XL. LORD’S DAY.
Answer. That neither in thoughts, nor words, nor gestures, much less in deeds, I dishonor, hate, wound, or [a] kill my neighbor, by myself or by another; but that I lay [b] aside all desire of revenge: also, that I [c] hurt not myself, nor willfully expose myself to any danger. Wherefore also the magistrate [d] is armed with the sword, to prevent murder.
Answer. No: for when god forbids envy, hatred, and anger, he commands us to [h] love our neighbor as ourselves; to show [i] patience, peace, [j] meekness, [k] mercy, and all kindness, towards him, [l] and prevent his hurt as much as in us lies’ and that we [m] do good, even to our enemies.
[a]: Mat. 5:21,22; Prov. 12:18; Mat. 26:52 [b]: Eph. 4:26; Rom. 12:19; Mat. 5:39,40 [c]: Mat. 4:5,6,7; Col. 2:23 [d]: Gen. 9:6; Mat. 26:52; Rom. 13:4 [e]: James 1:20; Gal. 5:20 [f]: Rom. 1:29; 1John 2:9 [g]: 1John 3:15 [h]: Mat. 22:39; Mat. 7:12 [i]: Rom. 12:10 [j]: Eph. 4:2; Gal. 6:1,2; Mat. 5:5; Rom. 12:18 [k]: Ex. 23:5 [l]: Mat. 5:45 [m]: Rom. 12:20
Answer. That all uncleanness is accursed [a] of God: and that therefore we must with all our hearts [b] detest the same, and live [c] chastely and temperately, whether in [d] holy wedlock, or in single life.
Answer. Since both our body and soul are temples of the Holy Ghost, he commands us to preserve them pure and holy: therefore he forbids all unchaste actions, [e] gestures, words, thoughts, [f] desires, and whatever [g] can entice men thereto.
Answer. God forbids not only those [a] thefts, and [b] robberies, which are punishable by the magistrate; but he comprehends under the name of theft all wicked tricks and devices, whereby we design to [c] appropriate to ourselves the goods which belong to our neighbor: whether it be by force, or under the appearance of right, as by unjust [d] weights, ells, [e] measures, fraudulent merchandise, false coins, [f] usury, or by any other way forbidden by God; as also all [g] covetousness, all abuse and waste of his gifts.
Answer. That I promote the advantage of my neighbor in every instance I can or may; and deal with him as I [h] desire to be dealt with by others: further also that I faithfully labor, so that I [i] may be able to relieve the needy.
Answer. That I bear false witness [a] against no man, nor falsify [b] any man’s words; that I be no backbiter, [c] nor slanderer; that I do not judge, nor join [d] in condemning any man rashly, or unheard; but that I [e] avoid all sorts of lies and deceit, as the proper works [f] of the devil, unless I would bring down upon me the heavy wrath of God; likewise, that in judgment and all other dealings I love the truth, speak it uprightly [g] and confess it; also that I defend and promote, [h] as much as I am able, the honor and good character of my neighbor.
Answer. That even the smallest inclination or thought, contrary to any of God’s commandments, never rise in our hearts; but that at all times we hate all sin with our whole heart, [a] and delight in all righteousness.
Answer. No: but even the holiest men, while in this life, have only a small beginning of this [b] obedience; yet so, that with a [c] sincere resolution they begin to live, not only according to some, but all of the commandments of God.
Question 115. Why will God then have the ten commandments so strictly preached, since no man in this life can keep them?
Answer. First, that all our lifetime we may learn [d] more and more to know our sinful nature, and thus become the more earnest in seeking the remission of sin, [e] and righteousness in Christ; likewise, that we constantly endeavor and pray to God for the grace of the Holy Spirit, that we may become more and more conformable to the image of God, till we arrive at the perfection proposed to us, in a life to come. [f]
Answer. Because it is the chief part of [a] thankfulness which God requires of us: and also, because God will give his grace and Holy Spirit to those only, who with sincere desires continually ask them of him, and [b] are thankful for them.
Question 117. What are the requisites of that prayer, which is acceptable to God, and which he will hear?
