The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
File 8
(... continued from file 7)

    When does the kingdom of grace increase in the soul? When is it 
a flourishing kingdom? 
    When a Christian has further degrees of grace, there is more 
oil in the lamp, his knowledge is clear, his love is more inflamed. 
Grace is capable of degrees, and may rise higher as the sun in the 
horizon. It is not with us as it was with Christ, who received the 
Spirit without measure. John 3: 34. He could not be more holy than 
he was; but our grace is receptive of further degrees; we may have 
more sanctity, we may add more cubits to our spiritual stature. 
    The kingdom of grace increases when a Christian has got more 
strength than he had. 'He that has clean hands, shall be stronger 
and stronger.' Job 17: 9. 'He shall add to his strength.' Heb. A 
Christian has strength to resist temptation, to forgive his enemies, 
to suffer affliction. It is not easy to suffer; a man must deny 
himself before he can take up the cross. The way to heaven is like 
the way which Jonathan and his armour bearer had in climbing up a 
steep place. 'There was a sharp rock on the one side, and a sharp 
rock on the other.' I Sam 14: 4. It requires much strength to climb 
up this rocky way. That grace which will carry us through 
prosperity, will not carry us through sufferings. The ship needs 
stronger tackling to carry it through a storm than a calm. Now, when 
we are so strong in grace, that we can bear up under affliction 
without murmuring or fainting, the kingdom of grace is increased. 
What mighty strength of grace had he, who told the emperor 
Valentinian, You may take away my life, but you cannot take away my 
love to the truth! 
    The kingdom of grace increases when a Christian has most 
conflict with spiritual corruptions; when he not only abstains from 
gross evils, but has a combat with inward, hidden, close 
corruptions; as pride, envy, hypocrisy, vain thoughts, carnal 
confidence, which are spiritual wickedness, and both defile and 
disturb. 'Let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh 
and spirit.' 2 Cor 7: 1. There are two sorts of corruptions, one of 
the flesh, the other of the spirit. When we grieve for and combat 
with spiritual sin, which is the root of all gross sins, then the 
kingdom of grace increases, and spreads its territories in the soul. 
    The kingdom of grace flourishes when a Christian has learned to 
live by faith. 'I live by the faith of the Son of God.' Gal 2: 20. 
There is the habit of faith, and the drawing of this habit into 
exercise. For a Christian to graft his hope of salvation, only upon 
the stock of Christ's righteousness, and make Christ all in 
justification; to live on the promises, as a bee on the flower, and 
suck out the sweetness of them; to trust God where we cannot trace 
him; to believe his love through a frown; to persuade ourselves, 
when he has the face of an enemy, that he has the heart of a Father 
- when we are arrived at this, the kingdom of grace is flourishing 
in our souls. 
    It flourishes when a Christian is full of holy zeal. Numb 25: 
13. Phinehas was zealous for his God. Zeal is the flame of the 
affections, it turns a saint into a seraphim. A zealous Christian is 
impatient when God is dishonoured. Rev 2: 2. He will wrestle with 
difficulties, he will swim to Christ through a sea of blood. Acts 
21: 13. Zeal loves truth when it is despised and opposed. 'They have 
made void thy law, therefore I love thy commandments.' Psa 119: 126, 
127. Zeal resembles the Holy Ghost. 'There appeared cloven tongues 
like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.' Acts 2: 3. Tongues 
of fire were an emblem of that fire of zeal which the Spirit poured 
on them. 
    The kingdom of grace increases when a Christian is as diligent 
in his particular calling, as he is devout in his general calling. 
