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we breathe, so it is his food that maintains us, and his raiment that clothes us.

4. All things that have life are maintained on his charges, man not excepted, Psal. cxlv. 15, 16. The eyes of all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing.' He makes grass to grow for the cattle, and feeds the young ravens that cry. The same heavenly Father whom we seek our daily bread from, feeds the fowls of the air, Matth. vi. 26. If God should close his hand upon the creatures that wait on him for their food, where would man's comforts be, that are drawn from them, for the support of his body.

5. All the usefulness and comfort of the creatures to us depends on God, Matth. xix. 17. Whatsoever good is in them is dropt into them from the fountain of goodness. The creature is a mere empty nothing in itself, and has no substance without the blessing from the Lord, Matth. iv. 4. No creature can be more to another than God makes it to be, Hos. ii. 21, 22. The corn cannot hear Jezreel, nor the earth the corn, nor the heavens the earth, unless God hear first; and then the heavens will hear the earth, the earth the corn, and the corn Jezreel.

6. Wherefore God has a negative on all the creatures. Should they all say, Yea, if he says No, nothing can be done, Lam. iii. 37. He is the spring that sets all the wheels of the creation a-going. Should he stop, and deny his influence, then all of them are motionless that moment. Thou hast bread; but what will it avail thee without his blessing? if he withdraw it, thou mayst eat, and not be satisfied, Hos. iv. 10. Thy clothes could not warm thee without it. Ye might plough and sow, and get nothing for your pains, if he but lay his charge on the earth to deny her fruits. Ye might tend your cattle and flocks and do your best for them, and all to no purpose, if he keep back his own, Psal. xcv. 4. which ye cannot crave as a debt. Ye might rise early and sit up late, and ply your business with the utmost diligence; but when thou hast done all thou canst do by art or industry, remember what Moses says to the Israelites, Deut. viii. 17, 18. “Thou sayest in thine heart, My power, and the might of my band, hath gotten me this wealth. But thou shalt remember the Lord thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth.' And consider what the Lord says, Psal. cxxvii. 1, 2. Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.'

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7. Lastly, Our comforts and supports of life are never out of God's reach. If they were ever in such a flourishing condition, he can blast them to us in a moment. One day saw Job exceeding rieh and poor to a proverb, Job i. 13, &c. having seven thousand sheep in the morning, and not a living one among all at night. How often has it been, that a fair braird has brought little into the barnyard? When it has been ready for the hook, or cut down in the field, shaking winds and rotting rains have made it little worth, Hos. ii. 9. When it is brought to the barn-floor, even then we are not sure of it, Ios. ix. 2. The floor and the wive-press shall not feed them, and the new wine shall fail in her. When the corn is made in bread, 'the Lord can take away the whole stay of bread, Isa. iii. 1. When it goes down the throat he can make it choke os, and when it is in the belly, he can'turn it,' and make it 'the gall of asps within us,' Job xx. 14.

I proceed to the petition itself, in which we pray, 'That of God's free gift, we may obtain a competent portion of the good things of this life, and enjoy his blessing with them.'

In discoursing from this petition, I shall shew,
I. What is meant by bread in it.
II. What is the import of this petition for bread.
III. Apply.

I. I am to shew, what is meant by bread in this petition. Not the spiritual bread, which is Jesus Christ; that we pray for in the second petition. Not the sacramental bread neither; that is prayed for in the fifth petition, being a seal of the pardon of sin. But, as I have already observed, bread for the sustenance of our bodies, bread for our own tables, for nourishing the clay bodies in their present earthly state. So this petition concerns our bodies. Hence,

Observe, That we are allowed to be concerned for our bodies, and their sustenance. The neglect of it is a sin against God, Col. ii. ult. And the care of it is necessary to fit us for serving God in our several stations, as the horse must be seen to by him who would make out his journey. And if we be the Lord's children, our bodies are the Lord's by a peculiar title; they are the members of Christ, and temples of his Spirit. And therefore we owe them a particular honour and regard.

Yet there is but one petition here for the body, while there are two for the soul, “Forgive us our debts,' &c. ' And lead us not into temptation,' &c. Whence,

Observe, Our main concern should be for our sonls; and so it is indeed with the saints. This is that better part of the man, which is worthy of double honour, double care and concern, Matth. xvi. 26.

1. The body is of the earth, the soul is from heaven. By the body we are allied to the beasts, but by our souls to the angels. The one is the brutal part of the man, the other the angelical part. And as heaven is above the earth, so should the care of our souls be beyond that of our bodies.

2. Our bodies are mortal, but our souls immortal. When one dies, his body goes to sleep in the dust till the resurrection ; but his soul goes to God who gave it, to live either in heaven or hell. Shall we not then have a greater concern for the immortal inhabitant, than the clay cottage, the weak tabernacle in which it dwells?

3. Caring chiefly for the soul, we secure the happiness of the body too, in this life, Matth. vi. 33. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you;' and also in the life to come, Rom. viii. 11. “But if the Spirit of him, that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.' But caring chiefly for the body, we lose the soul and body too, Matth. X. 39. He that findeth liis life shall lose it.' And there is no compensating of this loss.

Use. How far are the most part of men from this duly divided concern! Alas ! does not the body get the double portion of desires, cares, and concern ; and is not the soul admitted only to the least part? For the quantity it gets more, and for the quality too; we being vigorous and lively in our concerns for the body, and careless and indifferent in those for the soul : which is the very reverse of the frame which grace puts the heart into.

