RPM, Volume 17, Number 5, January 25 to January 31, 2015

A Practical Exposition of The Lord's Prayer

VOL. r. Part 3

By Thomas Manton

Note: some of the "words" in the original text in unintelligible. We have left the original "words" just as they are presently found in the text.

Into this holy of holies none but the high priest did enter, and that once a year, after the sacrifice of atonement for the whole congregation: then the high priest was to come into the holy of holies, he was to pass through the veil with blood and with sweet incense in his hand. Just thus is Jesus entered into the heaven of heavens for us. He is gone there to present his blood and sufferings, to appear before God for us, to present himself as a sweet-smelling sacrifice: Heb ix. 24; Eph. v. 2. Now the high priest, when he went with this blood in to the mercy-seat, he went in with the names of the twelve tribes upon his breast and shoulder, as Jesus also doth appear before God for us, representing our persons continually before his Father. Now about the mercy-seat, there were cherubims, and figures of angels; just about the ark, there they stooped down, to show the angels do attend about the throne, to dispatch messages abroad into the world, and convey blessings to the saints. There is a throne of grace, a mercy-seat, a mediator there, angels at God's beck, ready to send up and down, to and fro, for the good of the saints. And mark, not only hath Jesus this liberty to enter into this heaven of heavens, but all the saints have a liberty to enter, and that not only at death, but in their life-time; for saith the apostle, Heb. x. 19, 'Having therefore boldness to enter into the holiest, by the blood of Jesus' All of us, not only when we die, and personally go to God, do we enter into the holy of holies, but now we have boldness. It relateth to prayer, for the word signifieth liberty of speech. This holy of holies, which was closed and shut up against us before, is opened by the blood of Jesus; the veil is rent, and now all saints have a privilege to come freely to converse with God. It is good to observe the difference between the holy of holies, and the heaven of heavens. The Jews their sanctum sanctorum was earthly; but our holy of holies is heavenly. Into theirs, which was as it were God's bed-chamber, the common people were not admitted; none but the high priest could enter into the holy of holies. But now into ours all believers may enter and converse with God. There the high priest could enter but once a year; now we may come to the throne of grace as often as we have a cause to present to God. There the high priest he entered with the blood of beasts; but we enter by the blood of the Son of God. Oh, what a great privilege is this, that we have a Father in heaven! In this respect the holy place is now open to us. Though we have not a personal access till death, yet by the blood of Jesus we may come with boldness, presenting our selves before the Lord with all our wants and desires. The great distance between heaven and earth shall not hinder our communion with God, if we have a friend above."

Therefore it is very comfortable now to say, 'Our Father which art in heaven;' that is, our gracious and reconciled Father, in and by Christ.


If we have a Father in heaven, let us look up to heaven often.

1. If we have a Father in heaven, and a Saviour at his right hand, to do all things that are needful for us, let us look upon the aspect- able heavens with an eye of sense, with our bodily eyes. It is good to contemplate the glory of the heavenly bodies, or the outside of that court which God hath provided for the saints. It is not an idle speculation I press you to; the saints of God have thought it to be worthy of their morning and evening thoughts. It is notable, David doth, in two psalms especially, contemplate heaven; one seems to be a nightly, the other a morning, meditation. The night meditation you have Ps. viii. 3: 'When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained.' David was got abroad in a moon-shining night, looks up, and had his heart affected. But now the 19th Psalm, that seems to be a morning meditation; he speaks of the 'sun coming out like a bridegroom from his chamber in the east,' and displaying his beams, and heat, and influences to the world; and then saith he, ver. 1, 'The heavens declare the glory of God' Morning and evening, or whenever you go abroad to see the beauty of the outward heavens, say, I have a Father there, a Christ there; this is the pavement of that palace which God hath provided for the saints. Christians, it is a sweet meditation when you can say, He that made all things is there. It will be a delightful, profitable thing sometimes, with an eye of sense, to take a view of our Father's palace, as much as we can see of it here below.

2. Let me especially press you to this: with an eye of faith to look within the veil; and whenever you come to pray, to see God in heaven, and Christ at his right hand. The great work of faith is to see him that is invisible; and the great duty of prayer is to get a sight of God in heaven, and Christ at his right hand. What Stephen did miraculously, or in an ecstasy, we must do graciously in prayer. Now it is said of Stephen, Acts vii. 56, 'Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God' There is a great deal of difference about Stephen's sight: how the heavens could be opened, which are a solid body, and cannot be divided as fluid air, and so come together again; how he could see the glory of God with his corporal senses, which is invisible; how he could see Christ at such a distance, the eye not being able to reach so far. Some think it to be a mere intellectual vision, or a vision of faith; that is, he did so firmly believe, and had the comfort of it in his heart, as if he had seen it with his eyes. So they think Stephen saw the glory of God, and Christ at his right hand, as Abraham saw Christ's day and rejoiced; that is, he saw it by faith. Some think it to be a prophetical vision, by seeing those things objected to his fancy by imaginary species; as Isaiah saw God in a vision Isa. vi. and as Paul's rapture. Some think it a symbolical vision; that he saw these things represented by some corporal images, as John saw the Holy Ghost descending in 'the form of a dove. Some think his bodily eyes did pierce the clouds, and got a sight of the glory of Christ. Whatever it be, there must be such a sight in prayer, something answerable to this. In a spiritual way, this must ever be done: Ps. v. 3, 'I will pray,' saith the psalmist, 'and look up.' There is a looking up required in all prayer, a seeing the invisible God by faith. If you would have God look down upon you from his holy habitation, you must look up with an eye of faith, and converse with God in heaven: Ps. Ixiii. 4, 'I will lift up my hands in thy name.' If you would have God look upon you with an eye of compassion, you must look up, and see Christ at his right hand, by an eye of faith.

3. Let us love our Father; love God in Christ, and love the place for his sake, where his residence is.

[1.] Love God in Christ: Ps. Ixxiii. 25, 'Whom have I in heaven but thee?' When God hath been so gracious to you! Christians, if I had no other argument to press you to love God but that he which is in heaven offereth to be your father in Christ Jesus, it might suffice; because it is a great condescension that the God of heaven will look upon poor broken-hearted creatures that he whose throne is in heaven would look upon him that is of a trembling spirit: Isa. Ixvi. 2. 'That the high and lofty One, that dwelleth in the high and holy place, will look to him that is of a contrite heart:' Isa. Ivii. 15. That he that is the Lord of heaven and earth will be our Father, and own us and bless us! A great condescension on God's part, and a great dignity also is put upon us; and how should our hearts be affected with it! Therefore, though there be a great distance between heaven and earth, it should not lessen our affections to God. He is mindful of us, visits us at every turn; we are dear and tender to him; therefore let the Lord be dear to you. The butler, when he was exalted, forgot Joseph; but Christ is not grown stately with his advancement he doth not forget us. Oh, let not us forget God. Let us manifest our love, by being often with him at the throne of grace, with our Father which is in heaven. A child is never well but when in the mother's lap or under the father's wing: so should it be with us, with a humble affection coming into the presence of God, and getting into the bosom of our heavenly Father. Never delight in anything so much as conversing with him, and serious addresses to him in prayer. Again:

[2.] Love the place for his sake; God is there, and Christ is there. We have cause to love the place for our own sakes; and in a short time, if you continue patient in well-doing, you will be with God. It is not only God's throne, but it is your house: 2 Cor. v. 1, 'We look for an house in heaven, not made with hands.' It is a place appointed for our everlasting abode; therefore all our hopes, desires, and delights should run that way. But chiefly I would press you to love it for his sake, the place where your heavenly Father dwells. God hath not taken his denomination from earth, which is the place of corruption; but from heaven, which is the place of glory and happiness. Oh, let us not forget our heavenly Father's house. We are too apt to say, It is good to- be here. Christians, let us draw home apace; let us grow more heavenly-minded every day; seek the things which are above; prize it rather upon this occasion, because if we were more heavenly in the frame of our hearts, we would be more heavenly in our solemn approaches to God. What is the reason a man is haunted with the world, and things which are of a worldly interest and concern, when he comes to prayer? It is because his heart is taken with these things.


We are now come to the first petition of the Lord's Prayer; there three things will fall under discussion:

I. The order of this petition.

II. The necessity of putting up such a request to God.

III. The sense and meaning of the petition itself.

I. Of the order; it is the first of all the six. The petitions of the Lord's Prayer may thus be ranked: The four first concern the obtaining of good; and the two last, the removal of evil either the removal of evil past, and already committed, or the removal of evil future, and such as may be admitted by the temptation of the devil. Among the former, those things that do more immediately concern the glory of God, they have the first place. In this petition, the glory of God is both desired and promised on our part; for every prayer is both an expression of a desire, and also an implicit vow or a solemn obligation that we take upon ourselves to prosecute what we ask. Prayer, it is a preaching to ourselves in God's hearing. We speak to God to warm ourselves, not for his information, but for our edification.

From the order observe:

Doct. That those things are to be desired in the first place, and with the greatest affection, which do concern the glory of God. The first petition is, 'Hallowed be thy name.'

Here to show:

1. Why this petition is put first.

2. Present some reasons of the point.

First, This petition is put first, for a double reason: 1. Partly to show that this must be the end of all our requests. All that we desire and pray for, in behalf of ourselves and others, must be subordinate to this end. All these things must be asked, that by the accomplishment of them God may be brought more in request in the world. See all the other petitions in this prayer, how they are suited to this end in scripture. When we say, 'Thy kingdom come,' what do we beg that for, but ultimately the glory of God? Phil. ii. 10, 11, 'God hath given him a name which is above every name, that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father' When we say, 'Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven,' it is still to the glory of God: Mat. v. 16, 'That our good works may still shine forth before men here upon earth, that they may glorify 'our Father which is in heaven.' When we ask our daily bread, and provisions for the present life, it is still that he may be glorified in our comfortable use of the creature: 1 Cor. x. 31, 'Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.' When we ask for the remission of sins, it is that God may be glorified in Christ: Rom. iii. 25, 26, 'Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteous ness for the remission of sins that are past, that he may be just,' &c. When we beg freedom from temptation, it is that we may not dis honour God: Prov. xxx. 9. 'Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.' Still that God may be glorified in every condition. When we ask deliverance from evil: Ps. 1. 15, 'Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me' So that the glory of God, in all requests that we make to him, like oil, still swims on the top, and must be the end of all the rest; for other things are but means in subordination to it.

2. It notes that our chiefest care and affection should be carried out to the glory of God when we pray. We should rather forget ourselves than forget God. God must be remembered in the first place. There is nothing more precious than God himself, therefore nothing should be more dear to us than his glory. This is the great difference between the upright and the hypocrite: the hypocrite never seeks God but when his necessities do require it, not in and for himself; but when the upright come to seek God, it is for God in the first place their main care is about God's concernments rather than their own. Though they seek their own happiness in him, and they are allowed so to do; yet it is mainly God's glory which they seek, not their own interests and concernments. See that: Ps. cxv. 1, 'Not unto us, not unto us, Lord, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth's sake.' It is not a doxology, or form of thanksgiving, but a prayer; not for our safety and welfare, so much as thy glory; not to reek and satisfy our revenge upon our adversaries; not for the establishment of our interest; but for the glory of thy grace and truth, that God may be known to be a God keeping covenant; for mercy and truth are the two pillars of the covenant. It is a great dishonouring of God when anything is sought from him "more than himself, or not for himself. Saith Austin, it is but a carnal affection in prayer when men seek self more than God. Self and God are the two things that come in competition. Now there are several sorts of self; there is carnal self, natural self, spiritual self, and glorified self. Above all these God must have the pre-eminence.

[1.] Carnal self. By a foolish mistake we take our lusts to be our selves: Col. iii. 5, 'Mortify your members here upon earth.' And these members he makes to be fornication, uncleanness, and the like. Our sins are as dear to us as any essential or intregal part of the body; they are our members. Now, these should have no room in our prayers at all, though usually they have the first place: James iv. 3, 'Ye ask and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.' Our prayers should be the breathings of the spirit, and usually they are but the belches and eructations of the flesh. And for these it is we are so instant and earnest with God. We would have God bless us in some revengeful and carnal enterprise. We deal with God as the thief that lighted his candle at the lamps of the altar. So many would make God a party in their carnal designs: Prov. xxi. 27, 'The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination; how much more when he bringeth it with a wicked mind?' It is an abomination when it is at the best; but when he hath an ill aim, then it is an abomination with a witness. Foolish creatures vainly imagine to entice heaven to their lure. Balaam builded altars and sacrificed, out of hope that God would curse his own people, and engage in Moab's quarrel; like the man in the Gospel that would make no other use of Christ than to compose his civil difference: Luke xii. 13. He comes to him as a man of authority, 'Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.' We all look upon God, tanquam aliquem magnum, as Austin said he did in his infancy, as some great power that would serve all our carnal turns. In this sense we make God to serve our sins, Isa. xliii. 24, when we would have God to contribute to our lusts, to our pride, wantonness, revenge. This is such a foolish request, as if a wife should beg of her husband to give her leave to go on with her adulteries. Survey all the petitions which are in this present platform of prayer, there is not one that is calculated for such an evil purpose as our revenge, pomp, pride, pleasure. Carnal self surely must give way to God.

[2.] There is a natural self, when we seek our own temporal felicity. Christ hath allowed these natural desires a room in our prayers; but they must keep their order and their place: first, God's glory; and then, our safety. The obtaining of natural good is put in the last place. And, therefore, when our thoughts only run upon temporal felicity and outward supplies, it is not prayer, but a brutish cry: Hosea vii. 14, 'They howl upon their beds for corn, wine, and oil.' Beasts are sensible of their pain, and are carried by natural instinct to seek their own welfare, as well as men. And, therefore, when this is our first and only request, it is a perversion of that order which Christ hath set down in this perfect form of prayer.

[3.] There is spiritual self, which is valuable either in point of justification or acceptance with God, or in point of sanctification and conformity to him. Now, as these blessings cannot be severed from God's glory where they are really enjoyed, so they must not be severed in our prayers, nor preferred before it. To ask pardon as a separate benefit as it concerns our ease and quiet, not as it concerns God's glory, is a perversion and a diversion of our prayers. The main thing which God intends should be the main thing in our requests, is, 'the praise of his glorious grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved,' Eph. i. 6. And, therefore, this is the main thing which the soul intends: Ps. Ixxix. 9, 'Help us, God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name; and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name's sake.' The argument is not taken from themselves merely, or from their own misery, but from God's glory. If God could not be more glorified in our pardon and acceptance with him than in our death and damnation, it were an evil thing to desire pardon. But now when God hath abundantly cleared up this to us, that he is no loser by acts of mercy; that this conduceth more to the exalting of his great name, to accept poor sinners to mercy; the soul goeth with the more confidence to beg it of God, that he would purge us from our filthiness for his name's sake. But now men's thoughts are wholly taken up with their own peace and safety, and take no care for God's honour. This is but a selfish request, or an offer of nature after ease. For the other part, to ask for grace and conformity to God's will, merely as it is a perfection of our nature abstractly from God's glory, it is not a right request. It is contrary to the very nature of grace, whose tendency is to God in the first place, that his name may be glorified, that we should be to the praise of his glorious grace. Grace wrought in us is but a creature, and not to be preferred before the Creator. See how the apostle prays: 2 Thes. i. 11, 12, 'We pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.' That is a regular prayer, when all our spiritual interests are swallowed up in God, and we beg that his name may be glorified in us and upon us.

