Solomon was built; Christ giveth her this answer, That now the time was come where­in all these differences of places, being but ceremo­niall, were taken away; & that now the Lord was no more to be worshipped by ceremonies but in spirit and truth: and therefore that it was lawfull to wor­ship God not onely in Jerusalem o [...] in mount Geriz­zim but also in other places.

The Prophet Malachi seemeth to foretell the same, chap. 1. 11. For so the Lord speaketh by him, From the rising of the sunne to the going down of the [Page 163] same my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered in my name, &c. But most plain is that 1. Tim. 2. 8. where the Apostle willeth that men should pray [...], in every place, lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting. So that there is no such difference of place, but that we may law­fully call upon God in any place: Which also is confirmed unto us by the practice of Christ and his Apostles: who did not onely pray in the temple, but without distinction in other places, as in the moun­tain, in the desert, in the garden, in private hou­ses, on the house-top, on the sea-shore; and where not?

Hence appeareth the vanity of Pilgrimages: WhichThe vanity of Pilgrima­ges. were used either because the places were more ho­ly to which they went then others, or because the Lord was nearer to them there then elsewhere. The former reason I have already confuted: and the latter is more absurd. For is the Lord present at Jerusalem, and is he absent in England? nay, Do not I [...]ill heaven and earth? saith the Lord, Jer. 23. 24. And doth not the Psalmist say, Psal 138. 8. If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I lie down in hell, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, yea, thither shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand hold me.? Seeing therefore that the Lord is every where present to heare us, we may call upon him in any place: and the rather because our bodies are the temples of God, and we our selves priests, and Christ Jesus dwelleth in our temples, upon whom, as being our onely altar, we may offer up incense, that is, our prayers, Revel. [Page 164] 5. 8. Psal. 141. 2. So that wheresoever we are, we have temples wherein to call upon the Lord.

Now howsoever this which I have said be in ge­nerall true of Invocation both publick and private, yet it is to be understood of publick with this distin­ction: For publick prayer is to be considered accord­ing to the state of the Church: If the Church be ei­ther in persecution or warfare, wheresoever the as­sembly meeteth to that purpose there may they lawfully pray: As namely in persecution, in private houses or in secret places: for the assembly & not the place maketh prayer publick. But if the Church be in flourishing and quiet estate, there ought some pu­blick places, as Churches, to be appointed for that purpose, wherein the congregation ordinarily is to be assembled; not for any greater holinesse in the Churches then in other places (for the assembly san­ctifieth the place, and not the place the assembly) but onely for good orders sake and politie of the Church.

CHAP. XXIX. Of Prayer or Petition: and what is required unto it.

HItherto of the generall doctrine of Invocation1. A sense of our wants and a desire to have them supplyed. common to both the sorts. Now followeth the speciall.

Invocation is either praye [...] or thanksgiving. In the former we ask good things at the hand of God: In the latter we return praise and thanksgiving for benefits received. The former hath reference to the time to come; the latter, to the time past. For in the [Page 165] former we crave either the gift of such things as we want for the time to come, or the continuance and increase of that which we have. In the latter we praise Gods goodnesse for his blessings either be­stowed already, or at the least promised. In the for­mer we beg and pray; in the latter we give, or ra­ther render and repay, the praise which is due to his name.

But howsoever in nature these two sorts of Invo­cationPrayer and thanksgi­ving must be joyned toge­ther. do differ, and so are in doctrine to be severed, yet in use and practice they must go together. Nei­ther must we be more ready to crave new blessings at the hands of God then to return thanks for bene­fits already received. And therefore the perform­ance of both these duties the holy Ghost in many places hath joyned together: as 1. Thess. 5. 17, 18. Psal. 50. 14, 15. 1. Tim. 2. 1. Col. 3. 17. More plain­ly Col. 4. 2. Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. Phil. 4. 6. Be distrustfully carefull for nothing, but in all things let your requests be mani­fested unto God in prayer and supplication with giving of thanks. Examples: of Jacob, Gen. 32. 9, 10, &c. David, 1. Chron. 29. 10, 18. 2. Sam. 7. 18. Paul, Col. 1. 9, 12. Phil. 1. 3, 4. 1. Thess. 1. 2. Not that by giving of thanks for benefits received we do me­rit greater and better, according to that of theTh. Aquin. 2. 2. quaest. 83. 17. c. Schoolmen, De acceptis beneficiis gratias agentes mere­mur accipere potiora, When we render thanks for be­nefits received, we merit to receive better; but that the Lord of his mere bounty is ready to reward our thankfulnesse for former b [...]nefits with granting new blessings which we crave at his hands: and likewise [Page 166] our selves, when we are affected with a thankfull re­membrance of Gods goodnesse towards us for the time past, are the more encouraged with faith and affiance to crave new blessings for the time to come; Psal. 4. 1. 1. Kings 3. 6, 7, 8. Psal. 116. 1, 2.

But first we are to speak of prayer. Prayer isWhat Prayer or Petition i [...]. that invocation whereby we effectually crave any thing which we do well (that is, lawfully and profi­tably) desire at the hands of God.

Where I say it is invocation, I mean that it is a religious speech of the faithfull made unto God in the name of Christ, according to the will of God, by the help of the holy Ghost, concerning good things apperteining to Gods glory and our good; and consequently, that whatsoever before hath been spoken in generall concerning Invocation is particu­larly to be applyed to Prayer. The proper nature and difference is expressed in the word crave: For prayer is that invocation whereby we beg and crave of God. But because we speak of that prayer which is right and acceptable, and is framed according to the will of God, as was said in the generall out of 1. John 5. 14. and it is the will of God that our pray­er should be effectuall and our desire good; therefore I added, whereby we effectually crave any thing which we do well (that is, lawfully and profitably) desire of God.

That our prayer which shall avail with God must in it self be effectuall, S. James teacheth us, chap. 5. 16. The prayer of a righteous man availeth much, it be­ing effectuall. The word is [...] of which I have spoken before. As therefore that is an effectuall [Page 167] oration wherein nothing is omitted which the ora­tory art requireth, whether the hearers be perswa­ded or not; so that is an effectuall prayer wherein nothing is omitted which in the word of God, that teacheth the art and doctrine of prayer, is required either in generall or in particular. For although the efficacy of prayer doth not properly consist in the observation of the generall points, yet they are such as without them it cannot be effectuall: As 1. ThatThe generals of Invocati­on applyed to Petition. the party which prayeth be faithfull, that is, a peni­tent and believing sinner; 2. That the prayer be di­rected unto God; 3. In the name and mediation of Christ; 4. By the help of the holy Ghost; 5. That it be a prayer of the heart, or that the prayer be made in truth; (for to that the promise is restrain­ed, Psal. 145. 18. and therein the life of the prayer consisteth, without which it is dead and counterfeit) that it be made with knowledge, and with faith, with humility, with reverence, and with heartinesse; 6. For good things. All which are essentiall points required in all invocation.

But the things wherein more properly the effica­cieFervency & faith requi­red in our petitions. of prayer consisteth are Fervency and Faith: and to pr [...]y effectually, is to pray fervently and faithfully. For as touching the former; whatsoever we do ef­fectually ask that we do fervently desire. Quae verò Bein. De o­rat. & [...]. serm. 4. sol. 21. R. [...]idelis, & humilis, & fervens oratio fuerit, coelum sine dubio penetrabit: unde certum est, quòd vacuaredire non poterit: The prayer which is faithfull, humble, and fervent will without doubt pierce the heavens: whence we certainly gather, that it cannot return vain and empty.

[Page 168]Now fervency presupposeth a sense and feelingSense and feeling of our wants required in prayer. or acknowledgement of our want: And both of them in the Scriptures are signified in the phrases of hungring and thirsting, Isai. 55. 1. Matth. 5. 6. John 7. 37. For as in hunger and thirst there concurre two things; a sense of our want, and an appetite to have that want supplyed: so in prayer we must hun­ger and thirst after those graces and blessings which we do crave, that is, we must have a true sense and acknowledgement of our want, and an earnest de­sire to have it supplyed. In which respect David compareth his soul to thirstie lands which gape for the rain, Psal. 63. 2. and 143. 6. and to the hart braying for the rivers of waters, Psal. 42. 1. Both these are necessary to effectuall prayer: For what we ask we desire, and what we desire we want: Nei­ther can we fervently ask that we do not earnestly desire, and we cannot earnestly desire that whereof we feel no want. The whole needeth not the Physician, as our Saviour saith Luke 5. 31. And as the Philo­sophers teach, Nihil appetit quod habet, Nothing af­fecteth what it hath: therefore this I said is presup­posed. If any want wisdome, saith S. James, let him Jam. 1. 5. ask it. For if he find not himself to want it in whole or in part, he is not to ask it, unlesse he will mock God, who will not be mocked, Gal. 6. 8.

Here therefore they offend, I. In respect of tem­porall things, who trusting in their own means, and relying upon their own store, do not find themselves to stand in need of Gods help, neither do depend upon the providence or blessing of God in the use of the means. For such when they pray unto God for [Page 169] these things, as namely, to give them this day their dai­ly bread, they do not pray in truth, because they do not unfeignedly desire that whereof they find no want.

II. In respect of spirituall things two sorts of men offend: First, those that are carnally secure, who although they be wretched and miserable, poore, blind, and naked, yet being lukewarm with the Laodiceans, Rev. 3. 17. & feeling no want, think they are rich and need nothing. Secondly, those who are righteous in their own conceit; as Phari­saicall and Popish justitiaries. For both these and the other feeling no want, either pray not at all, or if they do pray, it is but for fashions sake: and there­fore praying usu magis quàm sensu, out of custome ra­ther then sense, their prayer is not acceptable unto God, and like lukewarm water to the stomach. Wherefore it behoveth us to labour that we may have a true sense of our wants: Which I speak espe­cially in respect of spirituall graces: for when we are pinched with bodily wants, we are many times but too sensible thereof: But of spirituall wants many have no sense; and being miserable they feel no mi­sery. First, therefore it is good to be perswaded that this sense of our wants is necessary for us: For with­out it neither will we seriously seek unto the Lord, neither will he seem to regard us. We will not ear­nestly seek unto him: for what we do not want we do not desire; and what we do not desire that we do not ask, except it be for fashion: And how can we look that the Lord will compati, that is, have com­passion on us, when we do not pati, or feel any want? [Page 170] How can we desire him misereri, to have mercy on us, when we do not esteem our selves miseri, to whom mercy belongeth? (for thence hath misericor­dia the name.) Yea, if we be rich and full in ou [...] own conceits, the Lord will send us away empty, Luke 1. 55. remaining in our sinne, Luke 18. 14. exposed to his curse, Luke 6. 24, 25. Whereas on the other side, if we be humbled with the sense of our want, the Lord will have speciall regard unto us, Isai. 66. 2. and 57. 15. and be near unto us in all our desires, Psal. 34. 18. Yea, such he calleth to him, Matth. 11. 28. such he promiseth to heare, Psal. 10. 17. John 7. 37. such he pronounceth blessed, Matth. 5. 3, 4, 5.

Secondly, that we may attein to this sight andHow we may come to a sight & sense of our wants. sense of our misery and wants, we are to look into the glasse of the law; which will reveal unto us our misery, both in respect of our sins, and also of the punishment due for the same, &c.

Thirdly, for as much as the sight and sense of our misery is the gift of God and work of his spirit, we are to pray unto God that he will anoint the eyes of our minds with the eye-salve of his spirit, Revel. 3. 18. that we may see our sins; and that he would touch our hearts with the finger of his spirit, as he struck the rock in the wildernes, that they may melt within us, as the heart of Josias did at the reading of the law, 2. Kings 22. 19. and be resolved into a foun­tain of tears, by which we may bewail our sinnes whereby we have displeased and dishonoured God.

From this sense of our wants ariseth the secondThat we must in prayer have an earnest desire to have our wants sup­lyed. thing, that is, an earnest desire to have our wants [Page 171] supplyed. And this is of such force in prayer, that it seemeth to be nothing else but the expressing of our desire, and is therefore called [...] and of such efficacie in prayer, that some place the efficacie of prayer therein; & so reade the words of S. James, ch. 5. 16. The effectuall [...]ervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much; others, The prayer of a righteous man a­vaileth much if it be fervent. But though it be not the onely cause of efficacy, yet it is one of the principall: for, as Augustine saith, Dignior s [...]quitur effectus quem Epist. ad Pro­bum, 121. ferventior affectus praecedit: A more worthy effect followeth which a more fervent affection precedeth

This praying with earnest desire is commended to us in the word of God by divers significant phra­ses: For besides that it is called crying unto the Lord, and crying mightily, Jon. 3. 8. lifting up of our pray­er, Isai. 38. 14. this is also to poure forth our souls be­fore the Lord like water, Lam. 2. 19. In which sense the Israelites are said 1. Sam. 7. 6. to have drawn water from the fountain of their hearts, and poured it out before the Lord. This is to pray with grones un­speakable, Rom. 8. 26. which the holy Ghost stirreth up in us; and is therefore an evident token of the child of God indued with the Spirit of adoption: which is also the spirit of grace and supplication, ma­king us when we look upon him whom we have pierced by our sinnes, to lament and mourn as a man mourneth for his first-begotten, Zech. 12. 10. For, as AugustineEpist. 121. saith, Plerunque hoc negotium plùs gemitibus quàm ser­monibus agitu [...], fletu plùs quam affatu: For the most part this businesse is effected better with grones then words, with weeping rather then speaking. [Page 172] This is to pray with Paul [...], exceedingly, 1. Thess. 3. 10. This is with Epaphras, Col. 4. 12. as it were to wrestle with the Lord: which the Apostle commendeth to the Romanes, chap. 15. 30. By which kind of wrestling Jacob prevailed with God, as Hosea teacheth chap. 2. 3, 4. and was therefore called Israel, Gen. 32. This is that prayer of the hum­ble which pierceth the clouds, Ecclus 35. 21. This fer­vent desire therefore is fervently to be desired of us, and happy are they which have atteined to it, Matth. 5. 6.

The means to attein unto it are, First, because itThe means to obtein fervency of desire. is the work of Gods spirit, to beg it of him by prayer.

Secondly, to labour after a true sense of our wants.

Thirdly, in our preparation to meditate on the excellency, profit and necessity of those things which we crave, that so our affections may be infla­med with a desire thereof; as also of the necessity of Gods help, that except the Lord heare us and help us our case is desperate. So David prayeth Psal. 28. 1. and 143. 6, 7. Heare me, O Lord, and hide not thy face; else I shall be like to them that go down into the pit.

Fourthly, we are upon extraordinary occasions to joyn fasting with our prayers, as we are directed in many places of the Scripture. For fasting as it cau­seth the hunger of the body, [...] it is an effectuall means to stirre up and increase the hunger of the soul. For which cause the Fathers [...] fasting orati­onis alas, the wings of prayer.

CHAP. XXX. Of Faith, which is chiefly required in prayer.

BUt the chief thing which maketh prayer effectu­all is Faith: whereof Fervency it self is a fruit: And therefore our Saviour attributeth the earnest­nesse and importunity of the woman of Syropheni­cia's prayer to the greatnesse of her faith, Matth. 15. 28. For that prayer which S. James, chap. 5. 16. calleth [...], in the 15. verse he calleth [...], the prayer of faith.

Now in prayer there is a double faith required:A double faith requi­red in prayer The one more generall, apprehending the promises of the Gospel concerning salvation by Christ, by which we are in some measure perswaded that we and our prayers are accepted of God in Christ: Of which I have spoken before in the general doctrine, Rom. 10. 14. Heb. 11. 6. Ephes. 3. 12. The other more speciall, giving speciall assent to the promise made to our prayer, whereby we are perswaded that our particular requests shall be granted unto us according to Gods gracious promise in this behalf; Matth. 7. 7, 8. John 14. 13, 14. and 16. 23, 24.

To pray effectually therefore is to pray faithful­ly. For what things soever, saith our Saviour, ye Mark 11. 24. desire when ye pray, believe that ye shall receive them, Matth. 22. 21 and ye shall have them. And it is usuall with our Sa­viour Christ to dis [...]isse his suiters with this answer, As thou believest [...] be it unto thee. On the other side he prayeth not effectually who doubteth whether he shall be heard or not: Wherefore, as S. James saith, chap. 1. 5. If any man want wisdome let him ask [Page 174] it of God, and it shall be given him: But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering: for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed to and fro. Neither let that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. So S. Paul, 1. Tim. 2. 8. would have men pray without doubting. Examples; Psal. 4. 3. and 55. 16, 17. And the Apostle S. John saith, This is our confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will he heareth us: and if we know that he heareth us, whatsoever we ask we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him, 1. John 5. 14, 15. Wherefore seeing in Christ we have boldnesse and accesse with confidence by the faith of him, Ephes. 3. 12. we ought as we are exhorted Hebr. 4. 16. to come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtein mercy and find grace to help in time of need; and draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, Heb. 10. 19, 22.

But here a distinction is to be used. In mattersThat we must pray for spi­ritual things absolutely; spirituall necessary to salvation, as we are to ask them absolutely, as being perswaded that God hath subordinated our salvation to his own glory; so are we absolutely to believe that the Lord will grant them unto us. Yea, this may be added for our comfort, that if God hath given us grace unfeignedly and earnestly to desire any saving grace, the same grace is begun in us. In matters temporall or spi­rituallfor tempo­rall things conditional­ly. which are not necessary to salvation, as 2. Cor. 12. as we are to ask them conditionally, so far forth as they may stand with Gods glory and the good of our selves and our brethren, so are we to believe that he will so far forth grant them, and [Page 175] therefore that he will either grant our desire or that which is better. For which cause in such requests we are most willingly with our Saviour Christ to submit our will and desires to the will and pleasure of God, Matth. 26. 39, 42. who as he knoweth what is good for us better then our selves, so he is most ready to give good things unto us, Matth. 7. 11. and therefore we are alwayes to believe that our re­quests being rightly conceived shall be granted un­to us.

I would believe that I should be heard, were itObject. not for mine unworthinesse and my wants in pray­er.

Indeed thou mayest be such an one, and suchAnsw. may be thy prayers, as thou canst have no hope to be heard: that is, if thou be an impenitent and un­believing sinner God will not heare thee; or if thou pray in hypocrisie and dissimulation the Lord will not heare thy prayer. But if thou art a penitent and believing sinner, yea, if thou dost unfeignedly de­sire to believe and repent, and dost pray unto the Lord in truth with unfeigned lips, thou oughtest to pray with assurance to be heard: and this thy faith and assurance must not be grounded on thine own worthinesse or dignitie of thy prayer, but on the undoubted promises of God, and on the merits and mediation of Christ, in whom both we & our pray­ers are accepted of God. As for the sense of thine unworthinesse, if it be in truth and joyned with unfeigned desire of grace, it ought to make thee the rather to pray in faith: for such, as I have shewed, our Saviour calleth with promise to heare and help [Page 176] them: And such he pronounceth blessed, Matth. 11. 28. John 7. 37. Matth. 5. 4, 5, 6.

Now for the helping of our faith, we are in ourMeditations to strengthen our faith in prayer. preparation to meditate of these things especially: First, of the power of God, who is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we do ask or think, Eph. 3. 20.

Secondly, of his fatherly good will, who will de­ny us nothing that is good, Matth. 7. 11. The con­sideration of both which our Saviour hath prefixed before the Lords prayer, when he teacheth us to call upon God as our Father, therein noting his love & good will; which is in heaven, therein noting his power, Psal. 111. 3. that being perswaded that God is both able and willing to grant our requests, we might pray in faith and assurance that our prayer shall be heard.

Thirdly, of his gracious promises made unto prayer: as Matth. 7. 7, 8. John 16. 23, 24. which if we cannot find in our hearts to believe, we are not to pray; for in not believing we make God a liar.

Lastly and especially, of the merits and mediation of our Saviour Christ who sitteth at the right handRom. [...]. 34. of his Father making intercession for us.Heb. 7. 25.

Though our prayer must be fervent and confi­dent, yet with submission to the will of God; Quid, Quale, Quantum, Quomodo, Quando, Vbi, what, of what kind, how much, after what manner, when and where he is pleased to give, knowing that he is able [...], exceeding abundantly. We are not to limit [...]. 3. 20. God or to circumscribe him by circumstances. It is reckoned, Psal. 78. 41. among the faults of the old Israelites, that they circumscribed the holy One of [Page 177] Israel; and is effectually reproved by Judeth, chap▪ 8. 11, 16. in the governours of Bethulia, who ap­pointed to the Lord the term of five dayes to deli­ver them, otherwise they would give up their city. Not that it is simply unlawfull to mention circum­stances, so it be done with submission to the will of God either expressed or understood; Gen. 24. 12, &c. Psal. 102. 2.

Now, as I said, we do by prayer effectually crave that which we do well, that is, lawfully and profit­ably, desire at the hands of God. Lawfully, when we desire that which is good, and to a good end: For if it be not good which we desire, then is our desire unlawfull, and we sinne in going about to make God the authour of sinne. God hath promi­sed to give good things to them that ask, Matth. 7. 11. But if they be not good, they are not within the compasse of Gods promise, nor ought to come within the compasse of our desire. If not to a good end, our desire is not lawfull nor our prayer accept­able, Jam. 4. 3. Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amisse, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

But as the thing must be good in it self, so also it must be good unto us, that is, expedient and profita­ble: for God as a most wise Father doth not alwayes grant his children their desires; for many times they ask that which would be hur [...]full: for we know not what to ask as we ought, Rom. 8. 26. But he heareth them alwayes though not ad voluntatem, to their will, yet ad utilitatem, to their profit. And there­fore when he seemeth not to satisfie our particular desire, he graciously heareth our prayer, if it be [Page 178] rightly conceived. Fo [...] we ought all to be of that mind which some of the heathen expressed in their prayer mentioned in Plato and in the Greek Epigramme,

[...].
Good things, great Jove, pray or pray not, impart
To us; but bad, though crav'd, from us avert.

CHAP. XXIX. Of duties to be performed after prayer.

ANd these are the duties to be performed in the action of prayer. Out of the action, before is required preparation: wherein we are to meditate of such things as may help and further us for the ex­ercise of such duties as are required in the action, which I have already noted in the particulars.

After our prayer is ended we must quietly rest in1. We must rest upon Gods plea­sure for the obteining of our suits. the good will and pleasure of God; not doubting but the Lord as he hath heard our prayers, so in his good time will grant the same as shall be most for his glory and our good. And this is the meaning of the word Amen, where with our Saviour hath taught us (as it were) to seal up our prayers: for thereby as we signifie the consent of our desire, so also the as­sent of faith. This was Davids disposition, Psal. 3. 4, 5. I did call unto the Lord with my voice; there is his prayer: and he heard me out of his mountain; there is his assurance that he was heard: I laid me down and slept; there is his quiet and secure resting in the good will and protection of God who did sustein him. So [Page 179] Psal. 4. 6, 7, 8. Psal. 5. 3. In the morning I will direct my prayer unto thee, & speculabor, and I will look and wait, untill thou shalt grant my desire. And such al­so was the disposition of Hannah after she had pray­ed, 1. Sam. 1. 18.

Secondly, as we crave good things at the hands2. We must use the means to obtein those things for which we have prayed. of God, so we our selves must endeavour to attein unto them by all good means possible. For other­wise our prayer is a tempting of God, as if we would have our desire granted as it were by miracle, and a fruit of no faith or unfeigned desire of the thing asked. For if we did truly believe and unfeignedly desire the thing which we ask, we would leave no good means unattempted for the obteining thereof. As for example, when I pray for faith or any other spirituall grace, I must besides my prayer use all the good means carefully which the Lord hath ordain­ed for the begetting and increasing of those graces in us, as the hearing of the word preached, recei­ving the Sacrament, reading and meditating in the word, &c. To this purpose there are many wor­thy sayings of the heathen: as of Aeschylus, [...], God delighteth to be present with him that laboureth: and, [...], When as any man useth his indeavour God also putteth to his hand: and, [...], Manum admoventi invocanda sunt Numina, Divine powers are to be invocated by him that put­teth to his own hand: To which purpose is that pro­verb of Varro, Dii facientes adjuvant, God assisteth labourers: Adag. [...].

[Page 180]Thirdly, if having prayed and used other means3. We must examine what is the cause that we are not heard. we do not obtein our desires, let us before we go any further labour to find out the cause. If the fault be in our prayer, because we did ask amisse, Jam. 4. 3. as that we did not pray in faith, or in fervency, c. we must endeavour by the assistance of Gods spiri [...], which we are to crave, to amend that fault. If the fault be in our selves, as that we lie in some sinne not repented of, we must by repentance wash our selves, and then renew our prayers unto God, Isai. 1. 16, 18. It may be we neither so greatly desire the thing which we ask while we want it, neither would so highly esteem it when we have it, as it deserveth, and therefore the Lord deferreth the granting of our suit, that our desire being deferred might be more fervent, and the thing so hardly obteined might both the more highly be esteemed and the more carefully kept. So Augustine, Deus differt no­stra postulata, ut discamus grandia grand [...]ter desider are: God deferreth to grant our requests, that we may learn to desire greatly great things.

Fourthly, having used the means and endeavour­ed4. We must persevere in prayer. to remove the impediments, we are to persist and persevere in prayer without fainting. To which purpose our Saviour propounded the parable of the widow and the judge, Luke 18. 1. giving us to un­derstand that those things which we do not obtein at the first, by reason of our perseverance and im­portunitie shall be granted. To which purpose also serveth the parable of the two friends, Luke 11. 8. To this perseverance we are often stirred up both by precept, Rom. 12. 12. and practice; as of Han­nah, [Page 181] 1. Sam. 1. 12. of David, Psal. 109. 4. who gave himself to prayer; of Daniel, when he was forbid­den under pain of death to call upon God, Dan. 6. of Bartimeus the blind man, who calling upon Christ and being therefore rebuked of the people did so much the more cry after him, Mark 10. 46, 48. of the woman of Syrophenicia, who having recei­ved divers repulses yet by her importunity obteined her desire, Matth. 15. 22. of the Primitive Church, Acts 2. 42. and 12. 5. of Cornelius, Acts 10. of Paul, who prayed without ceasing.

Fifthly, as we are to persist with a kind of im­portunitie5. We must with patience expect Gods leisure. in our prayers, so are we with patience to expect the Lords leisure, Psal. 40. 1. and 130, 5, 7. and not to be hasty, according to that, Isai. 28. 16. Qui crediderit nè festinet, Let not him that believeth make hast: but, as it is Psal. 123. 2. waiting upon the Lord untill he have mercie upon us, knowing, as Je­remy speaketh Lam. 3. 26. that it is good both to trust and to wait for the salvation of the Lord; being assured that the Lord, who is a present help in the time of need, will in his good time grant our requests. And therefore we are exhorted Heb. 4. 16, to come with boldnesse to the throne of grace, that we may obtein mercy and find grace [...], that is, for oppor­tune help. And because we have need of this patience, Heb. 10. 36. we are to stirre up and encourage our6. We must be cont [...]ed with Gods good plea­sure when he seemeth to deny us. selves thereto, Psal. 27. 13, 14. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, &c.

Sixthly, if having persisted in prayer and long expected the Lords leisure we yet have not obteined our suit, insomuch that the Lord may seem rather [Page 182] wholly to deny it then for a time to delay it, we are to rest in the good will and pleasure of God, being perswaded that he hath heard our prayers in a bet­ter manner then we desired, hearing us though not ad voluntatem yet ad utilitatem, that is, for our profit t [...]gh not according to our will; after the manner of wise and carefull parents, who will not give to their children what they ask but what is profitable; and of good Physicians, who will not grant their pa­tients what they desire but what is expedient. And therefore we are in this case to be disposed as Au­gustine directeth us; Si quid contra quod oramus acci­derit, Aug. Epist. 121. ad Pro­ [...]am. patienter ferendo, & in omnibus gratias agendo, hoc potiùs oportuisse quod Dei non quod nostra voluntas habuit, minimè dubitare debemus, by patient bearing it, if any thing happeneth contrary to that which we have prayed for, and in all things giving thanks; neither ought we to doubt but that it is better that should come to passe which God willeth then what we desired. And this is true not onely in temporall benefits, which it is good sometime to want, but al­so in spirituall which are not necessary to salvation. As for example; A man being troubled with some infirmitie, which is as a prick in his flesh moving him to sinne, prayeth unto God to be delivered from it: but howsoeuer his prayer in desiring to be freed from evil is acceptable unto God, yet it may be he will not grant it, the deniall being more for his glory and our profit: for his glory, because his power is manifested in our weaknesse; to make us work out our salvation with fear and trembling, to make us more circumspect of our wayes, knowing [Page 183] that we carry such an enemy about us, as if we stand not upon our guard will be ready to foil us. Exam­ple hereof in Paul, 2. Cor. 12. 7, 8, 9. And this ought to be our disposition when our requests do seem not to be granted.

But if contrariwise the Lord hath heard our pray­ersHow we must carry our selves when our requests are granted. and granted our requests, then are we, First, to be thankfull unto God for his goodnesse, Psal. 28. 6. and 66. 20. and 118. 21. Dan. 2. 23. Gen. 24. 26. John 11. 41. Secondly, our love of God must be increased and our faith confirmed with greater confidence to make our prayers unto him for the time to come, Psal. 116. 1, 2. I love the Lord because he hath heard the voyce of my supplications: because he hath inclined his care unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.

CHAP. XXXII. Distinctions of prayer in regard of the object.

NOw this kind of invocation admitteth some di­stinctions in regard of the object: which is ei­ther Personall, or Reall.

In regard of persons we pray either for our selves1. Of the persons; For and against whom we must pray. or concerning others; howbeit when we pray for our selves we are also ordinarily to pray for others, as our Saviour hath taught us.

The prayer which concerneth others is properly called [...], intercession, and it is either for them, 1. Tim. 2. 1. or against them, Rom. 11. 2.

The others for whom we are to pray, are either deceased or living. The deceased are either the [Page 184] elect, which are happie in heaven; or the reprobate, damned in hell. For the elect in generall we do pray in the second petition of the Lords prayer, that the whole number of the elect being accomplished the Lord would hasten the second coming of Christ, for our and their full redemption, that both they and we may both in body and soul enjoy the feli­citie of our blessed Saviour, and by him the fellow­ship of the whole Trinity to our complete and eter­nall happinesse. As touching the reprobate in hell; we are not to pray for them, but rather against them: which we do in generall and by consequence in the same petition.

In particular we are not to pray for any deceased:That we ought not to pray for the dead. For either they be in heaven, and then our prayer is needlesse; or in hell, and then it is bootlesse. For as touching the purgatorie-fire, it was but a smoke, and therefore vanished; or at the most a devised fire, serving for the Popes kitchin, and the inrich­ing of the Popish clergie. Furthermore, as he that prayeth in particular for the saints in heaven wrong­eth them, as supposing that they need his prayer; so he that prayeth for any of the reprobate in hell wrongeth himself; for such a prayer being with­out warrant, and therefore not of faith, yea expresse­ly against the Scriptures, which teach that out of hell there is no redemption, is turned into sin. For what warrant have we to love where we know that God doth hate, or to make intercession for them to whom the intercession of Christ doth not be­long?

But we know not whether they be in heaven orObject. in hell.

[Page 185]But this we are to know, Whether they be inAnsw. heaven or hell we are not in particular to pray for them. If we know not their estate, we are in charity to hope the best of those which die in the church; for whom being in heaven we can by prayer procure no particular blessing.

Concerning those that are alive; We are com­mandedThat we ought to pray for those that are alive. in the word of God to pray one for another, Jam. 5. 16. for all the Saints, Ephes. 6. 18. for the whole brotherhood of Christians, as our Saviour hath taught us, Our Father, Give us, &c. The which as it doth teach us our duty, so to them that do it it ministreth comfort. Frater, si pro te solo or as, solus or as pro te: si pro omnibus, omnes or ant pro te: Brother, if thou prayest for thy self alone, then thou alone prayest for thy self: if thou prayest for all, then all pray for thee. And not onely for the faithfull are we to pray, but for all men in generall, that is, for men of all sorts and conditions, those onely excepted who have sinned against the holy Ghost: for whom there remaineth no more sacrifice for sinne, but a fearfull expectation of judgement, and vio­lent fire which shall consume the professed enemies of God, Hebr. 10. 27. For these we are not to pray, 1. John 5. 16.

Of the rest there is a distinction to be made in re­spect both of their outward and inward estate. In regard of outward estate some are publick per­sons, some are private. We are to pray for all, but especially for the publick, and those which be in au­thority, 1. Tim. 2 1, 2. And as private persons are to pray for the publick, so contrariwise the publick for the private, 1. Sam. 12. 23.

[Page 186]In regard of the inward estate, some are faithfull, some are faithlesse. We are to pray for all, but espe­cially for those which be of the houshold of faith, Psal. 122. 6. Ephes. 6. 18. Gal. 6. 10.

The faithlesse are the enemies of God, and someObject. of them the enemies of our Church and countrey, and some enemies to our selves; and shall we pray for such?

Although now they be the enemies of God, yetAnsw. That we ought to pray for un­believers. hereafter they may become friends and be reconci­led unto him: whereof our prayer may be a means: And therefore howsoever we are to pray against their wicked practices, we are to pray for their per­sons, that they of enemies may become friends; of infidels, faithfull; of hereticks and schismaticks, sound Christians; of wicked and profane, religious and holy: for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour, who willeth that all men should be sa­ved and come unto the knowledge of the truth, 1. Ti­moth. 2. 4.

Examples of them who have prayed for the wic­ked are very many in the word of God: As of A­braham, for the Sodomites, Gen. 18. Moses, for the rebellious Israelites, Exod. 32. yea, for Pharaoh and the Egyptians; Samuel, for Saul; the man of God, for Jeroboam, 1. Kings 13. But why seek I ex­amples? We have a commandment to pray for such as have sinned not unto death, and a promise to procure mercy for them, 1. John 5. 16. and a com­plaint of God when this is not performed, Ezek. 22. 30.

Prayers made for the wicked are many timesObject. without fruit.

[Page 187]If they be without fruit, though they be to themAnsw. idle, yet not to thee: Thy prayer shall return into thine own bosome, Psal. 35. 13. according to that Mat. 10. 13. When ye come into an house, salute it, or wish peace unto it: if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it; but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.

As for those that be our enemies; Though the Schoolmen teach that we are not or at least need not specially to pray for them, yet our Saviour Christ hath commanded us to love our enemies, to blesse them that curse us, and to pray for them who de­spitefully use us and persecute us. So Jer. 29. 7. Rom. 12. 14. And this was practiced by our Saviour, Luke 13. 34. by Stephen, Acts 7. 60.

To this kind of praying for others we are to re­ferreOf Blessing, a speciall kind of prayer. Blessing: which is a speciall kind of prayer of the superiour for the inferiour, Heb. 7. 7. As of the Prince, 1. Kings 8. 55. of the Priest, Num. 6. 23, 24. of the parents, Gen. 9. and 27. and 49. To which the Lord hath given great force, insomuch that the prolonging of the childrens life and dayes seemeth to be attributed to the parents in the fifth commandment, that they may prolong their dayes, &c. And therefore not without cause are children taught to crave the blessing of their parents; the rather because as it is our duty to pray for others, so also to desire others to pray for us. Which hath been done not onely by the inferiour and weak in grace, as 1. Sam. 12. Jam. 5. 14. but also by the chief Saints of God, as by Paul in many places of his epistles, as Rom. 15. 30. Eph. 6. 19. But when [Page 188] we desire others to pray for us, we must adde ourChrysoft. hom. 79. own prayers, and our indeavour, and our repen­tance, if sinne hath separated between God and us; otherwise the prayers of others though never so godly will not avail us, Jer. 15. 1. Ezek. 14. 14.

Prayer against others is Querimonia or, Impre­catio. Of Prayer against o­thers.

Complaint, is intercession against others, layingComplaint [...] forth the evil that they do or intend against us, Rom. 11. 2, 3. 1. Kings 19. 14. Psal. 3. 1, 2. and 22. 7, 8, 12. Is [...]i. 37. 14. Acts 4. 29.

Imprecation is [...]hat intercession against othersImprecation whereby we do not onely declare their malum cul­pae, evil of sinne; but desire their malum poenae, evil of punishment. And hereof are three degrees: The first, when we pray not against their persons but against their counsels and practices, that God would confound them and bring them to nought: So Da­vid prayed against Achitophel, 2. Sam. 15. 31. Se­condly, when we pray the Lord to inflict some tem­porall affliction upon them that they may be hum­bled and brought to repentance, Psal. 83. 16. Fill their faces with shame, O Lord, that they may seek thy name. Job 34. 36. Optat Elihu [...]obum tamdiu afs [...]igi donec justitiam Dei agnoscat, & à responsionibus blasphe­mis qualibus impii utuntur abstineat▪ Elihu wisheth Job so long to be afflicted till he acknowledged Gods justice, and absteined from blasphemous an­swers, such as the wicked do use. Thirdly, when we pray for their utter destruction, Psal. 55. 15. ButWhether im­precations be lawfull. here it may be demanded whether these kinds of imprecations be lawfull and agreeable to charity, and whether also they be imitable.

[Page 189]Of the first there is no question, seeing it is made not against their person but their sinne. Now it is profitable not onely for him that prayeth, but for the other also that is prayed against, that his sinne may be restrained, and his wicked practices prevent­ed. Nor is there any great question to be made of the second, if it be made in hatred of the sinne and love of the person, that the sinne by the affliction may be mortified and the sinner saved. Concerning the third, we are to distinguish between such im­precations as are generally conceived against the wicked and obstinate enemies of God, and those which are particular. For of the first there is no question to be made, that they be warrantable and lawfull, as they are generally propounded without having a speciall eye to some particulars whom per­haps we maligne; Judg. 5. 31. Psal. 31. 17. Deut. 27. 15, &c. to the end of the chapter. 1. Cor. 16. 22. Anathema Maranatha. Again, those that are di­rected against particular men, sometimes they are, as Augustine saith, verba praedicentium, the words ofContra [...] stum. those who foretell, rather then vota imprecantium, the wishes of them that imprecate; as Gen. 9. 25. Psal. 109. 7, 8. with Acts 1. 20. Jos. 6. 26. with 1. Kings 16. 34. And such are the words denounced by our Saviour to Chorazin and Bethsaida, Matth. 11. 21. against the Pharisees, Matth. 23. and Luke 11. 42, &c. against Judas, Matth. 26. 24.

As touching the rest of the curses which the ho­ly men of God in the Scriptures have denounced against the wicked, wishing the ruine and destructi­on of their persons, we are to hold that howsoever [Page 190] they were warrantable in them, yet not imitable of us. They by the spirit of God were inlightened certainly to know & discern those against whom they make such imprecations to have been the de­sperate enemies of God appointed to destruction. Secondly, they were moved not with private ha­tred but with a pure zeal of Gods glory, to which the love of our neighbour must give place, desiring that God might be glorified in the confusion of his obstinate enemies.Our safest course is to abstein from imprecations

But as for us who neither have the like certainty of knowledge nor the like purity of zeal, our safest course is altogether to abstein from imprecations directed against the persons of men; knowing that when curses do proceed from private hatred and malice, they are most horrible profanations of the name of God, whereby malicious men go about to make God the executioner of their malice: and therefore we are charged not to curse but to blesse, 1. Pet. 3. 9. even those that curse or persecute us, Rom. 12. 14. Matth. 5. 44. Cursed therefore are they which use cursing, Psal. 109. 17. especially if they curse any of the heirs of the promise, to whom God hath made this promise, Blessed be he that blesseth thee, and cursed be he that curseth thee, Gen. 12. 3. and 27. 29.

CHAP. XXXIII. Of the reall object of prayer, or the things to be prayed for.

THe object reall, or the thing which we do ask, is either undetermined and not particularly ex­pressed, or else it is determined and expressed in par­ticular. The former, when in generall or in indefi­nite terms we desire the Lord to heare us; Psal. 4. 1. Heare me when I call; have mercy upon me, and heare my prayer: Psal. 5. 1, 2. and 28. 1, 2. and 54. 2. and 55. 1, 2. and 61. 1. and 86. 1. and 88. 2. and 102. 1, 2. and 130. 1, 2. and 141. 1, 2. and 143. 1.

The object determined is either the glory of God or our own good. The advancement of Gods glory is to be asked both absolutely and first. Ab­solutely, I say, without any condition or respect of our own good, which we must subordinate to the glory of God, and not the glory of God to it. If therefore the glory of God and our own good come in comparison or in question whether should give place, we ought to preferre the glory of God before our own salvation. Example, Exod. 32. 32. Rom. 9. 3. For the glory of God is the chief end, and our good is no otherwise to be desired then it is referred thereunto. But as we are to ask it absolute­ly so also first: First, both in order, as our Saviour hath taught us, this being the first petition of the Lords prayer; and first in degree, that is, chiefly, because the end is alwayes better and more exc [...]l­lent then those things which are referred to the end: [...].

[Page 192]The things which we crave for our selves (under which word I comprehend all men) is either the be­stowing, continuing and increasing of some good, or else deliverance or preservation from evil. In which regard prayer is either [...], precatio boni, prayer for good; or [...], deprecatio mali, deprecati­on of evil. [...] [...]. 147. [...], Prayer is the desiring of good concerning holy things made unto God, saith Basil. Phil. 4. 6. 1. Tim. 2. 1.

It was said before that the matter or object ofObject. our prayer must be good; how then can prayer ad­mit a distinction in respect of good and evil.

The avoiding or taking away of evil is good: A­motio Answ. mali habet rationem boni, Removing of evil hath the reason of good: And, as the Oratour saith, Bellum est cavere malum, It is a good thing to shun evil. And hereupon the benefits of God are distinguished into positive, which are reall benefits; and privative, which is deliverance or preservation from evil. The good things which we crave for our selves belong either to the obteining of a better life, or for the mainteining of this life: the former are commonly called spirituall blessings, and the lat­ter temporall.

The spirituall blessings (I mean so many as are necessary to salvation) we are to ask absolutely; be­cause such spirituall blessings are absolutely subordi­nated to Gods glory and mans salvation. And se­condly, among those things which we crave for our selves they are first to be desired and sought, Matth. 6. 33. And that order our Saviour observeth in the [Page 193] Lords prayer, teaching us after the glory of God, in the next place to seek our own chiefest good. For by the kingdome of God we are to understand both the kingdome of glory and the kingdome of grace. The kingdome of glory cometh to us in our glorification, the kingdome of grace in our vocati­on, whereby we are brought out of the kingdome of Satan into Gods kingdome; and secondly in our justification, whereby we are both indued with the priviledges of his kingdome, which are the righte­ousnesse of God imputed, peace and joy in the holy Ghost, Rom. 14. 17. and also intituled unto the king­dome of heaven. And by doing the will of God on earth as it is done in heaven, is meant the righteousnes of God so farre as it is by us to be performed, or the righteousnesse of sanctification, which is both the cognizance of all true subjects of the kingdome of grace, and the proper note of all the heirs of the kingdome of glory, Acts 26. 18. and 20. 32.

As touching temporall benefits; Some have de­nied that they are to be asked of God; as the Mar­cionites and Manichees: others have doubted con­cerning the same; as Chrysostome and Basil, as be­ing unworthy either for us to seek and ask of God, or for him to give unto us. But our Saviour, when he biddeth us first seek the kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, implyeth that temporall things are to be sought also in a secondary respect: For, as Lyra saith, Primum relativè dicitur ad secundum. Cùm er­gò dicit, Primò quaerendum, significavit quòd hoc po­steriùs quaerendum non tempore sed dignitate (id est, se­cundariâ quâdam ratione) illud tanquam bonum no­strum, hoc tanquam necessarium nostrum; necessarium [Page 194] autem propter illud bonum: FIRST is relatively spo­kenAugust. De serm. Dom. in m [...]te, l. 2. with reference to a latter: And therefore when he saith that we must seek it first, he implyeth that this is to be sought afterwards, not in respect of time but dignity (that is, in a secondary respect;) that as our good, this as necessary. For whereas it may be objected, that temporall benefits are not quaerenda sed adjicienda quaesitis, not to be sought, but to be ad­ded to things sought; I answer, That God hath promised to adde these things, but not to those that tempt God in neglect of prayer and other means, but to such as seek them in a secondary respect. Whereunto we may adde the practice of the godly; Gen. 28. 20. 1. Kings 8. 33, 35, 37. Prov. 30. 8. and the precept of our Saviour Christ, teaching us to say, Give us this day our daily bread. It cannot be de­nied but that in asking temporall things many do erre, either asking them chiefly or absolutely; but as we must ask and seek them in a secondary respect, so also conditionally, so farre forth as they stand with the glory of God and our own spirituall good.

But these outward things are not to be cared for,Object. and therefore not to be prayed for.

Christ doth not forbid curam providentiae, sed Answ. [...], curam solicitudinis & diffidentiae, the care of providence, but carking care and diffidence. Phil. 4. 6. Be nothing carefull, but in all things let your re­quests be manifested. And where they think these things unworthy the Lords gift, they must under­stand that his providence submitteth it self to the lowest creature; and he giveth food to all even the basest creatures▪

[Page 195]The mind in and by prayer is to be lifted up toObject. God, and not to be depressed to things below: But when we pray for temporall things the mind is not elevated but depressed.

When we so ask temporall things for themselves,Answ. resting in them as the end, our mind is depressed and our heart is set upon them, but not so when they are asked as means to further Gods glory and our own spirituall good.

CHAP. XXXIV. Of Deprecation.

NOw followeth Deprecation, which is called [...]. The evil which we do deprecari, that is, desire either to be delivered from, whether in whole, ut avertatur, that it may be averted, or in part, ut mitigetur, that it may be mitigated if it be upon us; or to be kept and preserved therefrom if we be in any danger thereof, ut antevertatur, that it may be prevented, is either the evil of sinne or the evil of punishment. In the former we pray that our sinnes may be removed and taken away, that is, that we may be delivered either from the guilt of sinne, which is our justification; or from the fault andOf confessi­on of our sinnes, and that it is most profi­table and necessary. De confessio­ne peccat. Serm. 66. De Tempor. corruption, which is our sanctification.

