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For ever. Amen.
ALL this is sealed up to us in the last word, Amen; which may signify, either so be it, so let it be, or so it shall be.
The word Amen sometimes is taken nominally: Rev. iii. 14, ‘Thus saith the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the beginning of the creation of God.’ Sometimes it is taken adverbially, and so it signifieth verily, and truly; and so either it may express a great asseveration, or an affectionate desire. Sometimes it expresseth a great and vehement asseveration: John vi. 47, ‘Amen, amen, verily, verily, I say unto you.’ In other places it is put for an affectionate desire: Jer. xxviii. 6. When the false prophets prophesied peace, and Jeremiah pronounced war, ‘Amen! the Lord do so; the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied.’ Amen, it is not an asseveration, as confirming the truth of their prophecy, but expressing his own hearty wish and desire, if God saw it good.
Two things are required in prayer—a fervent desire and faith. A fervent desire; therefore it is said, James v. 16, ‘The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.’ And then faith: James i. 6, ‘But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.’ What is that faith required in prayer? A persuasion that those things we ask regularly according to God’s will, that God will grant them for Christ’s sake. 254Now both these Amen signifies: our hearty desire that it may be so; and our faith, that is, our acquiescency in the mercy and power and wisdom of God concerning the event.
Christ would have us bind up this prayer, and conclude it thus: Amen, so let it be, so it shall be. Observe hence,
That it is good to conclude holy exercises with some vigour and warmth.
Natural motion is swifter in the end and close: so should our spiritual affections, as we draw to a conclusion, put forth the efficacy of faith and holy desires, and recollect, as it were, all the foregoing affections; that we may go out of the presence of God with a sweet savour and relish, and a renewed confidence in his mercy and power.
Again, this Amen relateth to all the foregoing petitions, not to one only. Many, when they hear, ‘Lord, give us this day our daily bread,’ will say, ‘Amen;’ but when they come to the petition, ‘Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.’ they are cold there, and have not hearty desires and earnest affections. Many beg pardon of sin; but to be kept from evil, to bridle and restrain their souls from sin, they do not say Amen to that. Many would have defence, maintenance, and victory over their enemies; but not with respect to God’s glory. They forget that petition, ‘Hallowed be thy name;’ but this should be subordinated to his glory. Nay, we must say Amen to all the clauses of this prayer. Many say, ‘Lord, forgive us our debts.’ but do not like that, ‘as we forgive our debtors:’ they are loth to for give their enemies, but carry a rancorous mind to them which have done them wrong. But now we must say Amen to all that is specified in this prayer. Then,
Mark, this Amen it is put in the close of the doxology. Observe hence,
There must be a hearty Amen to our praises as well as our prayers, that we may show zeal for God’s glory, as well as affection to our profit.
Your Allelujahs should sound as loud as your supplications; and not only say Amen when you come with prayers and requests, things you stand in need of, but Amen when you are praising of God.255
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