[4.] There is glorified self, which standeth in the eternal fruition of God. Man was made for two ends to glorify God, and to enjoy him. Now our crown of glory must be laid at God's feet; as the elders, Rev. iv. 10, 'Saying, Thou art worthy, Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power' All our desires must give place to this, that he may be glorified in our eternal happiness; and we are to beg it no further than as it may stand with his honour. Man's chief end, and so his chief request, in respect of himself, is, to enjoy God; but with respect to God, so it is the highest only of subordinate ends; for the highest, chiefly and absolutely, is the glorifying of God.

Well then, therefore, this is put first, to show that our chiefest care and affection should mainly run upon the glory of God, and that God might be advanced and lifted up on high.

Secondly, To give you some reasons why those things which concern the glory of God must be sought in the first place, and with the greatest affection:

1. As we are reasonable creatures, it is fit it should be so. In all regular desires the end is first intended, and then the means. But now the glory of God, that is the end of all things: Prov. xvi. 4, 'The Lord hath made all things for himself;' that is, for his own glory, for the manifesting of his excellency. And so our redemption: Luke ii. 14, 'Glory be to God on high.' When God came to show his good will in Christ, it was to make way for his glory: as it begins in good will, so it must end in glory. This is the end of all the privileges we have by nature and grace. Now God's glory is the end of our being and service, and therefore must be first taken care of in our prayers; first his glory, and then our profit, for the end is the first thing in tended by any rational agent.

2. As we are the children of God by adoption. The great duty of children is to honour their parents. God pleads for honour upon this account: Mai. i. 6, 'If I be father, where is my honour?' So that if you consent to the preface, and say, 'Our Father;' then the next request will be, 'Hallowed be thy name.' If we would own ourselves in such a relation, then we must make it our chief desire and care that God might be glorified by ourselves and others. Every kind of honour will not serve our heavenly Father. He must not be honoured as an ordinary father, in a common notion, but as an infinite and eternal Majesty; and to prefer anything to his interest or glory, or to equal anything to him, it is to make an idol of it, and to renounce him to be our father. The case of earthly parents is not always so. But now you renounce God when an idol is set in the throne; when any interest or concernment of yours is preferred before God, and before his interest and concernment.

3. That which is of most value and consideration should be sought first. Now God's glory it hath an infinite excellency above all other things. The glory of God is of more worth than all creatures, than their being and happiness. The end is more worthy than that which serveth and conduceth to the end. Meats and drinks they were made for the body, therefore are not so good as the body. Who would dig for iron with mattocks of gold? The means or instrument is better worth than the purchase. Now no matter what becomes of us, so God may be glorified. As it is said of David, 'Thou art better than ten thousand of us;' therefore, though they exposed their bodies to hazard, they thought it not safe for him. So is God better than the whole world of men or angels. Our first care must be that he may be glorified, then let other things succeed in their place.

4. The example of Christ shows how much the glory of God should be cared for, and preferred before the creature's good: John xii. 27, 28, 'Father, save me from this hour.' There was the innocent and sinless inclination of his human nature. 'But for this cause came I unto this hour; Father, glorify thy name.' He doth not so earnestly insist upon that, but submits all his human concernments, though exceeding precious, that they might give way to the glory of God; and he had no respect to his own ease, or to the innocent inclination of his human nature, or to the felt comforts of the Godhead. Now Christ's example it is the best instruction. He taught us how we should behave ourselves to our heavenly Father; and, therefore, we should learn to prefer the honour of God before our own ease; and if God but get up, though we be kept low and poor, yet we should be contented. Look, as all natural things will act against their particular inclination for a general good; as to avoid a vacuity, the air will descend, and the water ascend, that there may not be a confusion or dissolution of the frame of nature: so hath Christ taught us still to prefer a general good. 'Father, glorify thyself;' that is it we must insist upon, though it be with our loss, suffering, trouble, yea, some times with our trouble of conscience, we must be content.

5. From the nature of prayer. The whole spiritual life it is a living to God: Gal. ii. 19, 'I am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.' The whole tendency and ordination of all acts of the spiritual life they are to God. Even the natural life is overruled and directed to this end; there is an eating and drinking to God; the meat and drink we take, if God be not the last end of it, it is but a meat-offering and a drink-offering to our own appetite, and a sacrifice to Moloch. Now, much more in acts of immediate worship, there God will be principally regarded, for their respect and tendency is mainly to God. In our whole life we are God's, dedicated to him. Every godly man is set apart for God. A man that is a Christian must be 'holy in all manner of conversation,' 1 Pet. i. 15. A Christian must look upon himself as one that is dedicated to God, when he is at his meals, in his trade and calling; and grace is to run out in every act. But much more is this tendency of grace to bewray itself in our solemn sequestration of ourselves when we mate our nearer approaches to him: Lev. x. 3, 'I will be sanctified in them that come nigh me, and before all the people will I be glorified.' What is it to sanctify God? A thing is sanctified when it is set apart; and God is sanctified when we set apart ourselves wholly for him when he hath more than common affections and common respects. And therefore in prayer, in the first place, we should go to God for God, and surely in such a request we are likely to speed.

6. Love to God, if it be unfeigned, and hath any strength in the soul, will necessarily put us upon this. Love seeks the good of the party beloved, as much or more than its own. Those which love have all things in common between them, and one counts it done to him self what is done to the other; so it is in the love between us and God. Look, as Christ loves the saints, and counteth whatever you do to them it is done to him, because done to those whom he loved Mat. xxv.: so, reciprocally, the saint which loves God, what is done to God is done to us: when God is honoured, we are comforted as much or more than with our own benefit; and when God is dis honoured, we have the grief and sorrow: Ps. Ixix. 9, 'The reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.' Or if they hear God's name rent in pieces, and men dishonour him by their filthy lives, it goeth to their hearts; for God and they have but one common interest nay, they prefer God's interest before their own or any other's: John xxi. 15, 'Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these?' By the world's maxim, love should begin at home; but by Christ's direction, it beginneth with God They are more tender of God's glory than their own lives and outward comfort: 'I count not my life dear to me' saith Paul. Thus you see what reason there is why our main care and thoughts should be taken up about the concernments of God, and about the glory of his holy name.

Use 1. To reprove us, that we are no more affected with God's glory. Oh, how little do we aim at and regard it in our prayers! We should seek it, not only above the profits and pleasures of this life, but even above life itself; yea, above life present and to come. But alas! since the fall, we are corrupt, and wholly poisoned with self-love; we prefer every base interest and trifle before God; nay, we prefer carnal self before God. Some are wholly brutish; and so they may wallow in ease and pleasure, and eat the fat and drink the sweet, never think of God, care not how God is dishonoured, both by themselves and others. And then some, oh, how tender are they in matters of their own concernment, and affected with it, more than for the glory of God! John xii. 43. They are more affected with their own honour, and their own loss and reproach, than with God's dishonour or God's glory. If their own reputation be but hazarded a little, oh, how it stings them to the heart! But if they be faulty towards God, they can pass it over without trouble. A word of disgrace, a little con tempt cast upon our persons, kindles the coals and fills us with rage; but we can hear God's name dishonoured, and not be moved with it. When they pray, if they beg outward blessings, if they ask anything, it is for their lusts, not for God; it is but to feed their pomp and excess, and that they may shine in the pomp and splendour of external accommodations. If they beg quickening and enlargement, it is for their own honour, that their lusts may be fed by the contributions of heaven; so, by a wicked design, they would even make God to serve the devil. The best of us, when we come to pray, what a deep sense have we of our own wants, and no desire of the glory of God! If we beg daily bread, maintenance, and protection, we do not beg it as a talent to be improved for our master's use, but as fuel for our lusts. If we beg deliverance, it is because we are in pain, and ill at ease; not that we may honour and glorify God, that mercy and truth may shine forth. If we beg pardon, it is only to get rid of the smart, and be enlarged out of the stocks of conscience. If they beg grace, it is but a lazy wish after sanctification, because they are convinced there is no other way to be happy. If they beg eternal glory, they do not beg it for God, it appears plainly, because they can be content to dishonour God long, provided they at length may be saved. Most of us pray without a heart set to glorify God, and to bring honour unto his great name. Though a man hath never so much sense and feeling in his prayer, yet if his heart be not duly set as to the glory of God, his prayer is turned into sin. It is not the manner or the vehemency only, for a carnal spring may send forth high tides of affection, and motions that come from lust may be earnest and very rapid; therefore it is not enough to have fervour and vehemency, but when our aim is to honour and glorify God: Zech. vii. 5, 6, 'When ye fasted, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did you not eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?'

Use 2. For exhortation, to press us to seek the glory of God above all things. Take these arguments:

1. How necessary it is the Lord should have his glory. The world serves for no other purpose; it is made and continued for this end: Rev. iv. 11, 'Thou art worthy, Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power; for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.' All that God hath made, it was for his own glory; and, Rom. xi. 36, 'For of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to whom be glory for ever. Amen' Of him, in a way of creation; through him, by way of providential influence and supportation; that they may be to him in their final tendency and result. God did not make us for ourselves, but his own glory.

2. It is a singular benefit to be admitted to sanctify God's name. Oh that poor worms should come and put the crown upon God's head! and that he will count anything we can do to be a glory to himself: 1 Chron. xxix. 14, 'But who am I, and what is -my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? For all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.'

3. Consider how much it concerneth us, that we may make some restitution for our former dishonouring of God; therefore we should be more zealous in this work. How forward have we been to dis honour God in thought, word, and deed, before the Lord wrought upon us! There is not a mercy but we have abused it, nor anything we have meddled with, but one way or other we have turned it to the Lord's reproach and dishonour. Now when the Lord hath put grace in our hearts, when we are 'a people formed for his praise' Isa. xliii. when he hath made us anew, we should think of making some restitution, some amends to God, and should zealously affect his glory above all things.

Use 3. For trial. Do we prefer the glory of God in the first place? Take these marks:

1. Then we would be content with our loss, provided the name of God may gain any respect in the world; and so he may be magnified, no matter what becomes of us, and our interest and concernment: Phil. i. 20. The apostle expresseth there a kind of indifferency: so 'Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death.' Oh, then it is a sign you make it your purpose, drift, and care, when you are contented to do or be anything that God will have you to be or do. This holds good, not only in temporal concernments, when you are content to want necessary food, &c., but it holds also in spiritual concernments: as to sense of pardon, though God should suspend the consolations of his Spirit, yet, if it be for the glory of his grace, I am to be content; nay, in some cases God's glory is more to be cared for than our own salvation, if they two could come in com petition; but that case never falls out with the creature our salvation is conjoined with the glory of God. But yet, in supposition, if it should, as Paul and Moses puts the supposition Exod. xxxii. 32, 'Blot me, I pray thee, out of the book which thou hast written' so God might be honoured in saving that people. So Horn. ix. 3, 'For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.' It was not a rash speech, a thing spoken out of an unadvised passion: see but with what a serious preface it is ushered in, ver. 1, 'God is my witness, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost." He calls God to witness this was the real disposition of his heart, and he speaks advisedly, and with good deliberation.

Object. But is it lawful thus to wish to be accursed? Certainly Paul could not wish himself to love Christ less, or to be less beloved of him; for these things we cannot part with them without sin; but in our enjoyment of Christ there is a happy part, some personal happiness which resulteth to us. Now all this he could lay at God's feet. How so? What, for others? A regular love begins at home, and every man is bound to look to his own salvation first, and then the salvation of others. But that was not the case; it was not their salvation and Paul's salvation which was in competition, but the glory of God, and the common salvation of the Jews, and Paul's particular salvation. It was a mighty prejudice to the gospel that the people from whom Christ's messengers proceeded for the law went out of Sion, the gospel came out from among the Jews that so many of them were prejudiced, and a mighty eclipse to the glory of God. Now he could lay down all his personal happiness at God's feet, he speaks in supposition, if such a case falls out. But, however, this is a clear rule: the glory of God must be preferred before our own salvation. In some cases there will be need of this rule. For in stance, there is many a man that possibly is convinced of a false religion; and the first question men make is, if they can be saved in such a religion, but many men are hardened in Popery. When, therefore, a man is contented to continue in a false religion, and dishonour God with his compliance there, provided he may be saved, he prefers his own salvation before the glory of God; and in case of the delay of repentance, when men dally with God, and put off the work of returning to the Lord until another time, or hereafter it is time enough to repent, these men prize their salvation before the glory of God. If it were true upon that supposition, that if ever they shall be saved, they are contented God shall be dishonoured a great deal longer, and that if they be saved at length this will satisfy them.

Quest, But how may we discern that we make the glory of God the first and chief thing we aim at in prayer?

1. Partly by the work of your own thoughts. The end is first in intention, though last in execution. When you are praying for a public mercy against an enemy, what runs in your thoughts? Revenge, safety, and your own personal happiness, or God's glory? 'What wilt thou do, Lord, unto thy great name?' Josh. vii. 9. Are you pleasing yourselves with suppositions of your escape and deliverance, and reeking your wrath upon your adversaries? So in prayer for strength and quickening, what is it that runs in your mind? Are you entertaining your spirit with dreams of applause, and feeding your minds with the sweetness of popular acclamation?

2. By the manner of praying, absolutely for God's glory, but for all other things with a sweet submission to God's will: John xii. 27, 'Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.' Christ is absolute in the request, and he receives an answer. Is this enough? Do you mainly press God with this, that he might provide for his own glorious name, that his name might not lie under reproach? But now carnal aims do make affection impetuous and impatient of check and denial. Rachel must have children, or die. When the heart is set upon earthly success, pleasure, or comfort, then they cannot brook a denial without murmuring. The children of God only accept of God's glory, and in all other things they leave themselves to God's disposal, and therefore this is the main thing.

3. Partly too by the disposition of your hearts when your prayers are accomplished, and God hath given any blessing you pray for. We do not ask it for God's glory, if we do not use it for God's glory. The time of having mercies is the time of trial, and therefore when we consume our mercies upon our lusts, when they do not conduce to check our sins, it is a sign God's glory is not the thing intended as it should be.

Thus for the order of this petition.

II. The necessity of putting up such a request to God. It is his charge to us in the third commandment, that we should sanctify his name: 'Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain' The positive part of that commandment is, thou shalt sanctify it. Now here we make it matter of prayer to God: 'Hallowed be thy name.' From whence let me observe:

Doct. Those that would have God's name hallowed and glorified, must seriously deal with God about it.