In prayer for the forgivenesse of sinne these things specially are required: First, in the action it self, confession of sinnes. And of this Augustine speaketh excellently: Hortatur nos saepius Scriptura ad medicamenta fugere confessionis: Non quòd Deus indigeat confessione nostrâ, &c. The Scripture doth [Page 196] ‘often exhort us to flee to the medicine of confessi­on, not that God needeth our confession, unto whom all things are present which we think, speak and do; but because we cannot otherwise be saved unlesse we confesse penitently that which we have done amisse negligently. He that accuseth himself in his sinnes, the devil hath not whereof to accuse him in the day of judgement. If at least confessing he do by repent­ing blot out what he hath done, and doth not again renew them, &c. Let the sinner whilest he liveth confesse the sinnes which he hath committed, be­cause confession is fruitlesse in hell, neither doth re­pentance there profit to salvation. Behold, now is the day of salvation, now is the time acceptable to God; now is the time of pardon to the penitent: but after death there will be a time of vengeance for those that ne­glect to confesse their sinnes. For all wicked men have bitter repentance in torments, but it doth not profit thē for pardon: but their conscience to [...]tureth them for the increase of their pains which they suf­fer, &c. All hope of pardon consisteth in confessi­on. So A [...] fratres in Eremo, Serm. 30. O honto, ne tardes converti ad Deum, &c. O man, saith he, do not delay to turn unto God. Examine thy mind, search all the secrets of thy heart; consider before thou comest to confession that thy heart hath sinned in coveting evil things, thine eye in beholding vani­ty, thy mouth in speaking falshood, thine eare in hearing lies, thy hand in perpetrating blows and murders, &c. Let therefore thine heart gri [...]ve, thine eye weep, thy mouth pray without inter [...]ssi­on, thine eare heare the word of God, thine han [...] [Page 197] give alms, &c. thy feet come to Church, thy knees bow and labour, &c. And do not deferre it: For God hath prom [...]sed pardon to the penitent, but he hath not promised life till to morrow to him that’ delayeth it. Thus much Augustine.

Now this confession is both prositable and neces­sary. It hath the promise of forgivenesse: So to the hiding of our sinnes is pardon denied, 1. John 1. 8, 9. If we deny our s [...], we deceive our selves, and there is no truth in us; but we bewray our selves to be hypocrites: If we consesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and just to forgive our sinnes, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousnesse. Prov. 28. 13. He that hideth his sinnes shall not prosper; but he that [...] and forsaketh them shall have mercy. We see this verified in the exam­ple of David: For while he concealed his sinne, the hand of the Lord was heavy upon him to afflict him, Psal. 32. 3, 4. but when he confessed and acknowledged his iniquity, the Lord forgave him his sinne, vers. 5. Assoon as David reproved by Nathan confessed his sinne, the Propher presently assureth him that his sinne was forgiven, 2. Sam. 12.

Now this confession is to be made of unknownHow this confession is to be made. sinnes generally, Psal. 19. 13. of known sinnes particularly, together with the aggravating circum­stances, Psal. 51. 4, 5. and in both we are freely to acknowledge what we h [...]ve deserved [...]or the same, Ezra 9. 6, 7. Dan. 9. 4, 5. that judging our selves we may not be judged of the Lord, 1. Cor. 11. 31. and that the Lord when he judgeth may be justified, Psal. 51. 4. To which purpose we are to abhorre our selves in dust and ashes, Job 42. 6. and to behave our [Page 198] selves before the Lord as Benhadad and [...]is fol­lowers before Ahab the King of Israel, 1. Kings 20. 31. And that this confession may be made ac­cordingly,That exami­nation should go before con­f [...]sion. we are in our preparation both to try and examine ourselves by the law of God, to find out our sinnes which we are seriously to confesse, Lam. 3. 40, 41. and also labour that we may see and feel our miserie in respect of them, that labouring and being wearied under the burden of them, we may out of an humble and contrite soul poure out our supplications unto the Lord. The neglect whereof is reproved Jer. 8. 6.

And that we may obtein forgivenesse we are alsoCharity and repentance required be­fore con [...]s­sion, and aft [...]r. to come in charitie, being as desirous to forgive our brethren that have offended us as we desire to be forgiven of the Lord, Matth. 6, 14, 15. See Ecclus 28. 2, 3. 1. Tim. 2. 8. [...], without wrath. And likewise we are to repent of those sinnes the pardon whereof we desire: For that is pretended in our asking forgivenesse, that is, both to be sorie for our sinne past, and to promise and purpose unfeignedly amendment for the time to come.

And both these duties of charity and repentance are likewise to be practiced in our lives after we have craved forgivenesse at the hands of God. For as touching the dutie of charity in forgiving others; If after we have desired forgivenesse, and in our conceit have obteined pardon, if we deal unmerci­fully with our brother, whom we will not forgive, it will be an evidence against us that our sinnes in­deed were not pardoned, Matth. 18. 23, to 35. [Page 199] And for the other duty of repentance; A man can­not have assurance of the forgivenesse of his sinne which he doth continue in: For God doth not re­mit the sinnes which we our selves retein; He that confesseth and forsaketh his sinne shall have mercy, Prov. 28. 13.

And as we are to pray for the forgivenesse of sinne or taking away of the guilt, so we must also pray that we may be delivered from the corru­ptions and preserved against tentations alluring unto sinne for the time to come. And as we are to pray against corruptions and tentations, so must we in our lives strive and fight against our corru­ptions and resist tentations, avoyding also occasions of evil; otherwise how can we ask that of the Lord which we our selves will not yield unto in our practice.

So much of prayer against malum culpae, theOf prayer against the evil of pu­nishment. evil of sinne. There is also prayer against ma­lum poenae, the evil of punishment, both spiritu­all and temporall and also eternall. The spiri­tuall is, when God doth punish sinne with sinne, blinding the eyes of men, and hardening their hearts, and giving them over to a reprobate sense. The temporall, when God doth either for cha­stisement, or triall, or punishment, afflict men with the afflictions and calamities of this life: against which sort this kind of deprecation is most usuall. Psalmus [...], Nè perdas; Psal. 57, 58, 59, 75.

But in this kind of prayer especially we must wholly submit and resigne our selves unto the good will and pleasure of God, who knoweth what is [Page 200] good for us better then our selves; with p [...]tience and comfort to bear what it shall please God to lay upon us, after the example of David, 2. Sam. 15. 26. and of our Saviour, Matth. 26. 39, 42. For herein especially that is verified Rom. 8. that we Vide Aug. [...]pist. 121. know not what to ask. For to be afflicted is not simply evil, but contrariwise worketh for the good of them that are afflicted, Rom. 8. 28. Insomuch that David professeth that it had been good for him that he had been afflicted, Psal. 119. 71. and Jeremy, Lam. 3. 27. yea, David pronounceth the man blessed whom the Lord doth chastise and nurture in his law, Psal. 94. 12.

Deprecation of calamities is often joyned with La­mentations particularly bewayling their state, and Expostulations. Example of the former in the La­mentations of Jeremie. Expostulations are vehe­ment interrogations of the afflicted expressed from their grief, whereby they expostulate with God concerning the greatnesse or continuance of their afflictions, Psal. 22. 1.

But here we must take heed that our expostula­tion be a lively fruit of a strong faith, lest perhaps it do degenerate into open murmuring and repining against God: David, Psal. 22. 1. and our Saviour Christ being assured that the Lord is his God, and therefore calling him, My God, my God, expostu­lateth with him why, b [...]ing h [...]s God, he had forsaken him. So much of Petition or Prayer.

CHAP. XXXV. Of Thanksgiving.

THanksgiving is that invocation whereby we do render due thanks and prayse unto God for his benefits. As touching the name; This duty is byOf the di­vers names and phrases whereby thanksgiving is expressed in the Scri­ptures. divers names expressed in the Scriptures, Psal. 100. 4. Isai. 12. Psal. 145. 2. As, To prayse God, Gen. 29. 35. To blesse him, Psal. 103. 1, 2. and 104. 1. 1. Chron. 29. 13. Jam. 3. 9. To confesse unto him, Matth. 11. 25. H [...]b. 13. 15. To give him thanks, Psal. 105. 1. 1. Chron. 16. 8. 1. Thess. 5. 8. Rom. 1. 21. Eph. 5. 20. To magnifie the Lord, Luke 1. 46. Act. 10. 46. and 19. 17. To extoll him, Psal. 145. 1. To exalt his name, Psal. 34. 3. To glorifie him, Matth. 9. 8. and 15. 31. Luke 2. 20. To make his name glorious, Psal. 66. 1, 2. To offer (viz. a voluntary oblation) [...]hanksgiving and prayse, Psal. 50. 14, 23. To offer the sacrifice of prayse unto God, that is, the fruit of our lips confessing to his name, Heb. 13. 15. as Hosea speak­eth chap. 14. 2. To render the calves of our lips; To sacrifice unto God with the voice of thanksgiving, Jon. 2. 9. Psal. 116. 17. To sacrifice the sacrifice of thanks­giving.

The duties required in thanksgiving are eitherOf the com­mon duties required in thanksgiving common to it with prayer, or proper and peculiar unto it. For when I say that thanksgiving is a kind of invocation, you are to understand that all those things which were spoken of in the generall treatise are particularly to be applied to thanksgiving. The which I will the rather do, because commonly [Page 202] those things are delivered not as generall points but as particular to prayer.

Thanksgiving therefore as well as prayer, is a Thanksgi­ving what it is. religious speech of the faithfull unto God in the name of Christ, made according to the will of God by the help of the holy Ghost, concerning good things apperteining to Gods glory and our own good. I call it a religious speech, because it is a principall part of that religious worship which we ow unto God: whereby it is al­so distinguished from the civill thanksgiving to men, and is therefore religiously to be performed.

In the rest of the definition I noted six things which are essentiall to all invocation, and without which it cannot be acceptable unto God: First, That the party which doth invocate must be faithfull: for God heareth not sinners: And thanksgiving being a sacrifice, the holy Ghost telleth us that the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord, Prov. 15. 8. The proper subject of Gods prayse is the Church:The proper subject of Gods prayse is the church Eph. 3. 21. To him be prayse in the Church. Psal. 65. 1. Praise waiteth for God in Sion. The Lord, Psal. 50. 14, 15. exhorteth his saints and his peculiar peo­ple to offer unto him thanksgiving, and to call upon him in the day of trouble: But v. 16. unto the wicked saith God, What hast thou to do to declare my statutes, and to take my covenant into thy mouth, seeing thou hatest to be reformed, and castest my wor [...]s behind thee? Sacri­fices are to be offered by none but priests; and all the faithfull and they onely are a royall priest [...]ood, to offer up spirituall sacrifice acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1. Pet. 2. 5, 9. Revel. 1. 6.

This duty is necessarily required of all, and can­not [Page 203] without sinne be omitted by any; but cannot beThanksgi­ving can be rightly per­formed by the faithfull onely. acceptably performed but by the faithfull. And therefore the faithfull are in a speciall manner ex­horted to this duty, Psal. 30. 4, and 145. 10. and 149. 5, 6. And this sheweth the necessity of faith in Christ and repentance towards God. Again, those which give thanks must be joyfull and re­joyce in the Lord; but the wicked cannot rejoyce in the Lord; neither ought they whilest they continue in their sinnes to be joyfull: yea, our Saviour de­nounceth a wo to such laughers, Luke 6. The faithfull therefore alone are exhorted, as to rejoyce alwayes, so in all things to give thanks, 1. Thess. 5. 16, 18. Psal. 132. 9, 16. and 149. 2, 3, 5, 6. and 33. 1. Rejoyce in the Lord, O ye righteous; for prayse is comely for the upright.

Secondly, as prayer so also thanksgiving is toThanksgi­ving is to be offe [...]ed unto God alone. be offered unto God alone as the authour and prin­cipall giver of all good things, Jam. 1. 17. Psal. 50. 14. Col. 3. 17. Ephes. 5. 20. We may and ought to be thankfull unto men as unto the in­struments of God; as Rom. 16. 4. And to be unthankfull is a great fault; 2. Tim. 3. 2. But if neglecting God we give thanks unto men as the authours, we commit sacrilegious idolatry in rob­bing God of his honour and giving it unto men. In this sense prayse and thanksgiving is a sacrifice which must be offered to the Lord alone; and in this sense his name alone is to be exalted, Psal. 148. 13. and therefore they which so give thanks to men, or rest in the means, they sacrifice unto them and make them their God; they sacrifice to their net and [Page 204] burn incense to their drag, Hab. 1. 16. Eph. 5. 20. [...], unto God and the Father.

Thirdly, Thanksgiving as well as Prayer is to beThanksgi­ving to be offered in the name of Christ. offered unto God in the name of Christ, Ephes. 8. 20. [...], in Christ Jesus, Ephes. 3. 21. [...], through Christ Jesus, Rom. 1. 8. & 7. 25. Col. 3. 17. Heb. 13. 15. For we are an holy priesthood, to offer up spirituall sacrifice acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, 1. Pet. 2. 5. Revel. 8. 3.

Fourthly, for the manner; There is required inOf the man­ner of thanksgiving the soul, 1. in generall, that our thanksgiving be a speech of the soul and not of the lips alone. David therefore in some places stirreth up his soul to prayse God, Psal. 103. 1, 2. and 104. 1. And elsewhere he professeth that he would prayse God with his whole heart, Psal. 9. 1. and 86. 12. and 111. 1. that is, with an upright heart, Psal. 119. 7. To which purpose Paul also exhorteth us to sing in our hearts unto God, Ephes. 5. 19. Col. 3. 16. To little purpose serveth the outward melody of the voyce, unlesse there be a concent thereof with the heart: We must therefore be carefull to sing Davids Psalmes with Davids affections; but we may not sing or praise God either with feigned lips or with wandring thoughts.

2. In the mind there is required, first, Under­standing; Psal. 47. 7. Col. 3. 16. and secondly, F [...]ith, whereby we are to be perswaded that this our ser­vice and sacrifice of praise is acceptable unto God in Christ; without which our thanksgiving cannot be as it ought, chearfull: unlesse we be perswaded by faith of Gods goodnesse towards us how can we be thankfull to him?

[Page 205]3. In our heart it is required that our praise or thanksgiving be humble, reverent, and hearty: Humble; that we may ascribe the whole praise unto God, unto whom alone it is due, and assume no part thereof unto our selves; Psal. 115. 1. Reve­rent; for without reverence we cannot give unto the Lord the praise that is due unto his name, Psal. 29. 2. nor ascribe unto him eternall kingdome, pow­er and glory. We must in our thanksgiving rejoyce in God, but we must rejoyce in reverence, Psal. 2. 11. and 95. 2, 6. performing therein a religious service and worship to God. Hearty, with all our heart; and that in particular with thankfulnesse and chearful­nesse, without which our thanks will be either cold or counterfeit. See Psal. 68. 26.

And as for bodily duties: The voyce in more speciall manner is required in thanksgiving. There­fore our tongue is called our glory, because by it we are to glorifie God. We are not by silence to smo­ther Gods prayse; but as we are inwardly thankfull so must we testifie our inward thankfulnesse by our outward thanksgiving. And in this kind of Invoca­tion especially is singing warranted and commend­ed unto us in the Scriptures, not onely of the Old Testament but also of the New, Jam. 5. 13. Ephes. 5. 19. Col. 3. 16. Matth. 26. 30. Acts 16. 25.

Fifthly, this invocation also is to be performed by the help of the holy Ghost. For naturally we are tongue-tied in Gods prayses: but it is the spirit of God that doth open our lips that our mouth may shew forth his prayse, Psal. 51. 15. It is the spirit of grace which maketh us to sing with grace in our hearts.

[Page 206]Sixthly and lastly, our thanksgiving must be for good and lawfull things: otherwise we go about to make God the authour of evil.

CHAP. XXXVI. Speciall duties required in thanksgiving.

THe duties specially required in Thanksgiving do concern either the manner how, or the time when, or the object for which we are to give thanks. For the manner, there are duties required both in the action it self and out of it, that is, before and after.

In the action there are duties required both in­ward and outward.

The inward are [...], Thankfulnesse; and [...], Chearfulnesse.

The former is required Col. 3. 16. that we should1. Thank­fulnesse. sing [...], with grace in our hearts. For [...] and gratia do signifie both the benefit and the thanks; as when we say, [...], Gratia gratiam parit, A good turn begetteth thanks: And in this sense the word grace is used for Thanksgiving at meals. The grace therefore that is required in the soul is Thank­fulnesse. For outward thanksgiving without inward thankfulnesse is counterfeit and hypocriticall. There is no doubt but that habendae sunt gratiae quas agimus, we must have thankfulnesse when we give thanks. And as prayer is the expressing of our desire, so thanksgiving is the testifying of our thankfulnesse. And therefore as they play the hypocrites which pray for that which they do not desire, so likewise [Page 207] they which give thanks for that for which they are not thankfull, either because they have it not, or do not think themselves beholding to God for it, Luke 18. And as in prayer the Lord especially regardeth the desire of the heart; so in thanksgiving, the thankfulnesse of the soul.

Now unto this thankfulnesse there is required

grata
  • recordatio, mindfulnesse, in the soul;
  • agnitio, acknowledgement, in the soul;
  • affectio, affection, in the heart.

For first, if we be not mindfull of Gods benefits,2. Remem­b [...]ance of Gods bene­fits. non habemus gratias, we bear them not in mind, we are not thankfull. And therefore we are often stir­red up to remember Gods benefits, and straitly charged that we do not forget them: for to forget them is to be unthankfull. See Deut. 6. 10, 11, 12. and 8. 11, 14, 17, 18. and 32. 15, 18. Psal. 103. 2. and 116. 21. And this remembrance it must be effectu­all, moving us to be thankfull both in heart, word, and deed, Psal. 78. 7. Deut. 8. 11.

The second is a gratefull acknowledgement be­neficii 3. A gratefull acknowledg­ment of Gods bene­fits. Divini, of Gods goodnesse; and officii nostri, of ou beholdingnesse. To the gratefull acknow­ledg [...]ent of Gods benefit is required, first a faith­full gnizing of the authour or benefactour, and a rig [...] prizing of the benefit. For if we would be tr [...] thankfull unto God, we must acknowledge, w [...]t good thing soever we have, whether spi­ri [...]all or temporall▪ by what means soever, that God i [...] [...]he authour and giver thereof, Jam. 1. 17. But in­ [...]delity in not acknowledging God to be the giver, [...]ut either resting in the secondary causes, which are [Page 208] but the instruments of God, or ascribing the good things we have either to our good fortune or to our own industry or worthinesse, maketh men unthank­full unto God. For faithlesse men, as when they de­sire any good thing which they want do not seek unto God, so having obteined their desire they do not return praise unto him, but ascribe the good thing which they have either to blind fortune with profane Atheists, or to their idoles with idolaters and Papists, Hos. 2. 5, 8. or else rest in secondary causes as the principall, and preferre the tool before the workman, Isai. 10. 15. or attribute it to their own means and industry, and so sacrifice to their net, Hab. 1. 16. or lastly to their own wisdome and worthi­nesse, as if they were gods to themselves, Deut. 8. 17, 18.

The second thing is a gratefull estimate and a4. A gratefull estimate of Gods bene­fits. right prizing of Gods benefits, as well when we have them as when we want them. But ungratefull men lightly esteem the benefits of God when they have them, which they greatly desire and highly prize when they want them. The which is most usuall in ordinary blessings: The benefits of [...]ealth, of peace, of liberty, the spirituall food of [...]ods word, &c. we make no reckoning of them wh [...] we have them; but carendo magis quàm fruendo, by [...]t­ing rather then enjoying them we learn rightl [...] to prize them: and God many times bereaveth me [...] of these benefits that by the want they may learn rig [...]t­ly to value them, and to be thankfull unto him [...] them. Our duty therefore is, not to extenua [...] Gods blessings, but with thankfull acknowledge [Page 209] ment rather to amplifie them, in respect of the great­nesse of them, the excellency, the profit, the com­modiousnesse, the necessity, the sufficiencie; saying with the Psalmist, Psal. 16. 6. acknowledging also therein Gods wisdome, power, goodnesse, fatherly providence and bounty towards us; being perswa­ded that he doth all things well, Mark 7. 37. and that by the gracious dispensation of his good providence he causeth all things to work for our good, Rom. 8. 28. They therefore are unthankfull who either ex­tenuate or lightly esteem the benefits of God (which, as I said, is usuall in ordinary blessings) Num. 11. 6. or, which is worse, do take in ill part that which God hath done for their good, Deut. 1. 27. which is usuall in the fatherly chastisements and crosses which God layeth upon us for our pro­fit, Heb. 12. 10. But who is wise and will observe these things, even he shall understand the loving kindnesse of the Lord, Psal. 107. 43.

And as we are thankfully to acknowledge Gods5. An ac­knowledge­ment of our beholding­nesse. goodnesse towards us, so also we are humbly to ac­knowledge our own beholdingnesse. Which we shall the better do if to the acknowledgement of Gods goodnesse we shall adde the consideration of our own nullity in our selves and our own unwor­thi [...]esse.

For first, if we consider that we came naked into the world in respect of temporall blessings, and void of all spirituall goodnesse, we will acknowledge that what good thing soever we have we are be­holding unto the Lord for it: Job 1. Naked we came into the world, and naked we shall go out of it: for what [Page 210] have we that we have not received? 1. Cor. 4. 7. and that by the grace of God we are that we are, 1. Cor. 15. 10.

But secondly, if we adde thereto the considerati­on6. An ac­knowledge­ment of our unworthines of our unworthinesse by reason of our sinnes, by which we have deserved the plagues of God in this life and eternall damnation in the life to come, we shall be thankfull to God in all estates, acknowledg­ing that he hath not dealt with us after our sinnes, nor rewarded us according to our iniquities, Psal. 103. 10. In time of distresse we shall acknowledge his great bounty that we are not consumed, Lam. 3. 22. and so be thankfull for his privative blessings. And for the positive, if we have any (as we never are without some, more or lesse) we will acknowledge with Jacob, Gen. 32. 10. that we are lesse then the least of his mercies. But if in stead of heaping his judgements upon us which we have deserved, he multiply his blessings which we have not deserved in the least degree, how are we then to acknowledge our own unworthinesse with David, 1. Chron. 17. 16. and 29. 14, 15.?

True humility therefore is the mother of thank­fulnesse:7. Humility the mother of thankful­nesse. But pride contrariwise maketh men un­thankfull, perswading themselves either that they have not so much as they are worthy of, and so are discontented that they have no more; or that what­soever they have is to be ascribed to their own wor­thinesse, wisdome or strength, Deut. 8. 17. Isai. 10. 13. which is to make themselves Gods; Ezek. 28. 4, 5, 6. D [...]n. 4. 30.8. Joy and rejoy [...]ing.

Now this acknowledgement of Gods goodnesse [Page 211] and our beholdingnesse, if it be effectuall as it ought to be, will work upon the heart that it shall be gratefully affected with the sense of Gods goodnesse and bounty towards us, causing us to love God and rejoyce in him, and to be obsequious towards God in all duties of thankfulnesse. For upon this sense and acknowledgement of Gods goodnesse towards us wherewith we are affected, followeth alacrity and chearfulnesse, which is the second inward duty required in thanksgiving. For as the Lord loveth a chearfull giver, so a chearfull thanksgiver: and as [...], thanks, cometh of [...], which is, to rejoyce, so [...] must be [...], with joy, Phil. 1. 4. Jam. 5. 13. If any man be merry, let him sing Psalmes.

The holy Ghost in many places hath joyned them together; as Psal. 9. 2. and 33. 1. and 81. 1. and 92. 1, 4. and 100. 1, 2, 4. and therefore they ought not to be severed by us. It is the duty of the faithfull, who have tasted how good and gracious [...] the Lord is, to rejoyce in the Lord: Psal. 104. 34. and 149. 5. and 32. 11. and 33. 1. Phil. 4. 4. especi­ally when we prayse him and give him thanks. For when men are dull, neither affected with any sense of Gods goodnesse nor with chearfulnesse, their thanks are not hearty but cold and counterfeit. So much of the inward duties.

CHAP. XXXVII. Of the outward expressing inward thankfulnesse by praysing God.

THe outward duty is, to expresse our inward thankfulnesse and chearfulnesse: Our thankful­nesse, by celebrating and praysing the name of God, extolling his goodnesse, recounting his mercies, and exciting others to prayse God: Our chearfulnesse, jubilando, by making a joyfull noyse, and singing unto God; Psal. 100. 1. and 81. 1. Jam. 5. 13.

Now because naturally we are backward in the performance of this duty, insomuch that scarce one of ten can be found to return prayse and thanks unto God, as appeareth in the story of the ten lepers, Luke 17. 17. I will therefore use some argumentsReasons mo­ving us to praise God. to move us thereunto. And first that threefold ar­gument Psal. 147. 1. Praise ye the Lord: for it is good to sing prayses to our God: for it is pleasant, and prayse is comely. I. It is good: For it is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning us, 1. Thess. 5. 18. It is the com­mandment of God in many places; Psal. 50. 14. And the same is testified Psal. 92. 1, 2.

II. It is pleasant: Psal. 135. 3. For it is an exer­cise wherein not onely the faithfull on earth do espe­cially rejoyce, but also the Saints and Angels in heaven, who enjoy perpetuall joy and happinesse, re­joycing and reposing therein a part of their happi­nesse.

III. It is decent or com [...]ly: 1. in respect of God, to whom all glory and praise is due, and it is there­fore just to give unto him the glory and praise which is [Page 213] due unto his name, Psal. 92. 2. in respect both of his attributes and works: Praise the Lord: for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ev [...]r, Psal. 136. 1, 2, &c.

Secondly, in respect of the faithfull; Psal. 33. 1. For what can more become those who by Christs benefit are become priests to offer spirituall sacrifi­ces unto God, then to sacrifice praise unto him? 1. Pet. 2. 5. Revel. 1. 5. By him therefore let us offer continu­ally the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, confessing to his name, Heb. 13. 15.

To these we may adde another ternion of argu­ments, That praise and thanksgiving is an exercise it self most Excellent, to God most Honourable, to us most Necessary.

1. The excellency of it may appear by compa­ringThe excel­lency of this duty. it, first to the sacrifices of the Law: For the sacrifice of praise, the calves of our lips, is farre prefer­red before the sacrifices of goats and bulls, Psal. 50. 14. secondly, with Prayer: for as it is a more blessed thing to give then to receive, Acts 20. 35. so a more excel­lent thing to give thanks then to beg and crave. A­gain, what more excellent thing can be done on earth then that which is the exercise of the Saints and Angels in heaven? and therefore to praise God is not onely an excellent but also a blessed exercise; wherein the faithfull have reposed happinesse, Psal. 84. 4. Blessed are they that dwell in thine house: they will be still praysing thee.

2. Praise is Honourable to God; Psal. 50. 23. He 2. Praise honourable to God. that sacrificeth praise he honoureth me. God so highly esteemeth his praises proceeding from us, as if there­by something were added to his glory, to which be­ing [Page 214] infinite nothing can be added. Therefore the praysing of God in the Scriptures is called bl ssing. Psal. 103. 1. the magnifying of God, Luke 1. 46. and the glorifying of his name, Matth. 9. 6. the making of his praise glorious, Psal. 66. 2. or, as some reade, ap­pone gloriam nomini ejus, appoint glory to his name, not that our praises indeed do make him great or glorious, or adde to the glory of his name, for his name is exalted above all praise, Nehem. 9. 5. but that to incourage us to this duty he is pleased so to term the setting forth of his praise, and the declaring or celebrating of his glory.

3. It is Necessary, 1. Necessit [...]te praecepti, by ne­cessity3. Praysing of God ne­cessary. of precept, Psal. 50. 14. 1. Thess. 5. 18. the which imposeth necessitatem officii, the necessity of duty, and the rather because we are priests ordained to offer spirituall sacrifices, 1. Pet. 2. 5. Revel. 1. 3. Heb. 13. 15. because in our daily prayers we desire that we may glorifie his name, and therefore in our lives are to endeavour it. We desire also that his will may be done; but this is the will of God, 1. Thess. 5. 18. Would we, as we pray, do the will of God as it is done in heaven? then must we be frequent in sounding forth his praise: for this is the exercise of the Saints and Angels in heaven.

II. Necessitate medii, by necessity of the means; as a necessary means, in respect both of our good and Gods glory. 1. Of our good, for new blessings: be­cause it is the condition upon which the Lord pro­miseth to heare and deliver us, Psal. 50. 15. And in this respect thanksgiving is also profitable, because God will honour them that honour him, 1. Sam. 2. 30. [Page 215] The readiest way to obtein new blessings, is to giveAs [...]census gratiarum est descensus gratiae. thanks for the old: not that by giving thanks we deserve better and greater blessings, as the Papists reach: for this i before confuted. 2. In respect of Gods glory, which is the sovereigne end of all. All creatures do set forth Gods glory, Psal. 19. 1. and 148. The dumbe creatures, as Basil saith, are [...], silent praysers & piercing preachers of Gods hidden works: but much more men, who set forth Gods praise not onely as the matter but as the instruments of his praise, Psal. 145. 10. Our speech was given us to glorifie God; & therefore our tongue is our glory: So that they are worse then bruit creatures who are mute in Gods praises. Yea, such necessitie there is of praysing and glorifying of God, that if men should be silent God would make the stones to sound forth his praise

III. Necessitate signi, by the necessitie of the signe. For it is necessary not onely that we should be thankfull unto God for his mercies, but also that we should expresse our thankfulnesse. And for as much as we cannot reserre or recompense Gods bounty, (for our goodnesse will not reach to him, Psal. 16. 3.) It remaineth therefore that we must agere gratias, that is, give thanks. For if we should enter into consultation with our selves, and delibe­rate what course we should take to testifie our thankfulnesse, our resolution must be the same with that of David, Psal. 1 16. 12, 17. Seeing then this is the onely thing besides the glorifying of God by a godly conversation that we can do to expresse our thankfulnesse, we are very unthankfull if we be de­fective herein.

CHAP. XXXVIII. Of the duties which ought to be performed before and after thanksgiving: and of the object and time.

DUties to be performed out of the action both before and after.

Before, Preparation: Psal. 108. 1. and 57. 7.Before, is re­quired pre­paration. Wherein, first, we are to stirre up our selves to the performance of this duty, Psal. 103. 1, 2. and 104. 1. Secondly, we are to meditate of Gods undeserved bounty towards us, & our own unworthines. Third­ly, because of our selves we are unable, we are to crave the assistance of Gods Spirit, that he opening our lips we may shew forth his praise, Psal. 51. 17.

After, we are to testifie our thankfulnesse, First,After, we must testifie our thank­fulnesse. by referring the benefits and gifts received to the glory of God the giver, in the good of his Church. Secondly, in seeking to glorifie God who hath been so gracious unto us, by bringing forth the fruits of a godly life, John 15. 8. by shunning sinne, John 5. 14. and walking in new obedience. Thirdly, by honour­ing the Lord with our substance, Prov. 3. 9. and ac­knowledging him to be the chief Lord from whom we do hold all good things; by giving unto him the tithes which are his, Levit. 27. Debentur Deo, &c. They are due unto God by vertue of his universall dominion over all, and by him assigned before the Law to the first-born which were his Priests, as to Melchisedec; under the Law, to the Leviticall priests; under the Gospel, to the ministers & preach­ers thereof, 1. Cor. 9. 13, 14. In which respect he is [Page 217] the portion of Priests. Neither are they due to the ceremoniall law onely: For the tribe of Levi, unto which the ceremoniall law doth tie them, in Abra­ham paid tithes to Melchisedec. Unthankfull therefore are they to God, who is the portion of the Priests, who deny to give to God his part. The A­postle seemeth to call it a mocking of God, Gal. 6. the Prophet Malachi, chap. 3. a spoyling of God, that is, sacriledge.

Now it remaineth that we should speak of the ob­jectOf the ob­ject of thanksgiving and the time. 1. Thess. 5. 18. [...], In all things give thanks, &c. Ephes. 5. 20. [...], giving thanks alwayes for all things. The object, [...], for all things, Ephes. 5. 20. that is to say, for all good things. For as we are to pray unto God onely for good things, Matth. 7. 11. so are we to praise him for good things onely: O­therwise we shall by our praying and praysing go about to make God the authour of evil. And it is manifest that officium gratias agendi, the duty of gi­ving thanks doth presuppose beneficium, a benefit for which we are to give thanks.

It is true indeed that all things as they proceed from God are good, and are by him ordered and directed to his glory and the good of his chosen: and therefore in all things he is to be praysed. God is to be praysed for his attributes and for his works absolutely considered: but we are to give him thanks because he is good unto us who are his Church, and causeth all things to work for our good. We are therefore upon all occasions to give thanks unto God for his benefits either bestowed or promised, [Page 218] either common or private, either old or new, spiritu­all or temporal, either positive or privative: positive, when he bestoweth a real blessing or good thing up­on us; privative, when he preserveth or delivereth us from any evil or danger whereunto either our own sinhath made us subject, or the malice of ourenemies whether spirituall or corporall doth expose us.

The time, [...], Ephes. 5. 20. [...], sc. [...], in We must give thanks continually. Heb. 13. 15. Object. every opportune time, 1. Thess. 5. 18. [...], continually.

But against this divers things may be objected. 1. If we must give thanks alwayes then we must do nothing else.

Negative commandments do bind semper & ad Answ. semper, alwayes and at all times: but the affirma­tive, though they bind us alwayes, yet they do not bind us to perform them alwayes. That which is forbidden is never to be done: that which is com­manded is to be done, not alwayes but when occasi­on is offered (as every duty hath his time) and when there is a concurrence of circumstances requisite. The perpetuity therfore that is required in perform­ing duties injoyned in affirmative commandments is to be understood of the whole course of our lives, and not of every moment of time: that is, We are alwayes bound whilest we live to perform the du­ties at all times when just occasion is offered; which being many and divers must have their divers sea­sons; neither can they all be done at once. Nega­tive commandments are to be obeyed all at once, but affirmative in their du [...] seasons as just occasion is offered. In this sense David saith Psal. 46. 2. While I live I will prayse the Lord: I will sing prayses to my [Page 219] God while I have any being. Psal. 104. 33. and 145. 1, 2. I will extoll thee, my God, O King, and I will blesse thy name for ever and ever; that is, for ever whilest I live or have a being I will be ready upon all occasi­ons both ordinarily and extraordinarily to prayse thee. For the distinction of invocation, that it is stata, stinted, or vaga, unstinted, is to be applied to this kind: We must both set our selves certain times wherein to call upon God, praying unto him and praysing him, after the example of Daniel, chap. 6. 10. and also extraordinarily be ready upon all occasions to return thanks and prayse unto God, acknowledging with David that when God be­stoweth any new blessing upon us, he hath put a new song of thanksgiving into our mouthes, and think no time wherein God doth blesse unseasonable to give him thanks. And for as much as Gods mercies are renewed upon us every morning, Lam. 3. 23. and multiplyed upon us every day, Psal. 68. 19. and every night, therefore we are with David to prayse him every night and every day, Psal. 92. 2. and 145. 2. yea, seven times a day, Psal. 119. 164. Neither must we think midnight it selfe unseasonable for this purpose; Psal. 119. 62. Acts 16. 25. Every morn­ing we are to prayse God for his blessing upon us that night, and every night we are to prayse him for his blessing upon us that day: Every meal is to begin with prayses and be concluded with thanks­giving: every attempt and businesse of importance is to begin with prayer and be ended with thanks, Col. 3. 17.

Thanks is to be given with joy; but we are ma­nyObject. 2. [Page 220] times in distresse, and consequently in grief.

The Apostle as he exhorteth us to give thanks al­wayes, Answ. That we must give thanks al­wayes & for all things. 1. Thess. 5. 18. so also to rejoyce alwayes, v. 16. But you must understand this as spoken to the faithfull, who rejoyce in God, being perswaded of his love towards them. For those who have not tasted how good the Lord is, nor are perswaded of Gods love towards them, they have no peace, and much lesse joy. Paulus non omnes ad hoc juge gau­dium, Basil. sed tantum sui similes invitare videtur, Paul doth not seem to invite all to continuall joy, but onely those who are like himself. But the faithfull, who are at peace with God, have also joy in the holy Ghost: whereby they do rejoyce in God in all estates, not onely in time of peace & prosperity, but also in time of adversity, Rom. 5. 3. Yea the great­est afflictions of this life are to be born of the godly, not onely meekly and patiently, but also comforta­bly and thankfuly. For 1. as God in all his judge­ments remembreth mercy, so must our faith appre­hend his mercy as well as our sense apprehendeth his judgements. And therefore we ought to say with Job, chap. 13. 15. Though he kill me yet will I trust in him.

2. Because the faithfull have this priviledge, that as nothing can hurt them, Isai. 54. 17. so all things, even their afflictions, do work together for their good, Rom. 8. 28.

3. Because God afflicteth them for their good, whether by triall or chastisement.

4. Because with the outward affliction he vouch­safeth inward comfort, 2. Cor. 1. 5. 1. Sam. 30. 6. Acts 16. 25. Psal. 94. 19.

[Page 221]5. Because the afflictions of the faithfull, though for sinne, are under their desert; and in them the an­ger of God is carried not against their persons but against their sinne.

6. Because of those other favours of God which in their afflictions they do enjoy. Desinentes contri­stari Basil. 386. f. propter ea quae non habemus, de rebus praesentibus gratias agere debemus, Ceasing to grieve for those things we have not, we are to give thanks for things which we presently have.

7. Because though positive blessings are want­ing, yet there are alwayes innumerable privative blessings for which we are to give thanks. Consider the evils we have deserved, and the dangers where­unto we are exposed: Consider that by our sinnes we have deserved all the plagues denounced in the law, Deut. 28. 15. not onely in this life but also in the world to come. Whilest therefore our conditi­on is better then those in hell, we have cause to prayse God, who hath not dealt with us after our sin [...]es, nor rewarded us after our iniquities, Psal. 103. 10. Lam. 3. 22. Now if they are bound to prayse God that are not consumed, how much more have we cause to prayse God, whom he hath not onely not consumed, but hath heaped and multi­plied his mercies upon us both privative and posi­tive? And as at all times we are to prayse God, so in solemn festivalls ordained to that end, such as was that of Purim, Esth. 9. and ours of the Fifth of November, for our marvellous deliverance from that horrible conspiracy of the Papists by the gun­pouder-treason.

FINIS.
A GODLY AND FRUITFUL …

A GODLY AND FRUITFULL EXPO­SITION OF THE LORDS PRAYER;

Shewing the meaning of the words, and the duties required in the severall Petitions, both in respect of prayer it self, and also in respect of our lives.

PHIL. 4. 6. Be carefull for nothing, but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

¶ Printed by Roger Daniel, Printer to the Universitie of Cambridge. Ann. Dom. MDCXL.

MATTH. 6. 9. [...].’ LUKE 11. 2. [...]

TO call upon the name of God by hearty and effectuall prayer, is a duty in it self most excellent, to God most glorious, to our selves most profita­ble and necessary: But such is the blindnesse and ignorance of our minds, the dulnesse and hardnesse of our hearts, that we know not either how to pray or what to ask: Like to Zebedee's children, Matth. 22. 20. We ask we know not what: and as Paul speaketh, Rom. 8. 26. We know not what to pray as we ought. Wherefore our Saviour Christ in abundant mercy towards us, that he might relieve our wants in this behalf, hath set down a prescript form of prayer whereby we are to frame ours, com­manding us when we do pray to pray thus.

In which words as he forbiddeth us not to use [...] this prayer, so he doth not alwayes bind us to use the same words. For here two extremities are to be avoided: the first of the Brownists, who think it unlawfull to use the prescript form of these words; [Page 226] the second of the Papists, who superstitiously insist in the very words and syllables themselves.

As touching the first; Our Saviour commandeth2. The Lords pray­er is to be u­sed as a prayer. us thus to pray; and more plainly, Luke 11. 2. When ye pray, say, Our Father, &c. Therefore unlesse it be unlawfull to obey the expresse commandment of our Saviour Christ, it is lawfull to use these words. Secondly, the book of Psalmes doth prove that we may have set forms of prayers. Psal. 86. is a form of prayer to be used in affliction. The 92 is Psalmus in diem Sabbati, A Psalme for the Sabbath. The 102 Oratio pro paupere, A Psalme for a poore man. The 136 A solemn form of thanksgiving. 2. Chron. 7. 6. and 20. 21.

For the second, when Christ commandeth to That we ought not to be tyed one­ly to this form. pray thus, he doth not tie us to the words but to the things. We must pray for such things as herein summarily are conteined, with such affections as are herein prescribed. For we must understand that our Saviour Christ propoundeth this prayer as a brief summe of all those things which we are to ask. For as the Creed is summa credendorum, the summe of things to be believed; the Decalogue, summa agen­dorum, the summe of things to be done: so the Lords Prayer is summa petendorum, the summe of things to be desired. But as all things particularly to be believed are not particularly expressed in the Creed; nor all things to be done, in the Decalog [...]: so neither are all things particularized in the Lords prayer for which we are to ask: And therefore it is lawfull, nay expedient and necessary, often to de­scend into the particulars themselves. For the pro­ving [Page 227] whereof we have so many arguments as there are prayers of the godly recorded in the word: For though all of them may be referred to this pray­er or some part thereof, yet none of them are con­ceived in the same words. And moreover, Mat­thew and Luke in setting down this prayer are not curious in observing the same words: And there­fore superstitious is the opinion and practice of the Church of Rome, who think that the bare repeti­tion of these words in an unknown tongue, without understanding or faith, is ex opere operato meritori­ous: as though our Saviour Christ had prescribed these words to be used as a charm, &c.

First, whereas our Saviour Christ propoundeth [...] That this form is a perfect pat­tern. this form, we may be assured that it is a perfect pat­tern of prayer, that nothing ought to be asked which is not in it conteined. For in him are all the treasures of the wisdome and knowledge of God, Col. 2. 3. He knoweth what is acceptable unto God, what is need­full for us: therefore in this prayer is conteined what­soever is either fit for God to grant or for us to ask. By this then as a pattern we are to form our prayers, and as by a rule we are to examine them. May the things which we desire be referred to these petiti­ons? then may we boldly ask them. Can they not be referred? then do we not pray according to Gods will; and therefore can have no assurance that we shall be heard.

Secondly, whereas Christ teacheth his disciplesMinisters must teach their people to pray. to pray, herein he giveth an example to be imitated of Ministers; sc. that as they teach other things, so also to pray. John Baptist, Luke 11. 1. taught his [Page 228] disciples to pray; whereupon Christs disciples desire him in like manner to teach them. Wherein also they are to be an example to be imitated of all learn­ers: As the Father in the family, or the Pastour in the Church, ought to teach; so the child in the house, the hearer in the Church, ought to be desi­rous to learn how to pray.

Thirdly, it sneweth that of our selves we know not how to pray. For if we should be left to our own affections and desires, we should ask many times those things which would tend to Gods dis­honour and our own hurt: As appeareth by Socra­tes, who wanting this direction of our Saviour Christ, knew not what to ask, but groping in dark­nesse desired in generall terms, that those things which are good he would give them whether they asked them or no, and would deliver them from evil things although they should ask them: Plato in Alcib. 2.

[...].

O Jupiter King, give unto us good things whether we ask or ask them not; but put away from us evil things though we pray for them. And therefore our Saviour Christ thought it necessary to teach us how to pray.

Again, hence ariseth great comfort to Gods chil­dren: [...] For whereas the word of God assureth us whatsoever we shall ask according to his will it shall be given us, 1. John 5. 14. we may assure our selves that we so pray when we follow Christs direction. Nei­ther need we doubt but the Lord acknowledging the [Page 229] voice of his own Sonne (as Cyprian saith) our prayersAgnoscit Pater filii sui verba cùm preces sundimus. [...] shall be acceptable unto him.

Lastly, seeing our Saviour Christ hath command­ed us to pray and taught us how, we are unexcusa­ble if we neglect this duty.

One thing further is to be considered in the words as they are set down by Luke, When ye pray, say: Whether speech in prayer be alwayes necessary.Quest. Answ.

There is [...], either inward or out­ward speech: and prayer is either vocall or mentall: And the Lord heareth the cry of the heart, and our secret grones are not hid from him, Psal. 38. 10. Howbeit the voyce is to be used so oft as it may conveniently, both for the attention of the mind and intension of the affections, &c.

NOw let us come to the Lords Prayer it self. InOf the Lords prayer. which is lively, though summarily, set down unto us the practice of that doctrine which hereto­fore we have learned concerning prayer. For as we have been taught that Prayer and Thanksgiving are to be joyned together: so here with the Petitions is joyned a Thanksgiving, wherein we are taught to ascribe unto the Lord eternall kingdome, power and glory; which words almost David useth in his solemn thanksgiving, 1. Chron. 29. 11.

Again, whereas we have been taught that unto prayer are required duties before we pray and also in prayer it self, both here are prescribed. Before we are to use preparation, wherein we are to medi­tate of such things as are fit to stirre up those graces in us which in prayer are to be expressed. In prayer [Page 230] two things are to be expressed; an hungring and thirsting desire of grace, and the speciall assent of faith: For the stirring up of both which it is fit to meditate upon the fatherly love and almighty pow­er of God, which our Saviour hath taught us to prefix before the prayer it self. In prayer two things especially are to be expressed: 1. An hungring and thirsting desire of the grace and blessing of God; 2. A speciall assent of faith that our request shall be granted. Therefore the prayer it self is divided in­to Petitions and Conclusion: the desire being espe­cially expressed in the Petitions; the Conclusion conteining, 1. a confirmation, 2. a testification of our faith, in the word Amen. Of the Lords prayerThe parts. therefore there be two parts: the Preface; and the Prayer it self, consisting of Petitions and the Con­clusion, conteining a Confirmation of our faith joyned with the praysing of God, and also a Testi­fication both of our faith and the truth of our de­sire, in the word Amen.

In expounding the Lords Prayer we will observeThe order. this order: First, we will expound the words, and shew the true meaning of thē; & then we will inferre the uses of Doctrine, Confutation, Instruction in the duties of prayer and of our lives; and lastly, of Re­proof, whereby shall be detected the hypocrisie of worldly men, who using these words do not pray in truth.

Whereas our Saviour doth not abruptly pro­pound the Petitions, but prefixeth a solemn Pre­face, we are taught before we call upon God to use some preparation.

