The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson File 6 (... continued from file 5) The Second Petition in the Lord's Prayer 'Thy kingdom come.' Matt 6: 10 A soul truly devoted to God, joins heartily in this petition, adveniat regnum tuum, 'thy kingdom come.' In these words it is implied that God is a king, for he who has a kingdom, can be no less than a king. 'God is the King of all the earth.' Psa 47: 7. He is a King upon his throne. 'God sitteth upon the throne of his holiness.' Psa 47: 8. He has a regal title, high and mighty. 'Thus saith the high and lofty One.' Isa 57: 15. He has the ensigns of royalty. He has his sword. 'If I whet my glittering sword.' Deut 32: 41. He has his sceptre. 'A sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.' Heb 1: 8. He has his crown royal. 'On his head were many crowns.' Rev 19: 12. He has his jura regalia, his kingly prerogatives. He has power to make laws, to seal pardons, which are the flowers and jewels belonging to his crown. Thus the Lord is King. Further, he is a great King. 'A great King above all gods.' Psa 95: 3. He is great in and of himself; and not like other kings, who are made great by their subjects. That he is so great a King appears by the immensity of his being. 'Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord.' Jer 23: 24. His centre is everywhere; he is nowhere included, yet nowhere excluded, he is so immensely great, that 'the heaven of heavens cannot contain him'. I Kings 8: 27. His greatness appears by the effects of his power. He 'made heaven and earth,' and can unmake it. Psa 124: 8. With a breath he can crumble us to dust; with a word he can unpin the world, and break the axle-tree of it in pieces. 'He poureth contempt upon princes.' Job 12: 21. 'He shall cut off the spirit of princes.' Psa 76: 12. He is Lord paramount, who does whatever he will. Psa 115: 3. He weigheth 'the mountains in scales, and the hills in a balance.' Psa 40: 12. God is a glorious King. 'Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory.' Psa 24: 10. He has internal glory. 'The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty.' Psa 93: 1. Other kings have royal and sumptuous apparel to make them appear glorious to beholders, but all their magnificence is borrowed; God is clothed with his own majesty; his own glorious essence is instead of royal robes, and 'he has girded himself with strength.' Kings have their guard about them to defend their person, because they are not able to defend themselves; but God needs no guard or assistance from others. 'He has girded himself with strength.' His own power is his lifeguard. 'Who in the heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the sons of the mighty can be likened unto the Lord?' Psa 89: 6. He has a pre-eminence above all other kings for majesty. 'He has on his vesture a name written, Rex Regum, KING OF KINGS.' Rev 19: 16. He has the highest throne, the richest crown, the largest dominions, and the longest possession. 'The Lord sitteth King for ever.' Psa 29: 10. Though he has many heirs, yet no successors. He sets up his throne where no other king does; he rules the will and affections; his power binds the conscience. Angels serve him, all the kings of the earth hold their crowns and diadems by immediate tenure from this great King. 'By me kings reign,' Prov 8: 15. To this Lord Jehovah all kings must give account, and from his tribunal there is no appeal. Use 1. For instruction (1) If God be so great a King, and sits King for ever, it is no disparagement for us to serve him, Deo servire est regnare [to serve God is to reign]; it is an honour to serve a king. If the angels fly swiftly upon the King of heaven's message, then well may we look upon it as a favour to be taken into his royal service. Dan 9: 21. Theodosius thought it a greater honour to be God's servant, than to be an emperor. It is more honour to serve God than to have kings serve us. Every subject of this King is crowned with regal honour. He 'has made us kings.' Rev 1: 6. therefore, as the queen of Sheba, having seen the glory of Solomon's kingdom, said, 'Happy are these thy servants which stand continually before thee.' 1 Kings 10: 8. So happy are those saints who stand before the King of heaven, and wait on his throne. (2) If God be such a glorious King, crowned with wisdom, armed with power, be spangled with riches, it shows us what prudence it is to have this King to be ours; to say, 'My King, and my God.' Psa 5: 2. It is counted great policy to be on the strongest side. If we belong to the King of heaven, we are sure to be on the strongest side. The King of glory can with ease destroy his adversaries; he can pull down their pride, befoul their policy and restrain their malice. That stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which smote the image (Dan 2: 34), was an emblem, says Augustine, of Christ's monarchical power, conquering and triumphing over his enemies. If we are on God's side, we are on the strongest side; he can with a word destroy his enemies. 'Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath.' Psa 2: 5. Nay, with a look he can destroy them. 