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Directions concerning prayer.

ST. MATTHEW.

The Lord's prayer. 7. But when ye pray, use not vain | Father knoweth what things ye have

An. Olymp: An. Olymp. repetitions, as the heathen do : " for need of, before ye ask him.

they think that they shall be heard for 9 After this manner therefore pray their much speaking.

ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed 8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your be thy name.

CCI. 3.

CCI. 3.

a Eccles. 5. 2. Ecclus. 7. 14.-01 Kings 18. 26, 29.

< Psal. 33. 15. & 115. 3. Luke 11. 2, &c. Rom. 8. 14, 15.

vices, and reckons to his subjects' account, even their trust O God, O God, O God, O God!--O Lord, O Lord, O Lord, and confidence in begging all things of him!

O Lord!--O living, O inmortal, O living, O immortal, O livVerse 7. Use not vain repetitions] Mn Batrodoy nonte. Suidas ing, O immortal, O living, O immortal !–O Creator of the explains this word well; “ Toludoyoce, much speaking, from one heavens and the earth!-0 thou who art endowed with Majesty Battus, who made very prolix hymns, in which the same idea and authority, O) wonderful, &c. I have extracted the above frequently recurred.” A frequent repetition of auful and from a form of prayer used by Tippo Sahib, which I met with striking words may often be the result of earnestness and fer- in a book of devotion taken out of his pocket when found vour. See Dan. ix. 3—20. but great length of prayer, which || among the slain at the stormning of Seringapatam; in which will of course involve much sameness and idle repetition, there were several prayers written with his own hand, and naturally creates fatigue and carelessness in the worshipper, signed with his own name. and seems to suppose ignorance or inattention in the Deity; Of this vain repetition in civil matters among the Jews, many a fault against which our Lord more particularly wishes to instances might be given, and not a few examples might be secure them.” Sce ver. 8. This judicious note is from the late found among Christians. The heathens abounded with them : Mr. Gilbert Wakefield, who illustrates it with the following see several quoted by Lightfoot.-Let the parricide be drag. quotations from the Heautontimorumenos of Terence, ged' We beseech thee, Augustus, let the parricide be dragged ! Ohe! jam desine Deos, uror, gratulando obtundere,

This is the thing we ask, let the parricide be dragged ! Hear Tuam esse inventam gnutam: nisi illos ex TUO INGEN10 judicas,|| us, Cæsar; let the false accusers be' cast to the lion! Hear Ut nil credas INTELLIGERE, nisi idem dicTUM SIT CENTIES.

us, Casar, let the false accusers be condemned to the lion !

Hear us, Cæsar, &c. It was a maxim among the Jews, that Pray thee, wife, cease from stunning the gods with thanksgivings, because thy child is in safety ; unless thou judgest of if it only imply

perseverance in supplication ; but if it be used

“ he who multiplies prayer, must be heard.” This is correct, them from thyself, that they cannot UNDERSTAND a thing, un

to signify the multiplying of words, or even forms of prayer, less they are told of it a HUNDRED TIMES.” Heaut. ver. 880. Prayer requires more of the heart than of the tongue. The hends : Be not as the heuthenuse not vain repetition, &c.

it will necessarily produce the evil which our Lord repreeloquence of prayer consists in the fervency of desire, and the

As the heathen] The Vatican MS. reads utroxgotav, like the simplicity of faith. The abundance of fine thoughts, studied and vehement motions, and the order and politeness of the ex- plimentary phrases in prayer, are in general the result of

hypocrites. Unmeaning words, useless repetitions, and compressions, are things which compose a mere human harangue, heathenisin, hypocrisy

, or ignorance. not a humble and christian prayer.

Our trust and con

Verse 8. Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of] fidence ought to proceed from that which God is able to do in us, and not from that which we can say to him. It is | Prayer is not designed to inform God, but to give man a sight of

his misery ; to humble his heart, to excite his desire, to inflame abominable, says the Jledaval, that a person offering up his faith, 10 animate his hope, to raise his soul from earth to prayers to God, should say, “ I beseech thee, by the glory of heaven, and to put him in mind that there is his Father, luis thy heavens!” or, “ by the splendor of thy throne !” for a

country, and inheritance. stile of this nature would lead to suspect that the Almighty

In the preceding verses we may see three faults, which our derived glory from the heavens; whereas the heavens are

Lord commands us to avoid in prayer : created, but God with all his attributes is eternal and inimit

lot. HYPOCRISY. Be not as the hypocrites. ver. 5. able. HEDAYAH, vol. iv. p. 121.