[Page 231]The preface conteineth a description of God toThe preface. whō we pray, taken 1. from his relation to us, that he is Our Father; 2. from the place wherein his maje­sty doth especially appear, that he is in heaven: the former signifying especially his love; the other, his power. Of which two if in our preparation we do duly meditate, our desire will be kindled and our faith confirmed, considering that he to whom we pray is both able and willing to grant our requests.

Our Father.

SOme do expound these words as though they were a rhetoricall proeme which we use to win Gods favour. But we use words in our prayer not that God but that we may be moved and affected. First we call him Father: whereof we are first to seek the meaning, and then the use. By the name of Father God alone is understood: For, as our Savi­our saith Matth. 23. 9. we must call no man father, because we have but one Father who is in heaven. Joh. 8. 41. We have one Father, which is God: A good profession if it had bene uttered with a good consci­ence.

Now God is said to be a Father two wayes: byGod a Fa­ther two wayes. Creation, and Adoption. By creation, as Isai. 64. 8. So Adam is said to be the sonne of God, Luke 3. 38. and the Angels, Job 1. By adoption in Christ, Fphes. 1. 5. So every believer is born of God, 1. John 5. 1. For to so many as believe in Christ God hath given this priviledge, to be the sonnes of God, John 1. 12. And in this sense is every faithfull man to call God Father.

[Page 232]But here it may be demanded, Whether theQuest. whole Trinitie is called upon in the name of Fa­ther, or the first Person alone.

The word Father is attributed unto God twoAnsw. wayes; either essentially or personally. Essentially, when he is so called in respect of the creatures, 1. Cor. 8. 6. Personally, when it hath relation to the other Persons, the Sonne and the holy Ghost. In this place it hath relation to the creatures. So Deut. 32. 6. Isai. 63. 16. But howsoever the whole Trinity is our Father, & so to be worshipped of us, yet this speech is more peculiarly directed to the first Person, the fountain of the Godhead, who is the Father of Christ, Ephes. 3. 14. and in him our Father, John 20. 17. yet so as in worshipping him we joyntly worship the other two, who as they are all one in essence, coequall and coeternall, concur­ring also in all actions towards us, so they are alto­gether to be worshipped. O God, thou Father of Christ, and in him our Father, who givest the Spirit of thy Sonne, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, to thee we present our prayers in the name of thy Son, craving the help of the holy Ghost.

The second Person is called our Father, Isai. 9. 6. & so may the holy Ghost, who doth regenerate us, Deut. 32. 6. and to either of them may our prayers be directed, Acts 7. 59. So that our prayer may be directed to any or to all the Persons, 2. Cor. 13. 13. or to two of them, 1. Thess. 3. 11.

We are taught to whom to direct our prayers,1. [...]. namely, to God alone. For seeing our Saviour hath commanded us, when we pray, to say, Our Father, it is1. [Page 233] evident that we break the commandment if we direct our prayers to any to whom we may not say, Our Father, &c. Which title without blasphemy we cannot attribute to any but onely to the Lord, who is our heavenly Father: Jer. 31. 9. Sum Israe­li Pater, I am a Father to Israel.

Secondly, whereas by nature we are the children2. of wrath, and yet commanded to call upon God as our Father, we are taught in whose name we are to come unto God: Not in our own names or wor­thinesse, Dan. 9. 18. for then we shall find him a Judge rather then a Father; but onely in the name and mediation of Christ, Eph. 3. 12. in whom he is our Father, and in whose name he hath promised to grant whatsoever we ask according to his will. It is well said of Calvine, Cùm Deum Patrem vocamus, Christi nomen praetendimus, When we call God Father, we pretend the name of Christ.

3. We are taught that the help of the holy Ghost3. is necessary in prayer. For how should we which were children of wrath dare to call God our Father, or be assured that we be his children? By the holy Ghost, who is the spirit of adoption, & beareth witnesse to our spirits, that we are the sonnes of God, we cry in our hearts, Abba, Father, Rom. 2. 15, 16. For if none can say that Jesus is the Lord but by the holy Ghost; 1. Cor. 12. 3. then much lesse can a man call upon God as his Fa­ther in Christ except he be endued by the holy Ghost. We must therefore, as the Apostle teacheth us, Ephes. 2. 18. call upon God the Father in the name of the Sonne by the assistance of the holy Ghost, so shall we, though unworthy and unable to [Page 234] call upon God, in Christ be accepted and by the ho­ly Ghost be enabled to pray according to God.

Here therefore first are they refuted who think11. [...]. they may lawfully direct their prayers either to An­gels1. or Saints, to whom the name Father is opposed, Isai. 63. 16. or to their images, saying to a stock or stone, Our father, Jer. 2. 27. If God be our heavenly Father, who is more willing to give good things then any earthly parents, and also all-sufficient, why should we seek to any other, unlesse we can either accuse him of unkindnesse, or object want of pow­er unto him?

Secondly, if God be our Father in Christ, then2. ought we with boldnesse to come unto the throne of grace through him, Ephes. 3. 12. Neither do we need any other mediation then of the Sonne, who is the onely Mediatour as of redemption so also of inter­cession, 1. Tim. 2. 5. contrary to the doctrine of the Papists, who teach men to use the mediation of Saints: Whereas our Saviour John 16. 26. having commanded us to pray in his name, addeth, I say not that I will intreat the Father for you: for the Father himself loveth you.

Duties in Prayer.

IF God be our Father, we must come 1. In reve­rence as unto our heavenly Father. 2. In dutifull, thankfull, and sonne-like affection, acknowledging his mercy of Adoption, who when we were by na­ture children of wrath adopted us to be his sonnes; and if sonnes, then heirs. Behold, what love the Father Rom. 8. 16. 1. [...] 3. 1. hath shewed on us, that we should be called the sonnes of [Page 235] God. 3. In faith and assurance, not onely that we and our prayers are accepted in Christ, but that our prayers shall be granted unto us of our Father as may be most for his glory and our good.

And that we may come in faith, let us consider, First, that without faith we are no sonnes of his, but children of wrath, Ephes. 2. 3, 12. and if we believe we are the sonnes of God, John 1. 12. and of the houshold of faith. Secondly, that if God be our Father in Christ, he will grant us what good thing soever we ask. For 1. he is affected as a good Fa­therPsal. 103. 13. towards his children: yea, his love towards us is so much greater then the love of earthly parents as his goodnesse and mercy is greater, Isai. 63. 16. Psal. 27. 10. Isai. 49. 15. Matth. 7. 11. Luke 11. 13. 2. In that he is our Father he hath given us the great­est gift that can be imagined, and therefore will not deny the lesfe. Pater quid negabit filiis, qui jam dedit quòd pater est? What will the father deny to his sons, who hath vouchsafed already to be our Father? For if he have so loved us that he gave his Son for us (that in him we might be adopted his children) how shall he not with him give us all good things? Rom. 8. 32. 3. In that he hath vouchsafed us this great love to be our Father and that we should be his children, he hath also made us his heirs, & provided us an inheritance in heaven. For as he gave his Sonne in pretium, for a price, so he reserveth himself in praemium, for a reward. If therefore it be our Fathers pleasure to give us a kingdome, we need not fear but that he will grant us matters of lesse moment, Luke 12. 32. 4. In sonne-like submission we are to call upon God [Page 236] our Father, &c. Matth. 26. 39, 42. And in this faith we are to rest in the will of our Father, submitting our selves thereto, knowing that he will dispose of us for the best.

Duties in our lives.

IF we call God our Father, we must behave our selves as dutifull and obedient children, 1. Pet. 1. 14. we must walk worthy our calling, Ephes. 4. 1. For see­ing we have these promises, namely, that God will be a Father unto us, and that we shall be his sonnes and daughters, we ought to cleanse our selves from all filthinesse of the flesh and spirit, and grow up into all god­linesse in the fear of God, 2. Cor. 6. 18. and 7. 1. Deut. 32. 6. Nonne ipse Pater tuus, &c. Is not he thy Fa­therM [...]l. 1. 6. that hath bought thee? We must honour him, we must fear him, 1. Pet. 1. 17. Neither ought we to fear any thing so much as to displease him. We must love him, and Christ his Sonne, John 8. 42. and for his sake our neighbours, as the sonnes of God and members of Christ, and consequently as our brethren and fellow-members, 1. John 5. 1. We are to imitate our heavenly Father, Matth. 5. 45. Luke 6. 36. We must patiently and meekly bear afflictions as fatherly chastisements, Heb. 12. 6, 7, &c. Other­wise we shew our selves to be bastards rather then sonnes. We must trust in him, Psal. 27. 10. Isai. 63. 16.

Here therefore is reproved the hypocrisie of those who using these words do not call upon God in their prayers with sonne-like reverence, faith, affection, submission, nor in their lives behave themselves as [Page 237] Gods children. For though we call upon God as our Father, and yet do not obey him, nor honour him, nor fear him, nor love him, nor follow him, nor submit our selves to his chastisements, nor trust in him, we shew our selves not to be the children of God, but rather of the devil. For our Saviour saith to the Jews affirming that God was their Fa­ther, His sonnes ye are whose works ye do, John 8. 39, 48. And John also saith, 1. Epist. 3. 8, 9, 10. He that committeth sinne is of the devil: Whosoever is born of God sinneth not; for his seed remaineth in him, &c. In this the children of God are known and the children of the devil. Whosoever doth not righteousnesse is not of God; neither he that loveth not his brother. See Deut. 32. 5, 6.

Our.

WHen as our Saviour teacheth us to say, Our Father, Give us, &c. he may seem to some to have prescribed a form of publick prayer onely. Otherwise why doth he not teach us to say, My Fa­ther, Give me, &c.? But out of verse 6. it appeareth that he prescribeth this form as well for private as for publick prayer. Now he teacheth us to say, Our Father, Give us, &c. that we may learn it to be our duty to call upon God not onely for our selves but also for others.

But for what others? For all men, 1. Tim. 2. 1. (For God is the Father of all by creation.) but especially for the faithfull, to whom G [...]d is a Fa­ther by grace of adoption, and they also our bre­thren in Christ. We are therefore to pray for the [Page 238] whole brotherhood, which is the universall Church, and the whole company of the faithfull, Psal. 122. 6. O pray for the peace of Jerusalem. For the univer­sall Church, I say, militant upon earth. For unto the present estate of the Church militant our Savi­our doth accommodate this prayer: as, that we may do the will of God upon earth as it is in heaven; that he would give us our daily bread; that he would forgive our sinnes, and not lead us into temptation. When as therefore this prayer is used amongst the Papists for the dead, they shew themselves not impious onely but also ridiculous.

Vses concerning Prayer.

FIrst, whereas Christ commandeth us to call God 1. Father not onely of other faithfull and elect but Faith requi­red in prayer also ours, he requireth in us when we are to pray a true and justifying faith whereby we are perswaded that God is our Father in Christ, and the spirit of a­doption, whereby we cry in our hearts, Abba, Father. Therefore that speciall faith which the Papists call presumption, whereby every Christian man believeth that he is adopted in Christ, reconciled to God, and justi­fied by him, and that for his sake both himself and his prayer is accepted of God, Christ requireth in this place. For unlesse I be perswaded that the Lord is not onely the Father of the rest of the faithfull and elect, but also my Father, I cannot in truth call him our Father. Unto prayer therefore we must bring faith, without which it is impossible to please God.

Secondly, whereas Christ commandeth us to call 2. upon God not onely for our selves, but also in the We must pray one for another. [Page 239] behalf of the whole fraternitie, which is the univer­sall Church, Our Father, Give us, &c. he teacheth us to exercise the communion of Saints by mutuall prayers for one another, Ephes. 6. 18. and not onely to have respect to our own good but also to the good of others, 1. Cor. 13. 5. and withall inform­eth us how we are to be affected towards our bre­thren when we come to call upon God; that we should desire the same good things for them which we ask for our selves; that we should be touched with a fellow-feeling of their wants, as it becometh those which are not onely the sonnes of the same Father, but also members of the same body, Heb. 13. 3. Therefore as we ought to bring faith to­wards God, so also charity towards men, that with­out wrath and dissension we may lift up pure hands unto God, 1. Tim. 2. 8.

But is it not lawfull to say sometimes, My Father, Quest. My God, and to pray for our selves in particular or for some others?

It is lawfull in private prayers to call God thy Answ. Father, so that thou dost not arrogate any thing pe­culiar to thy self besides or above other faithfull men. For this is the voyce of justifying faith (espe­cially in the time of temptation, when the faithfull man may seem forsaken of God) to apply unto him­self in particular that which commonly belongeth to all the faithfull, Psal. 22. 1. Deus meus, My God, my God, &c. John 20. 28. Rom. 1. 8. The Lord instructeth his people thus to call him, My Father, Jer. 3. 4, 19. and Christ his disciples, Matth. 6. 6. Pray to thy Father; and thy Father which seeth in secret, &c.

[Page 240]It is lawfull also to pray for thy self and for others in particular, so as thou forget not to pray for the whole brotherhood of Gods children. For as when we are commanded to do good to all, but especially to the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10. we are bound in particular to do good to those whose wants are known unto us: so when we are com­manded to pray for all, we are bound in particular to pray for those whose wants are known unto us, and especially for such as do any wayes belong unto us or do desire to be commended in our pray­ers unto God, Rom. 15. 30. Jam. 5. 14. Ephes. 5. 19. 1. Tim. 2. 1, 2.

Thirdly, whereas we are taught to say, Our Fa­ther, 3. An use of comfort, see­ing all the Church prayeth for us. Give us, &c. we may gather that this prayer and those that are made to the like effect are the common voyce of the Church and of all the mem­bers thereof praying mutually for one another: Which affordeth comfort to every one of us; for al­though the sense of thy own wants & weaknesse in calling upon God doth discourage thee, yet this ought to comfort thee, that this prayer and the like is the common prayer of the Church and of all the faithfull lifting up holy hands in every place, and praying for thee, if thou be a faithfull man, as well as for themselves. Now the prayer of the Church the Lord who is most gracious unto it is ready to heare, Deut. 4. 7. Isai. 65. 24. and being most faithfull is also willing to perform, Matth. 18. 20. Therefore this serveth, as for instruction, teaching us our duty in calling upon God for one another, so also for our comfort, assuring us that others in like [Page 241] sort pray for us, and that we are partakers of all the prayers of the whole Church and all the members thereof.

Fourthly, the hypocrisie of those is condemned who say with the Jews, John 8. 41. We have all one Father, God; but neither have faith in God, nor cha­rity towards men, nor any fellow-feeling of other mens wants, nor any true desire of their good; who say, Every man for himself, and God for us all.

Vses concerning our lives.

SEeing we have all one and the same Father, Brotherly love required of all that pray. Matth. 23. 9. therefore we ought to embrace one another with brotherly love, Ephes. 4. 3, 4, 6. For if God be the Father of us all, then are we all brethren. Which word of love ought to tie us with the bond of love, and break off all dissension, Gen. 13. 8. Acts 7. 26. Mal. 2. 10. And surely if we love not our brethren, the love of God is not in us: For he which lo­veth him that begetteth, loveth also those that are begot­ten, 1. Joh. 5. 1. And, Whosoever saith that he loveth God and hateth his brother, he is a liar, 1. John 4. 19, 20. Therefore where is not brotherly love there is not the love of God; where is not the love of God there is no faith; and who hath not faith is not the sonne of God. Therefore the Apostle saith, 1. John 3. 10. In this the children of God are known and the children of the devil; Whosoever doeth not righteous­nesse is not of God, nor he that loveth not his brother. For if those that be the sonnes of God, as all the faithfull are (and we are to hope well of the most when we speak of particulars) be not our brethren, [Page 242] and so we esteem them, then are not we the sonnes of God. For if he be our Father, then his children are our brethren; If the sonnes of God be not brethren to us, then are not we his children. If therefore we shall hate the children of God, how can we call up­on him as our Father?

Secondly, whereas all, as well poore as rich, are2. To [...]each the rich, and comfort the poore. commanded to call God Father, this ought to teach the rich, & comfort the poore. The rich ought from hence to learn humility and not to despise the poor­est Christian, seing they are our brethren by the law of nature, and of the same bloud, Acts 17. the same flesh, Isai. 58. and also by our redemption by Christ they are our brethren in him, sonnes of the same Fa­ther, and have as good part in Christ, if they be­lieve, as the best, for God is a Father that respecteth not persons, Acts 10. 34, 35. 1. Pet. 1. 17. And in Christ there is no difference of rich and poore, bond or free; but we are all one in him, Gal. 3. 28. To which purpose Paul exhorteth Philemon to receive his ser­vant Onesimus, being now converted, as a brother, v. 17. Let therefore the rich follow the advise, Rom. 12. 16. Example, Job 31. 13, 14, 15. that of the wife 1. Pet. 3. 7. which is to be extended to all Chri­stians, viz. that they be coheirs. Which doctrine doth not favour the Anabaptists; for although in respect of our spirituall estate there ought to be no respect of persons, Jam. 2. 1. neither is there difference of bond and fr [...]e in Christ, yet in respect of our out­ward estate the Lord hath ordained superiours and inferiours, &c. and hath established orders and de­grees in the outward politie.

[Page 243]The poore also are to comfort themselves with this consideration, that howsoever they be contemn­ed in the world, yet they are dear in Gods sight. God is their Father as well, or rather of them then of the rich, Psal. 68. 6. and Christ their brother: yea, they are members of Christ, to whom what is done Christ esteemeth as done to himself, Matth. 25. The which is to be understood of the godly poore; for otherwise, as their estate is miserable now, so a thousand times more miserable shall it be in the world to come.

Vses of reproof.

THey are condemned that call God their Father, [...] and yet hate the children of God because they are godly, and deride the name of brethren.

2. Schismaticks, who call God their Father, but denie his children to be their brethren. For they which will have God for their Father, must have the true Church to their mother. And these words, Our Father, are the voyce of the Church, and of all that be of the same brotherhood.

3. Again, when we are bid to say, [...], Our Father, &c. we are taught to direct our prayers unto God immediately, as being present with us. Which confuteth the Papists, who would not have us go directly to God, but to desire Mary, or Peter, &c. to pray for us: whereas this priviledge have all the faithfull, to come with boldnesse to the throne of grace by Christ, Ephes. 3. 12. Secondly, we are to believe that God who is in heaven is also present with us, hearing our prayers: and therefore so ought we to [Page 244] poure forth our prayers as into his bosome, yea though we pray in secret, Matth. 6. 6. Thirdly, we ought to have the eye of faith to see him that is in­visible, Heb. 11. so shall we set God before our eyes, and behave our selves as it becometh those that speak to so glorious a Majesty. But most men because they see none present are touched with lesse reverence then if they spake to a mortall superiour.

Which art in heaven, [...].

HEaven is all that space which is above the earth: Of which are three parts, Coelum Aereum, Gen. 1. 8. Aethereum, Empyreum. The first, Air; in which are the birds, fowls of heaven, and the wicked spirits in heavenly places, Ephes. 6. 12. and 2. 2. The second is that heaven wherein the starres are, which are called the host of heaven. The third is the seat of the blessed and throne of God, called Coelum empy. reum, because of the light, 1. Tim. 6. 16. paradise, 2. Cor. 12. 4. and the third heaven, in respect of the two lower; and in the same sense, the heaven of hea­vens, Psal. 115. 16. 1. Kings 8. 27. God is all in all. But this place is especially to be understood of the third heaven, which is the place of the Lords habitati­on, 1. Kings 8. 30.

How is God said to be in heaven, seeing he is eve­rywhere?Object.

If God be everywhere, then is he also in heaven:Answ. But God is said to be in heaven, not that he is inclu­ded therein, 1. Kings 8. 27. and therefore not cir­cumscriptivè, by circumscription, as the body of Christ; nor definitivè, definitively, as the finite spi­rits; [Page 245] but he is there and everywhere repletivè, filling all places, [...]er. 23. 23. but yet so as he is every­where totus, wholly. But y [...]t after a more speciall manner he is said to be in heaven: Because there especially he manifesteth his glory; there he is seen face to face; there he communicateth himself; thence he sendeth down his blessings & judgements, Rom. 1. 18. thence he speaketh to men; thence Christ de­scended; thence the holy Ghost, Matth. 3. thither Christ ascended; there he sitteth; and thence he re­turneth to judgement. And as the soul is said to be tota in toto & tota in qualibet parte, all in the whole, and in every part all; and yet in respect of the chief operations is said to be seated in the head (as it were) the heaven of this Microcosme; so God, who is everywhere wholly both in the world and out of it, is said to be in heaven: Heaven is his throne, Isai. 66. 1. there he prepared his seat, Psal. 103. 19. there he sit­teth, Psal. 2. 4. that is the habitation of his holinesse, &c. Isai. 63. 15. the place of his habitation, 1. Kings 8. 30.

Secondly, when Christ saith, [...], in the heavens, he meaneth [...], heavenly, as Matth. 6. 26. And he is called heavenly, because the shal­lownesse of our minds cannot better conceive of the unspeakable glory and excellent majestie of God then under this name. For nothing more ex­cellent and glorious is subject to our sense then the heaven. Whereas therefore the Scriptures give this title to God, they teach us to ascribe unto him ma­jestie glorious, essence omnipresent, power infinit [...], wisdome unspeakable, mercy endlesse.

[Page 246]The sense therefore of these words is this, Tho [...] that sittest upon heaven as thy throne, glorious in maje­stie, infinite in essence, power, wisdome and mercy.

Vses concerning prayer.

I. THe adoration of images & reliques condemn­ed,Adoration of images condemned. we are taught to lift up our mind, eyes, hands to God being in heaven. We may therefore say, as Psal. 121. 1. Should I lift mine eyes to ima­ges? whence then should I have help? my help is from God. Therefore as Psal. 123. 1. To thee I lift up mine eyes, O thou who dwellest in the heavens.

II. We are taught, not to direct our prayer to­wards any certain place, as the Jews towards the temple; but we may turn any way towards God in heaven. And if we are not bound to look towards any certain place, much lesse to go on pilgrimage to it.

III. Neither must our minds go on pilgrimage whilest we are praying; but above the earth and all earthly cogitations our minds with our hands are to be lifted up unto the heavens, Lam. 3. 4. Psal. 25. 1. & as at all times, so especially in the time of prayer, our conversation ought to be in heaven.

IV. When we are commanded to call God our heavenly Father, we are taught to abandon all base conceits concerning God, Psal. 50. 13. and to ascribe unto him incomprehensible glory and majesty, infi­nite power and essence, wisdome unsearchable, mer­cy endlesse. Majesty; as sitting upon the heaven as upon his throne, the earth being his footstool, Isai. 66. 1. Which must teach us reverence, and not rash­ly [Page 247] to utter any thing before God: For God is in heaven, full of majestie and glory; and thou upon earth, dust and worms meat, Eccles 5. 1.

Power; that is, Might infinite, omnipotencie; Right infinite, and authority universall. Potentia, Power, Psal. 115. 3. Our God is in heaven: whatsoever he will he doeth. Which must teach us to pray with affiance, being assured that our heavenly Fa­ther is able to do for us according to (yea above) our requests, yea above our thought, Ephes. 3. 20. Thus Jehoshaphat, 2. Chron. 20. 6. Art not thou God in heaven, so as power is in thine hand which none can re­sist?

Potestas, Authority: So saith Jehoshaphat, Art not thou God in heaven? and dost not thou rule over all nations? So Psal. 103. 20. The Lord hath established his seat in heaven, and his kingdome is over all. On him therefore our trust must be reposed, by whose providence and power all things are governed in heaven and in earth. For hereby we learn that the Lord is not onely able in respect of his might, but hath right also to bestow upon us any good thing. Audacter Deum roga, nihil illum de alteno rogaturus, S [...]neca. Beg boldly of God, seeing thou canst ask nothing of him which belongeth to another.

Infinite essence and omnipresence; for so is the heaven said to be his throne, as that the earth also is his footstool: and so is he in both, as that he is also everywhere and in every place totus. For we may not think that God is farre from us, Acts 17. 27. be­cause he is said to be in heaven, as the wicked ima­gine, Job 22. 13. but we must acknowledge that he [Page 248] is alwayes present with us, Psal. 139. 7, 8, 9, &c. and, as it is Psal. 145. 18. Deut. 4. 7. near unto us wh [...]n we call upon him; yea, where two or three are gather [...]d to­gether in his name, he is in the middest of them, Matth. 18. 20. If theresore thou prayest in secret, the Lord heareth thee, Matth. 6. 6. if in the closet of thine heart without any speech, he heareth the voyce and cry of the heart, Exod. 14. 15. 1. Sam. 1. 13. Assure thy self therefore that thou speakest not into the air or utterest thy words in vain, but that thou pourest forth thy requests into the bosome of the Lord.

Wisdome unsearchable: For as the heavens are high above the carth, so are the Lords thoughts above ours, Isai. 55. 9. We must therefore submit our selves to his will, which is most wise and just: nei­ther let us circumscribe him, but rather resigne our selves unto him, who best knoweth what is fit for us.

Mercy unspeakable; Whereby all these attri­butes are effectuall to our good. For if earthly pa­rents do know to give good things to their children, much more doth our heavenly Father, Matth. 7. 11.

This therefore must not discourage us, that he sit­teth above in heaven in the high throne of his maje­stie: for though he dwelleth above, [...]t he mercifully aba­seth himself to behold the things which be in heaven and in earth, Psal. 113. 5, 6. He looketh down from the high place of his holinesse, even from heaven doth the Lord look down upon earth▪ that he might heare the mourning of the prisoner, and deliver the children of d [...]th, Psal. 102. 19, 20. Neither ought his power to terrifie us: for he useth it to our good, Deut. 33. 26. Herideth, [Page 249] or sitteth, upon the heavens for our help. Him there­fore, let us exalt who rideth on the highest heavens, Psal. 68. 4.

Here therefore is discovered the hypocrisie of those men who calling upon God as their Father in heaven lift not up their hearts to heaven, but let them lie groveling on the earth; who imagine God to be like themselves, who without reverence speak unto him, or use vain babbling; who trust not in his power, nor acknowledge his presence with them, unreverently behaving themselves because they see him not; that submit not themselves to his fatherly wisdome, nor rest in his mercy and goodnesse.

Vses in our lives.

First, if our Father be in heaven, who also hath be­gotten us to an heavenly inheritance, then we who are the children of God are in this world pilgrimes from God and from our countrey; and therefore ought not to mindearthly things, but have our con­versation in heaven, Phil. 3. 19, 20. Secondly, if God our Father be full of maiesty and power, we ought to fear him and to stand in aw. Thirdly, if omnipotent, let us rest confidently under his pro­tection, neither let the fear of any danger draw us unto sinne; for God is able to deliver us, Dan. 17. And on the other side, let us fear to sinne; for he is able to destroy both body and soul in hell, Matth. 10. 28. If God be omnipresent, let us behave our selves as in his presence, and walk before him in uprightnesse of heart. If our heavenly Father be most wise and mercifull, let us cast our care upon him, in all our [Page 250] necessities depending on him. As for those that are mere worldlings & terrae filii, who neither stand in aw of his majesty, nor trust in his power, nor wa [...]k as in his presence, nor depend upon his father­ly goodnesse, they cannot but in hypocrisie call God their heavenly Father.

Now if we joyn these two together, of which we have spoken severally, That God is our Father, and therefore willing to heare us; and also in heaven, and therefore able to grant our desires; there will be no place left to diffidence and distrust, seeing God is both willing and able to grant our requests. Therefore we ought not to be distrustfully carefull, but with confidence and assurance that we shall be heard to make our requests known unto God, Phil. 4. 6. seeing, as Fulgentius saith, Deus multus est ad ignoscendum; in hoc multo nihil deest, in quo & omni­potens misericordia & omnipotentia misericors est: God is much in forgiving; in this much nothing is mis­sing, in whom is omnipotent mercy, and mercifull omnipotence. The consideration of either of these may stirre up a man to pray: but if he doubt of either, I see not how he can pray in faith. The le­per, Mark 1. 40. being perswaded of Christs pow­er, desireth him to make him clean: the father of him that was possessed, Mark 9. 22. having some good opinion of Christs willingnesse, intreated his help for the dispossessing of the unclean spirit: But because the one was not assured of his willingnesse, the other of his power, they make but doubtfull prayers, If thou wilt thou canst make me clean; If thou canst do any thing help us. But we may be assured of [Page 251] both in our heavenly Father: and therefore are to be encouraged to pray in faith, &c.

The division of the Petitions.

HItherto we have spoken of the preface. Now we are to proceed unto the petitions: Which are in number six; but yet in respect of the objects they may be distinguished into two sorts: For ei­ther they concern more properly and immediately the glory of God, without respect of our own pro­fit; or else our own good, and mediately the glory of God. For in the three former we say, Thy name, Thy kingdome, Thy will; in the three latter, us and our, &c. Those that concern Gods glory are indeed most profitable for us; for with his own glory he joyneth the good and salvation of the elect: For if we glori­fie the name of God, he will glorifie us: if we be subjects of the kingdome of grace, we shall be in­heriters of the kingdome of glory: if we do the will of God upon earth, we shall enter into the kingdome of heaven. But in propounding these pe­titions we are not to respect our own profit but the glory of God. Those which immediately concern our own good must also mediately respect the glory of God, whereunto if our good be not referred it is not good.

Those which immediately concern the gloryThe order. of God are set down in the first place. By which order our Saviour Christ teacheth us to pre­ferre Gods glory before our own good, yea (if they should come in comparison) before our own salvation, Exod. 32. 32. because Gods glory is the [Page 252] end, and therefore better then those things which are referred thereunto. For which cause not onely in order of petitions but also in the measure of our affections the glory of God must be preferred before our own good: Ideóque in tribus primis petitionibus oratio [...] est, cùm posteriores conjunctionibus colli­gantur, And therefore in the three first petitions there is no copulative, when as the three latter are tied together with conjunction [...]

In the three first petitions we desire either the glory of God it self as the end, or else the means whereby his glory is procured: the end in the first petition; the means in the other two. For then is God glorified when his kingdome is advanced and his will fulfilled.

This order teacheth us that the main end of all our desires and actions should be the glory of God.

I. Petition.

FIrst, of the first petition: Wherein we are to learn the meaning of the words, and then to consider the uses which arise from thence. [...], Hallowed be thy name. The name of God signifiethWhat is si­gnified by Gods n [...]vne. both God himself, and his attributes, which are himself, and also that whereby he is named. In the former sense the word name is often used to si­gnifie the persons named: as Acts 1. 15. and 4. 12. Revel. 3. 4. and 11. 13. So the name of God is put for God himself, Joel 2. 23. Deut. 28. 58. Hereupon the Hebrews use to say, [...], that is, His name is himself, and he is his name. And hereunto belong those places in which the name of God signi­fieth [Page 253] his attributes, which are nothing but himself: For the justice of God is the just God, the wisdome of God is the wise God, the mercy of God is the merci­full God, &c. And these also are the name of God, as appeareth Exod. 33. 19. and 34. 5, 6, 7. For this is the name which he proclaimeth, The Lord, the Lord, strong, mercifull, and gracious, slow to anger, and abun­dant in goodnesse and truth, &c.

Secondly, the name of God signifieth that whereby God is named; whereby he is either renowned or known. The name of renown is his glory, which is (as it were) his good name: For so in great persons their good name is their glory and renown; and therefore they are said in the Scriptures to be men of name, Gen. 6. 4. In this sense the word name is used Gen. 11. 4. That we may get us a name: Gen. 12. 2. I will make thy name great: Jer. 13. 11. name, praise, and glory, Deut. 26. 19. The name of God therefore signi­fieth that whereby he is renowned and acknowled­ged to be glorious, that is, his glory: So Exod. 9. 16. Psal. 8. 1.

Again, the name of God signifieth that whereby he is known; to wit, not onely his Titles, which more properly are called his name, and by which he is known, but also the Means whereby he is known. The titles are the names of the Godhead, of the at­tributes, and of the Persons. Of the Godhead; as Jehovah, Lord, God, &c. Exod. 3. 15. This is my name: Exod. 6. 3. Psal. 83. 18. Attributes, as Wis­dome, Mercy, Justice, Majesty, &c. Persons, as Father, Christ, Jesus, Saviour, holy Ghost, &c.

The means whereby God is known are either pe­culiar [Page 254] to the Church, or common unto all. Of the first sort are his word and religion therein prescri­bed. The word of God is called his name, as Acts 9. 15. to carry my name, &c. and 21. 13. 1. Tim. 6. 1. with Tit. 2. 5. Rom. 2. 24. Psal. 22. 22. Heb. 2. 12. So is the doctrine of religion and worship of God, Mich. 4. 5. We will walk in the name of our God. 1. Kings 5. 3, 5. to build a house unto the name of God. The common means are the works of God: The works of Creation, Psal. 19. 1. Rom. 1. 19, 20. In respect where of he is called the Creatour of heaven and earth. As also of Administration, as his bles­sings and judgements. In respect where of he is cal­led the Governour and Judge of the world, Exod. 34. 7. All these doth the name of God signifie.

To sanctifie signifieth either to make holy, or to ac­knowledgeWhat is meant by sanctified or hallowed. & declare holy. In the first sense things are said to be sanctified and (in themselves being not holy) to be made holy, which are set apart to holy uses; as the Sabbath, the Temple, Priests, Christi­ans consecrated and set apart to the worship and ser­vice of God. In which sense the name of God, which is most holy, Psal. 111. 9. cannot be said to be sanctified.

2. To sanctifie is to acknowledge & declare holy: as wisdome in the like phrase of speech is said to be justified, Luke 7. 35. and God to be magnified and glo­rified: And thus the name of God is sanctified either by us or by God himself, Num. 20. 12, 13. By us (I mean our selves and others, for whom also we pray) when, as the name of God is most holy and reve­rend, so we in our hearts acknowledge and that effe­ctually, [Page 255] in our tongues professe, in our deeds use it as most holy & reverend. By God himself his name is sanctified, when either he manifesteth the glory of his mercy and justice, or else freeth it from the pol­lutions of men, especially when men neglect it, and removeth the impediments, Num. 20. 12, 13.

First, we pray that Gods name may be sanctified of us; that is, That God would vouchsafe unto us his grace, that we may give unto the Lord the honour due unto his name, Psal. 29. 2. that as his name is most ex­cellent, holy, glorious, and reverend, so his prayse may be unto the ends of the earth, Psal. 48. 11.

We sanctifie the name of God, which is most ho­ly, and reverend, and glorious, Deut. 28. 5 [...]. when­as in our hearts, words, and deeds we do use it holi­ly and reverently.

But to speak more especially, according to the significations of the name of God: The names of God first signifie himself and his attributes, which are himself, which we desire in this prayer that we may sanctifie in our hearts, tongues, and lives. In our hearts we sanctifie God, as Peter exhorteth, 1. Epist. 3. 15. when as 1. we do acknowledge, and that effectually, That there is a God; That this God is such an one as he hath revealed himself in his word, most wise, most just, most mercifull, infinite in power, essence, and continuance, &c. 2. When in our minds we think and conceive nothing of God but that which beseemeth his glorious majestie; that is, when we alwayes think and conceive of God most holily and reverently.

In our mouthes; 1. When we confesse and ac­knowledge [Page 256] and professe God and his attributes, &c. Rom. 10. 10. 2. When we speak of God and his attributes holily and everently.

In our lives; when the knowledge of God and his attributes is effectuall to bring forth in us a con­versation answerable thereunto. Knowest thou there is a God? worship him. That he is a Spirit? worship him in spirit and truth. That he is just? fear him. That he is mercifull? love him. That he is omnipresent? behave thy self as in his presence. That he is omnisufficient? repose thy trust in him. That he is omniscient and [...], a s [...]archer of the heart? approve thine heart to him, &c.

Thus then we desire that the name of God in the first sense may be sanctified by us.

The uses. 1. Concerning prayer.

THat we may pray fervently, we must have a feel­ing of our want; as, our ignorance of God (here we pray for knowledge of God, without which we cannot acknowledge him) the vanity of our minds, thinking amisse of God, Job 1. 5. our irreverent speech of God, our not sanctifying of God in our lives (a fault incident to the best) Num. 20. 12. For who can say that he hath loved and feared God, &c. as he ought, and behaved himself alwayes as in Gods presence?

2. Concerning our lives.

The use concerning our lives: That as in our prayers we desire, so in our lives we endeavour thus to sanctifie God: For if we our selves will not en­deavour thus to do, it sheweth that we have no true [Page 257] desire hereof, but pray in hypocrisie with feigned lips. Their hypocrisie therefore here is detected, who desiring with their mouth that they may san­ctifie God, will think that there is no God, Psal. 14. 1. will think basely of him, Psal. 50. 21. or deny his providence, mercy, and justice, Psal. 10. 11. who use to speak unreverently of God and his attributes, to murmure against his justice, &c. Psal. 78. 19. who live as if there were no God, Tit. 1. 16, that say he is a Spirit, but desire not to worship him in spirit; that he is just, and yet desire not to fear him, &c.

II. How Gods name signifying his glory is hallowed by us.

SEcondly, the name of God signifieth his glory: Which we do sanctifie whenas we glorifie God in our hearts, mouthes, and lives: And this is the most principall signification of this petition.

We glorifie him in our hearts, 1. When in the affections of our hearts we desire the procuring and advancement of Gods glory above all things, as be­ing more dear unto us then our own good. 2. When as in the purpose of our hearts we intend the glory of God in all things, putting into our hearts to give glory to his name, Mal. 2. 2.

In our mouthes we glorifie him, when we make the glory of God the matt [...]r and end of our speech. The matter, when in our speech we set forth the praises of God, whose name is to be exalted above all prayse, Neh. 9. 5. For to prayse him is to glorifie him, Luke 2. 20. Psal. 50. 23. and to make his prayse glori­ous, Psal. 66. 2. We make it the end of our speech, when therein we intend the glory of God, either by [Page 258] the profession of a necessary truth, Josh. 7. 19. or by a speech seasoned with grace, tending to the glory of God, or the good and edification of our bre­thren, which is subordinate thereunto, Col. 4. 6.

In our lives we glorifie God, 1. When in all our actions whatsoever we aim at the glory of God, ac­cording to that 1. Cor. 10. 31. 2. When by our god­ly lives we do not onely glorifie God our selves, John 15. 8. but give just occasion to others of glo­rifying him, Matth. 5. 12. 1. Pet. 2. 12.

Vses. 1. In prayer.
Wants to be bew [...]yled.

1. Our pride and vain-glory, seeking our selves and our own prayse. 2. The neglect of Gods glo­ry, the main end of all things, which ought to be more dear to us then our salvation. Such we are that except the Lord endue us with this grace, we neglect his glory, and so live in vain. 3. Our sup­pressing of Gods prayse, our unthankfulnes. 4. Our idle and unsavoury speeches. 5. Our manifold slips in our lives whereby God is dishonoured. All which are faults incident to the best of us, and there­fore we had need earnestly to pray that God may be glorified of us, 2. Sam. 12. 14.

Graces which we desire.

1. Zeal of Gods glory; 2. Thankfulnesse; 3. A desire to glorifie God by a godly life.

2. Vses in our lives.

As we are in prayer earnestly to desire thatPsal. 86. 12. we may give glory to God, so in our lives we must endeavour both in our hearts, tongues, and works to glorifie him, &c. Otherwise, if in our mouthes we desire that we may glorifie him, and in [Page 259] our hearts neither desire it nor intend it, if we alto­gether seek our selves and our own praise, if we use to suppresse the praises of God and to smother his truth, if our ordinary speech be idle and unsavoury, our lives dissolute, from whence no honour can a­rise unto God, and in truth desire not to be freed from these sinnes; nay, on the contrary, if in stead of intending Gods glory we seek his dishonour, in stead of sounding forth his prayse we blaspheme his holy name, in stead of professing and defending his truth we oppugne the same, in stead of savoury speeches they be rotten and infective, in stead of causing the name of God to be glorified we cause it to be blasphemed, our prayer is little better then mockery of God: And yet such is the prayer of ve­ry many, which with their mouthes desire that they may glorifie God, and yet desire not his glory in their hearts, nor seek it in their lives, but rather pra­ctice such things whereby the name of God is dis­honoured and blasphemed.

The glory of God is most dear unto him, and so must be to us, Acts 12. 22. His glory he will not lose.

III. The name of God signifying his titles, how it is hallowed.

THirdly, the name of God doth signifie his titles; the titles, I say, of the Deity, Attributes, and Persons. This name of God is sanctified, when, as it is holy and reverend, so it is used of us. It is used of us either by taking it into our mouthes, or by taking it upon us. We sanctifie it in our mouthes, [Page 260] and so in our writings, when as we make a [...] holy and reverent mention of the titles of God. Which we do when we mention them in a serious matter, after a reverent manner, to a holy end. For the most holy and dreadfull name of the Lord our God Deut. 28. 58. must not be used to trifles and ridi­culous matters: neither may we lightly take up the most reverend name of God, which we are not wor­thy to take into our mouthes: neither must the glo­rious name of God be mentioned but to his glory either mediately or immediately. And hereunto we are to referre two sorts of usurpation of Gods name and titles, by Blessing and Swearing aright.

Blessing is either of God or man. The blessing of God is the praysing of God; of which we have spoken: Example Rom. 9. 5. and 1. 25. 2. Cor. 11. 31. Blessing of men in the name of God, which the Scripture calleth the putting of Gods name upon them, Num. 6. 27. is a duty to be performed by all, to all, even unto enemies, Rom. 12. 14. Matth. 5. 44. (whereunto referre salutation) but especially to be performed by superiours, Hos. 7. 7. to their inferiours: in the commonwealth by Princes and Magistrates; David, 2. Sam. 6. 18. Solomon, 1. Kings 8. 55. In the Church, Num. 6. 23, 24, 25. Melchisedec, Gen. 14. 19. In the family by parents: unto which the Lord giveth great force, &c. By swearing we make a holy and reverent mention of the name of God, whenas we swear in truth, judgement, and righteousnesse, Jer. 4. 2, &c.

We take upon us the name of God when his name is called upon in us, as Gen. 48. 16..i. when we call [Page 261] our selves by his name, and professe our selves to be the children of God, Isai. 43. 6, 7. which began to be done in the time of Seth after the birth of Enosh, Gen. 4. 26. & 6. 2. In these last times those of the Church of God do invocate the name of Christ, Acts 9. 14, 21. 1. Cor. 1. 2. and are called by his name, Christians, Acts 11. 26. and are baptized into his name.

Thus we sanctifie the name of Christ when as we walk worthy our calling whereby we are called, Ephes. 4. 1. and adorn the doctrine of Christ our Sa­viour in all things, departing from in [...]quity, as it is 2. Tim. 2. 19.

Vses in prayer.
1. Graces to be desired.

1. That we may use the titles of God reverently. 2. That we may swear by his name alone in judge­ment, truth, and righteousnesse. 3. That we may walk worthy our calling.

2. Wants to be bewayled.

1. Irreverence in using the titles of God. 2. Rash swearing. 3. Not walking worthy our calling.

Vses in our lives.

As we pray that we may sanctifie the name of God, so must we be carefull in our lives 1. To be mindfull of God, and to mention him in matters serious, to a good end, after a reverent manner. We mention not our prince without some shew of re­verence: how much more ought we to bow the knees of our hearts when we mention the gloriousPsal. 2. 10. name of our God▪ Ex [...]mple, Rom. 9. 5. 2. To use bles­sing and not cursing, Rom. 12. 14. 3. To swear by the Lord alone in truth, judgement, and righteousnesse. [Page 262] 4. To labour by all means to walk worthy our cal­ling, even as it becometh the saints, Ephes. 5. 3. Other­wise if our practice be (and we continue therein) ei­ther not to mention God at all, (which the Scri­ptures call the forgetting of Go [...], and it is a signe that God is not in their thoughts in whose mouthes he is not, seeing out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh: or else by mentioning his name to pollute it; either in respect of the matter, mentioning it in jests and ridiculous matters; And in the name of God, O God, O Lord, Good God, Jesu Lord, Mercy God, &c. or of the manner; either by carelesse, light, and un­reverent using of Gods name without fear or con­science, sense or regard of God: or by superstitious using of the titles, doing more reverence to the words then unto God himself, and sticking not to blaspheme his name by wicked swearing; like to the souldiers, Matth 27. 39. Or in respect of the end; when the name of God is mentioned to wicked, yea to devilish ends, as inchantments, &c. or by cur­sing, which is a most horrible profaning of Gods name: or by wicked swearing: or by living unwor­thy their calling; for so they take the name of Christ upon them in vain, and profane it. Considering, Luke 1. 73. Tit. 2. 14. 2. Tim. 2. 19. In vain there­fore they professe themselves the sonnes of God whilest they behave themselves as the sonnes of men, Gen. 6. 2. or rather as the sonnes of the devil. And besides, they cause the holy name of Christ to be blasphemed. If this, I say, be our practice, and we continue therein, and yet pray that we may san­ctifie the name of God, we play the hypocrites.

IV. How the name of God, as it signifieth his Word, is sanctified.

FOurthly, the [...]ame of God doth signifie his word, whereby he is especially known. Which is san­ctified by the Ministers, when it is purely, power­fully, and profitably taught: by the people, when it is heard with reverence, attention, good consci­ence, and purpose to practice it: by all, when in our hearts we do holily meditate thereon, and are infla­med with a desire of practicing it, Psal. 119. In our tongues, when we apply it to those uses whereunto it is profitable, 2. Tim. 3. 16. In our lives, when we knowing it do perform it.

Vses in prayer. Wants to be bewailed.

1. The want of preaching, where it is wanting. 2. The neglect and contempt of the word, a capi­tall sinne of these times. 3. The little practicing of it where it is known, especially in these dayes, ubi scientiae multum, conscientiae parùm, where there is much science, little conscience.

Vses in our lives.

In our lives we are to endeavour to sanctifie the word of God: if Ministers, by dividing it aright; if people, by saving hearing thereof, by meditating on it, by desire to do it, by applying it to its right uses, by yielding simple obedience unto it. Other­wise, if we desire it may be sanctified, and yet we profane it, and please our selves in so doing, eithe [...] preaching it unprofitably, or hearing it without re­verence, attention, or purpose to pr [...]ctice it: if nei­ther in our hearts we care to know nor have desire to practice it: if we abuse it to confirm errours, and [Page 264] confute the truth, to impenitencie, jests, superstiti­on, and charms, &c. if we profane it either by ne­glect or contempt, Mal. 1. 12. Amos 2. 7. Prov. 30. 9. Levit. 22, 31, 32. in word we desire to sanctifie it, but in deed profane and pollute it.

