The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
File 10
(... continued from file 9)

    (5) See that which may make us in love with holy duties; that 
every duty spiritually performed brings us a step nearer to the 
kingdom. Finis dat amabilitatem mediis [The end makes the means 
loveable]. He whose heart is set on riches, counts trading pleasant, 
because it brings him riches. If our hearts are set upon heaven, we 
shall love duty, because it brings us by degrees to the kingdom; we 
are going to heaven in the way of duty. Holy duties increase grace; 
and as grace ripens, so glory hastens. The duties of religion are 
irksome to flesh and blood, but we should look upon them as 
spiritual chariots to carry us apace to the heavenly kingdom. The 
Protestants in France call their church paradise; and well they 
might, because the ordinances led them to the paradise of God. As 
every flower has its sweetness, so would every duty, if we would 
look upon it as giving us a lift nearer heaven. 
    (6) It shows us what little cause the children of God have to 
envy the prosperity of the wicked. Quis aerario quis plenis loculis 
indiget [Who needs a full purse when he owns a treasury]? Seneca. 
The wicked have the 'waters of a full cup wrung out to them.' Psa 
73: 10. As if they had a monopoly of happiness: they have all they 
can desire; nay, they have 'more than heart can wish.' Psa 73: 7. 
They steep themselves in pleasure. 'They take the timbrel and harp, 
and rejoice at the sound of the organ.' Job 21: 12. The wicked are 
high when God's people are low in the world: the goats clamber up 
the mountains of preferment, when Christ's sheep are below in the 
valley of tears. The wicked are clothed in purple, while the godly 
are in sackcloth. The prosperity of the wicked is a great stumbling- 
block. This made Averroes deny a providence, and made Asaph say, 
'Verily I have cleansed my heart in vain.' Psa 73: 13. But there is 
no cause of envy at their prosperity, if we consider two things. 
First, this is all they have. 'Son, remember that thou in thy 
lifetime receivedst thy good things:' thou hadst all thy heaven 
here. Luke 16: 25. Luther calls the Turkish empire a bone which God 
casts to dogs. Secondly, that God has laid up better things for his 
children. He has prepared a kingdom of glory for them. They shall 
have the beatific vision: they shall hear the angels sing in 
concert; they shall be crowned with the pleasures of paradise for 
ever. Oh, then, envy not the flourishing prosperity of the wicked! 
They go through fairway to execution, and the godly go through foul 
way to coronation. 
    (7) Is there a kingdom of glory coming? See how happy all the 
saints are at death! They go to a kingdom; they shall see God's 
face, which shines ten thousand times brighter than the sun in its 
meridian glory. The godly at death shall be installed into their 
honour, and have the crown royal set upon their head. They have in 
the kingdom of heaven the quintessence of all delights; they have 
the water of life clear as crystal; they have all aromatic perfumes; 
they feed not on the dew of Hermon, but the manna of angels; they 
lie in Christ's bosom, that bed of spices. There is such a pleasant 
variety in the happiness of heaven, that after millions of years it 
will be as fresh and desirable as the first hour's enjoyment. In the 
kingdom of heaven, the saints are crowned with all those perfections 
which human nature is capable of. The desires of the glorified 
saints are infinitely satisfied; there is nothing absent that they 
could wish might be enjoyed; there is nothing present that they 
could wish might be removed. They who are got into this kingdom 
would be loath to come back to the earth again, for it would be much 
to their loss. They would not leave the fulness and the sweetness of 
the olive, to court the bramble; the things which tempt us, they 
would scorn. What are golden bags to the golden beams of the Sun of 
Righteousness? In the kingdom of heaven there is glory in its 
highest elevation; in that kingdom is knowledge without ignorance, 
holiness without sin, beauty without blemish, strength without 
weakness, light without darkness, riches without poverty, ease 
without pain, liberty without restraint, rest without labour, joy 
without sorrow, love without hatred, plenty without surfeit, honour 
without disgrace, health without sickness, peace without war, 
contentment without cessation. Oh, the happiness of those that die 
in the Lord! They go into this blessed kingdom. And if they are so 
happy when they die, then let me make two inferences. 
