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daily bread :
he might also have noted “ the fact,” And forgive us our And forgive us our
that the Scriptures are equally silent debts”as we forgive our sins as we also forgive debtors :
levery one that is indebt. | as to their using it before Pentecost, ed to us :
and that what would thus prove too And lead us not into And lead us not into much would prove nothing. temptation, but deliver temptation.
It is urged that the prayer could us from evil.
not have been intended for our times, The words in Matthew, “For thine | because it would be manifestly wrong is the kingdom, and the power, and for us to pray “ Thy kingdom come,” the glory for ever, amen” - and the knowing the Messiah's kingdom came words in Luke, "our," " who art in long ago. For answer to this, I beg heaven," “ thy will be done as in to refer to Scripture Difficulties No. heaven so in earth," “ but deliver us 12, (Christian Messenger, vol. ix. p. from evil”-are admitted to be human 26) where it is shown that in this additions, not being found in the most prayer Jesus does not teach to pray ancient MSS.
for Messiah's kingdom, but to say, The main design of the Lord very “ Father, the kingdom come;" and clearly is, that liis disciples having the coming of the Father's kingdom first forgiven all men, should, in few being still future, is still a proper obwords, and in secret, state their desires ject of desire and prayer, and is still and wants to their Father in heaven, equivalent to our saying “ Come, (who already knows them all) and Lord Jesus." should steadily persevere in such Against the use of the words, “ thy prayer while wishes and wants con- will be done,” it has been objected, tinue, assured that what is good shall that as Jesus came from heaven to do be granted.
the will of God, and did it fully by Respecting the one extreme we his obedience unto the death of the learn from the context, that Jesus' cross 1800 years ago, we could not disciples must not pray in order to be now with propriety pray that it may admired by men ; nor must they use be again done. Now admitting all vain repetitions, in order to be heard this, it will occur to each reader that for much speaking. We therefore there is another will of God to be conclude, that neither the five-times- done, not by Christ, but by disciples reading of this prayer in each public of Christ, and from their hearts, in a 6 service,” nor the too-much-like- | life of loving obedience to Him who mimicry of responsive repetition, is in died for us. The next words, “ on accordance with the will of Christ. earth as in heaven," plainly tell us
Respecting the other extreme, it who are to do this will — because no may be remarked, that the rejectors such thing as Christ doing the Faof this prayer have been often asked ther's will by suffering for sin was for scriptural proof that it was merely ever done in heaven ; and because in intended for the use of Jesus' disciples heaven the Father's will is accomuntil the commencement of Messiah's plished by holy angels “ doing his reign ; but have been asked in vain. commandments, hearkening to the Indeed, one of our rejecting brethren voice of his word.” The prayer, acknowledges “the only proof that it therefore, desires that His will may be was not intended for after time, is the so done on earth by followers of Christ. fact the apostles never used it after Against the petition, “Give us this Pentecost.” We might respectfully day our daily bread," it has been ask, how could this brother know urged that generally our pantries and they never used it after Pentecost ? larders are supplied for the day at If he merely presumes they did not least, and that it would surely be imbecause they have not mentioned it, proper to ask God to give what we
already possess. Now this, although Thus, patient reader, the objectors in appearance pious, is in fact an im- to this prayer, and their reasons, have peachment of the wisdom of Jesus ; had a hearing. But such objections, for if improper now, the petition was and such reasons ! A man might well improper when taught by the Lord feel ashamed of having made or given which, if not blasphemy, is very like one of them, for more puerile objecit. The intelligent will be aware that tions and more childish reasons surely in these words we ask for the morrow's never escaped human lips. May the bread, (implying all that is needful result of this hearing be a putting for the body) in humble dependence, away of such cavillings, and a cordial and in entire coufidence, that our adoption and use of the prayer, as Father is both able and willing to being the wisdom of God in the words supply our every want.
of Christ, given us in the Holy Spirit's Against the petition, “ Forgire us records, that we may be enabled to our debts," it has been objected that ask and have. God, for Christ's sake, forgave all our We need not seek for the main trespasses when we believed in and cause of dislike to this “ perfection of put on Christ. To this we, indeed, prayer.” It is its imperative requiregladly subscribe, as being the first soul ment that we should first fully forgive delighting truth of the gospel. But every child of man! Pride cherishes there is a second truth, equally de- envy and rancour. What is called lighting, namely — that if, after put- high-mindedness is deemed a virtue ting on Christ, we fall into sin, (and by the world ; but the highest mind who does not ?) we have a throne of must become low in Christ — must grace to go to, and have there an Ad- stoop to forgive others' sins and convocate with the Father, who, on our fess its own, or remain unpardoned. fully forgiving others, and confessing But may not a “ proper spirit” be our offences to Him, is faithful and cherished ? No! A little mental just to forgive us. We know little of reservation ? Nothing of the kind : ourselves if unaware, that every day all anger, ill-will, grudge, and malice, of our lives, we have more or less with all uncharitableness, must be need to come to the mercy seat, and cleared away, and every injury of to ask our Father's forgiveness through every shade be frankly forgiven before Him who intercedes.