V. How the name of God is sanctifi [...] as it signifieth the Doctrine of religion.

FIfthly, it signifieth the doctrine of religion and the worship of God. In which respect his name is sanctified when as we walk in his name, Mich. 4. 5. For religion is the way by which we go to heaven, Isai. 30. 21. and therefore in the Scriptures is often called the w [...]y. When as therefore we walk in this life so as that our life doth answer to our profession, it is in this sense said to signifie the name of God.

As we professe the Christian religion, so our life is answerable to our profession if denying all ungodli­nesse and worldly lusts, we live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Sa­viour Jesus Christ, Tit. 2. 12, 13. Our religion is the truth in Christ; which if we be truly t [...]ught, we must put off the old man, Ephes. 4. 20, &c. Our religion is the light, and we professe our selves children of the light, and so must we walk, Ephes. 5. 8, 10, 11. In this way we must walk in respect of God uprightly, in respect of men inoffensively.

Duties in prayer. Wants to be b [...]wailed.

1. Our backwardnesse in religion; 2. Our hy­pocrisie; 3. Our scandalous conversation.

Duties in our lives.

In our lives we are to desire and to endeavour that we may adorn the profession of religion by renoun­cing all ungodlinesse, &c. to set God before our eyes, that we may walk uprightly as in his sight; to walk inoffensively, Heb. 12. 13. Otherwise, if we professe religion, and renounce not our sinnes, nor put off the old man; if we call our selves the chil­dren of the light, and yet walk in darknesse; we profane the name of God and his religion. And this is done, 1. In respect of God by hypocrisie, 2. Tim. 3. 5. when as the profession of religion is pretended to worldly or wicked respects. 2. In respect of men by the profane and dissolute life of common Chri­stians, and by the falls and scandals of them that would seem the best professours. If we continue in this course and please our selves therein, we cannot make this prayer in truth, &c.

VI. How the name of God signifying his works is hallowed.

SIxthly, the name of God signifieth his Works whereby he is known, and that both of creation and administration. The creatures are sanctified,Works of Creation. First, by an holy and religious meditation and men­tioning of them, 1. To the glory of God, acknow­ledging in them the wisdome, justice, power, and goodnesse of God, glorifying him, being known in his works, as God, Rom. 1. 21, 22. 2. To our good, when we imitate and slie such things in them as the holy Ghost hath appointed. Secondly, by a holy and sanctified use. The creature is sanctified by the word and prayer, 1. Tim. 4. 5. Col. 3. 17.

Duties in prayer. Wants to be bewailed.

1. [...], that is, the hardnesse and sense­lesnesse of our hearts, in not seeing and acknowledging the goodnesse, wisdome, and power of God in his creatures, Mark 6. 52. 2. Our jesting at some of his works; as at the form or countenance of some man, &c. 3. Our suffering of the brute creatur [...]s to go beyond us: as the crane and swallow, in knowing their times and seasons; the ant, in diligence; the trees and plants, in bringing forth fruit. 4. Our irr [...]ligi­ous use of the creatures, or abusing them to b [...] the instruments of sinne.

Duties in our lives.

1. Holy meditation and mentioning of the works of God to his glory and our spirituall good. To his glory: for so must we meditate and speak of the creatures as that the wisdome, goodnesse, and pow­er of God shining in them be acknowledged; that we knowing him by his works may glorifie him as God. To our good; by meditating in such things as are to be followed or eschewed in them. 2. The pure and holy use of the creature s [...]nctified by the word and prayer, &c. Otherwise, if we knowing God by [...]is works, shall not glorifie him, Rom. 1. 21. if we shall play the Momes in detr [...]cting from the works of God or mocking the same; if we shall abuse his creatures to superstitious, wicked, and prof [...]ne uses, and please our selves in so doing, we are to take heed lest in making this prayer we be found mockers of God.

Now follow the works of administration: whichW [...]rks of Administra­tion. are his blessings or judgements towards our selves [Page 267] or others. His blessings on our selves are sanctified, 1. in our hearts, when we are truly thankfull for them: 2. in our tongues, when we give thanks, Psal. 124. 6. and shew forth his benefits, Psal. 66. 16. and 71. 8, 18. 3. in our deeds, when we referre the good things received to his glory and the good of others, and when by them we are brought to repen­tance, Rom. 2. 4.

The blessings of God on others are sanctified, when we rejoyce with them, 1. Cor. 12. 26. and glorifie God in them, Psal. 35. 27. Gal. 1. 24.

The judgements of God on our selves are sancti­fied, when they have the like effect in us that they had in Job; that is, First, when we are humbled un­der the hand of God, and brought to repentance, Job 1. 20. and 42. 6. Secondly, when we bear them patiently, Job 1. 21. Thirdly, when we blesse God in them and for them, v. 21.

The judgements of God on others are sanctified, when by consideration thereof we fear to sinne, when we shew forth the justice of God in the pu­nishment of the wicked, Psal. 58. 11, 12. when we condole with the just.

Wants to be lamented.

First, unthankfulnesse: in that neither in our hearts we have the chearfull sense of Gods good­nesse in his benefits, nor in our tongues return praise to him, nor in our deeds bring forth the fruits, nor yet by them are brought to repentance. Secondly, our not acknowledging Gods graces in others, or depraving or lessening them, or envying their good. Thirdly, our senselesnesse in affliction, Jer. 5. 3. [Page 268] Fourthly, impatienc [...], Isai. 22. 12, 13. Fifthly, mur­muring. Sixthly, not to be terrified by the exam­pleDan. 5. 22. of others, but rather pleasing our selves, Luke 13. 1. Seventhly, not condoling but rather rejoy­cing in other mens evils; as, laughing at fools.

Duties in our lives.

To be thankfull to God for his benefits; To expresse our thankfulnesse, by thanksgiving, by referring them to the glory of God, by repentance; To rejoyce with others; To glori­fie God in them; To make right use of his cha­stisements on our selves and others. Other­wise, if we shall be proud of those good things which we have, as though we had not received them, not giving God the glory, nor referring them to his glory and the good of others, but contrariwise abusing them to the dishonour of God and the hurt of others, as many do their learning, wit, riches, strength, &c. If we shall deprave Gods mercies in others, or envie them; If in the judgements of God upon our selves we shall harden our hearts with Pharaoh; If we shall impatiently bear them, and murmure against the severity of God; If with Bel­teshazzar we shall not be moved with the example of others, D [...]n. 5. 22. If we shall make a sport of [...] mens calamities; we are farre from that desire of sanctifying Gods name which in this prayer we pretend.

Secondly, in these words we pray that the Lord would sanctifie his name. The which petition we are the rather to make, because his glory is so little regarded amongst men. And in this sense our prayer [Page 269] is the same with that of our Saviour, John 12. 28. Father, glorifie thy name; or with that of David, Psal. 57. 6, 11. Be thou exalted, Lord, above the heavens, and thy glory above all the earth; or that, Psal. 115. 1. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, &c.

The Lord doth sanctifie his name, I. When heHow God sanctifieth his name. doth shew forth and manifest the excellencie and glory of his name, that is, of his attributes and per­fections, as wisdome, power, &c. but especially by making manifest the glory of his mercy and justice. Of mercy; by preserving his Church, and multiplying his blessings upon the faithfull, Ezech. 36. 21. For the glory of his own name he preserved his Church amongst the heathen, and promised to reduce them into their own countrey: not for their sakes, but his holy names sake, v. 22. and then v. 23. I will sanctifie my great name, which was polluted a­mongst the heathen (namely, because of the affliction of his people) v. 20. and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sancti­fied in you before their eyes, &c. So 2. Thess. 1. 12. Of his justice and power; in executing his judge­ments on transgressours and on the wicked, and overthrowing the enemies of his Church. When Nadab and Abihu had offered strange fire contrary to the commandment of God, and were destroyed by fire from heaven, he said, I will be sanctified in them that come near me; (that is, By executing judge­ment even against those that are near to me, I will make manifest the glory of my justice) and before all the people will I be glorified, Levit. 10. 3. Isai. 5. 15, 16. By the judgements of God executed upon the [Page 270] wicked it is said that man shall be humbled and brought low, but the Lord of hosts shall be exalted in judgement, and the holy God shall be sanctified in justice. Ezech. 28. 22. Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I come against thee, Sidon; and I will be glorified in the midst of thee: and they shall know that I am the Lor [...], when I shall have executed judgements in her, and shall be sanctified in her: For I will send into her pes [...]ilence, &c. And chap. 38. 22, 23. he threatneth to rain fire and brimstone upon Gog and Magog, that is, both the open and secret enemies of the Church, &c. Thus, saith he, will I be magnified and sanctified and known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that I am the Lord.

II. God doth sanctifie and glorifie his name, when he doth remov [...] the impediments of his glo­ry, as idolatry & worshipping of false gods, supersti­tion,2. [...]. 3. 1. ignorance, and giveth a free passage to his Gospel, when he taketh away the wicked, Psal. 104. 35.

III. By freeing it from the abuses & pollutions of men, and mainteining his own glory. When Moses and Aaron at the waters of Strife did not sanctifie the Lord by believing and acknowledging his omnipotent power, then the Lord did sanctifie his name himself, Num. 20. 12, 13. Lev. 22. 32. Neither shall ye pollute my holy name; but I will be hal­lowed amongst the people of Israel. So when Herod would not give the glory to God, the Lord glorifi­ed himself in his destruction. In the second place therefore we pray in zeal of Gods glory, That howsoever men pollute and profane his holy name, [Page 271] yet he would glorifie it, and manifest the praise both of his mercy in blessing and preserving his Church, and also of his justice in executing his judgements upon the wicked and enemies of his Church, by removing the impediments, by freeing it from the pollution of men, and mainteining his glory.

Duties.

1. Zeal of his glory, that he may sanctifie it what­soever become of me. 2. Fear to profane his name, seeing he will be sanctified, &c.

V. 10. [...], ‘Thy kingdome come.’ What Gods kingdome is.

THe first petition conteined the main scope of all our desires: This and the next contein the way and means whereby that end is to be atchie­ved: for then is God glorified when his kingdome is advanced and his will is performed.

The meaning of the words, Thy kingdome come.

We must know that there are two kingdomesTwo king­domes in this world: the first the kingdome of darknesse. in the world ruling in the minds and hearts of men; the one of darknesse, the other of light; the one of Satan, the other of God, Col. 1. 13. unto the one of which every man in the world is subject. The kingdome of Satan and dark­nesse is, whereby the children of disobedience being blindfolded and bewitched of the devil go on and continue in ignorance and sinne to their own perdition. The prince of this kingdome is Satan, the prince of the air, Ephes. 2. 2. and God of this world, 2. Cor. 4. 4. John 12. 31. The subjects are [Page 272] all men by nature, untill they be brought out of this kingdome of Satan into the kingdome of God: and then is the kingdome of God said to come to them. But in this subjection do none finally remain but the reprobate, who are the children of disobedience, in whom Satan worketh effectually▪ Ephes. 2. 2. and blindeth their minds, that the light of the glorious go­spel of the kingdome of God shine not unto them, 2. Cor. 4. 4. and carrieth them away captive to the obedience of his will, 2. Tim. 2. 26. The law of this kingdome whereby he ruleth is sinne: Hujus regni [...], The law of this kingdome is to be without law. This sin reigneth in the mortall bodies of men, m [...]king them give up their members to be instruments of sinne unto iniquity, Rom. 6. 12, 13. untill it please God to let his kingdome come upon them, ruling them by his word and spirit. The end of this kingdome is endlesse perdition, 2. Thess. 1. 9. and against this kingdome are we taught to pray in this place, &c.

The other is the kingdome of God: And this isThe second is the king­dome of God, 1. uni­ [...]ll over [...]ll. either universall or speciall. The universall is that whereby the Lord ruleth over all things, even over his enemies; whereunto all things are subject, and from which subjection nothing can exempt it self. This of Divines is called regnum potentiae, the king­dome of power: whereof the holy Ghost speaketh Psal. 99. 1, 2. and 145. 13. and in the clause of this prayer; For thine is the kingdome. But most plainly Psal. 103. 19. The Lord hath established his throne in heaven, and his kingdome is over all. This kingdome nothing can resist, nothing can hinder, no not al­though [Page 273] all creatures should band themselves toge­ther against it.

The speciall kingdome of God is that whereby2. Speciall, over the Church. he ruleth not over all men in generall, but onely over the Church, that is, the company of the elect. And as there be two parts of the Church, the one mili­tant upon the earth, the other triumphant in heaven; so are there two parts of Gods kingdome: the first of grace, the Church militant; the second of glory, the Church triumphant. The former is the blessed estate of Christians in whom he reigneth in this life: for it doth not consist in meat and drink, or in any tem­porall or worldly thing, but it is righteousnes, that is, assurance o [...] justification, and peace of conscience arising from thence, Rom. 5. 1. and joy in the holy Ghost, a consequent of both the other, Rom. 14. 17. The latter is the glorious and blessed estate of theOf the king­dome of glo­ry. faithfull after this life, where they shall have the fruition of God in whose presence there is fulnesse of joy, Psal. 16. 11. &c. Of these two the former is the way to the lat­ter: therefore whosoever would be an inheritour of the kingdome of glory in heaven, must first be a sub­ject of God in the kingdome of grace in this life, Luke 22. 30. and therefore out of the Church there is no salvation. And on the other side, whosoever is a true subject of God in the kingdome of grace, shall be an heir of glory in heaven: and therefore to them that be true members of the Church there is no condemnation. And this David teacheth us, Psal. 15. 1. Who shall sojourn, &c. both parts of that que­stion concerning one and the same man.Of the king­dome of grace.

The kingdome of grace is that government [Page 274] whereby the Lord doth effectually rule in our hearts by his word and Spirit, working in us his own good work of grace, and making us fellow-citizens, and meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints, and of the houshold of God, Ephes. 2. 19. Saints in light, Col. 1. 12. In this kingdome the Prince is the Lord, who exerciseth this kingdome by his Sonne, Psal. 96. 10. and 97. 1. and 110. 1. The people are the Church; which is therefore called the kingdome of heaven, Matth. 5. 19. and the particular subjects are all true Christians. The sceptre of this kingdome is the word of God, Psal. 110. which is also the law whereby he reigneth; and is therefore called the word of the kingdome, Matth. 13. 19. the gospel of the kingdome of God, Mark 1. 14. The preaching of which word and gospel is also called the kingdome of heaven, Matth. 13. 11. and 22. 2, &c. Where by the way we may note, that where the word of God and gospel of the kingdome is truly preached, there is the kingdome & consequently the Church of God: and therefore that may be also verified of us which our Saviour Christ speaketh of the Jews, that the kingdome of God is amongst us, Luke 17. 21. This preaching of the word is also called the arm of God, Isa. 53. 1. whereby he pulleth men out of darknesse into light, and out of the power of Satan unto God, Acts 26. 18. But especially the Lord ruleth in our hearts by his Spirit, drawing us unto his Sonne, bending and bowing us to the obedience of his word, in­lightening our minds, and sanctifying our hearts, and leading us into all truth, &c. mortifying sinne and corruption in us, and renewing us unto holinesse [Page 275] of life. The end of this kingdome is the kingdome of glory. And therefore Christ saith to his Church, Luke 12. 32. Fear not little flock, &c. For therefore doth he pull us out of the kingdome of darknesse, and bring us into the kingdome of grace, that by faith we may have remission of sinnes and inheritance among them that are sanctified, Acts 26. 18. By rea­son of the certainty hereof it is said that those that believe have everlasting life, John 5. 24. and are trans­lated from death unto life: that those whom God hath justified he hath also glorified, Rom. 8. 30.

The kingdome of glory in respect of us is the blessed estate of the godly in heaven, when as God shall be all in all, 1. Cor. 15. 28. where God hath pre­pared such things for them that love him as neither the eye of man hath seen, nor eare heard, nor &c. 1. Cor. 2. 9.

What this word come signifieth.

[...], Adveniat. This word Come, is diversly to be expounded according to the divers significati­ons of the kingdome of God. The universall king­dome, or kingdome of power, is said to come when it is manifested and made apparent that all things are guided by the power and providence of God.

Here therefore we are taught to pray, That theHow Gods universall kingdome is said to come. Lord would vouchsafe to advance his kingdome, & bring all things into subjection under his feet; and also that all men may acknowledge this universall kingdome of God, ruling all things according to the counsel of his will, and may willingly submit them­selves to the government of this absolute Lord, who hath placed his seat in heaven, and his kingdome ruleth [Page 276] over all; That he would subdue his enemie [...], Psal. 110. 2. governing them with an iron rod, Revel. 12. 5. and 19. 15. and bruising them like a potters vessel, Psal. 2. 9. That he would execute his holy and eternall decrees, both in the generall government of the world, and also in the saving of the elect, and de­stroying the reprobate, to his own glory, working all things according to the counsel of his will. And albeit this kingdome cannot be resisted or hindred maugre all the enemies thereof, yet we are to pray that it may come; and that he would exalt his kingdome, as before glorifie his name: not meaning thereby to move God, but to shew the concurrence of our will with Gods will, and our affection towards the ad­vancement of Gods kingdome, and zeal towards his glory.

Secondly, the kingdome of grace is said to come How the kingdom [...] of grace co­meth. unto us, whenas it is either begun & erected in us, or continued and increased amongst us. And in this be­half we are taught to pray not onely for the coming of this kingdome, but also for the granting of the means whereby it cometh, & also removing the im­pediments of the coming. I As touching the coming it self, we are to note out of this word, That we come not to this kingdome of grace of our selves, but this kingdome cometh unto us, and in coming preventeth us, as our Saviour speaketh, Luke 11. 20. [...], is come upon you: for we naturally are the bondslaves of Satan, and subjects of the kingdome of darknesse; out of which bondage we are not able to come except the Lord do pull us: and as our Savi­our saith, John 6. 44. No man cometh to the Sonne but [Page 277] whom the Father draweth. Wherein appeareth the undeserved mercy of God in preventing us, in seek­ing that which was lost, in being found of them that sought him not, in coming to them that neither could nor would (through their own default) come unto him. And secondly, because there must be al­wayes a daily progresse in this kingdome, and work of grace in this life, therefore we are taught to pray daily that this kingdome may come.

Now let us see how this kingdome cometh, andThree de­grees of the coming of Christsking­dome. what it is which here we ask. Of the coming of this kingdome there be three degrees: The first is the pulling and drawing us out of the kingdome of Sa­tan and power of darknesse unto God; which is our effectuall calling, whereby we are brought from the spirituall bondage of sinne and Satan into the glori­ous liberty of the sonnes of God, and are made fellow­citizens of the Saints, & domestici Dei, of the houshold of God, Ephes. 2. 19. And this calling is wrought by this means. First, to us sleeping in our sinnes the word of God is sent to rouse us, the law shewing us our sinnes and the punishments due for them, the Gospel promising salvation upon the condition of faith and repentance. Secondly, the spirit of God concurring with the word inlighteneth our minds to understand the word of God, inclineth our minds to attend thereunto, mollifieth our hard and stony hearts in the sight and sense of sinnes; and then tra­velling under the burden of them with wearinesse, he stirreth up in us a hunger and thirst after the righ­teousnesse of Christ and reconciliation with God, and teacheth us to pray with sighs which cannot be expressed.

[Page 278]Secondly, when the Spirit of God applieth the merits and efficacy of Christs death and r [...]surrecti­on to the justification of the sinner, and by degrees worketh in him faith and assurance of the pa [...]don of his sinnes; whereupon followeth peace of consci­ence, and joy in the holy Ghost: In which three t [...]e Apostle saith that the kingdome of God doth consist, Rom. 14. 17.

Thirdly, when Christ our King ruleth and reign­eth in our hearts by his word and Spirit, teaching us to deny ungodlinesse and worldly lusts, and to live sober­ly, justly and holily in this pr [...]sent world, expecting the happy hope and glorious appearance of the great God our Saviour Jesus Christ, Tit. 2. 12, 13. that is, when by his Spirit he applieth the merits of his death to the mortifying of sinne in us, and of his resurrection to raise us up to newnesse of life.

And this we desire not onely for our selves, but also for the whole company of the elect, That the Lord would from all sorts gather his Church, elect­ing them from the world, engraffing them into his Son, justifying them by faith, and sanctifying them by his Spirit; Th [...]t he would confirm them by his grace, that they may increase more and more, and be inriched with all spirituall blessings in heavenly things, and finally by the power of God through faith may be preserved unto everlasting life, 1. Pet. 1. 5.

And because the Church of God is, as we have said, the kingdome of God, we desire not onely that God would gath [...]r his Church, but also that he would inlarge it more and more, by the visible adding unto it those that are to be saved; that h [...] [Page 279] would prosper and preserve it, Psal. 122. 6. protect and defend it from all enemies both corporall and spirituall; that he would give all graces needfull and expedient unto them. And thus we are to pray that the kingdome of Gods grace may come uponus and upon all his chosen servants.

The means are to be prayed for of the coming of Christs kingdome.

II. Now because this kingdome cometh by means, we are also to pray for them. The means are either outward or inward. The outward are1. Outward means. the preaching of the word, and Christs government by his min [...]ters. The preaching of the word▪ which is the Gospel of the kingdome of God, is such a notable means of the coming of the king­dome that it is called the kingdome of God. For where­as there be three degrees of this coming, our Voca­tion, Justification, and Sanctification; every one of them ordinarily is wrought by the preaching of the word. We are called outwardly by the Gospel; We are justified by faith: faith cometh by hearing of the word, Rom. 10. 17. We are sanctified by the word of truth; by the preaching of the word we are begotten unto God. Therefore we are to pray that the word of God may have a free passage and be glorified, 2. Thess. 3. 1. and also that the preaching of the word and Gospel be not taken from us, or, as Matth. 21. 43. that the kingdome of God be not taken from us, but continued to us and our posterity. And because there cannot be preaching of the word except there be preachers, Rom. 10. 14. we are taught to pray, Matth. 9. 38. that God would send forth labourers into [Page 280] his harvest; that he would furnish them with Vrim and Thummim, gifts sufficient, Ephes. 6. 19. that he would clothe them with righteousnes, Psal. 132. 9. that he would open unto thē a doore of the word, that they may speak the mysterie of Christ, Col. 4. 3. And be­cause there cannot be ordinarily learned guides and scribes taught unto the kingdome of God, except they be first trained up in good literature, we are to pray also for the Universities and schools of the prophets, which are the seminaries and seed-plots of the Church.

The second outward means is the government ofThe second outward means. Christ by his servants both in the Church and Commonwealth. In the Church, by the Ministers and governours exercising in the name of Christ admonition, suspension, excommunication. For whom we are to pray, That they may execute their offices according to the will of God, as shall most serve for the advancement of the spirituall king­dome of Christ, and defacing of the kingdome of sin and Satan; That the people submit themselves to the censures of the Church, and be reclaimed there­by. In the Commonwealth, by Magistrates, who are Gods ministers also, &c. Rom. 13. whom God hath advanced that they might be nursing-fathers and nursing-mothers to the Church, Isai. 49. 13. For whom also we are to pray, 1. Tim. 2. 2. That after the example of David, Josias, Ezechias, they may reform religion, defend the truth & profession of it, suppresse idolatry and superstition, punish sinne, &c. That the subjects may live in all obedience unto them as unto the ordinance of the Lord.

[Page 281]The inward means is the operation of Gods Spi­rit2. The in­ward means of the co­ming of Gods king­dome. in the souls of men. For it is the Spirit of God which maketh the outward means effectuall, and without which neither the preaching of the word nor the other means of government will any whit prevail, 1. Cor. 3. 7. Deut. 29. 4. It is the Spirit of God who in the ministery of the word knocketh at the doore of our hearts, and inlighteneth our minds to understand it: John 16. 13. he leadeth us into all truth; 1. John 2. 20, 27. he teacheth us; he openeth our hearts to listen unto it, as he did the heart of Lydia, Acts 16. 14. he maketh the word the savour of life unto life. For without the Spirit the word is a dead letter, the Scripture a seale [...] book: without him we can­not say that Jesus is Christ: without him we cannot pray, &c. He mollifieth our hearts, and worketh in us that godly sorrow working repentance never to be repented of: which stirreth up in us earnest de­sires, and maketh us to call upon God with sighs un­speakable; and is therefore called the Spirit of suppli­cation. He worketh in us the assurance of our recon­ciliation with God, which we call faith; and is there­fore called the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father, &c. He sanctifieth us throughout, mortify­ing sinne, and raising us up into newnesse of life, E­zech. 36. 26, 27. working in us all sanctifying and sa­ving graces; and is therefore called the Spirit of grace: and so every grace is called by the name of the Spi­rit, because it is a gift of the Spirit; as the Spirit of wisdome and revelation, Ephes. 1. 17. Isai. 11. 2.

In this petition therefore we desire that the Lord would grant us his Spirit (which he hath promised, [Page 282] Luke 11. 13.) and that by this Spirit he would rule and reigne in us, and quicken us, that being animated thereby we may behave our selves as members of Christ, &c. ruled and guided by his sanctifying Spirit.

The impediments of Gods kingdome to be prayed against.

III. Lastly, because the word [...], let it come, seemeth to import and presuppose some obstacles and impediments whereby this kingdome is hinder­ed we do also pray that these may be removed.

The impediments are these: First, the three main enemies of our salvation are also the chief oppu­gners of the kingdome of grace, the Devil, World, and Flesh. The devil seeketh by all means the ruine1. The D [...] ­vil. of the Church in generall, Revel. 12. and also of the particular members. Whilest this strong man posses­seth his hold (that is, every naturall man) all things are at quiet: but when the Lord by his word and Spirit draweth any out of the kingdome and power of darknesse, then he bestirreth him, and by all tentati­ons both by himself and his instruments he seeketh to entangle him in sinne. When the seed of the word is sown in the hearts of men, he carrieth it a­way, as the birds do the corn which fall on the wayes, Matth. 13. 19. or he blindfoldeth them that they shall not see the light of the gospel, Ephes. 4. 4. or if they understand it, he carrieth them away ca­ptive to the obedience of his will. If they be called to repentance, he perswadeth them to deferre it; They may repent hereafter as well, &c. If to amend­ment of life; he telleth them that if they be elected, [Page 283] they may live as they list; if rejected, they cannot be saved: If to humiliation; that it is a doctrine that belongeth to notorious sinners, &c. Moreover, he opposeth himself to the Ministers and their ministe­ry, Zech. 3. 1. he suborneth false teachers, and is a lying spirit in their mouthes. Therefore we pray that the Lord would bind Satan, dissolve his works, and tread him under our feet, Rom. 16. 20.

The second is the world and the lusts thereof,2. The World. which choke the seed of Gods word, Matth. 13. 22. (the glorious shew of this world, 1. Cor. 7. 31.) By these Satan as by nails naileth men to the earth that they cannot mind heavenly things: By them as baits he allureth to sinne, as snares entangleth to perdition. Which make men citizens of the earth, and misse of their freedome in heaven; which cause men place their paradise upon the earth, and not to care for the kingdome of heaven; (For a man can­not Matth. 6. 24. serve God and Mammon, or be a worldling and yet a subject of this kingdome) which make world­ly men sell their birthright with Esau, &c. therefore we pray that the Lord would deliver us from the evil world, Gal. 1. 4. wain us from it; that we may renounce all worldly lusts; that we may use the world so as we abuse it not, 1. Cor. 7. 31. that the world may be crucified unto us and we to the world, Gal. 6. that by faith we may overcome the world, 1. John 5. 4. and that we may behave our selves not as worldlings minding earthly things, but as pilgrimes on the earth and [...]itizens of heaven, and fellow-citizens of the saints, Ephes. 2. 19. whose [...], oonversation, is in heaven, Phil. 3. 19, 20.

[Page 284]The third is our Flesh, that is, our own corrupt3. The Flesh nature, the wisdome whereof is e [...]mity against God; which lusteth against the spirit; which sendeth out continuall lusts, as it were sparkles out of a furnace, which fight against our souls; which the devil ab­useth as his bawd to pollute us and to beget in us all manner of sinnes, which bring forth death. Therefore we pray that the Lord would reigne in us by his Spirit; that we may not be carnall but spi­rituall; that we may not walk after the flesh but after the spirit; that, as being pilgrimes on earth but citi­zens of heaven, we may abstein from fleshly lusts, &c. 1. Pet. 2. 11. that we may crucifie the flesh and the lusts thereof, Gal. 5. 24. In a word, we desire that the Lord would confound the kingdome of darknesse, whereby the devil ruleth in the hearts of men, u­sing for his instruments or souldiers the lusts of the world and of the flesh.

The outward enemies of Gods kingdome.

But these were spirituall enemies. And we are not onely to pray against them, but also against the outward enemies of the Church, which is the king­dome of God: And these are either open and pro­fessed enemies, as the Turks and Infidels (the great Turk being that [...], or Abaddon, that maketh havock of the Church, Revel. 9. 11.) or else close and covert enemies which under the name and pro­fession of Christ oppugne the kingdome of Christ, as Antichrist & his Synagogue, that is the Pope and the Church of Rome. For notwithstanding all their glorious profession, that they and they alone are the Church of God, yet these are they that say, We will [Page 285] not have this man to reigne over us, but having recei­ved the mark of the beast are in subjection to the Pope under penalty of damnation: And he sitteth in, or rather sets himself against the Church, usurping sovereigne authority; and sitting as God in the throne of Christ, he deteineth the people in ignorance, making them believe that their implicite faith will save them: and so they lead them blindfolded after them as it were in a string, to perdition. For whose law reigneth amongst them? Gods, or their own? The breach of whose law more severely punished? To whose government are they subject? Gods, or their own? What doctrine do they teach? the word of God, or the inventions of men? The word of God, which is his sceptre; do they not suppresse this light of mens souls? do they not hide it from the people under a strange language, as it were under a bushel? do they follow the Lambe that have recei­ved the mark of the beast, and persecute with fire and sword all true professours? &c. Well, against these enemies, both secret and open, covert and dis­covered, that is, Gog and Magog, Revel. 20. we are taught to pray, that being subdued, (that is, either converted or subverted) the Church and kingdome of God may be advanced.

Besides these enemies there are also other impe­diments of the kingdome of God opposite to the outward means. As to the preaching of the word, 1. The insufficiency of Ministers not able to teach; 2. Their negligence and idlenesse; 3. Their cause­lesse non-residencie, and covetous multiplying be­nefices with cure; 4. The want of maintenance by [Page 286] impropriations and corruption of Patrones. All these we are to pray that they may be removed, and a free passage to his word granted.

Impediments opposite to government, are either no government but confusion in the Church and Commonweal; or else corrupt government, the ru­lers hindring rather then promoting the kingdome of Christ.

We see then what we desire when we pray that the kingdome of grace may come: viz. That where it is not it may be erected, and where it is it may be continued and enlarged; That he would blesse, pre­serve, and protect his Church: That the Lord would rule and reigne in us by his word and Spirit: That he would effectually call those which belong­ing to his election are not called: That he would justifie us by faith, sanctifie us by the holy Ghost, and make us and all his meet to be partakers with the Saints in light: That we may more and more feel in our selves the fruits of this kingdome, righte­ousnesse, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost: and to this end, That he would give a free passage to his word, and send faithfull labourers into his harvest, blessing them and their ministery, and also the seed­plots thereof: That he would establish an holy go­vernment in the Church and Commonwealth, and blesse the governours, &c. That he would grant unto it the effectuall operation of the holy Spirit, making the outward means profitable: That he would confound the kingdome of darknesse, sinne, Satan and Antichrist: That the devil may be trod under our feet, the world crucified unto us and we [Page 287] to the world, the flesh with the lusts thereof morti­fied: That we may renounce and forsake (accord­ing to our vow in baptisme) the flesh, the world, and the devil: That all other impediments of his kingdome of grace and our salvation being remo­ved, we may be preserved blamelesse to the coming of Christ, and may be kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

Vses. Wants to be bewailed.

Now let us come to the uses. First, our need which we have to make this prayer, by reason of our defection from God in our first parents, and our ori­ginall sinne derived from them. For before man fell from God by sinne, he was wholly subject to the kingdome of God, and conformable to his will in all righteousnesse and holinesse; his mind inlighten­ed with knowledge, endued with wisdome, his con­science pure, his will holy and just, his affections or­derly, the inferiour powers of his soul subordinate to the superiour, and all to God, the members of the body instruments of holinesse unto righteous­nesse. But when as man fell from God by sinne, he became the subject of Satan, his mind darkened with ignorance & folly in spirituall things, his con­science impure, his will not onely unjust but also unable to will that which is good, his affections in­ordinate, the inferiour faculties rebelling against the superiour, the members of the body instruments of sinne unto iniquity. We therefore that are bred and born in this state of disobedience, have great need to pray that the Lord would rule in us, that we may be renewed according to the image of God in holinesse and righteousnesse.

[Page 288]2. Our spirituall servitude and bondage under sinne and Satan: by reason whereof we are not able to come unto God, but must desire that his king­dome may come unto us. When we ceased to sub­ject our selves to God, we became the subjects of Satan; when we left to be the servants of righteous­nesse, we became the servants of sinne; when we left the image of God, we got the image of the devil. Naturally we are wholly carried away by the devil as captives to the obedience of his will, doing no­thing but sinne, and pleasing our selves therein; think­ing our selves free, as John 8. being most bond: and therefore if we did feel the power of sinne and Satan reigning in us, we would with great fervency and vehemency of affection desire that the Lord would pull us out of this power of darknesse, and translate us into the kingdome of his Sonne.

3. Our unthankfulnesse unto God that hath brought us out of this bondage into the glorious liber­ty of the sonnes of God; especially considering he gave himself for us to this end, Luke 1. 74. Tit. 2. 14. 1. Pet. 2. 24. We had need therefore to pray that he would rule in us by his word and Spirit: For professing our selves to be redeemed by Christ, we behave our selves (many of us) as if we still were in the bondage of sinne: For, whom we obey, his ser­vants we are.

4. Our neglect and contempt of the word.

5. Our resisting the good motions of his Spirit, and striving against the same: our contristation or making heavy the Spirit of God.

6. The remnants of the kingdome of darknesse [Page 289] or rather our heaps of sinnes and corruptions; our continuall lusts and concupiscences.

7. Our yielding to the temptations of Satan; our worldly minds following after pleasure, profit, or preferment; our not crucifying of the flesh, but ra­ther walking therein.

And as we are to ask good things for others, so must we also bewail their wants. As when we see men plunged in sinne, and carried away headlong to their perdition, as the swine were into the sea, we ought to lament their desperate estate, Psal. 119. 136, 158. Ezech. 9. 4. We are to bewail all the im­pediments of the kingdome of Christ, disorder in the Church, confusion in the Commonweal, the want of the word, and causes thereof. Our hearts ought to yern within us, as our Saviours did, Matth. 9. 36. when we see a people living in ignorance and sinne, without means & without God in this world: and therefore for the supply of all these wants, we are in sense thereof to pray fervently, Let thy king­dome come.

Our duties in our lives.

1. In respect of the kingdome of power, That we acknowledge the Lord to be our absolute King: That we submit our selves to his providence: That we rest contented and well pleased with whatsoever he doth towards us, who doth all things according to the counsel of his will.

2. In respect of the kingdome of grace, we ought to have an earnest desire of the advancement of Gods kingdome, and zeal of the Churches good; and more particularly, that the Lord would reigne [Page 290] in us by his word and Spirit. And unto this desire must be joyned an holy endeavour, first in order and first in degree to seek the kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, that is, that the Lord would rule in us by his word and Spirit, and that we may shew our subjection by bringing forth the fruits of righteousnesse.

3. A carefull using of the means which God hath appointed to advance his kingdome, & to work our salvation; to heare the word with submission, reve­rence, attention, good conscience, and desire to pra­cticeit; to nourish the good motions of the Spirit, yielding our selves to be drawn thereby.

4. Thankfulnesse to God that he hath made us subjects of his kingdome, Col. 1. 12. Mark 11. 10. and care to behave our selves as subjects of this kingdome.

5. Diligent endeavour in our severall places and callings to advance and further the kingdome of Christ. Princes and Magistrates must be nursing-fa­thers and nursing-mothers of the Church, zealous by all good means to advance the kingdome of Christ, and to remove the impediments thereof, and to set themselves against the kingdome of darknesse, of sinne, Satan, and Antichrist; to root out all su­perstition and idolatry, and the relicks thereof; to reform religion where it is corrupt; to be defenders of the faith; to take order that there may be preach­ers in all places provided for, and see them discharge their duties; to punish sinners, and reward the ver­tuous. If we be Ministers, we are by preaching of the word in season and out of season, to do our en­deavour [Page 291] to win men unto the Lord, &c. If private men, we must live in obedience to superiours in Church and Commonwealth, as to the ordinance of the Lord, our King ruling us by them. What­soever we are, our dutie is to labour by all means, 1. that we our selves may become subjects of the kingdome of grace, and 2. that by all good means we may win others unto the Lord.

6. To oppose our selves against the enemies of the Church both spirituall and temporall; to resist Satan and his temptations; to be wained from the world, and to mind heavenly things; to walk not after the flesh but after the spirit; to come out of Babylon into the Church of God, to keep us there­in; to oppose our selves against Antichrist and his adherents, as being enemies of the kingdome of Christ.

But here the hypocrisie of very many is detected,The hypo­crisie of ma­ny detected. who ask this petition with their mouthes but desire it not with their hearts: As first in respect of the uni­versall kingdome, those that will not submit them­selves to the providence of God, but desire rather that they were freed from all subjection unto God, they abuse God in making their prayer and pray against themselves, that God would advance his kingdome, and make his enemies his footstool, or break them with his iron sceptre like a potters ves­sel.

Secondly, in regard of the kingdome of grace; first, those that will not have Christ to reigne over them by his word and spirit, but cast off his yoke of sub­jection, Luke 19. 14. Psal. 2. 3. sonnes of Belial: [Page 292] such mock God when they say this prayer.

2. Those who living in ignorance and sinne, and consequently in spirituall bondage, please them­selves as if they were free, John 8. 33. and there­fore do not truly desire that Gods kingdome may come, because they have no sense of their own mi­sery, &c.

3. Those that seek not the kingdome of God and his righteousnesse, but set themselves to seek their own carnall and worldly desires.

4. Those magistrates, ministers, people, that seek not the advancement of Christs kingdome in themselves, contemning the word, quenching the spirit, nor yet in others. As for those Magistrates who in stead of cherishing the Church do persecute it, in stead of advancing Gods kingdome do deface it, erecting superstition and idolatry, suppressing vertue, advancing vice; or those Ministers that de­prive the people of the food of their souls, and like dry nurses hunger-starve them; or those men whosoever that labour to withdraw men from alle­geance unto God: all those oppose themselves to the kingdome of grace; and therefore being ene­mies, in making this prayer do ask their own con­fusion. For our Saviour Christ sheweth himself to be a King as well in subduing his enemies as in preserving his subjects, Psal. 110. 1. Psal. 2. 6.

5. Those that follow the temptations of the devil, the desires of the world, and lusts of the flesh, and please themselves in so doing, they are not guided by the Spirit of Christ, but are enemies to his crosse, Phil. 3. 19. and souldiers in Satans camp.

[Page 293]As therefore we desire the kingdome of grace so let us seek it, &c.

Of the coming of the kingdome of glory which we here desire.

Thirdly, we desire that the kingdome of glory may come, that is, that the number of the elect be­ing accomplished, and all Gods enemies subdued, Christ would hasten his coming to judgement to our full redemption and glorification, that God may be all in all. Here therefore we pray, 1. That God would hasten the coming of Christ unto judgement; and to that end would accomplish the number of the elect, and subdue all his enemies un­der his feet: 2. That this kingdome may come unto us, and that it may be possessed of us; and to that end would make us meet to be partakers of the inhe­ritance of the Saints in light, and would free and keep us from all evil unto his own everlasting kingdome, 2. Tim. 4. 18. and would by his power through faith preserve us unto everlasting life, 1. Pet. 1. 5.

Vses.
1. Dutie in our lives.

We must earnestly desire the coming of Christ, and believe that it shall come, and that to our sal­vation.

2. Wants to be bewailed.

First, the want of faith, by reason of the consci­ence of our manifold sinnes which make a separati­on between God and us, and make the remem­brance of the judgement terrible unto us: so that we cannot desire the coming of Christ to judgement as we ought.

Secondly, the worldlinesse of our minds, in that [Page 294] we are all more or lesse overtaken of the desires thereof, and not so wained from the world as be­cometh pilgrimes on earth; so that many of us are so farre from desiring another life that they could be content to live here for ever.

Thirdly, our sinnes must be as an heavie burden unto us; that being weary we may earnestly desire to be dissolved, and so disburdened of them, Rom. 7. 23, 24. Phil. 1. 23.

Fourthly, we must bewail and be weary of the sinnes of the world, whereby Gods name is disho­noured, his kingdome hindred, his will neglected, that so we may truly desire that an end may be put to these evil dayes, and may say, How long, Lord, holy and true? Revel. 6. 10.

We must believe 1. That Christ will come toThings [...]o be believed. judgement, and that there will be a kingdome of glory after this life: for these two articles of our faith are here presupposed: For if we be in the num­ber of those mockers of whom Peter foretold, 2. Epistle 3. 4. that believe not this second coming of Christ, &c. we shall but mock God if we make this petition. 2. That Christ will come to our salvation, and that we shall be inheritours of that kingdome: for we cannot else truly desire his coming, &c.

Duties in our lives.

I. We must give all diligence to make our calling and election sure: For by this means an entring shall be ministred unto us abundantly into the everlasting kingdome of the Lord, &c. 2. Pet. 1. 10, 11.

II. If we pray in faith that our request may beWe must ex­pect I. with faith: granted, we must expect Christs second coming. [Page 295] And we must expect it with faith, fervency, patience, and vigilancie. With faith, that is, with perswasion & assurance that Christ will come to our full redem­ption. For whē a man can truly say by faith, that our [...], conversation, is in heaven, he will also adde with the Apostle, from whence we look for a S [...]vi­our, Phil. 3. 20. and consequently expect it with chearfulnesse, and not with unhappy Felix tremble at the mention of judgement. For howsoever it shall be a day of unspeakable terrour to the wicked, yet to the godly it shall be a day of singular com­fort: For then the Lord shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, Revel. 7. 17. For which cause it is called the time of refreshing, Acts 3. 19. And therefore our Saviour Christ, Luke 21. 28. biddeth the faithfull to lift up their heads, &c. because the day of their full redem­ption both body and soul draweth near. II. with earnest desire 1. of eter­nall life;

Secondly, we must expect with earnest desire, 1. eternall life, 2. the coming of Christ, Tit. 2. 13. For how can a man faithfully expect and certainly look for happinesse who doth not also earnestly de­sire it? therefore the Apostle saith, that we who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, do sigh within our selves, expecting the adoption (that is, the heavenly inheri­tance whereunto we are adopted) and the redemption of our body at the second coming of Christ, Rom. 8. 23.

Secondly, we are with desire to expect the second2. of Christs coming. coming of Christ, looking for and hastening unto the coming of the day of God, 2. Pet. 3. 12. But there are many who with Balaam desire salvation, but how few that desire the second coming of Christ? Yet [Page 296] this is made a note of a true Christian, to love and desire it, 2. Tim. 4. 8. For, as Th. Aquinas saith, Qui diligit amicum cum desiderio exspectat eum, He that loveth his friend expecteth him with longing de­sire. And also they who believe that Christ is their Saviour, they will also desire his coming. And as the creature earnestly waiteth for that time which Acts 3. 21. is called the time of the restitution of all things, which now are subject to vanity, Rom. 8. 20. for then the heaven & earth shall be renewed, 2. Pet. 3. 13. so we also, who have the first-fruits of the Spi­rit, sigh within our selves, waiting for the adoption, even the redemption of our bodies, Rom. 8. 23. Then is the time of Christs marriage with his Church, and of our conformation with him in glory, 1. John 3. 2. For when he shall appear, we shall be like unto him. If then the second coming of Christ shall be a day of refreshing, of full redemption, of Christs marriage with his Church; then those who hope to be par­takers of these benefits, & are espoused unto Christ by faith, will with as earnest desire expect his second coming as the loving bride doth the marriage-day. Wherefore, as it is Revel. 22. 17. the Spirit and the bride say, Come: and let him that heareth say, Come. and v. 20. Come, Lord Jesu, come quickly. And so the Lord hath taught us here to pray. And therefore if we will pray unto the Lord in truth, we must labour to attein unto this assurance of faith; that being as­sured of Gods everlasting love towards us in Christ, we may earnestly desire the Lord, that an end being put to these evil dayes, he would hasten the coming of Christ. Neither let us think that we have well [Page 297] profited in the school of Christ untill we do with desire expect his coming.

Thirdly, we must expect with patience. For heIII. With patience. that is saved in hope (as all the faithfull are in this life) expecteth with patience that which he hopeth for: For hope is not of that which is seen. If there­fore, saith the Apostle, Rom. 8. 25. we hope for that which we see not, we do by patience expect it. And sure­ly in respect of this coming of Christ to our salva­tion, we had need of patience, Heb. 10. 36. For, as Peter hath prophesied of these last dayes, there are come mockers, walking after their lusts, who say, Where is the promise of his coming? 2. Pet. 3. 4. but the holy Ghost answereth, Heb. 10. 37. Yet a very little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Dear­ly beloved, saith the Apostle Peter, 2. Epist. 3. 8, 9. be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day with the Lord is as a thousand yeares, and a thousand yeares as one day. The Lord is not slack as concerning his pro­mise, as some men account slacknesse, but is patient to­wards us, and would have none to perish, but would have all men come to repentance, viz. that the whole com­pany of the elect may be fulfilled. Therefore, as Isaiah saith, Qui crediderit nè festinet, Let not him that believeth make haste. For seeing the Lord in patience towards us deferreth his coming and the fulfilling of his promise, we ought with patience to expect it. Sustine ipsum, saith Augustine, qui In [...]. sustinuit te; If he waited patiently untill thou should­est amend thy bad life, then do thou also patiently wait untill he crowneth thy good life.IV. With vig [...]lancy.

