And he said to them, When you pray, say, Our Father which are in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done…
I. We should not think it hard to be subject to the Divine government, obliged to do the will of God, and to submit to it. This is more reasonable, and more profitable for us, than to be left to our own liberty, to follow our own pleasure, and to choose our own circumstances. But we are not easily persuaded to think so. I suppose some will say, God, who is the Father of spirits, and the author of all the powers of the soul, has given us senses and appetites; and is it not lawful for us to gratify them? Doubtless it is; but within due bounds. God has given man reason too, by which his sensual inclinations and appetites are to be governed, as the superior faculty whereby we are distinguished from beasts; and He has given us His Word, containing His will, the law of nature, and positive ordinances, to which, as the subjects of God, we know we ought to endeavour to conform our heart and life. Now, if we will not use our understanding, if we follow not the dictates of reason, nor regard the voice of conscience, even natural conscience, and give up ourselves to sensual lusts and appetites, then we transform ourselves into brutes, and render ourselves contemptible to God, and to all wise men.
II. Let us bless God that His will is revealed to us.
III. Let us desire and endeavour to know the will of God as it is revealed to us. To have it in the Scripture is one thing, and to have it in the understanding, the memory, the heart, is another.
IV. Let us do the will of God. "If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin." The meaning is, that knowledge, without obedience, is so far from excusing men when they sin, or from extenuating the guilt, that it aggravates it.
V. Let us go to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy to pardon our opposition to the will of God in thought, word, or deed; and for grace to help us proportioned to the work He has given us to do, and to our infirmities which disable us for it; that His grace may be sufficient for us, and His strength made perfect in our weakness.
VI. Let us be exhorting one another to an obediential regard to the Divine law. So we are taught to do in many places of the Sacred Word. And let us take great care that we do not, on the contrary, lay a stumblingblock in the way of others, and tempt them to offend. We have guilt enough of our own, let us not be partakers of other men's sins; let us not enter into a confederacy against God.
VII. Let us all labour to be prepared for that world wherein dwelleth righteousness. Where there will be no sin nor temptation to it, no inclination nor allurements to oppose the will of God; where we shall not tempt others, and where there Will be none to tempt us. Happy place I where the holy God will rule without opposition.
Parallel VersesKJV: And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.