An envy and wicked emulation…

This paragraph from Thomas Manton’s treatise (or collection of sermons) on the Lord’s Prayer has some affinity with a series of posts I did with the title Get Drunk and Be Somebody. In typical Puritan fashion, Manton wrings the last drops out of Matthew 6:9…Hallowed be Thy name…and sticks us in one of the places we live. We (and I suspect that we pastors are particularly prone to this) want to ‘be somebody,’ to be the instruments of God’s self-glorification. Manton strikes home on this self-glorification…

We must go to God for submission. Now there is a double submission required, which if we have not, we shall find it marvellously difficult to glorify God. One, as to the choice of instruments…

[1.] As to the choice of instruments. There is in us an envy, and wicked emulation. Oh, how hard a matter is it to rejoice in the gifts, and graces, and services of others, and be content with the dispensation, when God will cast us by as unworthy, and use others for the glorifying of his name! Therefore that we may refer the choice of instruments to God, we need go to him and say, Lord, ‘hallowed be thy name ;’ do it which way, and by whom thou pleasest. We are troubled, if others glorify God, and not we, or more than we; if they be more holy, more useful, or more serious, self will not yield to this. Now by putting up this prayer to God, we refer it to him to choose the instrument whom he will employ. It was a commendable modesty and self-denial in John Baptist, which is described, John iii. 13, ‘He must increase, I must decrease.’ When we are contented to be abased and obscured, provided Christ may be honoured and exalted; and be content with such a dispensation, though with our loss and decrease. Many are of a private station, and straitened in gifts, and can have no public instrumentality for God; now these need to pray, ‘Hallowed be thy name,’ that they may rejoice when God useth others whom he hath furnished with greater abilities.

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This entry was posted in "The Lord's Prayer", Get drunk and be somebody, Prayers, Thomas Manton. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to An envy and wicked emulation…

  1. Tom Brainerd says:

    Reblogged this on Livin' in the foothills and commented:

    Somebody tripped across this one on the blog. Worth being resuscitated.

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