'Look upon every one that is proud and bring him low.' Job 40: 12. It needs cost God no more to confound those who rise up against him, than a look, a cast of his eye. 'In the morning watch, the Lord looked unto the host of the Egyptians, through the pillar of fire, and troubled the host of the Egyptians, and took off their chariot-wheels.' Exod 14: 24. What wisdom is it then to have this King to be ours! Then we are on the strongest side. Use 2. For exhortation (1) If God be so glorious a King, full of power and majesty, let us trust in him. 'They that know thy name will put their trust in thee.' Psa 9: 10. Trust him with your soul; you cannot put this jewel in safer hands. And trust him with church and state affairs; he is King. 'The Lord is a man of war.' Exod 15: 3. He can make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations. If means fail, he is never at a loss; there are no impossibilities with him; he can make the dry bones live. Ezek 37: 10. As a King he can command, and as a God he can create salvation. 'I create Jerusalem a rejoicing.' Isa 65: 18. Let us trust all our affairs with this great King. Either God can remove mountains or can leap over them. Cant 2: 8. (2) If God be so great a King, let us fear him. 'Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence?' Jer 5: 22. We have enough of fear of men. Fear makes danger appear greater, and sin less; but let us fear the King of kings, who has power to cast body and soul into hell. Luke 12: 5. As one wedge drives out another, so the fear of God would drive out all base carnal fear. Let us fear that God whose throne is set above all kings; they may be mighty, but he is almighty. Kings have no power, but what God has given them; their power is limited, his is infinite. Let us fear this King, whose eyes are 'as a flame of fire.' Rev 1: 14. 'The mountains quake at him; and the rocks are thrown down by him.' Nahum 1: 5, 6. If he stamps with his foot, all the creatures are presently up in a battalion to fight for him. Oh, tremble and fear before this God. Fear is janitor animae, the doorkeeper of the soul. It keeps sin from entering. 'How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?' Gen 39: 9. (3) If God be so glorious a King, he has jus vitae et necis, he has the power of life and death in his hand. Let all the potentates of the earth take heed how they employ their power against the King of heaven. They employ their power against God, who with their sceptres beat down his truth, which is the most orient pearl of his crown; who crush and persecute his people, who are the apple of his eye (Zech 2: 8); who trample upon his laws, and royal edicts, which he has set forth (Psa 2: 3). What is a king without his laws? Let all that are invested with worldly power and grandeur take heed how they oppose the King of glory. The Lord will be too hard for all that come against him. 'Hast thou an arm like God?' Job 40: 9. Wilt thou measure arms with the Almighty? Shall a little child fight with an archangel? 'Can thy heart endure, or can thy hands be strong in the days that I shall deal with thee?' Ezek 22: 14. Christ will put all his enemies at last under his feet. Psa 110: 1. All the multitude of the wicked, who set themselves against God, shall be but as so many clusters of ripe grapes, to be cast into the winepress of the wrath of God, to be trodden by him till their blood come forth. The King of glory will come off victor at last. Men may set up their standard, but God always sets up his trophies of victory. The Lord has a golden sceptre, and an iron rod. Psa 2: 9. Those who will not bow to the one, shall be broken by the other. (4) Is God so great a king, having all power in heaven and earth in his hand! let us learn subjection to him. You who have gone on in sin, and by your impieties hung out a flag of defiance against the King of heaven, O come in quickly, and make your peace, submit to God. 