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10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.
“Thy kingdom come. The word 'kingdom' here means reign. Note Matt. iii. 2. The petition is the expression of a wish that God may reign every where; that his laws may be obeyed; and especially that the gospel of Christ may be advanced every where, till the world shall be filled with his glory. "Thy will be done. The will of God is, that men should obey his law, and be holy. To pray, then, that his will may be done on earth as in heaven, is to pray that his law, his revealed will, may be obeyed and loved. His law is perfectly obeyed in heaven, and his true children most ardently desire and pray that it may also be done on the earth.
The object of these three first petitions is, that God's name should be glorified, and his kingdom established; and by being placed first, we learn that his glory and kingdom are of more consequence than our wants, and that these should be first in our hearts and petitions before a throne of grace.
11 Give us this day our daily bread. The word 'bread,' here, denotes, doubtless, every thing necessary to sustain life, Matt. iv. 4. Deut. viii. 3. This petition implies our dependence on God for the supply of our wants. As we are dependent on him one day as much as another, it was evidently the intention of our Saviour that prayer should be offered every day. This is, moreover, expressed in the plural number-'Give us.' It is therefore evident that this prayer is a strong implied command for daily family prayer.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
We have not met the claims of God's law. We have violated its obligations. We are exposed to its penalty. We are guilty. And God only can forgive in the same way as none but a creditor can forgive a debtor. Debts' here, therefore, mean sins, or offences against God-offences which none but God can forgive. The measure by which we may expect forgiveness is that which we use in reference to others. See Ps. xviii. 25, 26. Matt. xviii. 23. Mark xi. 25. This is the invariable rule by which God dispenses pardon. He that comes before him unwilling to forgive, harbouring dark and revengeful thoughts, how can he expect that God will show him that mercy which he is unwilling to show to others? If we cannot from the heart forgive them, we have no reason to expect that God will ever forgive us.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
And lead us not into temptation.'. A petition similar to this is offered by David, Ps. cxli. 4. God tempts no man. See james i. 13. This phrase, then, must be used in the sense of permitting: Do not suffer us, or permit us, to be tempted to sin. in this it is implied that God has such control over us and the tempter, as to save us from it if we call upon him.
Deliver us from evil.' The original, in this place, has the article-deliver us from the evil; that is, the evil one, or Satan. He is elsewhere called, by way of eminence, the evil one, Matt. xiii. 19. 1 John ii. 13, 14; iii. 12. Deliver us from his power, his snares, his arts, his temptations. He is supposed to be the great parent of evil, and to be delivered from him is to be safe. * Thine is the kingdom. That is, Thine is the reign or dominion. Thou hast control over all these things, and canst so order them as to answer these petitions. Thine is the power.' Thou hast power to accomplish what we ask.. Thou art Almighty, and all things are possible with thee. Thine is the glory. That is, Thine is the honour or praise. Not our honour; but thy glory, thy goodness, will be displayed in providing for our wants; thy power, in defending us; thy praise, in causing thy kingdom to spread through the earth.
This doxology, or ascription of praise, is connected with the prayer by the word 'for, to signify that all these things—the reign, power, and glory of God—will be manifested by granting these petitions. His glory is, then, the first and principal thing which we are to seek when we approach him. We are to suffer our concerns to be sunk and lost sight of in the superior glory and honour of his name and dominion. We are to seek temporal and eternal life chiefly because the honour of our Maker will be promoted: and his name be more illustriously displayed to his creatures. Approaching him with these feelings, our prayers will be answered, our devotions will rise like incense, and the listing up our hands will be like the evening sacrifice.
Amen. This is a word of Hebrew origin, from a verb sig. nifying to be firm, secure, to be true and faithful. It is a wora expressing consent or strong approbation, a word of strong asseveration. It means verily, certainly, so be it.
14 For, if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
“Trespasses.' Offences, faults. To forgive others when they offend or injure us. This is constantly required in the bible. Our Saviour says we should forgive even if the offence be committed seventy times seven times, Matt. xviii. 22.
16 . Moreover, when ye fast, be not as the hypo
crites, of a sad countenance : for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily, I say unto you, They have their reward.
The word 'fast literally signifies to abstain from food and drink, whether from necessity, or as a religious observance. It is, however, commonly applied in the bible to the latter. It is, then, an expression of grief or sorrow. Such is the constitution of the body, that in a time of grief or sorrow we are not disposed to eat. Fasting, then, is the natural expression of grief. This is the foundation of its being applied to religion as a sacred rite. It is because the soul, when oppressed and burdened by a sense of sin, is so filled with grief that the body refuses food. It is, therefore, appropriated always to scenes of penitence, of godly sorrow, of suffering, and to those facts and scenes of religion that are fitted to produce grief, as the prevalence of iniquity, or some dark impending calamity, or storm, or tempest, pestilence, plague, or famine.