    [1] What little cause have the saints to fear death! Are any 
afraid of going to a kingdom? What is there in this world that 
should make us desirous to stay here? Do we not see God dishonoured, 
and how can we bear it? Is not this world 'a valley of tears,' and 
do we weep to leave it? Are we not in a wilderness among fiery 
serpents, and are we afraid to go from these serpents? Our best 
friends live above. God is ever displaying the banner of his love in 
heaven, and is there any love like his? Are there any sweeter 
smiles, or softer embraces than his? What news so welcome as leaving 
the world and going to a kingdom? Christian, thy dying day will be 
thy wedding day, and dost thou fear it? Is a slave afraid to be 
redeemed? Is a virgin afraid to be matched into the crown? Death may 
take away a few worldly comforts, but it gives that which is better; 
it takes away a flower and gives a jewel; it takes away a short 
lease and gives land of inheritance. If the saints possess a kingdom 
when they die, they have no cause to fear death. A prince would not 
be afraid to cross the sea, though tempestuous, if he were sure to 
be crowned as soon as he came to shore. 
    [2] If the godly are so happy when they die, that they go to a 
kingdom, what cause have we to mourn immoderately for the death of 
godly friends? Shall we mourn for their preferment? Why should we 
shed tears immoderately for them who have all tears wiped from their 
eyes? Why should we be swallowed up of grief for them who are 
swallowed up of joy? They are gone to their kingdom; they are not 
lost, but gone a little before; not perished, but translated. Non 
amissi sed praemissi. Cyprian. They are removed for their advantage; 
as if one should be removed out of a smoky cottage to a palace. 
Elijah was removed in a fiery chariot to heaven. Shall Elisha weep 
inordinately because he enjoys not the company of Elijah? Shall 
Jacob weep when he knows his son Joseph is preferred and made chief 
ruler in Egypt? We should not be excessive in grief when we know our 
godly friends are advanced to a kingdom. I confess when any of our 
relations die in their impenitence, there is just cause of mourning, 
but not when our friends take their flight to glory. David lost two 
sons: Absalom, a wicked son, he mourned for him bitterly; he lost 
the child he had by Bathsheba: he mourned not when the child was 
departed. Ambrose gives this reason, that David had a good hope, 
nay, assurance that the child was translated into heaven, but he 
doubted of Absalom; he died in his sins; therefore David wept for 
him, 'O Absalom, my son, my son.' But though we are to weep to think 
any of our flesh should burn in hell, yet let us not be cast down 
for them who are so highly preferred at death as to a kingdom. Our 
godly friends who die in the Lord, are in that blessed estate, and 
are crowned with such infinite delights, that if we could hear them 
speak to us out of heaven, they would say, 'Weep not for us, but 
weep for yourselves.' Luke 23: 28. We are in our kingdom, weep not 
for our preferment, 'b- t weep for yourselves,' who are in a sinful 
sorrowful world. You are tossing on the troublesome waves, but we 
are got to the haven: you are fighting with temptations, while we 
are wearing a victorious crown, 'Weep not for us, but weep for 
    (8) See the wisdom of the godly. They have the serpent's eye in 
the dove's head; they are 'wise virgins.' Matt 25: 2. Their wisdom 
appears in their choice. They choose that which will bring them to a 
kingdom; they choose grace, and what is grace but the seed of glory? 
They choose Christ with his cross, but this cross leads to a crown. 
Moses chose 'rather to suffer affliction with the people of God.' 
Heb 11: 25. It was a wise, rational choice, for he knew if he 
suffered he should reign. At the day of judgement, those whom the 
world accounted foolish, will appear to be wise. They made a prudent 
choice - they chose holiness; and what is happiness but the 
quintessence of holiness? They chose affliction with the people of 
God; but, through this purgatory of affliction they pass to 
paradise. God will proclaim the saints' wisdom before men and 
    (9) See the folly of those who, for vain pleasures and profits, 
will lose such a glorious kingdom; like that cardinal of France who 
said, 'He would lose his part in paradise, if he might keep his 
cardinalship in Paris.' I may say (as Eccl 9: 3), 'Madness is in 
their heart.' Lysimachus, for a draught of water, lost his empire; 
so, for a draught of sinful pleasure, these will lose heaven. We too 
much resemble our grandfather, Adam, who for an apple lost paradise. 
