Luke 11:3
Give us each day our daily bread.
Sermons
A Motive to Quicken Our PietyArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
BreadA. W. Hare.Luke 11:3
Bread in Answer to PrayerJ. H. Batt.Luke 11:3
Bread the Gift of GodOne Year in Sweden.Luke 11:3
Christ and Daily BreadArthur Brooks.Luke 11:3
Daily BreadLuke 11:3
Daily BreadHenry T. Williams.Luke 11:3
Daily BreadArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
Day by DayJ. Hunter.Luke 11:3
Dependence for Temporal BlessingsG. Spring, D. D.Luke 11:3
Enjoyment of God's Daily MerciesBishop Havey Goodwin.Luke 11:3
Every DayArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
ForesightJ. H. Batt.Luke 11:3
Give Us This Day Our Daily BreadJ. H. Wilson, M. A., G. D. Boardman, D. D.Luke 11:3
God's Gift of BreadArthur Brooks.Luke 11:3
Lessons from the Fourth PetitionJohn Whitty.Luke 11:3
Lessons on This PetitionBishop Havey Goodwin.Luke 11:3
Love Before BreadLuke 11:3
Not Long PrayersLuke 11:3
Of Praying for Temporal BlessingsW. Gouge., W. Gouge., W. Gouge., W. Gouge.Luke 11:3
Of the Fourth Petition in the Lord's PrayerT. Watson.Luke 11:3
Our Bread not Merely Bodily SustenanceBishop Andrewes.Luke 11:3
Our Bread, not MineArthur BrooksLuke 11:3
Our Bread, not ThineArthur Brooks.Luke 11:3
Our Daily BreadJ. J. Wray.Luke 11:3
Our Daily BreadJ. Hunter.Luke 11:3
Our Daily BreadArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
Prayer .For Daily BreadJ. M. Ludlow, D. D.Luke 11:3
Prayer and PainsG. Spring, D. D.Luke 11:3
Prayer for Daily BreadBishop Hopkins.Luke 11:3
Prayer or Each Day's Proper BreadArthur Brooks.Luke 11:3
Rescued from the CurseArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
Routine Observance IndispensableH. Bushnell, D. D.Luke 11:3
The Best Answer to This PrayerArthur Brooks.Luke 11:3
The Convenient FoodWashington Gladden, D. D.Luke 11:3
The Petition for Daily BreadJ. N. Norton, D. D.Luke 11:3
The Pilgrim Fathers and the DroughtLuke 11:3
The Prayer for BreadC. H. Parkhurst, D. D.Luke 11:3
The Prayer for Daily BreadW. R. Williams, D. D.Luke 11:3
The Prayer for Our Daily BreadA. C. A. Hall, M. A.Luke 11:3
This DayArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
This Petition is Our First Step to EarthArchdeacon King.Luke 11:3
Us, not MeJ. Hunter.Luke 11:3
Lessons on PrayerR.M. Edgar Luke 11:1-13
The True Service of the Lord's PrayerW. Clarkson Luke 11:2-4
It is a very painful and pitiful thing that words which came from the lips of the great Master of the spiritual and the living should have been allowed to degenerate into an unspiritual and lifeless form. That this has been the case to a large extent with the "Pater-noster" is a lamentable fact. It is very doubtful whether Jesus Christ ever intended these words which he gave to his disciples to be a permanent formula for the Christian Church. It is clear that the true obedience to his Word is not found in a number of correct and regular repetitions of the phrases, but in the devotion which is rendered in the strain and spirit of the "prayer." The true service to be gained from "the Lord's Prayer" is to gather from it the way in which to draw nigh to God, not only in the worship of the sanctuary, but in the quiet, unseen fellowship of the chamber. What Christ would say to us is this, that in our prayer to God -

I. WE SHOULD GIVE A PROMINENT PLACE TO THE PROGRESS OF HIS SPIRITUAL KINGDOM. Out of six petitions the first three are devoted to the growth of the glory and the kingdom of God. This is surely a very significant fact. It rebukes all selfishness and short-sightedness in the presence of God. It invites us, and indeed it summons us, to make the object of our first and deepest solicitude the cause of Jesus Christ, the exaltation of our Divine Father in the minds and in the lives of men. It suggests to us the consideration whether we are as much concerned as our Master would have us be for this great issue. How much do we care that God's Name is profaned as it is, his will left undone and violated as it is, his claims disregarded as they are, by the irreverent, by the disloyal, by the disobedient children of men? In prayer our mind should turn readily and frequently to this theme.

II. THAT WE SHOULD ASK FOR GOD'S HELP IN THE CONDUCT OF OUR TEMPORAL AFFAIRS. "Give us day by day our daily bread" is a petition that not only warrants, but requires, that we make our bodily necessities and all matters pertaining to our world-life the subject of prayer. It is right to ask for strength and skill, for wisdom and guidance, that we may discharge our daily duties and earn our livelihood honestly in the sight of all men. It is wrong to leave this out of our daily devotion. Jesus Christ would have us look to God for the supply of temporal needs, and ask his blessing and aid in securing it. We shall work all the more worthily, honourably, uprightly, through the day for asking God's guidance at its commencement; we shall make a better use of what we earn it' we continually seek strength of God to earn it.

III. THAT WE SHOULD SEEK EARNESTLY FOR THE DIVINE FAVOUR. "Forgive us our sins," etc. It should be a matter of vital interest to us that we are walking in the light of God's loving favor, our sins forgiven, and ourselves regarded as his beloved children, reconciled to him in Jesus Christ. God's abiding favor should be the very sunshine of our soul, the presence of which makes all things bright, the absence of which throws everything into dark shadow.

IV. THAT WE SHOULD PRAY FOR DIVINE HELP IN OUR SPIRITUAL STRUGGLE. "Lead us not," etc. We should be daily recognizing the fact that our condition here is that of men that are fighting a hard battle against powerful enemies; that we need continual deliverance from evils which beset us; that the worst foes that assail us are those which would lead us into sin and down to shame and death. In this supreme struggle we need the arm of the Almighty on our side. If he be on our side, we shall conquer; if not, we shall be defeated. Therefore let us seek daily help from our heavenly Father for the daily conflict through which we pass on our way homeward.

V. THAT THERE ARE TWO SPIRITUAL CONDITIONS under which alone we can expect to find favor with God.

1. That we breathe a forgiving spirit in our relations with our fellow-men (ver. 4).

2. That we shun the path where perilous temptation lurks; for how can we ask God to "lead us not" thither, when we deliberately walk into it? - C.







Give us day by day our daily bread.
Human nature is made up of two parts, soul and body, and the Lord's prayer is so framed as to have direct reference to the wants of both. The petition for "daily bread," while, apparently, it is one of the smallest, is really one of the greatest of them all. It seems small, because —

1. We ask for what so many already possess;

2. We ask it only for the small circle around our table; and

3. We ask it only for today.It is, nevertheless, a great petition, because —

1. We ask that earthly bread may be changed into heavenly.

2. We ask God to feed all those who are in want.

3. We ask Him to supply the daily necessities of a waiting world.

4. We ask it to-day, and ever again to-day. All the blessings of this life, as well as those of the life to come, were forfeited by man's transgression in Eden, and the Almighty has a right to withhold, or to give, just as He sees fit.

I. The fact that we thus apply to our Heavenly Father, teaches us our DEPENDENCE UPON HIM.

II. A wholesome lesson of CONTENTMENT.

III. FRUGALITY AND PATIENT LABOUR

IV. MODERATION.

V. BENEVOLENCE. From whence do all good things come? Is not God the Author and Giver of them? Ought not those whom He has blessed with abundance be glad to share it with the children of want and suffering? Aye, can we, with a quiet conscience, offer the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," while our ears are deaf to the piteous appeals of the needy?

VI. FAITH. The wants of the body are certainly important, but those of the soul are much more so. The petition which we are considering has reference to both. Not only do we implore our Heavenly Father to give us needful supplies of food for our bodily health, but nourishment for the soul.

(J. N. Norton, D. D.)

I. The order. And that is remarkable upon two accounts.

1. Whereas this petition is placed in the midst, and encompassed about with others that relate unto spiritual blessings; so that, after we have prayed for the glory of God, our Saviour teacheth us to make mention of our temporal wants, and so to pass on again to beg spiritual mercies for our souls: this may instruct us, in the government of our lives, to use worldly comforts as here we pray for them. Spiritual and heavenly things are our greatest concernments, and should be our greatest care. With these we should begin, and with these we should end.

2. It is observable that though we are commanded to seek first the kingdom of God and its righteousness, with a promise that all other earthly things shall be added to us; yet here our Saviour places the petition for temporal blessings before the two petitions we present to God for spiritual blessings.(1) Our Saviour useth this method in His prayer in conformity to the method of Divine Providence towards us, which first gives us life and the necessities of it, and then orders us spiritual and heavenly blessings, as an accession and happy addition to those natural good things He bestows upon us.(2) Because we are usually more sensible of our temporal than of our spiritual wants, our Saviour therefore doth by degrees raise up our desires by the one to the other: for, seeing we are commanded to pray for the supply even of our temporal necessities, which are but trivial in regard to the necessities of our souls; we cannot but be convinced that we ought to be much more earnest and importunate with God for spiritual mercies than for temporal, by how much our spiritual wants are more important and of vaster consequence than our temporal.

II. The petition itself.

1. The matter of this petition, or that which we pray for, and that is bread: Give us our bread. By bread here is meant all temporal and earthly blessings, that contribute either to our being or to our well-being in this life.(1) Temporal mercies and blessings may lawfully be prayed for.(a) They are needful for us as the means that God hath appointed for the preservation of our temporal life and being; in which we have so many opportunities to serve and glorify Him, and so many advantages to secure heaven and glory to our souls.(b) As temporal good things are needful for us, so God hath promised to give them to us.(2) They must be prayed for only conditionally; for they are only conditionally promised. And these conditions are twofold: if they be consistent with God's pleasure, and if they be conducible to our good. Now God is said to give us our daily bread, and all the necessaries of life, especially two ways.(a) By producing them and bringing them to us.(b) God gives them by blessing them to us.

