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For in the very same passage, in which our Saviour expressly reproves an anxious and immoderate accumulation of temporal means-which he also does implicitly in this petition, he as decidedly allows and recommends an accumulation, even to the degree of treasures of the spiritual sort: I mean in that passage of his divine sermon on the Mount," Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth; where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal." (Matt. vi. 19, 20.) And farther, to shew the degree of preference due to spiritual food or grace, as aforesaid, with the bounty or encouragement granted to its pursuit, our Saviour adds in the same heavenly discourse, "Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you." (Ib. 31-33.)

2. The mention of that kingdom reminds us to consider chiefly in the sequel of the enumeration in which we are engaged, the means, qualifications or accompaniments more particularly required for that higher species of aliment, the food for the soul, or soul-food, before described and proposed as more available to eternal life than the manna that fell from the same quarter in the wilderness. Therefore

1, Supposing Christ to be the true bread of life, food for the soul, or soul-food as aforesaid, its two principal qualifications, and two of one stock will be Faith and Light, or an enlightened faith: which must be very different from the faith of the Israelites in the wilderness, whether fed with manna, or any other heavenly dispensation of the time. For the faith of an Israelite feeding on

manna we may suppose to have been about the same enjoyment as any sober heathen might take in his wholesome, because sober repast, giving thanks over it as usual to the god or gods on whom he depended for a daily supply of the same. And what further faith had the flying Israelite than his Egyptian pursuer beyond this? that the former believed he should enjoy a providential deliverance from the house of bondage, and final settlement in the promised land, in a land flowing with milk and honey, by the hand of the Lord; (Exod. iv. 31;) the other trusted in his gods to overtake him before he got there. A farther faith he had certainly, as it was more enlightened and specific, to say nothing of its truth: albeit he could enjoy the shadow only of that faith which is the substance of things hoped for, and the essential food of a Christian before described; since his promised land was only a shadow of "the eternal inheritance" which is faithfully contemplated by the called in Jesus Christ. (Heb. ix. 15.) The Israelite's faith therefore may be considered as a mean advantage between the heathen and Christian : so may

2, Another very wholesome and just accompaniment for our spiritual food, which the faithful Israelite would have at that time over an Egyptian or any other infidel in the same circumstances, consisting in a grateful sense of deliverance by which his heart would be knit to his heavenly Benefactor and to the instrument likewise of so great a blessing: a very superior food of delight to the haughty humour of the tyrant, and yet very inferior to the ENLIGHTENED GRATITUDE OF A CHRISTIAN; who feels himself delivered, not merely from temporal bondage and oppression, but from the dominion of error, and the captivity of sin and death by the immediate operation of God in Christ. Lastly

3, We have in Christ one condition which, if it be not a positive accompaniment for spiritual food, is yet an unavoidable effect of grace; with as great an advantage over



the old Israelite again in this respect, as he had over the Egyptian,-in the absence of malice, being a spirit that Christianity will never endure in any form or degree. The bread of the Israelite was unleavened, that of the Egyptian tyrant blown up with malice and pride; like many who are bloated with successful villany, exulting in what they ought rather to bewail: as St. Paul takes the liberty of representing to some of them. "Your glorying is not good, (says he.) Know ye not, that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (Cor. I. v. 6, &c.) It would be within the apostle's meaning to add, Neither with the leaven of party spirit, nor with the pride of connexion, as there is generally but too much of pride and wickedness also in that; but with universal charity, and a simple dependence on our common Benefactor, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and ours by him. "Wherefore (as St. Peter exhorts) laying aside all malice, and all guile and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new born babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (Pet. I. ii. 1, 2.)

4, And upon the whole, although it does not appear as if the Lord had designed any allusion to himself in the clause of his prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," which has been so far considered, that needs not hinder us from making such an application, and conceiving as often as we repeat it a mental petition for that bread of life which he is and has taught us to pray and labour for, as "the meat which endureth unto everlasting life." (Suprà.)

I may add, that in celebrating the Passover, or feast of the Paschal Lamb, it would also be well to apply this "Grant us therefore, gra

same meaning to the petition,

cious Lord, so to eat the flesh of thy dear Son Jesus Christ, and to drink his blood, that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body, and our souls washed through his most precious blood; and, that we may evermore dwell in him and he in us:" which petition, though uttered only by the priest, every individual communicant may make his own by an hearty Amen. For what our Saviour's body was at first, it still is,—the medium of the eternal Word and Spirit, as bread is the medium of our mortal life, or a tree the medium of life to its branches. Christ is our Vine: and we are his branches. (John xv. 5.) Therefore, as every branch derives its life and nourishment from the vine of which it partakes, and with which it is thus identified; so does every one of us his life from Christ in the communion or fellowship of the Holy Ghost, and through him from God the Father, in whom by him "we live and move and have our being;" (Acts xvii. 28;) whether it be as branches or as falling leaves. For as the outward form or material element of bread only is not that which nourishes, but the spirit or essence of the same; so our Saviour's doctrine or word is a tasteless, unedifying composition, it is earth and not bread, it can afford neither nourishment nor gratification-to those who want the Spirit, "to the wicked, (as it is said,) and such as be void of a lively faith; who may carnally and visibly press with their teeth the sacrament of the body and blood of Christ, yet are in nowise partakers of the same; but do rather eat and drink the sign or sacrament of so great a thing to their own condemnation." Therefore, saying no more about food for such as these, the wicked and faithless, who evidently are in no condition to take it,-I may suggest to persons of their class instead thereof A MEDICINE, the wholesome, though bitter, medicine of repentance. And indeed, as we all offend daily the same medicine may be daily taken by all as a preparative for the blessing which I have described. If any be in darkness, let them not walk in darkness, nor

yet lie in it; but seek the redemption as well as edification that is in Christ Jesus: like the message which St. John received from our Lord in person, as he signifies; namely, "that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say, that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: but if we walk in the light as he is in the light we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (John I. i. 5, &c.)

And I trust, I have by this time made it appear, that the efficacy of the petition "Give us this day our daily bread" as well as of the prayer generally to which it belongs, and also of other religious institutions with which it is connected, must depend in use or practice on the preparation of the user or practitioner: and that in respect not only of the spirit or intention, but also of the light or intelligence applied therein. Without such accompaniments this prayer will not signify much; but much with them; especially as a guide and corrective for human, extemporaneous, and what might otherwise be very crude and inconsiderate effusions. The form is particularly useful for family prayer, and no more than any cottager might kneel and repeat in the midst of his family every morning before they separate to labour in their different vocations, or each severally taking the rest and many with them into consideration: when, if this prayer be not used alone, it should never be omitted; seeing that its particulars, of which one has now been considered, will apply in some sort to almost every purpose regarding either our present or future welfare.

In some families it is customary to crown the business of the day as fast as one day follows upon another with a prayer-meeting of the domestic circle after supper: and

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