There are several reasons why we must put up such requests to God. I might argue from the utility and the necessity of it. First, The utility. We put up these requests to God:

1. That we may more solemnly warn ourselves of our own duty. In prayer there is an implicit vow, or solemn obligation, that we take upon ourselves to prosecute what they ask. It is a preaching to our selves in God's hearing. So that every word we speak to God is a lesson to us, and our requests are so many exhortations to glorify his holy name. With what face can we ask that which we are wholly reckless and neglectful of? Then we shall certainly come under that character: Mat. xv. 7, 8, 'This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.' It is the greatest mockage of God to ask, unless we have a mind to pursue and diligently to attend to this work and business, that the name of God may be glorified in us and upon us.

2. That we may have a due sense and grief for God's honour. God's children they are troubled to see God dishonoured. Lot's righteous soul was vexed, not with Sodom's injuries, but with Sodom's sins, 2 Pet. ii. 8. And David saith: 'Rivers of tears run down mine eyes, because men keep not thy law' Ps. cxix. 136. Many will scarce weep for their own sins, where they have advantage of remorse of conscience; but when they are zealously affected with God's glory, they will weep for others' sins. When his name is torn and rent in pieces, it is a grief of heart to them. Now God will have us ask this, that this holy sense of spiritual grief may be kept up; for when it is become the matter of our requests, then we are interested in the glory of God. We are loth to see things miscarry where we have petitioned and begged for others; so when we have begged the glory of his name, it will further this spiritual sense and grief of heart when his name is dishonoured.

3. That we may count it as great a blessing when God is glorified as when we are saved. 'Continue in prayer,' saith the apostle, 'and watch thereunto with thanksgiving.' When we have been instant with God in prayer, that he might be glorified, then we shall count it as great a blessing when he is glorified as when we are saved. Prayer makes way for the increase of our esteem, and engages us to observe the return. When we have asked it of God, we will be affected with it then. When we see all his works praise him, what a comfort will this be to the soul: 'Bless the Lord, my soul' Ps. ciii. 22.

But secondly, Let me show the necessity of dealing with God about it. The necessity will appear both in respect of persons and things; when we beg that God's name may be hallowed, we beg dispositions of heart and occasions.

First, The necessity will appear in respect of persons, both as to ourselves and others.

First, In respect of ourselves, there is a great necessity that we should deal with God about the hallowing of his name; because we need direction, sincerity, quickening, submission to God, humility, and holiness.

To instance in these six things:

1. We need direction. The habits of grace are God's gifts, and the exercise of grace is another thing; to actuate, quicken, guide, and direct it: 2 Thes. iii. 5, 'The Lord direct your hearts to the love of God.' And so in prayer, and in honouring of God. In prayer, 'we know not' how or 'what to pray for as we ought.' Though we have grace, yet we need direction. A ship that is well rigged yet needs a skilful pilot: Horn. viii. 26, 'Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought' How much are we to seek to give God his due honour! 'Of ourselves we cannot so much as think a good thought:' 2 Cor. iii, 5. There is an utter insufficiency in us to meditate of God, and conceive aright of his excellency, and give him the honour which is due to him. None of us but needs daily to go to God, that we may be taught how to hallow and sanctify his name.

2. We need quickening, being so backward to this duty. All the lepers could beg help, and but one returned to give God the glory. There is much dulness and deadness of heart as to the praising of God, and glorifying of God. Self-love will put us upon other things; but it is grace must quicken us to glorify him and praise him. When we go to God for ourselves, our necessities will sharpen our affections, and put a shrill accent upon our prayers. But now when we beg of God for God, then there is a greater restraint upon us. And therefore David saith, Ps. li. 15, 'Open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.' We need God to open our mouths; that is, enlarge our hearts and quicken our affections. How apt are we to turn the back upon the mercy-seat! Ezek. xlvi. 9. If a man came in at the north gate he was to go out at the south gate, but never at the same door. Why? That he might not turn his back upon the mercy-seat. When we have prayed, we are apt to forget that God which hath blessed us; and therefore that our hearts might be enlarged and quickened, we need to go to God.

3. We need uprightness and sincerity, that we may mind the glory of God. This is not a work of nature, but grace: Phil. ii. 21, 'All men seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.' There is the fruit and effect of nature, it puts men upon seeking their own things, worldly ease, profit, and pleasure. Every creature naturally seeks its own welfare; but to make the glory of God our great aim and pursuit, it is grace puts upon that. Water ascends no higher than it descends, so nature cannot rise beyond itself. The stream cannot rise above the fountain, and above the principle. A man that hath nothing but nature, he cannot unfeignedly seek the things which are of God. The old man with the deceitful lusts, that is the natural man. The upright heart, that unfeignedly seeks God, needs grace from above. Without influence from God, our actions cannot have a tendency to God. We shall prefer our interest before God's glory, if we have no higher principle than what our hearts furnish us with.

4. We must go to God for submission. Now there is a double submission required, which if we have not, we shall find it marvellously difficult to glorify God. One, as to the choice of instruments; another, as to the way and means by which God will bring about his own glory.

[1.] As to the choice of instruments. There is in us an envy, and wicked emulation. Oh, how hard a matter is it to rejoice in the gifts, and graces,' and services of others, and be content with the dispensation, when God will cast us by as unworthy, and use others for the glorifying of his name! Therefore that we may refer the choice of instruments to God, we need go to him and say, Lord, 'hallowed be thy name;' do it which way, and by whom thou pleasest. We are troubled, if others glorify God, and not we, or more than we; if they be more holy, more useful, or more serious, self will not yield to this. Now by putting up this prayer to God, we refer it to him to choose the instrument whom he will employ. It was a commendable modesty and self-denial in John Baptist, which is described, John iii. 13, 'He must increase, I must decrease.' When we are contented to be abased and obscured, provided Christ may be honoured and exalted; and be content with such a dispensation, though with our loss and decrease. Many are of a private station, and straitened in gifts, and can have no public instrumentality for God; now these need to pray, 'Hallowed be thy name,' that they may rejoice when God useth others whom he hath furnished with greater abilities.

[2.] A submission for the way; that we may submit to those un- pleasing means and circumstances of his providence, that God will take up and make use of, for the glorifying of his holy name. Many times we must be content, not only to be active instruments, but passive objects of God's glory. And therefore if God will glorify himself by our poverty, or our disgrace, our pain and sickness, we must be content. Therefore we need to deal with God seriously about this matter, that we may submit to the Lord's will, as Jesus Christ did: John xii. 27, 28, 'Save me from this hour; but for this cause came I unto this hour: Father, glorify thy name. And there was a voice from heaven that said, I have glorified it, and will glorify it again' Put me to shame, suffering, to endure the cross, the curse, so thou mayest be glorified. This was the humble submission of Christ Jesus, and such a submission should be in us. The martyrs were contented to be bound to the stake, if that way God will use them to his glory. Phil. i. 20, saith Paul, 'So Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death:' if my body be taken to heaven in glory, or whether it be exercised or worn out with ministerial labour. We need to deal with God that we may have the end, and leave the means to his own choosing; that God may be glorified in our condition, whatever it be. If he will have us rich and full, that he might be glorified in our bounty; if he will have us poor and low, that he may be glorified in our patience; if he will have us healthy, that he may be glorified in our labour; if he will have us sick, that he may be glorified in our pain; if he will have us live, that he may be glorified in our lives; if he will have us die, that he may be glorified in our deaths: and therefore, 'Whether we live or die, we are the Lord's:' Rom. xiv. 9. A Christian is to be like a die in the hand of providence, content whether he be cast high or low, and not to grudge at it, whether he will continue us longer or take us out 01 the world. As a servant employed beyond the seas, if his master will have him tarry, there he tarries; if he would have him come home, home he comes: so that we had need to deal seriously with God about this submissive spirit.

[5.] Humility; that we may not put the crown upon our own heads, but may cast it at the Lamb's feet; that we may not take the glory of our graces to ourselves. God's great aim in the covenant is, 'that no flesh should glory in itself; but whosoever glories, may glory in the Lord:' 1 Cor. i. 27-31. He would have us still come and own him, in all that we are, and in all that we do. As the good servant gave account of his diligence, Luke xix. 16, he doth not say, My industry, but, 'Thy pound hath gained ten pounds.' And Paul was a zealous instrument, that went up and down doing good; he 'laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God, which was with me:' 1 Cor. xv. 10. In this case if we would honour and glorify God, we must do as Joab did, when he was likely to take Rabbah: he sent for David to gather up more forces, and encamp against the city and take it, 'Lest I take the city, and it be called after my name:' 2 Sam. xii. 28. How careful was he that his sovereign might have the honour! So careful should we be that the crown be set upon Christ's head, and that he may have the glory of our graces and services, that they may not be called after our own name, that God may be more owned in them than we. Now what more natural, than for creatures to intercept the revenues of the crown of heaven, and to convert them to their own use? It is a vile sacrilege, to rob God of the glory of that grace he hath bestowed upon us; and yet what more common? The flesh is apt to interpose upon all occasions; and therefore we need to put up this request, 'Hallowed be thy name'

[6.] There is holiness required, that we may not be a disgrace to God and a dishonour to him. The Lord saith, Ezek. xx. 9, 'That his name should not be polluted before the heathen, among whom they (his people) were.' The sin of God's people doth stain the honour of God, and profane his name. When men profess much to be a people near God, and live carnally and loosely, they dishonour God exceedingly by their conversation. Men judge by what is visible and sensible, and so they think of God by his servants and worshippers; as the heathens did of Christ in Salvian's time, If he was a holy Christ, certainly Christians would live more temperately, justly, and soberly. They are apt to think of God by his worshippers, and by the people that profess themselves so near and dear to him; therefore it concerns us to walk so, that our lives may honour him: Mat. v. 16, 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.' As the loins of the poor (saith Job) blessed him, Job xxxi. 20, namely, as they were fed and clothed by his bounty; so our lives may glorify God. David saith, Ps. cxix. 7, 'Then shall I praise thee with uprightness of heart, when I have learned thy righteous judgment.' There is no way to praise God entirely and sincerely until we have learned both to know and do his will. Real praise is the praise God looks after. Otherwise we do but serve Christ as the devil served him, who would carry him upon the top of the mountain, but it was with an intent to bid him throw himself down again. So we seem to exalt God much in our talk and 'profession; yea, but we throw him down, when we pollute him and deny him in our conversation. Our lives are the scandal of religion, and a pollution and blot to the name of God. So that with respect to ourselves, you see, what need we have to go to God. that he will give us grace that we may please him and glorify his name.

Secondly, In regard of others. A Christian cannot be content to glorify God himself, but he would have all about him to glorify God. As fire turns all things round about it into fire; and leaven, it spreads still, until it hath subdued the whole lump: so is grace a diffusive, a spreading thing. As far as we can reach and diffuse our influence, we would have God brought into request with all round about us. 'Being converted' saith Christ to Peter, 'strengthen thy brethren.' So it will be where there is true grace. Mules, and creatures which are of a mongrel and bastard race, they beget not after their kind: so bastard Christians are not for the calling in of others, and the gaining of those about them. But a true Christian will be earnest, and much in this matter. Now their hearts are not in our power, but in God's; therefore we need to be much in prayer, and make this our main request, Lord, 'hallowed be thy name.' For hereby,

1. We acknowledge God's dominion over the spirits of men, which is a great honour to God, and a quieting to us. It is a title often given to God in scripture, that he is the 'God of the spirits of all flesh.' If they had a magistrate to choose, they go to God: Num. xxvii. 16, 'Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation.' If a judgment to be averted, Num. xvi. 22, 'God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and wilt thou be wroth with all the congregation? 'This is a great honour to God, when we acknowledge the power and dominion that he hath over the hearts and spirits of men. To roll a stone is not so much as to rule the creatures; and to keep the sun in its course is not so much as to rule the spirits of men, and to work them to the glorifying of his holy name. God can turn the hearts of men this way and that way, according as he pleaseth: Prov. xxi. 1, 'The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water;, he turneth it whithersoever he will.' As a man can dispose of a watercourse, turn it hither and thither as the necessities of his field or garden require, so can God draw out the hearts and respects of men. Surely there would not be so many disorders in the world if we did often reflect upon this attribute, or did deal with God about his power over the spirits of men. We are wrathful, and think nothing but the confusion of men would serve the turn, and there is no riddance of our burden but by the destruction of those who stand in our way; whereas the conversion of men, a change of their spirits and hearts, would be a better cure, and bring more honour to God, and safety with it. The truth is, we look more to men than to God, and that is the reason why we pitch rather upon the destruction than the conversion of others. Destruction, that may be executed by the creature; but conversion, that is a power (to order and regulate the spirits of men) which God hath re served in his own hands. One angel could destroy above a hundred and eighty thousand in Sennacherib's camp in one night; but all the angels, with their united strength, cannot draw in one heart to God.

But now the God of the spirits of all flesh, who is too hard for him? Oh, did we often reflect upon this, we would be dealing with God about this matter, that he would work upon the spirits of men. If there be a wicked ruler, or an obstinate child or servant, &c., that he would sanctify himself upon them, and change their hearts.

2. You discover much love to God, when, as you would not dis honour him yourselves, so you are careful others may not dishonour him. 'Praise him, all ye ends of the earth,' Ps. xcviii. 4, and c. 1. You would have all the world own him. Private spirits that would impale and enclose religion, that they may shine alone, they do not love God, but themselves, their own credit, and their own profit. 'Would to God all the Lord's people were prophets! 'Num. xi. 29. That was a free and noble speech. God is resembled to the sun, be cause it is he that must shine alone; but the church is compared to the moon and stars, where all may shine, but every star in its own glory. True Christians would have all to be as they are, unless it be with respect to their bonds and incumbrances.

3. You discover love to others, you would have them glorify God. The angels, they rejoice when a sinner is converted; they have a great love to souls, Luke xv. 7. And so do Christians; the more spiritual they are, the more they come near to the blessed spirits above, and the more affected they are with the good done to others, and with their conversion. Saith Paul, Horn. ix. 3: 'I could wish that my self were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.' Such a zeal and entire affection he had to the souls of others, that he could lay all his personal happiness at Christ's feet. And thus you see what need we have to deal seriously with God in this business, if indeed we make this our aim. Especially those which are in public relations, as Paul was, which had an office put upon him to procure the salvation of others, how will their hearts run out upon it!