2. Let us consider the specification of this blessing, or the kind and quality of it, our daily bread.(1) We may pray for the supply of all our natural necessities.(2) Besides things that are naturally necessary, there are things that are civilly necessary; which are not so absolutely imperious as the other, yet these also oblige us to pray for supplies and relief.

3. In the words of this petition are designed our right and propriety to this daily bread: Give us our daily bread.(1) Now right to a temporal enjoyment is threefold, either natural, or spiritual, or civil. Natural by creation, spiritual by regeneration, and civil by human and legal constitution.(2) Now when we pray for our daily bread, we pray —(a) That God would give us the good things of this life, to be obtained by us in a lawful regular manner.(b) That He would bless and increase those good things that are rightfully our own.(c) That He would bestow upon us a spiritual right in whatsoever we enjoy, through Jesus Christ, who is the Heir and Possessor of all things.(d) We pray that we may not desire nor covet that which is another's: for we are taught to pray only for that which we may justly call ours, to which we have as well a civil as a spiritual right and title.

4. We have in the words the limitation of the petition in respect of time. "Give us this day our daily bread." And, indeed, there is great reason why we should pray for it this day; for we every day stand in need of relief and supplies from God. Our wants and our troubles grow up thick about us, and unless God make daily provisions for us we shall be overrun by them. Food nourishes but a day, and that which we receive this day will not suffice us to-morrow. There is a continual spring and fountain of necessities within us; and, therefore, we must have continual recourse unto God by prayer, that He would daily satisfy and supply our wants as they daily rise up about us. Again, by teaching us to pray for our temporal comforts this day, our Saviour tacitly intimates to us that we should be content with our daily allowance. It is enough, if we have our dimensum, our appointed food for the day.

(Bishop Hopkins.)

"Bread." Life's commonest necessity, our physical care and craving; and this most practical of gifts lies in the very middle of Christ's own model prayer for daily use! And yet there are people who regard the Christian religion as visionary, contemplative, a matter that lies outside the circle of the actual; a something above, beyond, and apart from the ordinary acts and experiences of life! Yet here it is! a thing of the pantry and the pocket, mingled and wrapped up with pardon and paradise. It is a golden ladder, this religion of Jesus, bright with the vision of angels, and with its top among the stars, and resting hard by the throne of God. And yet it is set up on earth amid tools and toil, business and bread. "Give us this day our daily bread." That cannot be the bread of idleness. It cannot properly be applied to the food which is received in charity, when there is no earthly reason why we should not go forth in manly independence, and earn our own loaf. The prayer is net — "Give me this day somebody else's bread — give us this day bread anyhow, and from any quarter"; but, give us our bread: that which has fairly and honestly become ours, by the sweat of our own brow, by the honest toil of our own hands. I remember reading the memoir of some good and successful man, who says, in reference to his first start in the world: "That was a sweet loaf, both crust and crumb, that I bought and paid for out of my first wages." You see, it was his daily bread. Now, whatever our station, our lot in life may be, let us seek, in this respect, to exhibit true self-respect and self-reliance; and while we ask our God to give us daily bread, let us ask and strive, too, that it may be ours, not other people's; ours, not our creditors'; ours, not by fraud or wrong, but our own genuine property, which God hath enabled us to win. But I must point your attention to one word more in this petition: "Give us our daily bread." The model prayer has no exclusiveness. It is a stranger to selfishness. It is not, "Give me my daily bread." "Our Father" owns our brotherhood, and our brotherhood cares for the wants of others as well as our own; and we cannot use this prayer aright, cannot hope to win the Father's gracious answer to it, unless we are open-hearted and open handed to our brother's honest need. Jesus would that we remember the poor. The Jews have a capital proverb, "He that prays for another is heard for himself." Let us break our bread to the hungry, so shall our daily bread be sweeter to the palate and come more surely to the hand. It is said of a certain lad who had listened long to his well-to do father's prayers for the poor and needy, that after they rose from their knees, the boy appeared moody and silent. "What are you thinking about, my son?" said the father, who probably thought his prayers were bearing fruit in the boy. "I was thinking, father, that if I had your corn-bags, I would soon answer your prayers." I am afraid there is a good deal of similar devotion. Brothers I when ye pray, say, Give us this day our daily bread! And do your best among God's poor ones to help to answer your own petitions. "The bag is full," said a kindly farmer, "though enough has missed the mouth to give the birds a dinner." "Give us this day our daily bread." It breathes absolute dependence. You can't buy. God must give. Strength to gain it, skill to earn it, power to eat it — all are from Him. From Him the soil, the seed, the sun, the harvest. What hast thou that thou hast not received? How long the gifts have come to you! How bountiful they have been and still are I And, once again, before stern winter comes with shivering blast across the bare and empty fields — He hath sent bread enough and to spare. Our Father! May our hearts be filled with gratitude and our lives with praise.

(J. J. Wray.)

We are to regard this petition as a request for the supply of bodily needs, but we are not to stop there. It includes a prayer for the instruction of God's Word, which is often compared to food (Job 23:12; Amos 8:11; 1 Timothy 4:6); and for the assistance and support of His grace, for strength to do His will, for that Bread which endureth unto everlasting life, which is contrasted by our Lord with the perishing support of the perishing life of earth.

I. IT IS A PRAYER OF FAITH.

1. A cry of nature (Psalm 104:21, 28).

2. By it man acknowledges his Benefactor.(1) While we recognize God as the Giver of all good things, and seek to Him for their supply, we must not ignore the means and channels which He has appointed for their conveyance to us.(2) Nor, again, while we ask God, our heavenly Father, to give us those things that He sees to be needful for us, must we dare to snatch in unlawful or forbidden ways what He does not offer, however imperious may seem to us the need (Deuteronomy 8:3; Matthew 4:4).

II. THE LESSON OF TRUST AND RESIGNATION follows naturally in thought from the spirit of faith which this prayer inculcates. First, "Thy will be done"; then, if it be in accordance with Thy will, "give us" what to us seems needful.

III. CONTENTMENT WITH OUR LOT will naturally flow from this believing regard of God as the Giver of all good, and from resignation to His wise and loving will.

1. We ask for "bread," necessaries, not luxuries.

2. We ask not that our storehouses may be replenished and goods laid up for many years, but for the supply of the need of the coming day (Proverbs 30:8, 9; 1 Timothy 6:8; Matthew 6:34).

IV. OUR MUTUAL DEPENDENCE ONE UPON ANOTHER, as well as our COMMON DEPENDENCE UPON GOD. Meum and tuum do not belong to the Christian vocabulary; -Pater noster is the Christian prayer and rule. We are stewards of God's bounty, which we must use for the common good (1 Corinthians 12:7; Galatians 6:2; 1 Timothy 6:17, 18; 1 Peter 4:10). This rule applies not only to gifts of money, but also to the expenditure of time, of ability, and talent of any kind.

(A. C. A. Hall, M. A.)

I will say here, that if you would enjoy the blessing of daily bread which God gives you, you will do so best by receiving it and recognizing it as a gift from God. Two men go out to their labour until the evening; one reckless of God his Maker, and labouring because he knows he must work or starve; the other goes out, after raising the prayer, "Give us this day our daily bread," to obtain an answer to his prayers in the sweat of his brow, and he toils because that is the way in which it pleases God to give him his daily bread, and he bears in mind who is the giver of it, and he takes it as bread sent to him from heaven, and eats it with thankfulness. Which man will have most enjoyment of God's blessings? I think this last; for indeed, Christian brethren, we miss much of the happiness which may still be had in this world, because we are self-sufficient, and think we are indebted to ourselves for the supply of our wants, and not to God. Daily labour is hallowed, by being the means of supplying that for which we pray; and it is a great thing for us thus to connect our daily work with our prayers; the prayers which a man has offered up before commencing his task of toil in the morning, will shoot a ray of light through the occupations of the day, and tinge them with a glory which nothing else can give. And I would wish you thus to connect your daily life with your prayers; your prayers should be the life of your life, and your actions should be a comment upon your prayers. A man who would enjoy this life, in the way in which it was intended to be enjoyed, ought to look upon it in the spirit of the prayer, "Give us day by day our daily bread"; as a pensioner on God's mercy from day to day and from hour to hour, he will eat his bread with thankfulness, and will recognize in all mercies vouchsafed to him the hand of Him who gives him daily bread, and he will not live as a man separate from God, but as one bound to Him by very near ties.

(Bishop Havey Goodwin.)

1. Reliance on God's Providence. You must not trust in your strength; you say you earn your bread for yourself, but who gives you strength to labour for it? in this, as in much higher things, "it is God that worketh in you"; a breath from Him and your strength may be laid low, and who will give you your bread then?

2. Christian simplicity. We pray for bread, and bread only according to our wants; what a protest is here against the spirit of the world, the spirit of ever getting and never being contented; the spirit which does not belong to Christ and ought not to belong to His people.

3. The gratitude due to God for all His manifold favours to us. For if we pray for daily bread for the time to come, doubtless we must in our hearts give thanks for what we have already received.

4. When you use the words, "Give us this day our daily bread," think how incapable the mere bread of this world is of feeding your souls to immortality, and how lamentably poor, how poor beyond any beggary which words can describe, you must be, if having bread to eat and raiment to put on, you have no food for your souls and no covering to hide you from the wrath of God.

(Bishop Havey Goodwin.)