He is the wise Christian that carries things equally; that so lives 
by faith that he lives in a calling. Therefore it is worthy of 
notice, that when the apostle had exhorted the Thessalonians to 
increase in grace, he presently adds, 'And that you do your own 
business, and work with your own hands.' I Thess 4: 10, 11. It is a 
sign grace is increasing, when Christians go cheerfully about their 
calling. Indeed, to be all the day in the mount with God, and to 
have the mind fixed on glory, is more sweet to a man's self, and is 
a heaven upon earth; but to be conversant in our callings, is more 
profitable to others. Paul says, 'To be with Christ is far better: 
nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.' Phil 1: 
23,24. So, to converse with God in prayer and sweet meditation all 
the week long, is more for the comfort of a man's own person; but to 
be sometimes employed in the business of a calling, is more 
profitable for the family to which he belongs. It is not good to be 
as the lilies, which toil not, neither do they spin. It shows the 
increase of grace when a Christian keeps a due decorum. He joins 
piety and industry, when zeal runs forth in religion, and diligence 
is put forth in a calling. 
    The kingdom of grace increases when a Christian is established 
in the belief and love of the truth. The heart by nature is as a 
ship without ballast, that wavers and fluctuates. Beza writes of one 
Bolezius, that his religion changed as the moon and planet Mercury. 
Such as are wandering stars will be falling stars; but when a soul 
is built on the rock Christ, and no winds of temptation can blow it 
away, the kingdom of grace flourishes. One calls Athanasius, Adamas 
Ecclesiae, an invincible adamant, in respect of his stability in the 
truth. 'Rooted and built up in him.' Col 2: 7. The rooting of a tree 
evidences growth. 
    The kingdom of grace increases in a man's own heart when he 
labours to be instrumental to set up this kingdom in others. Though 
it is the greatest benefit to have grace wrought in ourselves, it is 
the greatest honour to be instrumental to work it in others. 'Of 
whom I travail in birth again until Christ be formed in you.' Gal 4: 
19. Such as are masters of a family should endeavour to see the 
kingdom of grace set up in their servants; such as are godly parents 
should not let God alone by prayer, till they see grace in their 
children. What a comfort to be both the natural and spiritual 
fathers of your children! Augustine says his mother Monica travailed 
with greater care and pain for his new birth, than his natural. It 
shows the increase of grace when we labour to see the kingdom of 
grace set up in others. As water abounds in the river, when it 
overflows and runs into the meadows, so grace increases in the soul 
when it has influence upon others, and we seek their salvation. 
    What need is there that the kingdom of grace should be 
    God's design in keeping up a standing ministry in the church is 
to increase the kingdom of grace in men's hearts. 'He gave gifts 
unto men;' that is, ministerial gifts. Why so? 'For the edifying of 
the body of Christ.' Eph 4: 8, 12. Not only for conversion, but for 
augmentation; therefore the word preached is compared not only to 
seed, but to milk; because God designs our growth in grace. 
    We need have the kingdom of grace increase, as we have a great 
deal of work to do, and a little grace will hardly carry us through. 
A Christian's life is laborious: there are many temptations to 
resist, many promises to believe, many precepts to obey, so that it 
will require a great deal of grace. A Christian must not only pray, 
but 'be zealous, and repent' (Rev 3: 19); not only love, but be sick 
of love. Cant 2: 5. What need, therefore, to have the kingdom of 
grace enlarged in his soul? As his work increases upon him, so his 
grace need increase. 
    If the kingdom of grace does not increase, it will decay. 'Thou 
hast left thy first love.' Rev 2: 4. Grace, for want of increasing, 
is sometimes like a winter plant in which all the sap runs to the 
root, and it looks as if it were dead. 'Strengthen the things which 
remain, that are ready to die.' Rev 3: 2. Though grace cannot 
expire, it may wither; and a withering Christian loses much of his 
beauty and fragrance. What great need have we to pray, 'Thy kingdom 
come,' that this kingdom of grace may be increased! If grace be not 
improved, it will soon be impaired. A Christian, for want of 
increasing his grace, loses his strength; he is like a sick man that 
cannot either walk or work; his prayers are sick and weak; he is as 
if he had no life in him; his faith can hardly fetch breath, and you 
can scarcely feel the pulse of his love to beat. 