'Kiss the Son, lest he be angry.' Psa 2: 12. Kiss Christ with a kiss of love, and a kiss of obedience. Obey the King of heaven, when he speaks to you by his ministers and ambassadors. 2 Cor 5: 20. When God bids you flee from sin, and espouse holiness, obey him: to obey is better than sacrifice. 'To obey God,' says Luther, 'is better than to work miracles.' Obey God willingly. Isa 1: 19. That is the best obedience that is cheerful, as that is the sweetest honey which drops out of the comb. Obey God swiftly. 'Then lifted I up mine eyes, and, behold, two women, and the wind was in their wings.' Zech 5: 9. Wings are swift, but wind in the wings denotes great swiftness; such should our obedience to God be. Obey the King of glory. Use 3. For consolation. Here is comfort to those who are the subjects of the King of heaven. God will put forth all the royal power for their succour and comfort. (1) The King of heaven will plead their cause. 'I will plead thy cause, and take vengeance for thee.' Jer 51: 36. (2) He will protect his people. He sets an invisible guard about them. 'I will be unto her a wall of fire round about.' Zech 2: 5. A wall, that is defensive; a wall of fire, that is offensive. (3) When it may be for the good of his people, he will raise up deliverance to them. 'The Lord saved them by a great deliverance.' I Chron 11: 14. God reigning as a king, can save any way; even by contemptible means, as the blowing of the trumpets, and blazing of lamps. Judges 7: 20. By contrary means; as when he made the sea a wall to Israel, and the waters were a means to keep them from drowning. The fish's belly was a ship in which Jonah sailed safe to shore. God will never want ways of saving his people; rather than fail, their very enemies shall do his work. 2 Chron 20: 23. He sets Ammon and Mount Seir one against another. As God will deliver his people from temporal danger, so from spiritual danger, as from sin, and from hell. 'Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.' I Thess 1: l0. Use 4. For intimidation. If God be king, he will set his utmost strength against those who are the enemies of his kingdom. 'A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.' Psa 97: 3. (1) He will set himself against his enemies. He will set his attributes against them, his power and justice; and 'who knoweth the power of thine anger?' Psa 90: 2: (2) He will set the creatures against them. 'The stars in their courses fought against Sisera.' Judges 5: 20. Tertullian observes, that when the Persian fought against the Christians, a mighty wind arose, which made the Persian' arrows to fly back in their own faces. Every creature has a quarrel with a sinner; the stone out of the wall, the hail and the frost. Hab 2: 11. 'He destroyed their vines with hail, and their sycomore-trees with frost.' Psa 78: 47. (3) God will set men against themselves. He will set conscience against them. How terrible is this rod when turned into a serpent! Melanchthon calls it Erinnys conscientiae, a hellish fury; it is called vermis conscientiae, the worm of conscience. Mark 9: 44. What a worm did Spira feel in his conscience! He was a terror to himself. The worst civil wars are between a man and his conscience. (4) God will set the diseases of men's bodies against them. 'The Lord smote [Jehoram] in his bowels with an incurable disease.' 2 Chron 21: 18. God can raise an army against a man out of his own bowels; he can set one humour of the body against another; the heat to dry up the moisture, and the moisture to drown the heat. The Lord needs not go far for instruments to punish the sinner; he can make the joints of the same body to smite one against another. Dan 5: 6. (5) God will set men's friends against them. Where they used to have honey, they shall have nothing but aloes and wormwood. 'When a man's ways please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.' Prov 16: 7. When he opposes God, he makes his friends to be his enemies. The wife of Commodes, the emperor, gave him poison in perfumed wine. Sennacherib's two sons were the death of him. 2 Kings 19: 37. (6) God will set Satan against them. 'Let Satan stand at his right hand.' Psa 109: 6. What does Satan at the sinner's elbows? He helps him to contrive sin. He tempts him to commit sin. He terrifies him for sin. He that has Satan standing at his right hand, is sure to be set at God's left hand. Here is the misery of such as oppose God's royal sceptre, that he will set everything in the world against them. If there be either justice in heaven or fire in hell, sinners shall not be unpunished. Use 5. For encouragement. If God be such an absolute monarch, and crowned with such glory and majesty, let us all engage in his service, and stand up for his truth and worship. Dare to own God in the worst time. He is King of kings, and is able to reward all his servants. We may be losers for him, we shall never be losers by him. We are ready to say, as Amaziah, 'What shall I do for the hundred talents?' 