Under the name of bread here is comprehended not only bread strictly so called, but generally the good things of this life for the support of our bodies.

1. Necessaries, without which life cannot be sustained, viz. food and raiment. For, as formerly noticed, a man may be killed with thirst, and starved by cold, though he had plenty of other things, 2 Tim. vi. 8. Thus the scripture uses of the word bread, Eccl. xi. 1.

Cast thy bread upon the waters : for thou shalt find it after many days.'

2. Conveniences, which one cannot live comfortably without, Prov. xxx. 8.' Feed me with food convenient for me.' God does not pen

his people to what is absolutely necessary for keeping in their life, but allows them for conveniency and delight, both as to desire and use. This varies according to the several stations in which men are placed in the world, that being abundance to one which would quite hamper another. And so in this men are allowed to heg of God, such a portion of the good things of this life, as is agreeable to the condition which he has placed them in.

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Now, all necessaries and conveniencies of life are comprehended under bread: (1.) Because bread is, generally speaking, the most common and ordinary, the entertainment of the poor and of the rich, and wliat by a special providence so ordering it, men are least apt to loath.

II. I proceed to shew what is the import of this petition for bread. That I may the more directly handle this, I shall consider it in the several parts thereof, by shewing the import of the words, Give bread, Give us bread, Give us our bread, and Give us our daily bread.

First, I shall shew what is the ini port of these words, Give bread. Our Lord teaches all his people to come unto God, and say, Our Father-give us bread. It imports,

1. That we are allowed to lay our temporal concerns and wants before the Lord in prayer, as well as our spiritual concerns, Prov. iii. 6. 'In all thy ways acknowledge him.' The praying Christian is a trader with heaven, and he may trade tliere in small things as well as in great things; nay, he ought to do it. For the covenant comprehends the small things of this life, the bread and the water, Isa. xxxiii. 16. discretion in managing his affairs, Psal. cxii. 5; and the success of his management, Psal. i. 3 ; as well as the great things of eternal salvation, 1 Tim. iv. 1. And much of God may be seen in answers to prayers of that kind. Gen. xxxiii. 10.

2. That men depend entirely on heaven for the means and comforts of life. Our country in this world is nourished by the king's country: and if the communication betwixt them were stopt, we would all starve, Hos. ii. 21, 22. He is the Creator, Preserver, and Proprietor of all the creatures, and their Provisor. There are some who, having nothing of their own, do live by hanging on about the hands of their friends. And that is the case of all men with respect to God, the great Friend of the creatures.

3. That we need bread. While we are in this world, we will need it. The clay tabernacle in its present state, like an old thatched house is still needing reparation : but in a little time we will need no more. Death puts an end to all these needs; and after the resurrection our bodies will be supported without these things which are now necessary.

4. That it is God who giveth us bread. The necessaries and conveniences of life are distributed by his hand, Psal. cxlv. 16. Though you get your bread by your labour, you have it from God; for it is God that gives success to your labours. Though others give it you of their own, it is from God; for it is he that opens their hearts to bestow it on you, Deut. viii. 17, 18. Neither your industry nor interest can procure it without him.

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Lastly, That our bread is God's free gift of mercy, without any merit of ours, Gen. xxxii. 10. The least rag for our clothing, crumb for our food, breathing in God's air, &c. is what we deserve not at the hand of God, Luke xvii. 10. In Adam we forfeited our right to God's creatures, Gen. ii. 17; and by that sin of breaking the first covenant, and many other rebellions against the sovereign God, we liave deserved to be stript of all our comforts : so that all we get is God's free undeserved gift.

Quest. What needs one pray for bread, when he has it already? He that has it in his house, yea, upon his table, has good reason to pray for it; because,

1. Without the efficacy of the divine appointment, it cannot be bread to us, it cannot nourish us, Matth. iv. 4. Without that our bread will not strengthen us, more than ashes, if God break the stay and staff of it, Isa. iii. 1.

2. Without God's good-will and favour with it, there is a curse in it, Mal. vi. 2. And cursed bread makes a sad meal.

Secondly, What is the import of these words, Give us bread ? It imports,

1. That we may and ought to look to the Lord, not only for our own provision, but for the provision of our families, 1 Pet. v. 7. He that has laid it on masters of families to provide for their families, will make them welcome to pray for their provision. They who have had nothing to provide them with, have got them provided this way: and those who have had enough for them, little or nothing of it has come to their hand, when God has seen it meet to make it so.

2. That we should be concerned for others also, that they may have bread as well as we. Good men are merciful men, and will give to others that need, and much more wish them well, Jam. ii. 15, 16.

We are all of one common nature, which requires this sympathy; and it well becomes those who are full to remember those who are hungry.

Thirdly, What is the import of these words, Give us our bread ? There are three things imported in it, as desired by us.

1. That whatever portion of the good things of this life be bestowed on us, we may have a right to them, and so may look on them as our own bread.

(1.) A covenant-right to them, through Jesus Christ, by whom the lost right to the creatures is restored to believers, 1 Cor. iii. 22. For if one be in Christ, he enjoys his bread by a new tenor, the tenor of the covenant, Isa. xxxiii. 16. And that makes dry bread sweet.

(2.) A civil right to them, that it be such bread as we come law

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