    To have grace increasing is suitable to Christianity. 
Christians are called trees of righteousness. Isa 61: 3. The saints 
are not only jewels for sparkling lustre, but trees for growth. They 
are called the lights of the world. Phil 2: 15. Light is still 
increasing. First there is the crepusculum, or daybreak, and so it 
shines brighter to the meridian. They who are the lights of the 
world must increase till they come to the meridian of glory. Not to 
grow is suspicious; painted things do not grow. 
    As the kingdom of grace increases, so a Christian's comforts 
increase. Comfort belongs to the bene esse, or well-being of a 
Christian; like sweetmeat, it is delicious to the taste. Psa 94: 19. 
The more grace, the more joy; as the more sap in the root, the more 
wine in the grape. Who more increased in grace than David? And who 
more in consolation? 'Thou hast put gladness in my heart.' Psa 4: 7. 
Grace turns to joy as milk to cream. 
    How may they be comforted who bewail their want of growth, and 
weep that they cannot find the kingdom of grace increase? 
    To see and bewail our decay in grace, argues not only the life 
of grace, but growth. It is a sign that a man recovers and gets 
strength when he feels his weakness. It is a step forward in grace 
to see our imperfections. The more the Spirit shines in the heart, 
the more evil it discovers. A Christian thinks it worse with him 
than it was, whereas his grace may not grow less, but his light 
    If a Christian does not increase in one grace, he may in 
another; if not in knowledge he may in humility. If a tree does not 
grow so much in the branches, it may in the root: and to grow 
downwards in the root, is good growth. 
    A Christian may grow less in affection when he grows more in 
judgement. As the fingers of a musician, when he is old, are stiff, 
and not so nimble at the lute as they were, but he plays with more 
art and judgement than before, so a Christian may not have so much 
affection in duty as at the first conversion, but he is more solid 
in religion, and more settled in his judgement than he was before. 
    A Christian may think he does not increase in grace because he 
does not increase in gifts; whereas there may be a decay of natural 
parts, the memory and other faculties, when there is not a decay of 
grace. Parts may be impaired when grace is improved. Be not 
discouraged, it is better to decay in parts, and be enlarged in 
grace, than to be enlarged in parts, and to decay in grace. 
    A Christian may increase in grace, and not be sensible of it. 
As seed may grow in the earth, when we do not perceive it to spring 
up, so grace may grow in time of desertion, and not be perceived. 
    V. We pray that the kingdom of glory may hasten, and that God 
would in his due time translate us into it. Under this we have now 
to consider [1] What this kingdom of glory is? [2] What are the 
properties of it? [3] Wherein it exceeds all other kingdoms? [4] 
When this kingdom comes? [5] Wherein appears the certainty of it? 
[6] Why we should pray for its coming? 
    [1] By this kingdom is meant, that glorious estate which the 
saints shall enjoy when they shall reign with God and angels for 
ever. If a man stand upon the sea-shore, he cannot see all the 
dimensions of the sea, its length, breadth, and depth, yet he may 
see it is of vast extension, so, though the kingdom of heaven be of 
that incomparable excellence, that neither tongue of man or angels 
can express, yet we may conceive of it to be an exceeding glorious 
thing, such as the eye has not seen. 
    Concerning the kingdom of heaven I shall show what it implies, 
and what it imports. 
    First, it implies a blessed freedom from all evil. 
    (1) It implies a freedom from the necessities of nature. We are 
in this life subject to many necessities; we need food to nourish 
us, clothes to cover us, armour to defend us, sleep to refresh us; 
but in the kingdom of heaven there will be no need of these things; 
and it is better not to need them than to have them; as it is better 
not to need crutches than to have them. What need will there be of 
food when our bodies shall be made spiritual? I Cor 15: 44. Though 
not spiritual for substance, yet for qualities. What need will there 
be of clothing when our bodies shall be like Christ's glorious body? 