Secondly, It is needful we should deal with God about the sanctifying of his name, as in regard of persons, so of things and events. God hath the disposal of all -events in his own hands. There are many things which concern the glory of God that are out of our reach, and are wholly in God's hands; and therefore it discovers our love to his glory, and our submission to his wise and powerful government of all affairs, when we deal with God about it, and refer the matter to his disposal, and say, Lord, 'hallowed be thy name' take the work into thy own hands. We discover our love to his glory, because we make it a part of our request that all these events may conduce to the glory of his majesty. As Joshua, when Israel fell before their enemies: Josh. vii. 9, 'Lord, what wilt thou do for thy great name? 'There was his trouble. And Moses: Num. xiv. 15, 16, What will the nations say round about? 'Because the Lord was not able to bring this people into the land which he sware unto them, therefore he hath slain them in the wilderness.' It goeth near to the heart of God's children when they see anything that will tend to God's reproach.

But that is not all; it is not enough we discover that, but also our submission to his wise and powerful government, when we refer the matter to his disposal, and can see that he can work out his own ends out of all the confusions which happen there; out of sins, errors, wars, blood: Ps. Ixxvi. 10, 'The wrath of man shall praise thee; the remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.' In the Septuagint it is, the wrath of man shall keep holy day to thee, shall increase a festival for thee. God many times gets up in the world upon Satan's shoulders. When matters are ravelled and disordered, he can find out the right end of the thread, and how to disentangle us again; and when we have spoiled a business, he can dispose it for good, and make an advantage of those things which seem to obscure the glory of his name.

By the way, both these must go together, our love to his glory, and our submission to his providence. Our love to his glory; for we should not be altogether reckless and careless how things go; and yet not carking, because of the wisdom and power of his providence. The truth is, we should be more solicitous about duties than events. The glory of events belongeth to God himself, and we are not to take his work out of his hand, but mind him in it. Look, as some would learn their schoolfellows' lesson better than their own; so we would have things carried thus and thus. And so by murmuring we tax providence, rather than adore it, and we eclipse the glory of God. Yet we must be sensible of the reproaches cast upon God, and must pray to the Lord to vindicate and right his name, to take the way and means into his own hands.

Thus you have seen the necessity of putting up such a request to God, 'Hallowed be thy name.'

Use 1. Is for information. It informs us that whatever we be stow upon God, we have it from God at first: 1 Chron. xxix. 11, 'Of thine own have we given thee.' The King of all the earth, we cannot pay him any tribute but out of his own exchequer. When we are best affected to God's interest, and pray for God's concernments, we must beg the grace which maketh us to do so. It is his own gift. It is he must enable and incline us, quicken and direct us. So that in all things he is Alpha and Omega we begin in him, whenever we end in him. And when we do most for God, we have all from him.

Use 2. For direction in the matter of glorifying God, in four pro positions.

[1.] This life is not to be valued, but as it yieldeth us opportunities for this end and purpose, to glorify God. We were not sent into the world to live for ourselves, but for God. If we could make ourselves, then we could live to ourselves. If we could be our own cause, then we might be our own end. But God made us for himself, and sent us into the world for himself. Christ saith: John xvii. 4, 'Father, I have glorified thee on earth,' &c. It is not our duty only to glorify God in heaven, to join in concert with the angels in their hallelujahs above, where we may glorify him without distraction, weariness, and weakness; but here on earth, in the midst of difficulties and temptations. There are none sent into the world to be idle, or to 'bring forth fruit to themselves' Hosea x. 1; to improve their pains 1 and strength, to promote merely their own interest; but God's glory must be our chief work and aim while we are here upon earth, this must be the purpose and intent of our lives.

[2.] Every man, besides his general calling, hath his own work and course of service whereby to glorify and honour God: John xvii. 4, 'I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.' As in a great house one hath one employment, one another: so God hath designed to every man his work he hath to do, and the calling he must be in; some in one calling, and some in another; but they all have their service and work given them to do for God's glory.

[3.] In discharge of this work, as they must do all for God, so they can do nothing without God. Every morning we should revive the sense of it upon ourselves, as the care of our work and aim, so the sense of our impotency. This day I am to live with God; but how un able am I, and how easily shall I dishonour him! 'The way of man is not in himself,' Jer. x. 23. When a Christian goeth abroad in the morning, he must remember he is at Christ's dispose; he is not to do as he pleaseth, but to be guided by rule, and act for God's glory, and fetch in strength from Christ: Col. iii. 17, 'Whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.' Not only in our duties or immediate converses with God, but in our sports, business, recreation. What is it to do things in the name of Christ, that is, to do it according to Christ's will and command? He hath allowed us time for recreation, for conversing with God, and calling in Christ's help, and aiming at his glory. If we have anything to do for God, we must do it in his own strength, in every word and deed.

[4.] You are directed again, when the glory of God and sanctifying of his name either sticks with us, or sticks abroad, God must be specially consulted with in the case. When our hearts are backward, then. 'Lord, open thou my lips; 'Lord, affect me with a sense of thy kindness and mercy. When it sticks abroad, when such events fall out, as for a while God's name is obscured, and seems to be clouded, 'Lord, what wilt thou do for thy great name?'

III. Having opened the order of the words, and the reasons of putting up such a request to God, I now come to the sense of the petition, 'Hal lowed be thy name.' Four things will come under consideration:

1. What is meant by the name of God.

2. What it is to hallow and sanctify it.

3. I shall take notice of the form of the proposal, ajiaa-OrjTM, Hallowed.

4. The note of distinction, thy name. First, What is meant by God's name?

1. God himself.

2. Anything whereby he is made known.

[1.] God himself. Name, by an Hebraism, is put for the person itself. Thus: Rev. iii. 4, 'Thou hast a few names even in Sardis, which have not defiled their garments;' that is, many persons; so: Acts i. 15, it is said there, 'The number of the names together were about one hundred and twenty,' that is of persons. So it is used in the present case. God's name is put for God himself: Ps. xx. 1, 'The name of the God of Jacob defend thee! 'That is, God himself. So: Ps. xliv. 5, 'Through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us;' that is, by thee. And to believe in the name of Christ is to believe in Christ himself. Name is put for person, for the immediate object of faith is the person of Christ: John i. 12, 'To as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.'

[2.] Anything whereby he is made known to us, Nomen quasi notamen. As a man is known by his name, so God's titles and attributes, his ordinances, his works, his word, are his name, chiefly the two latter. For his works, they are a part of the name of God: Ps. viii. 1, the burden of that psalm is twice repeated, 'Lord, our Lord, how great is thy name in all the earth! 'By the name there, is meant God made known in his works of creation and providence, for he speaks there of sun, moon, and stars, which proclaim an eternal power to all the world; and he speaks of such a name as is in all the earth. And, Ps. cxlvii. 19, 20, 'He hath not dealt so with any nation,' and given them his word, statutes, and ordinances; every one hath not that privilege. But, 'How great is thy name in all the earth! 'That is, how manifestly art thou made known by thy works! But above all, by name is meant his word: Ps. cxxxviii. 2, 'Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.' There is more of God to be seen in his word, than in all the creatures of the world, and in all his other works besides. We understand more of God than can be taken up by the creation. It helps us to interpret the book of nature and providence; there we have his titles, attributes, ordinances; there we have his greatest work, in which he hath discovered so much of his name, the mystery of redemption, which is not elsewhere to be known. Thus by the name of God is meant God himself, as he hath made known him self in the word. We desire that he may be sanctified, that he may with honour and reverence be received everywhere.

Secondly, The second thing to be explained, what is meant by hallowed? In scripture God is said sometimes to be magnified, some times to be justified, sometimes to be glorified, and sometimes to be sanctified. Now it is not here said, Magnificetur nomen tuum, or gloriftcetur, but sanctificetur let thy name be sanctified. All these terms do express how God is to be honoured by the creature, and they have all distinct notions. God is said to be magnified: Luke i. 46, 'My soul doth magnify the Lord.' To magnify God argueth a high esteem or a due sense of his greatness. Again, God is said to be justified: Luke vii. 29, 'The people and the publicans justified God.' What is it to justify God? To justify is to acquit from accusation, and when that word is applied to God, it signifieth our owning of him notwithstanding the prejudices of the world against him. To glorify God is to make him known to others, and to bring him into request with others, for glory it is clara cum laude notitia, a public fame or knowledge of excellency. Thus Christ saith, John xvii. 10, 'I am glorified in them;' speaking of his apostles, because by their means he was made known to the world. All these are included in the word of the text. Yet there is somewhat more intended by to be sanctified. When is God then said to be sanctified?

To hallow and to sanctify is to set apart from common use, and so to sanctify the name of God, is to use it in a separate manner, with that reverence and respect which is not used to anything else. So that when we pray that God's name may be hallowed or sanctified, we desire that, according as lie hath made known himself in the word, so he may be known, reverenced, and esteemed in the world. Known to be the only true God: 1 Kings xviii. 36, 'Let it be known this day that thou art God in Israel, 'and accordingly worshipped and glorified in the hearts and lives of men.

The third thing to open is the form of proposal, a^iaaO^rw. It is not sancfificemus, let us hallow, but sanctificetur, let it be hallowed, for in this form of speech, all the persons concerned in this work are included God, ourselves, and others.

[1.] God is to be included in the prayer, that we may express our sense of his providence working all things for the glory of his holy name, yea, discovering his excellency, showing himself to be the holy God: Ezek. xxxviii. 23, 'I will magnify myself, and sanctify myself, and I will be known in the eyes of many nations, and they shall know that 1 am the Lord' The Lord magnifieth himself by the more eminent effects of his care and providence, but he sanctifieth himself chiefly by blessing and defending the godly, and by punishing and afflicting the wicked, for thereby he declareth his holiness, the purity of his nature, and his love to saints; so that when we say, 'Hallowed be thy name,' we mean, Lord, declare thyself to be a holy God, by putting a distinction between men and men in the course of thy providence, and owning thy people from heaven.

[2.] We include ourselves when we say, 'Hallowed be thy name,' for it is especially the duty of God's people: Isa. xxix. 23, 'They shall sanctify my name, and sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.' It is our duty, by our religious carriage, to evidence that we have a holy God. This must be our first care, that we ourselves be sanctified, and to sanctify our sanctifier, the Holy One of Israel. Some, they would have God glorified by others, but do not look to themselves how they sanctify God. Now God hath made this to be a great part of our care, that his own people should not only magnify and glorify him, but sanctify him; therefore he rather makes them good than great. When he would make men great, then he shows his magnificence, to be the almighty disposer of the riches of the world; but when he makes them good, then he expects to be sanctified, that his people should discover that he is a holy One; that he is holy in himself, for we add nothing to him when we sanctify him, but only discover him to be such a one. In short, God sanctifieth us effectively by working grace and holiness in us, and we sanctify him relatively, objectively, declaratively, declaring him to be a holy God, and that we are a people belonging to this God.

[3.] The speech is so formed that others may be included, and that we may express our sense of their dishonouring God, as a thing that is grievous to us, that we may show how near it goeth to our heart to see the ignorance, atheism, and blasphemy that is in the world. They would have the holy God to be sanctified abroad, either by the conversion of men, or by their punishment. And so it is meant: Isa. v. 16, 'God that is holy shall be sanctified in righteousness.' That is, his holiness and hatred of sin shall appear, either in the conversion of obstinate sinners, that God may be sanctified by them, or else for punishment, that God may be sanctified upon them.

Fourthly, The next thing is the note of distinction, 'Hallowed be thy name,' not ours. There seems to be a secret opposition between our name and the name of God. When we come to pray, we should distinctly remember whose name is to be glorified, that God may be at the end of every request. We beg of God many times, but we think of ourselves; our hearts run upon our own name, and upon our own esteem. How often do we come to him with a selfish aim, as if we would draw God into our own designs and purposes! None are so unfit to glorify God, and so unwelcome to him, as those that are so wedded and vehemently addicted to their own honour and esteem in the world. Therefore Christ, by way of distinction, by way of opposition to this innate disposition that is in us, he would have us to say, 'Hallowed be thy name.' That which gives most honour to God is believing: Rom. iv. 19, 20, Abraham was 'strong' in faith, giving glory to God.' Now, none so unfit for the work as they that seek glory for themselves: John v. 44, 'How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? 'Affectation of vainglory, or splendour of our own name, is a temper inconsistent with faith, which is the grace that gives honour to God. I say, when we hunt after respect from men, and make that the chiefest scope of our actions, God's glory will certainly lie in the dust; when we are to suffer ignominy and abasement for his sake, the care of God's glory will be laid aside. The great sin of the old world was this: Gen. xi. 4, 'Let us make us a name. 'There are many conceits about that enterprise, what that people should aim at there in building so great and so vast a tower, before God confounded their tongues. Some, interpreting that place, 'Let us build us a tower even to heaven,' think this was their intention, to make a way into heaven. But it is not likely they would be so foolish that had so late experience of the flood, and, when the ark rested upon the top of the highest mountains, found themselves to be at so great and vast a distance from heaven. Some think it was (as Josephus) to secure themselves from another flood; but that was sufficiently done by God's promise, who had engaged to them he would no more destroy the earth by water; and if that were their intention, why should they build in the plain, between the two rivers of Tigris and Euphrates? Moses gives the main reason there, that they might have an immortal name among posterity. But now see how ill they reckon that do reckon without God. Those that are so busy about their own name, how soon will God blast them! When in any action we do not seek glory to God, but ourselves, it is the ready way to be destroyed. This was the means to bury them in perpetual- oblivion. Nebuchadnezzar, when he re-edified the city, Dan. iv. 30: 'Is not this great Babylon that I have built for the house of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? 'How doth God disappoint him, and turn him out among the beasts! Thus are we sure to be disappointed and blasted, when our hearts run altogether upon our own name. But now Christ saith thy name; when we are careful of that, this is the way to prosper. From the words thus illustrated, I shall only observe:

Doct. That God will be so glorified in the world as that his name may be hallowed or sanctified.

Here I shall show:

1. How many ways God's name is sanctified.

2. Why God will be so glorified as that he may be sanctified. First, How many ways is God's name sanctified? I answer, either upon us, or by us.

[1.] Upon us, by the righteous executions and judgments of his providence: and so God is sanctified when he doth by a high hand of power recover and extort the glory of his holiness from the dead and stupid world; as by that notable stroke of the Bethshemites, when fifty thousand were slain for peeping into the ark: 1 Sam. vi. 20. This was the result of all: 'Who is able to stand before this holy Lord God? 'There he discovered himself to be a holy God, to be one that hath a high displeasure against the creature's disobedience. Now when he doth by a high hand extort this from the wicked, or from his children, then he sanctifieth himself upon us.

[2.] By us. And so he is sanctified in our thoughts, words, and actions; in our heart, tongue, or life.