As we repeat this formula with its bread and private interests deferred to the second leaf, I think it will occur to us sometimes how much has still to be wrought within us before the order of desires in our heart will conform to the order of desires in this prayer, and before we can sincerely comply with the requirement of our Lord, "After this manner, therefore, pray ye." So much for the place which the petition of our text occupies in the prayer. Another of its features of interest is that it authorizes us to carry our religion into the details and every-day affairs of life — Give us bread. It singles out a common matter and puts us in religious relation to it. It lets religion into the interior of life, instead of putting it upon the margin as an appendix or after-thought. There is no danger of giving to religion an exaggerated greatness, but there is of giving to it an isolated greatness — holding it apart, pushing it into the firmament, and making an inaccessible sun of it, instead of making of it the familiar sunshine, enswathing every little thing with light, lying down among all the valleys, putting a finer life into every blade of grass, and a beautiful tint on every bead of dew. There is truth in what an Englishman has said: "We are not to look at religion itself, but at surrounding things with the help of religion." Our text reminds us that we may look at so common a thing as bread with the help of religion. Another fact of which our text reminds us is, that God is the Author and Dispenser of our common benefits; that God is personally near us, and that His thought and interest run out into all our little concerns. "O God, do Thou give to us bread!" This petition is composed in the spirit with which the whole of Scripture is animated, that God is personally immanent in all which transpires, and personally sympathetic with all which needs and suffers. "He watereth the hills from His chambers; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of Thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man." "Consider the grass, God arrayeth it; the lilies, God clotheth them; the ravens, He feedeth them." Give us this day our daily bread. All this is full of childlikeness and simple-mindedness. It makes God's relation to us very immediate, and His goodness to us very direct and personal. It almost lifts us over on to the inner-side of God's mercy-seat, and sets us almost at the exact spot where God keeps His bounties. It is, I say, a very childlike way of putting the case, "Give us bread to-day." It sounds a little foreign and strange when uttered by persons of thoughtful and mature years. It sounds like an echo from out different times and distant generations. Children pray in that way to-day, but adults do not unless they are praying an inherited prayer brought in from another age. And it is remarkable that although our Lord's prayer is so short, room was made in it for the doctrine that in every event of nature God is the personal agent. That is all involved in the petition of our text. The last thing we shall notice about this petition is that it teaches us to ask God for one day's benefits at a time: Give us this day (give us to-day) our daily bread. It looks as though the petition contemplated quite another condition of things and state of society from what now exists. Christ and His disciples could appreciate the exact form of this request. We cannot. It is not easy to pray devoutly for sustenance that we already have in store. We are not concerned for to-day. Our desires outrun the clock. We pray about to-day, but think about to-morrow and the day after. We have all we need now, but are afraid we shall not have by and by. No man is contented with enough; and yet a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. To be discontented is to desire to find a week's manna fallen on the morning of each day. "Give us this day our daily bread," then, means that the Christian policy of life is to receive life's necessities, bear its burdens, meet its temptations, encounter its uncertainties, and endure its griefs one day at a time, and to depend upon God to make us sufficient for each day's crosses and emergencies. It is better to go to sleep to-night thanking God for what He has helped us to do to-day than asking Him to help us do as much, and more, tomorrow. "Give us to-day our daily bread," — there is nothing in the Lord's prayer about to-morrow. It is Christian to feel as the night-traveller does, who knows that the road before his feet will become light just as fast as it is illuminated by the candle which he carries and which moves as he moves.

(C. H. Parkhurst, D. D.)

1. Let us, as our Lord advises, "seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." This, if we will hearken to the Son of God, is our wisdom. Let us hear His counsel and obey His voice; they that sin against Him wrong their own souls. We may be happy without abundance of the world, nay, without more than enough, more than a sufficiency for ourselves and our families; and even without so much as that, as all those poor are, who are rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom which God has promised to them that love Him. But we can never be happy without an interest in that kingdom; we should not if we were possessors of all the world, all the treasures and glory of it. Let us make our spiritual and eternal interest our first care, because it is, without doubt, the most important. Let us apply ourselves to our worldly business, only in subordination to our spiritual concerns.

2. Let none indulge themselves in idleness, and expect to be provided for by the labours or the charity of others, when they are able to take care of themselves.

3. On the other hand, let not our hearts be overcharged with the cares of thin life.

4. Let us not indulge distrustful thoughts of God's providence; no, not even when our affairs seem to be in the most discouraging situation.

5. Let such as have but little in the world be satisfied, if they have enough; nay, if they have not enough of their own which is the case of many who have a greater interest in God's fatherly love than those who have a larger share of the outward blessings of His providence.

6. Let not such as are in low circumstances envy such as are in possession of a larger share of the good things of the world. As the flower of the grass they pass away. A man that lives by his labour may be as happy as the wealthiest man in the nation.

7. Let such as have plenty of the world willingly contribute towards the support of such as are in want. God has given them a right to daily bread; let us not withhold from them what God has given them.

8. Let us all labour after an interest in the true riches, a treasure in heaven that faileth not. The world, and all the enjoyments of it are passing away; but there is an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that never fades; a world in which all will be rich, sit down with Christ in His throne, in glory, honour, and immortality. What great matter is it, if those who, (through God's peculiar grace) are heirs of that kingdom, if for the little while they are here they have no more than their daily bread?

(John Whitty.)

I. WE HERE CONFESS OUR DEPENDENCE. A man may be proud of his industry, and economy, and skill; a nation may exult over their enterprise and energy; but are not these, or the qualities that win bread, and win it abundantly, themselves gifts of Heaven? "Is it not He that giveth thee power to get wealth?" The statesman or political economist who overlooks this palpable truth has little reason to boast of his discernment. All the praise of a man or of a measure — of a political leader, or of a party and its policy — that stops short of God, is like the stolidity of the heathen fisherman represented in Scripture as burning incense to his net and drag. Is it not He, that bestowed all the material constituents of wealth, the ores and gems hid in the recesses of the earth, as well as the harvests reaped from its fields; and is it not His Providence that discovers to man, in the fitting age and hour, the treasures of Nature, and suggests all the inventions of Art? He who of old guided the flight of the quails over the tents of the chosen tribes in the wilderness, is not He, the same in skill, yet guiding the crowds of the fishermen's finny spoil, beneath or far aside from their barks? Can the trapper of the Rocky Mountains, or the harpooner of the Pacific Ocean succeed, but as God maintains and guides their chosen prey? The Puritan fathers when they eked out the scanty supplies of their first years with the shell-fish of our coasts, and blessed God for showing them the "treasures," as they beautifully quoted the Scripture, "hid in the sand," were setting a lesson of pious acknowledgment, which their children in our days would do well to remember, when sifting other, and perhaps far more baleful treasures out of the golden sands of California.

II. WE HERE PLEDGE OUR SYMPATHY. And how many need this! Wherever population has become dense, and labour difficult to be obtained, pauperism has grown into a formidable evil. It is in many lands the great question of the times. The gaunt and hollow-eyed clan of the "Wants" are confronting the more sleek, but the less numerous, and the feebler house of the "Haves." Shall the sinewy grasp of Famine's bony hand be laid on the pampered throat of Luxury, and a violent social revolution assay to right for a time the dread inequality? We believe that to the lands which know not or scorn the gospel there are few enemies which they have more cause to fear than this famishing multitude — fierce, unrestrained, and illiterate — a Lazarus without a gospel and without a God, turning wolf-like in the blindness of its misery and its brute strength on a Dives without conscience and without mercy. The poor must be relieved, but not in indolence. The gospel must come in, and by its influence on personal conscience and on individual character, teach the poor self-respect, diligence, and economy and content; and require of the rich sympathy, and compassion, and bounty, for their more necessitous brethren.

III. WE HERE PROMISE BY IMPLICATION, CONTENTMENT, AND MODERATION. We ask not from our God luxuries, but necessaries. One of the sins that called down from heaven the terrific bolt of the first French Revolution was that prodigal luxury of the nobility and court, which dared to run to all excesses of riot amid a famishing people, and with a bankrupt exchequer, with the selfish cry: "After us let there come the Deluge." It came for them. Fashion and pride rob charity. When the Egyptian queen, to make a draught of unparalleled costliness, melted a most precious pearl in her goblet; and when in the days of Charles V., a merchant-prince of Germany kindled a fire of cinnamon for his kingly guest; the gem and the wood might well perhaps be spared as far as referred to any immediate use which the poor could have made of them; but if the price of them were so much deducted from what might have fed needy thousands, this destruction of value, for purposes of mere ostentation, cannot certainly be regarded as being just. "Our superfluities," said Howard, "must give place to our brother's necessities." That maxim would replenish every poor fund and mission treasury under the cope of heaven.

(W. R. Williams, D. D.)

This is the first petition that expresses a personal want of the petitioner. We have not thought as yet of our own necessities. Our minds have been led away over the universe of God; we have been made to take in the great purposes of the Divine love and the great attributes of the Divine character; and now with this preparation we come to think of our own personal needs. Plainly, we shall not be quite so selfish, quite so insistent, quite so querulous in our petitioning as we should have been if we had not been lifted up and led forth along these higher paths.

1. Our dependence on Him to whom we pray. For health to earn our daily bread, for wisdom to keep it and use it, we depend upon His Goodness. The habit of connecting our commonest gifts with the great Giver sanctifies and ennobles life.

2. For daily bread we are bidden to ask. Plain and simple food. A prayer the epicure would hardly think of offering.

3. Daily bread. Sufficient or necessary. Lesson of moderation in wants. We are not to pray for banks; or bins — or barns — or cellars-full, but only for our daily bread.

4. Our daily bread. Given to us; yet ours — ours when we have earned it, when by our own labour we have provided it for ourselves. Bread that we beg is not ours; bread that we take as lazy pensioners on some one else's bounty is not ours; bread that we steal is not ours; bread that we get from other people by fraud and extortion and overreaching is not ours; only the bread that we have earned by honest work and fair traffic is ours.