2 Chron 25: 9. If I appear for God, I may lose my estate, my life. I say with the prophet, God is able to give you much more than this; he can give you for the present inward peace, and for the future a crown of glory which fadeth not away. What kingdom is meant when Christ says, 'Thy kingdom come'? Let us show first what he does not mean. (1) He does not mean a political or earthly kingdom. The apostles indeed did desire Christ's temporal reign. 'Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel?' Acts 1: 6. But Christ said his kingdom was not of this world. John 18: 36. So that, when Christ taught his disciples to pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' he did not mean it of any earthly kingdom, that he should reign here in outward pomp and splendour. (2) It is not meant of God's providential kingdom. 'His kingdom ruleth over all;' that is, the kingdom of his providence. Psa 103: 19. This kingdom we do not pray for when we say, 'Thy kingdom come;' for this kingdom is already come. God exercises the kingdom of his providence in the world. 'He putteth down one and setteth up another.' Psa 75: 7. Nothing stirs in the world but God has a hand in it; he sets every wheel at work; he humbles the proud, and raises the poor out of the dust to set them among princes. I Sam 2: 8. The kingdom of God's providence rules over all; kings do nothing but what his providence permits and orders. Acts 4: 27, 28. This kingdom of God's providence we do not pray should come, for it is already come. What kingdom then is meant when we say, 'Thy kingdom come'? Positively a twofold kingdom is meant. (1) The kingdom of grace, which God exercises in the consciences of his people. This is regnum Dei micron. God's lesser kingdom. When we pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' we pray that the kingdom of grace may be set up in our hearts and increased. (2) We pray also, that the kingdom of glory may hasten, and that we may, in God's good time be translated into it. These two kingdoms of grace and glory, differ not specifically, but gradually; they differ not in nature, but in degree only. The kingdom of grace is nothing but the beginning of the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of grace is glory in the seed, and the kingdom of glory is grace in the flower. The kingdom of grace is glory in the daybreak, and the kingdom of glory is grace in the full meridian. The kingdom of grace is glory militant, and the kingdom of glory is grace triumphant. There is such an inseparable connection between these two kingdoms, grace and glory, that there is no passing into the one but by the other. At Athens there were two temples, a temple of virtue and a temple of honour; and there was no going into the temple of honour, but through the temple of virtue; so the kingdoms of grace and glory are so closely joined together, that we cannot go into the kingdom of glory but through the kingdom of grace. Many people aspire after the kingdom of glory, but never look after grace; but these two, which God has joined together, may not be put asunder. The kingdom of grace leads to the kingdom of glory. I. The first thing implied in this petition, 'Thy kingdom come,' is that we are in the kingdom of darkness. We pray that we may be brought out of the kingdom of darkness. The state of nature is a kingdom of darkness, where sin is said to reign. Rom 6: 12. It is called, 'the power of darkness. ' Col 1: 13. Man, before the fall, was illuminated with perfect knowledge, but this light is now eclipsed, and he is fallen into the kingdom of darkness. How many ways is a natural man in the kingdom of darkness? (1) He is under the darkness of ignorance. 