1. In our hearts: 1 Pet. 3, 15, 'Sanctify the Lord God in your heart.' How is God sanctified in our hearts?

[1.] When we have awful thoughts of his majesty: Ps. cxi. 9, 'Holy and reverend is his name.' Not only when we speak of the name of God, but when we think of it, we should be seriously affected. But,

[2.] More especially God is sanctified when, in straits, difficulties, and dangers, we can bear ourselves upon the power and sufficiency of God, and go on resolutely and cheerfully with our duty, notwithstanding discouragements. This is to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts. I shall prove it by two places where the phrase is used; one is, 1 Pet. iii. 15, 'Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.' Mark, the Christians that did profess the name of God, which spake of God as their hope or object of their religion, were in great danger. Now what direction doth he give them, that they might not be afraid, but bear up? For he speaks before: 'Be not afraid of their terror, or be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts' See the same phrase used for the same purpose: Isa. viii. 13, 'Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.' He opposeth it plainly there to carnal fear: ver. 12, 'Say ye not a confederacy to all them to whom this people shall say a con federacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid; but sanctify the Lord of hosts himself, and let him be your fear.' How comes this direction to be used in the present case? Thus; to sanctify is to set apart; and to sanctify God is to set apart, as the alone object of fear and trust, that he alone is to be feared and trusted, so that we can see no match for God among the creatures; therefore we are to embolden ourselves in the Lord, and go on cheerfully, when we can counterbalance all fears and dangers with his surpassing excellency. To glorify God is to do that which simply and absolutely tendeth to the manifestation of his excellency, without any relation to the creature; but to sanctify God is to set God above the creature, to do that which tends to exalt his greatness and excellency from and above all terrors, and all the discouragements that we can have from the creature; it is to ascribe that greatness, that power and glory, to God alone, which, cannot be ascribed to anything else, and so to go on cheerfully with our duty, whatever difficulties we meet with. Thus Moses was chidden, that was amazed with present difficulty: Num. xx. 12, 'And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel; therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them' Because they were discouraged, and thought they should never carry on their business, therefore God saith, 'Ye believe not to sanctify me: 'you sanctify not God, or set him aloft, as the alone and supreme object of fear and trust. It is a practical acknowledgment of God's matchless excellency. Thus we sanctify God in our hearts.

2. God is sanctified with our tongues, when we use God's name, titles, ordinances, and word, as holy things; when we speak of the Lord with reverence, and with great seriousness of heart, not taking his name in vain; especially when we are deeply affected with his praise. It is no slight thing to praise God. God's people, when they have gone about it, see a need of the greatest help: Ps. li. 15, 'O Lord, open thou my lips, and my mouth shall show forth thy praise.' And Ps. xlv. 1: 'My heart is inditing a good matter; 'my heart fries or boils a good matter: when we will not give God dough-baked praise, nor speak of his name slightly, but so as becomes his greatness and surpassing excellency.

3. In our actions. Our actions may be parted into two things, worship, and ordinary conversation.

(1.) In our worship, there God especially will be sanctified. Lev. x. 3, 'I will be sanctified in all that draw near unto me.' God is very tender of his worship: sancta sanctis, holy things must be managed by holy men in a holy manner. Therefore, what is it to sanctify God when we draw nigh to him? To have a more excellent frame of heart in worship than we have about other things. As in prayer, the frame of our hearts must not be common; we must not go about it with such a frame of heart as we go about our callings, worldly business, and converses with men: but there must be some special reverence, such as is peculiar to him. When we draw near to God in the word, he will be sanctified. The word must be received with meekness, and by faith applied to our souls, as an instrument designed to our endless good. When we have a peculiar reverence for God, and a respect to od in all our approaches; Eccles. v. 1, 'Look to thy feet when thou goest to the house of God: 'we must not go about these holy services hand over head, but with great caution and heed. Thus is God sanctified in worship, or in our immediate converse with him.

(2.) In our ordinary conversation. Then God is sanctified; when our life is ordered so that we may give men occasion to say, that surely he is a holy God whom we serve. By two things you may know you sanctify God in your conversations: when you walk as remembering you have a holy God, and when you walk as discovering to others you have a holy God.

[1.] When you walk as remembering yourselves that you have a holy God, therefore you must be watchful and strict. It is notable, when the Israelites were making a hasty promise, Joshua puts them in mind, chap. xxiv. 9, 'You cannot serve the Lord, for he is a holy God.' So we should remember when we give up ourselves to God, he is a holy and jealous God, that is narrowly observant, and he will not be put off with anything that is common.

[2.] As discovering you have a holy God. A carnal worshipper profaneth the memory of God in the world. But now a Christian that walks according to his holy calling, that is holy in all manner of conversation, he discovereth what a God he hath. 1 Pet. ii. 9, 'That ye should show forth the praises of him, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.' We are not only to conceive and make use of them to beget fear and reverence in our hearts of the all- seeing God, but are to show them forth, to evidence them to others. We should discover more than a human excellency, that so those which look upon us may say, These are the servants of the holy God.

Secondly, For the reasons why God will be so glorified, that he may be sanctified.

1. Because this is the glory that is due to his name. Ps. xcvi. 8, 'Give unto the Lord the glory due to his name.' Every glory will not serve the turn, but such glory as is proper and peculiar for that God we serve. It is a stated rule in scripture, that respects to God must be proportioned to the nature of God. God is a spirit, there fore will be worshipped in spirit and truth. God is a God of peace, therefore lift up your hands without wrath and doubting. God is a holy God, therefore will be sanctified. They which worship the sun, among the heathens, they used a flying horse, as a thing most suitable to the swift motions of the sun. Well, then, they that will glorify and honour God with a glory due to his name, must sanctify him as well as honour him. Why? For God is 'glorious in holiness' Exod. xv. 11. This is that which God counteth to be his chief excellency, and the glory which he will manifest among the sons of men.

2. This is that glory which God affects, and therefore the saints will give it him, Isa. vi. 3. The holy angels, what do they cry out when they honour God? They do not acknowledge his power and dominion over all creatures as Lord of all; but they give him his peculiar glory, 'Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory.' So David, Ps. ciii. 1, 'Bless the Lord, my soul; yea, all that is within me, bless his holy name.' That is the notion upon which he pitcheth, he would praise God with such praise as is welcome and acceptable to him.

3. This is the attribute which is most eclipsed and most blotted out in the hearts of the sons of men, because of God's patience, because he doth not take vengeance of all the sins of men: 'Thou thoughtest I was altogether such a one as thyself,' Ps. 1. 21. Certainly if men did not blot and stain God in their thoughts, if they did not fancy an un reasonable indulgence, such as is not comely and proper to his majesty, they could not go on in sin, and think God could be so pure; there fore he will be so glorified, that he may be sanctified.

Use. To press us so to glorify God, as we may also sanctify him. Let this be your care. To quicken you, remember

1. God is much offended with his people that do not sanctify him.

Moses and Aaron, as choice and as dear to God as they were, yet you know what the Lord saith, Num. xx. 12, 'Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel; therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.' When Moses and Aaron murmured, and spake unadvisedly, and did not sanctify him, nor carry God's excellency aloft, they shall not enter. And God remembereth this a great while after, in that, Deut. xxxii. 51, 'Because ye trespassed against me among the children of Israel, at the waters of Meribah-Kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified me not in the midst of the children of Israel, thou shalt not go into the land which I give the children of Israel.' Well, then, though God's children should get to heaven, yet if they do not sanctify God they will want many a privilege. God will remember this against them; for he takes it ill when his people will not sanctify him as becoming his peculiar excellency.

2. If you do not sanctify God, then you pollute God, and stain his memory in the world: Ezek. xxxvi. 20, 'Ye have profaned my holy name among the heathen.' How is God polluted? Not intrinsically; God cannot receive any pollution from us. It is here, as in that case, 'A man that lusteth after a woman, hath committed adultery already in his heart' Mat. v. 28. The man pollutes the woman in his heart, while she remains spotless and undefiled. So in this case we blemish God in appearance, as much as in us lies we pollute and blot God, though he remains pure and undefiled. You make heathens think as if you had an unholy God. Well, then, glorify God.

For directions:

1. Be holy. The praise of the wicked is a disgrace to him, it is an obscuring of his praise: 1 Pet. i. 15, 'As he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation.'

2. Study his name, if ye would sanctify his name: Ps. ix. 10, 'They that know his name will put their trust in him.'

3. Submit to his providence without murmuring. When we can speak well of him, though he seem to deal most hardly; as the Bethshemites, when there was such a slaughter made among them, fifty thousand slain; they do not say, murmuringly, Who can stand before this severe, cruel God? but before 'this holy God? 'They own his holiness in the dispensation, though it were so dreadful, 1 Sam. vi. 20. It is a great glory to God when you own him as just in all his ways, when he deals most hardly. Whatsoever be our lot and portion, yet he is a holy God. But to cavil and murmur, it is to tax and blemish God before the world.

4. Live to public ends, that is, to draw God into request with others. Let this be the aim of your conversation, not only to get holiness enough to bring you to heaven, but to allure others, and recommend God to them, that by the purity and strictness of your conversation you might gain upon others, and bring them to be in love with God, and acquainted with him.

And lastly, Be sensible when God's name is dishonoured by your selves and others, not enduring the least profanation of it.


The first petition concerneth the end, the rest the means. Now, among all the means, none hath such a near and immediate respect to the glory of God as Christ's kingdom; for here there is more of God discovered, more of his infinite grace, justice, wisdom, and power than possibly can be elsewhere. All other things are for the church, and the church for Christ as head and king, and Christ for God, 1 Cor. iii. 22, 23. So that Christ's kingdom is the primary means of advancing God's glory; and therefore among all the means it must be sought in the first place. Mat. vi. 33, 'Seek first the kingdom of God' First, not above the glory of God, it doth not come in competition with that, but above all other things whatsoever, before pardon and grace.

In the words observe three things:

I. We grant a kingdom. II. By way of distinction and appropriation we say, thy kingdom.

III. By way of supplication, we beg of God that it may come.

The concession, the distinction, the supplication are the three things to be opened.

I. First, The concession of a kingdom, which our heavenly Father hath. A kingdom in the general signifieth the government of a people under one head or governor; and therefore the term may be fitly applied to God, who alone is supreme, and we are all under his dominion.

Now, God's kingdom is twofold:

1. Universal.

2. More particular and special.

First, There is a universal kingdom over all things; over angels and devils; over men elect and reprobate; over beasts and living creatures; and over inanimate things, sun, moon, and stars. This is spoken of: 1 Chron. xxix. 11, 'Thine is the kingdom, Lord, and thou are exalted as head above all.' And again: Ps. ciii. 19, 'The Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.' There is no such monarch as God is, for largeness of empire, for absoluteness of power, and sublimity of his throne. This is not principally understood here, but is implied as a foundation and ground of faith, whereupon we may deal with God about that kingdom, which is specially intended in this request.

Secondly, More particularly and especially, God hath a kingdom over a certain order and estate of men. Of this especial kingdom there are two notable branches and considerations. One is that administration which belongeth to the present life, and is called 'the kingdom of grace; 'and the other belongeth to the life to come, and is called 'the kingdom of glory.'

1. The kingdom of grace is spoken of in many places, specially that: Luke xvii. 20, 21, 'When he was demanded of the Pharisees when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you' or 'among you.' He speaks of a kingdom of God that was already come among them in the dispensation of his grace by Christ. And, then, the other belongeth to the life to come, called the kingdom of glory: Mat. xxv. 34, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; Ƈ Cor. xv. 50, 'Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.'

Now, the kingdom of grace may be considered two ways, as externally administered, and as internally received.

[1.] As externally administered in the ordinances and means of grace, as the word and seals, and censures, and the like. In this sense it is said: Mat. xxi. 43, 'The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof.' The gospel or means of grace administered in the visible face of the church, they are called God's kingdom upon earth, and a very great privilege they are when they are bestowed upon any people. Surely, when Christ saith, 'The kingdom of God shall be taken from you' he doth not mean it of the inward kingdom, that they had not, that cannot be lost, but of the outward and external means.

[2.] As internally received; and then by it is meant the grace of God, which rules in the hearts of the elect, and causeth their souls to submit and subject themselves unto the obedience of Christ, and unto his sceptre, and to his word and Spirit, that this is that king dom properly which is within us. This is 'the kingdom of God which consisteth in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,' Rom. xiv. 17. And this differeth from the kingdom of glory, not so much in nature as in degree.

Well, then, that by the kingdom of God is here meant, not his general empire over all the world, and all the things of the world, though that be not wholly excluded, but his special kingdom, which he doth administer by Christ: and that either as externally managed by ordinances and visible means of grace, or as internally received and administered in the hearts of the elect. This is that kingdom we beg that it may nourish and get ground more and more.

2. Then for the kingdom of glory, it is either begun and inchoate, or else consummate and perfect.

[1.] It is begun and inchoate upon our translation to heaven in the very moment of death, in which Christ reigns in the other world in the spirits of just men made perfect that is, being perfectly freed from sin, and admitted into the clear and immediate vision and fruition of God, though our bodies abide in the grave, expecting full redemption and deliverance. That there is such a kingdom carried on many scriptures intimate: Phil. i. 23, 'I desire to depart, and to be with Christ.' As soon as the saints are loosed from the body, they are with Christ under his government: Luke xxiii. 43. 'This day shalt thou be with me in paradise.' As soon as Christ died he was in paradise, and there was the good thief with him. The scriptures do riot establish any such drowsy conceit as the sleep of souls, or such an estate wherein they do not enjoy God. We read of 'the spirits of just men made perfect' which make up the congregation which is above, of which Christ is head: Heb. xii. 23. As the spirits of the wicked are in prison, 1 Pet. iii. 19, that is, in hell. This is the kingdom of glory begun.

[2.] There is a kingdom of glory consummate, when sin and death is utterly abolished, and the elect perfectly separated from the reprobate, and conducted into heaven, and there remain with the Lord for ever. This is a kingdom: Mat. xxv. 34, 'Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you.' The full and final estate we enjoy after the general judgment and resurrection, that is called a kingdom. Well, now, you see what is meant by the kingdom we pray for.

II. Secondly, Here is a note of distinction, thy kingdom, by which the kingdom here spoken of is limited by particular reference to God, not only to difference it from the kingdoms of men, which are sub ordinate to it, but those adverse kingdoms which are set up against God; as the kingdom of sin, Satan, antichrist, the destruction of which we intend when we pray for the advancement of God's kingdom, as I shall show you.

III. Thirdly, Here is the supplication or the request which we make to God about this kingdom, eX^ereo, let it come. What do we mean by that? This word must be applied to the several acceptations of Christ's kingdom.

1. If you apply it to the external kingdom of grace, then when we say, Thy kingdom come, the meaning is, let the gospel be published, let churches be set up everywhere, let them be continued and maintained against all the malignity of the world, and opposition of the devil: and in the publication of the gospel, where the sound of it hath not been heard, that God would come there in the power of his Spirit, and draw people into communion with himself: Mat. xii. 28, 'If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you' meaning in the public tenders thereof. Saith he, if this miracle doth clearly, as it doth in your consciences, evidence my mission, then you may know the kingdom of God is come that is, that there is a publication of the gospel of grace. Then we pray for the continuance of this privilege, notwithstanding opposition, that Christ may stand his ground. This is that we seek of God, that he may maintain his interest among the nations of the world, that the gates of hell may not prevail against his kingdom.