5. There are some who may seem to be absorbed by their circumstances from the duty of offering this prayer. Here is a man whose larders are full, whose cellars are crowded, whose barns are bursting with gathered grain, whose bank account shows a daily balance of many thousands. Is it not a little superfluous for him to say this prayer? No; for the prayer is not, "Give me my daily bread"; nor is it, "Give me and my household our daily bread"; it is "Give us this day our daily bread." It includes all mankind. He who thoughtfully takes these words upon his lips takes at the same time all human wants by sympathy upon his own soul, and craves the outpouring of the infinite bounty upon every needy human brother.

(Washington Gladden, D. D.)

1. This is the first petition of the prayer in which we ask anything for ourselves, and we have reached the middle of it. The chief anxiety of the Christian should not be for his own good, not even for his spiritual good, but to exalt God. One will make most spiritual progress as he keeps self in the background. The essence of godliness is in becoming God's man.

2. Of the various petitions for our own good, this one alone relates to our secular interests; the others are moral or spiritual aspirations. Evidently our Lord thought it of comparatively little concern how these bodies brought us through the world, if they brought us through with moral safety. They are the rafts on which we cross the narrow time-river; and when the oldest man bends over the map of his eternity that time-river seems less than one of his own silvered hairs fallen upon it.

3. This petition for secular good is a very moderate one. Bread enough — that is all. Why did our Lord never teach us to ask for luxury, landed estates, bank stock, annuities, life insurance, &c. Perhaps He thought how little happiness depends upon these things; that they are more hurtful than helpful to average character; that they load a man with accountability which he cannot meet unless he keeps growing nobler, more unselfish and spiritual as worldly goods increase — which is quite apt not to be the case. He saw that most people would have enough to do to discharge the ordinary duties of common life; to conquer temptations that spring out of every man's flesh, without adding to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.

4. Jesus here teaches us that we should have the habit of recognizing God in the commonest blessings of life.

5. Though Jesus chose a commonplace thing to remind us of our dependence upon God, it was not a commonplace thing in the sense of being little or trivial. Bread-Providence is one of the most astounding exercises of God's goodness and power. What marvels in the growth of grain and the chemistry of nutrition — that standing miracle of the connection of food and life! What wonders of local productiveness to meet the emergencies of crowded settlements. Observe the providence of God also in the trade-system of the globe, by which the products of one portion of the earth are enjoyed by the inhabitants of other portions.

(J. M. Ludlow, D. D.)

The prayer of Christian men must differ from the lion's roaring and the raven's crying. The end of their praying is that their bellies may be filled, but we must have as great a care for the food of our souls, wherefore we call it "panem nostrum," our bread. We do not call it "panem communem," such bread as is common to us with other creatures, but that special bread which is proper to man, who consists not only of body, but of soul and body, which must both be fed.

(Bishop Andrewes.)

Does God give us our bread? Is it not a thing that we ought to work for, and not to pray for, unless we really desire to see manna come down out of the heavens again? Bread and earthly blessings generally represent to us human energy, wisdom, and prudence; and it will be a great loss to the world when they cease to do so. But so much the more reason is there that we should pray for bread, for then our prayer really approaches God as He is — a God working through secondary causes in His management of the earthly interests of men. Those first petitions of the Lord's prayer are prayers that a man's soul can appreciate, and to that soul God can and does speak directly. But leave those to stand alone, and we see God as of necessity one who does work at first hand; and that He is not and cannot be. It does not add to God's glory to think of Him as such a one. That throne of His, toward which we look up and pray with all our hearts, "Thy kingdom come," would not be more powerful or more kindly if it were where every commonest hand could touch it. That name of His, which lies close to our secret thoughts, would not be more hallowed if He walked among us, giving us our bread with His own hand. It is more wonderful to think of Him as bringing food to generation after generation through so many various and appropriate channels. It is kinder to think of Him as one who stimulates His children respecting their powers; showing Himself in a thousand different ways, rather than by bringing supplies in one evident open way. Bread-fruit growing on the trees does not tend to the development of devotional or religious men. The countries in which you find the one do not show you the best specimens of the other. The inhabitants of those tropical lands look up just high enough to see the tree, and are satisfied. But bread brought from the earth by hard labour, eaten in the sweat of the brow, makes the man rise and praise God with all his developed faculties, and say, "Verily Thou art a God that hidest Thyself," and all the more wonderful because of that.

(Arthur Brooks.)

A man comes and says to you, "Give me bread." It is the easiest way to give him the price of a loaf: it is harder, it is wiser, it is kinder, to find him work, to stimulate his energy, to encourage his flagging spirits, to procure friends for him. Sometimes he is passing through an intermediate wilderness, where he needs a little manna rained down for a time; and you are to imitate your God in doing it. Bat that is not the rule of working; nor is it God's. And yet, when you had thus set a man upon his feet, you would not for a moment think that you had not answered his cry for bread, or did not deserve his thanks. You would expect them all the more, and they would be more valuable as they came from the lips of an independent man, instead of from the parrot-like phrases of a pauperized human being. So we pray, and the best answer God can give is to make us men. We see its answer in every friend, in every strong thought, virtuous resolution, and energetic impulse. We learn to acknowledge Him everywhere. We trace Him from our table to the sunbeam that on some distant prairies ripened the wheat. He is diffused in all places. He is a God of wonderful resources. He is our God, meeting us at every point, speaking to us of the greatness and happiness of life. The prayer makes us respect ourselves, as we see God thus ready to mingle His power with ours, and to work with us everywhere.

(Arthur Brooks.)

Give us our bread, not Thine. Let it be ours. It comes from God; our prayer shows that; and, therefore, when prayer has established that relation strongly, we need not be afraid to give that possessive pronoun all its force. Human possessorship is dangerous only when no such prayer is offered. Let the gifts come marked with your own name, speaking of personal responsibility, of personal duty, and God will become glorified more than ever.

(Arthur Brooks.)

You do not, you must not, want your neighbour's bread; you must want him to have that. Where is there a chance for dishonesty, where for oppression, when we pray such a prayer as that? No grinding the face of the poor, no withholding their wages, no reliance on their helplessness, when we have prayed that God would give them their bread. It is theirs, God gave it them; and we are to see that our hand never keeps back the blessing. "for which" we pray

(Arthur Brooks)

There is another expression the prayer which we must not overlook. In Matthew it reads, "Give us this day our daily bread"; in Luke, "Give us day by day our daily bread." In both, therefore, is that distributive idea of allotting to each day the proper character and quantity of its bread. For how the days do differ! At one time it is the diminution of supply that is wanted, to abate our pride, to increase our sense of dependence, to chasten and soften us; at another only a full table and prosperity can give us strength and encouragement. We labour on the same, day after day, trying to get all we can, the best and the most. We know not how to regulate our own lives; we are beyond ourselves. Our lives are too delicate for our hands to manage, and so we leave it to God. We can do nothing else, for we cannot see either the poverty or the fever of our blood. Unrequited labour is no contradiction, therefore; unexpected and apparently cruel disappointment is not to seem unaccountable. Neither of them is to make us say, "I will not labour, or I will not enjoy to be happy again." It is right for us to keep the stream of human life full of activity and work. Only He who presides over us, "our Father," knows when and where that flood shall be brought to bear on the machinery of life, so that it shall either produce the greatest results, or just let us have enough, perhaps scarcely enough to live on. In our earliest, simplest prayer, we embody this trust, which it is the work of all life to learn perfectly. We would not leave it out, as we see on every side men making shipwreck of themselves because they think that they know and understand all the wants of their own life. We can only determine to say and use it more constantly, to remember it under disappointment, to rejoice in it in prosperity, to feel sure that the Father alone can feed us with food convenient for us.

(Arthur Brooks.)

You cannot separate the external and the internal in life, and therefore you cannot separate Christ and our daily bread. The catechism phrase is, "I desire that God will send us all things that are needful both for our souls and bodies." God's gift to a world calling for bread is not a stone, no dead gift, but the presence of His Son. By that He strengthens us; we take up the old work stronger and better, and our prayer for daily bread is answered every day.

(Arthur Brooks.)

It is well known that many of the good men who were driven from England to America by persecution, in the seventeenth century, had to endure great privations. A numerous party, who came out about 1620, were for a time supplied with food from England, and from the natives of the western wilderness. Bat as these resources were uncertain, they began to cultivate the ground. In the spring of 1623 they planted more corn than ever before, but by the time they had done planting their food was spent. They daily prayed, "Give us this day our daily bread"; and, in some way or other, the prayer was always answered. With a single boat and fishing-net they caught bass, and when these failed they dug for clams. In the month of June their hopes of a harvest were nearly blasted by a drought, which withered up the corn, and made the grass look like hay. All expected to perish with hunger. In their distress the pilgrims set apart a day for humiliation and prayer, and continued their worship for eight or nine hours. God heard their prayers, and answered them in a way which excited universal admiration. Although the morning of that day was clear, and the weather very hot and dry during the whole forenoon, yet before night it began to rain, and gentle showers continued to fall for many days, so that the ground became thoroughly soaked, and the drooping corn revived.

"God always hears when we serape she bottom of the flour-barrel." So said the child of a poor widow to his mother, one morning, after she had prayed as only the needy can, "Give us this day our daily bread." Beautiful faith of childhood! Why may it not be ours? God always hears the prayers of His children, and He knows when to answer. Our spiritual as well as temporal wants are known to Him, and every sincere cry for help enters His compassionate ear. When we feel entirely our dependence on Him; when our stock of pride and self-confidence is exhausted; when earthly friends and earthly comforts fail us, the humble cry of "O my Father," the oftenest bring the speedy answer, "Here, My child." God always hears when we have reached the depths of need, and cry to Him for help.

