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1. That these things will not be done, unless Omnipotency interpose. The work is great, the hands employed in it are feeble, and there is great oppoGtion. It will stick, if heaven put not to a helping hand.
2. That it is the duty and disposition of the children of God, to desire that God would exercise the kingdom of his power in the world, as may best con: duce to these ends, Il. lxiv. 1. 2. Oh that thou wouldịt rent the heavens, that thou wouldst come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence. As when the melting fire burneth, the fire causeil the waters to boil, to make thy name known to thine adversaries, that the nations may dremble at thy presence.
USE. Shew yourselves of the family of heaven by your concern hat the Lord's kingdom may come, even that of glory, grace, the gospel, and power For this is the language of those who cry unto God, Abba, Father. Let thiş be a petition in every one
of your prayers, private or fecret. And contribute
ye your best endeavours for promoting this glorious end. And let your life and practice shew to the world, that ye have the interests of God's kingdom at heart.
III. I proceed to fhew the reasons of the concern of the children of God for the coming of his king. dom. 1. The new nature in them moves that
Ir. xliii. 21. This people have. I formed for myself ; they fall • few forth my praise. It is from heaven, and aspires to
heaven, and is heavenly in its motions, Phil. iii. 20. Our conversation 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 interests of hell, Pfal. lviii. 3. The wicked are estran ged from the womb; they go astray, as soon as they bę born, Speaking lies ; so one by the new birth joins interests with heaven. So that the meanett faint has a
natural concern for the kingdom of Christ's thriving, the Spirit put in them being a public spirit.
2. It is their Father's kingdom. How then'can the children not be concerned for it? Matth. vi. 9. to. Their Father's honour must be dear to thein, 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 interest lies in it. They are willing fubjects of the kingdom of his power. They are subjects not only of the kingdom of the gospel, but of the kingdom of grace, and designed subjects of the kingdom of glory. So in its good their own is wrapt up. See Jer. xxix. 7. Their all is in this ship. No wonder then they be 'concerned that it come fafe to land. When it does, they are made up for ever: if it were possible that it could be cast away, they are ruined.
4. Their brethrens interest lies in it too, Psal. cxxii. 8. All the saints are born brethren. The more the kingdom is advanced, it is the better with them; and the more it is retarded, it is the worse, 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 un. born, all the elect not yet converted, some of them come, fome but coming into the world, Cant. vii. 3. Should the kingdom of God be taken away, what should become of perishing souls? If the net of the gospel be folded up, how ihall 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 interest lies in it tou. Every kingdom has its enemies. There is an irreconcileable war betwixt the devil's kingdoin and Christ's.' It was proclaimed in paradise, Gen. iii. 15. I will 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.
As the one goes up, the other goes down; and the perfection of Christ's kingdom will be the destruction of the other. No wonder then that all the King's children cry, Tly kingdom come.
I shall now make some practical improvement of this subject, in uses of information, trial, and exhortation. Us e I. O information. From what is faid, learn,
1. The excellency, usefulness, and necessity of the glorious gospel. It is the kingdom of God,
(1.) It is a most 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 treasure lies, which whofo discover, 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 so to glory, Acts xxvi. 18. It is the sword of the Spirit, by which finners are subdued to Christ, the devil's nest is riged, his power over finners broken, and his kingdom brought down. It is the finners life, the saints health, and the instrument of all spiritual good to them.
(33) It is most necessary, as the kingdom of God among men, without which they are in a miserable plight, the devil ruling among them at his will, Pfal. Ixxiv. 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 access to heaven. The world might better want the fun in the firmament, than want the gospel. It is the light shining in a dark place, 2 Pet. i. 19. to guide our feet in the way to e. ternal 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, saying, Let us break their hinds afunder, and cast away their cords from us, Pfal.
ii. 3. We will not have this man to reign over us, Luke
The gospel-kingdom is the great eyesore to the devil, and if he could reach it, he would destroy it. Sometimes his chain is lengthened, and his forces are raised to rase the teinple of God among men, And then multitudes of great and finall lift themselves in his service, in the unholy war against the church. And then they roar in the midt of the congregations ; they set up their ensigns for signs : and they break down the carved work thereof at once, with axes and ham. mers, 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 opposition. For if what two agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, Matth. xviii. 19. shall be done for them, much more what all the saints on earth make their joint request. The devil's kingdom and Antichrist's kingdom, though malignants lend their hand to carry it on, shall fail before the prayers of all the faints, and they in the ruins of it, if 'they quit not the Antichristian interest. If Christ's kingdoin were ever fo low, the joint prayers of the saints will raile it up,
4. No wonder that most mens prayers be not heard, for their hearts and lives contradict them quite, Prov. xxviii.
He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. They pray, that God's kingdom may come ; yet they will not submit to it themselves. They cannot be, bound with the laws of the kingdom of the gospel, they are strane rs to that of grace, and the kingdom of glory is not their choice, if they could do otherwise. Chrift fays to fuck, Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Luke vi. 46. Remember, Sirs, that the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power, i Cor. iv. 20. The devil's kind. ly subjects 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 sin reigns in their hearts. Vol. III,
5. Lastly, It is sad work to be employed in hinder. ing the advancement of the kingdom of God, whether men pursue it openly or covertly. For it is dri. ving contrary to the prayers of all saints. Persecution is a sad piece of work, but the deyil is known there by his cloven foot. But fcandalous practices, and fiery divisions, in the church, are apt to do more mil. chief 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 stumbling blocks, and the poor blind graceless world are thereby taught to defpise the means of grace.
It must needs be fearful opposition to the kingdom of Christ, that is thus written in the blood of perithing fouls.
Us E I!. 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 say within you, Tby kingdom come? If it be not so, God is not your Father ; but if so, he is. How ihall 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 Christ, 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 answering the notion they had formed of it, they opposed 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 trry holiness, it is well.
2. An universal concern for it, for the kingdom of power, the gospel, grace, and glory. Ye will be concerned that God would exercise his power, for the advancing of the gospel; that the gospel may have its due effect on your felves and others; that Christ may sway liis fceptre in your hearts; and that holineis may be perfected in glory. You will not only te concerned for the kingdom without you, but for the