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.  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.  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 yourselves.' (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 angels. (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 ever. (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?  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.  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.  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.  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:  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 heaven. 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 it. 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.  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 kingdom. 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 .