This is a prayer for each morning — a daily prayer for daily bread, even for this day's bread. To offer this prayer, therefore, as many do, after the day or every repast of the day is finished, is to make it a thing of form, when it is nothing in the fact; which is about the worst dishonour that could any way be done it. Whether Jesus means this prayer to be used every morning or not, He does, at least, give honour and sanction to the daily observance of morning prayer. And it is under His sanction thus given, that I draw out now, for your consideration, this great law of practical Christian living: THAT WE NEED TO KEEP FIXED TIMES, OF APPOINTED ROUNDS OF OBSERVANCE, AS TRULY AS TO BE IN HOLY IMPULSE; TO HAVE PRESCRIBED PERIODS IN DUTY AS TRULY AS TO HAVE A SPIRIT OF DUTY; TO BE IN THE DRILL OF OBSERVANCE AS WELL AS IN THE LIBERTY OF FAITH.

1. The argument, commonly slated, as against the obligation of fixed times and ways of observance in religion, contains a fatal oversight. It is very true that mere rounds of observance, however faithfully kept, have in themselves no value; nothing of the substance of piety; but they have an immense value when kept, and meant to be, as the means of piety. This, in fact, is the very particular blessing of prayer, that when we are averted from it, and slacked in all our inclination toward it, we may still get our fire kindled by it. When we go to it, therefore, by fixed times of observance, we do just what is necessary to beget fixed inclinations, and train the soul into a habit of abiding impulse.

2. Let me ask your attention now to the grand analogies of time and routine movement in the world you live in. What could we do in a world where there are no appointed times, no calculable recurrences, no grand punctualities? Such a world would be really valueless; we could do nothing with it, and simply because it has no fixed times. And for just this reason God has consented to inaugurate the sublime routine necessary to its uses, determining the times before appointed, and the bounds of our habitation. And so very close does God come to us in this matter of times or of natural routine;-that our hearts beat punctually in it, our breath heaves in it like the panting tides of the ocean, and the body itself, and with it also the mind, is a creature of waking and sleeping, of alternating consciousness and unconsciousness, like the solar day and night of the world. And yet some cannot think it a matter sufficiently dignified to have any prescribed times in religion. Though God Himself is a Being of routine, though the everlasting worlds are bedded in routine, though their very bodies and minds are timed in it, like a watch, or the earth's revolution, still they are jealous of any such thing in religion, and refuse it, as an infringement on their liberty.

3. I refer you again to the analogy of your own courses in other things, and also to the general analogies of business. Which do we suppose to be in the best conditions of comfort, dignity, and good keeping, the savage tribes that have no set times for their meals, or we that feed in the exact routine of the civilized table? What figure of success will any man make in business who has no fixed hours? If, then, there is nothing men do with effect in the world of business, despising the law of times, how does it happen that they can expect, with any better reason, to succeed in the matter of their religion — their graces, charities, and prayers? Wherein does it appear to be absurd, to assume that the soul wants times of feeding as regular, and frequent, and punctual, as the body.

4. Consider the reason of the Sabbath, where it is assumed that men are creatures, religiously speaking, of routine, wanting it as much as they do principles, fixed times as much as liberty. A very considerable part of the value of the Sabbath consists in the drill of its times; that it comes when we do not ask for it, commands us to stop when we desire to go on, calls us off to worship by a summons astronomically timed, and measured by the revolutions of the world.

5. The Scriptures recognize the value of prescribed times and a fixed routine of duty in other ways more numerous than can be well recounted. Thus in the old religion, the sacrifices, great feasts, &c. The holy men had all their times. If we have no times in religion but such as we take by mere impulse or inclination, we shall fall away at last from all times and all duties. Let anyone take the ground, for example, that he will never pray except when he is drawn to it, and he will less and less frequently be drawn.

(H. Bushnell, D. D.)

The prayer for daily bread need not he a selfish one. It may be the expression of a pure and lofty desire. Our meat and drink and other most common necessities have a noble as well as a mean side. In this selfish world there may be found some men who do not live for self. and by whom the supports and comforts of life are sought and valued only as a means to the better doing of God's will. In their prayers the petition for bread follows naturally, "Thy will be done." The prayer for daily bread is a confession of our dependence upon God. All the prayer in the world, however, will not provide food for the man who is too lazy to work. We are creatures of manifold needs. The phrase, "necessaries of life," includes many other things than those which are required for our physical well-being. The higher part of our nature requires its daily bread.

1. To starve our finer faculties is no mote allowable than to starve our bodies. The majority of men and women do not realize what it is to starve the mind.

2. But man is a social as well as an intellectual being. The social nature requires its appropriate food. We cannot be satisfied from ourselves. We require help and sympathy from others, and we require to give help and sympathy to others, as we require our daily bread.

3. But we have deeper wants still, which cannot be satisfied by the hardest work, the largest knowledge, or the dearest love. We have an inward spiritual life which can only be fed in communion with the Divine. We need God. Jesus spoke of Himself as "the Bread of Life." His mission was to feed the Divine life of the world. When we pray "Give us," etc., we pray for the love of God, the grace of Christ, and the fellowship of the Spirit, for faith in an eternal righteousness, for a sense of the unseen things, for earnest aims and holy affections, and immortal hopes, for everything that ministers to the growth and perfection of the spiritual life.

(J. Hunter.)

Not bread for to-morrow, but bread for today. We need not be anxious about the future. In this world and in all the worlds we are the children of a Father's tenderness and care.

(J. Hunter.)

The Lord's prayer is the prayer of a family, world-wide, bound together by all the sympathies of a common Fatherhood. We are not separate beings with separate interests, but children at a common table, with common needs. The want of one is the want of all. If we pray the Lord's prayer in the Lord's spirit, we pray that the hungry may be fed, that the ignorant may be taught, that the idle may find work, that the lives of the lonely may be blessed with love, that men everywhere may be in communion with God, and partakers of the spirit of Jesus Christ, and we rise from our knees to live and work as we pray, to help God to give to His children and our brethren their daily bread.

(J. Hunter.)

Observe what it is we are to pray for. Not for delicate food, or fine clothes, or a large house; no, we are to ask for bread. Now what are we to understand by this word bread? Surely not a crust of bread alone. For this plain reason, that there are other things as needful for our bodies as bread itself. What should we do without clothes to cover us, or a roof to put our heads under at night? We may be sure that our Saviour did not mean us to disregard such things as these. Therefore, when He tells us to pray for bread, we may reasonably understand that petition as including all things which are really needful for our bodies.

(A. W. Hare.)

A little girl in a wretched attic, whose sick mother had no bread, knelt down by the bedside, and said slowly, "Give us this day our daily bread." Then she went into the street and began to wonder where God kept His bread. She turned around the corner and saw a large well-filled baker's shop. So she entered confidently and said to the baker, "I've come for it." "Come for what?" "My daily bread," she answered, pointing to the tempting loaves. "I'll take two, if you please — one for mother and one for me." "All right," said the baker, putting them into a bag and giving them to his little customer, who started at ones into the street. "Stop, you little rogue!" he said roughly; "where's your money?" "I haven't any," she said, simply. "Haven't any!" he repeated. "You little thief, what brought you here, then?" The hard words frightened the little girl, who, bursting into tears said," Mother is sick, and I am so hungry. In my prayers I said, 'Give us this day our daily bread,' and then I thought God meant me to fetch it, and so I came." The rough but kind-hearted baker was softened by the child's simple tale, and instead of chiding her, said, "You poor dear child." Here, take this to your mother," and filled a large basket full for her.

(Henry T. Williams.)

I by chance let fall a piece of bread; the burgomaster and two peasants rushed forward, and, raising the fragment, placed it on the window-sill: "You have let fall the gift of God," said they.

(One Year in Sweden.)

In this petition there are two things observable.

I.The order.

II.The matter.

I. The order. First we pray "Hallowed be Thy name," before "Give us this day our daily bread." Hence we learn that the glory of God ought to be preferred before our personal concerns.

1. Do we prefer God's glory before our own credit?

2. Do we prefer God's glory before our relations?

3. We must prefer God's glory before estate; gold is but shining dust, God's glory must weigh heavier.

4. We must prefer God's glory before our life — "they loved not their own lives to the death." Who but a soul inflamed in love to God can set God highest on the throne, and prefer Him above all private concerns?

II. The second thing in the petition is the matter of it — "Give us this day our daily bread."

1. See our own poverty and indigence; we live all upon alms, and upon free gifts — "Give us this day."

2. Is all a gift? then we are to seek every mercy from God by prayer — "Give us this day." The tree of mercy will not drop its fruit, unless shaken by the hand of prayer. Better starve, than go to the devil for provender.

3. If all be a gift, then it is not a debt. We cannot say to God, as that creditor said, "Pay me that thou owest."

4. If all be a gift, "Give us this day"; then take notice of God's goodness. There is nothing in us can deserve or requite God's kindness; yet such is the sweetness of His nature, He gives us rich provision, and feeds us with the finest of the wheat. Observe three things in God's giving.(1) He is not weary of giving; the springs of mercy are ever running. The honeycomb of God's bounty is still dropping.(2) God delights in giving — "He delighteth in mercy."(3) God gives to His very, enemies. Who will send in his provisions to his enemy? The dew drops on the thistle as well as the rose; the dew of God's bounty drops upon the worst.

5. If all be a gift, see then the odious ingratitude of men, who sin against their Giver. How many make a dart of God's mercies, and shoot at Him? He gives them wit, and they serve the devil with it.