Many for trifles, to get a shilling more in the shop or bushel, will 
venture the loss of heaven. It will be an aggravation of the 
sinner's torment, to think how foolishly he was undone; for a flash 
of impure joy he lost an eternal weight of glory. Would it not vex 
one who is the lord of a manor to think he should part with his 
stately inheritance for a fit of music. Such are they who let heaven 
go for a song. This will make the devil insult at the last day, to 
think how he has gulled men, and made them lose their souls and 
their happiness for 'lying vanities.' If Satan could make good his 
brag, in giving all the glory and kingdoms of the world, it could 
not countervail the loss of the celestial kingdom. All the tears in 
hell are not sufficient to lament the loss of heaven. 
    Use 2. For reproof. 
    (1) It reproves such as do not look after this kingdom of 
glory, and live as if all we say about heaven were but a romance. 
That they mind it not appears, because they do not labour to have 
the kingdom of grace set up in their hearts. If they have some 
thoughts of this kingdom, yet it is in a dull, careless manner; they 
serve God as if they served him not; they do not vires exercere, put 
forth their strength for the heavenly kingdom. How industrious were 
the saints of old for this kingdom! 'Reaching forth unto those 
things which are before;' the Greek word is epekteinomenos, 
'stretching out the neck,' a metaphor from racers, that strain every 
limb, and reach forward to lay hold on the prize. Phil 3: 13. Luther 
spent three hours a day in prayer. Anna, the prophetess, 'departed 
not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers night 
and day.' Luke 2: 37. How zealous and industrious were the martyrs 
to get into this heavenly kingdom! They wore their fetters as 
ornaments, snatched up torments as crowns, and embraced the flames 
as cheerfully as Elijah did the fiery chariot which came to fetch 
him to heaven; and do we not think this kingdom worth our labour? 
The great pains which the heathens took in their Olympic races, when 
they ran but for a crown made of olive intermixed with gold, will 
rise up in judgement against such as take little or no pains in 
seeking after the kingdom of glory. The dullness of many in seeking 
after heaven is such as if they did not believe there was such a 
kingdom; or as if it would not countervail their labour; or as if 
they thought it were indifferent whether they obtained it or not, 
which is as much as to say, whether they were saved or not; whether 
they were crowned in glory, or chained as galley slaves in hell for 
    (2) It reproves those who spend their sweat more in getting the 
world than the kingdom of heaven. 'Who mind earthly things.' Phil 3: 
19. The world is the great Diana they cry up, as if they would fetch 
happiness out of the earth which God has cursed; they labour for 
honour and riches. Like Korah and Nathan, 'The earth swallowed them 
up.' Numb 16: 32. It swallows up their time and thoughts. If they 
are not pagans, they are infidels; they do not believe there is such 
a kingdom: they go for Christians, yet question that great article 
in their faith, life everlasting. Like the serpent, they lick the 
dust. Oh, what is there in the world that we should so idolise it, 
and Christ and heaven are to be disregarded? What has Christ done 
for you? Died for your sins. What will the world do for you? Can it 
pacify an angry conscience? Can it procure God's favour? Can it fly 
death? Can it bribe the judge? Can it purchase for you a place in 
the kingdom of heaven? Oh, how are men bewitched with worldly 
profits and honours, that for these things they will let go 
paradise! It was a good prayer of Bernard, Sic possideamus mundana, 
ut non perdamus aeterna. Let us so possess things temporal, that we 
do not lose things eternal. 
    (3) It reproves such who delay and put off seeking this kingdom 
till it be too late; like the foolish virgins who came when the door 
was shut. Mora trahit periculum [Delay brings danger]. People let 
the lamp of life blaze out, and when the symptoms of death are upon 
them, and they know not what else to do, will look up to the kingdom 
of heaven. Christ bids them seek God's kingdom first, and they will 
seek it last; they put off the kingdom of heaven to a death-bed, as 
if it were as easy to make their peace as to make their will. How 
many have lost the heavenly kingdom through delays and 
procrastinations! Plutarch reports of Archias, the Lacedemonian, 
that when, being among his cups, one delivered him a letter and 
desired him to read it presently, being of serious business, he 
replied, 'Seria cras, I will mind serious things to-morrow;' and 
that night he was slain. Thou that sayest, thou wilt look after the 
kingdom of heaven to-morrow, knowest not but that thou mayest be in 
hell before to-morrow. Sometimes death comes suddenly: it strikes 
without giving warning. What folly is it to put off seeking the 
kingdom of heaven till the day of grace expire; till the radical 
moisture be spent. As if a man should begin to run a race when a fit 
of the gout takes him. 