Fourthly, we must expect the coming of Christ [Page 298] with vigilancie, having our loyns girt and our lights burning, like the vigilant servants, Luke 12. 35, 36, 37, 40. and the wise virgins, Matth. 25: not like the ungodly servant, who saith in his heart, My master deferreth his coming, &c. Luke 12. 45. nor the foolish virgins, who sleeping in securitie, and contenting themselves with the shining lamp of an outward profession, at the coming of the bride­groom were shut out.

III. The third duty. So to live in this expectation3. We must remain con­stant in Gods love. as that neither prosperity nor adversity shall be able to remove us from the love of God, being stayed with the anchor of hope, Heb. 6. 19. appre­hending and expecting the heavenly joyes set be­fore us, in respect whereof all the prosperity and pleasures of this life are to be contemned, and all adversities patiently to be indured. For those that have this assured expectation, contemne all the pro­sperity of the world as mere vanity in respect of the glory that shall be revealed, and therefore are cruci­fied to the world, and mind heavenly things, &c. A­gain, this expectation swalloweth up the sense of all temporall afflictions, as experience hath taught us in the martyrs: For the afflictions of this life are not worthy of the glory which shall be revealed in us, Rom. 8. 18. Therefore, as the Apostle exhorteth Heb. 12. 1, 2. let us, having such a cloud of martyrs, with pa­tience runne the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, &c. Jacob for the promised reward, viz. the marriage of Rachel, thought his seven yeares trou­blesome service to be but easie and short: how much more ought we chearfully to bear all the af­flictions [Page 299] of this life as light and momentany, in re­spect of that super excellent weight of glory? And for this cause also we are to comfort our selves in all distresses in the expectation of a better life.

IV. We must walk worthy of God who hath called 4. We must walk worthy of God. us to his kingdome and glory, 1. Thess. 2. 12. and live as it becometh those that have this hope, 1. John 3. 3. For every one that indeed hath this hope, (name­ly, that he shall be like the Sonne of God) purifieth himself as he is pure, that he may be in some measure like to him in grace in this present world, as he hopeth to be like him in glory in the life to come. And let us remember that if we have hope for the end, we must be carefull of the means, as being the necessary forerunners of glorification, faith, re­pentance, sanctification. And in this expectation must the duties of piety, justice and sobriety be per­formed, Tit. 2. 13.

V. We must so live as if we were alwayes ready5. We must so live as ready to meet Christ. to meet Christ Jesus in the clouds; and to this end set before us continually Christ sitting in judge­ment, that we may alwayes labour to be such as then we desire to appear, that we depart not from Christ ashamed, 1. John 2. 28. And surely what can be more forcible to draw men to repentance and to stirre them up to vigilancie then the meditation of the judgement to come, & a continuall expectation of Christ coming in the clouds? Recordare novissi­ma, Remember thy end, saith he, Ecclus 7. 36. and thou shalt not sinne. For where this cogitation is once settled, that we shall appear before the judge­ment-seat of Christ, it will not suffer a man to be [Page 300] in quiet untill he be settled in such a state as that he may with boldnesse appear before the Judge. There­fore the coming of Christ to judgement is used as a forcible argument to draw us to repentance, Acts 17. 30. 2. Pet. 3. 10, 11, 12, &c. These things if we do, we shall with chearfulnesse expect the co­ming of Christ, and when he cometh we shall appear with boldnesse, 1. John 2. 28. but otherwise with un­happy Felix we shall tremble at the very mentioning of judgement, so farre shall we be from truly desi­ring; and at the sight thereof we shall depart from Christ ashamed, desiring the mountains to fall upon us, Revel. 6. 16. Wherefore to conclude; If we will truly make this petition in our daily prayers, we must every day so behave our selves as if Christ were presently to come to judgement. And in this behalf let us imitate S. Hierome. So oft, In Matth. saith he, as I consider that day, my whole body trem­bleth: for whether I eat, or drink, or do any thing else, that terrible trumpet soundeth in mine eares, Surgi­te mortui & venite ad judicium, Arise ye dead and come unto judgement.

VI. We must live as having our [...], conver­sation, in heaven, from whence we look for a Saviour, minding heavenly things, and not being addicted to the world or the desires thereof, but living as pil­grimes on the earth, &c.

The hypocrisie of men is here detected, who ei­therHypocrisie detected. 1. make this prayer having not this desire; or 2. live as if they were out of hope; as all those do that go on in their sinnes without remorse: for how can he truly hope for the end, that [...]areth not for the [Page 301] means? Doth not the holy Ghost say, That without holinesse we shall never see God, Heb. 12. 14. That without regeneration we shall never enter into the kingdome of heaven, John 3. 3, 5.? Therefore we cannot hope that Christ his coming will be to our everlasting salvation, if we continue in our sinnes; neither can we truly and earnestly desire his coming, except we have that hope; neither can we truly make this prayer, except we have this un­feigned desire. 3. Those that are wedded to the world, and are so farre from desiring the hastening of Christs coming that they do not onely desire to live here alwayes but also so behave themselves as if they meant alwayes to abide here, placing their paradise upon the earth, and not caring for the king­dome of heaven.

The third Petition. [...].

The order.

THis petition is a consequent of the former: For then doth God reigne in the hearts of men when they subject and submit themselves to his will. Therefore as in the former petition we desired that the Lord would reigne in us, so here we pray that we may shew our selves to be his subjects by per­form [...]g his will. For these two are relatives; if he our [...], then we his subjects. And therefore here­by we [...] discern whether the Lord doth reigne in us, if we hav [...] a true desire and endeavour to do his will. And the [...]fore our Saviour Christ, Matth. 6. 33. as he doth [...]id us to seek first and principally the kingdome of God, so also his righteousness [...]

[Page 302] [...], will, signifieth three things: either 1. [...], that which willeth; or 2. [...], the willing; or 3. [...], the thing willed.

1. [...], that which willeth, in the creatures is the faculty of the mind whereby it willeth: But in God, whose nature is most simple, and in whom there is nothing which is not himself, it is his es­sence. In this sense, Voluntas Dei est essentia Dei vo­lens, the will of God is the essence of God wil­ling.

2. [...], or [...], the willing, in the creatures is the act or function of willing proceeding from the fa [...]ulty: But in the Lord both the act of willing and the faculty whereby he willeth is his essence. There­fore as his essence is one and eternall, so his [...], his willing, is one and eternall, and without succes­sion. And therefore whatsoever God hath willed, doth, or shall will, that he willeth with one and the same everlasting act of willing. For as uno actu in­telligendi unóque intuitu omnia intelligit; so also uno actu volendi omnia vult quae vult: for as with one act of understanding and one view he understandeth all things, so with one act of willing, he willeth all that he willeth. Out of which appeareth the unchange­ablenesse of his [...], his willing. For whereas in ours there is a change, when either we will that which before we did not, or leave to will that which before we desired; God by one eternall act of wil­ling willeth all things, and therefore neither begin­neth to will that which before he did not, nor lea­veth to will that which once he willed. The consi­deration whereof ought to be 1. A stay and com­fort [Page 303] to Gods children in any distresse, seeing there doth nothing happen unto them which the Lord hath not willed from everlasting, and that for his glory and their good; 2. An argument of thanks­giving unto the Lord, who before we were willed so well unto us; 3. A confirmation of faith in his pro­mises, because whom he loveth he loveth to the end; neither is he as man that he should repent. For how­soever repentance be sometime ascribed unto him, yet this and the like passions [...], are spoken after the manner of men, but must be understood according to the majesty of God. And as sometimes repentance is affirmed of God, so also many times it is denied. Where it is de­nied, it is to be ascribed to the immutability of his will; where it is affirmed, efficaciae actionis, to the efficacy of his action.

3. [...], the thing willed; which often­times in the Scripture is called his will, John 6. 39, 40. 1. Thess. 4. 3. And in this sense the testament is called the will of the testatour.

The thing that God willeth properly and per se isAll that God willeth is properly good. good, howsoever unproperly & by accident he wil­leth that which is evil (non quidem facere sed fieri) not to do it but to permit it to be done, as it is referred to good ends, viz. his glory and our good. Bonum est esse malum, It is good there should be evil, that both the glory of Gods mercy in saving us and of his justice in punishing our sinnes in Christ might ap­pear: But properly the Lord willeth not it, but the end: as when a man is content that some part of his body should be seared, he doth not properly [Page 304] desire the searing of the part but the health of his body.

The things willed are either God himselfOf the things which God willeth. and those things which pertein to himself, as his glory, &c. or the creatures, and such things as be­long unto them. Himself he willeth most proper­ly: for if bonum cognitum, known good, be the pro­per object of will, then primum & supremum bonum, the first and supreme good, which is himself, is most properly the object thereof. His creatures he wil­leth and such things as concern them as means refer­red to this end, Rom. 11. 36. Prov. 16. 4. Himself he willeth by absolute necessity, not indeed of con­straint but of nature: for most willingly he willeth. His creatures he willeth most freely, having liberty either to will them or to nill them. Howbeit things willed come to passe by necessity, not absolute but ex hypothesi voluntatis Divinae, on the condition of Gods will. Now God willeth the means, not there­by to perfect the end, which is himself, or to pur­chase any good to himself: for he is [...], most perfect, and doth not stand in need of any of his crea­tures, Psal. 16. 2. but he willeth them propter se com­municandum, that they by the communication of himself unto them may be perfected. Omnia ordi­nantur in finem ut à sine perficiant [...]r, All things are or­dained unto an end that from the end they may be perfected. So that he willeth and willeth well to his creatures for their good and not for his own: which commendeth the riches of his love towards us.

But to proceed; Those things that God willeth [Page 305] concerning his creatures are either quae fieri vult de creaturis, aut quae fieri vult à creaturis, the things that he will have done concerning the creatures, or the things which he will have done of the creatures: the knowledge of both which must be sought after so farre forth as it hath pleased him to reveal the same or promised to reveal it, Deut. 29. 29. Rom. 12. 2. That which is voluntas beneplaciti concern­ing the creatures is the will of his good pleasure; which is called [...], Matth. 11. 25, 26. and decre­tum Dei, the decree of God. The which is partly secret, which the Lord will not have foreknown; and therefore we must religiously adore it, not cu­riously search it, Rom. 11. 33, 34. Acts 1. 7. John 21. 23. partly revealed. And this decretum Dei, decree of God, is either universall, concerning the govern­ment of the world; or more speciall, concerning the salvation of the elect or damnation of the repro­bate. The former revealed in part, both beforehand to the Prophets, and also by the events: the latter revealed by his Sonne in the Gospel, John 6. 40. Eph. 1. 5. What this [...], good pleasure, of God is, not onely towards the elect in generall but also to­wards himself, every Christian ought to know. For besides that it is declared in the Scriptures, sealed by the Sacraments, confirmed by his daily benefits, the holy Ghost also revealeth this knowledge unto us, 1. Cor. 2. 10, 12. Rom. 8. 39. Gal. 20. 20. 2. Tim. 1. 12. Rom. 5. 5.

The will which God willeth to be performed of us, is voluntas signi, [...], that which is well-pleasing, Col. 1. 10. [...], that which is acceptable, Ephes. 5. [Page 306] 10. [...], That will of God which is good, acceptable, and perfect, Rom. 12. 2. [...]. This will we are bound to know, E [...]h. 5. 17. because he hath revealed it in his word, be­cause we are to practice it, and according to it as the rule of justice are to frame and fashion our wills; not onely to will the same things, but also after the same manner, with love unfeigned; to the same ends, seeking the glory of God, and the good of our bre­thren. And of this will doth our Saviour speak.

This in generall is whatsoever the Lord requi­reth of us either in the Law or Gospel: But more specially there are some branches thereof recorded in the word of God. As, it is the will of God that so many as shall be saved, being adulti, come to age, shall come unto knowledge of his truth, 1. Tim. 2. 4. that a sinner should convert unto him, Ezech. 33. 11. that we should believe in Christ, 1. John 3. 23. that we should be thankfull unto him for his mercies, 1. Thess. 5. 18. that we should be sanctified, 1. Thess. 4. 3. and by weldoing stop the mouthes of the ignorant, 1. Pet. 2. 15. that we should patiently and chearfully suffer affliction, Matth. 16. 24, 25.

Unto this will of God are opposed the slesh, which is enmity against God, the desires of the world, the will of Satan, which is sinne, and what­soever is an enemie to the performance of this will. And therefore as we are taught to pray that Gods will may be done, so also that these things which be contrary and are impediments may be remo­ved.

Thy will: which is not onely just, but also the [Page 307] rule of all justice: Not our will, nor the will of Sa­tan, or of the world. For here we are taught to pray, that our words and our lives may be framed according to the will of God, which is the rule of justice; and that we may have grace to deny our selves and our own will, renounce the desires of the world, & resist the will of the devil; that he would create new hearts in us, and establish us by his free Spirit; that we may will and desire such things as are acceptable unto him. And surely if our Saviour Christ, whose will was pure, said, Not my will but thine be done, how much more ought we so to de­sire?

Fiat, be done.] But here it may be demanded,Quest. Whether Gods will be alwayes done. Whether the will of the Lord be alwayes perform­ed or not: and if it be, to what end serveth this prayer? and if not, how can that be verified, Isai. 46. 10. Consilium meum stabit, & omnem voluntatem me­am faciam, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my will?

The will of God is diversly taken in the scriptures:Answ. For sometime it signifieth the decree of God, whereby he willeth simply and absolutely: Which is called voluntas Absoluta, Beneplaciti, Consequens, Efficax & Invicta, the Absolute will, of his Good pleasure, Consequent, Effectuall, and Unresistable. This will of God is alwayes performed, Psal. 115. 3. Quaecunque vult facit, he doth whatsoever he will: and 135. 6. Isai. 46. 10. Omnis mea voluntas fiet, All my will shall be done. Neither is any thing able to resist this will, Isai. 14. 26, 27. Rom. 9. 19. Which also is proved by his omnipotencie. And therefore [Page 308] we may truly say that voluntas Dei est omnium re­rum necessitas, the will of God is the necessity of all things; and that in respect hereof all things come to passe necessarily, howsoever in respect of secondary causes some things are necessary and some contin­gent. And this will is so effectuall and invincible that whatsoever happeneth cometh to passe accord­ing to the will of God, who worketh all things accord­ing to the counsel of his will, Ephes. 1. 11. yea, the very enemies of God when they do most oppose themselves against the will of God, do unwittingly perform it, Acts 4. 28. But hence arise two ob­jections;

1. If that which the wicked do happen accord­ingHow can the wicked sin, seeing they do Gods will? to the will of God, how can they be said to sinne?

Sinne is not the transgression of the secret andAnsw. hidden will of God, which cannot be hindred, but of the revealed will of God, which he hath pro­pounded as a rule to square our actions by: and therefore sinne is called [...], the transgression of the law: Ad legem & testimonium, To the law and testi­mony.

2. If all things come to passe as God hath willedHow sinne is by Gods decree. and decreed, then sinne also: and how then is not God the authour of sinne?

Some things God hath decreed to do; someAnsw. things he hath decreed to suffer to be done: Of those things which he hath decreed to do, his will is the efficient cause; as of his creatures, and all good things: Of those things which he hath onely decreed should be effected by such and such causes, his [Page 309] will is not the cause, as namely sinne. And howso­ever sin is evil, yet it is good that sinne should be, for the manifestation of the glory both of the mercy of God and also of his justice: and therefore though the Lord doth not velle peccatum per se, will sinne properly by it self, yet he doth will it per accidens, by accident, as it is referred to good ends. Again, sinne may be considered as it is malum culpae or ma­lum poenae, an evil of fault or evil of punishment. Sinne as it is a punishment is a work of justice in him that punisheth: for it is just that he that doth com­mit malum culpae, the evil of fault, should suffer ma­lum poenae, the evil of punishment: as it is therefore a punishment, i. a work of justice and not sin, it is wil­led of God the authour of all good. In sin as it is ma­lum culpae, the evil of fault, three things do concurre: actus, macula, & reatus, the act, stain, & guilt. The acti­on is materiale peccati, the matter of sin: the corrupti­on is formale peccati, the form of sin: reatus est obligatio ad poenam, the guilt is the obligation to punishment; the which is just as the punishment it self. The action as it is an action severed from the corruption is good: Omne ens quatenus ens est bonum, Every being as it is a being is good: and God is the authour of it; for in him we live and move and have our being, Acts 17. 28. But of the corruption wherewith the action is stained God is not the cause. For unto every action concurreth the first cause and some se­condary cause depending from him, as being the instrument of the first: The which instrument be­ing bad (as many times it is) there is a double work in the action: one of the first cause, good; [Page 310] the other of the instrument, evil. God then is the cause of the action, but not of the corruption; but yet useth, ordereth, disposeth the corruption of the instrument for the execution of his own good work. When the Lord gave his Sonne to death, he used Judas as his instrument. The action is the de­livering of Christ: which as it came from God, was a most glorious work, John 3. 16. Rom. 8. 32. But quem Deus tradidit Judas prodidit, whom God delivered Judas betrayed. When God will chastise his servant, he useth some wicked man as his instru­ment to afflict him: This affliction, as it cometh from God, is castigatio, a chastisement: but, as from the instrument, persecutio, rapina, &c. persecution, rapine, &c. A man that rideth on a lame horse is the cause why he goeth, but not why he halteth. A­gain, Deus non est autor ejus [...]ujus est ultor, God is not the authour of that of which he is the punisher and revenger.

Thus we see that howsoever God doth volunta­rily permit sinne, and also useth, ordereth, and dis­poseth the same to good ends (for such is his wis­dome that he knoweth how to use that well which is evil) yet he cannot be said properly to will sinne, which he hateth; or to be the authour of it, which he revengeth. For this priviledge Gods will hath, Whatsoever it willeth it is therefore good: but sinne as it is sinne cannot be good.

But to return to my purpose: That this absoluteGods secret and absolute will is not here meant. will of God be performed we need not to pray, [...]n­lesse it be to shew our aff [...]ction to Gods glory, and conformity & submission to his will: As in the time [Page 311] of affliction, The will of the Lord be done. Neither in­deed doth our Saviour speak of it; as appeareth by the clause following, in earth as it is in heaven.

Secondly therefore, the will of God which he requireth to be done of his creatures, quatenus prae­cipit vel prohibet, so farre forth as he commandeth or forbiddeth, which is therefore called voluntas Revelata, Conditionalis, Signi, Antecedens, Inefficax, non quatenus promittit vel minatur absque conditione, est decreti revelatio, the Revealed will, Conditio­nall, of the Signe, Antecedent, Inefficacious, not as he promiseth or threatneth, and without condition, is the revelation of the decree.

Now the word of God is called voluntas signi, the will of the signe, because it signifieth what our duty is, and what is acceptable unto God: [...], and conditionall, because it doth not shew simply what God will have done, but upon condition: Si John 6. 4 [...] vis ad vitam ingredi, serva mandata; Si vis servari, crede, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the com­mandments; If thou wilt be saved, believe: and in­efficax, uneffectuall, because it is not alwayes per­formed: Fit voluntas Dei de omnibus, non ab omni­bus, The will of God is done concerning all, though not of all.

To do the will of God, is in respect of the matter, to perform that which he commandeth, after the same manner, to the same end that he appointeth: but if you look into our weakenesse, this doing of Gods will by us is especially to be understood of the will and endeavour, which the Lord in his chil­dren accepteth as the deed. Pr [...]camur & optamus, ut [Page 312] non tantùm faciat Deus quod vult, sed nos facere pos­simus Cyprian. quod vult: We pray and wish not onely that God do what he will, but that we may be able to do what he will.

Whereas therefore this will of God is con­temned of men, oppugned by the flesh, the world & the devil, and yet must of necessity be obeyed of us, if either we would be subjects of the kingdome of grace or inheritours of the kingdome of glory, great cause there is why we should instantly make this prayer, &c.

In earth] that is, by us men on earth, and con­sequently, as Paul speaketh Tit. 2. 12. [...], in this present world. So as Oecumenius saith on that place, [...], For this life susteineth the sight; but the life to come shall receive the reward. In this life eternall life is ei­ther won or lost: In this life we must do the will of God, or else we shall not enter into the kingdome of heaven, Matth. 7. 22. According to that which every man doth in the flesh shall he be judged, 2. Cor. 5. 10. And therefore whilest we have time let us do good, re­membringGal. 6. 10. that the Lord hath placed us here on the earth for a short time to do his will: which time if we let passe without repentance, and turning to God, and doing his will, afterwards it will be too late.

As it is in heaven] that is, as the Angels in heaven do perform it. And they perform Gods will, Psal. 103. 20, 21. 1. Scienter, knowingly. 2. Sincerely and uprightly. 3. Willingly and chearfully. 4. Rea­dily, expecting the beck of the Lord, Matth. 18. [Page 313] For which cause they are said to stand before the Lord, Dan. 7. 10. Revel. 5. 11. 5. Speedily, without de­lay: For which cause wings are attributed unto them. 6. Fully, and not by halves. 7. Constantly, till the Lord bid them cease. 8. Faithfully, doing all to Gods glory, assuming no glory to themselves, Revel. 19. 10.

[...]] As, here signifieth not equality but simili­tude; as 1. John 3. 3. For if we should understand it of equality, we should pray for an impossibility, Eccles 7. 20. No man on the earth doth good, and sinneth not. True it is indeed, that we should con­tend and aspire towards angelicall perfection; al­though whilest we are on the earth we cannot at­tein thereunto.

In this petition therefore we pray that we may perform the will of God on earth after an heaven­ly and angelicall manner.

Of this obedience there are two degrees: the mat­ter and manner. First we will speak of the obedi­ence it self; and then of the manner.

Of the matter of obedience.

As touching the former; Whereas our Saviour teacheth us thus to pray, it is evident that of our selves we are not able to do his will: and therefore the doctrine of Freewill is here refuted. Phil. 2. 13. It is God which worketh ( [...]) in us [...], both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Vt voluntatem Dei faciamus facit hoc ipse De­us in nobis, God himself doeth this in us that we do the will of God.

Wants to be bewailed.

The defects therefore which we are to bewail are these: 1. Our inability through our own default to perform obedience to the will of God. 2. Our pronenesse to sinne and to transgresse the will of God, being stirred thereunto by every occasion. By our corrupt nature we are as apt to sinne as a bird to flie. 3. The frowardnesse of our wills, rebelling against the will of God, Rom. 7. 23. and our prepo­sterous affections, the law in the members. [...], The carnall mind is enmitie a­gainst God, Rom. 8. 7. 4. The disobedience also of others must wring tears from us, Psal. 119. 136. 5. Our impatience in troubles.

2. In respect of the matter wants to be bewailed.

In respect of the matter we are to bewail our im­perfect obedience; our righteousnesse being like a polluted cloth. Velle praestò est, sed perficere bonum non invenio, To will is present, but I find not how to per­form that which is good, Rom. 7. 18. Our best acti­ons, if God should enter into judgement with us, are not justifiable.

The Graces which we ask.

We ask 1. in respect of obedience it self, That the Lord would vouchsafe us this grace to deny our selves, our own wills and affections, which are op­posite to his will, Matth. 16. 24. 2. That we may labour in all things to perform simple obedience to the Lord, Heb. 13. 21. more especially, That he would convert us, and we shall be converted, Ezek. 33. 11. 3. That he would bring us to the knowledge of his truth, 1. Tim. 2. 4. 4. That he would give us [Page 315] faith, which is the gift of God, 1. John 3. 23. 5. That he would make us thankfull, 1. Thess. 5. 18. 6. That he would sanctifie us, 1. Thess. 4. 3. 7. That he would arm us with patience, that in all a [...]lictions we may say with Christ, Not my will, O Father, but thine be done, Matth. 26. 39, 42. 8. That we may not be in subjection to sinne and Satan, and carried away ca­ptive to the obedience of his will, 2. Tim. 2 26. but that he would renew, stablish, and g [...]ide us by his free spirit, that we may will and do those things which are acceptable in his sight. 9. That we may not be carried away with the world, or conformed thereunto, but transformed by the renewing of our minds; and that we may prove what is the good will of God, acceptable, and perfect. And [...]o. That we may give up our selves a lively, holy, and acceptable sacri­fice unto God, that is our reasonable service of him, Rom. 12. 1, 2.

2. Of the manner of our obedience.

As touching the manner, We are here taught that we are not to rest in opere operato, in the deed done; but that we are to be carefull as of the matter so also of the manner. It is not sufficient that we do the will of God, unlesse we do it after a spirituall man­ner, 2. Chron. 25. 2. Many think if they heare, it is sufficient; and care not how: but Christ saith, Luke 8. 18. Take heed how ye heare. Therefore we must pray, That we may do the will of God as the angels do it in heaven, with knowledge, faithfulnesse, sin­cerity, uprightnesse, with willingnesse, alacrity, chearfulnesse, readily, speedily, fully, constantly, doing all to the glory of God: And, whereas he [Page 316] hath appointed us to salvation that we may be [...], like the angels, Matth. 22. 30. that it may please him to begin our conformity with the angels in this life. These wants then we are to bewail, and these graces we are to crave in this petition.

Duties in prayer.

Further, we are in these words taught to perform these duties in prayer: 1. That we pray accordingWe must pray accord­ing to Gods [...]ll. to Gods will, 1. John 5. 14. asking such things onely as he hath promised to grant. Otherwise in this pe­tition we pray against our own desires, namely, that not our will but the will of God may be performed. 2. That in our prayers, especially for temporall mat­ters, we do humbly and willingly submit our selves to his will, and wholly resigne over our selves to his good pleasure, saying with our Saviour Christ, Not my will, &c. because we ought to be assured, that as for his wisdome he knoweth what is best for us, so also for his fatherly love he is most ready to grant good things unto us, Matth. 7. 11. Rom. 8. 32. and therefore if he deny our requests, that the deniall is better then the grant. And we are to remember that here we pray not that God would alter his will ac­cording to ours; but contrariwise, that our will may be conformable unto his.

Duties in our lives.

As we pray that we may do Gods will on earth as the angels do it in heaven, so must we have a true desire, an unfeigned care, and an upright endeavour in our selves to perform holy obedience to Gods will. Otherwise how can we perswade our selves [Page 317] that we pray in truth, being not willing to obtein that which we our selves do ask.

Duties respecting the matter.

And therefore, as it is the duty of every one to make this prayer, so none of us ought to think our selves exempted from doing the will of God: Nei­ther may we think it sufficient in words to professe God, and in prayer to crave good things of him, unlesse we be carefull in our lives to do his will. Not every one that saith, Lord, Lord, &c. Matth. 7. 21. yea those that make a profession of religion and obedience, as though they would perform obedi­ence to Gods will, and yet do it not, are many times further from salvation then open sinners: as appear­eth by the parable of the two sonnes, and the appli­cation thereof, Matth. 21. 28, 29, 30. Neither may we think that we shall obtein our prayers, unlesse we be desirous to perform Gods will. For if we will not do his will, why should we think that he will do ours? Prov. 28. 9. John 9. 31. We know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a wor­shipper of God and doth his will, him he heareth. If we ask any thing, saith S. John, 1. Epist. 3. 22. we receive it from him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things which are acceptable in his sight. If there­fore we be desirous and carefull to obey Gods will, we need not doubt, having these testimonies of a true faith, but that both we and our prayers are ac­ceptable unto God. For our selves, our Saviour af­firmeth, that those be his brothers and sisters that do the will of his Father that is in heaven, Matth. 12. 50. And the holy Ghost giveth this testimony unto Da­vid, [Page 318] that he was a man according to Gods own heart, who would do all his will, Acts 13. 22. And elsewhere the Scriptures ascribe blessednesse to those that do the will of God, Luke 11. 28. For our prayers; John 15. 7. Psal. 34. 15, 17. And as we are to do the will of God in generall, so more especially those branches of his will which after a more speciall manner are called his will. His will is, if we would be saved, we should come to the knowledge of his truth, and not live in ignorance, 1. Tim. 2. 4. that we should turn unto him, and not go on in our sinnes, Ezek. 33. 11. that we should believe in Christ, 1. John 3. 23. that we should be sanctified, dying unto sinne, and living unto righteousnesse, 1. Thess. 4. 3. Mich▪ 6. 8. 1. Pet. 2. 15. that we should be patient in troubles, and thankfull unto him in all things, 1. Thess. 5. 18. And as we are to do the will of God, so must we deny our own wills and renounce the desires of the world.

Duties respecting the manner.

And as touching the manner; We are not to rest in opere operato, in the deed done: but as we pray that we may do the will of God on earth as the angels do it in heaven, so must we endevour to imitate their manner of obedience. And albeit we cannot attein to that full perfection which is in them, yet we are to strive towards it: and therefore we are not to content our selves with that smal measure where­unto we have atteined, but still we are to labour that we may grow up in grace, seeing whilest we live here we are in our [...] and growing age.We must do Gods will as the Angels, 1. In know­ledge.

But let us come unto particulars. 1. The Angels [Page 319] do the will of God in knowledge; and so must we, or else all our worship of God is but will-worship, and all our religion but superstition. Knowledge is the stern, without which we rove and wander like a ship wanting a stern: it is the light, without which we walk in darknesse not knowing whither we go. Without knowledge we have no faith; and with­out Heb. 11. 6. faith it is impossible to please God. And therefore miserable is our estate if we please our selves in ignorance.

2. The Angels do the will of God sincerely, up­rightly,2. In since­rity. labouring alwayes to approve their obedi­ence to the Lord: so must we obey the Lord [...], but [...], not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but from our soul and heart, Ephes. 6. 6. Rom. 6. 17. in singlenesse and up­rightnesse of heart labouring to approve not onely our outward actions but also our inward affections and cogitations to the Lord, knowing that he look­eth not as man looketh, but he especially respecteth the heart, and according to the disposition of the heart esteemeth of men. Without this uprightnesse all our obedience is but hypocrisie; and all the gra­ces which we seem to have, but glorious sinnes, &c.

3. The Angels do the will of God willingly and3. Willingly chearfully; their whole delight being to do Gods will: so must we worship the Lord with upright hearts and willing minds, 1. Chron. 28. 9. knowing that forced obedience proceeding onely from ser­vile fear, as it is violent, so it is but momentany, and therefore but counterfeit. But we must worship the Lord in faith, love, and hope, and consequently [Page 320] with chearfulnesse, willingnesse, and delight: for when the love of God is shed abroad in mens hearts by the holy Ghost, men have assurance that their obe­dience and service is acceptable unto God, and so they are encouraged in all chearfulnesse to offer their obedience as a free-will-offering to the Lord. First, To whom much is forgiven they love much, Luke 7. 47. and secondly, those that have true love, to them the commandments of God are not grievous, 1. John 5. 3. the yoke of Christ is light. Nihil difficile amanti, Nothing is hard to a lover. To Jacob his seven yeares troublesome service seemed to be short and pleasant, Gen. 29. 20. If therefore we truly love God, we will take delight to do his will. And thirdly, if we have assured hope of salvation by Christ, and live in expectation of happinesse, we shall contemne all the difficulties of this life as not worthy the glory that shall be revealed, and joyfully pro­ceedRom. 8. 18. in our way to life, because of the joy that is s [...]t before us. Let us therefore hold fast by this anchor▪ for if we leave this hold, we shall eftsoon fall away into worldlinesse, whither the surges of worldly desires carry us. And in this behalf as we are to imitate the example of the Angels, so also of Jesus Christ, whose meat it was to do his Fathers will, John 4. 34. and therein also was his delight, Psal. 40. 8. Facere voluntatem tuam, Deus mi, delector, O my God, I delight to do thy will: Psal. 122. 1. Isai. 54. 13.

4. The holy Angels do the will of God readily4. Readily and speedily & speedily: so ought we without delay put in execu­tion the cōmandments of God, behaving our selves towards our heavenly Master as the Centurions ser­vants [Page 321] to their master, Matth. 8. 9. Doth the Lord call thee? thou must answer with David the type of Christ, Ecce venio, Behold I come, Psal. 40. 7. Doth the Lord bid thee seek his face? answer with that heavenly echo of the Psalmist, Psal. 27. 8. Thy face, Lord, will I seek. It is the will of God that thou shouldst turn unto him: break off without delay the course of thy sinne, and turn unto the Lord. Knock at the doore of thy heart; Open thine immortall gate, that the King of glory may come in. Doth he call thee to repentance to day, If yee will heare his voyce, hard­en not your hearts? Deferre not repentance; but to day, before to morrow, repent. Seek the Lord whilest he may be found, and call upon him whilest he is near, Isai. 55. 6. Doth he call us to triall and affliction? let us take up our crosse and follow him, submitting our selves willingly to his will, 1. Sam. 3. 18. Acts 21▪ 14. 2. Sam. 15. 26.

5. The Angels do the will of God fully, accom­plishing5. Fully and totally. whatsoever the Lord commandeth; so ought we to do it fully and not by halves: otherwise he will say to us as to them of Sardis, Revel. 3. 2. I have not found thy works [...], complete, before God. Remember the example of Herod, Mark 6. 20. who albeit hearing John Baptist he did many things, and heard him gladly, [...], yet because he continued in that sinne of incest, his partiall obedi­ence did nothing avail him. He that keepeth all the law, and faileth in some one commandment, is guilty of all, Jam. 2. 10. And he that truly repenteth of any one sinne, repenteth of all. Where there is upright obedience, there is intire obedience: but where there [Page 322] is halving, there is halting between God and Mam­mon, between Christ and Antichrist. The cove­tous man thinketh well of himself, because he is not a whoremaster or a drunkard: the riotous person thinketh well of himself, that he is not covetous, no extortioner, &c. the Pharisee because he is no Publicane, Luke 18, &c. Many separate justice and holinesse, &c. But herein we are as much as we are able to follow the example of Christ, who did [...], fulfill all righteousnesse, Matth. 3. 15. For if we will be men according to Gods own heart, we must desire and endevour to do all his will, Acts 13. 22.

6. The Angels of the Lord do his will constant­ly,6. Constant­ly. never giving over untill they have accomplished the will of the Lord: so must we be constant, per­severing in obedience, being not weary of weldoing, knowing that we are redeemed of the Lord to wor­ship him &c. all the dayes of our lives, L [...]ke 1. 74. Our obedience must not be like the morning mist. Re­member that religion is a way to the end, whereto we cannot come untill the end of our lives; and therefore if we set down our staff before we come to the end, and will go no further, what will all our former pains avail us? If we run in this race, and faint before we come to the goal, how shall we hop [...] to obtein the garland? Be faithfull unto death (saith our Saviour) and I will give thee the crown of life, Re­vel. 2. 10. and Matth. 24. 13. He that continueth to the [...]nd he shall be saved.

7. Lastly, the holy Angels do the will of God7. Faithfully faithfully, and in all their doings seek the glory of [Page 323] God that sendeth them, not assuming unto them­selves any part of the praise: So must we, 1. Cor. 10. 31. For if therein we shall seek our own praise or other sinister respects, we have our reward.

Thus must we truly in our lives desire and ende­vour to do the will of God on earth as the Angels do it in heaven; otherwise when we make this pray­er we do ask with our mouthes that which we de­sire not with our hearts. Here therefore is discover­edThe hypocri­sie of many discovered. the hypocrisie of many men, who pray that they may do the will of God, which they will not do. God would have thee to turn unto him; thou pray­est that thou mayest do the will of God: and yet wilt not turn to him, &c. What is this then, but to mock God, when thou askest that of him which thou hast neither desire nor purpose to do? But here especially appeareth the hypocrisie of obsti­nate and stiff-necked sinners, who will seem so for­ward as to desire that they may do the will of God even as the Angels do it in heaven, and yet in very truth obey the will of God no otherwise on earth, then the devils in hell: who although they oppose themselves against the revealed will of God, yet willingly, though unwittingly, perform his secret will, which no creature is able to disanull. If there­fore we would be thought to pray in truth, let us de­sire and endeavour to do that in our lives which in prayer we ask and desire. So having imitated the obedience of the Angels on earth, we shall be made [...], like the Angels, and fellow-citizens with the Saints and Angels in heaven &c.

The fourth Petition.

HItherto we have spoken of those petitions which immediately concern the glory of God. Now we are to come unto those which moreHow things apperteining to our own good are to be asked. nearly appertein unto our good: Howbeit medi­ately also they are referred to Gods glory, which must be the main end of all our desires: for whatso­ever we are to ask for our selves we are to desire no otherwise but as it is subordinate to Gods glory. Spirituall graces and salvation we are to desire for the manifestation of the glory of his mercy in our salvation. And because a Christian man is bound to believe that the Lord harh ordained him to salvati­on, therefore salvation and those spirituall graces which are necessary thereunto, may be asked abso­lutely, as being subordinate to Gods glory, with which he joyneth the salvation of the chosen. Temporall benefits are to be asked conditionally, so farre forth as they serve for Gods glory and our spirituall good. Gods glory is to be sought for even in our eating and drinking, and whatsoever we do, 1. Cor. 10. 31. Nay, our life it self is no otherwise to be desired then it is referred to Gods glory, Psal. 80. 19. Preserve, O Lord, our life, and we will call upon thy name. Psal. 119. 175. Let my soul live, and it shall praise thee. Isai. 38. 18, 19. Psal. 6. 5. and 30. 9. and 50. 15. Sufficientia vitae, saith Augustine, rectè appetitur, non propter seipsam quidem, sed ut eam habentes commodiùs Deo serviamus: Sufficiencie for life is rightly desired, not for it self, but that we may more commodiously serve God.

Now these petitions are of two sorts: For in them [Page 325] we ask either temporall benefits concerning the body for the maintenance of this life present, or spirituall blessings in heavenly things concerning the soul for the obteining of a better life: Of both which we have a promise 1. Tim. 4. 8. and there­fore are to pray for both.

The prayer for temporall blessings is conteined in these words, [...], Give us this day our daily bread. The order.

But first let us consider the order of the petition in respect both of those which go before and also which follow. In respect of the antecedents our Saviour speaketh, Matth. 6. 33. First seek the king­dome of God (which is that which we desire in the second petition) and his righteousnesse (which we desire in the third) and then all these things which we begge in the fourth shall be cast unto us. Therefore preposterous is their care and study who first la­bour for temporall benefits, and post off the seeking of Gods kingdome and his righteousnesse untill the end of their dayes, &c. And whereas this petition is set after the third, we are taught before we ask temporall benefits, to submit our will to the will of the Lord, saying with our Saviour, Not my will, O Father, but thine be done. Why we ask temporall bl [...]ssings be­fore spiritu­all.

As touching those that follow, it may be de­manded why we are taught to ask for temporall benefits before spirituall blessings: Is it because we are more earnestly to desire them? Nothing lesse. In the spirituall blessings which afterward we ask, namely, justification and sanctification, the happi­nesse of a Christian man in this life doth consist: and [Page 326] therefore they are in judgement to be esteemed and in affection desired above all worldly things, which without the spirituall graces are not [...]ing worth; For what will it profit a man to gain the world, and lose his soul? Mark 8. 36. Therefore the Psalmist Psal. 4. 6. saith, Many say, Who will shew us any good? (that is, worldly profit?) But, Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance: for so shalt thou give me more joy and gladn [...]sse then when their wheat and wine did abound. So John 6. 27. But the reason why we are first taught to ask temporall things is this; 1. Be­cause it is an easier matter to depend upon the pro­vidence of God for the maintenance of this life then to rely on his mercy for the salvation of ou [...] souls: and therefore the Lord would have faith trained up by the easier, that we may learn to r [...] ­pose our trust in him for the greater. Therfore those which make profession of their faith in God c [...]n­cerning their salvation, and have not learn [...]d to rely upon his providence for temporall matters, but seek the same by unlawfull means, are greatly to fear lest they deceive themselves with an opinion of faith: for if they trust him not for the lesse how will they believe him for the great [...]r? 2. Because the things of this life are amongst those things which we ask of the least value; therefore in m [...]dium quasi agmen conjiciuntur, Homerica scilicet d [...]spositione, In medio infirma, they are cast (as it were) into the middle rank, according to Homers method placing infirm things in the middle. And the rather because in all speeches the heat of affection sheweth it self most in the beginning and in the end: And therefore [Page 327] elsewhere this order is inverted, Prov. 30. 7, 8.

The meaning of the words.

Bread, by a Synecdoche, signifieth not onely food (in which sense it is often used in the Scripture, Gen. 31. 54. Exod. 18. 12.) but also all other commodities of this life, serving either for necessity or Christian delight; which the Grecians call [...], or, as John speaketh 1. Epist. 3. 17. [...], Luke 15. 12. the Latines victum. So Gen. 3. 19. Prov. 30. 8. Ale me pane demensi mei, Vlpian. [...], Feed me with bread of my allowance or portion.

The reason why the holy Ghost comprehendethWhy all commodities are compre­hended under the name of bread. all the commodities of this life under the name of bread, is 1. Because of all commodities food is most necessary; and among food, bread. 2. Because he would teach us to moderate our desires, Rom. 13. 14. and not to covet after superfluities, as the Israe­lites did after quails, and were buried in the graves of lust, Num. 11. Sit oratio quae pro temporalibus est Bernard. circa solas necessitates restricta, Let prayer which is for temporall bl [...]ssings be restrained to our ne­cessities alone. And so the Syriack readeth, Da nobis panem necessitatis nostrae, Give us the bread of our nec [...]ssity. 3. To teach us contentation, that if we have but necessaries, as food and raiment, yea but bread, we should be therewith content, 1. Tim. 6. 8. Heb. 13. 5. Phil. 4. 11. If God give more, we are to be thankfull; if but bread, we are to be con­tent. John 6. 11. for the five barley-loaves and two little fishes Christ gave thanks.

[...], Our.

Our bread, is that portion of temporall blessingsWhat on [...] bread signifi­eth. which God hath assigned to every of us to be attein­ed by good and lawfull means, Prov. 30. 8.

Whereas our Saviour directeth us to ask for our bread, he teacheth us, 1. To be content with that lot and portion which God assigneth unto us, and not to covet other mens goods. 2. That we get our goods by lawfull means, Ephes. 4. 28. For that onely is ours which we have got by lawfull means, as by in­heritance, or by the works of our calling, &c. that we may eat the labours of our own hands, Psal. 128. 2. And if we must eat our own bread, we must walk diligently in our callings: for he that will no [...] labour let him not eat, 2. Thess. 3. 10. And verse 12. he ex­horteth them that lived idly, and therefore inordi­nately, that they would work with quietnesse, and eat their own bread. 3. That God would give unto us a profitable use of those things which we have. Ma­ny men want even that which they have; and there­fore had need to pray that God would give them even that which is theirs already, Eccles 6. 2. A man is not said to have that which he doth not use: Matth. 25. But we are to pray not onely that we may use and enjoy his gifts, but also that he would blesse the use and fruition of them unto us. For when a man doth with comfort enjoy that which he hath, it is the gift of God, Eccles 3. 12. and 5. 17, 18. and therefore to be begged of him.

[...], Our daily bread.

This word is diversly expounded. Some expoundWhat is m [...]ant by daily bread. it super substantiall or above substance: that is, that bread [Page 329] which is above all substance and better then all wealth and riches; meaning thereby our Saviour Christ, which is that bread of God which came down from heaven, John 6. 33. But this exposition seemeth to be farre fetched, agreeing neither with the words of the Petition, nor yet with the whole body of the prayer. For first the word it self, if you derive it from [...], signifieth rather agreeing to our substance, or added to our substance, as [...], (for that sense hath [...], insum, or adsum, not supersum) then exceeding a­bove substance, as the Greek authours teach. Neither do I see how we may aptly desire Christ to be given unto us, whom the Father hath already given unto us. In the second petition we desire that we may be drawn out of the power of darknesse, and given unto Christ, that he may rule in us by his word and Spirit. Neither, as I think, would Christ have taught us to say, Give us that bread of ours, but rather, that bread of thine: For we are Christs, and Christ is Gods, 1. Cor, 3. 22. and he is that bread of God which came down from heaven. Neither would he teach us to ask this bread for a day, but rather for ever. And as touching the body of the prayer, which is a summe, not of all Divinity, as they imagine, but onely of those things which we are to ask (as the Decalogue is the summe agendorum, of things to be done; and the Creed, credendorum, of things to be believed) it may not be thought that in this perfect summe our Saviour Christ hath omitted any thing which we are to ask. But if you shall not expound this petition of temporall blessings, you cannot comprehend them in any other petition: for to say [Page 330] that they be comprehended in the first, it is too vio­lent an exposition.

As for the Papists, that expound this petition of the Sacrament of the Altar; they are more absurd: For besides the reasons alledged, they contradict themselves, both by a divers exposition, translating the same word, Luke 11. 3. daily; and by their pra­ctice: For if the people are to ask that bread every day, then are they bound in conscience to give it them every day, whereas indeed they give it unto them but once a yeare.

Others derive the word of [...], which word is used five times in the Acts, [...], scilicet, [...], that is, the day following. For of [...], adventare, to come, the participle is [...]. Now if you expound the word, crastinus, the sense will not agree, that we should ask to morrows bread to day; especially see­ing our Saviour biddeth us not to care for the mor­row.

But if you expound it, as some do, succedaneus, that succeedeth, which is all one in sense with quoti­dianus, [...], daily, the sense will well agree▪ viz. That we ask that bread which daily we stand in need of; cujus successione atque accessione quotidie egemus, Piscat. whose succession and accession we daily need.

Others expound [...], ut [...], quasi [...], scilicet [...], convenient for substance and being, as Suidas. Basil in his short 252 questions ex­poundeth [...] to be [...], that bread which fitteth our sub­stance for the maintenance of this temporary life. So Theophylact, and Euthymius. Gr. Schol. [...] [Page 331] [...], convenient for our substance and being. So that [...], our daily bread, signifieth that portion of temporall things which thou hast assigned as most fit and convenient for us. Sic. Beza [...] interpretatur panem cibarium, vel panem nobis sustentandis idoneum. So Beza inter­preteth [...], bread fit for meals, or convenient to su­stein us. This exposition I take to be the safest, not onely because it is made by the Greek writers, whose judgement in this case we are rather to fol­low then the Latines; but also because it agreeth with the Syriack interpretation. Da nobis panem necessita­tis nostrae: But especially becaus [...] it fully agreeth with that prayer of Agur, Pro. 30. 8. Give me not poverty nor riches, but nourish me [...], cibo dimensi mei, vel pane praescripti, vel portione quam assignasti mi­hi: With the bread which thou hast allowed me; or with meat appointed for my portion; or give me the portion which thou hast assigned me: as Gen. 47. 22. or as the LXXII interpret, Give me [...]. August. Constitue mihi quae necessaria sunt sufficien­ter, Give me those things which are n [...]cessary in a sufficient measure.