6. If God gives us all, let God's giving excite us to thanksgiving; He is the Founder and Donor of all our blessings, let Him have all our acknowledgments. "All the rivers come from the sea, and thither they return again"; all our gifts come from God, and to Him must all our praises return. We are apt to burn incense to our own drag; to attribute all we have to our own second causes.(1) Our own skill and industry. Or —(2) We oft ascribe the praise to second causes, and forget God.First, give. Hence I note —

1. That the good things of this life are the gifts of God; He is the Founder and Donor.

2. From this word "give," I note, that it is not unlawful to pray for temporal things; we may pray for daily bread.(1) There is a great difference between our praying for temporal things and spiritual. In praying for spiritual things we must be absolute; but when we pray for temporal things, here our prayers must be limited, we must pray conditionally so far as God sees them good for us.(2) When we pray for things pertaining to this life, we must desire temporal things for spiritual ends; we must desire these things to be as helps in our journey to heaven. If we pray for health, it must be that we may improve this talent of health for God's glory, and may be fitter for His service. If we are to pray for temporal good things, then how much more for spiritual?Some may say, We have an estate already, and what need we pray, "Give us daily bread." Supposing we have a plentiful estate, yet we need make this petition, "Give us daily bread," and that upon a double account.(1) That we may have a blessing upon our food, and all that we enjoy — "I will abundantly bless her provision." "Man shall not live by bread alone." If God should withhold a blessing, what we eat would turn to bad humours, and hasten death.(2) Though we have estates, yet we had need pray, "give," that we may hereby engage God to continue these comforts to us. How many casualties may fall out! Secondly, "us" — "Give us." Why do we pray here in the plural? Why "Give us"? Why is it not said, "Give me"? Spiders work only for themselves but bees work for the good of others; the more excellent anything is, the more it operates for the good of others. The springs refresh others with their crystal streams, the sun enlightens others with its golden beams; the more a Christian is ennobled with grace, the more he besiegeth heaven with his prayers for others. It is matter of comfort to the godly, who are but low in the world, yet they have the prayers of God's people for them; they pray not only for the increase of their faith, but their food, that God will give them "daily bread." The fourth thing in the petition is, "our bread." Why is it called "our bread," when it is not ours, but God's?

1. We must understand it in a qualified sense; it is our bread, being gotten by honest industry. There are two sorts of bread that cannot properly be called our bread — the bread of idleness; the bread of violence.

2. It is called "our bread" by virtue of our title to it. There is a twofold title to bread.(1) A spiritual title; in and by Christ we have a right to the creature, and may call it "our bread." "All things are yours"; by what title? "Ye are Christ's."(2) A civil title, which the law confers on us; to deny men a civil right to their possessions, and make all common, opens the door to anarchy and con. fusion. See the privilege of believers; they have both a spiritual and a civil right to what they possess; they who can say, "our Father," can say, "our bread." Wicked men, though they have a legal right to what they possess, yet have not a covenant right; they have it by providence, not by promise; with God's leave, not with His love. Wicked men are in God's eye no better than usurpers; all they have, their money and land, is like cloth taken up at the draper's, which is not paid for; but this is the sweet privilege of believers, they can say "our bread"; Christ being theirs, all is theirs. O how sweet is every bit of bread dipped in Christ's blood! The fifth and last thing in this petition is, the thing we .pray for, "daily bread." What is meant by bread? Bread here, by a synecdoche, is put for all the temporal blessings of this life, food, fuel, clothing: whatever may serve for necessity or sober delight. Learn to be contented with that allowance God gives us.If we have bread, a competency of these outward things, let us rest satisfied.

1. God can bless a little, "He will bless thy bread and thy water." A blessing puts sweetness into the least morsel of bread, it is like sugar in wine.

2. God, who gives us our allowance, knows what quantity of these outward things is fittest for us; a smaller provision may be fitter for Some; bread may be better than dainties; every one cannot bear an high condition, no more than a weak brain can bear heavy wine.

3. In being content with daily bread, that which God carves for us, though it be a lesser piece; much grace is seen in this: all the graces act their part in a contented soul. As the holy ointment was made up of several spices — myrrh, cinnamon, cassia; so, contentment hath in it a mixture of several graces. There is faith, a Christian believes God doth all for the best; and love, which thinks no evil, but takes all God doth in good part; and patience, submit. ring cheerfully to what God orders wisely. God is much pleased to see so many graces at once sweetly exercised, like so many bright stars shining in a constellation.

4. To be content with daily bread, the allowance God gives, though but sparingly, doth keep us from many temptations, which discontented persons fall into. When the devil sees a person just of Israel's humour, not content with manna, but must have quails, saith Satan, Here is good fishing for me. Satan oft tempts discontented ones to murmuring, and to unlawful means, cozening and defrauding.

5. What a rare and admirable thing is it to be content with daily bread, though it be coarse, and though there be but little of it! What he hath not in the cupboard, he hath in the promise.

6. To make us content with daily bread, though God straitens us in our allowance, think seriously of the danger that is in an high prosperous condition.

7. If God keeps us to a spare diet, if He gives us less temporals, He hath made it up in spirituals; He hath given us the pearl of price and the holy anointing.

8. If you have but daily bread enough to suffice nature, be content. Consider it is not having abundance makes the life always comfortable; it is not a great cage will make the bird sing: a competency may breed contentment, when having more may make one less content; a staff may help the traveller, but a bundle of staves will be a burden to him. A great estate may be like a long trailing garment, more burdensome than useful. Many that have great incomes and revenues have not so much comfort in their lives as some that go to their hard labour.

9. If you have less daily bread, you will have less account to give. The greater revenues the greater reckonings; this may quiet and content us, if we have but little daily bread, our account will be less.

10. You that have but a small competency in these outward things, your provisions are short, yet you may be content to consider how much you look for hereafter. God keeps the best wine till last.

(T. Watson.)

A dozen half-pennies look much more valuable than a single shilling. I saw a little girl lately, who began to cry when a sixpence, which she had got, was taken from her; but she thought she had made a wonderfully good exchange, and dried her tears, when, instead of the little sixpence, she got a big penny. And yet, you know how many large pieces of copper or bronze it would take, to equal in value a small piece of silver, and, still more, to be worth a piece of gold. So there are many long prayers which are not worth half so much as some very short ones. There are some, the repetition of which would take a quarter of an hour, of far less value than others that would not take you a quarter of a minute. A big crown piece, or a big copper penny, does not come so far short of the value of a gold guinea, as many long prayers do of the shortest petitions. It is the importance of the things asked, the need for them at the time, and the spirit of the prayers offered, that give them any real value, irrespective of the number of words made use Of.

You will also find the same prayer, in Slightly different words, in Luke 10:3: "Give us day by day our daily bread." Let me, first of all, even at the risk of virtually repeating what I said at the beginning of a former address, call your attention to the place which this petition occupies in the Lord's prayer. I have seen a gentleman bringing his old mother into a room, leaning upon his arm. He got the best seat for her. He helped her before any one else. "Wouldn't I be unworthy of a son's name and place if I did not consult my mother's wishes before my own, and seek her pleasure above my own, and make what was mine ever second to what was hers?" Just so with God and His children. His will, His honour, His glory — these should ever be first; so that, even before getting the wants of the body supplied, before thinking of their daily bread, they must think of Him.

I. This petition teaches the lesson of DEPENDENCE and THANKFULNESS: God the Giver of all good, and we the receivers. That is implied in the opening word, "Give." It acknowledges our dependence on God.

II. This petition teaches the lesson of CHARITY — of caring for others as well as for ourselves. It does not say, "Give me my bread." I have seen two orphans. The elder, a girl, has her arm clasped round her brother, and as she looks at his pale cheeks, and bare feet, and tattered clothes, all heedless of herself, and only mindful of him, she says, "Have pity on us; help us; give us." That has a power that "give me" never would have had. This is a prayer for others. It is a prayer for the family, the father asking the blessing for all his household.

III. This petition teaches the lesson of DAILY TRUST IN GOD. "Give us this day." When Israel was in the wilderness, we can fancy this prayer to have suited them well, "Give us this day our daily bread." They had no store, and yet they had no fear. How apt we all are to fear for the future, alike in youth and age. I might mention many instances of a more ordinary kind, occurring in common life, all pointing in the direction of trusting in God in any emergency. I prefer, however, to call your attention to one or two well-authenticated instances of a more remarkable, though without pretending at all to be of a miraculous, kind. I dare say many of you are familiar with the history of those Christians in the valleys of Italy, so well known as "the Waldenses," alike for their sufferings for the truth and their unflinching steadfastness. On one occasion they had been driven out from their homes, and when a large number, consisting of many hundreds, returned, what with the assaults of their enemies, and the want of food, their case seemed quite desperate. At this juncture, however, a thaw came on in these stormy regions, and, in the course of a night, the snow had so melted away, that next morning there stood a field of corn ready to be cut, almost as if it had come there by miracle, sustaining these Christian martyrs till other supplies came. During the persecution that raged in France at the time of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew, when so many Protestants perished, a minister, named M. Merlin, chaplain to the good Admiral de Coligny, hid himself in a hay-loft. Here, however, he was in danger of dying from starvation, and would have perished, but that every day a hen came and laid an egg near where he was, which preserved his life! We are told of another witness for the truth — a godly woman, who had great faith in God's providence, that, on being brought before a judge, and condemned for her religion, he tauntingly said to her, "I shall send you to prison, and then how will you be fed?" Her reply was, "If it be my Heavenly Father's will, I shall be fed from your table." And so it was. The wife of the judge, hearing this, was so struck with the woman's steadfastness and faith in God, that she supplied her with all she needed during her imprisonment, and herself found the same Saviour for whom the other suffered. Surely the Lord is worthy to be trusted. An old writer say of the child of God, "What he hath not in the cupboard, he hath in the promise!"

IV. This petition teaches the duty of PRAYER FOR ALL COMMON MERCIES. We are told here to pray for "bread"; and bread includes all that is needed for the supply of our bodily wants. And then, "this day," implies that the prayer, as it is needful, so it should be offered every day. One day's food will not do for another, and So one day's prayer will not do for another.

