« PreviousContinue »
they that do fo shall be reckoned among his jewels, and be a royal diadem in the Lord's hand ; they shall be happy in death, and be safely conveyed to Im. manuel's land, where glory dwells. Let us then make it the principal business of our lives to glorify God, that so we may come to enjoy him for ever.
The Second Petition.
MATTHEW vi. 10.
Thy kingdom come.
this second relates to the kingdom of God, the kingdom of our Father which is in heaven ; the coming of which, that is, the advancement thereof, is delired by all the children of God. And that is the great mean of glorifying his name; for then is his name hailowed, when his kingdom comes, is ad. vanced and carried on, till it come to perfection.
In discoursing further from this subject, I shall fhew,
I. What is meant by the kingdom of God.
II. What is the import of this petition for its coming
III. The reasons of the concern of the children of God for the coming of his kingdom.
IV. Lastly, Apply.
I. I am to shew what is meant by the kingdom of Gud. There is a fourfold kingdom of God mentioned in fcripture.
1. The kingdom of his power, which reaches over all the world. The subjects of this kingdorn are all creatures whatsoever, Pfal. ciii. 19. His kingdom ruleth over all. It reaches from the highest angel to the VOL. III,
meanest vorm that creeps on the earth. It is a vast dominion, comprehending heaven, earth, feas, and hell, and all that in them is. He made them all, and therefore has dominion over them all, and to him they must all submit themselves willing or unwilling, Rom. xiv. II. As I live, faith the Lord, every knee shall ' bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. Compire Phil
. ii. io. 11. - At the name of Jesus every knee jhall bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth ; and every tongue shall confefs thai Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In this respect God is universal Monarch, and all the kings and emperors of the world are but his vassals.
2. The kingdom of his gospel, Matth. xxi. 43: The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, fays Chrift to the Jews. This is not fo large as the former. It is erected within it, but comprehends the whole vi. sible church, in which God has set up the light of his gofpel, and Christ's name is known, and men profess lubjection to him.
(1.) The fubjects of it are all members of the vi. fible church, whether godly or ungodly, fincere or hypocrites, (Matth. xii. 47.), with their children. Even the worst of them are privileged persons, in compariton of those of the world without ihe church, Psal. cxlvii. 19. 20. He reweth hi: word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgements unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any nation : and as for his judgements, they have not known them.
(2.) The king of it is Jesus Christ, Psal. ii. 6. Yet have I set my King upon my holy of Zion. He is the alone Head of it, and only supreme in it. And nei. ther pope nor king can pretend to the supremacy over it, without invading his royal prerogative, to their own coft, Eph. i. 22. 23. God hath put all things un. der his feet, and given him to be the Head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. And his glory he will not (3.) The laws of it are the word of God. The Bible is the book of the laws of the kingdom, which great and small within the kingdom are equally bound to walk by, Il. viii.. if they Speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
e to another.
light in them. These laws are attended with the most weighty fanction; and as they have the promise of eternal life of free grace to those wiro obey him, fo they have the threatening of eternal wrath to the disobedient, suitable to the majesty of the King, Mark xvi. 16. He that believeth Mall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
(4.) The ordinances of it are gospel ordinances instituted by the King himself, bearing his own fignature, Matth. xxviii
. 20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. And for men to pretend to add or alter, as if they were not bound up to the divine institution, is the product of their own blindness and enmity against Zion's King, a saying in effect, We will not have this man to reign over us, Luke xix. 27. For the Lord is our Judge, the Lord is our Lawgiver, the Lord is our King, l1
. xxxiii. 22. Lajtly, The officers of it (ordinary) are paftors and teachers for the work of the ministry, Eph. iv. 11. 12, ruling elders for government, 1 Tim. v. 17. and dea.cons for the care of the poor, Acts vi. As for prelates or bifhops, archbishops, inetropolitans, &c. whatever is to be said of their perfons, their offices belong not to the kingdom of Christ, but of Antichritt, as well as priests, cardinals, and popes, there being no institution of them in the book of the manner of Chritt's kingdom.
