The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
File 9
(... continued from file 8)

    (7) In the kingdom of heaven we shall have a blessed rest. Rest 
is the end of motion; heaven is centrum quietativum animae, the 
blessed centre where the soul acquiesces and rests. In this life we 
are subject to unquiet motions and fluctuations. 'We were troubled 
on every side' (2 Cor 7: 5): like a ship on the sea having the waves 
beating on both sides; but in the kingdom of heaven there is rest. 
Hub 4: 9. How welcome is rest to a weary traveller! When death cuts 
asunder the string of the body, the soul, as a dove, flies away, and 
is at rest. This rest is when the saints shall lie on Christ's bosom 
that hive of sweetness, that bed of perfume. 
    (8) The saints in the kingdom of heaven shall have their bodies 
richly bespangled with glory. They shall be full of brightness and 
beauty. As Moses' face shined, that Israel were not able to behold 
the glory (Exod 34: 30), so the bodies of the saints shall shine 
seven times brighter than the sun, as Chrysostom says; they shall 
have such a resplendence of beauty on them, that the angels shall 
fall in love with them; and no wonder, for they shall be made like 
Christ's glorious body. Phil 3: 21. The bodies of saints gloried 
need no jewels, when they shall shine like Christ's body. 
    (9) In the heavenly kingdom is eternity. It is an eternal 
fruition, they shall never be put out of the throne. 'They shall 
reign for ever and ever.' Rev 22: 5. It is called 'the everlasting 
kingdom' (2 Pet 1: 11), and an 'eternal weight of glory.' 2 Cor 4: 
17. The flowers of paradise, of which the saints' garland is made, 
never wither. If there could be a cessation of heaven's glory, or 
the saints had but the least fear or suspicion of losing their 
felicity, it would infinitely abate and cool their joy; but their 
kingdom is for ever, the rivers of paradise cannot be dried up. 'At 
thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.' Psa 16: 2: The 
kingdom of heaven was typified by the temple which was built with 
stone, covered with cedar overlaid with gold, to show that the fixed 
permanent state of glory abides for ever. Well may we pray, 'Thy 
kingdom come.' 
    [2] The properties or qualifications of the kingdom of heaven. 
    (1) The glory of this kingdom is solid and substantial. The 
Hebrew word for glory signifies a weight, to show how solid and 
weighty the glory of the celestial kingdom is. The glory of the 
worldly kingdom is airy and imaginary, like a blazing comes, or 
fancy. Agrippa and Bernice came with a great pomp, with a great 
fancy. Acts 25: 23. The earth hangs like a ball in the air, without 
anything to uphold it. Job 26: 7. The glory of the heavenly kingdom 
is substantial, it has twelve foundations. Rev 21: 14. That which 
God and angels count glory, is true glory. 
    (2) The glory of this kingdom is satisfying. 'With thee is the 
fountain of life.' Psa 36: 9. How can they choose but be full who 
are at the fountainhead? 'When I awake, I shall be satisfied with 
thy likeness,' i.e., when I awake in the morning of the 
resurrection, having some of the beams of thy glory shining in me, I 
shall be satisfied. Psa 17: 15. The creature says, concerning 
satisfaction, 'It is not in me.' Job 28: 14. If we go for happiness 
to the creature, we go to the wrong box: heaven's glory only is 
commensurate to the vast desires of an immortal soul. A Christian 
bathing himself in these rivers of pleasures, cries out in divine 
ecstasy, I have enough. The soul is never satisfied till it has God 
for its portion, and heaven for its haven. Dissatisfaction arises 
from some defect, but God is an infinite good, and there can be no 
defect in that which is infinite. 
    (3) The glory of heaven's kingdom is pure and unmixed. The 
streams of paradise are not muddied, omnia clara, omnia jucunda [all 
are clear, all are delightful]. There gold has no alloy. There is no 
bitter ingredient in that glory: it is pure as the honey that drops 
from the comb. There the rose of Sharon grows without thorns. There 
is ease without pain, honour without disgrace, life without death. 
