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 
    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: 
    (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 
    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: [1] It is regnum nequitiae: a kingdom of impiety. [2] It 
is regnum servitutis: a kingdom of slavery. 
    [1] 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? 
    [2] 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 
    III. We pray that the kingdom of grace may be set up in our 
    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 
    (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: 
    (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