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And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Ifrael; and he moved David against them to fay, Go number Israel and Judah.
Q. 5. How many ways may God be faid to tempt evil?
A. (1.) By withdrawing his grace, either common, or fpecial; 2 Chron. xxxii. 31. Howbeit, in the business of the ambaffadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land; God left him to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart. (2.) By permitting Satan, and wicked men, to tempt; 2 Sam. xxiv, 1. He moved David against them, to fay, Go and number Ifrael and Judah. With Chron. xxi. 1. Satan ftood up against Ifrael, and provoked David. Matth. iv. 1. Then was Jefus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. (3.) By prefenting occafions in his providence, which he knows will be abufed to fin; as in the fall of Adam, the hardening of Pharaoh, &c.
Q. 6. What do we beg in this petition?
A. We beg, that we may not any of thefe, or any other ways, whereby the holy God may be faid to lead into temptation, be led thereinto; Pfalm cxli 1. Incline not my heart to any evil thing, to practise wicked works with men that work iniquity; and let me not eat of their dainties. Pfalm xix. 13. Keep back thy fervant alfo from prefumptuous fins; let them not have dominion over me: Then thall be upright, and I fhall be innocent from the great tranfgreffion,
Q. 7. What is meant by evil?
A. Some understand it of the devil, but the best meaning is fin, which is the evil of evils, and makes the devil evil, and is the worst of evils the devil can bring upon us, and is usually fo understood in fcripture; Pfalm xcvii. 10. Ye that love the Lord, hate evil. Ifa. i. 16. Ceafe to do evil. Amos v. 15. Hate the evil, and love the good. Rom. xii. 9. Abhor that which is evil.
Q. 8. What is meant by deliverance from evil?
A. That if God fees meet to permit us to be tempted by Sa. tan, and the wicked without, or by our own hearts within, to fin; or occafionally, by his providence; that he will not leave us, but undertake for us, that we may not be led into fin thereby, but by his grace be made more than conquerors. Pfalm li. 10. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Pfalm exix. 133. Order my fteps in thy word, and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. According to his VOL. VIII.
promise; 1 Cor. x. 13. But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able. 2 Cor. xii. 9. And he faid unto me, My grace is fufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.
Q. 9. What is the firft inference?
A. That fin is the worft of evils.
Q. 10. What is the fecond inference?
A. That without God's grace we can never withstand, but fhall be overcome by every temptation; 2 Cor. iii. 5. Not that we are fufficient of ourselves, to think any thing as of ourselves; but our fufficiency is of God. John xv. 5. For without me ye can do nothing.
Q11. What is the third inference?
A. That we must do all we can to keep ourselves from temptation, and to engage the grace of God with us in temptation, by prayer, by pleafing the Spirit of God, by looking to Jefus, &c. Of the Conclufion.
Hat doth the conclufion of the Lord's prayer teach us?
A. The conclufion of the Lord's prayer, which is, [For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever; Amen.] teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only; and in our prayers to praise him; afcribing kingdom, power, and glory to him; and in teftimony of our defire, and af furance to be heard, we fay, Amen.
Q. 1. Why is the conclufion joined to the particle For?
A. To teach us, that therein are included arguments, or reasons to press God withal, and to prevail with him for audi
Q. 2. But is it lawful to argue with God, and to urge him with reafons in prayer?
A. It is not only lawful, but expedient, yea, highly com mendable; as is seen in the faints prayers. In Mofes's, Numb. xiv. 13. And Mofes faid unto the Lord, Then the Egyptians fhall hear it, (for thou broughtest up this people in thy might from among them.) Ver. 19. Pardon, I beseech thee, the ni quity of this people, according unto the greatness of thy mercy, and as thou haft forgiven this people from Egypt, even until now. In Jofhua's, chap. vii. 3. And Jofhua faid, Alas! O Lord God; wherefore haft thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? Would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other fide Jordan. Ver. 9. For the Canaanites, and all
the inhabitants of the land fhall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: And what wilt thou do unto thy great name? In Afa's, 2 Chron. xiv. II. And Afa cried unto the Lord his God, and faid, Lord, it is nothing with thee to help, whether with many, or with them that have no power. Help us, O Lord our God, for we reft on thee; and in thy name we go against this great multitude. O Lord, thou art our God; let no man prevail against thee. In Jehoshaphat's, 2 Chron. xx. 6.—And said, O Lord God of our fathers, art not thou God in heaven? And ruleft not thou over all the kingdoms of the heathen? And in thine hand is there not power and might, fo that none is able to withstand thee? And Hezekiah's, 2 Kings xix. 15. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and faid, O Lord God of Ifrael, which dwelleft between the cherubims; thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth: Thou hast made heaven and earth. Ver. 19. Now, therefore, O Lord our God, &c.