    (4) It reproves such as were once great zealots in religion, 
and seemed to be touched with a coal from God's altar, but have 
since cooled in their devotion, and left off pursuing the celestial 
kingdom. 'Israel has cast off the thing that is good:' there is no 
face of religion to be seen: they have left off the house of prayer, 
and gone to play-houses; they have left off pursuing the heavenly 
kingdom. Hos 8: 3. 
    Whence is this? 
    [1] For want of a supernatural principle of grace. That branch 
must needs die which has no root to grow upon. That which moves from 
a principle of life lasts, as the beating of the pulse; but that 
which moves from an artificial spring only, when the spring is down, 
the motion ceases. The hypocrite's religion is artificial, not 
vital; he acts from the outward spring of applause or gain, and if 
that be down, his motion towards heaven ceases. 
    [2] From unbelief. 'An evil heart of unbelief in departing from 
the living God.' Heb 3: 12. 'They believed not in God.' Psa 78: 22. 
'They turned back;' 5: 41. Sinners have hard thoughts of God: they 
think they may pray and hear; yet be never the better. Mal 3: 14. 
They question whether God will give them the kingdom at last; then 
they turn back, and throw away Christ's colours; they distrust God's 
love, and no wonder they desert his service. Infidelity is the root 
of apostasy. 
    [3] Men leave off pursuing the heavenly kingdom, from some 
secret lust nourished in the soul, perhaps a wanton or a covetous 
lust. Demas, for love of the world, forsook his religion, and 
afterwards turned priest in an idol temple. One of Christ's own 
apostles was caught with a silver bait. Covetousness will make men 
betray a good cause, and make shipwreck of a good conscience. If 
there be any lust unmortified in the soul, it will bring forth the 
bitter fruit either of scandal or apostasy. 
    [4] Men leave off pursuing the kingdom of heaven out of 
timidity. If they persist in religion, they may lose their places of 
profit, perhaps their lives. The reason, says Aristotle, why the 
chameleon turns into so many colours is through excessive fear. When 
carnal fear prevails, it makes men change their religion as fast as 
the chameleon does its colours. When many of the Jews, who were 
great followers of Christ, saw the swords and staves, they deserted 
him. What Solomon said of the sluggard, is as true of the coward: he 
says, 'There is a lion without.' Prov 22: 13. He sees dangers before 
him; he would go on in the way to the kingdom of heaven, but there 
is a lion in the way. This is dismal. 'If any man draw back (in the 
Greek, if he steals, as a soldier, from his colours), my soul shall 
have no pleasure in him.' Heb 10: 38. 
    Use 3. For trial. 
    Let us examine whether we shall go to this kingdom when we die. 
Heaven is called a 'kingdom prepared.' Matt 25: 34. 
    How shall we know this kingdom is prepared for us? 
    If we are prepared for the kingdom. 
    How may that be known? 
    By being heavenly persons. An earthly heart is no more fit for 
heaven, than a clod of dust is fit to be a star; there is nothing of 
Christ or grace in such a heart. It were a miracle to find a pearl 
in a gold mine; and it is as great a miracle to find Christ, the 
pearl of price, in an earthly heart. Would we go to the kingdom of 
heaven? Are we heavenly? 
    (1) Are we heavenly in our contemplations? Do our thoughts run 
upon this kingdom? Do we get sometimes upon Mount Pisgah, and take a 
prospect of glory? Thoughts are as travellers: most of David's 
thoughts travelled heaven's road. Psa 139: 17. Are our minds 
heavenlized? 'Walk about Zion, tell the towers thereof, mark ye well 
her bulwarks,' Psa 68: 12, 13. Do we walk into the heavenly mount, 
and see what a glorious situation it is? Do we tell the towers of 
that kingdom? While a Christian fixes his thoughts on God and glory, 
he does as it were tread upon the borders of the heavenly kingdom, 
and peep within the veil. As Moses had a sight of Canaan, though he 
did not enter into it, so the heavenly Christian has a sight of 
heaven, though he be not yet entered into it. 