2dly. Dissipation. Enter into thy closet. ver. 6. This is the sentiment of a Mohammedan ; and yet for this

3dly. Much SPEAKING, or UNMEANING REPETITION. Be not vain repetition, th: Mohammedans are peculiarly remarkable ; || like the heathens. ver. 7. they often use such words as the following:

Verse 9. After this manner therefore pray ye] Forms of i ;

teacher gave one to his disciples. Some forms were drawn

out to a considerable length, and from these abridgements were ;

made : to the latter sort the following prayer properly belongs,

prayer were frequent among the Jews; and every public || يا الله يا الله يا الله يا الله يا رب يا رب يا رب يا رب حي و قيوم يا حي و قيوم يا حي و قیوم یا

بديع السموات و الأرض يا ذا الجلال و الكرام وغيره یا

و قیوم

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and consequently, besides its own very important use, it is a This phrase in the Scriptures, seems used to express :

Ist. His OMNIPRESENCE. plan for a more extended devotion. What satisfaction is it to

The heuvens of heavens cannot conlearn from God himself, with what zords, and in what manner

tain thee. 1 Kings viii. 37. that is, Thou fillest immensity. be would have us to pray to him, so as not to pray in vain !

2Jly. His MAJESTY and DOMINION over his creatures. Art A king, who himself draws up the petition which he allows to thou not God in heuven, and rulest thou not over all the kingbe presented to himself, has doubtless the fullest determination doms of the heathen ? 2 Chron. xx. 6. to grant the request. We do not sufficiently consider the 3dly. His Power and might. Art thou not God in heaven, value of this prayer ; the respect and attention which it re- und in thy hand is there not power and might, so that no quires, the preference to be given to il, its fulness and perfec- creature is able to withstand thee! 2 Chron. xx. 6. Our God tion, the frequent use we should make of it, and the spirit which is in heaven, and hath done whatsoever he pleased. Psal. cxv.

3. we should bring with it. “ Lord, teach us how to pray!" is a

4thly. His OMNISCIENCE.

The Lord's throne is in heaven, prayer necessary to prayer; for unless we are divinely in his eyes behold, his eye-lids try the children of men. Psal. xi. 4. structed in the manner, and influenced by the spirit of true | The Lord looketh down from heaven, he beholdeth all the sons of

men. Psal. xxxiii. 13-15. devotion, even the prayer taught us by Jesus Christ may be repeated, without profit to our souls.

5thly. His infinite purity and Holiness. Look down from Our Father] It was a maxim of the Jews, that a man thy holy habitation, &c. Deut. 26. 15. Thou art the high and should not pray alone, but join with the church; by which | lofty One, who inhabiteth Eternity, whose name is holy. Isai. they lvii the

all

a y, the the followers of God. Hence, they say, Let none pray the short earth, a thing separated from the earth, or from earthly purprayer, i. e, as the gloss expounds it, the prayer in the singu- poses and employments. As the word sanctifed, or hallowed, lar, but in the plural number. See Lightfoot on this place. in Scripture is frequently used for the consecration of a thing

This prayer was evidently made in a peculiar manner for the or person to a holy use or office, as the Levites, first-born, children of God. And hence we are taught to say, not my Fa-Tabernacle

, Temple, and their utensils, which were all set apart ther, but our Father. The heart, says one, of a child of God, is from every earthly, common, or profane use; and employed a brotherly heart, in respect of all other christians: it asks no- wholly in the service of God, so the Divine Majesty may be thing but in the spirit of unity, fellowship, and christian cha- said to be sanctified by us, in analogy to those things, viz. rity; desiring that for its brethren, which it desires for itself, when we separate him from, and in our conceptions and de

The word Father, placed here at the beginning of this sires, exalt him above earth, and all things. prayer, includes two grand ideas, which should serve as a Thy name.] That is, God himself, with all the Attributes of foundation to all our petitions : Ist. That tender and re

his Divine Nature-his Power, Wisdom, Justice, Mercy, &c. spectful love which we should feel for God, such as that