Now whereas the Lord J [...]sus doth direct us thus to pray, he teacheth us to avoid two extremities; that we neither covet abundance, nor affect pover­ty: according to Agurs prayer, Prov. 30. 8. Give me not poverty nor riches, but feed me with food convenient for me. For those that desire either of these know not their own infirmity. Wealth many times is ac­companiedThe [...]vils that accom­pany rich [...]s. with these vices: 1. Pride, oblivion, and contempt of God, Deut. 8. 11, 14, 17. and 22. 15. [Page 332] 2. Chron. 32. 25. August. Divitiarum morbus super­bia, Pride is the disease of riches. 2. Disdain and contempt of our brethren, Luke 16. Dives. 3. Se­curity, Psal. 30. 6. Luke 12. 19. 4. Confidence in riches, Psal. 49. 6. Job 31. 24. 1. Tim. 6. 17. 5. The choking of Gods word in them, Matth. 13. 6. The nailing of men unto the earth, setting their heart and affections upon their pelf, Psal. 62. 10. whereby it cometh to passe that they serve Mammon. And these corruptions are not onely incident to the wic­ked, but sometimes also to the children of God. And therefore the Lord many times denieth prospe­rity to his children for their good, and granteth it to the wicked, who have their portion in this life, Psal. 17. 17. Luke 16. 25.

On the other side, poverty is accompanied manyThe evils that accom­pany pover­ty. times with 1. murmuring against God; 2. repi­ning at the better estate of others; 3. distrust in Gods providence; 4. using of unlawfull means; 5. abandoning of all religion, taking a desperate course of life, as though they were perswaded that they have served God for nought.

Agur therefore finding these infirmities in him­self (which indeed naturally are in us all) desireth the Lord that he would give unto him neither pover­ty nor riches: lest, saith he, I be full and deny thee; and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poore, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain, Prov. 30. 8, 9.

Here therefore two sorts of men are condemned: 1. Those worldlings who covet after abundance of wealth, not knowing that they further and in­crease their condemnation. 2. Those superstitious [Page 333] Papists that vow voluntary poverty, whereby they become unthankfull to God and unprofitable to men.

But our Saviour teacheth us to follow the middle course, and commendeth to us a moderate desire of that which is necessary and convenient for us, both for our own sustenance and also relief of others.

Now the same measure is not necessary and con­venientThe same measure is not conveni­ent for all men. for all men in respect of themselves. For there is a necessity 1. of Nature, quatenus homo, as we are men; 2. of Person, quatenus solus est, vel familiam habet, as a man is alone, or hath a family; 3. of State, quatenus est persona publica vel privata, as he is a publick or private person. The necessity of na­ture, which is content with a little, is satisfied with food and raiment, 1. Tim. 6. 8. But the necessity of an housholder or one that hath a charge, requi­reth not onely that which is necessary & convenient for himself but also for those that belong unto him: every one being bound to provide for them, 1. Tim. 5. 8. The necessity of state requireth that which is convenient for that condition and calling wherein God hath placed him. Every one therefore is taught to desire and by prayer to ask that portion of temporall blessings which is necessary and con­venient in respect of the necessity not onely of na­ture but also of a mans person and place. And these things we are to desire, not onely for the sup­plying of our own need, but also that we may have to communicate to the necessity of others: Ephes. 4. 28. Prov. 5. 15, 16. Acts 20. 33. The necessi­ties of others are either private or publick; and [Page 334] those either of the Church or commonwealth: To whose necessities we are to desire that we may not be wanting.

Give.

God is said to be the giver of these things 1. be­causeIn what re­spect God is said to give. either he giveth them without our means, or else blesseth our means unto us for the obteining of them. 2. because he granteth us the use & fruition of them. 3. because he blesseth the use of them un­to us, giving them vertue and strength to nourish and cherish us. 4. And a gaine, that is said to be given which is freely and gratiously bestowed.

Here therefore we are taught I. to ascribe those temporall blessings and good things which we have neither to fortune nor chance, nor to our own la­bour and industry, nor to our own merit and de­sert; but to the goodnesse of God freely bestowing them upon us. Now if we cannot deserve a piece of bread of God, but must acknowledge the good­nesse of God therein and our own unworthinesse, Gen. 32. 10. much lesse can we chalenge eternall life as our own desert, but must with the Apostle Rom. 6. 23. acknowledge it to be the free gift of God. And as we are to acknowledge God the gi­ver of these things, so II. we are when we want them to beg them of him, and when we have them to return thanks unto him for them: For which cause we are taught to receive the good creatures of God with prayer and thanksgiving. III. If we are to desire temporall blessings as the gifts of God, we are to be carefull to get them by good means. For then we are to esteem them as the gifts of God and [Page 335] pledges of his love and favour towards us when we obtein them by good means and have care to im­ploy them to Gods glory. But contrariwise, when we get them by wicked means, by deceit, oppres­sion, usury, &c. they are to be esteemed rather the gifts of the devil and earnest-penies of destruction. 4. We are not to trust in the means be they never so good, but in the use of the means we are to crave the blessing of God, and to depend thereon, whithout which they are nothing worth. Psal. 127. 1, 2. Except the Lord build the house &c. True it is indeed, that we must use good means, (for other­wise we tempt God;) but we must not trust in the means, but depend upon the blessing of God, which, as Solomon saith, maketh rich, Prov. 10. 22. Let us therefore remember that exhortation of Moses, as belonging to us, Deut. 8. 17, 18. Beware lest thou say in thine heart, My power hath gotten me this abundance, &c. Hab. 1. 16. 5. We are here taught, not onely to ask these temporall things which we want but also that he would give unto us thos [...] things which we have: And that in two re­sp [...]cts: 1. That he would give us the use and fruiti­onGod giveth onelv the use of all. of them: which we have need to pray for, not onely because men oftentimes are deprived of those things which they have before they have use there­of, as the Lord threatneth Mich. 6. 15. Thou shalt sow, but not reap; thou shalt tread the olives, but shalt not anoint thee with the oyl; and make sweet wine, but not drink it: So Hagg. 1. 6. ye have sown much and bring in little: But also because many men deprive them­selves of that which they have, as the Preacher [Page 336] saith Eccles 6. 1, 2. There is an evil which I have seen, &c. And elsewhere he affirmeth, that when men with comfort enjoy their goods, it is the gift of God, Eccles 5. 18.

Secondly, that God would blesse the use of hisGod onely blesseth us in the use. gifts unto us, giving them vertue and strength to nourish and cherish us. For without the blessing of God neither will food nourish, nor apparel che­rish, nor medicines cure, nor any thing else be effe­ctuall for our good. Hagg. 1. 6. Ye eat, but ye are not satisfied; ye drink, but ye are not filled; ye clothe you, but ye be not warm: and he that earneth wages, putteth it into a broken bag. Mich. 6. 14. The vertue of food in nourishing, as some think, is called the staff of bread; which staff if God shall break, as he often threatneth in the Scriptures, we shall eat bread and not be nourished therewith, Ezek. 5. 16. Where­fore as those which are in want are to use this pray­er, that God would grant unto them such tempo­rall blessings as are convenient for them, and would blesse those good means which they use to that end; so they that have abundance, be it never so great, had need to use this prayer, that God would grant unto them the use of those things which they have, and blesse the use thereof unto them: For without his blessing the greatest provision of all things will not help us, and with his blessing the meanest means are sufficient: for man liveth not by bread alone, but &c. Deut. 8. 3. as appeareth by Daniel and his fellows, Dan. 1. 12. And experience telleth us that the chil­dren of the poore, which seldome have a good meals meat, many times are in better plight then [Page 337] the children of the rich, which are both daintily and plentifully fed.

What is meant by Give us.

Vs] that is, not onely me that pray, but also the rest of my brethren. Where 1. we are taught this duty of love (which seeketh not her own) not1. Cor. 13. onely to seek our own good, but also the common good of our brethren. Covetousnesse and self­love say, Give me this day my daily bread, without care of others: but brotherly love and charity saith, That good which I ask for my self, I also beg for others: Give us, &c.

2. We are to pray not onely for private benefits, as food, apparel, health, peace, good name, &c. but also for publick blessings, as plenty, prospe­rity and peace, Psal. 144. 13, 14. and 122. 6, 7. Jer. 29. 7.

3. We are to esteem that what good thing so­ever God hath given to any one of us, that he hath given it unto us, that is, the body, whereof all be members: and therefore that we should not envy the prosperity of others, nor yet envy to communi­cate those good things which we have unto others, considering that what I have received I am to esteem it as given not to me alone but to us. Nei­ther mayest thou think that thy prayer is upright, if having obteined that which thou hadst asked for us, thou shalt keep it to thy self. Thou beggest not onely in thine own name, but also in the behalf of others. Therefore when God heareth thy prayer, he giveth not onely to thee, but by thee he giveth to others; making thee not lord of that which he gi­veth, [Page 338] but his steward and almoner: and therefore howsoever thy goods be thine [...], in possession, yet art thou to make them common [...], in use, by doing good to all, but especially to those of the houshold of faith. And as we are to pray that we may be able to help others, fo being able we must remember to distri­bute and to do good: for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

What is meant by this day.

This day, [...], as Matthew, or as Luke speaketh, [...], that is, in diem, for a day: h. e. quan­tum huic di [...]i sufficit, so much as sufficeth for this day; or, as others expound, according to the day: that is, Give unto us that which is fit and convenient for us in this our present estate. For we need not the same things at all times; the time of adversity requiring other blessings then the times of prosperity. But the sense in Matthew and Luke is the same, Give us that bread which is convenient for us this day; or, Give us that which is convenient and necessary for this day.

Now whereas our Saviour doth teach us thus to pray; First, he putteth us in mind of our frailty and mortality, who have need day by day to be fed and susteined of the Lord. And secondly, he putteth us in mind of our duty, that as children we should come every day to our heavenly Father to crave those things that be needfull for us. And thirdly, he teacheth us not to be distrustfully carefull for the time to come, but every day to depend upon Gods fatherly providence, being assured that when he hath nourished us to day he will not be wanting to us to morrow. A [...]d herein, as in many things else, [Page 339] the Israelites were a type unto us, whom the Lord would have every day to gather manna for the day, Exod. 16. 16. And fourthly, he teacheth us to mo­derate our unsatiable appetite, that we may learn to be content if we have provision for the day. (Whereas we pray for others to whom God giveth by us, we are bound even to day without delay to supply their want, and not bid them come to mor­row or another time, Prov. 3. 28.)

But here it may be demanded, if it be not lawfullQuest. to provide for the time to come.

As we are to be content if we have provision forAnsw. That it is lawfull to provide for the time to come. the day, so if it please God to give more we are not to cast away his good gifts, but reserve them, nor suffer them to be lost, John 6. 12. but to preserve them, or else imploy them to good uses. Yea, if it please God to give means, men are bound to pro­vide for the time to come, rather then by neglecting the means to tempt God, 1. Tim. 5. 8. 2. Cor. 12. 14. the fathers are to lay up for their children. And it is evident, that in summer we are to provide a­gainst winter (to which purpose the sluggard is put to school to the ant, Prov. 6. 6.) and in the time of plenty against the time of dearth: Example, Acts 11. 29. Gen. 41. 48. Lawfull therefore it is to pro­vide for the time to come, so that these conditionsCautions. may be observed. 1. That our desire and care in providing be not inordinate, in labouring for the meat which perisheth more, or as much as for that which endureth to everlasting life. After which sort they offend who to gain the world do loose their soul, as those do that stick not to sinne to obtein [Page 340] their worldly desire. 2. That it be not immode­rate or joyned with covetousnesse, which is an insa­tiable desire of having more, [...]. 3. That it be not joyned either with distrust in Gods providence, or trust in our store, Luke 12. 20. 4. That we set not our hearts thereupon, Psal. 62. 10. 5. That it be done neither with injury to our neighbour nor neg­lect of our poore brethren. 6. That we lay up our goods to good ends, that we may have not onely to supply our own wants and to provide for our fami­ly, but also to relieve the necessities of others.

But Christ forbiddeth to care for to morrow, Object. 1. Matth. 6. 34.

He forbiddeth [...], which is carking and dis­trustfull Answ. care.

Christ biddeth us not to lay up treasures on the Object. 2. earth, Matth. 6. 19. and forbiddeth us to labour for the meat which perisheth, John 6. 27.

I answer, Those speeches are to be understoodAnsw. [...], in comparison of spirituall food and hea­venly treasures, &c. And secondly, that we should not affect or esteem any worldly thing as our trea­sure, but rather the righteousnesse and merits of Christ in heaven, and those spirituall and heavenly graces whereby everlasting life is obteined: For where the treasure is there the heart will be also. And thus have we the meaning of the words.

The duties to be performed in prayer.

1. To ask temporall blessings of God. 2. To askWe ought to ask tempo­rall blessings of God. them aright.

For the first; Men are not to have this conceit, that temporall blessings are not to be asked of God, [Page 341] as being unworthy for him to grant or unnecessary for us to receive. For the Lords providence stoop­eth to the smallest things; to the lighting of a spar­row upon the ground, to the feeding of all brute beasts, Matth. 6. 26. Psal. 104. 27. and 145. 15. and 147. 9. Luke 12. 24. And he affirmeth that all both prosperity and adversity proceed from him, Hos. 2. 8. that in adversity we should pray unto him, and in prosperity praise him, and in both acknowledge his mercifull providence. And as for us, certain it is that neither any of us in particular, nor the whole Churc [...] in generall can continue our life in this world to the praise of God unlesse it please him to grant unto us a continuall supply of temporall bles­sings. Therefore seeing God is the giver of them, and we stand in need of them, it behoveth us by prayer to acknowledge him the giver of them, and to exercise our faith in asking them at his hands. And that we are so to do it further appeareth by these reasons: 1. Because Christ in this place com­mandeth us to ask them. 2. Because we have a pro­mise that we shall receive them, 1. Tim. 4. 8. 3. The examples of the godly; Jacob, Gen. 28. 20. Solo­mon, 1. Kings 8. 33, 35, 37. Agur, Prov. 30. 8, &c. who have prayed for them.

Secondly, it is not sufficient to ask these things of2. We mus [...] ask them a­right. God, but we must also be carefull to ask them a­right, and according to the will of God: which that we may do, there are duties to be performed both peculiar to prayer for tempo [...]all things, and generall and common to all prayer.

The peculiar duties are these: 1. That in asking [...] du­ti [...]s. [Page 342] temporall blessings we submit our selves to the will and good pleasure of God, saying with our Saviour, Not my will, &c. And therefore when we ask tem­porall things, our Saviour teacheth us to deny our own wills, and to desire that not our will but his will may be fulfilled. 2. That we ask them not ab­solutely, but so farre forth as they are blessings and good things, with this condition, that if they may stand with Gods glory and our own good: For God hath promised to give good things to them that ask them: But these are not simply good, but as they have reference to Gods glory and our spirituall and everlasting good. We must remember, that in tem­porall matters God heareth men either in mercy as a father, or in wrath as a judge: but we come unto him as a father, and desire him as a father to heare us, &c. 3. That we ask them to good ends; not to spend them on our lusts, but to imploy them to Gods glory in the supply of our own wants and theirs that belong unto us, and also in the relief of other mens [...]ecessities, either private or publick, Ephes. 4. 28. Ther [...]fore we are to ask, and to ask aright▪ and this is that which James [...]aith, chap. 4. 2, 3. Ye get nothing, [...]ecause ye ask not: ye ask and receive [...]ot, because ye ask amisse, that ye may consume it on your lusts.

The generall d [...]ties to be performed in prayerG [...]nerall [...]. for temporall blessings are, that we ask them in fer­vency and in faith. That we may ask them in fer­vency, we must h [...] 1. a true sense of our wants, & 2. a true desire that o [...] wants may be supplied by the contrary gifts and graces. We will for brevities [Page 343] sake joyn them together. Every request presup­poseth want, Jam. 1. 5. Whereas therefore Christ biddeth us ask, it proveth 1. our nullity, [...], andJo [...] 1. 21. poverty in our selves, who neither have any thing but what it pleaseth God to give us; neither can we by our means procure any thing that is good, ex­cept it please God to blesse our means; neither can we use and enjoy that which we have, unlesse it please God to grant us the use thereof; neither will the use thereof avail us, except it please God to blesse the use of them, giving them vertue to nou­rish and to cherish us, and make them effectuall to our good.

Wants to be bewailed.

In true sense therefore of this our want we are to pray that it may be supplied by the contrary gifts; namely, that God would be pleased to give unto us that portion of temporall benefits which he know­eth to be most fit and convenient for us; and to that end that he would blesse our means for the obtein­ing of that which we have not, and also grant unto us the use of that which we have, and lastly, that he would blesse the use thereof unto us, making them effectuall to our good.

2. Whereas Christ teacheth us every day to say, Give us this day, &c. it argueth our mortality and frailty, who cannot continue our lives, except it please God to make a daily supply of his temporall benefits whereby we may be susteined. In sense of which our frailty we are day by day to poure forth our souls before the Lord, saying, Give us this day our daily bread, that is, that bread [...]hich we [Page 344] have need of every day, as the Syriack readeth, Luke 11.

3. As we are to acknowledge 1. our own nullity, who have nothing of our selves, and 2. our frailty and mortality, who cannot continue except we have a daily supply; so in the third place, whereas our Saviour doth teach us to ask these things not as our own desert but as the free gift of God, we must confesse our own unworthinesse, who cannot truly challenge unto our selves the least temporall benefit that may be as our own desert, but must, as our Sa­viour hath taught us, beg it of God as his unde­served gift: Therefore we are to come unto God not in our own worthinesse but in his manifold mercies, acknowledging with Jacob that we are lesse then the least of his mercies, that we are not worthy to breathe in the air, not to dwell upon the earth, or to enjoy any of his blessings; which there­fore we humbly beg of him that he would give them unto us for his mercies sake in Christ Jesus.

4. Whereas our Saviour teacheth us to ask our bread, which we have gotten by good means, to be given us of God, this argueth 1. our coveting of o­ther mens goods, & 2. our diffidence and distrust in Gods providence, which maketh us ready in time of our need to use unlawfull and indirect means: In sense of which want we are to pray, that we may depend upon his providence, and cast our care upon him, expecting with all the creatures our daily food from him; and in all our need may be carefull to use good means, and with quietnesse to work that is good, that we may eat our bread given us of [Page 345] God: For that is onely ours which we have by good means; and that onely is given of God which is well gotten.

5. Whereas we are taught to desire God to give us these things notwithstanding our means and the abundance of goods which we possesse, this argu­eth our confidence in the means for obteining our desire, and our trusting in the goods once gotten: In respect whereof we are to pray, that both in the means and in the use of the things we may learn to depend upon Gods blessings, without which all means are uneffectuall and unprofitable; and there­fore we must desire, notwithstanding all our means and abundance of goods, that God would give us our daily bread.

6. Whereas he biddeth us ask bread, teaching us to bridle our desires and to be content with a little, this sheweth our covetousnesse and discontented­nesse many times with our present estate: In sense whereof we are to desire, that as we do ask our daily bread of God, so having that which we have asked we may not onely rest contented but give thanks to God that heard the voice of our prayer.

7. When he directeth us to ask [...], daily bread, it be wrayeth our either superstitious and phantasticall contempt of Gods gifts, with them that affect voluntary poverty, or else our worldly and immoderate desire of more then is sufficient; that in sense thereof we may with Agur pray, Give me not poverty nor riches, but feed me with food conve­nient for me.

8. Where he biddeth us say, Give us, this [Page 346] pointeth at our self-love, whereby every man desi­reth good things for himself although many times it be with the losse of others: And in acknowledge­ment of this our evil inclination, we are to pray un­to God, that he would give unto us, &c. that is, not onely to me that pray, but also to others; and not onely private blessings to private men, but also publick to the commonwealth, as peace, plenty, prosperity.

9. When we are taught to ask bread to be given to us, and others by us, today, this sheweth 1. our immoderate desire in providing for the time to come, and 2. our delay in helping and relieving the necessities of our brethren: In respect whereof we are to pray, that the Lord would this day give un­to us, and by us unto others as occasion shall be offered.

These wants we are taught to bewail, and in the sense of them we are taught fervently to ask in this petition those gifts and graces.

The second common duty is, That we ask theseThe s [...]cond common du­ty [...]s Faith: 1. [...]enerall. blessings in faith. And this faith is twofold: 1. ge­nerall, whereby we are to be perswaded that these blessings do not happen by chance, nor are purcha­sed by mens industry and means, but that they are the gifts of God, and that he both can and will be­stow these blessings upon his children as is most ex­pedient for them, Heb. 11. 6.

2. But especially there is a speciall faith requi­red,2. speciall. whereby we are in particular to be perswaded and assured, that the Lord will grant unto us our particular request, yea and in that form which we [Page 347] make it, if we make it as we ought; viz. That God would grant outward and temporall blessings so far forth as they stand with Gods glory and our good. And this condition, If it may stand with thy glory, O Lord, and our eternall good, is in all petitions for temporall blessings either to be expressed or to be understood: and according to it doth the Lord heare our prayers, granting either that which we do desire or that which is better, &c.

Duties to be performed in our lives.

Duties to be performed in our lives if we would make this prayer uprightly and in truth, are

I. To have a true desire and care to get our goods by good and lawfull means; because we ask our bread, and that to be given us of God: and therefore that every man walk d [...]ligently in a law­full calling, that he may eat the labour of his own hands, and working with quietnesse that which is good may [...]t his own bread, 2. Thess. 3. 10, 12. Ephes. 4. 28.

II. And to this end every one of us must ende­vour to be indued with these vertues, which are the inward duties of the eighth commandment. The 1. is [...], the not setting our hearts and affections upon the things of this life, so that nei­ther inordinately nor immoderately we desire or seek more then is exp [...]dient and necessary for us. This our Saviour teacheth us when he directeth us to ask for bread, & that bread which is necessary for us: Whereas contrariwise if once we set our hearts upon riches, &c. thereupon wi [...] follow an immode­rate desire of having more, that will not be satisfied [Page 348] with abundance; which if we be once attainted withall we cannot make this prayer in truth. 2. [...], contentation, which is a consequent of the for­mer, Heb. 13. 5. [...], Let your conversation be without covetousnesse, and be contented with your present estate. For we ask but that bread which is necessary and convenient for us. Therefore if we make this prayer in truth, we will be well contented if the Lord heare our prayer, and grant unto us no more but that which is necessary. And therefore we ought not to covet other mens goods or that which is unnecessary, knowing that our lot is befallen us by the most just and wise pro­vidence of God: who if he saw it expedient for thee, would grant unto thee greater abundance; but if not, thou must say with David, Here I am; let him do with me as [...]eemeth good in his eyes, 2. Sam. 15. 25, 26. And withall consider, that if thou art such an one as fearest the Lord, thou wouldst not change thine estate with some of them that have the world at will. For, as Solomon saith, Prov. 15. 16. Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, then great treasure and trouble therewith: and, as his father before him, Psal. 37. 16. A small thing which the righteous hath is better then the great riches of the ungodly. 1. Tim. 6. 6. [...], Godlinesse with content is great gain. 3. A moderate desire of that which is fit and convenient for us; and there­fore not to affect voluntary poverty, which the Spi­rit of God, Prov. 30. 8. and in this place, doth teach us to pray against. 4. A moderate care to provide that which is convenient, that we may not [Page 349] be burdensome but rather helpfull unto others: And therefore we are to avoid two extremities: first, to have no care of that which we here desire, 1. Tim. 5. 8. secondly, with carking care to hoard up that for many years which we ask but for a day.

III. In the use either of those means which we use for the obteining of our desire, or of the thing obteined, we are to crave the blessing of God, and thereupon to depend. Therefore the temporall bles­sings of God must be received with prayer and thanksgiving. And in this behalf not onely the poore and needy but also the rich and wealthy are to make this prayer, who cannot in truth make this prayer to God, if either they rely upon their own means or trust in their own store.

IV. We must cast our care upon the Lord, Psal. 37. 3, 5. and 55. 22. and in all our need flie unto him for supply.

V. As we are taught to pray not onely for our selves but also for others, so must we be desirous and carefull of other mens good, and be ready to communicate those good things which we have to the supply of others need, and that without delay.

Here therefore the hypocrisie of worldly andHypocrisie of world­lings disco­vered. carnall men is discovered; 1. Who ask bread, as though a little would content them, and yet are not satisfied with abundance. 2. They ask their bread, and yet cover yea take and retein other mens goods; yea some, the goods of the Church, which they can­not call theirs. 3. They ask [...], daily bread, that is, as Agur speaketh, neither poverty nor riches, but that which is convenient and necessary; and yet [Page 350] some (as phantasticall Papists) do affect pover­ty, and others (as all worldlings) desire abundance. 4. They desire th [...]t it may be given them of God; and yet either get it by unlawfull means, or relying upon the means, or trusting in their abundance, find no need of the blessing of God. 5. They ask for us, which they desire for themselves alone, which when they have got they keep to themselves. 6. They ask but for a day, and with distrust they hoard up for many years.

The fifth petition. [...]. And forgive us our trespasses, even as we forgive them that trespasse against us.

IN the former petition we were taught to ask tem­porallTwo main benefits re­quired in the two last pe­titions; Justification and Sanctifi­cation. blessings for the maintenance of this present life. Now in this petition and in the last our Savi­our teacheth us to ask spirituall blessings for the obteining of a better life. Of spirituall blessings in this life there be two chief heads whereunto all the rest may be referred: viz. our j [...]stification, and sanctification. For in these two the covenant of grace and the benefits which in this life we receive by Christ do consist. Heb. 10. 16, 17. This is the covenant that I will make with them after those dayes, saith the Lord: I will put my laws in their hearts, and in their minds I will write them: and their sinnes and ini­quities I will remember no more. And the covenant that the Lord made with Abraham concerning the promised seed was this, That he would give us, that [Page 351] we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, that is, Ephes. 1. 7. Col. 1. 14. having by Christ remissi­on of our sinnes and justification, we should worship him without fear, in holinesse and righteousnesse before him all the dayes of our life, Luke 1. 73, 74, 75. And these are the benefits which should be preached in Christs name, repentance and forgivenesse of sinnes, Luke 24. 47. Seeing therefore the summe of all the benefits which in this life we receive by our blessed Saviour consisteth in these two, we may be resolved that in these two the happinesse of a Christian in this life doth consist. For whereas the Lord sware to Abraham that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed, Gen. 22. 18. Zachary being filled with the holy Ghost, expoundeth that blessednesse to consist in these two, Luke 1. 73. And indeed whereas there are two degrees of our happinesse, the one begun in this life, the other complete in the life to come, that is to be esteemed our happinesse in this life whereby the perfect happinesse of the life to come is obteined. Now whom God hath chosen and called to salvation them he justifieth, and whom he justifieth, &c. Rom. 8. 30. And this appeareth to be true also in the particulars, Psal, 32. 1. Revel. 20. 6. Seeing therefore the benefits which we have by Christ in this life, and consequently our happi­nesse, consisteth in those spirituall graces which our Saviour here teacheth us to crave of God; it follow­eth necessarily, that both in our affections we should desire and in our judgements esteem these spirituall graces farre above all earthly and temporall things, esteeming all other things as drosse and dung, yea as [Page 352] losse in comparison thereof, Phil. 3. 8, 9, 10. For what will all temporall benefits avail us, if God do not forgive our sinnes, and stablish us by his free Spirit? Surely no more then the good pasture pro­fiteth the beast that is fatted for the slaughter. And therefore as these blessings are absolutely necessary to our salvation, and of farre greater value then all temporall benefits, so are they absolutely to be cra­ved of God, and with greater fervencie and affe­ction.

But let us consider the order and the coupling ofThe order. this petition with that which went before and also that which followeth. Our Saviour teacheth us in the former place to crave temporall benefits as the lesse, that our faith having been exercised in the lesse might be confirmed in the greater; that is, that we having learned to depend upon Gods providence for our maintenance in this life, might the more firmly relie upon him for our justification and sal­vation; for if we have not learned to trust in him for the lesse, it is not likely that we should believe in him for the greater. The order in respect of that which followeth standeth thus; We are taught to desire freedome from the guilt of our sinnes before deliverance from the corruption, because our recon­ciliation with God in Christ and justification by faith in order of nature goeth before our sanctifica­tion; howsoever in time the beginning of our sancti­fication concurreth with justification.

From whence ariseth both an instruction for car­nallWe must be justified be­fore we can be sanctified. men, and a consolation for the godly. For if justification goeth before sanctification, then it is [Page 353] certain that we cannot be sanctified unlesse first we be justified and reconciled unto God in Christ. And this order the holy Ghost teacheth us Luke 1. 74. That being redeemed &c. For untill our reconciliati­on, as we our selves are enemies, so all our actions are hatefull unto God. And therefore men had not need to please themselves in their naturall estate, and by their security suffer as much as in them lieth the bloud of Christ to fall upon the ground, but ra­ther to be most forward, carefull, and desirous to be reconciled unto God in Christ, and that his merits and righteousnesse may be imputed unto them, con­sidering that whatsoever they do before they be re­conciled unto God and justified is no better but sin, whereby they hoard up wrath against the day of wrath, &c. The consolation which ariseth from hence is most singular: For if men cannot die unto sinne unlesse first they be justified, then those that labour to forsake their sinnes, and truly purpose amendment of life, and endevour to please God in dying to sinne and living to righteousnesse, may be assured that they are justified by faith and reconciled to God in Jesus Christ, &c.

And so much of the order. Let us now considerThe conne­xion with the former petition. of the coupling of this petition both with that which went before and also that which followeth: with the former; Give us this day our daily bread: And forgive &c. Which teacheth us that we should not so wholly be addicted to the commodities of this life, but that we should withall and most principal­ly labour for spirituall graces perteining to a better life. There be many, saith the P [...]almist, which say, Psal. 4. 6. [Page 354] Who will shew us any good? that is, any worldly pro­fit, &c. but as touching the forgivenesse of their sinnes, and their reconciliation with God in Christ, as touching the application of Christs death and re­surrection, not onely to their justification but also their sanctification; of these things they have no care nor desire, &c. But howsoever the world saith, Who will shew us any good? yet we must say, But, Lord, lift thou [...]p the light of thy countenance upon us: Shew thou thy self favourable and mercifull in forgiving our sinnes; for that will bring peace of conscience, and joy in the holy Ghost, far exceeding all world­ly comforts. We must therefore not onely labour for the meat which perisheth, but much more for the meat which endureth to everlasting life, John 6. 27. For what would it profit us if we could gain the whole world, if our sinnes being not forgiven us, we should be amerced with the losse of our souls? Mark 8. 36.The conne­xion with the latter petition.

With the latter; Forgive us our sinnes, &c. And lead us not into temptation, &c. Which teacheth us that we are to desire as to be freed from the guilt of our sinnes so also from the corruptions, because they are things that are inseparably coupled together; forgiving of sinnes in God, and forsaking of sinnes in us. Therefore those which sever these things (as most do) deceive themselves, Luke 1. 73, 74. 2. Cor. 5. 17. Gal. 5. 24. Our Saviour as he is our redempti­on and justification, so also he is our sanctification: and therefore that which he did for us in his flesh, he worketh in us by his spirit, viz. a dying unto sin and a rising again unto newnesse of life. In those for whose sinnes he died and rose again for their justifi­cation, [Page 355] the spirit of Christ is effectuall to apply the merits of his death to the mortifying of their sinnes, and the vertue of his resurrection to their vivificati­on, which is called the first resurrection. And there­fore unlesse thou diest to thy sinnes and risest again unto newnesse of life, thou canst have no sound as­surance that Christ died for thy sinnes, and rose again for thy justification. And therefore as we de­sire the pardon of our sinnes, so must we labour to renounce them, that we may not onely be freed from the guilt but also delivered from the corrupti­ons themselves. True repentance as it mourneth for sinnes committed, and craveth the pardon of them, so is it carefull for the time to come not to commit that which ought to be mourned for.

Having thus spoken of the order and coherenceParts. of this petition, we are now to speak of the words themselves. In which two things are conteined: first, a deprecation or request for the pardoning of our sinnes; and secondly, a reason for the confirma­tion of our faith in obteining the same. In the re­quest it self we are first to speak of the meaning of the words, and then to gather from thence such uses as they afford.

[...] debts, according to the propertie of theThat our sinnes are debts. Syrian language, in which our Saviour spake, signifi­eth sinnes. For the Syrians call him that sinneth, [...], that is, debtour; and sinne, [...], debt, as appear­eth by the Chaldean paraphrase on Gen 50. 17. Psal. 1. 1. Bezain Matth. 23. 16. But this may be al­so evidently proved by conference of other places in the new Testament, as Matth. 23. 16, 18. The [Page 356] Pharisees conceit was, that if a man did swear by the temple or the altar, that it was nothing; but if he did swear by the gold of the temple, or the gift upon the altar, that then he was a debtour, [...]. So in Luke 13. those whom Christ in the second verse calleth sinners [...], in the fourth verse he calleth [...], debtours. So in this chapter our Saviour set­ting down a proof of the reason of this petition, for [...] saith [...], v. 14, 15. But most plain­ly in Luke 11. 4. where the words of this petition are thus set down, [...], And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive [...], every one that is in debt to us, that is, which hath offended us.

Now the reason why sinnes are called debts is, be­causeThe reason why sinnes are called d [...]ts. for our sinnes we ow punishment: For as a man having entred into bonds to perform such and such covenants, or else to incurre the forfaiture and penalty conteined in the obligation, is subject to the forfaiture if he perform not the covenant; so we being bound by most strait obligations to per­form obedience to all the commandments of God, or else to incurre the penalty comprised in the law, which is the obligation or handwriting that is against us, Col. 2. 14. are subject to the penalty, that is, the fearfull curse of God both in this life and in the world to come if we perform not the cove­nants. For as in the law there are two things; 1. praeceptum, commanding or forbidding, and 2. san­ctio, threatning punishment against the [...]nsgression of the precept: so in every sinne ther [...] are two things answer [...]ble; [...], the fault transgressing the [Page 357] law, and the reatus binding over the transgressour to the punishment. In respect of which punishment every offendour of the law is a debtour, untill either the debt be remitted him, or else he hath born the punishment, which is without end. Whereas therefore we pray that the Lord would forgive us our debts, we do not onely desire that the Lord would forget the fault, but also that he would re­mit the punishment unto which the guilt of our fault doth bind us over. And therefore foolish is the opinion of the Papists, who hold that the LordThe Papi [...]s confuted, who hold that God forgiving the fault re­teineth the punishment. many times forgiveth the fault and reteineth the punishment. For sinne is called a debt in respect of the punishment which we ow for it: and there­fore this debt is not remitted if the punishment be reteined. Again, the mercy of the Lord pardon­eth no sinne for which his justice is not satisfied. Neither must we so desire the Lord to be mercifull as that we would have him forget his justice. Eve­ry sinne therefore as it deserveth death, so is it pu­nished with death, or else the justice of God is not satisfied. It is punished, I say, by death either in the party himself to whom it is not forgiven, or in Christ in the behalf of the party to whom it is for­given. For every sinne therefore that is forgiven Christ hath satisfied the justice of God in bearing the punishment: therefore God doth not punish them whose sinnes he forgiveth in Christ: neither can it stand with his justice to punish the same sinne twice, on [...] in Christ, and again in the faithfull for whom C [...]rist hath suffered. So that we cannot say that the Lord punisheth them whose sinnes he for­giveth, [Page 358] except we will affirm either that the Lord is unjust, or that the merits of Christ were unsuffici­ent and unperfect: both which are blasphemous. Therefore as there is no condemnation, so there is no punishment, to those that are in Christ Jesus. Cha­stised they may be after their sinnes are forgiven for the example of others, and their own amend­ment, as David was 2. Sam. 12. but punished they never are. The affliction which the children of God do bear is not a punishment to satisfy for their sinne, but either a triall or a chastisement, either to cure or prevent sinne in them. When we are judged we are chastised, &c. 1. Cor. 11. 32.

And as the opinion of the Papists is foolish, soTheir pra­ct [...]ce foolish who d [...]ferre their r [...]pen­tance. the practice of those men is sottish who when they are indebted unto their neighbour, or have incurred a forfeiture, are never in quiet untill they have got that debt discharged or remitted, and yet the same men being in infinite debt to the Lord, which al­though they had the whole world they are not able to discharge, notwithstanding take no thought for this debt, no [...] earnestly sue for pardon, but securely go on in their sinnes, as though by continuall increa­sing of their debt they should the more easily dis­charge it: much like to him that having got a bur­den of wood, and finding it too heavie, should cut down more to adde unto the weight; or as it is in the ridiculous proverb of the Grecians, [...], I cannot carry a goat; lay upon me an ox.

Now these debts are of sundry sorts. Some are originall sinnes, some actuall; some inward, others [Page 359] outward; some of omission, others of commission; some of ignorance, others of knowledge; some of infirmity, others of presumption; some against God, some against our neighbours, and some against our selves. In respect of all and every whereof we are every of us debtours unto God, and therefore had need to pray that he would for­give us all and every of our debts, Psal. 51. 9. which how many and great they are, we may easily know, if we will diligently look into our obliga­tion, and examine our lives by the law of God, &c.

[...], Our.

In this word confession of sinne is included. ForWhat is meant by ou [...] trespasses it is in effect thus much; O Lord, we have sinned against thee: have mercy therefore on us, O Lord, ac­cording to thy goodnesse, and according to the multitude of thy mercies do away our offenses: Wash us from our iniquities, and cleanse us from our sinnes. For we ac­knowledge our transgressions, and our sinnes are alwayes before us, Psal. 51. 2, 3. Therefore with asking of pardon confession of sinne is conjoyned. And this form of prayer is prescribed to be used of the per­fectest men in this world, as of the Apostles; be­cause there is no man that doth good vpon the earth, and sinneth not, Eccles 7. 20. If we say, saith the ho­ly Apostle John, that we have no sinne, we deceive our selves, and there is no truth in us. If we confesse our sinnes, he is faithfull and just to forgive us our sinnes, and to [...] us from all iniquity. If we say that we have not [...], we make him a l [...]ar, and his truth is not in us, 1. John 1. 8, 9, 10. Here therefore both the [Page 360] Catharists, which dream of perfection in this life, and also the Pelagians and Papists, which hold that a man may fully and perfectly keep the law of God in this life, are confuted: For such cannot make this petition except they will mock God, as all those do that have a conceit of their own per­fection. (Which conceit is in not onely the Catha­rists and Papists, but also in the greatest part of ig­norant and secur [...] men, who affirm that they love God with all their heart, and their neighbour as themselves, they never did any man hurt, they ne­ver doubted of their salvation.) For howsoever the Scripture speaketh of perfect men, and such as walked in all the commandments of God, yet certain [...]t is that thereby is meant the uprightnesse of their will and endeavour, not the perfection of their obedi­ence; which uprightnesse notwithstanding the Scri­pture calleth perfection, the Lord accepting the will for the deed: so that upright men may indeed be said to be perfect, but in affectu potiùs quàm effectu, in their affections rather then their actions.

Forgive.

The Lord in forgiving sinnes, as he is mercifullWhat is meant by this word fo [...]give. so is he just, 1. John 1. 9. Neither doth he forgive any sinne for which his justice is not satisfied by the obedience and sufferings of Christ, Rom. 3. 26. He is therefore said to forgive our sinnes when as he inputeth them not unto us, but accepting of the obedience and sufferings of Christ as a full ransome and satisfaction for them, washing away our sinnes in his bloud, covering them with his righteous­nesse, imputing our sinnes to Christ and his obedi­ence [Page 361] to us, so that we, howsoever sinfull in our selves, appear righteous before him in Christ. When as therefore we do pray for the forgivenesse of our sinnes, we do not so desire him to be merci­full as that we would have him forget his justice; but we come unto him in the name and mediation of Christ, in whom he is well pleased, beseeching him to accept of his obedience & sufferings as a full satisfaction for our sinnes: For remission of sinnes, as it is a free work of mercy in respect of us, who neither can deserve pardon nor satisfie his justice; so in respect of Christ, who hath satisfied for us, it is a work of justice.

Now whereas our Saviour Christ doth teachBy this peti­tion we are put in mind of our mise­ry and God [...] mercy. every one of us every day to ask forgivenesse with assurance to be heard, we are put in mind both of our misery and Gods mercy. Our misery, who day by day commit sinne, and therefore have need every day to crave remission of our sinnes. Gods mercy and long suffering, who though he be offend­ed every day, yet he is ready to forgive their sinnes who come unto him by hearty and earnest prayer, confessing their sinnes and craving pardon of them. But this mercy and long-suffering of God must not encourage us to presume, but invite us unto repen­tance, Rom. 2. 4. and 6. 1. Ecclus 5. 4, 5, 6. Psal. 130. 4. There is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared. Joel. 2. 13. and encourage us to call upon him. This long-suffering of God is to be imitated of us: For if he be content to forgive us that sinne against him every day, then ought we freely to forgive them that offend us, &c. though it be to seventy times seven times.

[Page 362]Again, if every one of us, be he never so righte­ous, is bound to make this prayer that God would freely remit our sinnes, then it followeth that none of us can discharge the debt, or by any thing which we are able to perform satisfie for our sinnes, but ei­ther they must be freely remitted for Christs sake, or else we must suffer the punishment due for them. Divine remission and humane satisfaction cannot stand together. We must crave remission there­fore: we cannot satisfie. Remission of sinnes and justification are free, Rom. 3. 24. Ephes. 1. 7. Isai. 43. 25. but in satisfaction there is recompense. Therefore those that trust to their own merits and use this prayer, they mock God and condemn themselves: They mock God; because they desire him to forgive their sinnes, which they do not de­sire should be forgiven them, but trust to satisfie for them. They condemn themselves; because they confesse themselves to be debtours unto God un­lesse he remit their debt, and yet stand not to his remission, but to their own satisfaction, by which they appeal to his justice rather then implore his mercy.

And that no man can satisfie by any works of obe­dienceNo man can sat [...]sfie Gods justice for his sinnes; proved. Reason 1. the justice of God for his sinnes, it may fur­ther appear by these reasons. 1. Because our best obedience is unperfect, and our righteousnesse like unto a polluted [...]lout: and therefore if God should enter into judgement with us, he might justly con­demn us for our best actions, as being not performed in that manner and measure which his law requi­reth, and therefore every one had need to pray as [Page 363] Psal. 143. 2. Enter not into judgement, &c. Se­condly,2. because whatsoever obedience we can per­form it is a debt and duty, Luke 17. 10. When we have done all that is commanded, we must say that we are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do, [...]. Rom. 8. 12. and 13. 8. Gal. 5. 3. Now certain it is that we cannot satisfie debt with debt: but notwithstanding our latter obedience, we shall be debtours in respect of the former debt un­satisfied. Seeing therefore we are not able to satisfie for the least of our sinnes, our Saviour hath taught us to say, not with that servant, Matth. 18. 26. Have patience, Master, I will satisfie; but, Lord, remit, tak [...] away, and blot out our offenses. Furthermore, we are3. taught to pray that the Lord would remit our debts, that is, not onely forgive the fault but also remit the punishment, in respect whereof sinnes are called debts: And therefore it cannot be truly said that God forgiveth the fault and reteineth the punish­ment for which we our selves must satisfie either in this life or in purgatory. For if God should requi [...]e of us satisfaction for those sinnes which he pardon­eth in Christ, it would follow necessarily that either the sufferings of Christ were unsufficient, or else that the Lord is unjust. Moreover, it is absurd that sinne being remitted the punishment should be re­teined: For sinne is the cause of punishment: and the cause being taken away, the effect also is removed. And again, whereas sinne is infinitely increased in4. respect of that infinite Majestie and justice of God which is violated, sure it is that we cannot satisfie for it before we have endured endlesse punishment; [Page 364] which will never be. Whereas therefore our Sa­viour Christ teacheth us thus to pray, he sheweth that we cannot be discharged from these our debts by our own satisfaction or merits, or any other means, but onely by the free remission of them and imputation of Christs righteousnesse. And this is to be understood not onely of our great and grievous sinnes, but also of our lesse offenses, which the Pa­pists call veniall, and erroneously hold not to be mortall, neither need the death and merits of Christ for their expiation, but may by the holy-water­sprinkle, or by episcopall benediction, or by knock­ing of the breast be taken away. As therefore eve­ry sinne, great or small, deserveth death, and is also punished with death, either in Christ or in the sinner himself; and as the bloud of Christ doth purge us from all iniquitie, 1. John 1. 7. so that by him we have re­mission of all our sinnes: so are we to pray that the Lord would for the precious merits and righteous­nesse of our Saviour Christ remit all our sinnes both more and lesse, from which we could by no other means be delivered but by the merits of Christ.

But here it may be objected; Our sinnes wereObject. forgiven in baptisme, Acts 2. 38. therefore we need not now the forgivenesse of them.

Some answer, That because we sinne after ba­ptisme,Answ. 1. therefore we ought after bapti [...]me to pray that the Lord would forgive our sinnes. But this an­swer is not sufficient, considering that in baptisme is sealed the remission of sinnes, not onely past, but al­so for the time to come during the whole course of our life: For otherwise baptisme had need to be re­iterated. [Page 365] I answer therefore, That we feeling the burden of our sinnes, pray that the forgivenesse of sinnes, which was represented and sealed unto us in baptisme, may indeed be granted unto us, and that we may feel in our selves the fruit and effect of our baptisme. For we must not think that the Sacra­ments absolutely conferre grace to every receiver, but onely upon those conditions which are contein­ed in the promises of the Gospel, whereof baptisme is a seal. Now the Gospel promiseth remission of sinnes and salvation onely to them that believe; and therefore the Sacrament sealeth and assureth remissi­on onely to them that believe. For we ask forgive­nesse onely for the righteousnesse of Christ: but the righteousnesse of Christ is there imputed to righte­ousnesse where it is apprehended by faith: In which sense we are said to be justified by faith alone, and by faith to have remission of sinnes. And therefore in this petition we desire that the Lord would work in us true faith, that being united unto Christ and made partakers of his merits, we may have not one­ly forgivenesse of sinnes, but also assurance thereof by the anointment of the holy Ghost, the Spirit of adoption crying in our hearts, Abba, Father, &c. And because none attein to that measure of assurance but that it is mingled with some doubting, therefo [...]e all had need to pray that the Lord would increase their faith, and more and more assure them of the pardon of their sinnes.