we can pray this prayer. It is true, Against the petition, “ Lead us not we may cheat ourselves ; but God into temptation," it has been objected we cannot cheat! This, which is in
-the Father leads none into tempta- | deed the pinching condition and diffition, “ neither tempteth he any man.” culty even with disciples, is, in the This, also, seeks to make the objector Lord's estimation, the main feature of wiser than Jesus ; for if wrong now, the prayer, as appears from his words it was wrong when he taught it ! following it, (Mat. vi. 14) “ For if ye The objection discovers overweening | forgive men their trespasses, your conceitof self-sufficiency and firmness. Heavenly Father will also forgive Poor Peter had similar conceit when you ; but if ye forgive not men their he said, “ I am ready to go with thee trespasses, neither will your Heato prison and to death ;" but a girl's venly Father forgive your trespasses." question soon scared him into “I know We cannot reverently consider this not the man !” The Lord knew his model prayer without exclaiming, and our weakness better than he or What conciseness without obscurity! we, and therefore appointed this comprehensiveness coupled with simpetition – which may be rendered, plicity! the sublimity of heaven mer“Bring us not into sore trial, but break cifully adapted to worms of earth! all the bands of evil.”
The whole prayer seems expressed in
the words, “ our Father,” as the rela- of Christ. 2nd, in the commission tion of a father to us his children is ex given to his eleven when about to ashibited in the three desires which are cend to his throne, he says, “ Teach expressions of our love, and in the three them (baptized believers) to observe petitions which speak our confidence all things whatsoever I have comin his love to us. The three desires manded you.” This prayer, in both exercise our faith, hope, and love. | the forms, was among these comIn faith we say, “i our Father" – in manded things. It was commanded hope, “ thy kingdom come”- and in on two different occasions, and it was love, “ thy will be done on earth.” urged by different motives, yet was The first desire excites our zeal for the same prayer. We can only conthe glory of His great name : the se- clude it was intended for all Jesus' cond carries us forward to the grand disciples ; it was, therefore, intended consummation in heaven : while the for us. third enlarges the benevolent wish of On the mount the Lord gave this our hearts to the extent of universal prayer for the closet-for expressing obedience below. The first petition our desires and wants to the Father inspires a child-like dependence upon in secret. At or near Jerusalem he our Father's daily kindness and care ;) presents it as a social prayer for the the second fills us with self-abasement, assemblies of his saints. In private forgiveness for others, and assurance and in public, then, let all exclusive of God's forgiving love to us; and and selfish thoughts be put from us, the third impresses us with a sense of and let us embrace the whole houseour weakness, a fear of being unequal hold of God in addressing “ Our to trial, a desire not to be abandoned | Father.” to temptation, and an entreaty to be
J. DAVIES. preserved from evil and the evil one. It is a doubly blessing prayer-blessing us first with heavenly dispositions, ACTS OF APOSTLES. and secondly with the asked for mer
SECTION 11. cies. It is, indeed, a petition on our behalf, drawn up for us by the King
In this section of church history, we of Kings himself, to be presented
have the most glorious developthrough himself to His and our Fa ments. The scene is in Jerusalem. ther, and therefore must prevail ! Its date, the day of Pentecost. The Is there, then, no Scripture autho
audience in its amplitude and rity for rejecting this prayer ? The
variety is presented. Peter's dismost eagle-eyed have not found any. But there are at least two positive
course, and the circumstances that proofs that it was intended to be used elicit it, are next stated. Then we by disciples to the end of time. 1st, have the results, the conversion the Lord taught this prayer in his of three thousand souls. The new sermon on the mount; and he con
organization is then detailed, and cludes that sermon with these memor
the state and character of its able words, " Whosoever shall hear these sayings of mine, (this prayer
members. being one of the sayings) and shall do them, I will liken him to a wise man,” | 1 II.—And when the day of Pente&c. This is decisive that the prayer, cost was fully come, they were all as well as the rest of the sermon, is
1. “ Day of Pentecost.”—This was the applicable to the faithful in all suc
fiftieth day from the morrow after the Sabbath ceeding ages ; and that we ought to in the Passover week. The Passover week beplace ourselves among the “wise men” 'gan on the 15th day of the month Abib, at 6 2 unanimously assembled in the same the house where they were sitting.