V. This petition teaches the lesson of DILIGENCE, HONESTY, AND CONTENTMENT — "our bread."

1. It must be earned.

2. It must be honestly come by. Otherwise, you cannot say "our bread."

3. It must be "food convenient for you." You may not get all you would like. You may not get what other people regard as best for you. Look into that cottage, and see the aged saint, whose home it is, sitting at an uncovered table, with a crust of bread and a cup of water. The head is reverently bowed, the face is lighted up with a look of content, and thanks are given before partaking, for "All this, and Christ too!" Not long since, one whom I knew, a tradesman in humble life, was dying of consumption. Those who went about him remarked his contentment and his thankfulness. One day a bunch of grapes was handed in for the invalid, and when this, so much better than the "daily bread," was given, his heart was so full, that the only way in which he could get outlet to what he felt, was by asking his young wife to lock the door, that undisturbed, they might have family worship, in acknowledgment of this gift of God. When a friend of mine went in, a little after, they had just concluded their exercise, and the dying man, holding up the grapes, said, with a beaming face," This is just like one of the clusters of Esohcol, telling what the promised land will be!

VI. This petition teaches the lesson of MODERATION IN OUR DESIRES — "Our daily bread."

(J. H. Wilson, M. A.)Nor is it the penniless alone who must offer this prayer. The millionaire must offer it not less than the pauper. For, observe how many steps are involved in the obtaining a single loaf of bread. Trace the history of wheat from the day it is sown as grain in the poor man's field to the day it reappears as bread on the rich man's table. Look first at the grain itself. Tiny and simple as a kernel of wheat is, man, although skilful and strong enough to build empires, is not skilful and strong enough to build a solitary wheat-kernel. Each kernel is the product and gift of our Heavenly Father. This is the first step. Again: Wheat cannot grow without soil. And soil man cannot make. True, he can modify its character. But he and all the chemists in the world, sitting in conclave with Liebig at their head, cannot create one of those ingredients, which in their union constitute soil. Soil is the product and gift of our Heavenly Father. This is the second step. Again: The best quality of wheat may be put into the best quality of soil, and yet there be no harvest. Moisture, heat, light, electricity, chemical elements and agencies in most complicated and delicate forms, and these in due order and proportions — all these are indispensable to the sprouting, growing, and ripening of the wheat. And not one of them can man make. He may modify them, indeed; but not one of them can he create. They are the product and gift of our Heavenly Father. This is the third step. Again: The wheat may be cradled and gathered into granaries, and yet there be no bread. Skill is needed to take advantage of the laws of mechanics and of chemistry, to invent the machine that shall thresh and winnow it, and the mill that shall grind it, and the yeast that shall leaven it, and the oven that shall bake it. And skill, although man prides himself on it as though it were his own creation, is the gift of our Heavenly Father. This is the fourth step. Again: The wheat may already be in the form of bread, and yet not find its way to the table. Numerous and complicated laws of finance, laws of demand and supply, of labour and capital, of exchange and circulating medium, intervene between the producer and the consumer. And these laws are aa much beyond the power of human alteration as the winds of heaven. True, man may modify their action, as the mariner does the action of the winds when he adjusts his canvas to the breeze. But he can no more create or alter or annihilate them than the mariner can turn an easterly wind into a westerly, or Euroclydon into a zephyr.

(G. D. Boardman, D. D.)

Let us enforce the great principles contained in this request.

I. One of these is, THAT FOR SHE SUPPLY OF THEIR TEMPORAL WANTS, MEN ARE DEPENDENT ON GOD. When the Saviour puts the petition into our mouths, "Give us this day our daily bread," He not only teaches the abstract doctrine of our dependence, but that we should be in the habit of acknowledging it. Temporal enjoyments are no more the result of chance and contingency than the beautiful and wondrous world in which we dwell. Natural causes may be the means and instruments of their production, but they are not the authors of them. Nature herself teaches us that our insufficiency is absolute, while God's sufficiency is boundless. How many secondary causes, not one of which is under any human control, must be preserved in successful operation in order to secure his daily subsistence to a single individual of the human family! What a delicate and nice adjustment of all the laws of nature, in order to furnish him food to eat and raiment to put on! What a multitude of bodies in the planetary system must be constantly and wisely directed, in order to shelter him from the summer's heat and the winter's cold! To instructions like these we may also add the lessons of personal experience. You began the world poor; and God has not only taken care of you, but given you unexpected prosperity.

II. Another principle contained in this request is, that WHAT IS THUS SUPPLIED TO THE CHILDREN OF MEN, IS TO THEM A MERE GRATUITY. It is all of His mercy, and not of our own deserving. Gabriel himself cannot say Of the smallest and obscurest gem that adorns his crown that it is of his own procuring. And if man's dependence renders his daily bread God's gift, much more does his sinfulness render it so. As a sinner, he has no right to Divine blessings of any kind. It is not a thought to which the minds of Christian men are strangers, that their daily bread is conveyed to them in channels opened at the Cross.

III. There is also another principle of great practical import contained in this request. It strongly inculcates AN IMPLICIT RELIANCE ON THE DIVINE GOODNESS AND BOUNTY FOR ALL THAT WE NEED. It is a great privilege to trust with undisturbed tranquillity on the bountiful providence of our Father who is in heaven.

IV. There is yet another great principle involved in this request — it is THAT OUR DESIRES FOR TEMPORAL GOOD SHOULD BE MODERATE. "Give us this day our daily bread," This prayer regulates the amount of our wants, and the measure of our desires.

(G. Spring, D. D.)

Although He is the great Giver of all temporal blessings, yet if it be by wisely appointed means and instruments that He gives, the application of these means and instruments is indispensable to the gift. It is so for every gift which God bestows. Men, in the common affairs of human life, never think of acting upon any other principle.

1. In the first place, there is nothing in man's dependence that dispenses with his own industry. The moral virtue of men depends, in no small degree, upon their industry and enterprise.

2. Another of the means, without which we may look in vain for temporal good to God as the Giver, is economy. He who wastes what God gives him, may not complain if He ceases to give. Nature and Providence are constantly reading us this lesson. One law is made to subserve a thousand purposes, and acts everywhere. Nothing is thrown away; nothing lost; nothing but accomplishes its appropriate end. If, then, such is the wise economy in the kingdom of nature; if the most worthless mineral, or the meanest vegetable, when decomposed, is resolved into elements which immediately enter into new combinations, and in other forms assist in carrying on the designs of Providence, surely nothing was given to men to destroy.

3. Nor do we hesitate, in the next place, to specify among the means of temporal prosperity, a sacred regard to the Lord's Day.

4. Another of the means of worldly good is a sacred regard to truth. Truth between man and man is the only solid basis of human intercourse. Without it there can be no confidence in the transactions of business; no order, no happiness in human society.

5. Another means of temporal prosperity is that genuine rectitude and integrity of character which secure honesty in our dealings with one another.

6. One more thought deserves consideration, as connected by the Divine appointment with temporal prosperity — it is a filial, respectful, and dutiful deportment towards parents. "Honour thy father and thy mother, that thy days may be long in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Such are the ordinary means of procuring temporal blessings. Where these are faithfully adopted and pursued, men may consistently pray, "Give us this day our daily bread!"

(G. Spring, D. D.)

Now consider how many movements not under human control are necessary in order to secure the simple bread of a single child in the household of God on earth. Think of the large plans of God's providence which the putting of the loaf on the table implies. The word "providence" means "foresight." To provide is pro-video, to "see before." What forethought the Father has had I what a long way He can see ahead! It is well that we have such a Father to think for us and to look ahead for us. I remember a striking passage in the Rev. William Arthur's "Fernley Lecture" which illustrates this truth with much philosophic precision and fulness. I cannot forbear quoting a sentence or two. "Our corn sprouts in direct dependence on a world distant from ours by millions and tens of millions of miles; and whether water or wind drives the mill that grinds the corn, the water runs and the wind blows immediately under the influence of sun and moon, which, so far as we know, have within their own bounds no miller waiting to grind, and no eater asking for bread. This order between sun and fields evidently is not ordained to terminate with the fields; but is aimed at a point farther on, where order must be kept up between them and beings of fragile mould, who can exist only by virtue of complex harmonies being sustained between themselves and the earth and the sun." "He that would if he could, crib and confine all human thought within the human sphere is forced by a question of bread to confess that the wheels which grind for the children of men their corn, are all turning in silence outside of the human sphere,"... "rolling round in manifest relation with the daily renewed hunger of this needy family of ours." Science teaches that there are sources of supply higher than the clouds. The Saviour here teaches us that the sources of supply are to be referred back beyond the solar system, even to the Father in heaven, who keeps the windmills and watermills of the universe going, to grind for the children the bread He gives. This is the forethought of the Father, the Father looking ahead. Other instances of this truth might be given. Physical science is showing us with bewildering wealth of illustration that the Father's foresight is infinite, and that the delicate movement and perfect adjustment of sun and earth, of solar system and our corn-sown fields, directly touches the question of our daily bread. The Father's providence carries us back to ages long before this earth-home was ready for the family. He was then laying in stores of coal and mineral for future use. Iron was laid up in the store-house of the earth incalculable ages before man was created; it was put there for man; and without it the vast system of our commerce and civilization could not have existed. There are also our coal-beds. The luxuriant tropical forests of pre-historic ages were engulfed and pressed, and changed by chemical action into coal for our use. You put a piece of coal on the fire; it ignites; combustion takes place; the gases and sunlight escape which were stored up there ages ago. It grew a tree which drank in the sunlight and gases of the atmosphere, and stored them to be released in the bright fire that warms you. Thus the same forethought of the Father gives us fuel that gives us food. Our Heavenly Father provides us with food and firing. The Father laid stores in the earth-home before the family came to live in it.

(J. H. Batt.)