    (4) The glory of this kingdom is constantly exhilarating and 
refreshing; there is fulness, but no surfeit. Worldly comforts, 
though sweet, yet in time grow stale. A down-bed pleases awhile, but 
soon we are weary and would rise. Too much pleasure is a pain; but 
the glory of heaven never surfeits or nauseates; because, as there 
are all rarities imaginable, so every moment fresh delights spring 
from God into the glorified soul. 
    (5) The glory of this kingdom is distributed to every 
individual saint. In an earthly kingdom the crown goes but to one, a 
crown will fit but one head; but in that kingdom above, the crown 
goes to all. Rev 1: 6. All the elect are kings. The land is settled 
chiefly upon the heir, and the rest are ill provided for; but in the 
kingdom of heaven all the saints are heirs. 'Heirs of God, and co- 
heirs with Christ.' Rom 8: 17. God has land enough to give to all 
his heirs. 
    (6) Lucid and transparent. This kingdom of heaven is adorned 
and bespangled with light. I Tim 6: 16. Light is the glory of the 
creation. 'The light is sweet.' Eccl. 11: 7. Hell is a dark dungeon; 
fire, but no light. Matt 22:13. The kingdom of heaven is a diaphanum 
[transparency], all embroidered with light, clear as crystal. How 
can there be want of light, where Christ the Sun of Righteousness 
displays his golden beams? 'The glory of God did lighten it, and the 
Lamb is the light thereof.' Rev 21: 23. 
    (7) The glory of this kingdom is adequate and proportionable to 
the desire of the soul. In creature fruitions, that which commends 
them, and sets them off to us, is suitableness. The content of 
marriage lies not in beauty or portion, but in suitableness of 
disposition. The excellence of a feast is, when the meat is suited 
to the palate. One ingredient in the glory of heaven is, that it 
exactly suits the desires of the glorified saints. We shall not say 
in heaven, 'Here is a dish I do not love!' There shall be music to 
suit the ear in the anthems of angels; and food that suits the 
glorified palate in the hidden manna of God's love. 
    (8) The glory of this kingdom will be seasonable. The 
seasonableness of a mercy adds to its beauty and sweetness, like 
apples of gold to pictures of silver. After a hard winter in this 
cold climate, is it not seasonable to have the spring flowers of 
glory appear, and the singing of the birds of paradise come? When we 
have been wearied, and tired out in battle with sin and Satan, will 
not a crown be seasonable? 
    [3] The kingdom of heaven infinitely excels all the kingdoms of 
the earth. 
    (1) It excels in its Architect. Other kingdoms have men to 
raise their structures, but God himself laid the first stone in this 
kingdom. Heb 11: 10. This kingdom is of the greatest antiquity. God 
was the first King and founder of it; no angel was worthy to lay a 
stone in this building. 
    (2) This heavenly kingdom excels in altitude. It is higher than 
any kingdom. The higher anything is the more excellent it is. Fire 
being the most sublime element, is most noble. The kingdom of heaven 
is seated above all the visible orbs. There is, 1. The airy heaven, 
which is the space from the earth to the sphere of the moon. 2. The 
starry heaven, the place where the planets are, of a higher 
elevation, as Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars. 3. The coelum empyraeum, 
the empyrean heaven, which Paul calls the third heaven; where Christ 
is, there the kingdom of glory is situated. This kingdom is so high 
that no scaling ladders of enemies can reach it; so high that the 
old serpent cannot shoot up his fiery darts to it. If wicked men 
could build their nests among the stars, the least believer would 
shortly be above them. 
    (3) The kingdom of heaven excels all others in splendour and 
riches. It is described by precious stones. Rev 21: 19. What are all 
the rarities of the earth to this kingdom - coasts of pearl, rocks 
of diamonds, islands of spices? What are the wonders of the world to 
it - the Egyptian pyramids, the temple of Diana, the pillar of the 
sun offered to Jupiter? What a rich kingdom is that where God will 
lay out all his cost! Those who are poor in the world, soon as they 
come into this kingdom, grow rich, as rich as the angels. Other 
kingdoms are enriched with gold, this is enriched with the Deity. 
