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1. That these things will not be done, unless Omnipotency interpofe. The work is great, the hands employed in it are feeble, and there is great oppofition. It will stick, if heaven put not to a helping hand.

2. That it is the duty and difpofition of the chil dren of God, to defire that God would exercife the kingdom of his power in the world, as may beft conduce to thefe ends, If. lxiv. 1. 2. Oh that thou wouldst rent the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy prefence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire caufeth the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adverfaries, that the notions may tremble at thy prefence.

USE. Shew yourfelves of the family of heaven, by your concern that the Lord's kingdom may come, even that of glory, grace, the gofpel, and power. For this is the language of thofe who cry unto God, Abba, Father. Let this be a petition in every one of your prayers, private or fecret. And contribute ye your beft endeavours for promoting this glorious end, And let your life and practice fhew to the world, that ye have the interefts of God's kingdom at heart.

III. I proceed to fhew the reafons of the concern of the children of God for the coming of his king. dom.

1. The new nature in them moves that way, If. xliii. 21. This people have I formed for myself; they shall few forth my praife. It is from heaven, and afpires to heaven, and is heavenly in its motions, Phil. iii. 20. Our converfation is in heaven. Rom. viii. 5. They that are after the Spirit do mind the things of the Spirit. As by our first birth we join and addict ourselves to the interefts of hell, Pfal. lviii. 3. The wicked are eftran ged from the womb; they go aftray, as faon as they be born, fpeaking lies; fo one by the new birth joins interefts with heaven. So that the meanest faint has a

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natural concern for the kingdom of Chrift's thriving, the Spirit put in them being a public fpirit.


2. It is their Father's kingdom. How then can the children not be concerned for it? Matth. vi. 9. 1o. Their Father's honour must be dear to them, Mal. i. 6. If I be a Father, where is mine honour? The further on his kingdom goes, the more his glory is advanced; and they have the more fatisfaction, as children in their father's honour.

3. Their own intereft lies in it. They are willing fubjects of the kingdom of his power. They are subjects not only of the kingdom of the gofpel, but of the kingdom of grace, and defigned fubjects of the kingdom of glory. So in its good their own is wrapt up. See Jer. xxix. 7. Their all is in this fhip. No wonder then they be concerned that it come fafe to land. When it does, they are made up for ever: if it were poffible that it could be caft away, they are ruined.

4. Their brethrens intereft lies in it too, Pfal. cxxii. 8. All the faints are born brethren. The more the kingdom is advanced, it is the better with them; and the more it is retarded, it is the worfe, Pfal. ciii. 16. 17. For be it foul or fair, their lot is in it, and it fares with them as with it. Their brethren yet unborn, all the elect not yet converted, fome of them come, fome but coming into the world, Cant. viii. 8. Should the kingdom of God be taken away, what fhould become of perithing fouls? If the net of the gofpel be folded up, how fhall the fish be caught? If the Lord leave our mother, how fhall children be brought forth unto God?

5. Lastly, The ruin of the enemies intereft lies in it too. Every kingdom has its enemies. There is an irreconcileable war betwixt the devil's kingdoin and Chrift's. It was proclaimed in paradife, Gen. iii. 15, Iwill put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy feed and her feed. It never was, nor will be taken up by a peace; it must end in the ruin of one of the two.

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As the one goes up, the other goes down; and the perfection of Chrift's kingdom will be the deftruction of the other. No wonder then that all the King's children cry, Thy kingdom come.

I fhall now make fome practical improvement of this fubject, in uses of information, trial, and exhortation. USE I. Of information. From what is faid, learn, 1. The excellency, usefulness, and neceffity of the glorious gofpel. It is the kingdom of God,


(1.) It is a moft excellent thing, precious in itself, and in the eyes of all the faints, 2 Pet. i. 4. It is more excellent than all the kingdoms of the earth; for it is the kingdom of God, Matth. xxi. 43. It is a field wherein a treafure lies, which whofo difcover, will part with all, if it were crowns and kingdoms, to gain it, Matth. xiii, 44. And a thousand times happy the man, who can call the field his own.