What need will there be of armour when there is no enemy? What need 
will there be of sleep when there is no night? Rev 22: 5. The saints 
shall be freed, in the heavenly kingdom, from these necessities of 
nature to which they are now exposed. 
    (2) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from the 
imperfections of nature. Since the fall, our knowledge has suffered 
an eclipse. 
    Our natural knowledge is imperfect, it is chequered with 
ignorance. There are many hard knots in nature which we cannot 
easily untie. He who sees dearest, has a mist before his eyes. 
Socrates said on his death-bed, that there were many things he had 
yet to learn. Our ignorance is more than our knowledge. 
    Our divine knowledge is imperfect. We know but in part, said 
Paul, though he had many revelations, and was rapt up in the third 
heaven. I Cor 13: 9. We have but dark conceptions of the Trinity, 
'Canst thou by searching find out God?' Job 11: 7. Our narrow 
capacities would no more contain the Trinity, than a little glass 
vial would hold all the water in the sea. We cannot unriddle the 
mystery of the incarnation, the human nature assumed into the person 
of the Son of God; the human nature not God, yet united with God. We 
see now in aenigmate, in a glass darkly; but in the kingdom of 
heaven the veil shall be taken off, all imperfection of nature shall 
be done away. When the sunlight of glory shall begin to shine in the 
heavenly horizon, all dark shadows of ignorance shall fly away, our 
lamp of knowledge shall burn brightly, we shall have a full 
knowledge of God, though we shall not know him fully. 
    (3) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from the 
toilsome labours of this life. God enacted a law in paradise, 'in 
the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.' Gen 3: 19. There is the 
labour of the hand in manufacture and the labour of the mind in 
study. 'All things are full of labour' (Eccl 1: 8); but in the 
kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from our labours. 
    There needs no labour when a man has got to the haven, he has 
no more need of sailing. In heaven there needs no labour, because 
the saints shall have the glory which they laboured for. 
    There shall be no labour. 'They rest from their labours.' Rev 
14: 13. As when God had finished the work of creation, he rested 
from his labours, so, when his saints have finished the work of 
sanctification, they rest from theirs. Where should there be rest, 
but in the heavenly centre? Not that this sweet rest in the kingdom 
of heaven excludes all motion, for spirits cannot be idle; but the 
glorified saints shall rest from all wearisome employment. It will 
be a labour full of ease, a motion full of delight. The saints in 
heaven shall love God, and what labour is that? Is it any labour to 
love beauty? They shall praise God, and that surely is delightful. 
When the bird sings, it is not so much a labour as a pleasure. 
    (4) In the kingdom of heaven, we shall be freed from original 
corruption, which is causa causati, the root of all actual sin. 
There would be no actual sin if there were no original; there would 
be no water in the stream if there were none in the fountain. 
Original sin is incorporated into our nature; it is as if the whole 
mass of blood were corrupted. Thus, to offend the God whom he loves, 
makes a Christian weary of his life. What would he give to have his 
chains taken off, to be rid of vain thoughts? How did Paul, that 
bird of paradise, bemoan himself for his sins! Rom 7: 24. We cannot 
exercise either our duties or our graces without sin. The soul that 
is most refined and clarified by grace, is not without some dregs of 
corruption; but in the kingdom of heaven the fountain of original 
sin shall be quite dried up. What a blessed time will that be, never 
to grieve God's Spirit more! In heaven are virgin souls; their 
beauty is not stained with lust: nothing enters there that defiles. 
Rev 21: 27. 
    (5) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all 
sorrows. 'There shall be no more sorrow.' Rev 21: 4. Our life here 
is interwoven with trouble. Psa 31: 10. Either losses grieve, or law- 
suits vex, or unkindness breaks the heart. We may as well separate 
moisture from air, or weight from lead, as troubles from man's life. 