We hallow God's name, Ist. With our lips, when all our which children feel for their fathers. 20ly. That strong con

conversation is holy, and we speak of those things which are fidence in God's love to us, such as fathers have for their meet to minister grace to the hearers. children. Thus all the petitions in this prayer stand in

2dly. In our thoughts, when we suppress every rising evil, strictest reference to the word father ; the first three refer- and have our tempers regulated by his grace and spirit

. ring to the love we have for God; and the three last, to that 3dly. In our lives, when we hegin, continue, and end our confidence which we have in the love he bears to us.

works to his glory. If we have an eye to God in all we per. The relation we stand in to this first and best of beings, form, then every act of our common employment will be an dictates to us reference for bis person, zeal for his honour, act of religious worship. obedience to his will, submission to his dispensations and chas- 4thly. In our families, when we endeavour to bring up our tisements, and resemblance to his nature.

children in the discipline and admonition of the Lord ; instructWhich art in hearen] The phrase uu 1998, abinu she- ing also our servants in the way of righteousness. boshemayim, our Father who art in beaven, was very com- 5thly. In a particular calling or business, when we separate mon among the ancient Jews; and was used by them pre- the falsity, deception, and lying, commonly practised, from it; cisely in the same sense as it is used here by our Lord. buying and selling, as in the sight of the holy and just God.

4

The Lord's prayer

ST. MATTHEW.

concluded.

A.M. 4031. 13 · And lead us not into tempta- || the power, and the glory, for ever.
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An. Olymp. tion, but deliver us from evil : || Amen.
CCI. 3.

© Forthine is the kingdom, and 14 T For if ye forgive men their

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CCI. 3.

a Ch. 26. 41. Luke 99. 40, 46. 1 Cor. 10. 13. 2 Pet. 2.9. Rev. 3. 10.

John 17. 15.-1 Chron. 29. 11.

Ecclus. 28. 1, &c. Mark 11. 25, 26. Eph. 4. 32. Col. 3. 13.

to say,

1

2

Verse 10. Thy kingdom come.] The ancient Jews scrupled come one with the will of God. 7thly. How can any person not to say : He prays not at all, in whose prayers there is no offer this petition to his Maker, who thinks of nothing less than mention of the kingdom of God. Hence, they were accustomel the performance of the will of God, and of nothing more than

“ Let him cause his kingdom to reign, and his redemp-doing his own ? tion to flourish : and let the Messiah speedily come and deliver Some see the mystery of the Trinity in the three precediny his people."

petitions. The first being addressed to the Father, as the The universal sway of the sceptre of Christ :-God has pro- || source of all holiness. The second, to the Son, who establishes mised that the kingdom of Christ shall be exalted above all the kingdom of God upon earth. The third, to the Holy kingdoms. Dan. vii. 14—27. That it shall overcome all others, | Spirit, who by his energy works in men to will and to perand be at last the universal empire. Isai. ix. 7. Connect this form. with the explanation given of this phrase, ch. iii. 2.

To offer these thiree petitions with success at the Throne of Thy will be done ] This petition is properly added to the God, three graces, essential to our salvation, must be brought preceding, for when the kingdom of righteousness, peace, and into exercise; and, indeed, the petitions themselves necessarily joy, in the Holy Spirit, is established in the heart, there is then suppose them. Faith, Our Father-for he that cometh to an ample provision made for the fulfilment of the Divine will. God, must believe that he is.

"The will of God, is infinitely good, wise and holy; to have HOPE, Thy kingdom come–For this grace has for its object it fulfilled in and among men, is to have infinite goodness, wis- good things to come. dom, and holiness diffused throughout the universe; and earth Love, Thy will be done-For love is the incentive to, and made the counterpart of heaven.

principle of all obedience to God, and beneficence to man. As it is in heaven.) The Jews maintained, that they were Verse 11. Give us this day our daily bread.] The word the angels of God upon earth, as those pure spirits were angels | TVOVODOY has greatly perplexed critics and commentators. I of God in heaven; hence they said, “ As the angels sanctify find upwards of thirty different explanations of it. It is found the Divine name in heaven, so the Israelites sanctify the Divine in no Greek writer before the Evangelists, and Origen says exname upon earth.” See Schoetgen.