Vs.

This teacheth us to pray not onely for the remissi­on of our own sins, but also of our brethren; it being [Page 366] a duty of charity to desire and to further the salva­tion of our brethren. And this duty as it belongeth to all so especially to those that are governours of others, either in the Church or Commonwealth. Examples: of Moses, who oft stood in the gap, Psal. 106. 23. Exod. 32. 21, 32. Num. 14. 19. Samu­el, 1. Sam. 12. 23. Neither are we to pray for our friends and well-willers alone, but also for them that hate and persecute us, according to the precept and practice of our Saviour, Matth. 5. 44. Luke 23. 34. and the holy martyr Stephen, Acts 7. 60. And as we are to pray the Lord to forgive them, so must we as willingly forgive them as we desire to be for­given of the Lord: neither can we in truth of heart desire God to forgive them, if we do not.

Duties in prayer.

The duties which here we are taught to performDuties are 1. more pe­culiar. in prayer are either more peculiar to this kind of de­precation, or common. The former is Confession, which must concurre with Deprecation of pardon, and goeth before pardon; as appeareth Psal. 32. 3, 5. Prov. 28. 13. 1. John 1. 9. Num. 5. 7. Examples; 2. Sam. 12. 13. Luke 15. 21.

Now this confession is to be made of unknown sinnes generally; as Psal. 19. 12. of known sinnes particularly; Isai. 59. 12, 13. And to this end it will be profitable to examine our hearts and our lives by the law of God, taking a view of the duties therein commanded and vices forbidden, that we may par­ticularly see and acknowledge what duties we have omitted and what vices we have committed.2. more common.

The common duties; That we pray in fervency, [Page 367] faith, and perseverance. That we may pray in fer­vency, we must have both a true sense of our wants, and earnest desire to have the same supplyed.

The wants which we are to bewail are, 1. our ma­nifold sinnes and transgressions, for which we are to be grieved that we have by them displeased and dis­honoured God. And to increase this godly sorrowMeditations to increase our sorrow for sinne. in us, we are First, to consider and meditate of Gods manifold benefits undeservedly bestowed upon us, and our unthankfull behaviour towards him, &c. Secondly, we are to desire the Lord that he would poure upon us the spirit of deprecation, that we may with bitternesse bewail our sinnes, whereby we have so violated the justice of God that nothing could be found sufficient to appease or to satisfie the same but the death of Christ, whom we by our sins have pierced, Zech. 12. 10. Thirdly, we are to con­sider the misery whereunto our sinnes make us sub­ject both in this life and in the world to come. In all which respects we must esteem our sinnes as a most heavy burden, and being weary thereof we are by prayer to come unto the Lord that we may be eased thereof, Matth. 11. 28. Neither are we to bewail our sinnes alone; but as we are to pray for the par­don of other mens sinnes, so are we also to mourn for the iniquities of the place and time wherein we live, Ezek. 9. 8. Psal. 119. 136, 158. 2. We are to bewail the hardnesse of our hearts, that we cannot so bewail our sinnes as we ought. 3. Our want of faith and assurance of the remission of our sinnes.

The graces which we desire, are 1. Remission ofThe graces▪ which we desire. sinnes and justification, viz. that God would cancell [Page 368] the bill of debt, Col. 2. 14. that he would take away our sinnes and cast them into the bottom of the sea, Mich. 7. 18, 19. that he would impute the merits and obedience of Christ unto us. And secondly, be­cause we receive remission of sinnes and are justified by faith, by which we apprehend the righteousnesse of Christ to our justification, and without which the merits of Christ are not communicated unto us, therefore we desire not onely that he would forgive us our sinnes, but also that he would work in us a true faith, whereby we may have assurance of the par­don of our sinnes and peace of conscience. 3. Be­cause our faith is weak therefore we are to pray for the increase thereof, Luke 17. 5. and also that God would blesse unto us the means of the begetting and increasing of our faith. 4. Because reconciliati­on and adoption are unseparable companions of ju­stification, we therefore must also pray that he would receive us unto his love and favour, and give us his spirit of adoption; that howsoever we be by nature the children of wrath, yet being reconciled unto him in Christ, we may have the testimony of his Spirit testifying to our spirits that we are the children of God. 5. We pray not onely for righte­ousnesse and assurance of justification, and peace of conscience arising from thence, Rom. 5. 1. but also for the joy of the holy Ghost proceeding from them both, Rom. 14. 17. Now that we may with fervencie beg these graces of God, we must besides the sight and sense of our sinnes, and the miseryThe necessi­ty 1. of the remission of [...]ur sinnes. which they bring upon us, consider the necessity of these graces; First, of remission of sinnes; because [Page 369] sinne maketh a separation between God and us, Isai. 59. 1. and maketh us subject both to the curse of God in this life and after; and therefore above all things in the world we are to desire freedome from our sinnes, without which our estate is most miserable, &c. and without which we cannot be saved. Con­trariwi [...]e, in remission of sinne consisteth happinesse, Psal. 32. 1, 2. Secondly, of faith, without which the2. of faith. benefits of Christ are not effectuall to our justifica­tion, sanctification, or salvation. By it we are made partakers of all the benefits of Christ to our justifi­cation and salvation. In which respect the same be­nefits in the Scriptures which proceed from Christ are also ascribed unto faith. Upon which follow re­conciliation, peace with God, and joy in the holy Ghost, and the beginning of eternall life it self in this life.

As we must pray for the forgivenesse of our sins in fervencie, so also in faith: that as we unfeignedly desire pardon of sinnes & reconciliation with God, so we are truly to believe that the Lord will heare our prayer, that he will receive us unto mercy, and at the length grant unto us the certificate of his Spi­rit the Spirit of adoption. For that which he hath commanded us to ask he hath promised to give. He commandeth us to ask remission of sinnes, justifica­tion, the Spirit of adoption, &c. therefore conse­quently we are stedfastly to believe that we shall obtein them. The forgivenesse of sinnes is a chief part of the covenant of grace, Heb. 10. 17. The Spi­rit of adoption is expressely promised to those that ask him, Luke 11. 13.

[Page 370]There remaineth, that we pray with perseverance, never ceasing day by day to call upon God for the forgivenesse of our sinnes, and certificate of the ho­ly Spirit assuring us thereof, untill the Lord say unto our souls, I am your salvation, and shed abroad his love in our hearts. Neither are we then to cease from this prayer: but as we sinne daily, so are we daily to crave forgivenesse; and as our faith is weak and mixt with doubting, so daily to desire the increase there­of, &c.

Duties to be performed in our lives.

If we would make this prayer with upright hearts, or would either hope to obtein this request or assurance that our prayer is heard, I. We must1. We must be ad [...]rned with humi­lity. be adorned with humility, 1. Pet. 5. 5. whereby we must acknowledge our selves so deeply indebted unto the Lord by reason of our manifold sinnes, that he may most justly glorifie his name in our end­lesse confusion, and that in respect thereof we are not worthy to look up unto heaven, or to breathe in the aire, or to live upon the earth: and that there­fore it is the great mercy of the Lord that we are not consumed. For if we have humble and contrite hearts, the Lord will be ready to heare our prayer and to pardon our sinnes. The Lord resisteth the proud, but he giveth grace to the humble, Jam. 4. 6. 1. Pet. 5. 5. The sacrifices of God are a contrite spirit: a contrite and &c. Psal. 51. 17. Psal. 34. 18. Example, in the hum­bled Publicane, Luke 18. 14. For Christ came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance, Matth. 9. 13. Luke 4. 18. Matth. 11. 28. Whom doth he call with promise to ease them of the burden of sinne, but [Page 371] those that tr [...]vail under the burden of sinne, and are weary thereof? If therefore God hath given thee an humble heart, thou mayest be encouraged to come unto him for grace and pardon of sinnes. For as it was said of the blind man, so it may be said of every one that is poore in spirit, Be of good comfort; he calleth thee. But as humility maketh us fit to re­ceive Gods grace in the pardoning of our sinnes, so is it also a good signe that our sinnes are pardoned. For they onely are happy whose sins are forgiven: but those that are poore in spirit are happy, Matth. 5. 3. therefore their sinnes are forgiven. Whereas con­trariwise, if we be proud and have a Pharisaicall c [...]ceit of our selves, it is a fearfull signe that we re­main in our sinnes, John 9. 41. Luke 18. 14.

II. If we would have forgivenesse of our sinnes2. We must believe in Christ. we must believe in Christ. For by faith alone we have justification and remission of sinnes, Acts 26. 18. because faith alone apprehendeth the merits and righteousnesse of Christ whereby we are justified. Now this and the former must go together: We must be cast down in our selves, acknowledging our selves that we are no better in our selves then the firebrands of hell: and yet withall we must relie up­on Christ and his merits, being perswaded that not­withstanding our manifold sinnes, yet the Lord will receive us into his love and favour, imputing unto us the righteousnesse of his Sonne, and covering us therewith as with a garment. If thus we believe in Christ we need not doubt of the pardon of our sins; because Christ having satisfied the justice of his Fa­ther for all the sinnes of them which believe in him, [Page 372] the remission therefore of sinnes to them that believe is a work not onely of mercy but also of justice.

3. If we would truly make this prayer (viz. 3. We must repent of our sinnes. in hatred of sinne) & have any assurance to our own souls that our sinnes are forgiven, we must repent of those sinnes which we desire to be remitted, and forsake those sinnes which we would have the Lord forgive, Ezek. 18. 21, 22. At what time soever, &c. Prov. 28. 13. He that confesseth his sinnes, and forsaketh them, &c. And therefore, as Isaiah exhorteth chap. 55. 7. let the wicked forsake his way, &c. If therefore we would effectually crave the pardon of our sins, we must have a true purpose of heart and resolution to forsake them: And if we would have assurance that according to our prayer our sinnes be forgiven, we must have a true endeavour to leave them, and to perform the contrary duties. If therefore we have neither purpose in our hearts nor endeavour in our lives to forsake our sinnes, we may not look that the Lord will pardon them. If in my heart I regard wic­kednesse, &c. Psal. 66. 18. For the Lord heareth not sinners, that is, who do not repent of their sinnes nor have a true purpose to leave them, John 9. 31. Prov. 28. 13.

4. If we make this prayer in faith, and truly be­lieve4. We must fear by sinne to offend God. in God for the forgivenesse of our sinnes, this perswasion will have this effect in us, to make us fear to sinne and by sinne to displease and disho­nour God. There is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared, Psal. 130. 4. The bounty of the Lord must draw us to repentance, Rom. 2. 4. Nay further, those that believe their sinnes are forgiven them, [Page 373] and are perswaded of Gods love and favour shed abroad in their hearts by the holy Ghost, they cannot choose but love him much who hath forgiven them much, Luke 7. 47. and shew forth their love in keeping his commandments.

5. If in prayer we unfeignedly desire faith and5. We must use means to increase [...] faith. assurance of the forgivenesse of our sinnes, then we will be most carefull in our lives to use and to use aright the means of begetting and increasing this faith; as the hearing of the word, receiving of the Sacraments, &c.

6. If we truly desire reconciliation with God in6. We must labour to please God. Christ, then will we seek in all things to please him. For if we please our selves in displeasing him (as the very nature of sinne is to displease God) how can we perswade our selves that we are recon­ciled unto God or desire so to be?

7. If we would have any assurance that our sinnes7. We must forgive our neighbours. are forgiven, we must be ready to forgive our neighbours the offenses which they commit against us. For if ye, saith Christ Matth. 6. 14. forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye do not, &c. But of this more in the reason.

Here therefore is discovered the hypocrisie ofHypocrisie discovered. those men, 1. who crave pardon of sinne in a Phari­saicall conceit of their own perfection & freedome from sinne; 2. who have no true hatred of sinne nor purpose to leave it; 3. who please themselves in dis­pleasing God, and yet would seem to desire recon­ciliation with God; 4. who desire faith, and yet neglect and contemne the means; 5. who with the [Page 374] ungracious servant looking to have pardon of ten thousand talents of his master would not remit a small debt to his fellow-servant, Matth. 18. 28. whom he ought to have loved for his Masters sake, &c.

[...].

These words are a solemn profession unto GodThe reason con [...]rming our faith in the assurance of remission. of our brotherly love, serving both to confirm our faith in obteining pardon, and also to testifie our love to God (who hath forgiven us much) in the love of our brethren for his sake. For whereas divers men making this prayer for pardon of sinne either do not believe at all the pardon of their sinne, or else deceive themselves with an opinion of faith, not loving him of whom they look for pardon, nor their brethren for his sake, but with the ungracious servant Matth. 18. 28. exact small debts of their brethren, and revenge offenses committed against them, as though they could love God and yet hate their brother: therefore our Saviour teacheth us to adde to the petition this protestation, that if we be able to make it in truth, we may be assured of the forgivenesse of our sinnes, and not be deceived (as many are) in our assurance. First therefore because we are so full of infidelity and diffidence that we are hardly brought to believe in particular the for­givenesse of our own sinnes, and consequently to make this prayer in faith, our Saviour teacheth us to use this notable argument (not so much to move God as to confirm our selves) drawn from the lesse to the greater, As we also forgive, &c. or, as it is more plainly set down in Luke, For even we also forgive [Page 375] &c. And the reason standeth thus, If we (who have not so much pitie, in regard of thine abundant mercy, as is a drop of water in comparison of the Ocean sea; if we, I say) be readie to forgive the offenses and injuries done against us, then no doubt thou wilt forgive our offenses, which we from the bottom of our hearts confesse unto thee with deprecation of pardon: But even we, Lord, whose mercy is as nothing in comparison of thine, are readie to remit offenses committed against us: and there­fore as we earnestly crave pardon, so we do unfeignedly believe that thou wilt forgive us our sinnes.

The connexion of the proposition is necessarie. For, as we say, Quod in minori valet valet etiam in majori, That which is of force in the lesser is of force also in the greater: If a drop of pity in us doth wash away the offense of our brother, how much more shall the multitude of his mercies wash away our offenses? And our Saviour reasoneth elsewhere Matth. 7. 11. If yee which are evil can give good things to your children, how much more &c. If therefore our consciences do testifie unto us the truth of the assumption, That we are readie to for­give them that offend us; we may also be assured of the truth of the conclusion, That God also forgi­veth our sinnes.

2. Whereas many abuse the mercy of God,2. Reason why these words are added. whereof they presume for the pardoning of their sinnes, dealing unthankfully with God in cruelty & revenge exercised upon their brethren, and so de­ceive themselves with a conceit of faith and assu­rance of the pardon of their sinnes, when indeed their sinne is not pardoned: therefore our Saviour [Page 376] Christ would have this protestation added, that it may be a touchstone to trie whether we have re­mission of sinne and assurance thereof. For, as our Saviour saith that he to whom much is forgiven lo­veth much, Luke 7. 47. and he that loveth God truly cannot but love his brother for Gods cause: For as John saith, 1. Epist. 4. 20. If any say that he loveth God and hateth his brother he is a liar, &c. and chap 5. 1. Every one that loveth him that hath begotten doth also love him that is begotten of him. And, Love covereth the multitude of offenses, Prov. 10. 12. There­fore if we will not forgive our brethren that offend against us, it is an evident argument that we do not love them: If we love not our neighbour, certain it is that we love not God: If we love not God, it is a certain signe that we do not believe in him nor are perswaded of his love towards us in the forgiving of our sinnes: If we believe not this, Christs righte­ousnesse and merits are not imputed unto us to our justification and remission of our sinnes: And there­fore if we be not willing and ready to remit offenses committed against us, it is a certain signe that our sinnes are not forgiven of God. As contrariwise, our brotherly love in remitting offenses is a sure to­ken of the forgivenesse of our sins. For as our Savi­our saith, Matth. 6. 14, 15. If ye forgive men their offenses, then will your heavenly Father also forgive you.

Some expound these words as if in them we didOur forgi­ving no cause of Gods for­giving us. alledge a cause why God should forgive us, or as though our forgiving of our brethren did merit forgivenesse of sinnes at the hands of God: As the [Page 377] Papists also expound that speech of our Saviour Luke 7. 47. Many sinnes are forgiven her; for she loved much. Whereas in truth the love either of God or of our neighbour for Gods cause is an effect, and so a signe, of Gods love towards us in forgiving our sinnes. We love God because he loved us first, 1. John 4. 19. And so doth our Saviour in that place argue, not from the cause to the effect, but from the effect to the cause: as also appeareth by the opposition in the latter part of that verse, but to whom lesse is forgiven, he loveth lesse; and by the parable of the two debtours, ver. 41. where­of he loved more to which more was forgiven. So that our love is not the cause of forgivenesse, but the forgivenesse of our sinnes is the cause of our love; and therefore our love an effect, fruit and signe of the forgivenesse of our sinnes. Again, our justification and remission of sinnes is free, proceed­ing from the mere love of God without any desert of ours, Rom. 3. 24. howbeit it is deserved through the merits of Christ. And surely if our forgiving of offenses were the cause why our sinnes be forgi­ven, then may we thank our selves for our justifi­cation: neither should we need to pray that God would forgive us for Christs merits, but for our own deserts. And lastly, the Apostle Paul exhort­eth us to forgive our brethren, as to a fruit and effect of Christs forgiving us, Ephes. 4. 32. Col. 3. 13. Forgiving one another, even as Christ hath freely forgiven you. In these words therefore is not set down the cause of the forgivenesse of our sinnes, but an argument from the lesse to the greater to con­firm [Page 378] our faith in the assurance of the forgivenesse of our sinnes; that lesse being also an undoubted fruit and sure signe of the remission of our sinnes.

But now let us consider the words particularly, and so come to the uses.

By our debters is meant such as have offended orWhat is meant by [...]. wronged us, or, as the Apostle speaketh Col. 3. 13. against whom we have any quarrel.

But what debters am I to forgive? may some bo­dyObject. say. I can be content sometimes to put up an injury at the hands of my better; but I cannot brook that my equall should crow over me, or that mine inferiour should be too sawcie with me. I can be content to remit some offenses; but great indignities I cannot put up.

Answ. Our Saviour speaketh indefinitely and ge­nerallyAnsw. without difference of debters: so that who­soever is our debter, we must forgive him if we would have assurance that God hath forgiven our sinnes. But this is more plainly expressed Luke 11. For even we also forgive [...], every one that is indebted to us. So that our love must not be partiall: neither is it if it be indeed for Gods cause, in whom we are to love our friends, and for whom we are to love our enemies.

May not a man therefore require and exact hisQuest. debts of his debter if he would have God forgive his debts?

Our Saviour doth not speak of the debts of mo­neyAnsw. or goods, but of trespasses, offenses and wrongs, which in the Chaldee and Syriack tongue are called debts, &c. As for due debts of money and goods, [Page 379] them thou mayest exact of those which are able to pay; so that it be done without using rigour or seeking extremities.

What is meant by, we forgive.

We forgive] God alone forgiveth sinnes, howObject. then can we be said to forgive our debters?How we ca [...] be said to forgive.

We must distinguish both of the debt which is forgiven, and also of forgiving. In every offenseAnsw. 1. committed against the neighbour two parties are offended; God mediately, and the neighbour im­mediately. And so it may be considered either as a transgression of the law of God, and so it is pro­perly called sinne, [...]: or as it hurteth or hindreth the neighbour, and is called an injury or wrong. As therefore it is a transgression of the law of God, no man can remit it: but as it is an injury or wrong done to a man, he may remit it. Again, God isAnsw. 2. said to forgive a sinne, when he is content not one­ly to forget the fault but also to forgive the punish­ment for the righteousnesse of Christ imputed to the sinner. Man is said to forgive an offense, not when he remitteth the punishment due unto it by the law of God (for that is not in his power to do) but when he doth abandon all purpose and desire of revenge, all hatred and ill will towards his bro­ther in respect of the offense.

If this be true, then belike no man may com­plainObject. 2. plain to the Magistrate, or seek his remedy by law when he hath sustein [...]d injury or wrong.

Although we are to forgive from our heart eve­ryAnsw. one that offendeth us, yet we may in some casesThat it is lawfull to to seek help from the Magistrate; with these cautions observed. complain unto the Magistrate and seek remedy [Page 376] [...] [Page 377] [...] [Page 378] [...] [Page 379] [...] [Page 380] by law; if these cautions be observed: 1. That it be not done in anger, or malice, or desire of re­venge; which commonly are the grounds of mens going to law: but that it be done with a charitable mind towards the society where we live, towards our brother who hath offended us, and towards our selves. First, towards the society; 1. If the1. offense be such as according to the laws of the so­ciety is to be punished by order of justice: for that punishment it is not in our power to remit. 2. If the offense be dangerous to the society, either in respect of Gods judgement, or in respect of conta­gion, then is it good the fault should be pu [...]ished, that evil may be taken from among us, and the judgement of God prevented, and others may see and fear, and fearing their punishment may not fol­low their example: in which respects most meet and necessary it is that the insolency and outrage of wic­ked men should be restrained.

Secondly, as touching the party: If he cannot be2. reclaimed by private means, we are to seek that by publick authority he may be reclaimed and brought to repentance▪ and we are to take heed left by our patience our neighbour become worse.

Thirdly, concerning our selves: We may provide3. for our safetie for the time to come, rather then by too much bearing to expose our selves to the wrongs and injuries of the wicked. For if it were not lawfull for godly men to complain to the Magi­strate, &c. there would be no measure nor no end of indignities offered unto them. And albeit we are to esteem every wrong offered unto us as an affliction [Page 381] laid upon us by the Lord, and are therefore to bear it patiently, & not seek to wreak our selves upon our brother, who is but the instrument or rod by whom the Lord doth correct us; yet we are in this as in all other afflictions to use such means as the Lord doth offer unto us of deliverance out of the same, and not be like wayward children, which having taken a fall will not rise. The means which God hath appoint­ed in this behalf is the publick authoritie of the ma­gistrate, who is the minister of God for the good of them that do well: as for the rest, he beareth not the sword for nought, but is the minister of God [...], an a­venger unto wrath unto those that do evil, Rom. 13. 4.

[...].

As, signifieth not equalitie. For as the heavens What is meant by, As we. are higher then the earth, so doth his mercy excell the greatest love amongst men: as the love of the father, Matth. 7. 11. and of the mother, Isai. 49. 15. And by how much his love is greater, by so much he is the slower to wrath or revenge, Hos. 11. 9. I will not exercise my fierce wrath in destroying Ephraim: for I am God and not man. Had our Saviour been but a man, as his Apostles were but men, although good men, he would perhaps have been as ready to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritanes as they, Luke 9. 54. Had the Lord, who was offended, been no more mercifull towards Niniveh then the Prophet Jonah, whom they had not offended, Ni­niveh had been destroyed, Jonah 4. 1. ThereforeNot equali­ty but like­nesse here to be under­stood. equality is not here to be understood, but likenesse. For although we cannot be equall with the Lord, yet we must be like him. And as it is Matth. 5. 48. [Page 382] Be ye perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect. But our perfection consisteth in uprightnesse: And there­fore although we cannot forgive and love in the like measure, yet we must in like quality, that is, in truth. So that the meaning is, We desire the Lord to forgive [...]s; for even we also unfeignedly forgive our bre­thren. That our forgiving should be sincere and not feigned.

Whenas therefore we do professe that we do so forgive as we desire to be forgiven, and that we de­sire so to be forgiven as we forgive, this teacheth us that our forgivenesse and reconciliation with our brethren should not be from the teeth outward, and by halves, but sincere & intire. Many men will speak friendly to their neighbour, when malice is in their hearts, Psal. 28. 3. and are contented that a skin should be drawn over their festred malice, making outwardly a shew of reconciliation and forgivenesse whenas inwardly they retein a secret grudge in their hearts. And again, others will say, Well, I may for­give him, but I shall never forget him, &c. But these men rather call for vengeance then mercie at Gods hands, desiring so to be forgiven as they forgive. And therefore as we desire the Lord not onely in word but also in deed and in truth to forgive us, so must we forgive our brethren that have offended us even from our hearts, Matth. 18. 35. And as we de­sire that the Lord would not onely forgive the pu­nishment but also forget the fault it self and cast it into the bottom of the sea, Mich. 7. 19. so must we also forgive and forget the wrongs done unto us. So much of the words.

Vses.

The use which from hence ariseth is threefold,A threefold use of these words. viz. of Instruction, Consolation, and Reproof.

For I. those who either desire to make this prayerUses for in­struction. aright, or hope to have their prayer heard, are here taught how to behave themselves towards their brethren, namely, that they be in charity with all men, and if it be possible and as much as in them lieth to be at peace ( [...]) with all men, Rom. 12. 18. For whereas it cannot be avoided but that in this life we shall both sinne against God and offend one another, therefore our Saviour hath taught us to joyn these two together, the desiring of peace of conscience and reconciliation with God, and the seeking of outward peace and reconciliation with men.

And first, he that hath offended his brother, his1. He that hath offend­ed must seek for re­conciliation. duty is to seek reconciliation with him before he can look for reconciliation with God: as our Savi­our teacheth, Matth. 5. 23, 24. If thou bring thy gift to the altar (seeking reconciliation with God) and there remembrest that thy brother hath ought against thee, (that is, that thou hast offended thy brother, for which thou hast made him no satisfaction) leave there thine offering, &c. So in the Law the Lord or­dained that whosoever had offended his neighbour, and came to seek reconciliation with God by offer­ing sacrifice, he should first make his brother amends whom he had offended, the same day that he offer­ed for his trespasse, Lev. 6. 5. and then forgivenesse is promised of the Lord, v. 7. Out of our Saviours words, Luke 17. 3, 4. it may be gathered, that it is [Page 384] the duty of him that hath offended to acknowledge his fault with promise of amendment to him that is offended. And this duty (though very late) was performed by Josephs brethren, Gen. 50. 17. But many when they have offended a man, they do hate him so much the more (as Amnon did Thamar, 2. Sam. 13. 15.) and are further from reconciliation then the party offended: Because they having de­served ill of him, as their conscience telleth them, therefore they expect ill from him, and consequent­ly hate him. And of such the Italian proverb is true, He that offendeth will never forgive. But these men that will not forgive them whom they have of­fended, of all others are farthest from pardon, be­cause they be farthest from repentance.

Now let us consider how we are to behave our2. How we are to be­have our selves to­wards those who have of­fended us. selves towards them that offend us. Our duty stand­eth on foure degrees: First, if the offense be not no­torious, to take no notice of it, but to dissemble it and to passe by it. For as Solomon saith, Prov. 10. 12. Hatred stirreth up contention: but love covereth the multitude of offenses: and Prov. 19. 11. The discre­tion of a man maketh him slow to anger, and it is his glo­ry to passe by an offense. Examples, in Saul, 1. Sam. 10. 27. and David, Psal. 38. 13, 14.

Our first duty therefore when we are wrongedDuty 1. is, not to fret and fume, storm and chafe, and much lesse to proceed to brawling or blows: For, as Solo­mon saith, Indignation resteth in the bosome of fools, Eccles 7. 10. but he that is slow to anger is wise, Prov. 14. 29.Means [...]o moderate our anger.

And to moderate our anger and desire of revenge, [Page 385] let us consider these two things: 1. That thy brother which offendeth thee is the rod of God, &c. 2. That as thou forgivest so thou must look to be forgiven. If when thou art wronged, thou chafest, and storm­est, and presently revengest thy self, when thou ma­kest this prayer thou dost desire the Lord so to deal with thee, that is, when thou offendest presently to be revenged of thee.

The second duty is, when we have been offendedDuty 2. not to retein anger, purpose or desire of revenge, but freely and from our hearts to forgive one another, Lev. 19. 18. Rom. 12. 19. Ephes. 4. 32. Col. 3. 13. And thus we are to forgive our brother openly, if he acknowledge his fault and repent; and that so oft as he seeketh reconciliation, though it be seven times a day, Luke 17. 3, 4. If he do not ask forgive­nesse, but rather persist in hating and wronging us, yet are we in our hearts to forgive him, and to de­sire his good, and to pray for his amendment, Matth. 5. 44.

Unto the performance of this duty we are to beReasons moving us to forgive. moved by these arguments: First, if we will not forgive our neighbour, the Lord will not forgive us,1. Reason. Matth. 6. 15. Mark 11. 25, 26. 2. If we retein anger2. Reason. and desire of revenge, with what face can we pray unto the Lord to forgive us our great debts, that will not for his sake remit those pettie debts of our bro­ther? And to this purpose notable is that saying of the sonne of Sirach, Ecclus 28. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. He that revengeth shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sinnes in remembrance. For give thy neighbour the hurt that he hath done unto thee, so shall [Page 386] thy sinnes also be forgiven when thou prayest. One man beareth hatred against another, and doth he seek pardon from the Lord? He sheweth no mercy to a man which is like himself, and doth he ask forgivenesse of his own sinnes? If he that is but flesh nourish hatred, who will intreat for pardon of his sinnes? Therefore Paul exhorteth us to pray, lifting up pure hands without an­ger, 1. Tim. 2. 8. and Peter signifieth that anger inter­rupteth this exercise of prayer, 1. Pet. 3. 7. 3. If we3. Reason. do not forgive our brother, in making this prayer we desire that the Lord would execute his ven­geance upon us rather then crave forgivenesse, &c. For this cause, as Augustine exhorteth, we are above all other sinnes to lay aside anger and hatred when we come to pray. For this prayer obteineth pardon for other sinnes; but for this sinne it doth not, but rather pulleth down vengeance upon him that desi­reth revenge.

As for those reasons which we pretend for ourPretenses of those who will not for­give taken away. anger, hatred, and desire of revenge, they are most vain, especially if we compare the debts of our bre­thren to us with those which we desire to be for­given of the Lord. For some will alledge, The of­fenses which he hath committed against me are great, and I cannot put them up. But they are nothing to those sinnes which thou hast committed against God. 2. Yea, but he hath touched my good name. And thou by thy sinnes hast dishonoured God, and hast caused his holy name to be blasphemed. 3. Yea, but he is mine inferiour, &c. And what art thou to God? 4. Yea, but the offenses which he hath committed against me are many, and he never maketh an end of do­ing [Page 387] me wrong. But nothing so many as thy sinnes are against God: neither dost thou put an end to thy sinning. 5. Yea, but I have deserved well of him. But not so well as God hath deserved of thee. 6. Yea, but I have sought to win him with kindnesse. And hath not the Lord by his mercies invited thee to repentance? 7. Yea, but he hath been often admonished of his fault. Not so oft as thou.

Furthermore, as thy brother offendeth against4. Reason. thee, so for the most part thou offendest against him, either by giving him occasion of evil, or by anger and impatience conceived against him: there­fore the debt being mutuall, thou shouldst be rea­dy to strike off thine own debt by pardoning of him. And although perhaps thou hast not deser­ved so ill of him, yet thou hast deserved worse of the Lord, who by him as his instrument correcteth thee: and therefore must say, as Mich. 7. 9. I have sinned, and therefore I will bear the anger of the Lord. Duty 3.

The third degree is [...], forgetfulnesse; That we should not onely forgive but also forget the offenses done against us, as we desire that the Lord would forget the sinnes which we have com­mitted against him. And therefore this art of obli­vion, which Themistocles wished, we are to beg of the Lord.

The fourth is, by Christian charity to labour to4. We must labour to win him. win him, and to overcome evil with goodnesse, Rom. 12. 21. And this love must be exercised 1. by doing good to him that hath deserved ill, Psal. 25. 21, 22. for thereby also we shall resemble the [Page 388] goodnesse of the Lord, who although he hath been diversly offended, yet first seeketh reconciliation with us. 2. in commending them to God in our prayers, Matth. 5. 44.

II. The second use is consolation to them whoAn use of consolation. are ready to forgive the offenses of their brethren: For if we do forgive, we may be assured that we are forgiven, Matth. 6. 14. If ye forgive men their tres­passes, your heavenly Father will forgive you. For which cause our Saviour Christ pronounceth the mercifull to be blessed, because they shall obtein mercy, Matth. 5. 7. And undoubtedly the true love of our brother for Gods cause, which is especially to be seen in forgiving offenses, is an evident argument of the love of God. The love of God is a fruit of faith; for we love him because we are perswaded that he loved us first: and where faith is there is justification and remission of sinnes by imputation of Christs righteousnesse apprehended by faith.

III. The last use is a reproof of those whichAn use of reproof. using this prayer notwithstanding retein hatred against their brother or purpose of revenge. And they are to be reproved both for their hypocrisie and folly: their hypocrisie; because they not for­giving their neighbours but reteining malice against them, are not ashamed to lie unto the Lord, saying, For even we also forgive, &c. Their folly; because using this prayer, Forgive us as we forgive, not for­giving but purposing and desiring revenge, in stead of craving pardon they desire God to be revenged on them for their sinnes, as they desire to be reven­ged on their neighbour. Of both which hypocrisie [Page 389] and folly our lustie gallants, especially our che­valiers and hacksters, are guilty: who think it the greatest disparagement that may be (which the ho­ly Ghost esteemeth to be the glory of a man) to put up an injury; and therefore will die upon a man rather then suffer the least offense unrevenged. But these men must know, that not onely they are car­nall men and remain in their sinnes, but also that in seeking private revenge they are satanicall and de­vilish. And therefore when Abishai stirred up Da­vid to revenge himselfe upon Shimei, David an­swered, What have I to do with you, ye sonnes of Zeruiah, that ye are this day to me [...], instead of Satan, 2. Sam. 19. 22. to teach us that they are in­spired of Satan that breathe after revenge. Yea, but, saith one, I know how to avoid both this hypocri­sie and folly, and yet I will be even with mine enemie too. For either I will leave out this petition, or use some other form of prayer where this clause is not, or else I will not pray at all. Yea, but the sentence of our Saviour, whether we use these words or no, stand­eth sure; If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your heavenly Father forgive you your trespasses, Matth. 6. 5. & 18. 33. and therefore those that use such shifts do but mock God and deceive them­selves. Remember the parable, Matth. 18. and the saying of Tertullian, Quid est ad pacem Dei accedcre sine pace? ad remissionem debitorum cumretentione in­juriarum? Quomodo placabit patrem iratus infratrem? &c. What is it to come unto God to seek peace without peace? for remission of our debts with re­tention [Page 390] of wrongs? How shall he please the Father that is angry with his brother?

Vers. 13. [...]. ‘And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.’

OF the order of this petition and the coupling itThe cohe­rence and order. with the former I have spoken before. For whereas in the former we begged the grace of justi­fication and remission of sinnes, in this we crave the grace of sanctification and the spirit of fortitude whereby we may prevent sinne, and be enabled to resist the tentations of the devil, flesh and the world provoking us unto sinne. In the former we asked freedome from the guilt of sinne: In this we crave deliverance from the evil and corruption of sinne, and strength against tentations alluring us thereunto. But as touching the order we are taught to ask first justification & freedome from the guilt of sinne, and then sanctification and freedome from committing sinne; because justification in order of nature goeth before sanctification. And as touching the coupling of this with the former, signified in the first word [...], And, we are taught this dutie, [...]eing freed from sinne, we must be­come the servants of righteousnes That as we are to desire freedome from the guilt of sinne, so we should be desirous & carefull to for­sake and prevent sinne, and to avoid the occasions thereof. Forsaking of sinne is a companion of the forgivenesse of sinne: And whosoever hath faith and believeth the forgivenesse of sinne, hath also a [Page 391] care to prevent sinne, and an endeavour to resist it and the provocations thereof. Art thou washed from sinne? take heed thou be not again defiled therewith: As the Spouse saith in the C [...]nticles, chap 5. 3. I have washed my feet; how should I again defile them? Hath Christ justified and freed thee from the curse of thy sinne? stand fast in this liberty which Christ hath purchased for thee, and be not again intangled in this yoke of bondage, Gal. 5. 1. For he that committeth sinne is a servant of sinne. Far be it from us to abuse this liberty as an occasion to the flesh, Gal. 5. 13. as though being freed from sinne we might sinne more freely. No, we are taught the con­trary 1. Pet. 2. 24. Luke 1. 74.

Neither may we think, as secure men do, thatThose whom God par­doneth the devil temp [...] ­eth. because we are perswaded that our sinnes are for­given by Christ we are safe from sinne and need not fear the allurements thereof, and therefore not stand upon our watch and ward, but live in security. For tentation unto sinne is a consequent of remissi­on of sinne: Whom the Lord loveth the devil ha­teth: whom the Lord draweth unto himself and pulleth into the kingdome of grace, him the devil laboureth to pluck back again by all means. There­fore if a man be not tempted at all, it is a fearfull signe that the strong man possesseth still his hold, because all is in quiet: Whereas contrariwise, to be troubled with tentations, is an argument of Gods favour, if also we have grace to resist them. Satan fighteth not with those that be under his bondage and fight as it were in his camp; but those that are souldiers under the banner of Christ, they must [Page 392] look to be assaulted. They that be true members of the militant Church must acknowledge their whole life to be a spirituall warfare, wherein they are daily to fight against the assaults of Satan, the corruption of their own flesh, and allurements of the world. Such as are Christs, Satan desireth to winnow and to sift them as wheat, Luke 2. 31. to such he sendeth his messenger to buffet them, 2. Cor. 12. 7. Our Saviour therefore knowing his faithfull ser­vants whom he loveth to be most subject to tenta­tion, in this place teacheth them to use this prayer; and elsewhere commandeth them to watch and pray that they enter not into tentation, Mark 14. 38.

The necessitie of which prayer is further to beThe necessi­ty of this prayer, Not to be lead in­to temptati­ [...]n. enforced by consideration of our enemies likenesse to overcome, and our own weaknesse to withstand. Sinne is deceitfull, Heb. 3. 13. The flesh continual­ly sendeth forth concupiscences which fight against souls, 1. Pet. 2. The law of the members carrieth ca­ptive to sinne, Rom. 7. The things which we de­sire in the world are so many baits of the devil to allure us unto sinne. The bad examples of other men are so many stumbling-blocks whereat we stumble & fall. The devil, very cunning, powerfull, malitious, diligent. For his craft he is called the old serpent, cunningly using our own corruptions and inclinations, the baits of the world, and examples to intangle us. For his power he is called the prince and the God of this world, John 12. 31. 2. Cor. 4. For his malice he is called Satan. For his diligence he is said to traverse the earth, Job. 1. 7. and as Peter saith, to go about as a roring lion, &c. 1. Epist. 5. 8. As [Page 393] for us, we are prone to sinne, naturally drinking in sinne like water, Job. 15. 16. and weak to resist. And therefore seeing our fight is not with flesh and bloud, but with principalities and powers, with worldly go­vernours of the darknesse of this world, with spirituall wickednesse in high places, therefore we are to stand upon our guard, to take unto us the armour of God, and especially by prayer to flee unto the Lord, that he would establish us by his free Spirit, that we may be able to stand [...], against the artifi­ciall and cunning assaults of the devil, Ephes. 6. 11, 12, &c.

But let us come unto the words: Wherein theThe latter part of the petition ex­poundeth the former. petition is first propounded, and afterwards ex­pounded. For when we desire that the Lord would not lead us into tentation, we do not desire not to be tempted, but when we are tempted to be delivered from evil, that we quail not in the tentati­on. And so our Saviour prayeth John 17. 15. I do not pray that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou wouldst keep them from evil. Therefore these two branches are not to be distinguished in­to two petitions, as the adversative particle But sheweth. For he doth not say, Lead us not into ten­tation; and deliver us from evil; but thus, Lead us not into tentation; but deliver us from evil; in the former part setting down our request negatively, in the lat­ter affirmatively: as if we should say, O Lord, do not thou give us over to the tempter, nor leave us to our selves; but withtentation give an issue, that we be not overcome in the tentation, but preserved and delivered from evil. But we are first to expound the words [Page 394] severally, and then from thence to inferre the uses.

Two sorts of temptations.

Temptations are of two sorts; 1. Probations; 2. Provocations to evil.

1. Probations and trialls: And so men some­timesOf probati­ons and tri­als. do tempt, and sometimes God. Men; as when one friend, to try the good will of another, asketh some benefit which he meaneth not to take: or when a man, to try the fidelity of his servant, either drop­peth some money in his way, or biddeth him do some difficult things which he would not have him to do, &c. God trieth men, either that his graces may appear to his glory and their good; or their in­firmities may appear, that they may be humbled & more seriously turn unto him, Deut. 8. 2, 16. AndOf Gods trialls, 1. by prosperity; these trialls of God are either of the right hand or of the left. The former are his temporall blessings, which he bestoweth upon men many times to try their thankfulnesse, humility, obedience, charity, af­fiance in God; or the contrary. Exod. 16. 4. when the people wanted food, the Lord sent them food from heaven to tempt or to prove them whe­ther they would walk in his law or no. If men which are in prosperity would consider that the Lord bestoweth his blessings upon them there­by to try them, that they should shew what man­ner of men they are, doubtlesse this meditation would be profitable, partly to bewray their wants unto them, partly to incite them to labour to ap­prove themselves to the Lord, that proveth them. Prove therefore and examine thy self: God hath [Page 395] bestowed these blessings upon thee, so many, so great: Hast thou been thankfull to God the giver? hath not thine heart been lift up with pride? hast thou been carefull to please him that hath been so gracious unto thee? or hast thou been displeased with thy self when thou hast offended so good a God? hast thou been ready to expose those gifts which thou hast to the glory of God and relief of thy brethren? hast thou not trusted in thy riches and thine own means more then in the providence and blessing of God? If in these respects thou hast been wanting, then by these trialls God would let thee see what thou art, that thou mayest be humbled before him, and mayest truly labour to approve thy self unto him by thy thankfulnesse, humility, obe­dience, charity, affiance reposed in him, &c.

The trialls of the left hand are such as crosse our2. by afflicti­ons. desires: as first, when the Lord commandeth such things as we are loth to do. So he tempted Abra­ham, Gen. 22. 1. Secondly, when he exerciseth us with afflictions which are hard for flesh and bloud to bear. So Job was tempted; and so the godly in all ages. And therefore afflictions are called tenta­tions, Jam. 1. 2. 1. Pet. 1. 7. laid upon them of God to try their faith, and their patience, their obe­dience, and their love, &c. and are therefore called trialls of faith, Jam. 1. 3. Revel. 2. 10. The devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried. Ecclus 27. 5. The fornace proveth the potters vessel: so do ten­tations try mens thoughts, Pro. 17. 3. And as by winnowing the wheat is tried and severed from the chaff, so is the sound Christian from the [Page 396] hypocrite by affliction. Hath the Lord therefore laid any crosse upon thee? consider that he hath done it to try thee. Examine therefore thy self if the Lord hath let thee see thine own weaknesse: let the sight thereof humble thee, and make thee more carefull for the time to come, and labour to approve thy self unto the Lord by thy humble, patient, thankfull and chearfull bearing of the crosse. For as James saith, chap. 1. 12. Blessed is the man that indu­reth temptation: For when he shall be found approved, he shall receive the crown of life which God hath promi­sed to them that love him. Thirdly, thus God also trieth his servants by suffering heresies, and permit­ting the wicked to live among them: 1. Cor. 11. 19. There must be heresies, that they which are approved may be known, Deut. 13. 3. Jud. 2. 22. Seeing therefore all these trialls of God are for our good, Deut. 8. 16. we are not to pray that we may not be tried, but ra­ther contrariwise, that we may be tried, and being tried may be found approved, Psal. 26. 2. and 139. 23.

Temptations which be for evil are either provo­cationsOf tentati­ons for and unto evil. unto evil, and therefore evil; or punishments of evil, and therefore just. In the former sense ten­tation is the provocation of a man unto evil: And that proceedeth from one of these three fountains, the Flesh, the World, the Devil.

1. As touching the flesh, James saith chap. 1. 13,1. Of the [...]. 14. Let no man say that is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither tempteth he any man (namely, to evil.) But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away by his own concupiscence and is [Page 397] enticed, Matth. 15. 19. Out of the heart proceed [...], evil reasonings, or thoughts.

2. The world is said to tempt, either in respectII. of the world. of men in the world, or worldly things. Men tempt to evil, either of punishment; as when by captious questions they seek to bring a man into danger: which Christ calleth tempting, Matth. 22. 18. Or else to evil of sinne: and that either they do by counsel and allurement, as Jonadab did Amnon, 2. Sam. 13. 5. Achitophel, Absalom, 2. Sam. 16. 21. Or exam­ple, by words, or deeds. By words alluring: so did1. By words. Josephs mistresse, Gen. 39. 7, 12. the harlot, Prov. 7. 13, &c. and 1. 10, 14. So by entising words Jeze­bel tempted Ahab, [...]. Kings 21. 7. 25. By example. A2. By exam­ple. sinne committed in the notice of another is commit­ted against him, and destroyeth him as much as in the offender lieth. For as Augustine saith, As he that lusteth after a woman hath committed adultery with her though she remain undefiled, so &c. For every sin committed in the notice of our brother is a scandal provoking him to the like; yea and, as the Apostle saith, destroying of our brother for whom Christ died, Rom. 14. 15. 1. Cor. 8. 11. Where by the way men must note, that those who provoke others to sinne are in that action the very instruments of Satan: and therefore are worthy to be enterteined as Christ did Peter, Matth. 16. 22, 23. Avaunt, Satan; for thou art a scandal unto me: or as David did Abishai tempting him to revenge, What have I to do with you, ye sonnes of Zeruiah, that ye are in stead of Satan unto me this day? 2. Sam. 19. 22.

