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ledging that he governs and over-rules all things; that the course of this world is not merely conducted by natural causes, and the free-will of man; but that God always can, and sometimes does interpose, to alter the course of nature, and the inclinations of free agents, for the benefit of the good, and the punishment of the wicked.
Lastly, we must be most willing and defirous to keep innocence, and to do the thing that is right; otherwise we do not, in good earnest, desire theconcurrence of God's providence and grace to this purpose. And this our sincerity we should express by a general care of doing all we can to contribute towards it; more particularly in not encouraging evil thoughts and imaginations, which tend to corrupt our wills and affections, and to make them break out into practice. He that plays with wanton, ambitious, or covetous fancies, is acting for the Devil against himself. To be often thinking on the riches and advantages of another, is the beginning of envy. We
are therefore to watch and pray, that we enter not into Temptation, and the man who will not watch over himself, is not fit to pray that God would watch over him.
We must also be careful to avoid all Temptation to sin as much as possible, and every thing that will make our duty difficult. If we do not ourselves carefully avoid Temptation, how can we desire God to keep us from it. Every man should confider in what instances he is most likely to be tempted. This, upon an examination of our past actions we may casily find. For if we are ignorant of our own temper, yet we may easily know what our practice has been, and from thence learn what those temptations and occasions of sin are, which we should principally shun. To reflect on our past conversation, cannot indeed undo what has happened, but it may prevent the like for the future, by rendering us more cautious and vigilant. And he who doth not seriously endeavour to know his greatest danger, and how to avoid it, speaks
words at random, when he desires God to deliver him from Temptation.
To conclude; in all the prayers we offer to God for any blessing or good thing in behalf of ourselves or others, it is thereby implied that we promise God to contribute all that we can towards their being effected; and therefore, if we do not perform what we so promise, our prayer is no better than that of a hypocrite ; whereas, if we do, we may rest assured, that God will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able to bear, but that, with the Temptation, he will also make a way for us to escape.
Now to God the Father, &c.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and
the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
İJAVING finished what I intended 11 on the former part of the Lord's Prayer, I am now to discourse on the Conclusion, which contains first, a doxology, or solemn giving glory to God, thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory for ever ; and secondly, an expression of our full approbation of, and hearty consent to the whole prayer, in the word, Amen. I shall therefore explain the meaning of these words, and Thew what sense we ought to have in our minds, when we