Q. 3. But to what purpose, can we think to prevail with God, by our arguments and importunities?
A. They are not used, as though we would put God in remembrance of any thing, or would prevail with God to do that for us, which he is unwilling to give.
Q4. Why then?
A. For our own profit, for the enlarging of our own hearts, for the exciting of our fervency, for the exerting of faith, hope, zeal, charity, &c. in prayer; and fo to prepare ourselves for the mercy, that we may the more gratefully receive it, and the more fruitfully employ it.
Q. 5. How many arguments are in this conclufion?
Q. 6. From whence are they taken ?
A. From God's kingdom, from his power, and from his glory.
A. God's univerfal, effential, and absolute kingdom; wherein may be, and is involved, his fpecial kingdom over the church.
Q. 8. What are the arguments from hence?
A. Because all that we can pray for in this prayer, is for the advancement and perfecting of this his kingdom, by the destruction of all perfons and things that oppose it, and the completion of his dominion over all his fabjects; therefore he would grant all thefe requests.
Q. What is another?
A. Because he being fuch an abfolute Lord and fovereign, has an undeniable right, and unquestionable authority, to give and grant all we afk, and to effectand bring to pafs all we beg: For all perfons and things are his own, and at his difpofal. Mat. xx. 15. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my 9wn?
Q. 10. What is meant by power?
A. God's effential, infinite, irrefiftible power, whereby he can do what he pleafes; Pfalm cxxxv. 6. Whatfoever the Lord pleafed &c.
Q. What is the argument from hence ?
A. That we afk nothing from God, but what he can do with infinite ease, in defpite of all the oppofition that hell, earth, and heart can make to the contrary; Philip. iii. ult. According to the working, &c. Eph. iii. 20. Now unto him that is able, &c.
Q. 12. What is meant by glory?
A. Not his effential glory, which no man, or angel, can eyer apprehend.
Q13. What glory then?
A. His declared and acknowledged glory, even the accomplishment of all his decrees by his providence; and then the love, the adoration, and the praises, the self-dedications of angels and faints, returned to him for the fame.
Q. 14. What is the argument or motive from hence?
A. That feeing the fubftance of every requeft does directly tend to, and will perfectly end in, this glory of God, when they are fully anfwered; therefore he would gradually anfwer them while we are here, and perfectly at laft, to the advancement of his glory now, and the completion of it then. 1 Chron. xxix. 11. Thine, O Lord, is the greatnefs, and the power, and the glory, &c. Jofh. vii. . And what wilt thou do unto thy great name? Ifa. xlii. 8. I am the Lord, that is my name, &c. Ifa. xlviii. 11. For my own fake, even for my own fake, will I do it, &c.
Q15. Why is Amen added ?
A. Because it is the ufual conclufion of prayers and praises; Pfalm xli. 13. Bleffed be the Lord God of Ifrael, &c. Pfalm Ixxii. 19. And bleffed be his glorious name for ever, &c. 2 Cor. xiii. ult. The grace of the Lord Jefus, and the love of God, &c. Rom. xvi. 20. The grace of our Lord Jefus Chrift be with you. Amen.
Q. 16. But what doth this word here fignify?
A. It fignifies, (1.) The reality and ardency of our defires to be granted in what we pray for; Rev. xxii. 20. He which teftifieth these things, faith, Surely I come quickly. Amen.· Even fo come, Lord Jefus.
Q. 17. And what befides?
A. Our truft and firm confidence that we shall be heard and anfwered in all these our requests; Rev. i. 7. Even fo, Amen. Rev. vii. 12, Saying, Amen. Bleffing, and glory, and wisdom, &c.
Q. 18. What are the inferences from hence?
A. That we ought to use in prayer all fuch arguments, as may moft and beft affect our hearts towards God, excite our graces, and fucceed with God.
Q. 19. What is another?
A. That all we pray for must be in a fubferviency to God's kingdom, and with a defire of his glory.
Q. 20. What is the next?
A. That we must act according to our prayers; do all we can for the advancement of God's kingdom, and the exaltation of his glory, as fubjects and votaries thereto; Pfalm cxvi. 16. 1 Cor. x. 31:
Q. 21. What may more be gathered hence?
A. That as we ought to begin, fo to continue, and conclude our prayers, in lowest adorations of God, and acknowledgements of his glory and attributes.
Q. 22. What more doth this conclufion teach ?
A. That in prayer we must be fervent in our desires, and longing for what we pray, James v. 16.
Q. 23. Is there any thing befides?
A. That praying for things agreeable to God's will, we ought to be confident that we fhall fucceed in our requests, praying for the matter, and after the manner of this prayer; James i. 6, 8. Matth. xxi. 22.