pressly, that it was formed by them, a1 goux: tithasła uta Observe, Ist. The salvation of the soul, is the result of two

TWY Evayyedootw. The interpretation of Theophylact, one of the wills conjoinedl : the will of God, and the will of man. If God best of the Greek Fathers, has ever appeared to me to be the will not the salvation of man, he cannot be saved : If man will best, AFTOS ET6 th ovoję xan QUOTETEI MU.XV avtagxne, Breat, suffinot the salvation God has prepared for him, he cannot be de- || cient for our substance or support, i. e. That quantity of food livered from his sins. Quly. This petition certainly points which is necessary to support our health and strength, by out a deliverance from all sin; for nothing that is unholy can being changed into the substance of our bodies. Its composiconsist with the divine rill, and if this be fulfilled in man, tion is of smi and ovria, proper or suficient for support. Mr. surely sin shall be banished from his soul. 3dly. This is Wakefield thinks it probable, that the word was originally further evident from these words, as it is in heuten; i.e. as written su ovoley, which coalesced by degrees, till they became the angels do it : viz. with all zeul, diligence, lore, delight, and the smlouosor of the MSS. There is probably an allusion here perseverance. 4thly. Does not the petition plainly imply, we to the custom of travellers in the East, who were wont to may live without sınning against God a Surely the holy angels reserve a part of the food given them the preceding evening never mingle iniquity with their loving obedience; and as our to serve for their breakfast or dinner the next day. But as this Lord teaches us to pray, that we do his will here, as they do it was not sufficient for the whole day, they were therefore in heaven; can it be thought he would put a petition in our obliged to depend on the providence of God for the additional mouths, the fulfilment of which was impossible ? 5thly. This supply. In Luke, xv. 12, 13. ovora signifies, what a person certainly destroys the assertion : There is no such state of has to live on; and nothing can be more natural than to unpurification to be attained here, in which it may be said, the derstand the compound Flovoios, of that additional supply soul is redeemed from sinful passions and desires,” for it is on which the traveller needs to complete the provision necessary Earth, that we are commanded to pray that this will, which is for a day's eating, over and above what he had then in his posour sanctification, may be done. 6thly. Our souls can never session. See Harmer. be truly happy, till our will be entirely subjected to, and be- The word is so very peculiar and expressive, and seems to

در

IFe must forgive those

CHAP. VI.

who trespass against us. trespasses, your heavenly Father will trespasses, neither will your Father A.M,1051 An. Olymp. also forgive you :

forgive your trespasses.

An. Olymp. CCI, 3.

15 But if ye forgive not men their 16 Moreover when ye fast, be not,

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CCI. 3.

a Ch. 18. 33. Jain. 9. 13.

6 1 Kings 21. 2. Isai. 58. 5.

bave been made on purpose by the Evangelists, that more than As we forgive our debtors.] It was a maxiin among the merely bodily nourishment seems to be intended by it. In- ancient Jews, that no man should lie down in his bed, without deed, many of the primitive Fathers understood it as compre- forgiving those who had offended him. That man condemns hending that daily supply of grace which the soul requires to himself to suffer eternal punishment, who makes use of this keep it in health and vigour : He who uses the petition would prayer with revenge and hatred in his heart. He who will not do well to keep both in view. Observe, 1. God is the author attend to a condition so advantageous to himself, (remitting a and dispenser of all temporal as well as spiritual good. 2. We hundred pence to his debtor, that his own creditor may remit bave merited no kind of good from his hand, and therefore him 10,000 talents) is a madman, who, to oblige his neighmust receive it as a free gift: give us, &c. 3. We must depend | bour to suffer an hour, is himself determined to suffer everon him daily for support; we are not permitted to ask any lastingly! This condition of forgiving our neighbour, tlough thing for to-morrow: give us to day. 4. That petition of the it can not possibly merit any thing; yet it is that condition ancient Jews is excellent : “ Lord, the necessities of thy people without which God will pardon no man. See ver. 14 and 15. Israel are many, and their knowledge small, so that they know