    (2) Are we heavenly in our affections? Do we set our affections 
on the kingdom of heaven? Col 3: 2. If we are heavenly, we despise 
all things below in comparison of the kingdom of God; we look upon 
the world but as a beautiful prison; and we cannot be much in love 
with our fetters, though they are made of gold: our hearts are in 
heaven. A stranger may be in a foreign land to gather up debts owing 
him, but he desires to be in his own kingdom and nation: so we are 
here awhile as in a strange land, but our desire is chiefly after 
the kingdom of heaven, where we shall be for ever. The world is the 
place of a saint's abode, not his delight. Is it thus with us? Do 
we, like the patriarchs of old, desire a better country? Heb 11: 16. 
This is the temper of a true saint, his affections are set on the 
kingdom of God: his anchor is cast in heaven, and he is carried 
thither with the sails of desire. 
    (3) Are we heavenly in our speeches? Christ, after his 
resurrection, spoke of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. 
Acts 1: 3. Are your tongues turned to the language of the heavenly 
Canaan? 'Then they that feared the Lord, spake often one to 
another.' Mal 3: 16. Do you in your visits season your discourses 
with heaven? There are many say, they hope they shall be saved, but 
you shall never hear them speak of the kingdom of heaven perhaps of 
their wares and drugs, or of some rich purchase they have got, but 
nothing of the kingdom. Can men travel together in a journey, and 
not speak a word of the place they are travelling to? Are you 
travellers for heaven, and never speak a word of the kingdom you are 
travelling to? Herein many discover they do not belong to heaven, 
for you shall never hear a good word come from them. Verba sunt 
speculum mentis. Bernard. The words are the looking-glass of the 
mind, they show what the heart is. 
    (4) Are we heavenly in our trading? Is our traffic and 
merchandise in heaven? Do we trade in the heavenly kingdom by faith? 
A man may live in one place, and trade in another; he may live in 
Ireland, and trade in the West Indies; so we trade in the heavenly 
kingdom. They who do not trade in heaven while they live, shall 
never go to heaven when they die. Do we send up to heaven volleys of 
sighs and groans? Do we send forth the ship of prayer thither, which 
fetches in returns of mercy? Is our communion with the Father and 
his Son Jesus? I John 1: 3. Phil 3: 20. 
    (5) Are our lives heavenly? Do we live as if we had seen the 
Lord with bodily eyes? Do we emulate and imitate the angels in 
sanctity? Do we labour to copy out Christ's life in ours? I John 2: 
6. It was a custom among the Macedonians, on Alexander's birth-day, 
to wear his picture about their necks set with pearl and diamond. Do 
we carry Christ's picture about us, and resemble him in the 
heavenliness of our conversation? If we are thus heavenly, we shall 
go to the kingdom of heaven when we die; and truly there is a great 
deal of reason why we should be thus heavenly in our thoughts, 
affections, and conversation, if we consider that the main end why 
God has given us our souls, is, that we may mind the kingdom of 
heaven. Our souls are of noble extraction, they are akin to angels, 
a glass of the Trinity, as Plato speaks. Now, is it rational to 
imagine that God would have breathed into us such noble souls only 
to look after sensual objects? Were such bright stars made only to 
shoot into the earth? Were these immortal souls made only to seek 
after dying comforts? Had this been the only end of our creation, to 
eat and drink, and converse with earthly objects, worse souls would 
have served us: sensitive souls had been good enough for us. What 
need our souls to be rational and divine, to do that work only which 
a beast may do? 
    Great reason we should be heavenly in our thoughts, affections, 
conversation, if we consider what a blessed kingdom heaven is. It is 
beyond all hyperbole. Earthly kingdoms scarce deserve the names of 
cottages compared with it. We read of an angel coming down from 
heaven, who set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on 
the earth. Rev 10: 2. Had we but once been in the heavenly kingdom, 
and viewed the superlative glory of it, how might we, in holy scorn, 
trample with one foot on the earth, and with the other foot upon the 
sea? There are rivers of pleasure, gates of pearl, sparkling crowns, 
white robes; and should not this make our hearts heavenly? It is a 
heavenly kingdom, and such only go into it who are heavenly. 
    Use 4. For exhortation to all in general. 
    (1) If there be such a glorious kingdom, believe this great 
truth. Socinians deny it. The Rabbis say, the great dispute between 
Cain and Abel was about the world to come; Abel affirmed it, Cain 
denied it. It should be engraver upon our hearts as with the point 
of a diamond, that there is a blessed kingdom in reversion. 'Verily, 
there is a reward for the righteous.' Psa 58: 11. Let us not 
hesitate through unbelief. Doubting principles is the next way to 
denying them. Unbelief, like Samson, would pull down the pillars of 
religion. Be confirmed in this, there is a kingdom of glory to come; 
whoever denies this, cuts asunder the main article of the creed, 
'life everlasting.' 
