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ANF03. Latin Christianity: Its Founder, Tertullian
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Chapter IV.—The Third Clause.

According to this model,87838783    Mr. Dodgson renders, “next to this clause;” but the “forma” referred to seems, by what Tertullian proceeds to add, to be what he had said above, “not that it becomes us to wish God well,” etc. we subjoin, “Thy will be done in the heavens and on the earth;”87848784    We learn from this and other places, that the comparative adverb was wanting in some ancient formulæ of the Lord’s Prayer. [See Routh, Opuscula I. p. 178.] not that there is some power withstanding87858785    See note 3. to prevent God’s will being done, and we pray for Him the successful achievement of His will; but we pray for His will to be done in all.  For, by figurative interpretation of flesh and spirit, we are “heaven” and “earth;” albeit, even if it is to be understood simply, still the sense of the petition is the same, that in us God’s will be done on earth, to make it possible, namely, for it to be done also in the heavens. What, moreover, does God will, but that we should walk according to His Discipline? We make petition, then, that He supply us with the substance of His will, and the capacity to do it, that we may be saved both in the heavens and on earth; because the sum of His will is the salvation of them whom He has adopted. There is, too, that will of God which the Lord accomplished in preaching, in working, in enduring: for if He Himself proclaimed that He did not His own, but the Father’s will, without doubt those things which He used to do were the Father’s will;87868786    John vi. 38. unto which things, as unto exemplars, we are now provoked;87878787    For this use of the word “provoke,” see Heb. x. 24, Eng. ver. to preach, to work, to endure even unto death. And we need the will of God, that we may be able to fulfil these duties. Again, in saying, “Thy will be done,” we are even wishing well to ourselves, in so far that there is nothing of evil in the will of God; even if, proportionably to each one’s deserts, somewhat other87888788    [Something we might think other than good.] is imposed on us. So by this expression we premonish our own selves unto patience.  The Lord also, when He had wished to demonstrate to us, even in His own flesh, the flesh’s infirmity, by the reality of suffering, said, “Father, remove this Thy cup;” and remembering Himself, added, “save that not my will, but Thine be done.”87898789    Luke xxii. 42. Himself was the Will and the Power of the Father:  and yet, for the demonstration of the patience which was due, He gave Himself up to the Father’s Will.


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