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There is nothing more proper than the consideration of our Father's being in Heaven to wean our affections from this world, and make us gasp after the next; it reminds us of the shortness and uncertainty of earthly things, where we have no continuing city, and that an inheritance is to be fought by us in Heaven; for our Father is in Heaven, and where he is there should we defire to be also.
I shall conclude this discourse with sum
ming up the full sense of the words we have been considering, according to the explication given of them, and which, by way of Paraphrase, may run thus :
O, thou great and gracious Being, who haft purchased to thyself the name of Father of all men and things by Creation and Preservation, of all men in general by
Redemption, Redemption, and of all Christians in
particular by Regeneration and Adoption, who haft all the perfections which an earthly parent can have in an infinite degree, and art entirely free from all their blemishes, who, in respect of the diffusion of thy prefence art every where, in respect of the operations of thy grace doft dwell in good men, and in respect of the manifestation of thy Majesty art said to be in Heaven, we come before Thee, as commanded by thy blessed Son, to petition for the relief of our wants, and the pardon of our fins, bringing with us those affections which the confideration of a Father, and of a Father which is in Heaven, ought to breed in the breasts of his children. When we consider thy infinite Majesty, Power, and Justice, we are struck with the most pious humility, reverence, and fear, are actuated with the most firm resolutions of obedience; VOL. IV.
when we contemplate thy goodness, wisdom, and knowledge, we feel the most exalted sentiments of love and gratitude, submission and resignation, confidence and sincerity; when we reflect on thy example we are inspired with an universal love and charity for all men; when we consider that the Heavens are thy habitation, we look with indifference on things of this life, and desire to enjoy complete happiness with thee in Heaven; and in order to ensure ourselves à place there, we make these affections the ruling principles of our lives and conversations; we always fet thy example before our eyes, and make, as children ought, the imitation of our Father's perfections the chief study of our thoughts, the chief purport of our words, the chief business of our actions, the chief happiness of our lives.
Now to God the Father, &c.
MATTHEW vi. 9th.
Hallowed be. thy Name.
UR Saviour having directed his dif
ciples to whom they were to offer their prayers, and by what .name more especially they should approach him, pro-, ceeds to direct them likewise for what things they should pray to him, and in what order their petitions should be presented, beginning with “ Hallowed be thy Name.” A petition which, as it naturally arises out of the words which went before, so doth it very properly precede and obtain the preference over all that follow after.
When we receive any great and materiał obligations from Man, when we are unexpectedly relieved from any great distress, or delivered from any impending danger, the first motion of the soul is all hurry and confusion, a mixture of pain and pleasure rather to be felt than described. But when these first transports are over, when Reason resumes her seat, and Reflexion succeeds, the first enquiry of a grateful foul is this : I have received an obligation, how halt I return it? If that appears impoffible, all that a generous benefactor will require, all that a grateful foul can do, and more than she can sometimes express, is to acknowledge her obligations, and to lay, I thank thee.
Thus it is between us and God: when we have thoroughly weighed and examined the great and material benefits conferred