Answer. First, that we from the heart pray to the one true God only, who hath [c] manifested himself in his word, for all things, he hath commanded us to ask of him; [d] secondly, that we rightly and thoroughly know our need and misery, that so we may [e] deeply humble ourselves in the presence of his divine majesty; thirdly, that we be fully persuaded that he, notwithstanding that we are [f] unworthy of it, will, for the sake of Christ our Lord, certainly [g] hear our prayer, as he has [h] promised us in his word.
Answer. Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
[a]: Psa. 50:14,15 [b]: Mat. 7:7,8; Luke 11:9,13; Mat. 13:12; Psa. 50:15 [c]: John 4:22,23 [d]: Rom. 8:26; 1John 5:14 [e]: John 4:23,24; Psa. 145:18 [f]: 2Chron. 20:12 [g]: Psa. 2:11; Psa. 34:18,19; Isa. 66:2 [h]: Rom. 10:13; Rom. 8:15,16; James 1:6ff; John 14:13; Dan. 9:17,18; Mat. 7:8; Psa. 143:1 [i]: James 1:17; Mat. 6:33 [j]: Mat. 6:9ff; Luke 11:2ff
Answer. That immediately, in the very beginning of our prayer, he might excite in us a childlike reverence for, and confidence in God, which are the foundation of our prayer: namely, that God is become our Father in Christ, [a] and will much less deny us what we ask of him in true faith, than our parents [b] will refuse us earthly things.
Answer. [a] Hallowed be thy name; that is, grant us, first, rightly [b] to know thee, and to [c] sanctify, glorify and praise thee, in all thy works, in which thy power, wisdom, goodness, justice, mercy and truth, are clearly displayed; and further also, that we may so order and direct our whole lives, our thoughts, words and actions, that thy name may never be blasphemed, but rather [d] honored and praised on our account.
Answer. [a] Thy kingdom come; that is, rule us so by thy word and Spirit, that we may [b] submit ourselves more and more to thee; preserve and [c] increase thy church; destroy the [d] works of the devil, and all violence which would exalt itself against thee; and also, all wicked counsels devised against thy holy word; till the full [e] perfection of thy kingdom take place, [f] wherein thou shalt be all in all.
Answer. [a] Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; that is, grant that we and all men may renounce [b] our own will, and without murmuring [c] obey thy will, which is only good; that so every one may attend to, and [d] perform the duties of his station and calling, as willingly and faithfully as the [e] angels do in heaven.
Answer. [a] Give us this day our daily bread; that is, be pleased to provide us with all things [b] necessary for the body, that we may thereby acknowledge thee to be the only fountain of all [c] good, and that neither our care nor industry, nor even thy gifts, can [d] profit us without thy blessing; and therefore that we may withdraw our trust from all creatures, and place [e] it alone in thee.
Answer. [a] And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors; that is, be pleased for the sake of Christ’s blood, [b] not to impute to us poor sinners, our transgressions, nor that depravity, which always cleaves to us; even as we feel this evidence of thy grace in us, that it is our firm resolution from the heart to [c] forgive our neighbor.
Answer. [a] And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; that is, since we are so weak in ourselves, that we cannot stand [b] a moment; and besides this, since our mortal enemies, [c] the devil, the [d] world, and our own [e] flesh, cease not to assault us, do thou therefore preserve and strength us by the power of the Holy Spirit, that we may not be overcome in this spiritual warfare, [f] but constantly and strenuously may resist our foes, till at last we [g] obtain a complete victory.
Answer. [h] For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever; that is, all these we ask of thee, because thou, being our King and almighty, art willing and able to [i] give us all good; and all this we pray for, that thereby not we, but thy holy name, [j] may be glorified for ever.
Answer. [k] Amen signifies, it shall truly and certainly be: for my prayer is more assuredly heard of God, than I feel in my heart that I desire these things of him.
[a]: Mat. 6:13 [b]: Rom. 8:26; Psa. 103:14 [c]: 1Pet. 5:8 [d]: Eph. 6:12; John 15:19; Rom. 7:23; Gal. 5:17 [f]: Mat. 26:41; Mark 13:33 [g]: 1Thes. 3:13; 1Thes. 5:23 [h]: Mat. 6:13 [i]: Rom. 10:12; 2Pet. 2:9 [j]: John 14:13; Psa. 115:1; Phil. 4:20 [k]: 2Cor. 1:20; 2Tim. 2:13