'Having the understanding darkened.' Eph 4: 18. Ignorance is a black veil drawn over the mind. Men by nature may have a deep reach in the things of the world, and yet be ignorant of the things of God. Nahash the Ammonite would make a covenant with Israel to thrust out their right eyes. I Sam 11: 2. Since the fall, our left eye remains, a deep insight into worldly matters; but our right eye is thrust out, we have no saving knowledge of God. Something we know by nature, but nothing as we ought to know. I Cor 8: 2. Ignorance draws the curtains round about the soul. I Cor 2: 14. (2) A natural man is under the darkness of pollution. Hence sinful actions are called 'works of darkness.' Rom 13: 12. Pride and lust darken the glory of the soul. A sinner's heart is a dark conclave that looks blacker than hell. (3) A natural man is under the darkness of misery; he is exposed to divine vengeance; and the sadness of this darkness is, that men are not sensible of it. They are blind, yet they think they see. The darkness of Egypt was such thick darkness as 'might be felt.' Exod 10: 21. Men by nature are in thick darkness; but here is the misery, the darkness cannot be felt; they will not believe they are in the dark till they are past recovery. Use I. See what the state of nature is. It is a 'kingdom of darkness,' and it is a bewitching darkness. 'Men loved darkness rather than light;' as the Athlantes in Ethiopia curse the sun. John 3: 19. Darkness of sin leads to 'chains under darkness.' Jude 6. What comfort can such take in earthly things? The Egyptians might have food, gold, silver; but they could take but little comfort in them, while they were in such darkness as might be felt; so the natural man may have riches and friends to delight in, yet he is in the kingdom of darkness, and how dead are all these comforts! Thou who art in the kingdom of darkness, knowest not whither thou goest. As the ox is driven to the shambles, but knows not whither he goes, so the devil is driving thee before him to hell, but thou knowest not whither thou goest. Shouldest thou die in thy natural estate, while thou art in the kingdom of darkness, blackness of darkness is reserved for thee. 'To whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.' Jude 13. Use 2. Let us pray that God will bring us out of this kingdom of darkness. God's kingdom of grace cannot come into our hearts till we are brought out of the kingdom of darkness. Col 1: 13. Why should not we strive to get out of this kingdom of darkness? Who would desire to stay in a dark dungeon? O fear the chains of darkness. Jude 6. These chains are God's power, binding men as in chains under wrath for ever. O pray that God would deliver you out of the kingdom of darkness! (1) Be sensible of thy dark, damned estate, that thou hast not one spark of fire to give thee light! (2) Go to Christ to enlighten thee! 'Christ shall give thee light;' he will not only bring thy light to thee, but open thine eyes to see it. Eph 5: 14. That is the first thing implied, 'Thy kingdom come;' we pray that we may be brought out of the kingdom of darkness. II. The second thing implied is ' Thy kingdom come,' is that we pray against the devil's kingdom; that his kingdom may be demolished in the world. His kingdom stands in opposition to Christ's kingdom; and when we pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' we pray against Satan's kingdom. He has a kingdom: he got it by conquest: he conquered mankind in paradise. He has his throne. 'Thou dwellest where Satan's seat is.' Rev 2: 13. His throne is set up in the hearts of men; he does not care for their purses, but their hearts. He is served upon the knee. Eph 2: 2. 'They worshipped the dragon,' that is, the devil. Rev 13: 4. Satan's empire is very large. Most kingdoms in the world pay tribute to him. His kingdom has two qualifications or characters:  It is regnum nequitiae: a kingdom of impiety.  It is regnum servitutis: a kingdom of slavery.  The kingdom of Satan is a kingdom of impiety. Nothing but sin goes on in his kingdom. Murder and heresy, lust and treachery, oppression and division, are the constant trade driven in his dominions. He is called 'the unclean spirit.' Luke 11: 24. What else is propagated in his kingdom but a mystery of iniquity?  Satan's kingdom is a kingdom of slavery. He makes all his subjects slaves. Peccati reus dura daemonis tyrannide tenetur [The sinner is held captive under the grim tyranny of the devil]. Satan is a usurper and a tyrant; he is a worse tyrant than any other. (1) Other tyrants do but rule over the body, but Satan's kingdom rules over the soul. He rides some men as we do upon horses. (2) Other tyrants have some pity on their slaves. Though they make them work in the galleys, yet they give them meat, and let them have their hours for rest; but Satan is a merciless tyrant, who gives his slaves poison instead of meat, and hurtful lusts to feed on. I Tim 6: 9. Nor will he let his slaves have any rest: he hires them out to do his drudgery. 