Quid est diu vivere, nisi diu torqueri? [What is long life but long 
torment?] Augustine. But, in the kingdom of heaven, sorrow and 
sighing shall fly away. Here the saints sit by the rivers weeping, 
but one smile from Christ's face will make them forget all their 
sufferings. Their water shall then be turned into wine, their 
mourning into singing. 
    (6) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be beyond the reach of 
temptation. Satan is not yet fully cast into prison; like a prisoner 
under bail, he walks about tempting, and labouring, to draw us into 
sin. He is either laying snares, or shooting darts. Stat in 
procinctu diabolus [The devil stands girded for battle]. He laid a 
train of temptation to blow up the castle of Job's faith. It is as 
great a grief to a believer to be followed with temptations to sin, 
as for a virgin to have her chastity assaulted. But in the kingdom 
of heaven the saints shall be freed from the red dragon, who is cast 
out of paradise, and shall be for ever locked up in chains. Jude 6. 
    (7) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all vexing 
cares. The Greek word for care comes from a primitive which 
signifies to cut the heart in pieces. Care tortures the mind, wastes 
the spirits, and eats out the comfort of life. Care to prevent 
future dangers, and preserve present comforts, is an evil spirit 
that haunts us. All care is full of fear, and fear is full of 
torment. I John 4: 18. God threatens it as a judgement. 'They shall 
eat their bread with carefulness.' Ezek 12: 19. Every comfort has 
its care, as every rose has its thorns; but in the kingdom of heaven 
we shall shake off the viper of care. What needs a glorified saint 
to take any anxious care, who has all things provided to his hand? 
There is the tree of life, bearing all sorts of fruit. When the 
heart shall be freed from sin, the head shall be freed from care. 
    (8) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all doubts 
and scruples. In this life the best saint has his doubting, as the 
brightest star has his twinkling. If there were no doubting, there 
would be no unbelief. Assurance itself does not exclude all 
doubting. 'Thy loving kindness is before mine eyes.' Psa 26: 3. At 
another time, 'Lord, where are thy former loving kindnesses?' Psa 
89: 49. A Christian is like a ship at anchor, which, though safe, 
may sometimes be tossed upon the water. Sometimes a Christian 
questions his interest in Christ, and his title to the promise. As 
these doubting eclipse a Christian's comfort, so they bear false 
witness against the Spirit. But, when the saints shall come into the 
kingdom of heaven, there shall be no more doubting; the Christian 
shall then say, as Peter, 'Now I know of a surety that the Lord has 
sent his angel and has delivered me.' Acts 12: 11. Now I know that I 
am passed from death to life, and I am got beyond all rocks, I have 
shot the gulf, now I am in my Saviour's embraces for ever. 
    (9) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all society 
with the wicked. Here we are sometimes forced to be in their 
company. 'Woe is me, that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the 
tents of Kedar.' Psa 120: 5. Kedar was Ishmael's son, whose children 
dwelt in Arabia, a profane, barbarous people. Here the wicked are 
still raising persecutions against the godly, and crucifying their 
ears with their oaths and curses. Christ's lily is among thorns; but 
in the heavenly kingdom there shall be no more any pricking brier. 
'The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather 
out of his kingdom all things that offend.' Matt 13: 41. As Moses 
said, 'Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord: for the 
Egyptians whom ye have seen to-day, ye shall see them again no more 
for ever;' so will God say, Stand still, and see the salvation of 
God; these your enemies, that vex and molest you, you shall see them 
again no more for ever. Exod 14: 13. At that day, God will separate 
the precious from the vile; Christ will thoroughly purge his floor; 
he will gather the wheat into the garner; and the wicked, which are 
the chaff, shall be blown into hell. 