    (4) The kingdom of heaven excels all other kingdoms in 
holiness. Kingdoms on earth are for the most part unholy; there is a 
common sore of luxury and uncleanness running in them. Kingdoms are 
stages for sin to be acted on. 'All tables are full of vomit' (Isa 
28: 8); but the kingdom of heaven is so holy that it will not mix 
with any corruption. There shall enter into it nothing that 
defileth. Rev 21: 27. It is so pure a soil, that no serpent of sin 
will breed there. There beauty is not stained with lust, and honour 
is not swelled with pride. Holiness is the brightest jewel of the 
crown of heaven. 
    (5) The kingdom of heaven excels all other kingdoms in its 
pacific nature. It is regnum pacis, a kingdom of peace. Peace is the 
glory of a kingdom; pax una triumphis innumeris melior [one peace is 
better than countless victories]. A king's crown is more adorned 
with the white lily of peace, than when beset with the red roses of 
a bloody war. But where shall we find an uninterrupted peace upon 
earth? Either there are home-bred divisions or foreign invasions. 
'There was no peace to him that went out, nor to him that came in.' 
2 Chron 15: 5. But the kingdom of heaven is a kingdom of peace; 
there are no enemies to conflict with; for all Christ's enemies 
shall be under his feet. Psa 110: 1. The gates of that kingdom 
always stand open: 'The gates shall not be shut at all;' to show 
that there is no fear of an assault of an enemy. Rev 21: 25. When 
the saints die they are said to enter into peace. Isa 57: 2. There 
is no beating of drums or roaring of cannons; but the voice of 
harpers harping, in token of peace. Rev 14: 2. In heaven, 
'righteousness and peace kiss each other.' 
    (6) The kingdom of heaven excels in magnitude; it is of vast 
dimensions. Though the gate of the kingdom be strait, and we must 
pass into it through the strait gate of mortification, yet, when 
once we are in it, it is very large. Though there be an innumerable 
company of saints and angels, yet there is room enough for them all. 
The kingdom of heaven may be called by the name of that well in Gen 
26: 22: Isaac 'called the name of it Rehoboth; and he said, For now 
the Lord has made room for us.' Thou who art now confined to a small 
cottage, when thou comest into the celestial kingdom, shalt not be 
straitened for room. As every star has a large orb to move in, so it 
shall be with the saints, when they shall shine as stars in the 
kingdom of heaven. 
    (7) The kingdom of heaven excels in unity. All the inhabitants 
agree together in love. Love will be the perfume and music of 
heaven; as love to God will be intense, so to the saints. As perfect 
love casts out fear, so it casts out envy and discord. Those 
Christians who could not live quietly together on earth (which was 
the blemish of their profession) in the heaven shall be all love; 
the fire of strife shall cease; there shall be no vilifying, or 
censuring one another, or raking into one another's sores, but all 
shall be tied together with the heart-strings of love. There Luther 
and Zwingli are agreed. Satan cannot put in his cloven foot there to 
make divisions. There shall be perfect harmony and concord, and not 
one jarring string in the saints' music. It were worth dying to be 
in that kingdom. 
    (8) This kingdom exceeds all earthly kingdoms in joy and 
pleasure, and is therefore called paradise. 2 Cor 12: 4. For 
delight, there are all things to cause pleasure; there is the water 
of life clear as crystal; there is the honeycomb of God's love 
dropping. It is called 'entering into the joy of our Lord.' Matt 25: 
23. There are two things which cause joy. 
    [1] Separation from sin shall be complete, and then joy 
follows. There can be no more sorrow in heaven than there is joy in 
    [2] Perfect union with Christ. Joy, as Aristotle says, flows 
from union with the object. When our union with Christ shall be 
perfect our joy shall be full. If the joy of faith be so great, what 
will the joy of sight be? I Pet 1: 8. Joseph gave his brethren 
provision for the way, but the full sacks of corn were kept till 
they came to their father's house. God gives the saints a taste of 
joy here, but the full sacks are kept till they come to heaven. Not 
only the organic parts, the outward senses, the eye, ear, taste, but 
the heart of a glorified saint shall be filled with joy. The 
understanding, will, and affections, are such a triangle as none can 
fill but the Trinity. There must needs be infinite joy, where 
nothing is seen but beauty; nothing is tasted but love. 