'They weary themselves to commit iniquity.' Jer 9: 5. When the devil had entered into Judas, he sent him to the high priests, and from thence to the garden, and never let him rest till he had betrayed Christ and hanged himself. Thus he is the worst of tyrants. When men have served him to their utmost strength, he welcomes them to hell with fire and brimstone. Use. Let us pray that Satan's kingdom, set up in the world, may be overthrown. It is sad to think that, though the devil's kingdom be so bad, yet that it should have so many to support it. He has more to stand up for his kingdom than Christ has for his. What a large harvest of souls has Satan! and God only a few gleanings. The Pope and the Turk give the power to Satan. If in God's visible church the devil has so many loyal subjects that serve him with their lives and souls, how do his subjects swarm in places of idolatry and paganism, where there is none to oppose him, but all vote on the devil's side! Men are willing slaves to Satan; they will fight and die for him; therefore he is not only called 'the prince of this world,' but 'the god of this world' (John 12: 31; 2 Cor 4: 4), to show what power he has over men's souls. O let us pray that God would break the sceptre of the devil's kingdom; that Michael may destroy the dragon; that, by the help of a religious magistracy and ministry, the hellish kingdom of the prince of darkness may be beaten down! Satan's kingdom must be thrown down before Christ's kingdom can flourish in its power and majesty. When we pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' something is positively intended. III. We pray that the kingdom of grace may be set up in our hearts. When we pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' we pray that the kingdom of grace may come into our hearts. This is regnum Dei mikron, God's lesser kingdom. 'The kingdom of God is righteousness.' Rom 14: 17. 'The kingdom of God is within you.' Luke 17: 21. Why is grace called a kingdom? Because, when grace comes, there is a kingly government set up in the soul. Grace rules the will and affections, and brings the whole man in subjection to Christ; it kings it in the soul, sways the sceptre, subdues mutinous lusts, and keeps the soul in a spiritual decorum. Why is there such need to pray that this kingdom of grace may come into our hearts? (1) Because, till the kingdom of grace come, we have no right to the covenant of grace. The covenant of grace is sweetened with love, bespangled with promises; it is our Magna Charta, by virtue of which God passes himself over to us to be our God. Who are heirs of the covenant of grace? Only such as have the kingdom of grace in their hearts. 'A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.' Ezek 36: 26. Here the kingdom of grace is set up in the soul; it then follows, 'I will be your God', 5: 28. The covenant of grace is to an ungracious person a sealed fountain; it is kept as a paradise with a flaming sword, that the sinner may not touch it. Without grace, you have no more right to it than a farmer to the city-charter. (2) Unless the kingdom of grace be set up in our hearts, our purest offerings are defiled. They may be good as to the matter, but not as to the manner; they want that which should meliorate and sweeten them. Under the law, if a man who was unclean by a dead body, carried a piece of holy flesh in his skirt, the holy flesh could not cleanse him, but he polluted it. Hag 2: 12. Till the kingdom of grace be in our hearts, ordinances do not purify us, but we pollute them. Even the prayer of an ungracious person becomes sin. Prov 15: 8. In what a sad condition is a man before God's kingdom of grace is set up in his heart! Whether he comes or comes not to the ordinance, he sins. If he does not come to the ordinance, he is a condemner of it; if he does come, he is a polluter of it. A sinner's works are opera mortua, dead works; and those works which are dead, cannot please God. A dead flower has no sweetness. Heb 11: 6. (3) We had need pray that the kingdom of grace may come, because until this kingdom come into our hearts, we are loathsome in God's eyes. 'My soul loathed them.' Zech 11: 8. Quanta est foeditas vitiosae mentis [How great is the foulness of a corrupt mind]. A heart void of grace looks blacker than hell. Sin transforms man into a devil. 'Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?' John 6: 70. Envy is the devil's eye, hypocrisy is his cloven foot. Thus it is before the kingdom of grace come. So deformed is a graceless person, that when once he sees his own filth and leprosy, the first thing he does is to loathe himself. 