Verse 13. And lead us not into temptation] That is, bring not how to disclose their necessities : Let it be thy good plea- | us not into sore trial. Tengacuoy, which may be here rendered sure to give to every man, what sufficeth for food !” Thus sore trial, comes from Tipw, to pierce through, as with a spear ther expressed their dependance, and left it to God to deter- or spit, used so by some of the best Greek writers. Several mine what was best and most suitable. We must ask only of the primitive fathers understood it something in this way; that which is essential to our support, God having promised and have therefore added quam ferre non possimus, “which we neither lururies nor superfluities.

cannot bear.” The word not only implies, violent assaults from Verse 12. And forgive us our debts] Sin is represented Satan, but also sorely afflictive circumstances, none of which here under the notion of a debt, and as our sins are many, they i we have as yet, grace or fortitude sufficient to bear. Bring us are called here debts. God made man that he might live to his not in, or, leud us not in.—This is a mere Hebraism : God is glory, and gave him a law to walk by, and if, when he does said to do a thing, which he only permits or suffers to be done. any thing that tends not to glorify God, he contracts a debt

The process of temptation is often as follows: Ist. A simple with Divine Justice, how much more is he debtor when he evil thought. Andly. A strong imagination, or impression breaks the law by actual transgression. 'It has been justly ob- made on the imagination, by the thing to which we are served, “ All the attributes of God are reasons of obedience to tempted. 3dly. Delight in viewing it. 4thly. Consent of man; those attributes are infinite : every sin is an act of in- | the will to perform it. Thus lust is conceived, sin is finished, gratitudę, or rebellion against all these attributes, therefore sin and death brought forth. Jam. 1. 15. See also on chap. iv. 1. is infinitely sinful.”

A man may be tempted without entering into the temptation: Forgive us.-Man has nothing to pay: if his debts are not entering into it, implies giving way, closing in with, and emforgiven, they must stand charged against him for ever; as he bracing it. is absolutely insolvent. Forgiveness, therefore, must come

But deliver us from evil] ATO TOU Torncov, from the wicked from the free mercy of God in Christ: and how strange is it, Satan is expressly called o forngos, the wicked one. Matt. we cannot have the old debt cancelled, without (by that very xiii. 19 and 38. compare with Mark iv. 15. Luke viii, 12. means) contracting a new one, as great as the old ! but the This epithet of Satan comes from tros, labour, sorrow, misery, credit is transferred from Justice to Mercy. While sinners, because of the drudgery which is found in the way of sin, we are in debt to infinite Justice ; when pardoned, in debt to the sorrow that accompanies the commission of it, and the endless Mercy: and as a continuance in a state of grace, ne- misery which is entailed upon it, and in which it ends. cessarily implies a continual communication of mercy, so the It is said in the MISHNA, Tit. Beracoth, that Rabbi Judah debt

goes on increasing ad infinitum. Strange æconomy in was wont to pray thus ::" Let it be thy good pleasure to the divine procedure, which by rendering a man an infinite deliver us from impudent men, and from impudence : from debtor, keeps him eternally dependant on his Creator! How an evil man, and an evil chance; from an evil affection, an evil god is God! and what does this state of dependance imply? companion, and an evil neighbour; from Satan the destroyer, a union with, and participation of the fountain of eternal good from a hard judgment, and a hard adversary.” See Lightfoot. Dess and felicity!

Deliver us] Puoas mues-a very expressive word-break our

one.

ور

Directions

Sr. MATTHEW.

concerning fasting.

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as the hypocrites, of a sad counte- || fast. Verily I say unto you, They 4. M. 4031. An. Olymp. nance: for they disfigure their faces, have their reward.

that they may appear unto men to 19 But thou, when thou fastest,

A. D. 27. An. Olymp.

CCI. 3.

CCI. 3.

a Gen. 4. 4. Psal. 35. 13.

Matt. 14. 15.

Ruth 3. 3. 2 Sam. 12. 20. Eccl. 9. 8.