    (9) This kingdom of heaven excels all earthly kingdoms in self- 
perfection. Other kingdoms are defective, they have not all 
provision within themselves, but are fain to traffic abroad to 
supply their wants at home, as King Solomon sent to Ophir for gold. 
2 Chron 8:18. But there is no defect in the kingdom of heaven; it 
has all commodities of its own growth. Rev 22: 2. There is the pearl 
of price, the morning star, the mountains of spices, the bed of 
love; there are those sacred rarities, wherewith God and angels are 
    (10) This kingdom of heaven excels all others in honour and 
nobility. It not only equals them in the ensigns of royalty, the 
throne and white robes, but it far transcends them. Other kings are 
of the blood-royal, but they in this heavenly kingdom are born of 
God. Other kings converse with nobles: the saints glorified are 
fellow commoners with angels; they have a more noble crown; it is 
made of the flowers of paradise, and is a crown that fadeth not 
away. I Pet 5: 4. They sit on a better throne. King Solomon sat on a 
throne of ivory overlaid with gold (I Kings 10: 18); but the saints 
in heaven are higher advanced, they sit with Christ upon his throne. 
Rev 3: 21. They shall judge the princes and great ones of the earth. 
I Cor 6: 2. This honour have all the glorified saints. 
    (11) This kingdom of heaven excels all others in healthfulness. 
Death is a worm that is ever feeding at the root of our gourd: 
kingdoms are often hospitals of sick persons; but the kingdom of 
heaven is a most healthful climate. Physicians there are out of 
date: no distemper there, no passing bell, or bill of mortality. 
'Neither can they die any more.' Luke 20: 36. In the heavenly 
climate are no ill vapours to breed diseases, but a sweet, aromatic 
smell coming from Christ; all his garments smell of myrrh, aloes, 
and cassia. 
    (12) This kingdom of heaven excels in duration, it abides for 
ever. Suppose earthly kingdoms to be more glorious than they are, 
their foundations of gold, their walls of pearl, their windows of 
sapphire; yet they are corruptible and fading. 'I will cause to 
cease the kingdom.' Hos 1: 4. Troy and Athens now lie buried in 
their ruins; jam seges est ubi Troja fuit [corn now grows where Troy 
once stood]. Mortality is the disgrace of all earthly kingdoms; but 
the kingdom of heaven has eternity written upon it, it is an 
everlasting kingdom. 2 Pet 1: 11. It is founded upon the strong 
basis of God's omnipotence. The saints shall never be turned out of 
this kingdom, or be deposed from their throne, as some kings have 
been, as Henry VI., &c. but shall reign for ever and ever. Rev 22: 
    How should all this affect our hearts! What should we mind but 
this kingdom of heaven, which more outshines all the kingdoms of the 
earth than the sun outshines the light of a taper! 
    [4] This glory in the kingdom of heaven shall be begun at 
death, but not perfected till the resurrection. 
    (1) The saints shall enter upon the kingdom of glory 
immediately after death. 
    Before their bodies are buried, their souls shall be crowned. 
'Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ.' Phil 1: 23. From 
this connection, departing, and being with Christ, we see clearly 
that there is a subitus transitus, speedy passage from death to 
glory; no sooner is the soul of a believer divorced from the body, 
but it presently goes to Christ. 'Absent from the body, present with 
the Lord.' 2 Cor 5: 8. It were better for believers to stay here, if 
immediately after death they were not with Christ in glory; for here 
the saints are daily increasing their grace; here they may have many 
praelibamina [foretastes], sweet tastes of God's love: so that it 
were better to stay here, if their soul should sleep in their body, 
and they should not have a speedy sight of God in glory; but the 
consolation of believers is that they shall not stay long from their 
kingdom; it is but winking and they shall see God. It will not only 
be a blessed change to a believer, from a desert to a paradise, from 
a bloody battle to a victorious crown, but a sudden change. No 
sooner did Lazarus die, but he had a convoy of angels to conduct his 
soul to the kingdom of glory. You who now are full of bodily 
diseases, scarce a day well, saying, 'My life is spent with grief' 
(Psa 31: 10); be of good comfort, you may be happy before you are 
aware, before another week or month be over, you may be in the 
kingdom of glory, and then all tears shall be wiped away. 
    (2) The glory in the kingdom of heaven will be fully perfected 
at the resurrection and general day of judgement. Then the bodies 
and souls of believers will be reunited. What joy will there be at 
the reunion and meeting together of the soul and body of a saint! 
Oh, what a welcome will the soul give to the body! 'O my dear body, 
thou didst often join with me in prayer, and now thou shalt join 
with me in praise; thou were willing to suffer with me, and now thou 
shalt reign with me; thou were sown a vile body, but now thou art 
made like Christ's glorious body; we were once for a time divorced, 
but now we are married, and crowned together in a kingdom, and shall 
mutually congratulate each other's felicity.' 
    [5] The certainty and infallibility of this kingdom of glory. 
    That this blessed kingdom shall be bestowed on the saints, is 
beyond all dispute. 
    (1) God has promised it. 'It is your Father's good pleasure to 
give you the kingdom.' Luke 12: 32. 'I appoint unto you a kingdom.' 
Luke 22: 29. 'I bequeath it as my last will and testament.' Has God 
promised a kingdom, and will he not make it good? God's promise is 
better than any bond. 'In hope of eternal life which God, that 
cannot lie, promised.' Tit 1: 2. The whole earth hangs upon the word 
of God's power; and cannot our faith hang upon the word of his 
    (2) There is a price laid down for this kingdom. Heaven is not 
only a kingdom which God has promised, but which Christ has 
purchased; it is called a purchased possession. Eph 1: 14. Though 
this kingdom is given us freely, yet Christ bought it with the price 
of his blood; which is a heaven procuring blood. 'Having boldness to 
enter into the holiest (i.e., into heaven) by the blood of Jesus.' 
Heb 10: 19. Crux Christi clavis paradisi [The cross of Christ is the 
key of paradise], Christ's blood is the key that opens the gates of 
heaven. Should not the saints have this kingdom, then Christ should 
lose his purchase. Christ on the cross was in hard travail. Isa 53: 
11. He travailed to bring forth salvation to the elect: should not 
they possess the kingdom when they die, Christ would lose his 
travail; all his pangs and agonies of soul upon the cross would be 
in vain. 
    (3) Christ prays that the saints may have this kingdom settled 
upon them. 'Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, 
be with me where I am.' i.e., in heaven. John 17: 24. This is 
Christ's prayer, that the saints may be with him in his kingdom, and 
be bespangled with some of the beams of his glory. Now, if they 
should not go into this heavenly kingdom, then Christ's prayer would 
be frustrated; but that cannot be, for he is God's favourite. 'I 
knew that thou hearest me always;' and besides, what Christ prays 
for, he has power to give. John 11: 42. Observe the manner of 
Christ's prayer, 'Father, I will;' Father, there he prays as man; 'I 
will,' there he gives as God. 
    (4) The saints must have this blessed kingdom by virtue of 
Christ's ascension. 'I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my 
God and your God.' John 20: 17. Where lies the comfort of this? 