2. If you refer to the internal part of this kingdom, then we beg the beginning, the progress, and the final consummation of it. First, The beginning or the erection of a throne for Christ in our hearts, and the hearts of others, that he may fully exercise regal power. Secondly, The increase of this kingdom by holiness and obedience, and sincere subjection to him; for the kingdom of grace is so come already, that it will still be coming yet more and more. So long as we need to pray, so long shall we have cause to say, 'Thy kingdom come.' Thirdly, The consummation of it, when the fulness of glory in the second coming of Christ shall be revealed; when our head shall be glorious, and his day shall come, rjfiepa Kvpiov. For the present it is man's day, so the scripture seems to call it; but then it is the day of the Lord, when all the devils shall stoop, and enemies receive their final doom, and the saints shall have the crown of glory put upon their heads in the sight of all the world.

Well, the sum of all is this, that though this petition do mainly concern the special kingdom, which God administereth by Christ, yet God's universal kingdom, the kingdom of his power and providence, is a mighty support and prop to our faith in making this request to God. When we consider what an unlimited power God hath over all creatures, even devils themselves, to dispose of them for his own glory, and his church's good; we need not be discouraged though Christ's kingdom be opposed in the world, but should with the more confidence deal with God about it.

That which I shall handle upon this petition will fall under these two points:

1. That God hath a kingdom, which he will administer and manage for his own glory.

2. All those which are well affected to God's glory should desire the coming of this kingdom, and seriously deal with God about it.

For the first, namely

Doct. 1. That God hath a kingdom, which he will administer and manage for his own glory.

I speak not of the kingdom of his power and providence, but of the dispensation of grace by Christ. The evangelical gospel state is com pared to a kingdom; as, Mat. iii. 2, 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' So to the disciples, Mat. x. 7, 'And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.' And so Christ himself.

It may be called so with very good reason, for in this kingdom there is a monarch, Jesus Christ, to whom all power and authority is given. God the Father calls him 'my king:' Ps. ii. 6, 'I have set my king upon my holy hill.' And this king hath his throne in the consciences of men, where thoughts are brought into captivity to him: 2 Cor. x. 5. And he hath his royal sceptre, Ps. ex. 3, which is called 'the rod of his strength.' And he hath his subjects, and they are the saints: Rev. xv. 3, 'king of saints.' And he hath his laws and constitutions; we read of 'the law of faith,' and 'the law of liberty.' And in this kingdom there are privileges, and royal immunities; there is freedom from the curse of the law, and from the power of sin, and from the destructive influence of Satan and the world. And here are punishments and rewards both for body and soul; there is hell and heaven. Now, because all these things do so fitly suit, therefore is the gospel called a kingdom. It will not be amiss to insist upon some of these.

1. The state of the gospel, or evangelical state, it is God's kingdom, in regard of the monarch whom God hath set up, that is, Jesus Christ, the great Lord of all things. There is no king like him: God hath made him 'higher than the kings of the earth' Ps. Ixxxix. 27. How doth he exceed all other monarchs and potentates in the world? Partly for largeness of command and territory. All kings and monarchs have certain bounds and limits by which their empire is terminated; but Christ is the true catholic king, his government runs throughout the whole circuit of nature and providence; he hath power over all flesh, John xvii. 2, yea, devils themselves are to stoop to him: Phil. ii. 10, every thing under the earth is to bow the knee to Christ. Partly for the excellency of his throne. This king hath a double throne, one in heaven, the other in the heart of a humble sinner, which is his second heaven: Isa. Ivii. 15. And in both these respects there is no monarch like Christ. 'He hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom ruleth over all,' Ps. ciii. 19. Earthly kings, that their majesty may appear to their subjects, have their thrones usually exalted; there were six steps to Solomon's throne; a description of it you have in 1 Kings x. 18, 19. But what is this to the throne of Christ, which God hath fixed above in the heavens? The whole globe of sea and earth is but as one point, and there are ten thousand times ten thousands of angels about his throne. The supporters of this throne are justice and mercy. And in regard of his other throne also in the hearts of men: the power of outward potentates reacheth but to the bodies of men, they can take cognisance of nothing but of external conformity to their laws: but Christ gives laws to the thoughts: 2 Cor. x. 5. So for his royal furniture: other princes, they have their chariots, and coaches, and horses, &c.; but 'he makes the clouds his chariot, and walketh upon the wings of the wind,' Ps. civ. 3. Riding up and down in the world, dispensing mercies and judgments. So for troops and armies to support his dignity, all the hosts of heaven are obedient to him; one angel in one night destroyed in Sennacherib's army an hundred fourscore and five thousand. Hostility against him must needs be deadly. He is above in heaven, and can rain down fire and brimstone upon us, and cannot be resisted. He is higher than the kings of the earth too, because none hath so good a right and title to rule as this king hath, whom God hath set upon his holy hill of Sion. God's dominion over the creatures is founded in creation. Other kings find their subjects; he makes them. He hath the first and chief right, there is nothing we have but he made. We depend upon him every moment for his providential assistance, therefore he hath the highest right and title. No creature can be sui juris, at his own dispose. And he hath a right by conquest and by purchase; he hath bought us, and 'given his life a ransom for many,' Mat. xx. 28. Christ is opposed there to worldly potentates; they must be served, but he came to minister. Subjects, their blood and lives must go to preserve the rights of the prince; but he gave his life. And he hath a right too by contract and covenant. All that are subjects of his kingdom have sworn allegiance. He hath such an absolute right that thou canst call nothing thy own. We think, indeed, our lips are our own, Ps. xii. 4: and our estates our own; as Nabal, 1 Sam. xxv. 11, 'Shall I take my bread, and my water, and my flesh?' &c. All you have it belongeth to this king by right of creation and providence. Therefore in all these respects he is higher than the kings of the earth.

2. The gospel state is set forth as a kingdom, in regard of the subjects and their privileges. . The gospel doth not only reveal a king, but maketh all kings: 'He hath made us to be kings and priests,' &c., Rev. i. 5. All those that submit to him. So that, indeed, Christ may properly be styled Rex regum, King of kings. As the king of Assyria made his boast, Isa. x. 8, 'Are not my princes altogether kings? 'A vaunting speech of his, that his princes and favourites were, for power and authority, as good as kings. But Christ may say so. Are not my subjects altogether kings? Not only kings in regard of their spiritual power and command they have over them selves, ruling their own spirits in the fear of God, while others are slaves to their base affections; but in point of their privileges. They have kingly privileges, they are made kings; they are royally attended by angels, they are sent forth to be as guardians to the heirs of promise: Heb. i. 14. They have royal immunities, from the curse of the law, from the damnable influence of sin; they may as well pluck Christ from the throne, as pluck the elect out of that state wherein they are. As David said, 'Is it a small thing to be the king's son-in-law?' so, is it a small thing to be the sons of God, co-heirs with Christ? This honour and glory doth God put upon his saints. And there is the greatest pleasure and contentment in this state; for this kingdom, which all the saints are interested in, it consisteth in 'righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost:' Rom. xiv. 17. And surely these consolations of God should not be small to us. It is a state of most absolute freedom and sovereignty: John viii. 36, 'If the Son shall make you free, then shall ye be free indeed' Many a monarch which ruleth over men may be a captive to his own lusts; but these are free. There are the richest revenues and increase which belong to Christ's subjects. 'All things are yours; whether Paul, or Apollos' &c.: 1 Cor. iii. 21. They are ours by covenant, and when they come into our possession, by the fair allowance of God's providence, we have them with a blessing, and may use them with a great deal of comfort.

3. In regard of the laws and manner of administration. I shall not speak of the external political government of the church, which questionless is monarchical, I mean in regard of Christ the Head; though it be aristocratical in regard of officers, and, in some respect, democratical, with reference to the consent of the people in all church acts. But there are laws and sanctions by which this body of men and this kingdom is governed: James ii. 8, 'If ye fulfil the royal law.' It is called the royal law, not only as it requires noble work, but in regard of the dignity of the author, and firmness of the obligation. All the precepts of faith, repentance, and gospel-walking, are as so many royal edicts, which Christ hath set forth to signify his pleasure to his people. How slightly soever we think of these gospel injunctions, they are the laws and instructions of the great king.

4. In regard of punishments and rewards. Christ, who is a king by nature, might rule us with a rod of iron; yet he is pleased to govern us as a father and prince, that he might cast the bands of a man upon us. Christ, as a king, punisheth, and, as a king, rewardeth: Prov. xvi. 14, 'The wrath of a king is as messengers of death.' When a king is angry it is as if a messenger should come and tell us we must die. How great is the wrath of the king of kings! He cannot endure to be slighted in his regal power: Luke xix. 27, 'But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me.' Christ himself will see execution done, in his own sight and presence, upon those rebels that will not submit to his rule and government. How should the hearts of wicked men tremble, which have violated the laws of Christ, and affronted his authority, when they consider how odious this is, how certainly Christ will see execution done upon them! When Adonijah and his guests heard of Solomon sitting upon his throne, and the shouts and acclamations of joy and applause, they were stricken with fear, and fled every one several ways: 1 Kings i. 49. You that cherish 3 r our lusts, which stand out against the sovereignty of Christ, that will not let him rule over you, whose hearts say (though their tongues dare not), 'We will not have this man to reign over us;' you that seem to put him by his kingdom, he is furnished with absolute and irresistible power to destroy you, and will one day come and say, Bring forth these drunkards, worldlings, voluptuous, that would not I should reign over them; those that durst venture upon known sin against the checks of their own conscience: how will their hearts tremble in the last day at the shouts and acclamations of the -saints, when they shall welcome this great king, when he shall come forth in all his royalty and sovereignty! And as for punishment Christ will show himself as a king, so for rewards. Kings do not give trifles. Araunah 'gave like a king to a king:' 2 Sam. xxiv. 23. He was of the blood-royal of the Jebusites, and he gave worthy of his extraction. And so Christ will give like a king. God propounds nothing that was cheap and unworthy, but he 'gives you a kingdom:' Luke xii. 32. The poor of this world are 'heirs of a kingdom' the fairest kingdom that ever was, or ever will be; as poor and as despicable as now they are, yet they shall have a kingdom. What can you wish for and desire more than a kingdom? All shall reign with Christ for evermore; which shows the folly of carnal men that will hazard so great and so blessed hopes. Thus I have shown you why the gospel state is compared to a kingdom.

Now, let me tell you it is a spiritual kingdom, not such as comes with observation. Jesus Christ, when he was inaugurated into the throne, when he was to sit down at God's right hand, how doth he manifest it? He gives gifts, as princes use to do at their coronation, but they are spiritual gifts: Eph. iv. 8. And he sent abroad ambassadors, poor fishermen, they and their successors, to go and treat with the world: 2 Cor. v. 19. Indeed, they had a mighty power with them, as becoming such a great king, as was under the vail of meanness and weakness; it was carried on in a spiritual manner. And still he doth administer his kingdom, not by force; he rules not by the power of the sword, but by his word and Spirit, so he governeth his people. The publication of the gospel is a 'sending forth the rod of his strength:' Ps. ex. 2. And the Holy Ghost, as Christ's viceroy, he governeth them, and administereth all things that are necessary to his kingdom; he doth it by the Holy Ghost, as his deputy. The Father chooseth a sort of men, gives them to Christ; the Son dieth for them, that they may be subjects of his kingdom, and he commits them to be governed and ruled by the Holy Ghost: he useth the ministry of men, and so unites them to Christ; and Christ brings them to the Father by his intercession, committing them to his care and love; and by a final tradition at last, which is the last act of Christ's mediatorial kingdom, 1 Cor. xv. 24, he shall deliver them up to the Father. The Spirit, blessing the ministry of men, works faith, by which we are united to Christ; and Christ intercedes for us, and will bring us to God again. And in this spiritual manner is this kingdom carried on. So that if we would enter into this kingdom, we must go to God the Father, and confess we are rebels and traitors, but desire he would not enter into judgment with us, but seek to be reconciled to God the Father. Now, as God bade the friends of Job to go to Job, chap. xlii. 8, so God sends us to Christ, in whom alone he is well pleased with the creature. If we go to the Son, he refers us to the Spirit, to be reclaimed from our impurity and rebellion. If we go to the Spirit, he refers us to Moses and the prophets, pastors and teachers; there we shall hear of him in Christ's way, and there we feel the rod of Christ's strength, the efficacy of his grace put into our hearts.

Thus are we brought into his kingdom, and made to be a mystical body and spiritual society, in whom Christ rules; and there we come to enjoy those freedoms I spake of; and our obedience to this kingdom is carried on in a spiritual manner. In worship, we give our homage to God; in the word, we come to learn his laws; in the sacraments, we renew our oath of allegiance to this king; in alms and charity, we pay him tribute; in prayer, we ask his leave, acknowledging his dominion; and praise, it is our rent to the great Lord, from whom we hold all things. And thus is Christ's kingdom carried on in a spiritual manner.

Use 1. The use is to press you to come under this kingdom. Consider w T hat God hath proffered to draw you off from your carnal delights and sinful pleasures: no less than a kingdom to bear you out, to call you off from your sins. Oh, do not answer, as the olive-tree and the vine in Jotham's parable: Judges ix. 9, 'Shall I leave my fatness, and go to be promoted over the trees? 'God comes to a worldling, and makes him a proffer of this blessed state, which is represented by a kingdom Shall I leave all my sports and worldly hopes? (according as the man is affected) . Shall I renounce my pleasures, live a strict and austere life? Must I leave off projects, saith a worldling, and depend upon the reversion of heaven? Oh, con sider it is for a glorious kingdom. Men will do much for an earthly crown, though lined with cares, for this golden ball, which all hunt after, and doth occasion so many stirs in the world. Turn your ambition this way. You may aspire to a crown, to the kingdom of heaven, without the crime of treason. This is a faithful ambition: it is indeed treason against the kingdom of heaven, not to look after this crown, and plot, contrive, and act, and offer violence for the obtaining of it. And, therefore, come under this kingdom; if you do not, you will be left under the power of a worse: 2 Chron. xii. 8, God saith, he would give them up to the king of Egypt; why? 'They shall be his servants, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries: 'that they might see what difference there is between serving God and serving others. If you refuse God's government, you are under a worse, under sin, and the power of dark ness; you are under your own lusts; nay, and by a just judgment God may give you over to live in bondage to unmerciful men. How many kings and lords doth he serve that will not serve one Lord?