The things in the world whereby men are tempt­ed3. By the de­sires thereof. [Page 398] are either the desires or the terrours of the world: For sometime the world allureth unto evil by pro­mising good things, sometimes terrifieth from good by threatning evil things. The desires of the world, that is, the things desired in the world, (as in gene­rall, peace and prosperity; in particular, pleasure, profit, preferment, and glory in the world) are ma­ny times so many baits of sinne, and snares of Sa­tan: baits, in respect of the getting; and snares, in respect of the using of them. For sinne, being in it self ugly and fearfull if it should come in its own likenesse, being the hook of the devil, therefore it is covered with the shew sometimes of pleasure, sometimes of profit, sometimes of preferment, sometimes of glory, as with a bait, that the volu­ptuous man with desire of pleasure, the covetous man by coveting after profit, the ambitious man by gaping after preferment might swallow the hook of the devil to their perdition. Men had therefore need to look unto the means of getting their desires: for when they cannot be got but by sinne, they are the baits of the devil. In respect of using, they are snares of the devil, whenas mens minds & hearts are intan­gled with them so as they cannot mind or affect heavenly things. If they be called to the worship of God and means of their salvation, they have their worldly excuses, as those in the Gospel, Luke 14. 18. If they come to the worship of God, if they heare the word, if they call upon God by prayer, their heart notwithstanding goeth a whoring after their worldly desires, whereby they are so fet­tered as that they cannot freely set their hearts and [Page 399] minds on better things. Men had therefore need to take heed unto themselves, that they use the world as though they used it not; that they possesse the things of the world, and be not possessed of them: For if once they set their hearts upon them, and be wholly addicted unto them, they fall into tentation and snares of the devil, and into many foolish and noysome lusts, which drown men in perdition and destruction, 1. Tim. 6. 9. As the good things in the world are manyBy evils and crosses. times baits and snares to allure men to evil, and to entangle them therewith; so the evils and crosses which be in the world are many times terrours to scare and terrifie men from God. If thou embrace godlinesse and sincerely professe the truth, then, saith the world, thou shalt not onely bereave thy self of that plea­sure, profit and preferment which thou mightest have en­joyed, but thou shalt live in misery, in want, disgrace and contempt; [...]ay, it may so be that thou shalt lose thy goods and hazard thy life. Thus by allurements on the one side and terrours on the other side many men are tempted with Demas to forsake God, and to embrace this present world. But we must be carefull to make Moses his choise, Heb. 11. 14, 15, 16. remembring that this life is but a moment in respect of immorta­lity, and therefore that it is not onely mere folly but extreme madnesse to hazard, nay indeed to lose, the eternall fruition of God and all happinesse in heaven for the momentany fruition of sinne in this world. The desires of the world are but vanities in comparison of heavenly blessings. The crosses and terrours of the world are not worthy of the glory that shall be revealed. And so much of the tentations of [Page 400] the world: Which in respect of the men, who are the instruments of the devil, tempteth instrumental­ly; in respect of the things, which either are the baits and snares of the devil to allure to evil, or the bug­bears of the devil to terrifie from good, it tempteth (if I may so speak) objectively or occasional [...]y, mi­nistring the objects to the flesh or the devil: which two tempt to evil efficienter, as the efficients.

3. But now we are to speak of the tentations ofIII. of the devil. the devil, who is the principall tempter unto evil▪ and is therefore called the tempter, 1. Thess. 3. 5. Matth. 4. 3. Now his tentations may diversly be di­stinguished. I. That they are either immediate or mediate: Immediate, when he casteth a wicked thought or concupi [...]cence, as it were a fiery dart, in­to the mind or heart of man: And such are called the suggestions of the devil: Which if they be not ad­mitted, but resisted and presently nipped in the head and extinguished as a spark cast into water, they hurt us not; but if once they being enterteined do take hold on us, they will both infect and inflame us, John 13. 2. But for the most part he dealeth by means, using either as his instruments sometimes the flesh, that is, mans own corruption; and sometimes also the mediation of other men, as once he did the serpent; or else, as occasions and objects, the desires and terrours of the world.

The chief help and instrument of the devil is the1. flesh, that is, a mans own corruption; by which he hath all the advantage he hath against us. The flesh is as it were the devils bawd, prostituting the soul to his tentations, and betraying us into the hands of [Page 401] the devil. And as he knoweth in generall our prone­nesse to sinne, by which he taketh advantage against us, so he observeth and by observation acquainteth himself with the particular inclinations, humours and dispositions of men, following and fitting them in their humours, and by all means egging them on to the extremities of those things whereunto they are themselves inclined: And thus he worketh ef­fectually in the hearts of men, carrying them captive to the obedience of his will.

2. He useth other men as his instruments; some­times friends, sometimes foes. Friends; So he u­sed Jobs wife and friends to [...]empt him to despair; Peter, to disswade Christ from the work of our re­demption; Abishai, to tempt David unto revenge; Jezebel, to egge on Ahab to all wickednesse. Some­times he useth foes: As when they are incensed by them unto anger, malice, and desire of revenge. For these are the works of the devil; and he that yield­eth to these things, giveth place to the devil, Ephes. 4. 27. So Shimei was the instrument of the devil, and his [...]ongue set on fire from hell, Jam. 3. 6. set on work by Satan, to provoke David to impatience and sinne.

3. Sometimes he useth (as hath been said) the desires of the world as his baits and snares; therein cunningly fitting the severall humours of men, by offering the bait of pleasure to the voluptuous, of profit to the covetous, of preferment to the ambi­tious, of honour and renown to the vainglorious. Thus (although in vain) he assaulted Christ, Matth. 4. Sometimes by threatning future dangers and cros­ses, [Page 402] he setteth upon the weak and inconstant. Some­times by aggravating the present troubles, either in respect of the greatnesse, or the length, or some­thing extraordinary in them, or by comparisons with others, to move them to impatience, or to bring them to despair.

II. The tentations of the devil serve either to o­verthrow mens faith or obedience: Their faith; part­ly by infecting their judgements with errours, partly by casting doubts into their mind; or contrariwiseTentations of errours and heresies; causing them to presume. First, That he may infect men with errours, he is many times a lying spirit in the mouthes of those that take upon them to be teachers of others. Secondly, he useth to cast doubtsOf doubt­i [...]g; into mens minds concerning Gods love towards them, concerning their election, justification, and salvation. And his especiall motives hereunto are 1. the calamities of this life; 2. the conscience of sinne.

As touching the former, It is the usuall practice of the devil to perswade men being in affliction that they are not in Gods favour, either in respect of their continuance, or greatnesse, or by compari­son of their distressed estate with the prosperity of others. This was the main argument that the devil used to assail the faith of Job with by his wife and friends, That because he was so greivously afflicted he was not the friend of God but an hypocrite: and this assault made him sometimes to stagger, 13. 24. Why hidest thou thy face from me, and esteemest me as thine enemie? So David, Psal. 22. 1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? But this tentation is the [Page 403] most effectuall when comparison is made with others, Psal. 73. 12, 13. Jer 12. 1. And although reply be made, that the Lord many times doth greivously afflict his own children, he will alledge that never any was so afflicted either for the length or for the greatnesse, &c. The second motive is con­science of sinne committed. For the devil, that extenuateth a sinne when it is to be committed, making of a mountain a mole-hill; when it is com­mitted, he will aggravate the same, and of a mole­hill make a mountain, perswading a man that his sinne is greater then may be forgiven, as we see in Cain and Judas.

On the other side, he tempteth men to vain pre­sumption,Of presum­ption. that it may occupie the room of faith: As when he bringeth mere naturall men into a conceit of themselves that they have a good faith to God, that they love him with all their hearts, that they are highly in Gods favour; First, by flattering them in their ignorance and blindnesse. For the more igno­rant and sottish a man is in Christianity, the greater conceit commonly he hath of himself. Secondly, by making them please themselves in the perform­ance of some outward works; wherein Popish devo­tion consisteth, Mich. 6. 6. Luke 18. 12. Thirdly, by comparing themselves with others that be no­torious sinners, Luke 18. 11. Fourthly, by letting them see the falls of others that seem forward pro­fessours, he maketh them please themselves in their ignorance and security; as if all profession of religi­on were but hypocrisie, and they in the onely way. Fifthly, by consideration of their great prosperity [Page 404] which, as Solomon saith, slayeth fools, Prov. 1. 32.

The tentations of Satan touching obedienceTentations touching obedience: serve either to withdraw men from good or to draw them to evil. Of the former there be so ma­ny examples as there are duties to be performed: As namely, in the duties of piety and of Gods wor­ship; as 1. Hearing of the word: Either he keepeth1. in hearing the word, men from coming to heare; or when they are come, he withdraweth away their minds by putting other matters into their heads; or when they have heard, he stealeth away the seed of Gods word out of their hearts, or by the allurements of the world choketh it. 2. Prayer: Either he keepeth men2. in p [...]ayer, from prayer, saying as Job 12. 15. What will it pro­fit us to call upon him? or if they do, he laboureth by all means to withdraw their minds from that hea­venly exercise, by suggesting other (and for the most part worldly) cogitations. 3. As touching3. in the sa­crament. the sacrament; Either he nourisheth men in hatred, &c. that they are unfit to come; or when they do come, instead of examining and looking into them­selves, they busie themselves in looking into the sufficiencie of the minister, examining the worthy­nesse of other receivers, or prying into their beha­viours, whether they sit or kneel, or how they be­have themselves.

Of the latter sort there be so many examples asTentations drawing men unto evil. there are sinnes forbidden: Whereunto he some­times provoketh men by suggestion; as he did Da­vid, 1. Chron. 21. 7. to number the people; and Judas, to betray his Master, John 13. 2. Sometimes [Page 405] allureth by desires of the world, which are his baits; Sometimes inticeth by the counsel or example of others, which are his instruments; Sometimes and most ordinarily abuseth a mans own corruption, which is his bawd; Sometimes he draweth there­unto as a means to escape danger, as an evasion out of trouble, &c. So foolish are men that they can be perswaded by the devil to seek an issue out of some bodily trouble or danger with the hazard of their souls. Sometimes he clotheth sinne with the cloke of vertue.

So much breifly shall serve to have spoken of tentations as they are provocations to evil. Against which we pray not that we be not tempted; but, that the Lord would not in his fierce wrath for a punishment of our sinne lead us into tentation, nor give us over to our own concupiscences to be hard­ned in sinne, or to the world to be carried away with the desires thereof, or to the devil to be over­come in tentation & to be carried away captive to the performance of his will. For howsoever men willingly run into these tentations, as the beast goeth chearfully to the slaughter; yet there can be no greater judgement inflicted upon a man in this life then to be given over to his own lusts or to the allurements of the world or tentations of the devil. Now this giving over men in tentation is that which our Saviour calleth leading into tentation: Of which we are now to speak.

Lead us not into, or rather, bring or carrie us not into, [...]. Where first we must note the per­so [...] to whom we speak; & secondly the thing against [Page 406] which we pray. The person; Do not thou lead us. Which when some have considered they have chosen rather to read thus, And do not thou permit or suffer us to be led into tentation. But we must not teach our Saviour to speak; but rather with humi­litie learn the true meaning of his speech.

Yea but, say they, this prayer is superfluous: For Object. God tempt [...]th no man, as James saith, chap. 1. 13.

It is one thing to tempt, and another thing toAnsw. lead into tentation: as it is one thing to execute pu­nishment on an evil-doer; and another, to deliver him over to an executioner: the one is the act of the judge; the other of the hangman.

Yea, but we must understand this of permissionObject. onely, or else we shall make God the authour of sinne.

God doth not onely permit men to be temp [...]edAnsw. How God may be s [...]id to tempt. but also leadeth into tentation. The like phrases are usuall in the Scriptures: Exod. 7. 3. Induravit cor Pharaonis, he hardened Pharaohs heart. Isai. 63. 17. O Lord, why hast thou made us erre from thy wayes, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Rom. 1. 24, 26, 28. 2. Thess. 2. 11. God shall send them strong de­lusion. All which words do signifie not onely a per­mission but also a work of God, [...] and yet notwithstanding he is not the authour of sinne. In every tentation, even unto evil, God hath an hand: And the same tentation which proceedeth from Sa­tan or our own corruption may also be said to come from God. But in the same tentation we are to distinguish the work of God, which is good; from the work of the flesh or of the devil, which is evil. [Page 407] As it cometh from God, it is either a triali or a chastisement, which are works of mercy; or a pu­nishment, which is a work of justice: But as it com­eth from Satan or the flesh, it is a provocation unto evil, and therefore a sinne. Such is the wisdome and goodnesse of the Lord, that he knoweth by evil instruments to effect his own good work. The tentation of Job proceeded from God and from Satan. God by that means tried his patience; the devil provoked him to impatience and despair. When David numbred the people, it is said that God moved him so to do, 2. Sam. 24. 1. and Satan pro­voked him to number the people, 1. Chron. 21. 1. Gods work was a chastisement of David, and punishment of the people; Satans work, an incitation to sinne. When Pharaoh deteined the people of Israel, it is said that God hardned his heart, and that Pharaoh hardned his heart, Exod. 8. 15, 32. and 9. 34. As it came from God, it was a punishment; as from him­self, a fruit of his own flesh, and so a sinne. Again, we must further distinguish betwixt the tentation of God, and of the flesh and the devil. The flesh, when it tempteth, sendeth forth evil concupiscen­ces, which allure men to evil and withdraw from God, Jam. 1. 14. The devil, when he tempteth, casteth into mens minds, either by himself or by means, ill motions and suggestions. God doth not instill into mens minds ill motions; as the devil and the flesh do: But he is said to tempt in these respects: 1. By offering the occasion or the object of sinne for our triall; howsoever we through our own cor­ruption or instigation of Satan take occasion by the [Page 408] triall of sinning: 2. By withholding and withdrawing his grace, which he is not bound to vouchsafe un­to any, but in justice might deny to all: 3. By giving them over either to their own lusts or to the tenta­tions of the devil, who is his executioner, as a just punishment of their former sinnes. And in this sense God is said to harden mens hearts: not that he maketh them of soft hard, but, being hard already, giveth them over to their own corruptions and the tentati­ons of Satan further to be hardned; which hard­nesse they further gather to themselves, willingly committing sinne with greedinesse. Now this the Lord may do most justly: For when men have hardned themselves, what should bind God to soften them? He hath mercy on whom he will, by softning them: and whom he will not have mercy on, them in justice he hardneth. And who shall con­strain him to shew mercy in softning where in ju­stice he may harden?

This must teach us, 1. not to dispute with God, but to justifie him in all his judgements, which in justice he might exercise upon all, howsoever in mercy he spareth some: and 2. to be thankfull unto him for vouchsafing us to be in the number of those whom in mercy he so softeneth, when in justice he might have hardned us.

Thus we see in what sense the Lord is said to lead men into tentation: not that he suffereth them on [...] ­ly to be led; but also that he giveth them over to be tempted, and in the tentation to take the foil. 2. Whereas our Saviour teacheth us thus to pray, That the Lord would not lead us into tentation, we ga­ther [Page 409] this consolation, That howsoever we are as­saultedA consolati­on: Satan can neither tempt nor overcome without Gods permis­sion. continually by the flesh, the world, and the devil, yet we shall not be overcome except the Lord himself lead us into tentation. Satan goeth about con­tinually like a roring lion, seeking whom he may de­voure: but he cannot tempt, except it please God to bring us upon the stage, as he did Job: nor in tempt­ing overcome us, unlesse the Lord give us over into his hands. For he that is in us is greater then he that is in the world, 1. John 4. 4. And if we be born of God, the evil one shall not touch us to hurt us, 1. John 5. 18. The devil desireth to sift and to winnow us as wheat: but our Saviour hath prayed for those that believe in him, that our faith may not fail, Luke 22. 32. The devils could not enter into the herd of swine with­out speciall leave. Neither could Satan touch the cattel of Job untill he had commission from God: and further then his tedder he cannot go.

Seeing therefore in all tentations the Lord ruleth the action and overruleth the tempter, our duty is, in all tentations to flee unto him, praying that he will not lead us into tentation.

So much of the person to whom we make this request. Let us now consider the thing against which we pray: That we be not led into tentation. Our Sa­viour doth not teach us to pray that we be not tempted at all: For it is not an evil thing, to beThat it is not evil to be tempted, but good to God [...] chil­dren. tempted, simply; but rather to the children of God a good and a necessary thing. James biddeth the faith­full rejoyce when they fall into tentations, Jam. 1. 2. He that is not tempted, saith the sonne of Sirach, he know­eth but a little, 34. 10. and as Augustine, No man know­eth In Psal. 60. [Page 410] himself unlesse he be tempted. Besides, we are not souldiers under the banner of Christ, unlesse we fight with the flesh, the world, and the devil: and we sight not with them, unlesse we be tempted of them: neither must we look to be crowned, unlesse first we strive. Nay, if we be not tempted, it is a signe that he needeth not assault us. Lastly, all tentations turn to the good of those that love the Lord, Rom. 8. serving either to humble them by the sight of their weaknesse, 2. Cor. 12. 9. or to prevent sinne in them, making them more wary and circumspect for the time to come; or to manifest Gods graces in them, that they may be found approved, and so become happy: For as James saith, chap. 1. 12. Blessed is the man that endureth tentation: for when he shall be found approved he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to those that love him. We do not therefore pray that we be not tempted, but, that we be not led into tentation; that is, That when we are tempted the Lord would not leave us unto our selves, nor give us over to the tempter, nor suffer us to be overcome in the tentation, nor to be tempted above our power: but that it would please him to sta­blish us by his free spirit, and minister strength unto us, giving with the tentations an issue, that we may bear them. What is meant by, Deliver us from evil. And so our Saviour expoundeth himself in the words following, But deliver us from evil: Which, as hath been said, are the exposition of the former. Tertullian, Clausula haec interpretatur quid sit, Nè nos inducas in tentationem, hoc est, sed erue nos a malo, This clause interpreteth what this is, Lead us not in­to tentation, that is, but deliver us from evil.

[Page 411]By evil we are to understand all the enemies of our salvation; the flesh, world, and devil, sinne and hell, and all punishments of sinne; but especially the devil, who in the Scriptures is called [...], the evil one.

[...], deliver, signifieth two things: 1. To keep and preserve, to protect and defend from evil, that we fall not into it. In which sense Christ is said to deliver us from the wrath which is to come, 1. Thess. 1. 10. And our Saviour making the same prayer, useth in stead of this word, [...], keep or preserve, John 17. 13. 2. Cor. 1. 10. Which argueth, that of our selves we lie open and naked to our spirituall ene­mies, unlesse it please the Lord to keep and to pro­tect us from them. 2. It signifieth to deliver, and as it were to pull us out of the hands, that is, power, of our spirituall enemies: as the word is used, Luke 1. 74. Matth. 27. 43. [...], let him deliver him. Rom. 7. 24. [...]; who will deliver me? 2. Tim. 4. 17, 18. Which teacheth us, 1. that naturally we are in subjection to our spirituall enemies; 2. that it is not in our power to free our selves out of this bondage; but it is the mercifull work of the Lord, of whom we are therefore taught to crave deliverance.

This deliverance which we crave is either incho­ate in this life or perfect in the life to come: both by Christ; Luke 1. 74.

Duties in prayer.

I. To pray against tentation, Luke 22. 40. 2. Cor. 12. 8. to escape it. II. To pray in fervencie and faith.

Wants to be bewailed.

I. The malice and power of our spirituall ene­mies that fight against us, Ephes. 6. 12. The flesh sending forth concupiscences which fight against the soul; the law of our members carrying us captive unto sinne: The world by her enticements alluring unto evil, and carrying us out of the way, 1. Cor. 7. 31. by her terrours terrifying from good, by bad exam­ple seducing us: The devil our mortall enemie, go­ing about like a roring lion, seeking whom he may de­voure, 1. Pet. 5. 8. II. Our weaknesse to resist; our negligence in not preparing and arming our selves against tentations, but rather by idlenesse and securi­tie sweeping and preparing a room for the tempter, Luke 11. 25. III. Our pronenesse to sinne, our quailing in tentations, our running into tentations, and seeking baits of sinne. IV. Our subjection to sinne and Satan, Rom. 7. 14. and exhibition of our members as instruments to the tempter. V. The evil of sinne with which we are corrupted, and the evil of punishment which we have deserved. VI. Our inability in our selves to free us from these evils.

Contrary graces to be desired.

In sense of which wants we are with fervencie to crave the contrarie graces: Which we are to distin­guish according to the former distinctions of tenta­tions and evils from which we desire to be preser­ved and delivered. And first for the tentations of God or trials; we do not pray against them, but ra­ther for them, I. That the Lord would trie us, Psal. 26. 2. and 139. 23. and II. That when he [Page 413] doth prove us, we may be approved; or if it please him by the tentation to discover unto us our weak­nesse, he would turn it to our good, Deut. 8. 16. that both in respect of our former weaknesse we may be humbled, and for the time to come be made more circumspect.

But as touching those [...]entations which are pro­vocationsHow we are to pray a­gainst taenta­tions. unto evil; we pray against them, I. in generall, That our hearts may not be inclined to any evil, Psal. 141. 4. and therefore that the Lord would neither give us over to the tempter to be overcome, nor suffer us to be tempted above our power, neither leave us to our selves and forsake us in the tentation, but that it would please him to sta­blish us by his free spirit, Psal. 51. 14. and assist us with his grace (which will be sufficient for us, 2. Cor. 12. 9. that being confirmed and strengthened by him, 1. Pet. 5. 10. we may not fall away in the time of tentation, Luke 8. 13. but may be able to withstand our enemies in the evil day, and having fi­nished all things may stand fast, Ephes. 6. 13. being kept by his power through faith unto salvation, 1. Pet. 1. 5. And II. more specially, 1. against the tentations ofHow we [...] must pray against ten­tations of the flesh▪ the flesh we are to pray, That howsoever sinne dwel in us, yet it may not reigne in our mortall body, that we should obey it in the lusts thereof, or give o [...]r members as weapons of unrighteousnesse unto sinne, Rom. 6. 12, 13. And especially, That he would not punish our sinne with sinne, giving us over to our own lusts, Psal. 81. 13. Rom. 1. 24. or to the hardnesse of our own hearts, Ephes. 4. 18. or to [...] reprobate mind, Rom. 1. 28. to commit sinne with greedinesse. But contrariwise, That [Page 414] he will give unto us his sanctifying spirit, not onely to fight against the flesh, but also to mortifie our earthly members, Col. 3. 5. as our inordinate affecti­ons and evil concupiscence; and to crucifie the flesh with the lusts thereof, Gal. 5. 24. and that being re­newed by his spirit, we may no longer be carnall men but spirituall, walking not after the flesh but after the spirit, Rom. 8. 1.

2. As touching the world; We also pray, ThatHow we must pray against the tentations of the world. we may not be carried away with the world or overcome thereby, but that by faith we may overcome the world, 1. John 5. 4. And whereas the world is said to tempt in respect either of the men or the things in the world: and whereas the men tempt ei­ther to evil of punishment and danger by captious questions, or to evil of sinne; either by bad speeches, inticing, incensing, counselling; or lewd examples: We therefore against their captions desire the spirit of wisdome, that we be not insnared; and against their offenses and scandals either in word or deed, constancy & perseverance, that we do not stumble or fall, nor be conformed to the world, Rom. 12. 2. As for the things of the world, they are either the de­sires thereof, or the terrours and crosses. In re­spect of the desires of the world, which are the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, 1. John 2. 16. the world is said especially to tempt; they being the baits of sinne and snares of the devil. Against these we pray, That we may have grace from above to renounce all worldly lusts, Tit. 2. 12. to be wained from the world, to use it as though we used it not, 1. Cor. 7. 31. to be crucified to the world and the [Page 415] world to us, Gal. 6. 14. to live as pilgrimes and stran­gers upon earth and citizens of heaven, minding heavenly things, and contemning all the desires of the world as mere vanities in comparison of heaven­ly joyes. As touching the crosses and afflictions of this life, which are worthily called tentations; We are to pray, That God will not suffer us to be tempted above our power, &c. 1. Cor. 10. 13. but that the Lord in his good time would either release us from them in whole or in part, or else arm us with patience to bear whatsoever he shall lay upon us, that we may endure tentation, and, being found approved, we may receive the crown of life, Jam. 1. 12. whereof the affli­ctions of this life are not worthy, Rom. 8. 18.

3. As concerning the tentations of the devil; WeHow we must pray against the tentations of the devil. desire that the Lord would tread Satan under our feet, Rom. 16. 20. or at the least that it would please him to arm us with the complete armour of God, that we may be able to stand against the cunning sleights, [...], of the devil, Ephes. 6. 11. and especially with faith, whereby we may quench all the fiery darts of the devil, Ephes. 6. 16.

Now in all these we are to pray, as our Savi­our teacheth us both by his example, John 17. 15. & by his precept in this place, O Lord, we do not desire not at all to be tempted, but that we may be deli­vered from evil: that is, from the tyranny of the flesh, that it hold not us captive unto sinne; from the allurements of the world, that they do not draw us unto sinne; from the assaults of the devil, that he prevail not against us; from the punishments of sin, and judgements which by sinne we deserve, so farre [Page 416] as our deliverance therefrom may stand with Gods glory and our good; and lastly, from the corruption of sinne it self; in regard whereof we desire the Lord would endue us more and more with the Spi­rit of sanctification, applying unto us the merits and efficacy of Christs death to mortifie our sinne, and of his resurrection to restore us to newnesse of life; wherein we are to proceed from faith to faith, and from one measure of grace to a greater, untill we come to a perfect man in Christ.

And as there are two degrees of our deliverance from these our spirituall enemies: the one begun and imperfect, by sanctification in this life; the other full and perfect in the life to come, which is our full redemption and glorification: So we pray, not one­ly that we may be freed from our corruptions in part, but also may be fully conformed to the glori­ous image of the Sonne of God; and therefore pray that we may be delivered from every evil thing, and be preserved to his heavenly kingdome, 2. Tim. 4. 18. whereby it appeareth, that as in the fifth petition we desired pardon of sinne and justification by faith; so here we cra [...] strength against sinne, & freedome from the corruption, and sanctification by Gods Spirit, and finally the end of our faith, which is the sal­vation of our souls: For when we pray to be deliver­ed from evil, we desire deliverance also from hell, and consequently salvation in heaven.

Now as these graces are to be asked in fervencieThat we must pray for these gra­ces in assu­rance of faith. and affection, so also in assurance of faith that we shall be heard. For as the Apostle James chap. 1. 5, 6. teacheth, If any man desire wisdome of God, wise­ly [Page 417] to endure tentation, he must ask it in faith. And to this faith the holy Ghost doth most notably encou­rage us in the Scriptures: Prov. 18. 10. The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth unto it, & in edito collocatur, and is placed on high. The Lord, saith Peter, 2. Epist. 2. 9. knoweth to deliver the godly out of [...]entation. And of our Saviour the Apo­stle saith, Heb. 2. 18. In that he suffered and was tempt­ed, he is able to succour them that are tempted. Christ hath overcome our enemies: the devil, Col. 2. 15. the world, John 16. 33. and to this end gave himself for us that he might deliver us from the hands of our spirituall enemies. He that is in us is stronger then he that is in the world, 1. John 4. 4. Neither shall any be able to pull us out of his hands, John 10. 28. Christ, whose prayer is alwayes heard, John 11. 42. hath prayed for us that our faith shall not fail, Luke 22. 32. and that we may be kept from evil, John 17. 15. The Lord hath promised, and is faithfull to perform, that he will not suffer us to be tempted above our power, but with the tentation will give an issue that we may bear it, 1. Cor. 10. 13. And finally, Joel 2. 32. he hath pro­mised, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Our faith therefore concerning assistance against tentation and deliverance from evil must be grounded not upon any conceit of our own strength or worthinesse, but on the power, mercy, faithfulnesse and truth of God in his promises, and on the mediation and intercession of Jesus Christ.

Duties to be performed in our lives.

I. Generall: 1. To avoid tentations and occasi­ons of evil; To shake off slothfulnesse, and dili­gently [Page 418] to employ our selves either in good exercises or in the works of our callings: 2. To resist tenta­tions, and to withstand them: 3. To be vigilant and watchfull, Mark 13. 33. 1. Pet. 5. 8. Ephes. 5. 15. [...], to walk circumspectly, to shake off se­curity; to keep a watch over our senses; To make a covenant with our eyes, Job 31. 1. To desire the Lord to turn away our eyes from beholding vanities, Psal. 119. 37. 4. To get unto us the whole armour of God; as, the shield of faith, &c. Ephes. 6. 12, 13, 18. 1. Thess. 5. 8.

II. More particular: 1. To deny our selves; to crucifie the fl [...]sh, and not to satisfie the lusts thereof; to abstein from fleshly lusts, 1. Pet. 2. 11. 2. To renounce the world and the desires thereof, 1. John 2. 15, 16. 3. To resist the devil; not to yield to his motions, but rather practice the contrary; not to believe his perswasions, 1. Pet. 5. 9. Jam. 4. 7. 4. To hate all sinne, as we desire to be delivered from all; To re­tein no one sinne, with Herod; To think no sinne small; To abstein also from all shew of evil, 1. Thess. 5. 22. To desire full deliverance, Phil. 1. 23. Cupio dissolvi, I desire to be dissolved. Rom. 7. 24. Quis me liberabit? Who shall deliver me?

Hypocrisie discovered.

Here then is discovered the hypocrisie of those, 1. Who pray that God would not lead them into tentation, and themselves runne into tentation; as those that go to playes and give themselves to idle­nesse; 2. Who by security and idlenesse make pre­paration for the unclean spirit, Matt. 12. 44. 3. Who take thought for the flesh to satisfie the lusts thereof, [Page 419] Rom. 13. 14. 4. Who are addicted to the world and the desires thereof, as pleasures, profits (1. Tim. 6. 9. Those that will be rich fall into tentation, &c.) and preferments; 5. Who have made a covenant with hell, Isai. 28. 15. who pray to be delivered from sin, and yet will not forsake their sinne, as their drun­kennesse, whoredome, usury, &c. but harden their hearts, and therefore shall fall into evil, Prov. 28. 14. who are so farre from desiring full deliverance from evil by their dissolution and translation out of this life, that rather they have placed their paradise here upon earth.

The Conclusion.

HItherto we have spoken of the petitions: Now followeth the Conclusion of the Lords pray­er, in these words, For thine is the kingdome, the pow­er, and the glorie, for ever and ever, Amen. For how­soeverThis conclu­sion authen­ticall and necessarie. this clause is omitted of the Latine interpret­ers, and is rejected by Erasmus, yet was it added by our Saviour, and registred by Matthew. For first, the Greek copies have it: secondly, the Syriack Paraphrast translateth it: thirdly, the Greek writers expound it; as Chrysostome and Theophylact: and fourthly it is not onely consonant with the rest of the Scriptures, but also in this prayer hath a neces­sary use. For we have heard that praise is to be joyn­ed with prayer: and in prayer two things required; fervencie, and faith: Now as the petitions especial­ly conteined a specification of our desires, so this conclusion conteineth partly a confirmation of our faith joyned with praysing God, in these words, [Page 420] For thine is the kingdome, and the power and the glorie, for ever and ever: and partly a testification both of our faith and of the truth of our desires in all the former petitions, in the word Amen.

Our Saviour teacheth us to confirm our faith byOur faith confirmed by this con­clusion by three reasons drawn from three of Gods attri­butes. three reasons. For that they be reasons the word For signifieth. And reasons they are not so much to per­swade God that he would grant our requests as to perswade and assure our selves that we shall obtein. The reasons are taken neither frō our own worthi­nesse nor from the dignitie of our prayers, (for if our faith were to be grounded thereon, we should neither dare to pray nor hope to be heard) but from the nature & attributes of God; that we might know that the obteining our requests dependeth not upon our own worth but on the power and goodnesse of God. The reasons, I say, are drawn from three attributes of God: viz. his eternall Kingdome, eternall Power, eternall Glorie. His is the kingdome: therefore he hath right to give us whatsoever we desire: His is the power and might: therefore he is able to grant our requests: His is the glory, both of giving all good things, and also of all good things given; and there­unto our requests do tend: and therefore he is ready and willing to grant our requests for the manifesta­tion of his own glorie. And this we shall the easier believe if we consider to whom we ascribe these things; namely, to our heavenly Father, whose s [...]at is in heaven, and his kingdome ruleth over all, Psal. 103. 19. who is in heaven, and doth what he will, Psal. 115. 3. who sitteth on the heavens as his throne, full of majestie and glory, and rideth on the heavens [Page 421] for our help. Neither doth the right, power and glory of giving benefits temporall and concern­ing this life alone belong unto God, but also of everlasting blessings in heavenly things after this life is ended. For his is the eternall kingdome, eter­nall power, and eternall glorie, signified in those words, for ever and ever; which are to be referred to all the three attributes.

What kingdome here signifieth.

But first of his kingdome: Which here signifieth 1. generally the universall kingdome of God, which some call the kingdome of his power, whereby he ruleth and governeth all things, Psal. 103. 19. 2. Chron. 20. 6. and in regard whereof the right of all things belongeth to him, Deut. 10. 14. Psal. 24. 1.

This then teacheth us two things: 1. That our heavenly Father is the absolute Lord and owner of all his creatures; who as he is the Creatour so is he also the possessour of heaven and earth: in whose hand all good things are to bestow as it pleaseth him. This therefore must encourage us with assu­rance of faith to make our requests to ou [...] heavenly Father, of whom we cannot ask any good thing, whether spirituall or temporall, which is not his to bestow. And therefore it is well said of Seneca, Au­dacter Deum roga, nihil eum de alieno rogaturus, Ask boldly of God, seeing thou canst ask nothing of him which belongeth to another. 2. That our heavenly Father is the sovereigne King and abso­lute Lord and Governour over all his creatures, ruling the good, and overruling the evil; to whose [Page 422] commandment all the good creatures obey, and at whose beck they are ready to do us good: And as for the wicked either men or angels; they are so overruled by the almighty providence of God, that when they seek to annoy us, they are against their purpose made the instruments of God to do us good.

And whereas our Saviour teacheth us to say,What is meant by, [...]hine is the kingdome. Thine is the kingdome, we are to observe that the kingdome of government which Kings and Princes have, it is the kingdome of God; whose ministers and leiutenants they are, Rom. 13. 4. by whom they reigne, Prov. 8. 15. and from whom all authoritie is, Rom. 13. 4. Which as it must teach them to subordinate their government unto the Lord, and in him to rule their subjects, because the kingdome which they exercise is not theirs but Gods, their judgement is not theirs but the Lords, 2. Chron. 19. 6. so doth it teach all subjects to be subject to their governours so farre forth as they are subordinate to the Lord; because in obeying them they obey the Lord, and in resisting them they resist God, Rom. 13. 2. But if Magistrates and Kings shall leave their order, in commanding that which God forbiddeth, we are bound to be subordinate to our supreme King, whose the kingdome is, in whom onely we are to obey the inferiour governours, Ephes. 5. 21. that so far forth as in obeying them we obey also the Lord, for better it is to obey God then men, Acts 4. 19. & 5. 29. And as to obey an inferiour Magistrate which rebelleth against his Prince, is to rebell with him; so to obey a Prince or Magistrate rebelling [Page 423] against God, in that wherein he rebelleth, that is, in unlawfull things which he commandeth, it is also to rebell against God. So that not onely good but also evil Princes and Magistrates are to be obeyed; but neither good nor bad, unto evil.

More especially the kingdome of God is theThe king­dome of grace and glory. kingdome of grace in this life, and the kingdome of glorie in the life to come. In the former the Lord communicateth grace to his servants, ruling in them by his word and Spirit: In the latter he com­municateth glory to his Saints, vouchsafing unto them the fruition of himself, who shall be to them all in all. Do we therefore desire grace in this life or glory in the life to come? God is the King of grace and of glory: let us sue to his throne of grace; for he will give grace and glory, and no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly, Psal. 84. 11.

Vses.

1. If God be our King, we are to be encouraged in all our necessities to call upon him: For it is the property of good kings to heare the suits of their subjects, and to relieve and defend them.

2. If he be the absolute Lord of all his creatures, and all things whatsoever be in his power and possession, then ought we not to be distrustfully carefull, but to cast our care upon God and to de­pend upon him. The earth is the Lords, and all that Psal. 24. 1. therein is. Hé is a Father that is rich towards all those which put their trust in him.

3. If God be our King, our duty is to obey him, and to behave our selves towards him as dutifull [Page 424] subjects. Why call ye me Lord, saith our Saviour, and do not the things which I command you?

What is meant by, thine is the power.

And the power, [...]. Power belongeth in someThe [...] be­tween the power of God and the creatures. degree to all creatures: but to God it is ascribed after a peculiar manner: In them it is a faculty proceeding from their nature: in God it is his essence: Theirs is a power created and received from God, Acts 17. 28. his is uncreated, eternall, and from himself: Theirs is mixt with impotencie and passive power, which maketh them subject to change: but Gods power is most perfect and pure without such mix­ture: Theirs is finite, as themselves are: but his is infinite, as himself is. And it is infinite 1. in it self: 2. in respect of the multitude of effects which he is able to work and unto which his power is extended; in which sense it is said to be infinite extensively: 3. in respect of the efficacy of working; in which regard it is infinite intensively. It is infinite exten­sively: because it is extended to all things, Matth. 19. 26. Luke 1. 37. and for that cause is called omnipo­tencie. For the Lord never doth so many or so great things, but he is able to do infinitely more and greater. His power is extended to all things which either can be done, and that is called his absolute power: or which he will do, and that is called his active or ordinary power: For whatsoever God will do that he can do; yea, by his actuall power doth it, Psal. 115. 3. but he can do many things by his abso­lute power which he will never do, Matth. 3. 9. and 26. 33. It is also infinite intensively, in respect of the efficacie of the action: For the Lord doth not [Page 425] work any thing so effectually or intensively, but he is able to effect it infinitely more effectually or in­tensively, Ephes. 3. 20.

Vses.

Uses, respecting means; I. To humble our selves under the mighty hand of God, 1. Pet. 5. 6. not to be lifted up against him with pride, nor opposed through obstinacy, 1. Pet. 5. 5. Job 9▪ 4. Rom. 9. 17. Dan. 4. 37. II. To fear God above all things, and to be afraid to offend him, Matth. 10. 28. 1. Cor. 10. 22. Are we stronger then the Lord? III. To repose trust in him, Deut. 33. 26. For if God be on our side, who can be against us? Psal. 27. 1, 2, 3. Num. 14. 9. Deut. 7. 21. Jer. 42. 11. There is no good thing but he is able to effect it; no evil, but he is able to deli­ver us from it. No creature can help us unlesse God use it as his instrument for our good: no crea­ture can hurt us unlesse God use it as the rod of his anger. The devil is strong; but he is not able to pull us out of Gods hands, nor yet to hinder or stop the course of Gods blessings towards us.

Vses respecting faith; I. To confirm it in believing any article of our faith; as, of the resurrection, Matth. [...]2. 29. II. To confirm our faith in the pro­mises of God, Luke 1. 37. Rom. 4. 19, 20, 21. III. In prayer. For which purpose it is here alledged, Matt. 8. 2. 2. Chron. 20. 6. & 14. 11, 12. Ephes. 3. 20. IV. In the assurance of perseverance unto salvation, 1. Pet. 1. 5. Rom. 14. 4. John 10. 29. 2. Tim. 1. 12.

What is meant by, thine is the glory.

And the glory] Whereby is meant honour and praise, 1. Tim. 1. 17. For to him belongeth the glory, [Page 426] honour and prayse of bestowing all good things: He is the fountain and authour of every good gift, Jam. 1. 17. His is the glory of hearing and granting our prayers, Psal. 65. 2. And to his glory whatsoever we ask according to his will doth especially tend. Therefore as by his kingdome a [...]d power he is able, so for his glory he is ready and willing to grant our requests which we make according to this direction of our Saviour. For what Christ hath taught us to ask in his name, that the Lord hath promised to give for his sake, in whom all the promises of God are Yea and Amen, to his glory, 2. Cor. 1. 20.

This therefore serveth to confirm our faith. For doubtlesse such things as tend to his glory he will grant: especially considering it is his glory to heare the prayers of his servants, and seeing to him be­longeth the glory of giving every good gift: but these things which we ask according to our Saviours direction do tend to the glory of God, and to that end we ask them: therefore we may be assured that he will grant our requests so far forth as they stand with his glory.

Now whereas our Saviour directed us to make this our first suit, That Gods name may be glorified, and now teacheth us to make his glory the reason of our prayers; this sheweth, That the glory of God should be the main end of all our desires, for which we should affect them, and unto which when we have obteined them we should referre them, 1. Chron. 16. 35. Psal. 50. 15. And forasmuch as the glory is the Lords, which he will not have commu­nicated to any other, Isai. 42. 8. therefore we are to [Page 427] call upon him alone, as being the onely fountain of every good gift, the onely hearer of our prayers. Of which glory we rob the Lord, if we direct our pray­ers to any other. And as we are not to give his glo­ry to any other, so we are not to take it to our selves: For seeing the glory is the Lords, therefore vainglo­rious persons seek to rob God of that glory which is proper to him, and to assume it to themselves. But we must say with David, Psal. 115. 1. Not unto us, O Lord, &c. and with Daniel, chap. 9. 7. Righteousnesse, O Lord, belongeth unto thee, and to us shame, &c.

But we ascribe unto the Lord not onely king­dome,Everlasting kingdome power and glory be­longeth to God. power and glory, but also an everlasting king­dome, an eternall power, and immortall glory. For as Moses saith, Psal. 90. 2. He is God from everlasting to everlasting; he is King for ever. Therefore he hath right not onely in this life to crown us with his bles­sings, but after this life he hath an everlasting king­dome to bestow upon us, Luke 12. 32. unto which he is able and willing to bring us by his power ever­lasting, to the immortall glory of his mercy.

Now these reasons as they must be propoundedThese word [...] are a form of praising God. in faith, so also with chearfulnesse, as a consequent thereof. And when they are chearfully uttered, they are not onely reasons of our requests, but also a no­table form of praysing God: which our Saviour hath taught us to joyn with our prayer. And so the holy Ghost hath directed us elsewhere; as Col. 4. 2. Phil. 4. 6.

And that this is a form of prayse and thanksgi­ving, appeareth by other places of Scripture, where the men of God setting themselves of purpose to [Page 428] prayse God have used the very like form: As Da­vid, 1. Chron. 29. 10, 11, 12. and Psal. 145. 10. and 11. 12, 13. Revel. 7. 12. Jude v. 25. Revel. 4. 11.

Vses.

Duties concerning prayer. 1. That we pray to God, and him alone. Whereof a reason is conteined in these words, For his is the kingdome, &c. 2. That we pray in faith; seeing our heavenly Father, whose is the kingdome, power, and glory, is both able and willing to grant our requests. 3. That with our prayer we joyn prayse and thanksgiving; which in this short form is not omitted.

Duties in our lives.

1. To arrogate nothing to our selves, but to ascribe all kingdome, power and glory to the Lord, Psal. 29. 1, 2. and 115. 1. and of all good things received to ascribe the praise to God. 2. If God be our King, then must we behave our selves as du­tifull and obedient subjects: If his be the power, then are we both to fear him and to trust in him: If his be the glorie, then of him must we beg all good things, and to his glory must all be referred: If his power, kingdome and glorie be everlasting, then are we taught whom to fear, whom to serve, whom to trust in; namely, him that is able not onely in this life to blesse us, but also after to crown us with im­mortall glorie in his eternall kingdome. If we serve the flesh, the devil, the world, we shall have the mo­mentanie fruition of sin, and after this life is ended eternall torments. God liveth for ever, as to crown eternally the godly, so to punish the wicked eternal­ly. He then will exclude them out of his kingdome, [Page 429] and will be of power to destroy both body and soul in hell; and he will glorifie his justice in their end­lesse confusion.

Hypocrifie discovered.

But here the hypocrisie of men is to be discover­ed, who ascribe kingdome to God, and yet obey him not; power, and fear him not; glory, and glorifie him not: and they adde all these reasons to their pe­titions, as if they should say, Thou, Lord, wilt grant our requests; for thine is the kingdome, power and glory for ever, and yet do not believe that the Lord will grant their requests.

Amen.

And so much of the confirmation of our faith.What Amen importeth and signifi­eth. Now followeth the testification both of our faith and of the truth of our defire in the word Amen. For it importeth the assent of the heart to the words of our mouth: and it signifieth truly; or, even so; or, as the Grecians sometimes translate it, [...], So be it.

The meaning of it is thus much, as if we should say, As I have made th [...]se requests unto thee, O Lord, so do I both unfeignedly desire the performance of them (Let them, O Lord, be granted, 1. Kings 1. 36.) and also tru­ly believe that thou in thy good time wilt grant my de­sires so farre forth as they stand with thy glory and my good: and in this perswasion I rest, attending thy good pleasure. And as I have ascribed unto thee kingdome, power and glorie, so I do both unfeignedly acknowlcdge that thine alone is the kingdome, &c. and also heartily de­sire that I and all others may truly and effectually ascribe unto thee everlasting kingdome, power and glorie. For [Page 430] being annexed unto prayer, it signifieth both the truth and earnestnesse of our desire, and also the as­sent of faith laying hold on the promises of God made in Christ to our prayers. And being added to thanksgiving, it signifieth both the truth of our assertion in ascribing praise to God, and also a true desire and zeal of Gods glory.

Hence therefore we may learn again those dutiesDuties to be p [...]rformed. which heretofore have been taught: 1. That we call upon the Lord with unfeigned lips and upright hearts, truly desiring those things with our hearts which we ask with our mouthes, and being tru­ly thankfull for those things for which we give thanks. 2. We must strive against our infidelitie and doubting, Psal. 42. 12. and must truly believe that the Lord will grant our requests so farre forth as they stand with his glorie and our good; other­wise we cannot say, Amen. 3. We are to rest in the good pleasure of God with assurance expecting his grace and help, Psal. 123. 2. and 3. 4, 5. and 4. 9. And thus our Saviour hath taught us with this word to seal up our prayer: Which therefore is not unworthily of some called Signaculum orationis Hie [...]on. Dominicae, the seal of the Lords prayer. For he that truly believeth that the Lord doth heare him, and goeth away resting in his goodnesse, putting his Amen to Christs Amen, John 16. 23. he hath set to his seal that God is true in his promises, and that to the Lord belongeth kingdome, power, and glory for ever.

But here see the hypocrisie of men, who sayHypocrisie discovered. Amen, but pray not from their hearts, nor truly de­sire [Page 431] that which with words they ask, nor are thank­full for that for which they would seem to give thanks; neither do they believe that God will grant their requests: and therefore though they say, Amen, yet therein they lie unto God.

[...].

FINIS.

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