Jesus Christ ascended to take possession of heaven for all 
believers. As a husband takes up land in another country in behalf 
of his wife, so Christ went to take possession of heaven in behalf 
of all believers. 'I go to prepare a place for you.' John 14: 2. My 
ascension is to make all things ready against your coming: I go to 
prepare the heavenly mansions for you. The flesh that Christ has 
taken into heaven, is a sure pledge that our flesh and bodies shall 
be where he is ere long. Christ did not ascend to heaven as a 
private person, but as a public person, for the good of all 
believers; his ascension was a certain forerunner of the saints 
ascending into heaven. 
    (5) The elect must have this blessed kingdom, in regard of the 
previous work of the Spirit in their hearts. They have the beginning 
of the kingdom of heaven in them here: grace is heaven begun in the 
soul; besides, God gives them primitias Spiritus, the first-fruits 
of the Spirit. Rom 8: 23. The first-fruits are the comforts of the 
Spirit. These first-fruits under the law were a certain sigh to the 
Jews of the full crop of vintage which they should after receive. 
The first-fruits of the Spirit, consisting of joy and peace, assure 
the saints of the full vintage of glory they shall be ever reaping 
in the kingdom of God. The saints in this life are said to have the 
earnest of the Spirit in their hearts. 2 Cor 5: 5. As an earnest is 
part of payment, and an assurance of payment in full to be made in 
due time, so God's Spirit in the hearts of believers, giving them 
his comforts, bestows on them an earnest, or taste of glory, which 
further assures them of that full reward which they shall have in 
the kingdom of heaven. 'Believing, ye rejoice;' there is the earnest 
of heaven. I Pet 1: 8. 'Receiving the end of your faith,' salvation; 
there is the full payment; ver 9. 
    (6) The elect must have this blessed kingdom by virtue of their 
coalition and union with Jesus Christ, they are members of Christ, 
therefore they must be where their head is. Indeed, the Arminians 
hold, that a justified person may fall from grace, and so his union 
with Christ may be dissolved and the kingdom lost; but I demand of 
them, can Christ lose a member of his body? Then he is not perfect; 
and if Christ may lose one member of his body, why not as well all, 
by the same reason? He will then be a head without a body; but be 
assured a believer's union with Christ cannot be broken, and so long 
he cannot be hindered of the kingdom. John 17: 12. What was said of 
Christ's natural body, is as true of his mystical. 'A bone of him 
shall not be broken.' John 19: 36. Look how every bone and limb of 
Christ's natural body was raised up out of the grave, and carried 
into heaven; so shall every member of his mystical body be carried 
up into glory. 
    (7) We read of some who have been translated into this kingdom. 
Paul had a sight of it, for he was caught up into the third heaven. 
2 Cor 12: 2. And the converted thief on the cross was translated 
into glory. 'Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.' Luke 23: 43. 
By all that has been said, it is most evident that believers have a 
glorious kingdom laid up for them in reversion, and that they shall 
go to this kingdom when they die. None doubt the certainty of the 
heavenly kingdom but such as doubt the verity of Scripture. 
    [6] We should pray earnestly, 'Thy kingdom come.' 
    (1) Because it is a kingdom worth praying for. It exceeds the 
glory of all earthly kingdoms, it has gates of pearl. Rev 21: 21. We 
have heard of a cabinet of pearl, but when did we hear of gates of 
pearl? In that kingdom is the bed of love, the mountains of spices; 
there are the cherubim, not to keep us out, but to welcome us into 
the kingdom. Heaven is a kingdom worth praying for; nothing is 
wanting in that kingdom which may complete the saints' happiness; 
for, wherein does happiness consist? Is it in knowledge? We 'shall 
know as we are known.' Is it in dainty fare? We shall be at the 
'marriage supper of the Lamb.' Is it in rich apparel? We shall be 
'clothed in long white robes.' Is it in delicious music? We shall 
hear the choir of angels singing. Is it in dominion? We shall reign 
as kings, and judge angels. Is it in pleasure? We shall enter into 
the joy of our Lord. Surely then this kingdom is worth praying for! 
'Thy kingdom come.' Would God give us a vision of heaven awhile, as 
he did Stephen, who saw 'the heavens opened' (Acts 7: 56), we should 
fall into a trance; and being a little recovered out of it, how 
importunately would we put up this petition, 'Thy kingdom come!' 
