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over the table around which we celebrate the Lord's Supper, because “ God spake those words.” They are the words of God himself; and a moral law binding upon the Jew is equally binding upon the Christian. “Do we make void the law through faith?” (in Christ,) asks St. Paul, “God forbid : yea, we establish the law.” The glory of the Gospel is in this, the fulfilment of the law by Jesus Christ. When we find that the law is holy, and the commandment holy, just, and good ; but that we, through the weakness and infirmity of our nature, cannot keep the law; we look to One, the great founder of our religion, who has kept it; who himself was holy, harmless, and altogether without sin. The plain truth of Scripture seems to be this: We, through the sin of our first parents and our actual transgressions, have departed from God. His law remains the same; he looks for obedience; he gives grace to assist his servants in keeping it, but still, in their present state, they cannot do the things that they would. Christ Jesus came into the world, not only to be a sacrifice for sin,
but also an example of godly life. We labour through his grace to do our duty to God and to our neighbour, and we bless his holy name, that there is a Saviour from sin, an advocate, an intercessor for us in our present state of weakness, sin, and misery.
My good child,” we say to young persons who are repeating the catechism, my good child, know this, that thou art not able to do these things of thyself, nor to walk in the commandments of God, and to serve him without his special grace, which thou must learn at all times to call for by diligent prayer ; let me hear, therefore, if thou canst say the Lord's prayer;" which leads me to observe,
2nd. That in our churches you see the Lord's Prayer placed on one side of the Ten Commandments. Why, it may be asked, place it there?
The answer is plain, because Christ himself directed his disciples thus to pray.
“ When ye pray, say, Our Father,” &c.
Let all our
and supplications be composed upon this model, and let us, as Christ our Lord directs, use the prayer itself. Thus we shall be sure
that we are not mistaken, if we thus pray with the spirit and with the understanding also. From this prayer we learn to approach God as a father, nay as our Father ; and what a thought is this for a poor
sinful fallen creature alienated from God by wicked works, but thus led back to the throne of mercy by him who came into the world to seek and to save them that were lost! Take the several articles and petitions in the Lord's prayer.
In heaven the Lord reigneth, and to that rest the children of God hope to be led in safety. They pronounce his holy name, and they pray that his kingdom may come, and that his will may
be done on earth as it is in heaven. For themselves on earth, they ask daily bread, forgiveness of sins, strength against temptation, and deliverance from the power of the evil one; and all these blessings they believe that he who has the kingdom, the power, and the glory, can and will bestow. For these reasons the Lord's prayer is written beside the ten commandments in our churches.
3rd. It remains to show why the creed
Scripture, his Prayer-book, and his own heart. Conscience will soon tell him whether he is making progress in this school. When he reads his Bible, he will do well to compare his own daily practice with the word of God; and not only read, but mark, learn, and inwardly digest its sacred truths. “ Understandest thou what thou readest" said Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch. How can I, was the answer, unless some man shall guide me? Philip began at the same passage in Isaiah, and preached unto him Jesus. Thus the christian minister will be ever ready to instruct and to explain the Old Testament by the New. He sees, as on this table, his creed, and the prayer which Christ hath taught him, standing beside the ten commandments. He sees in them the hand of the same good and gracious God, and he
prays to be directed in those things which he should believe and practise.
Above all, for everything which we do, we would give thanks and glory to God, who alone can teach us his will, and enable us to do it. If we live in the enjoyment of a pure and holy faith, let us beseech
Almighty God to enable us to add to it a holy, self-denying practice. Let the word of God dwell in us richly, with all knowledge; but let knowledge be the handmaid of practical holiness. If we know these things, happy are we if we do them. The word of God will judge us at the last great day, let it then direct us now; and when we shall have passed away from this present life, as we hope, to the full enjoyment of those good things of which we now read, may others with the same privileges reap the same fruit, and be partakers with us hereafter of the glory which shall be revealed.