place : and on a sudden, there was 3 And there appeared to them a sound from heaven, as of a rush-| tongues resembling fire, distinctly
ing violent wind; and it filled all separated, and it rested upon each o'clock in the evening, aud continued to the of the Spirit, the second harvest, both happen22nd day of said month. The Paschal lamb ing on the first day of the weck, a day truly was killed during the afternoon of the 14th sacred amongst all Christians. day, but eaten on the evening of the 15th. It is alleged that the Lord descended to The Jewish day being counted from sunset to Mount Sinai, in Arabia, on the fiftieth day sunset, the lamb was eaten not long after the after the first Passover; and therefore, the day beginning of the 15th day, soon after sunset. of setting up the legal institution was the first But it might be eaten at any time within the Pentecost, as the day of setting up the Chris24 hours of that day.
tian institution by the descent of the Holy The first day of the Passover week was Spirit was certainly the last Pentecost. always solemnized as a Sabbath, come on what * The usual way of reckoning these fifty days, day of the week it might. On the 16th day, ) is :--The Paschal lamb was killed on the 14th or the morrow after this Sabbath, was the | day of the 1st month; consequently, there were ordinance of the wave-sheaf of the first fruits seventeen days in the first month unexpired, of the barley harvest—the first harvest in including the day on which it was killed ; thirty Canaan, as well as in most other countries. in the second. They arrived at Mount Sinai Levit. xxiii. 10-14.
on the third month; say, on the first day of From the second day of the Passover week the third month, for we are not positively told; they counted seven full weeks, or fifty days in and after two days' preparation, making in all cluding it, for the FEAST OF WEEKS, or the forty-nine days from the Passover, on the next Pentecost. On this day was offered before day, the third of the month, the Lord descended the Lord at the Temple the first fruits of the and gave the law to Moses. wheat harvest. Two loaves out of the new “The day of Pentecost being fully come"crop were on that day offered to the Lord as the i. e. the morning of that day~"they were all first fruits of that harvest. Deut. xvi. 9-12. assembled” in the same large upper room.
The Jewish festivals were regulated by the Ancient traditions say that this upper room moon. National observers of the moon, was on Mount Zion, where a Christian comlocated in Jerusalem and commissioned by the munity afterwards erected a house of worship. government, publicly announced the first ap-| There is no evidence that it was in the Temple. pearance of the new moon in the month Abib. 3. “ Separated tongues, as of fire”—There Suppose that in any year, the new moon first was a resemblance of numerous glowing tongues appeared on the 21st of March, in the Jewish of fire on the persons of the Apostles, divided month Abib; then the Passover being the 14th or separated from one another, probably on all day after, would be held on the 4th day of the company, indicative of the gifts of the April. The 5th day of April would then be languages bestowed, and of the quickening the first day of the Passover week; and on the power of the Spirit about to be displayed through 6th they would present the first fruits. Then the words spoken by them on that occasion. on the 19th day after that (May 25th) would Our Lord promised the Apostles that they be the Pentecost, because this would be the should speak in tongues or “ languages unfiftieth day from the morrow after the Sab- known to them before.” As God had, by dibath, or the 16th day of the first month. viding human language, dispersed the nations Seven full weeks must transpire between the and greatly dissociated them, the gospel being two offerings-between the first fruits of the designed to bring them back to God and to barley harvest and the first fruits of the wheat associate them in one community, is immeharvest.
diately communicated to all nations by giving It is remarkable that in the last Passover to its heralds the power of overcoming all week observed by our Saviour, the second day difficulties occasioned by the various and nuof the Passover week was the seventh day, or merous dialects of the nations. the Jewish Sabbath. He died on the first day The varieties of tongues bestowed seems to of the Passover week, being Friday about have equalled the number of dialects spoken by 3 o'clock. He was buried about four; and the audience. They all heard in their own having laid in the grave some 36 hours, arose tougues the wonderful works of God. Modern on the morrow after the Sabbath, the first day | impostors have betrayed as much ignorance as of our week, very early in the morning. This impiety in pretending to speak in tongues brought the day of Pentecost in that year to unknown to their hearers. The Apostles always the morrow after the Jewish Sabbath, to the spoke in tongues known to their hearers. first day of the week. So that we have the 3. “ It sat upon each of them" - The first fruits of the bodies of the saints in the antecedent to “it is not the Holy Spirit, as resurrection of the Messiah, and the first fruits some suppose; nor each of the tongues, as
4 of them : and they were all filled Jerusalem pious men ; Jews from
with the Holy Spirit, and began 6 every nation under heaven : and to speak in other languages, as when this report came abroad, the
the Spirit gave them utterance. multitude assembled, and were 5 Now there were sojourning in confounded; for every one heard
them speaking in his own dialect. others suppose; but the phenomenon, the!