    (2) We must pray for this kingdom of glory, because God will 
not bestow it on any without prayer. 'To them who seek for glory and 
immortality' (Rom 2: 7); and how do we seek but by prayer? God has 
promised a kingdom, and we must by prayer put the bond in suit. God 
is not so lavish as to throw away a kingdom on those who do not ask 
it. And certainly, if Christ himself, who had merited glory, did 
pray, 'Now, O Father, glorify me with thine own self'(John 17: 5), 
how much more ought we to pray for the excellent glory who have this 
kingdom granted as a charter of God's mere grace and favour! 
    (3) We must pray that the kingdom of glory may come, that by 
going into it we may make an end of sinning. I think sometimes, what 
a blessed time it will be, never to have a sinful thought more! 
though we must not pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' out of discontent, 
because we would be rid of the troubles and crosses of this life. 
This was Jonah's fault; he would die in a pet, because God took away 
his gourd; 'Lord,' says he, 'take my life from me.' Jonah 4: 3. But 
we must pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' out of a holy design that the 
fetters of corruption may be pulled off, and we may be as the 
angels, those virgin spirits, who never sin. This made the church 
pray in Rev 22: 20, Veni, Domine Jesu [Come, Lord Jesus]. 
    (4) Because that all Christ's enemies shall be put under his 
feet. The devil shall have no more power to tempt, nor wicked men to 
persecute; the antichristian hierarchy shall be pulled down, and 
Zion's glory shall shine as a lamp, and the Turkish strength shall 
be broken. 
    (5) We must pray earnestly that the kingdom of glory may come, 
that we may see God 'face to face,' and have an uninterrupted and 
eternal communion with him in the empyrean heaven. Moses desired but 
a glimpse of God's glory. Exod 33: 18. How then should we pray to 
see him in all his embroidered robes of glory, when he shall shine 
ten thousand times brighter than the sun in its meridian splendour! 
Here, in this life, we rather desire God than enjoy him; how 
earnestly therefore should we pray, 'Thy kingdom of glory come!' The 
beholding and enjoying God will be the diamond in the ring, the very 
quintessence of glory. And must we pray, 'Thy kingdom come'? How 
then are they ever like to come to heaven who never pray for it? 
Though God gives some profane persons 'daily bread' who never pray 
for it, yet he will not give them a kingdom who never pray for it. 
God may feed them, but he will never crown them. 
    Use 1. For information. 
    (1) From all this, you see that nothing within the whole sphere 
of religion is imposed upon unreasonable terms. When God bids us 
serve him, it is no unreasonable request; out of free grace he will 
enthrone us in a kingdom. When we hear of repentance, steeping our 
souls in brinish tears for sin; or of mortification, beheading our 
king-sin, we are ready to grumble, and think this is hard and 
unreasonable. 'But, do we serve God for nought?' Is it not infinite 
bounty to reward us with a kingdom? This kingdom is as far above our 
thoughts, as it is beyond our deserts. No man can say, without wrong 
to God, that he is a hard master; for though he sets us about hard 
work, yet he is no hard master. God gives double pay; he gives great 
perquisites in his service, sweet joy and peace; and a great reward 
after, 'an eternal weight of glory.' God gives the spring-flowers, 
and a crop; he settles upon us such a kingdom as exceeds our faith. 
Praemium quod fide non attingitur [The reward which is not attained 
by faith]. Augustine. Such as mortal eye has not seen, nor can it 
enter into the heart of man to conceive. I Cor 2: 9. Alas, what an 
infinite difference is there between duty enjoined, and the kingdom 
prepared! What is the shedding of a tear to a crown! So that God's 
'commandments are not grievous.' I John 5: 3. Our service cannot be 
so hard as a kingdom is sweet. 