    (2) If there be such a blessed kingdom of glory to come, let us 
take heed lest we miss this kingdom; let us fear lest we lose heaven 
by short shooting. Trembling in the body, is a malady; in the soul, 
a grace. This fear is not a fear of diffidence or distrust, such as 
discourages the soul, for such fear frights from religion, it cuts 
the sinews of endeavour; but holy fear lest we miss the kingdom of 
heaven, is a fear of diligence; it quickens us in the use of means, 
and puts us forward, that we may not fail of our hope. 'Noah moved 
with fear, prepared an ark.' Heb 11: 7. Fear is a watch-bell to 
awaken sleepy Christians; it guards against security; it is a spur 
to a sluggish heart. He who fears he shall come short of his 
journey, rides the faster. And indeed this exhortation to fear lest 
we miss this kingdom, is most necessary, if we consider two things: 
    [1] There are many who have gone many steps in the way to 
heaven, and yet have fallen short of it. 'Thou art not far from the 
kingdom of God;' yet he was not near enough. Mark 12: 34. 
    How many steps may a man take in the way to the kingdom of God, 
and yet miss it? 
    He may be adorned with civility; he may be morally righteous; 
he may be prudent, just, temperate; he may be free from penal 
statutes; all which is good, but not enough to bring a man to 
    He may hang out the flag of a glorious profession, and yet fall 
short of the kingdom. The Scribes and Pharisees went far; they sat 
in Moses' chair, were expounders of the law; they prayed, gave alms, 
were strict in the observation of the Sabbath; if one had got a 
thorn in his foot, he would not pull it out on the Sabbath-day, for 
fear of breaking the Sabbath. They were so externally devout in 
God's worship, that the Jews thought, that if but two in all the 
world went to heaven, the one would be a Scribe, and the other a 
Pharisee; but the mantle of their profession was not lined with 
sincerity; they did all for the applause of men, and therefore 
missed heaven. 'Except your righteousness shall exceed the 
righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case 
enter into the kingdom of heaven.' Matt 5: 20. 
    A man may be a frequenter of ordinances, and yet miss the 
kingdom. It is a good sight to see people flock as doves to the 
windows of God's house; it is good to lie in the way where Christ 
passes by; yet, be not offended, if I say, one may be a hearer of 
the word, and fall short of glory. Herod heard John the Baptist 
gladly, yet beheaded John instead of beheading his sin. The prophet 
Ezekiel's hearers came with as much delight to his preaching, as one 
would do to a piece of music. 'Thou art to them as a very lovely 
song of one that has a pleasant voice, and can play well on an 
instrument; for they hear thy words, but they do them not.' Ezek 33: 
32. What is it to hear one's duty, and not do it? It is as if a 
physician prescribed a good recipe, but the patient would not take 
    A man may have some trouble for sin, and weep for it, and yet 
miss the heavenly kingdom. 
    Whence is this? 
    A sinner's tears are forced by God's judgements; as water which 
comes out of a distillery is forced by the fire. Trouble for sin is 
transient, it is quickly over again. As some that go to sea are sea- 
sick, but when they come to land are well again; so hypocrites may 
be sermon-sick, but this trouble does not last, the sick-fit is soon 
over. A sinner weeps, but goes on in sin; his sins are not drowned 
in his tears. 
    A man may have good desires and yet miss the kingdom. 'Let me 
die the death of the righteous.' Numb 23: 10. 
    Wherein do these desires come short? 
    They are sluggish. A man would have heaven, but will take no 
pains. As if one should say, he desires water, but will not let down 
the bucket into the well. 'The desire of the slothful killeth him, 
for his hands refuse to labour.' Prov 21: 25. The sinner desires 
mercy but not grace; he desires Christ as a Saviour, but not as he 
is the Holy One; he desires Christ only as a bridge to lead him over 
to heaven. Such desires as these may be found among the damned. 