    (10) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all signs 
of God's displeasure. Here he may be angry with his people. Though 
he has the heart of a father, he may have the look of an enemy; and 
this is sad. As when the sun is gone, the dew falls; so when the 
light of God's face is gone, tears drop from the saints' eyes. But 
in the kingdom of heaven, there shall be no spiritual eclipses, 
there shall never appear any tokens of God's displeasure; the saints 
shall have a constant aspect of love from him, they shall never 
complain any more, 'My beloved had withdrawn himself.' Cant 5: 6. 
    (11) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from all 
divisions. The saddest thing in the world is to see divisions among 
them that are good. It is sad that such as have one faith, should 
not be of one heart. Ephraim envies Judah, and Judah vexeth Ephraim. 
It is matter of tears, to see those who are united to Christ, 
divided one from another. The soldier's spear pierced Christ's side, 
but the divisions of saints wound his heart. But in the kingdom of 
heaven there shall be no vilifying one another, or censuring. Those 
who before could hardly pray together, shall praise God together. 
There shall not be one jarring string in the saints' music. 
    (12) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from vanity and 
dissatisfaction. What Job says of wisdom, in chap. 28: 14; 'The 
depth saith, It is not in me; and the sea saith, It is not with me;' 
I may say concerning satisfaction; every creature says, 'It is not 
in me.' Take things most pleasing and from which we promise 
ourselves most content, still, of the spirit and essence of them all 
we shall say, 'Behold, all was vanity.' Eccl 2: 11. God never did, 
nor will, put a satisfying virtue into any creature. In the sweetest 
music the world makes, either some string is wanting, or out of 
tune. Who would have thought that Haman, who was so great in the 
king's favour, that he 'set his seat above all the princes' of the 
provinces, for want of the bowing of a knee, would be dissatisfied? 
Est 3: 1. But in the kingdom of heaven, we shall be freed from these 
dissatisfactions. The world is like a landscape painting, in which 
you may see gardens with fruit trees, curiously drawn, but you 
cannot enter them; but into the joys of heaven you may enter. 'Enter 
thou into the joy of thy Lord.' The soul shall be satisfied while it 
bathes in those rivers of pleasure at God's right hand. 'I shall be 
satisfied when I awake with thy likeness.' Psa 17: 15. 
    (13) In the kingdom of heaven we shall be freed from the 
torments of hell. 'Jesus which delivered us from the wrath to come.' 
I Thess 1: 10. Consider the multiplicity of those torments. In this 
life the body is usually exercised but with one pain, the stone or 
headache, at one time; but in hell there is a diversity of torments; 
there is darkness to affright, fire to burn, a lake of sulphur to 
choke, chains to bind, and the worm to gnaw. The torments of hell 
will seize upon every part of the body and soul. The eye shall be 
tortured with the sight of devils, and the tongue that has sworn so 
many oaths shall be tortured. 'Send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip 
of his finger in water, and cool my tongue.' Luke 16: 24. The memory 
will be tormented to remember the mercies that have been abused, and 
seasons of grace neglected. The conscience will be tormented with 
    In the pains of hell there is no mitigation, no mixture of 
mercy. In this life God in anger remembers mercy. Hab 3: 2. But in 
hell there is no alleviation or lessening of the pains. As in the 
sacrifice of jealousy, God would have no oil or frankincense put 
into it, so, in hell, there is no oil of mercy to lenify the 
sufferings of the damned, no incense of prayer to appease his wrath. 
Numb 5: 15. In the pains of hell there is no intermission. The poets 
feign of Endymion, that he got leave of Jupiter always to sleep. 
What would the damned in hell give for one hour's sleep! 'They have 
no rest day nor night.' Rev 14: 11. They are perpetually on the 
rack. In the pains of hell there is no expiration; they must always 
lie scorching in flames of wrath. 'The smoke of their torment 
ascended up for ever and ever;' but in the heavenly kingdom, the 
elect shall be freed from all infernal torments. 'Jesus delivered us 
from the wrath to come.' A prison is not made for the king's 
children. Christ drank that bitter cup of God's wrath that the 
saints might never drink it. 