7 And they were all astonished, and
And they were appearance, or the display, was upon the whole assembly present the one hundred and twenty
wondered, saying one to another, disciples.
Behold ! are not these that speak, 4. “ They were all filled with the Holy 8 Galileans ! And how do we every Spirit"--All were enraptured with light and one hear in his own native lanlove. The one hundred and twenty were in
9 guage :- Parthians, and Medes, an ecstacy from the new developments and inspirations of the Holy Spirit. "They were
and Elamites, and those that incongratulating one another as participants of habit Mesopotamia, and Judea, the blessings of the new and better institution. 10 and Cappadocia. Pontus, and Asia, They spoke to each other in the presence of Phrygia, and Pamphilia, Egypt, the spectators and auditors, in languages un
and the parts of Africa, which are known to them before, as the Spirit gave them utterance. The matter was immediately di
about Cyrene : Roman strangers, vulged. A multitude assembled. They con- | 11 also, both Jews and proselytes ; tinued to descant upon the wonderful works of Cretes, and Arabians; we hear God in all the inysteries of the new and everlasting covenant as consummated in the murder It stood in north latitude 31.50. 23 miles of the Messiah. They did all this in the lan- from the Jordan, and 42 east of the Mediterguages of the mixed multitude, without at all ranean, 102 from Damascus, and 150 from the addressing them. The concourse was all in Eleanitic gulf of the Red Sea. It was built suspense, not knowing what all this meant. | upon four hills, Sion, Acra, Moriah, and Some ignorant and wicked persons said they Bezetha. Its foundation is a rock, somewhat were all drunken with new wine. This called calcareous, called anciently Moriah, or Vision, forth a speech from Peter, in which, simul- because visible at a great distance. Surrounded, taneously arising, the eleven Apostles partici except on the north, by a deep valley, and enpate, he speaking in one tongue, probably the compassed with hills in the form of an amphiSyro-Chaldiac, then spoken in the city, and theatre. Its topography we cannot farther they in the languages of the foreigners in at- detail. Of the modern Jerusalem we have tendance. This speech was addressed not to
many accounts, not necessary, however to the brethren, but to the world. This is the illustrate the original seat of Christianity. first evangelical discourse ever spoken after the Our religion began at Jerusalem, not at Messiah was glorified. It is the first full Rome, Damascus, or Constantinople. development of the gospel.
9-11. This highly favored audience was 5. “ Dwelling at Jerusalem.”—This was convened from all the world - from Asia, the city of Melchizedek, who was titled King Africa, and Europe. There were the remote of Salem, as well as Prince of Righteousness, be- Parthians and Medes from the sonth and west cause righteousness and peace are inseparable. of the Caspian Sea, and from both sides of the
It was founded in the 15th year of Abraham, Armenian mountains. There were the Perin the year of the world 2023. About á sians, called Elamites, from the confines of century after it was taken by the Jebusites. ancient India. There, too,&he Mesopotamians They erected a castle on Mount Zion, and from between the Euphrates and the Tigris, called it Jebus. Joshua, during his wars, killed together with the people of Pontus from the its king, chapter x. 23. He did not, however, shores of the Euxine, and those from Cappadocia dispossess the Jebusites. They held it in and Proconsular Asia. The Phrygians, Pamcommon with the Jews till David drove them phylians, Judeans, with much of Asia Major out and made it the capital of his kingdom. were represented there. The sons of Africa, It was then called Jebus-Salem; but for the also, partook of the honors, of that day. sake of euphony, it was called Jerusalem. It Egypt, Cyrene, and Lybia, had then their held its sovereignity for 477 years. It was deputations at Jerusalem. Europe, too, had then sacked and destroyed by the king of Baby- her Roman strangers, both Jews and proselytes, lon, and lay in ruins for 70 years. Žerubbabel with the Islanders of the Mediterranean. and his companions rebuilt it after the captiv. From Arabia Felix, from the ancient realms of ity. It continued 562 years till destroyed by the Queen of Sheba, there were auditors to Titus, in all 1039 years. Its foundation was witness and attest the transactions of that literally ploughed up.
glorious day. Indeed, these devout people,