The Jews fasted often. They had four annual fasts—in memory of the capture of Jerusalem, Jer. lii. 7 ; of the burning of the temple, Jer. lí. 12; of the death of Gedaliah, Jer. xli. 1, 2; and of the commencement of the attack on Jerusalem, Zech. viii. 19. In addition to these they had a multitude of occasional fasts. It was customary, also, for the pharisees to fast twice a week, Luke xviii. 12. Of a sad countenance.' That is, sour, morose, assumed expressions of unfelt sorrow. They disfigure their faces.' That is, they do not anoint and wash themselves as usual; they are uncombed, filthy, and haggard. It is said that they were often in the habit of throwing ashes on their heads and faces; and this mixing with their tears, seemed still farther to disfigure their faces. So much pains will men take, and so much suffering will they undergo, and so much that is ridiculous will men assume, in their foolish attempts to impose on God and
But they deceive neither. Hypocrites overact their part. Not having the genuine principles of piety at heart, they know not its proper expression, and hence appear contemptible and abominable.
17 But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thy head, and wash thy face; 18 That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father, which is in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
That is, appear as you do daily. Do not assume any new appearance, or change your visage or dress. The Jews and all neighbouring nations were much in the habit of washing and anointing their bodies. This washing was performed at every
meal; and where it could be effected, the head, or other parts of the body, was daily anointed with sweet, or olive oil.
The meaning of this whole commandment is—When you regard it to be your duty to fast, do it as a thing expressing deep feeling, or sorrow for sin, or calamity; not by assuming unfelt gravity and moroseness, but in your ordinary dress and appearance ; not to attract attention, but as an expression of feeling towards God.
19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal :
As the orientalists delighted in display, in splendid equipage, and costly garments, their treasures consisted much in beautiful and richly ornamented articles of apparel. See Gen. xlv. 22. Josh. vii. 21. Judges xiv. 12. This fact will account for the use of the word 'moth. When we speak of wealth, we think at once of gold, and silver, and lands, and houses. When a Hebrew or an orientalist spoke of wealth, he thought first of what would make display; and included, as an essential part, splendid articles of dress. The moth would destroy their apparel, the rust their silver and gold; thus all their treasure would waste away.
20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.. ‘Lay up treasures in heaven.'
Do not exhaust all your strength, and spend your days, in providing for the life here, but let your chief anxiety be to be prepared for eternity. To have treasure in heaven, is to possess evidence that its purity and joys will be ours; to be heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away. The heart, or affections, will of course be fixed on the treasure. To regulate the heart, it is therefore important that the treasure, or object of attachment, should be right.
22. The light of the body is the eye : if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil
, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness !
* The light of the body,' &c. When the eye is directed singly and steadily towards an object, and is in health, or is single, every thing is clear and plain. If it is diseased, nothing is seen clearly, every thing is dim and confused. The man, therefore, is unsteady. The eye regulates the motion of the body. To see clearly, to have an object distinctly in view, is necessary to correct and regulate action. So Jesus says, in order that the conduct may be right, it is important to fix the affections on heaven. Having the affections there-having the eye of faith single, steady, unwavering—the whole body, all the conduct, will be correspondent. “Thy body shall be full of light.' Your conduct will be regular and steady. All that is neediul to direct the body is that the eye be fixed right. No other light is required. So all that is needful to direct the soul and the conduct is that the eye of faith be fixed on heaven, that the affections be there. "If therefore the light that is in thee,' &c. The meaning of this passage may be thus expressed : The light of the body, the guide and director, is the eye. All know how calamitous it is when that light is irregular or extinguished, when the eye is diseased or lost. So the light that is in us is the soul. 11 that soul is debased by attending exclusively to earthly objectsif it is diseased, and not fixed on heaven-how much darker and more dreadful will it be than any darkness of the eye!
24 | No man can serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other; orelse he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
Christ proceeds to illustrate the necessity of laying up treasures in heaven from a well known fact, that a servant cannot serve two masters at the same time, especially when their characters are ofposite. His affections and obedience would be divided, and he would fail altogether in his duty to one or the other. This is a law of human nature. The supreme affections can be fixed on only one object. So, says Jesus, the servant of God cannot at the same time obey him and be avaricious, or seek treasures supremely on earth. One interferes with the other, and one will be and must be surrendered. Mammon.' Mammon is a Syriac word, a name given to an idol worshipped as the god of riches. See Luke xvi. 9-11.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment ?
The general design of the paragraph, 25—34, which closes the chapter, is to warn his disciples against avarice, and undue anxiety about the supply of their wants. This Christ does by four arguments or considerations, expressing by unequalled beauty and force, the duty of depending for the things which we need on the