    A second thing in the kingdom of heaven is, a glorious fruition 
of all good. Had I as many tongues as hairs on my head, I could not 
fully describe this. It is a place where there is no want of 
anything. Judges 18: 10. It is called 'the excellent glory.' 2 Pet 
1: 17. I might as well span the firmament, or drain the ocean, as 
set forth the glory of this kingdom. Coelum non habet hyperbolum; 
the kingdom of heaven is above all hyperbole. Were the sun ten 
thousand times brighter than it is, it could not parallel the lustre 
of this kingdom. Apelles' pencil would blotch, angels' tongues would 
lessen it. I can but give you the skiagraphia, or dark shadow of it; 
expect not to see it in all its orient colours till you are mounted 
above the stars. But let us not stand afar off, as Moses, to behold 
this Canaan, but enter into it, and taste the honey. The privileges 
of this heavenly kingdom are: 
    (1) We shall have an immediate communion with God himself, who 
is the inexhaustible sea of all happiness. This divines call 'the 
beatific vision.' The psalmist triumphed in the enjoyment he had of 
God in this life. 'Whom have I in heaven but thee?' Psa 73: 25. If 
God, enjoyed by faith, gives so much comfort to the soul, how much 
more when he is enjoyed by immediate vision! Here we see God darkly 
through the glass of ordinances but in the kingdom of heaven we 
shall see him 'face to face.' I Cor 13: 12. We shall have an 
intellectual sight of him; we shall see him with the eyes of our 
mind; we shall know him as much as the angels in heaven do. Matt 18: 
10; we shall know as we are known. I Cor 13: 12. We shall have a 
full knowledge of God, though not know him fully; as a vessel in the 
sea is full of the sea, though it holds not all the sea. To see and 
enjoy God will be most delicious; in him are beams of majesty, and 
bowels of mercy. God has all excellencies concentred in him, bonum 
in quo omnia bona [the good in which are all good things]. If one 
flower should have the sweetness of all flowers how sweet would that 
flower be! All the beauty and sweetness which lies scattered in the 
creature is infinitely to be found in God. To see and enjoy him, 
therefore, will ravish the soul with delight. We shall see God so as 
to love him, and be made sensible of his love; and when we shall 
have this sweet communion with him he shall be 'all in all;' light 
to the eye, manna to the taste, and music to the ear. I Cor 15: 28. 
    (2) In the kingdom of heaven, we shall with these eyes see the 
glorified body of Jesus Christ. The Saviour makes it a great part of 
the glory of heaven to view the glory of his human nature. 'That 
they may behold my glory.' John 17: 24. When Christ was transfigured 
upon earth, it is said, that 'his face did shine as the sun, and his 
raiment was white as the light.' Matt 17: 2. If the glory of his 
transfiguration was so great, what will the glory of his exaltation 
be! Much of the glory of God shines in Christ, by virtue of the 
hypostatic union. 'In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead 
bodily.' Col 2: 9. Through Christ's humanity, as through a bright 
mirror, we may see some beams of the divine majesty shine forth. Put 
a back of steel to a glass and you may see a face in it. Christ's 
human nature is as a back of steel put to the divine nature, through 
which we may see God, and then our capacities are enlarged to a 
wonderful degree, to receive this glorious object; and we not only 
see God's glory, but some of his glory shall be put upon us. Non 
tantum aderit gloria sed inerit [Glory will be not only present, but 
within]. Bernard. A beggar may behold the glory of a king and not be 
the happier; but Christ's glory shall be ours, 'We shall be like 
him.' I John 3: 2. We shall shine by his beams. 
    (3) In the kingdom of heaven we shall enjoy the society of 'an 
innumerable company of angels.' Heb 12: 22. 
    But is there not enough in God to fill the soul with delight? 
Can the sight of angels add to its happiness? What need is there of 
the light of torches, when the sun shines? 