    (2) See hence the royal bounty of God to his children, that he 
has prepared a kingdom for them, a kingdom bespangled with glory; 
infinitely above the model we can draw of it in our thoughts. The 
painter going to draw the picture of Helena, as not being able to 
draw her beauty to the life, drew her face covered with a vail; so, 
when we speak of the kingdom of heaven, we must draw a vail, we 
cannot set it forth in all its orient beauty and magnificence; gold 
and pearl do but faintly shadow it out. Rev 21: 21. The glory of 
this kingdom is better felt than expressed. 
    They who inherit this kingdom are amicti stolis albis, 'clothed 
with white robes.' Rev 7: 9. White robes denote three things: [1] 
Their dignity. The Persian were arrayed in white, in token of 
honour. [2] Their purity. The magistrates among the Romans were 
clothed in white, therefore called candidate, to show their 
integrity. Thus the queen, the Lamb's wife, is arrayed in fine 
linen, pure and white, which is 'the righteousness of the saints.' 
Rev 19: 8. [3] Their joy. White is an emblem of joy. 'Eat thy bread 
with joy, let thy garments be always white.' Eccl 9: 7, 8. 
    The dwellers in this kingdom have 'palms in their hands,' in 
token of victory. Rev 7: 9. They are conquerors over the world: and, 
being victors, they have now palm-branches. They sit upon the throne 
with Christ. Rev 3: 21. When Caesar returned from conquering his 
enemies, there was set for him a chair of state in the senate, and a 
throne in the theatre. Thus the saints in glory, after their heroic 
victories, shall sit upon a throne with Christ. It is royal bounty 
in God, to bestow such an illustrious kingdom upon the saints. It is 
a mercy to be pardoned, but what is it to be crowned? It is a mercy 
to be delivered from wrath to come, but what is it to be invested 
with a kingdom? 'Behold, what manner of love is this?' Earthly 
princes may bestow great gifts and donations upon their subjects, 
but they keep the kingdom to themselves. Though king Pharaoh 
advanced Joseph to honour, and took the ring off his finger and gave 
it to him, yet he would keep the kingdom to himself. Gen 41: 40. But 
God enthrones the saints in a kingdom. He thinks nothing too good 
for his children. We are ready to think much of a tear, a prayer, or 
to sacrifice a sin for him; but he does not think much to bestow a 
kingdom upon us. 
    (3) See hence, that religion is no ignominious disgraceful 
thing. Satan labours to cast all the odium and reproach upon it that 
he can; that it is devout frenzy, ingrain folly. Acts 28: 22. 'As 
concerning this sect, we know that everywhere it is spoken against.' 
But wise men measure things by the end. What is the end of a 
religious life? It ends in a kingdom. Would a prince regard the 
slightings of a few frantics, when he is going to be crowned? You 
who are beginners, bind their reproaches as a crown about your head; 
despise their censures as much as their praise: a kingdom is coming. 
    (4) See what contrary ways the godly and the wicked go at 
death. The godly go to a kingdom, the wicked to a prison: the devil 
is the jailer, and they are bound with the chains of darkness. Jude 
6. But what are these chains? Not iron chains, but worse; the chain 
of God's decree, decreeing them to torment; and the chain of God's 
power, whereby he binds them fast under wrath. The deplorable 
condition of impenitent sinners, is that they do not go to a kingdom 
when they die, but to a prison. Oh, think what horror and despair 
will possess the wicked, when they see themselves engulfed in 
misery, and their condition hopeless, helpless, endless! They are in 
a fiery prison, and there is no possibility of getting out. A 
servant under the law, who had a hard master, at every seventh year 
might go free; but in hell there is no year of release when the 
damned shall go free; the fire, the worm, the prison are eternal. If 
the whole world, from earth to heaven, were filled with grains of 
sand, and once in a thousand years an angel should come and fetch 
one grain, how many millions of ages would pass before that vast 
heap of sand would be quite spent! Yet, if after all this time the 
sinner might come out of hell, there would be some hope: but this 
word "ever" breaks the heart with despair. 

The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
(continued in file 10...)

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