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Verse 13

Matthew 6:13. And lead us not into temptation Or, into trial, as the word πειρασμος , here used, signifies: see note on Matthew 4:1: that is, into such trial or temptation, as will be too hard for our weakness to endure. But deliver us from evil Απο του πονερου , from the evil one, viz., the devil; enabling us to resist and overcome him in all his assaults, of whatever kind they may be. Or, perhaps, the clause may be translated, Lead us not into temptation, but so as to deliver us from the evil, viz., either by removing the temptation, when it is too strong for us to withstand; or by mitigating its force, or by increasing our strength to resist it, as God shall see most for his glory. This correction of the translation, suggested by Macknight, is proposed on this ground; that to pray for an absolute freedom from temptation is to seek deliverance from the common lot of humanity, which is absurd; because temptations are wisely appointed by God for the exercise and improvement of piety and virtue in good men, and that others may be encouraged by the constancy and patience which they show in trials. Hence, instead of praying to be absolutely delivered from them, we are taught to rejoice when, by the divine appointment, we fall into them. See James 1:2-3. This petition teaches us to preserve a sense of our own inability to repel and overcome temptation, and of the necessity of assistance from above, to enable us to stand in the evil day. For thine is the kingdom, &c., for ever The government of the universe is thine for ever, and thou alone possessest the power of creating and upholding all things; also the glory of infinite perfections remains eternally with thee, therefore all men ought to hallow thy name, submit themselves to thy government, and perform thy will; also, in an humble sense of their dependance, should seek from thee the supply of their wants, the pardon of their sins, and the kind protection of thy providence.

After the preceding exposition of the different clauses of this divine prayer, the reader will not be displeased to see a summary of the whole, in the following concise, clear, and instructive paraphrase, taken from the short notes of Mr. Wesley.

I. Our Father Who art good and gracious to all, our Creator, our Preserver: the Father of our Lord, and of us in him, thy children by adoption and grace: not my Father only, who now cry unto thee, but the Father of the universe, of angels and men: who art in heaven Beholding all things, both in heaven and earth; knowing every creature, and all the works of every creature, and every possible event from everlasting to everlasting: the Almighty Lord and Ruler of all, superintending and disposing all things: In heaven Eminently there, but not there alone, seeing thou fillest heaven and earth.

II. 1st, Hallowed be thy name Mayest thou, O Father, be truly known by all intelligent beings, and with affections suitable to that knowledge: mayest thou be duly honoured, loved, feared, by all in heaven and in earth, by all angels and all men. 2d, Thy kingdom come May thy kingdom of grace come quickly, and swallow up all the kingdoms of the earth: may all mankind, receiving thee, O Christ, for their king, truly believing in thy name, be filled with righteousness, and peace, and joy; with holiness and happiness; till they are removed hence into thy kingdom of glory, to reign with thee for ever and ever. 3d, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven May all the inhabitants of the earth do thy will as willingly as the holy angels: may these do it continually even as they, without any interruption of their willing service; yea, and perfectly as they; mayest thou, O Spirit of grace, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make them perfect in every good work to do thy will, and work in them all that is well pleasing in thy sight. 4th, Give us O Father, (for we claim nothing of right, but only of thy free mercy,) this day (for we take no thought for the morrow,) our daily bread All things needful for our souls and bodies; not only the meat that perisheth, but the sacramental bread, and thy grace, the food which endureth to everlasting life. 5th, And forgive us our debts as we also forgive our debtors Give us, O Lord, redemption in thy blood, even the forgiveness of sins: as thou enablest us freely and fully to forgive every man, so do thou forgive all our trespasses. 6th, And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil Whenever we are tempted, O thou that helpest our infirmities, suffer us not to enter into temptation; to be overcome or suffer loss thereby; but make a way for us to escape, so that we may be more than conquerors through thy love, over sin and all the consequences of it. Now the principal desire of a Christian’s heart being the glory of God, (Matthew 6:9-10,) and all he wants for himself or his brethren, being the daily bread of soul and body, (or the support of life, animal and spiritual,) pardon of sin, and deliverance from the power of it and of the devil; (Matthew 6:11-13;) there is nothing besides that a Christian can wish for; therefore this prayer comprehends all his desires. Eternal life is the certain consequence, or rather completion, of holiness.

III. For thine is the kingdom The sovereign right of all things that are or ever were created: the power The executive power, whereby thou governest all things in thy everlasting kingdom: and the glory The praise due from every creature for thy power, and all thy wondrous works, and the mightiness of thy kingdom, which endureth through all ages, even for ever and ever. It is observable, that, though the doxology, as well as the petitions of this prayer, is threefold, and is directed to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost distinctly, yet is the whole fully applicable both to every person, and to the ever-blessed and undivided Trinity.

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