    Besides the divine essence, the sight of angels is desirable. 
Much of God's curious workmanship shines in the angels; they are 
beautiful, glorious creatures; and as the several strings in a lute 
make the harmony sweeter, and the several stars make the firmament 
brighter, so the society with angels will make the delight of heaven 
the greater; and we shall not only see them with the glorified eye 
of our understanding, but converse with them. 
    (4) In the kingdom of heaven, we shall have sweet society with 
glorified saints. Oh! what a blessed time will it be when those who 
have prayed, wept, and suffered together, shall rejoice together! We 
shall see the saints, in their white linen of purity, and see them 
as so many crowned kings: in beholding the glorified saints, we 
shall behold a heaven full of suns. Some have asked whether we shall 
know one another in heaven? Surely, our knowledge will not be 
diminished, but increased. The judgement of Luther and Anselm, and 
many other divines is, that we shall know one another; yea, the 
saints of all ages, whose faces we never saw, and, when we shall see 
the saints in glory without their infirmities of pride and passion, 
it will be a glorious sight. We see how Peter was transported when 
he saw but two prophets in the transfiguration; but what a blessed 
sight will it be when we shall see the whole glorious company of 
prophets, and martyrs, and holy men of God! Matt 17: 3. How sweet 
will the music be when all shall sing together in concert in the 
heavenly choir! And though, in this great assembly of saints and 
angels, 'one star may differ from another in glory,' yet no such 
weed as envy shall ever grow in the paradise of God; there shall be 
perfect love, which, as it casts out fear, so also envy. Though one 
vessel of glory may hold more than another, every vessel will be 
    (5) In the kingdom of heaven there shall be incomprehensible 
joy. Aristotle says, 'Joy proceeds from union.' When the saints' 
union with Christ is perfected in heaven, their joy shall be full. 
All the birds of the heavenly paradise sing for joy. What joy, when 
the saints shall see the great gulf shot, and know that they are 
passed from death to life! What joy, when they are as holy as they 
would be, and as God would have them to be! What joy to hear the 
music of angels; to see the golden banner of Christ's love displayed 
over the soul; to be drinking that water of life which is sweeter 
than all nectar and ambrosia! What joy, when the saints shall see 
Christ clothed in their flesh, sitting in glory above the angels! 
Then they shall enter into the joy of their Lord. Matt 25: 21. Here 
joy enters into the saints; in heaven 'they enter into joy.' O thou 
saint of God, who now hangest thy harp upon the willows, and mingles 
thy drink with weeping, in the kingdom of heaven thy water shall be 
turned into wine; thou shalt have so much felicity that thy soul 
cannot wish for more. The sea is not so full of water as the heart 
of a glorified saint is of joy. There can be no more sorrow in 
heaven than there is joy in hell. 
    (6) In heaven honour and dignity are put upon the saints. A 
kingdom implies honour. All that come into heaven are kings. They 
have, 1. A crown. Rev 2: 10. 'I will give thee a crown of life.' 
Corona est insigne regiae potestatis [A crown is the sign of royal 
power] This crown is not lined with thorns, but hung with jewels; it 
is a never-fading crown. I Pet 5: 4. 2. The saints in heaven have 
their robes. They exchange their sackcloth for white robes. 'I 
beheld a great multitude, which no man could number, clothed with 
white robes.' Rev 7: 9. Robes signify their glory, white their 
sanctity. And, 3. They sit with Christ upon the throne. Rev 3: 21. 
We read in I Kings 6: 32, the doors of the holy of holies were made 
of palm-trees, and open flowers covered with gold - an emblem of 
that victory, and that garland of glory, which the saints shall wear 
in the kingdom of heaven. When all the titles and ensigns of worldly 
honour shall lie in the dust, the mace, the silver star, the garter, 
the saints' honour shall remain. 

The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
(continued in file 9...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-08.txt