Monday, May 2, 2016

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  Matthew 6:9-12

     That which is of most value and consideration should be sought first.  Now God's glory it hath an infinite excellency above all other things.  The glory of God is of more worth than all creatures,—than their being and happiness.  The end is more worthy than that which serveth and conduceth to the end.  Meats and drinks they were made for the body, therefore are not so good as the body.  Who would dig for iron with mattocks of gold?  The means or instrument is better worth than the purchase.  Now no matter what becomes of us, so God may be glorified.  As it is said of David, 'Thou art better than ten thou-sand of us;' therefore, though they exposed their bodies to hazard, they thought it not safe for him.  So is God better than the whole world of men or angels.  Our first care must be that he may be glorified, then let other things succeed in their place.....
.....we are no more affected with God's glory.  Oh, how little do we aim at and regard it in our prayers!  We should seek it, not only above the profits and pleasures of this life, but even above life itself; yea, above life present and to come.  But alas! since the fall, we are corrupt, and wholly poisoned with self-love; we prefer every base interest and trifle before God; nay, we prefer carnal self before God.  Some are wholly brutish; and so they may wallow in ease and pleasure, and eat the fat and drink the sweet, never think of God, care not how God is dishonoured, both by themselves and others.  And then some, oh, how tender are they in matters of their own concernment, and affected with it, more than for the glory of God!—John 12:43.  They are more affected with their own honour, and their own loss and reproach, than with God's dishonour or God's glory.  If their own reputation be but hazarded a little, oh, how it stings them to the heart!  But if they be faulty towards God, they can pass it over without trouble.  A word of disgrace, a little contempt cast upon our persons, kindles the coals and fills us with rage; but we can hear God's name dishonoured, and not be moved with it.  When they pray, if they beg outward blessings, if they ask anything, it is for their lusts, not for God; it is but to feed their pomp and excess, and that they may shine in the pomp and splendour of external accommodations.  If they beg quickening and enlargement, it is for their own honour, that their lusts may be fed by the contributions of heaven; so, by a wicked design, they would even make God to serve the devil.  The best of us, when we come to pray, what a deep sense have we of our own wants, and no desire of the glory of God!  If we beg daily bread, maintenance, and protection, we do not beg it as a talent to be improved for our master's use, but as fuel for our lusts.  If we beg deliverance, it is because we are in pain, and ill at ease; not that we may honour and glorify God, that mercy and truth may shine forth.  If we beg pardon, it is only to get rid of the smart, and be enlarged out of the stocks of conscience.  If they beg grace, it is but a lazy wish after sanctification, because they are convinced there is no other way to be happy.  If they beg eternal glory, they do not beg it for God, it appears plainly, because they can be content to dishonour God long, provided they at length may be saved.  Most of us pray without a heart set to glorify God, and to bring honour unto his great name.....
                                                                                                                                        Thomas Manton 

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