    A man may forsake his sins, oaths, drunkenness, uncleanness, 
and yet come short of the kingdom. He may forsake gross sins, and 
yet have no reluctance to heart-sins, pride, unbelief, and the first 
risings of malice and concupiscence. Though he dams up the stream, 
he lets alone the fountain; though he lop and prune the branches, he 
does not strike at the root of it. Though he leaves sin for fear of 
hell, or because it brings shame and penury, yet he still loves sin; 
as if a snake should cast her coat, and yet retain her poison. 'They 
set their heart on their iniquity.' Hos 4: 8. It is but a partial 
forsaking of sin; though he leaves one sin, he lives in some other. 
Herod reformed very much. 'He did many things;' but he lived in 
incest. Mark 6: 20. Some leave drunkenness, and live in 
covetousness; they forbear swearing, and live in slandering. It is 
but a partial reformation, and so they miss of the kingdom of glory. 
Thus you see there are some who have gone many steps in the way to 
heaven, and yet have come short. Some have gone so far in 
profession, that they have been confident their estate has been 
good, and that they should go to the kingdom of heaven, and yet have 
missed it. 'When once the master of the house is risen up, and has 
shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock, 
saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us.' Luke 13: 25. How confident were 
these of salvation! They did not beseech, but knock, as if they did 
not doubt but to be let into heaven; yet to these Christ says, 'I 
know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of 
iniquity.' Therefore fear and tremble, lest any miss of this kingdom 
of heaven. 
    [2] This fear is necessary, if we consider what a loss it is to 
lose the heavenly kingdom. All the tears in hell are not sufficient 
to lament the loss of heaven. They who lose the heavenly kingdom, 
lose God's sweet presence, the ravishing views and smiles of his 
glorious face. God's presence is the diamond in the ring of glory. 
'In thy presence is fulness of joy.' Psa 16: 11. If God be the 
fountain of all bliss, then, to be separated from him, is the 
fountain of all misery. They who lose the heaven]y kingdom, lose the 
society of angels; and, what sweeter music than to hear them praise 
God in concert? They lose all their treasure, their white robes, 
their sparkling crowns; they lose their hopes. 'Whose hope shall be 
cut off.' Job 8: 14. Their hope is not an anchor, but a spider's 
web. If hope deferred makes the heart sick, what is hope 
disappointed? Prov 13: 12. They lose the end of their being. Why 
were they created, but to be enthroned in glory? Now, to lose this, 
is to lose the end of their being, as if an angel should be turned 
to a worm. There are many aggravations of the loss of this heavenly 
    The eyes of the wicked shall be opened to see their loss; now 
they care not for the loss of God's favour, because they know not 
the worth of it. A man that loses a rich diamond, and took it but 
for an ordinary stone, is not much troubled at the loss of it; but 
when he comes to know what a jewel he lost, he laments. He whose 
heart would never break at the sight of his sins, breaks at the 
sight of his loss. When the wife of Phinehas heard the ark was lost, 
she cried out, 'The glory is departed.' I Sam 4: 21. When the sinner 
sees what he has lost, that he has lost the beatific vision, he has 
lost the kingdom of heaven, he will cry out in horror and despair, 
'The glory, the everlasting glory, is departed.' 
    A second aggravation of the loss of this kingdom will be, that 
sinners shall be upbraided by their own conscience. This is the worm 
that never dies, a self-accusing mind. Mark 9: 44. When sinners 
shall consider that they were in a fair way to the kingdom; that 
they had a possibility of salvation; that though the door of heaven 
was strait, yet it was open; that they had the means of grace; that 
the jubilee of the gospel was proclaimed in their ears; that God 
called but they refused; that Jesus Christ offered them a plaister 
of his own blood to heal them, but they trampled it under foot; that 
the Holy Spirit stood at the door of their heart, knocking and 
crying to them to receive Christ and heaven, but they repulsed the 
Spirit, and sent away this dove; and that now, through their own 
folly and wilfulness, they have lost the kingdom of heaven; a self- 
accusing conscience will be terrible, it will be like a venomous 
worm gnawing at the heart. 
    A third aggravation of the loss of heaven will be, to look upon 
others that have gained the kingdom. The happiness of the blessed 
will be an eyesore. 'There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, 
when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the 
prophets in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.' Luke 
13: 28. When the wicked shall see those whom they hated and scorned 
exalted to a kingdom, and shine with robes of glory, and they 
themselves miss the kingdom, it will be a dagger at the heart, and 
make them gnash their teeth for envy. 

The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
(continued in file 11...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-10.txt