ور

chains, and loose our bands-snatch, pluck us from the evil,

The

very learned Nİr. Grégory has shewn that our Lord and its calamitous issue.

collected this prayer out of the Jewish Euchologies, and gives For thine is the kingdom, &c.] The whole of this Doxology us the whole form as follows: is rejected by Wetstein, Griesbach, and the most eininent

Our Father who arl in heaven, be gracious unto us! critics. The authorities on which it is rejected may be seen

O Lord our God hallowed be thy name, and let the rememin Griesbach and Wetstein, particularly in the second edition | brance of Thee be glorified in heaven above, and in the of Griesbach's Testament, who is fully of opinion, that it earth here below! Let thy kingdom reign over us now, never made a part of the sacred text. It is variously written and for ever! The holy men of old said; remit and forgive in several MSS. and omitted by most of tủe Fathers, both | unto all men whatsoever they have done against me! And Greek and Latin. As the Doxology is at least very ancient, lead us not into the hands of temptation, but deliver us and was in use amoug the Jews, as well as all the other | from the evil thing! For thine is the kingdom, and thou petitions of this excellent prayer, it should not, in my opinion, shalt reign in glory for ever and for evermore.” Gregory's be left out of the text; merely because some MSS. have works, 4to, 1671, p. 162. See this proved at large in the omitted it, and it has been variously written in others. See collections of Lightfoot and Schoetgenius. various forms of this Doxology taken from the ancient Jewish Verse 14. If ye forgive men] He who shews mercy to writers, in Lightfoot and Schoetgen.

inen, receives mercy from God. For a king to forgive his By the kingdom, we may understand that mentioned ver. | subjects a hundred millions of treasons against his person and 10. and explained chap. iii. 2.

authority, on this one condition, that they will henceforth By power, that energy by which the kingdom is governed | live peaceably with him and with each other, is what we and maintained.

shall never see; and yet this is but the shadow of that which By glory, the honour that shall redound to God in conse- Christ promises on his Father's part to all true penitents. quence of the maintenance of the kingdom of grace, in the A man can have little regard for his salvation, who refuses to salvation of men.

have it on such advantageous terms. See Quesnel. For ever and ever.) E-S TOUS atwas, to the for eiers. Well Verse 15. But if ye forgive not] He who does not awake expressed by our common translation—ever in our ancient at the sound of so loud a voice, is not asleep, but dead. A use of the word taking in the whole duration of time; the rindictire man excludes himself from all hope of eternal life, second ever, the whole of eternity. May thy name have and himself seals his own damnation. the glory both in this world, and in that which is to come! Trespasses] Παραπτωματα, from παρα and πιπτω, to fall of. The original word aww comes from a: always, and we being, || What a remarkable difference there is between this word and or eristence. This is Aristotle's definition of it. Sce the 00912 mjecto, debts, in verse 12! Men's sins against us, are note on Gen. xxi. 33. There is no word in any language only their stumblings, or fallings of from the duties they which more forcibly points out the grand characteristic of owe us; but our's are debts to God's justice, which we can eternity--that which always erists. It is often used to signify I never discharge. It can be no great difficulty to forgive those, a limited time, the end of which is not known, but this use especially when we consider, that in many respects we have of it is only an accommodated one; and it is the grammatical, failed as much in certain duties which we owed to others, as and proper sense of it, which must be resorted to in any they have done in those which they owed us.

“ But I have controversy concerning the word. We sometimes use the given him no provocation.” Perhaps thou art angry, and phrase for evermore: i. e. for ever avd more, which signifies art not a proper juilge in the matter : but, however it may the whole of time, and the more or interminable duration | be, it is thy interest to forgive, if thou expectest forgiveness beyond it. See on chap. XXV. 46.

from God. On this important subject I will subjoin an extract cimen.) This word is llebrew, rx, and signifies fuithful or from Mason's Self-knowledge, page 248. 1753.

Sune suppose the word is formed from the initial Athenodorus, the philosopher, by reason of his old age, letters sf ;233 772 273 adoni melech nceman, My Lord, the begged leave to retire from the court of Augustus, which the furthful king. The word its lt'implies a confident resting of Emperor granted. In his compliments of leave, he said, the soul in God, with the fullest assurance that all these Remember, Cæsar, whenever thou art angry, that thou say petitious shall be fultilled to every one who prays according, or do nothing, before thou hast distinctly repeated to thyto the directions given before by our blesscd Lord.

self the twenty-four letters of the alphabet.' On which

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