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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

The Shorter Catechism
Illustrated

by
John Whitecross


Q. 107. What doth the conclusion of the Lord's prayer teach us?

A. The Conclusion of the Lord's prayer (which is, For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever, Amen), teacheth us, to take our encouragement in prayer from God only, and in our prayers to praise Him, ascribing kingdom, power, and glory to Him. And in testimony of our desire, and assurance to be heard, we say, Amen.


1. Alexander the Great had a famous but indigent philosopher in his court. This adept in science was once particularly straitened in his circumstances. To whom alone, should he apply, but to his patron, the conqueror of the world? His request was no sooner made than granted. Alexander gave him a commission to receive of his treasurer whatever he wanted. He immediately demanded, in his sovereign's name, ten thousand pounds. The treasurer, surprised at so large a demand, refused to comply; but waited upon the king, and represented to him the affair, adding withal, how unreasonable he thought the petition, and how exorbitant the sum. Alexander heard him with patience; but as soon as he had ended his remonstrances, replied, 'Let the money be instantly paid. I am delighted with this philosopher's way of thinking; he has done me a singular honour; by the largeness of his request, he shows the high idea he has conceived, both of my superior wealth and my royal munificence.' Thus let us honour what the inspired penman styles the marvellous loving kindness of Jehovah. 'He that spared not His Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things!' (Rom. 8.32).

2. 'A valuable person whom I once knew,' says James Hervey, 'was roused from a habit of indolence and supineness, to a serious concern for his eternal welfare. Convinced of his depraved nature and aggravated guilt, he had recourse to the Scriptures and to frequent prayer; he attended the ordinances of Christianity, and sought earnestly for an interest in Christ, but found no steadfast faith, and tasted very little comfort; at length he applied to an eminent divine, and laid open the state of his heart. Short but weighty was the answer: "I perceive, sir, the cause of all your distress; you will not come to Christ as a sinner; this mistake lies between you and the joy of religion; this detains you in the gall of bitterness, and take heed, O take heed, lest it consign you to the bond of iniquity!" This admonition never departed from the gentleman's mind, and it became the means of removing the obstacles to his peace.'

3. John Janeway, when on his deathbed, was employed chiefly in praise. 'O,' said he to his friends, 'help me to praise God; I have now nothing else to do. I have done with prayer and all other ordinances. Before a few hours are over, I shall be in eternity, singing the song of Moses and the Lamb. I shall presently stand upon Mount Zion, with an innumerable company of angels and spirits of just men made perfect, and with Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant. I shall hear the voice of much people, and with them shall cry, Hallelujah, glory, salvation, honour and power unto the Lord our God. And again we shall say, Hallelujah!' In this triumphant manner he expired in the twenty-second year of his age.

4. A lady, who had just sat down to breakfast, had a strong impression upon her mind that she must instantly carry a loaf of bread to a poor man who lived about half a mile from her house, by the side of a common. Her husband wished her either to postpone taking the loaf of bread till after breakfast, or to send it by her servant; but she chose to take it herself instantly. As she approached the hut, she heard the sound of a human voice. Willing to hear what it was, she stept softly, unperceived, to the door. She now heard the poor man praying, and among other things he said—'O Lord, help me; Lord, Thou wilt help me; Thy providence cannot fail; and although my wife, self and children, have no bread to eat, and it is now a whole day since we had any, I know Thou wilt supply me, though Thou shouldest again rain down manna from heaven.' The lady could wait no longer; she opened the door. 'Yes,' she replied; 'God has sent you relief. Take this loaf, and be encouraged to cast your care upon Him who careth for you; and when you ever want a loaf of bread, come to my house.'


This material is taken from THE SHORTER CATECHISM ILLUSTRATED by John Whitecross revised and republished by the Banner of Truth Trust edition 1968 and reproduced with their permission.

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