Oh, therefore, renounce those other lords that have dominion over you, and come under this kingdom which God hath set up. Use 2. To press the children of God:

1. To walk worthy of the gospel: it is a kingdom. The apostle hath an exhortation and charge to this purpose: 1 Thes. ii. 11, 12, 'That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory' Walk in obedience to Christ, that is one thing. Christ is a king by a natural right; God hath chosen him, God hath set him upon his holy hill: 'The Lord hath made him to be head over all things' Eph. i. 22. Nay, the church chooseth Christ: 'They shall appoint to themselves one head,' Hosea i. 11. And, therefore, for you that are called to his kingdom and glory, that have entered into covenant with Christ, that have subscribed to him as head and king; for you to be disobedient, give way to sin, it is worse in you. 'Will ye go away also? 'saith Christ to his disciples. Christ hath a right to reign over wicked men; but you have actually chosen him. Treason is less culpable, in those which have not submitted to a power and prince, and owned him for their king, than in those that have sworn faith and allegiance. You have passed under the bond of the holy oath; 'God hath called you to his kingdom and glory ' there fore you should be more obedient than to allow a disloyal thought or rebellious lust against Christ.

2. As you should be more holy, wary, watchful, that you do not break the laws of Christ, for you have consented to him; so live as kings, exercising all acts of regality within your own souls, ruling your own spirits, exercising judgment over your own hearts, and over every affection that will not be bridled. It is a disgrace to the regal estate of the gospel for you to be over-mastered by a lust, to lie under the power of any sin; yet thus it is, God's children are conflicting with one sin or other more than the rest. So far you have not experience of that truth: John viii. 32, 'And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free' A man that liveth in bondage to his lusts, how can he choose but doubt of those glorious privileges? Have you found the state of the gospel to be a kingdom? do you walk worthy of the gospel?

3. It teacheth us contempt of the world and earthly things: Phil, iii. 14, 'I press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.' It is not for princes to embrace a dunghill, nor for eagles to catch flies. Remember, thou wilt one day be a king with God in glory, and therefore shouldst not be as low and base as the men of the world are, but walk worthy of God, who hath called you to a royal state.

4. A generous confidence in the midst of the troubles and abasements of the world. What though you be accounted as the scurf and offscouring of all things? Though your outward condition be low and mean, know the worth of your high calling in Christ. How poor and despicable soever you are in this world, yet you are heirs of a crown and kingdom. Therefore remember you are princes, that walk up and down in disguise in a foreign country. If you are kept in a mean condition, it is but a disguise God hath put upon you. We are the sons of God, though for the present it doth not appear what we shall be. God's heirs make little show in the world. But there is a high dignity, a mighty privilege put upon you; you are called to be heirs of this kingdom, and this blessed and royal estate, which God hath provided for them that love him.

Use 3. Are we translated into this kingdom? Col. i. 13, 'He hath delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son' Every man naturally is under other lords, the devil hath dominion over him, and he is under the government of his own lusts; but now are we translated into the kingdom of Christ.

The second point is:

Doct. 2. All those that are affected with God's glory should desire the coming of this kingdom, and seriously deal with God about it.

None else can rescue and pluck them out of the power of darkness, and deliver them, from the thraldom of those other lords that hold them, and none else can defend and preserve them

I shall handle the point:

1. In a private respect.

2. In a public respect.

First, In a private respect. Every man should desire that the kingdom of God should come down and be set up in his own heart. Here I must repeat and apply the distinctions of Christ's kingdom. He is to desire the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory may come to himself and others.

1. The kingdom of grace, that it may be begun, continued, and increased.

First, That this kingdom may be begun, and a throne erected for Christ in our hearts. The great necessity of this request will be evidenced in these considerations:

[1.] That every man by nature is under another king, under the kingdom of sin and Satan. Satan is the monarch, and sin is the sceptre. Christ and the devil divide the world; either we belong to the one or the other. Now the devil, by reason of the fall of Adam, he hath the start of Christ, and the Lord Jesus coming to possess the heart, doth not seize upon it as a waste which belongeth to the next occupier, but he seizeth upon it as already possessed by Satan. The devil quietly ruleth in the hearts of the unregenerate; he keeps house, and all the goods are in peace, Luke xi. 21; and therefore wicked spirits are called, 'The rulers of the darkness of this world,' Eph. vi. 12. All the ignorant and carnal part of the world falls to his share, and he doth not easily quit possession. Christ indeed employeth men to wrestle with principalities and powers. The work of the ministry is to shake and batter the empire of the devil. You must be turned, you must be rescued. You must be turned: Acts xxvi. 18, 'To turn them from the power of Satan unto God' You must be rescued and plucked out of this captivity by the strong hand: Col. i. 13, 'Who hath delivered us from the power of Satan;' who hath taken us out of darkness by a powerful rescue. Even as the Israelites were brought out of Egypt 'by a strong hand and stretched-out arm,' so are we brought out of the power of darkness. By such an irresistible power of grace must God recover you, otherwise men yield themselves up to his sceptre. Look, as the Spirit of God works holy motions and gracious desires in the hearts of God's children, so the devil is 'at work in the children of disobedience,' Eph. ii. 2, framing wicked devices, carnal desires, evil thoughts against God. Man is such a perfect slave to the devil that he can do nothing but sin.

[2.] This kingdom which Satan exerciseth is an invisible kingdom. The devil doth not sensibly appear to his vassals and slaves. When Christ's kingdom and regiment was more external, so was the devil's also. As when God was served by sacrifices, and delivered his mind by oracles, so men did then more professedly own the devil by observing his prescribed rites of worship, and by being deluded by lying oracles, and answers to their prayers and questions. But now, since the kingdom of Christ is more spiritual, and managed by the Holy Ghost in the hearts of his saints, so is Satan's kingdom invisible. So that men may be Christ's subjects by external profession, and the devil's by internal- obedience and constitution of mind, though they worship not by pagan rites, as he ruleth in their hearts, 'and takes them off from obeying the gospel they profess. 'The god of this world hath blinded their eyes: ƈ Cor. iv. 4. All carnal men, however they defy Satan, and abominate the thought of serving him, yet while they remain in their sin and ignorance, they still hold the crown upon the devil's head. Look, as God's subjects may own him in verbal pretence, yet their hearts may be far from him: Mat. xv. 8. So that wicked men may defy the devil in pretence and words, and cannot endure to hear of him; but they are under the god of this world, he hath blinded their hearts. So that this kingdom is to be fought for in the heart. Christ made a great inroad upon the devil, beat him out of his quarters; yet, as the sea gets in one place what it loseth in another, so though the devil hath lost ground in the Christian world as to external profession, whilst people renounce the superstitions of the Gentiles, yet still he gets ground in the hearts of wicked men by their carnal dispositions; his empire is upheld still, though professedly they are subjects of Christ.

[3.] Until Satan be cast out of the throne, Christ can have no entertainment in the heart. The ark and Dagon cannot sink and stand together; either the ark must be removed, or Dagon will down upon his face: so 2 Cor. vi. 14, 'What communion hath Christ with Belial, and light with darkness?' It is impossible both kingdoms can stand together, or both kings be set up in the same heart. The marriage-bed will admit no partner nor rival. A man must be under Christ or Satan. Until he be cast out, Christ hath no room to be entertained: Mat. vi. 24, 'No man can serve two masters; ye cannot serve God and Mammon.' Look upon the devil under that notion, as he is Mammon, as he doth entice to worldliness: it is impossible to serve him and Christ. Both masters have work enough for their servants, and their commands are contrary. If two masters consent to employ one man in the self-same business, though they are two men, yet they are but one master. But now to execute the wills of men which differ in their design, and which have a several and full interest in our labours and actions, it is as impossible as to move two contrary ways at once. Well, then, Mammon and Christ. Belial and Christ, divide the world. It is impossible to be under Belial and Christ; both have full work for us to do, and their designs are contrary. So that either it must appear we have changed masters, or we are under the power of the devil still. We must come out of the power of darkness, else we cannot be brought into the kingdom of the Lord Jesus, that we may obtain remission of sins.

[4.] Satan may be cast out in part, and yet still retain a supreme interest in the heart. I prove it out of that parable, Mat. xii. 43-45: 1 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, but findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house, from whence I came out,' &c. Out of that parable we may plainly conclude there may be a shaking of Satan's empire, Satan may be cast out of a man in some sort, yet the man not plainly renewed. Well, how may he be cast out, and yet his empire remain unbroken? He may be cast out partly by conviction and illumination; yet as long as any lust remaineth there unmortified and unsubdued, he still keeps his sovereignty in the heart. Many begin to be troubled, and to be thoughtful about eternity, that see better, yet they do that which is worse in the issue. When there is a conflict between corruption and conviction, corruption carrieth it away. As iron often heated and often quenched is so much the harder; so, when they had some wamblings of conscience, and the heart begins to boggle, and after this sin breaks out the more. This is the scope of that place: they were convinced of a better estate, and had some thoughts of the Messiah, but did not give him entertainment. Again, the devil may be cast out in regard of some external reformation. A man may a little wash his polluted life and abstain from gross sins, yet Satan have full possession of the inner man. A man may abjure his former ill life, and for a while carry it fair, but afterwards retain his former filthiness, and keep a secret league with his lusts, and so he is en tangled again, and then 'his latter end is worse than his beginning;' and as it is in 2 Pet. ii. 22, 'The dog is turned to his own vomit again, and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire' A prisoner which hath made some escape, if ever the gaoler get him into his clutches, is sure to be laden with irons; so one that hath had some partial reformation, oh, when the devil gets such a man into his power again, he is ten times worse than he was before.

[5.] The difficulty of casting off the sovereignty of Satan, lieth partly in ourselves and partly in the devil.

Partly in ourselves. As in the Israelites going out of Egypt, the difficulty lay, not only in gaining the consent of Pharaoh, for he pursues after them when they were gone, but also in persuading the people to give their consent it was long ere Israel desired to be gone so in our natural condition, the mind of man is so depraved that he thinks his bondage to be his freedom, and that there is no such merry life as to wallow in carnal satisfactions; and our affections are so far engaged to this sinful estate, that we dote upon our shackles, and are unwilling to hear of a change. The first step of coming out of this kingdom of darkness is when we find it to be a heavy burthen, and grow weary of the devil's government, though it be but out of a principle of self-love, Isa. xxvi. 13: Ɔ Lord, other lords besides thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.' Yea, but as soon as we begin to have any serious thoughts of that miserable state in which we are, Satan interposeth, dealing with us as Pharaoh did with the Israelites. The Israelites complain their bondage was very sore; what doth Pharaoh? He doubles the burthen: Exod. v. 17, 'You are idle' &c.; so that out of bondage of soul they would not hearken to Moses. Just so Satan deals with us. When souls begin to be serious, and to leave off fleshly and worldly lusts, and to give up themselves to God that they may be directed in the way of holiness and obtain eternal life, then he doubles our burthens. Corruptions are never more stirring than after some conviction: Rom. vii. 9, 'When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;' not only as to a deeper sense of the guilt of it, but as to its struggling for life. The bullock at the first yoking is most unruly; so we which are unaccustomed to the yoke, when we begin once to take it upon us, there is a mighty backwardness. Fire at first kindling makes abundance of smoke; so when conviction is stirring, corruption is more exasperated. The devil is very jealous of the first beam of light which breaks into the heart, and of every ordinance which conveys it; therefore sets corruptions at work, that it may appear to be a vain hope of ever escaping his clutches: so men are tired and give over, and think it is to no purpose. But if light increases to more trouble, the devil seeks to elude the importunity of it by delay; as Pharaoh put off Moses and Aaron still by delay: or else by compromising and compounding the business; as Pharaoh, when he saw the people would go, God would have them go, then they shall not go far: Exod. viii. 28. So if men will be thinking of Christ's service, and coming under his government, they shall go, but not far; they shall come and pray, and come arid hear now and then, and make a general profession, but not too far in Christ's quarters; he is afraid of that. Just as Pharaoh stood hucking still; they must go a good way into the wilderness, otherwise it should be an abomination to the Egyptians, yet their little ones must stay. If people will not only hear and pray, but begin to reform, and cleanse their lives, yet he must have a pledge, some lust, as a nest-egg, left in the heart, some darling sin that must keep up the devil's empire. Then they must leave their herds, then leave their flocks; no, not a hoof. Ah! how long is it, when we are under this power of darkness, ere we are free, and get rid of the government of Satan!

[6.] We can never be sure that Satan is wholly cast out until Christ be seriously received and entertained as Lord and King, until he dwell and rule in the heart by faith. Alas! there may be some brabble now and then between us and our sins, and some partial dislikes; but until you heartily consent to take another king, that you will be governed and ordered by, you are not his subjects, but remain in the same state: John i. 12, 'As many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.' We are children of the devil before, under his standard and government; but when we receive him, then we are under another king, another power: when we receive what God offered, receive Christ as Lord and King, when the whole soul opens the door to Christ, that the King of glory may come in, and dwell with us, and reign over us, then is his kingdom set up. The first offer of the gospel is Christ as Prince and Saviour: Acts v. 31. And the main thing the business sticks at is Christ's regal power: Luke xix. 14, 'We will not have this man to reign over us.' Now, when we receive him with all our hearts, and though before we had but mean thoughts of him, now he begins to be welcome to us, and with the dearest embraces of our souls we entertain him; and with a willing resignation we give up ourselves, not only by a consent of dependence, to rest upon him for reconciliation with God, but by a willing subjection to obey him, and give up the keys of the heart, and lay them at Christ's feet: as Paul, Acts ix. 16, 'Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?' When you desire nothing more but that his kingdom might come, the King of glory himself, than that he might bring righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; until then you are not entered into his kingdom.

[7.] Christ is not received and entertained as Lord and King, but where his laws are obeyed: Col. ii. 6, 'As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.' If you receive him as Lord and King, so also obey him. And Heb. xii. 28, 'We receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.' In this prayer, first, we say, 'Thy kingdom come,' and then presently we add, 'Thy will be done.' We do but prattle over the Lord's Prayer, and say it with our lips only, until we are resolved to do what God would have us to do love and hate, fear and rejoice, as God directs. Until we are brought to this frame, we do not in good earnest say, 'Thy kingdom come.' An earthly king will 'do according to his will: 'Dan. xi. 3. So Christ stands upon his will in his law. If you have taken God for your God, and Jesus Christ for your King, then say, with David, Ps. cxliii. 10, 'Teach me to do thy will, for thou art my God. J It is a universal maxim, 'His servants you are whom you do obey.' Where is your obedience? If subjects of grace, 'Every thought is brought in subjection:' 2 Cor. x. 5. You will watch not only against your irregular actions, but every thought which lifts up itself against the obedience of Christ. There will be a greater tenderness upon us not to break any of the holy laws which belong to Christ's government. Hereby you may know whether you come under another king, Do you fear a commandment? That is the description of a good man: Prov. xiii. 13. It is not he that feareth a punishment, but he that feareth a commandment, when the heart is brought under an awe of Christ's laws; so that when a man is tempted to sin, Oh, I dare not; the Lord hath commanded me the contrary. This is more than if a flaming sword stood in his way. When we have such workings of heart when we are tempted to this and that sin, so when we are doing any duty, though irksome to flesh and blood, yet it is the will of my Lord, to whom I have entirely given up myself in a way of subjection; this is a sign you are brought under his government.