The value of praying over these matters is seen in times of extremity. As God fed Elijah by means of ravens — birds of a ravenous disposition — so He sometimes in answer to prayer employs instrumentalities of a most unlikely kind to be almoners of His bounty. The following story is told in the Sword and Trowel for January, 1884: — "Thomas Hownham, who lived in the North of England, a good many years ago, was once reduced to great straits. Having tried in vain to get work, he went out in the moonlight to a spot some way from his cottage, and there poured out his soul in prayer, his wife and children having gone to bed supperless, the little ones crying themselves to sleep. In an hour or two he returned. To his surprise he found inside the door a joint of meat and a half-peck loaf. He woke his wife and children, and they had a hearty meal together. How it came there he could not find out till twelve years after, when a rich but very miserly farmer died. Then a respectable servant who had lived long in his employ spoke of his master as having done one act of charity in the course of his life, though he afterwards regretted it. On the night in question he dreamed three times over that Hownham and his family were starving, and at last it had such an effect on him that he woke his two servants, and sent his man with bread and meat, which he left at the cottage. Next morning he was so vexed with himself at what he had done, that he charged both his servants never to say a word about it as long as he lived, or he would discharge them."

(J. H. Batt.)

What are we taught by the mention of bread of this prayer? Temporal things are to be prayed for.

1. These are good things in themselves.

2. They are very needful and useful. Needful (as means sanctified of God) for preserving our being in the world, which, like a lamp, would soon be extinguished if a continual supply of new oil were not added thereto.

3. The want of them is a great hindrance to the work of our calling, to works of charity and piety, and a temptation to injustice.

(W. Gouge.)What instruction are we taught by this word "daily"? Our desire must be for no more than is needful for us. What may be accounted needful?

1. That which very nature requireth, as meat and drink to feed the body, and clothing to keep it warm; without these the body cannot but pine away and perish.

2. That which is meet for the estate wherein God hath set us, as fit instruments for artificers, books for scholars, ammunition for captains and other soldiers.

3. That which is requisite for the charge committed to us. As, if a man have wife and children, that which is meet for them, as well as for himself, may justly be accounted needful.

4. That which is apparently needful for the time to come. Fathers ought to lay up for their children.

(W. Gouge.)How doth God give bread, and the things here comprised under it?

1. By causing them to be brought forth.

2. By bringing them to us, so as we may partake of the use of them. Thus saith God to Israel, "I gave her corn, and wine, and oil," &c. (Hosea 2:8).

3. By giving them a blessing.

4. By sanctifying them to us.

(W. Gouge.)What are the particular good things for which, by reason of the fourth petition, thanksgiving is required?

1. Life itself. For every day that is renewed unto us affordeth matter of thanks even for that life which is lent us.

2. Health and strength in that life.

3. Sufficient means to preserve these. This Moses giveth in express charge to Israel, saying, "When thou hast eaten and filled thyself, thou shalt bless the Lord thy God."

4. Recovery of health and strength. For this did Hezekiah (as a perpetual testimony of his thankfulness) indite a psalm of praise, and cause it to be registered for all ages.

5. Good success in our pains. For this doth Abraham's servant give express thanks unto God (Genesis 24., 26, 27; 31:5, &c.).

6. The extent of God's providence to our family, and to such as we ought to provide for. Jacob acknowledgeth thus much (Genesis 33:11, 20).

7. God's bounty extended to the places where we dwell. Sion was the city of David, and in Jerusalem was his habitation; he doth therefore praise the Lord for that peace, plenty, safety, and other like blessings which God had bestowed thereupon.

8. God's providence in keeping away, or removing any evils, as famine, plague, sword, plots and practices of enemies, with the like.

9. The common blessings which God bestoweth on the whole world.The consideration whereof much enlarged David's heart to praise the Lord. What are the duties after which we ought to endeavour by reason of the fourth petition?

1. Diligence in our calling.

2. Good conscience in getting the things that are needful for us.

3. Confidence in God for His blessing.

4. Faith in the Lord Jesus for a right to what we have.

5. Faithfulness in nourishing and cherishing our bodies with that which we have.

6. Temperance in using such things as are most usual and useful for us.

7. Contentment in that which God bestoweth on us.

8. Providence for such as belong to our charge.

9. Liberality to such as need. The extent of this particle "us" reacheth to all of all sorts.

10. Joy in the occasions of rejoicing which others have for God's blessing on their temporal estate.

(W. Gouge.)Who may be accounted guilty of neglecting their own welfare?

1. They who care not what hurt they do to their bodies.

2. They who over-rigorously punish their bodies. Many blinded with superstition and besotted with idolatry.

3. They who through too eager a pursuit of what they like, waste their natural vigour, as Esau, who followed his hunting till he was faint.

4. They who by immoderate passion shorten their days. It is taxed as a fault in Rachel, that she refused to be comforted.

5. They who through stinginess afford not themselves things needful.

6. They who cast themselves into needless dangers.

7. Self-murderers. It is the main scope of this petition to desire preservation of life.

(W. Gouge.)

In the three former we made our ascents and approaches towards heaven; here our devotion flies at a lower pitch, and stoops at the world. By nature's rule, when things are at the highest, they must descend. When the sun hath climbed up to the remotest part of our tropic, and is placed at greatest distance from our hemisphere, he traverses his course, and by another tropic falls nearer to us again. In the three first petitions we were nearer the sun, nearer that place where the throne of God is fixed, and the sun of righteousness moves, heaven. Here we, as it were, cut the line, are in a new climate; the two globes of earth and heaven here divide themselves, this being the first side of the terrestrial.

(Archdeacon King.)

When Adam forfeited his obedience, and shut God out of his heart, the ear of God and the bounty of nature were at once barred against him; for at first the earth wore her commodities in her forehead, visible and eminent; but after man's fall, she, by God's command, called in her blessings, concealed her fruits, and instead of that plenty wherein once she was apparelled, now only wears that barren attire which God's curse cast upon her-thorns and thistles — from which curse nothing can rescue or redeem her but prayer and labour; prayer to open the ear of God, and labour to open the earth and search for those riches which lie hid within her bosom.

(Archdeacon King.)

We see in the common practice that till the custom be paid the trade is not free or open; so whilst the firstfruits, which are God's custom, rest unpaid, we cannot expect a profitable traffic with Him, or success in our own affairs. The story tells us that when Jacob, pressed by the famine which reigned in the land, sent to Egypt for victuals, he considered the dignity of the governor before his own necessity, and honoured him with a present, the best he could provide, before he asked for corn. We were not true Israelities if we more regarded meats and drinks than to do the will of God, or preferred panem quotidianum, "our daily bread," before the hallowing of His Name. Certainly to begin with God is a fair introduction to all other blessings.

A large provision for so short a voyage as life is a perplexity, not a help; and a burthen, not a supply.

(Archdeacon King.)

As no part of the body was made only for itself, so no man. We are all one body, whereof Christ is head, and therefore one another's members. As we are all parts of that mystical body, so are we also of a political. Of which body, as the King is the head, and the counsellors the brain, so the rich man is the stomach that receives the good of the land. Now as the stomach receives the meat not to retain it still there, but to disperse it into all the parts of the body, which must be fed by that nourishment, so have rich men their wealth not to hoard up, but to disperse amongst the needy; for dispersit, dedit pauperibus, is the rich man's office and commendation too. Do but observe how God waters the earth by several veins and channels. Shall the channel say to the dry ground, I will retain my waters, and shut up my banks from relieving your barrenness? when the channel is but the conveyance of that blessing to the world. God oftimes reaches unto us His benefits by other's hands. He hath made the rich His almoner, his hand to contribute unto the necessities of his brethren; for per eum qui habet juvat egentem,per eum qui non habet probat habentem. If then he be of such a cruel retention to close and shut up himself against the poor, he resists the ordinance of God, by withholding that good which He intended to convey to others by him. Christ teaches us to say "Our bread" and "Give us."

(Archdeacon King.)

As it is the date of the petition, so must it also be the date of our solicitude. From whence I shall only raise these short lessons, and so end. First, we must know that our care of temporal blessings ought not to be prolonged so far as either to impede devotion or make life tedious. Care is a useless companion to Christians.

(Archdeacon King.)

Do not thou, like a fortified town, because thou art victualled for many months, presume upon thy strength, or stand upon thy own guard, as if thou couldst hold out a siege against all necessities, like the rich man in the gospel, who, having filled his barns and storehouses, bid his soul rest securely in the confidence of his wealth. Know that God, with one fit of an ague, can shake thy strongest fortification, that He can cut off thy supplies, and break thy staff of bread, as He did Israel's, and by the battery of one hot disease even in a night's skirmish beat thy soul out of her frail citadel. Think it not enough to come to church upon Sundays, or serve God once a week, and forget Him till the next Sabbath's "All in" awake thee. As it was a constant daily sacrifice which the priest offered in the old law, so must thou offer up to God a sacrifice of prayer for the sanctification of this day, and each present day unto thee. Now as thou must not discontinue God's service, so neither must thou anticipate putting two days' devotions into one, or think to serve God so long at once as will serve for thrice.

(Archdeacon King.)

Let us not still look downward, lingering after the bread or the temporal benefits of this life, as Israel did after the fleshpots of Egypt; but address ourselves for a new voyage, remembering that when our strength and stomach shall fail, when age shall cast a general numbness over us, when this our bread shall grow insipid, and our palate tasteless, there is a new table and another kind of bread provided for us in the kingdom of Christ. Instead of this panis quotidianus, "our daily bread," pants crastinus (for so Saint Hierome writes that some Hebrews true, slated this place), a "future bread," which we shall eat the morrow after this world's day concludes. Such bread, which, when we have once tasted, will leave no more hunger to succeed it; and such a morrow which shall have no new day apparent to inherit that light which died the evening before. For this life's hodie, which we call "to-day," shall be turned into a quotidie, "every day," in the next, but without difference, or vicissitude, or alteration.

(Archdeacon King.)

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