3: The kingdom of his grace, Matth. vi, 33. Seek ye first the kingdom of God, &c. This is yet narrower than any of the former, and comprehends only thc in. visible church; for it is not an external, but an internal kingdom, in which grace, faving grace reigas in the hearts of those who belong to it; for, says Chriit
to his disciples, behold the kingdom of God is within you, Luke xvii. 21.
(1.) The subjects of it are believers, true saints, and they only; and they commence subjects of this king: dom in the day of Christ's power on their hearts, their new-birth day, Plal.cx. 3.' Well may it be called a kingdom, for it is a kingdom of kings, Rev. i. 6. as all the subjects of it are made kings unto God, Out of prison (their natural state) they come to reign over their fpiritual enemies.
(2.) The King of it is Christ dwelling in their hearts, Eph. iii. 17. fitting in their hearts as on his throné, and all things else made his footstool, Luke xiv. 26, The gospel comes with power to the elect fouls, Pfal. xxiv. 8. The 'everlasting doors are lifted up, and the King makes his triumphant entry, and receives the crown at his entrance, Cant. iii. ult.
(3.) The laws of it are the laws of the Bible, but written over in their hearts, Heb, viii. 10. What o thers have in their book only, they have in their book and heart too; that is, inclinations of foul suited to the word are framed in them, which is a new na turc, naturally disposing them to obedience without force. This is the law of their mind, Rom. vii. 2 3.1
(4.) The ordinances of it are the fame gospel ordinances, but observed in a spiritual manner, in fpirit and truth, John iv. 24. Phil. ii. 3. For this kingdom confifts not in outward obfervances, but inward graces, Rom, xiv. 17. whereby the soul is conformed io the image of Christ, and the inner man serves the Lord Christ as well as the outward man; for it is not in word, but in power.
Lastly, The Administrator of it is the Holy Spirit of Christ, John xiv. 16. 17. He teaches the subjects the Jaws of the kingdom. So they are taught of God. lievenlivens, excites, and strengthens them to obedience. He leads them out to the war against their spiritual enemies, inspires them with courage and resolu
- the conflict, and crowns them with victory
He makes use of the word for all this, and brings every thought into obedience, 2 Cor. x. 5.
4. The kingdom of his glory, 1 Cor. xv. 50. This is the blessed state of eternal happiness in the other world. This kingdom is now a-gathering, but shall fully come at the second coming of Christ.
(1.) The subjects of it shall be all the elect, being prepared for it by conversion, regeneration, justification, sanctification, and perseverance. This is the end of the golden chain, Rom. viii.-29. 30. (And the elect angels make up a. part of this kingdom too.) However long any of than lie among the pots, there shall none of them be left there, nor misling in that kingdom. There they shall be in body and loul too. For Christ will fummon death to deliver him his own, and then he will deliver up the kingdom to the F2ther, and present them spotless.
(2.) The King of it is God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, reigning most gloriously over all the kingdom, without the least degree of rebellion or unealiness under the government among all the subjects, and without any mixture of enemies or malecontents among them, Luke xx. 36. This then is the kingdom by way of eminency, where the Lord reigns for ever and ever. The kingdom of his
many malecontents in it, ready to quarrel with their Maker and his administration. The kingdom of the gospel has many adversaries, without and within men, and is held out of many nations. The kingdom of grace has no access to the hearts of many who hear the gospel, and where it is set up, ill neighbours, corrupt luits, mar the progress. But in the kingdom of glory there are no such things.
(3.) The laws of it are the eternal law of righteous, pels indelibly engraven on their hearts, without the least blot. There is no Bible needed there ; for the rule of conduct is written on the mind, and the wri. ting neither waxes old nor can be erafed.
(4.) The ordinances of it are perpetuil praises and