'Ye shall loathe yourself in your own sight for all your evils.' Ezek 20: 43. I have read of a woman who always used flattering glasses, and who, by chance, seeing her face in a true glass, in insaniam delapsa est, she ran mad. When once God gives those who now dress themselves by the flattering glass of presumption, a sight of their own filthiness, they will abhor themselves. 'Ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils.' (4) Before the kingdom of grace comes unto us we are spiritually illegitimate, of the bastard brood of the old serpent. John 8: 44. To be illegitimate is the greatest infamy. 'A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord even to his tenth generation.' Deut 23: 2. He was to be kept out of the holy assemblies of Israel as an infamous creature. A bastard by law cannot inherit. Before the kingdom of grace comes into the heart, a person is to God as illegitimate, and so continuing he cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven. (5) Before the kingdom of grace be set up in men's hearts, the kingdom of Satan is set up in them. They are said to be under 'the power of Satan.' Acts 26: 18. Satan commands the will; though he cannot force the will, by his subtle temptations he can draw it. He is said to take men captive 'at his will.' 2 Tim 2: 26. The Greek word signifies to take them alive as the fowler does the bird in the snare. The sinner's heart is the devil's mansion-house. 'I will return into my house.' Matt 12: 44. It is officina diaboli, Satan's shop, where he works. 'The prince of the air that now worketh in the children of disobedience.' Eph 2: 2. The members of the body are the tools with which Satan works. He possesses men. In Christ's time many had their bodies possessed, but it is far worse to have the souls possessed. One is possessed with an unclean devil, another with a revengeful devil. No wonder the ship goes full sail when the wind blows; no wonder men go full sail in sin when the devil, the prince of the air, blows them. Thus, till the kingdom of grace come, men are under the power of Satan, who, like Draco, writes all his laws in blood. (6) Till the kingdom of grace comes, a man is exposed to the wrath of God. 'Who knoweth the power of thine anger?' Psa 90: 11. If when but a spark of God's wrath flies into a man's conscience in this life it is so terrible, what will it be when God stirs up all his anger? So inconceivably torturing is God's wrath, that the wicked call to the rocks and mountains to fall on them and hide them from it. Rev 6: 16. The hellish torments are compared to a fiery lake. Rev 20: 15. Other fire is but painted in comparison of this; and this lake of fire burns for ever. Mark 9: 44. God's breath kindles this fire. Isa 30: 33. Where shall we find engines or buckets to quench it? Time will not finish it; tears will not quench it. To this fiery lake are men exposed till the kingdom of grace be set up in them. (7) Till the kingdom of grace comes, men cannot die with comfort. He only who takes Christ in the arms of his faith can look death in the face with joy. It is sad to have the king of terrors in the body and not the kingdom of grace in the soul. It is a wonder every graceless person does not die distracted. What will a grace- despiser do when death comes to him with a writ of habeas corpus? Hell follows death. 'Behold, a pale horse, and his name that sat on him was death, and hell followed with him.' Rev 6: 8. Thus you see what need we have to pray that the kingdom of grace may come. Of him that dies without Christ I may say, 'It had been good for that man if he had not been born.' Matt 26: 24. Few believe the necessity of having the kingdom of grace set up in their hearts, as appears by this, that they are well content to live without it. Does that man believe the necessity of pardon who is content to be without it? Most people, if they may have trading, and may sit quietly under their vine and fig-trees, are in their kingdom, though they have not the kingdom of God within them. If the candle of prosperity shine upon their head, they care not whether the grace of God shine in their hearts. Do these men believe the necessity of grace? Were they convinced how needful it is to have the kingdom of God within them, they would cry out as the jailor, 'What must I do to be saved?' Acts 16: 30. The Lord's Prayer by Thomas Watson (continued in file 7...) ---------------------------------------------------- file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-06.txt .