(2.) It is most useful; for it is the way by which one is brought into the kingdom of grace, and fo to glory, Acts xxvi. 18. It is the fword of the Spirit, by which finners are fubdued to Chrift, the devil's neft is rifled, his power over finners broken, and his kingdom brought down. It is the finners life, the faints health, and the inftrument of all fpiritual good to them.

(3) It is most neceffary, as the kingdom of God among men, without which they are in a miferable plight, the devil ruling among them at his will, Pfal. 1xxiv. 20. The dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. It is the key of the kingdom of grace, and opens the door of accefs to heaven. The world might better want the fun in the firmament, than want the gofpel. It is the light shining in a dark place, 2 Pet. i. 19. to guide our feet in the way to eternal happiness.

2. That the cry for the ruin of the kingdom of God, can be no other but the cry of the family of hell. Yet many join in it, faying, Let us break their bands afunder, and caft away their cords from us, Pfal.

ii. 3. We will not have this man to reign over us, Luke xix. 14. The gofpel-kingdom is the great eyefore to the devil, and if he could reach it, he would destroy it. Sometimes his chain is lengthened, and his forces are raised to rafe the temple of God among men, And then multitudes of great and finall lift themfelves in his fervice, in the unholy war against the church. And then they roar in the midst of the congregations; they fet up their enfigns for figns and they break down the carved work thereof at once, with axes and hammers, Pfal. Ixxiv. 4. 6. But their cry is the cry of hell. 3. That the kingdom of our Lord will triumph over all its enemies, and drive over all oppofition. For if what two agree on earth as touching any thing that they fhall afk, Matth. xviii. 19. fhall be done for them, much more what all the faints on earth make their joint requeft. The devil's kingdom and Antichrift's kingdom, though malignants lend their hand to carry it on, fhall fail before the prayers of all the faints, and they in the ruins of it, if they quit not the Antichriftian intereft. If Chrift's kingdom were ever fo low, the joint prayers of the faints will raile it up. 4. No wonder that most mens prayers be not heard, for their hearts and lives contradict them quite, Prov. xxviii. 9. He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer fhall be abomination. They pray, that God's kingdom may come; yet they will not fubmit to it themfelves. They cannot be, bound with the laws of the kingdom of the gofpel, they are franers to that of grace, and the kingdom of glory is not their choice, if they could do otherwife. Chrift fays to fuck, Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I fay? Luke vi. 46. Remember, Sirs, that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power, 1 Cor. iv. 20. The devil's kind. ly fubjects may pretend a great concern for the king. dom of God. But what matter is that? It is but a pretence, while the kingdom of God is not within them, but fin reigns in their hearts.



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5. Lastly, It is fad work to be employed in hindering the advancement of the kingdom of God, whether men purfue it openly or covertly. For it is dri ving contrary to the prayers of all faints. Perfecution is a fad piece of work, but the devil is known there by his cloven foot. But fcandalous practices, and fiery divifions, in the church, are apt to do more mifchief to the kingdom of Christ. For whatever zeal for it the authors of them do pretend, one thing is evident, that the way to the getting good of the gospel is filled full of ftumbling blocks, and the poor blind gracelefs world are thereby taught to defpife the means of grace. It muft needs be fearful oppofition to the kingdom of Chrift, that is thus written in the blood of perishing fouls.

USE II. of trial. Try by this whether ye be of the family of God or not. Have ye a kindly concern for the coming of his kingdom? Do your hearts fay within you, Thy kingdom come? If it be not fo, God is not your Father; but if fo, he is. How shall that kindly concern be known? If it be of the right fort,

1. It will be a judicious deliberate concern, on a fair view of the nature of the kingdom, Matth. xiii. 45. 46. Many have a concern for the kingdom of Chrift, who indeed know not what it is. The Jews had a mighty zeal for it, upon a mistake: and when it came to them, not anfwering the notion they had formed of it, they oppofed it with all their might. But if ye be concerned for it, on a right view of it from the Lord's word, as a kingdom of try holiness, it is well.

2. An univerfal concern for it, for the kingdom of power, the gofpel, grace, and glory. Ye will be concerned that God would exercife his power, for the advancing of the gofpel; that the gofpel may have its due effect on yourfelves and others; that Chrift may fway his fceptre in your hearts; and that holineis may be perfected in glory. You will not only be concerned for the kingdom without you, but for the

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