[8.] None can obey his laws but by the virtue and power of his Spirit. The new covenant, it is not only a law, but 'the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ.' So it is called by the apostle, Rom. viii. 2. It is not a bare literal command that shall urge us to duty; but it giveth strength and efficacy to the heart. Other kings, they give laws, that men may keep them by their own strength; but now Christ, he would be owned as a king, not only in a way of subjection, but establish a constant dependence. He is a king, not only to require, but to give repentance, Acts v. 31; not only to make a law, but to write and work a sense of this new covenant-gift upon the heart, Heb. viii. 10. He doth not only set up his ordinances, laws, constitutions, but there is power goeth along with the dispensation of this kingdom, and thereby we are fitted and enabled to love, serve, and please God; and then are we under the kingdom of God, when we are under the spiritual power of it. It is not only necessary to obey his laws, but that we do it by virtue of his power and Spirit: 'The kingdom of God stands not in word, but in power,' 1 Cor. iv. 20. That we may both acknowledge his authority and wait for his strength. This is a true submission, when we look for all from him, and serve him in the strength of his own grace.

[9.] All those that act through the virtue and power of his Spirit, they do unfeignedly seek his glory, and make Christ to be not only their principle, but their end; for having a new principle, they have a new tendency; acting in the power of the Spirit, their hearts are carried out to seek Christ's interest and Christ's glory. When they can say with the apostle, Phil. i. 21, 'To me to live is Christ,' when their whole business is to set up Christ. We set up ourselves in the room of Christ, if he be not at the end of all: 2 Thes. i. 11, 12, 'That God might fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power, and that Christ may be glorified in you.' If you have the power of Christ's kingdom, this will be the immediate result and issue of it, that Christ may be honoured and set up, not only as a lawgiver and fountain of grace, but as the last end. If to us to live is Christ, then is the kingdom of God come into our heart. For this we pray, that the Lord would so break the yoke and government of Satan, that we may receive the Lord Jesus into our heart, that we may come under the awe of his laws, and in the power of his grace may seek his kingdom and glory.

To conclude: All this grace is offered to you; if you refuse the offer, your condition is worse than if it had never been tendered to you. The Lord hath sent his Son to help you out of the power of the devil, and bring you in heart and life again to himself; if you refuse this, then 'This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light:' John iii. 19. The Lord Jesus, when he comes in flaming fire to render vengeance, it shall be upon them that do not obey his government, 2 Thes. i. 8, that did not acknowledge God to be their sovereign. There will be a sore vengeance on them which had the gospel tendered, and this wonderful provision brought home to them, and left to their choice, and yet have turned their backs upon it.

Secondly, We beg the continuance of it, that he would maintain this kingdom in our heart, and preserve us in this state; for those which can call God Father, are still to say, 'Thy kingdom come.' It is not enough to go to Christ to begin it, but to carry it on, and to keep and 'preserve us unto his heavenly kingdom,' 2 Tim. iv. 18; that we may not revolt to the devil's side after we have chosen God for our God, and so our latter end be worse than our beginning.

Thirdly, We pray for the increase of it, that it may get ground more and more. There are some relics of the kingdom of darkness yet left, and there is something wanting to the kingdom of grace; we are troubled and molested still. Though sin doth not get the throne, though the regency of it is cast down, yet it is not cast out in regard of inherence. 'Sin shall not have dominion over you;' that is all we can hope for: Rom. vi. 14. We cannot hope for an extinction of sin, but only that it shall not have dominion. As the beasts in Dan. vii. 12, though their dominion was taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. The reign, power, and dominion of sin is taken down, yet it continues for our exercise and molestation. Now, we desire he might rule in us by his grace, and that of the increase of his government there may be no end.

II. For the kingdom of glory, which, in this private consideration (as it concerns each person), is to begin at death. And when we desire the coming of the kingdom of glory, we do two things: we express our readiness for it, or our desire after it.

1. Our readiness for it; at least, the kingdom of God is ready for us if we were ready for it; as the apostle saith, 1 Pet. iv. 5. God is ready to judge, but we are not ready to be judged. And therefore we read of the kingdom of heaven prepared for us, and of men prepared for the kingdom of heaven. It is prepared for the saints: Mat. xxv. 34, 'A kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.' And the saints prepared for it: Rom. ix. 23, 'Vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory' And this is that which the apostle gives thanks for unto the Father: 'Which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light,' Col. i. 12. Before we come to heaven, there is a right to heaven; we are made meet, more mortified and weaned from present things, often in communion with God here, and so for ever with the Lord hereafter. We are still to have our eyes to our rest and happy state, that we may be made ready for it. We express our readiness, or we beg it.

2. That we may express our desires after the enjoyment of it. A Christian is to desire the company of Christ: Phil. i. 23, 'I desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ;' and he is to hasten the coming of the day of God: 2 Pet. iii. 12.

Now because this cannot be but by our death, therefore here we may examine a case or two.

Case 1. First, about longing for death. Is it lawful to desire death? The law doth not only forbid acts, but thoughts and desires; therefore is it lawful to long for death?

Ans. Yes; but yet we are not anxiously to long after it till the time come; not to grow weary of life out of desperation and tiresome ness of the cross, as Jonah did, chap. iv. 3; but in order to God s glory and accomplishment of our happiness. See more at large, Ps. cxix. verse 17.

Case 2. Secondly, Do all that have an interest in Christ desire to die? Is not death terrible? Certainly death, is terrible, both as a natural and a penal evil; as in itself it is the curse of the covenant; and as it depriveth us of life, the chiefest blessing. Yet we should train up ourselves in an expectation of death; we should look and long for it, that, when the time is come, we might be willing to give up ourselves into the hands of God. It is required of a Christian that he should not only be passive in his own death, to die in peace, but active. How? to hasten his death? No; but to resign up himself willingly into the hands of God, that his soul might not be taken away, but given up and commended to God. We should be willing to be in the arms of Christ, to be there where he is, to behold his glory. If Christ had such a good- will to men as that he longed to be with us, solacing his heart with the thought of it before all worlds, Prov. viii. 31 he was thinking of us, how he should come down, and converse with men surely we should not be so backward to go to Christ. And, therefore, as Jacob's spirit revived when he saw the chariots Joseph sent to carry him into Egypt, so our hearts should be more cheerful and comfortable when death approacheth: especially since death is ours, it is changed; therefore we should be framing ourselves to such a temper of heart by degrees that we might be ready.

Use 1. For reproof to those that would be glad in their hearts if Christ's kingdom would never come. As to the kingdom of grace, in the external administration, they 'hate the light, and will not come to the light, lest their deeds should be reproved:' John iii. 20. A wicked man is loth to be troubled. God's witnesses are the world's torment: Rev. xi. 10, 'They tormented them that dwelt on the earth.' A man that is bodily blind would have a fit guide; but these wretchedly blind sinners, nothing so troublesome and hateful to them as one that would lead them to the kingdom of God. And then as to internal grace, when this kingdom of heaven breaks in upon their hearts, when any light and power darts in, they seek to put it out; they 'resist the Holy Ghost,' Acts vii. 51, and refuse his call. And for the kingdom of glory, they say, 'It is good to be here,' and would not change their portion here for their portion in paradise.

Use 2. To exhort us to desire the coming of Christ's kingdom to ourselves. If you have any love to the Lord's glory, or your own good, you should do it: Rev. iii. 20, 'Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me' Will you not open to God that hath the best right? Will you not set open the doors to the King of glory, when Christ comes to bring entertainment to you, to sup with you? Again, all men (will they, nill they) are subject to Christ: either they must come and touch his golden sceptre, or feel the bruises of his iron mace; they must own him as king: 'Every knee shall bow,' Phil. ii. 10. Therefore be more willing to have the kingdom of glory come. Again, if God be not your king, you will have a worse master, every sin, every lust: Titus iii. 3, 'Serving divers lusts and pleasures.' You will be at the beck of every lust and carnal motion, and the devil will be your master to purpose; for upon the refusal of Christ's government, there is a judicial tradition, you are given up to your own heart's lusts: Ps. Ixxxi. 12, 'Israel would none of me; so I gave them up to their own hearts' lusts, and they walked in their own counsels.' And to Satan, to be ensnared by him: 2 Tim. ii. 26, 'Taken captive by him at his will and pleasure' Not to buffet them, as Paul was, but to ensnare and harden their hearts. Again, if you be not subject to God, you go about to make God subject to you in effect. You would have the kingdom of glory, and yet continue in your lusts: Isa. xliii. 24, 'Thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities' When you would have God patient, hold his hand, and be merciful to you, and yet would continue in your lusts, then you make God serve with your sins. Again, many temporal inconveniences will follow, if we do not give way to the kingdom of Christ to seize upon us. When we make no difference between God's service and the service of other lords, then he gives us up to the service of men, to a foreign enemy, to an oppressive magistrate, or breaks the staff of government among men, that we might know what it is to be under his service and government. Therefore give willing entertainment to the kingdom of Christ.

So much for the private consideration of this request, 'Thy kingdom come; 'that is, to us and our persons, both the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of glory.

Secondly, Having spoken of the kingdom of Christ in a private, now I come to speak of it in a public, consideration. And that is twofold:

1. The public visible administration of the kingdom of grace.

2. The public and solemn administration of the kingdom of glory at the day of judgment, when enemies shall have their final doom, and saints have their crowns set upon their heads in the sight of all the world.

I shall speak of both, but (because the discourse may be more fresh and lively) upon other texts.

1. The public visible administration of the kingdom of grace, on Ps. li. 18, 'Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of thy Jerusalem.'

2. The kingdom of glory, on Rev. xxii. 20, 'Surely I come quickly: Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus'

For the first. Though the church be never so afflicted, Ps. cii. 14, when all is defaced, as to external appearance, lying in a ruinous heap, yet it is beloved and pitied by God's servants: 'Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof' There is nothing God's people desire so much as Zion's welfare: Ps. cvi. 5, 'That I may see the good of thy chosen, that I may rejoice in the gladness of thy nation, that I may glory with thine inheritance' And David in this psalm, Ps. li. 18, having prayed for himself, prayeth for mercy to the church and state: 'Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion; build thou the walls of thy Jerusalem' But how cometh David, who was in the depth of private humiliation, so suddenly to fall upon the case of the church? There was a special reason for annexing this request to his own private complaints and confessions. The reasons will occasion so many observations.

[1.] Because of the offence, scandal, and mischief done to the church by his fall; and to make amends, he prayeth the more earnestly, let not Zion fare the worse for my sake. From thence observe, that the sins of particular persons oft bring a mischief upon the whole com munity. David had made a breach in the walls of God's protection, and left them naked, and more in danger of judgment: 'Therefore do good,' &c.

[2.] David was not only a private member, but a prince, and their sins have a more universal influence. The sins of magistrates draw down judgments on their people, all smart for their miscarriages. Hezekiah's pride cost Israel dear: 2 Chron. xxxii. 25, 'Wrath was upon him, and upon Judah and Jerusalem.' It did not stay upon his person. As a great oak cannot fall but all the shrubs about it suffer loss. But,

[3.] David having some comfortable assurance of the pardon of his sins, doth now seek mercy for the church. From thence observe, that we are never fit to pray for the public, till we have made our peace with God; as the priests under the law offered sacrifice, 'first for their own sins, and then for the people's: 'Heb. vii. 27.

[4.] Because being brought by such a solemn but sad occasion into God's presence, he could not but have some thoughts of Zion. And from thence observe, that we should never come to God upon any private occasion but we should remember the public. We are to pray in love as well as faith. Christ hath not taught us to say, 'My Father,' but, 'Our Father,' to show that we should take in the interests and concernments of the whole body, that there may be a spirit of communion breathing in our prayers. David doth not only say, 'Have mercy upon me according to thy loving-kindness,' but, 'Do good unto Zion in thy good pleasure.' Every living member will be careful for the body. Members should be careful one for another, much more for the whole. Is any member pained or grieved? all suffer. If the toe be trod upon, the tongue complaineth, you have hurt me; but now much more when all is concerned. Therefore we should not altogether seek our own things, but wrestle with God for the public.

I. This reproveth divers sorts of people. Some are enemies to the public welfare, as vipers eat out the dam's belly, especially enemies to Zion: 'Down with it, down with it, even to the ground! 'What monsters hath this age brought forth! Others are indifferent and careless which goeth up, Christ or Antichrist; they only mind the matters of their own interest and concernment: 'All seek their own things.' As to the public interest of the church, let all go how it will. Let me tell you, to be selfish is a sort of self-excommunication; you cast yourselves out of the bundle of life. And to be senseless, it is an implicit renouncing the body. Others there are that are gracious, but full of discontent at some passages of providence, and these seem to have lost their public affections. It is a sad symptom when a praying people are discouraged from praying for public welfare. God is very tender of the prayers of his people; he is loth they should be lost, and sorry they cannot be granted. We may sin in ceasing to pray. It is a sad judgment when the hearts of God's people are taken off from praying. Again, those that pray too coldly for the public, not as those that would do their work. There is a great decay of the spirit of prayer, which is also a sad presage. But now to show you: II. What we should pray for for Zion.

1. The dilatation or enlargement of it throughout the world. The more ample God's heritage is, the more is his glory known: Prov. xiv. 28, 'In the multitude of the people is the king's honour; 'and the glory of a shepherd lieth in the number of his flock. So Christ's kingdom, the more it is enlarged, the more honour God hath: Ps. Ixvii. 2, 'That thy way may be known among the heathen, and thy saving health among all nations.' Especially when the fulness of the Gen tiles is brought in, Ps. liv. 2; and when the Jews are brought in, Hosea iii. 5. To be instrumental to enlarge Christ's kingdom, it is an honour to us to draw on Christ's triumphant chariot, let us be sure to have a hand in it. These prayers, if sincere, are never in vain; if they profit not others, they promote the kingdom of God in ourselves.

2. The preservation and defence of the churches already planted, frustrating the plots and power of the enemies: That God would be 'a wall of fire round about them,' Zech. ii. 5. Qui comminus arceat et eminus terreat. When at the weakest, God can protect them, bridling by his secret power the rage of adversaries, or defeating their attempts.

3. For comfort and deliverance in afflictions. We should pity the distressed church, as before; that God would redeem them out of all their troubles. Every true member of the church hath life from Christ; and that life giveth feeling, and that feeling affection and sympathy to rejoice and mourn. They that mourn for Zion rejoice with her: Isa. Ixvi. 10, 'Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her.'

4. For the furniture of the church, a supply of all good, internal and external.

[1.] Internal. That God would bless them with ordinances, enrich them with graces, preserve truth and unity, and continue his presence with them: his ordinances, that they may enjoy them in purity, that the word, seals, and censures may be rightly administered till the Lord come. These are things pertaining to the kingdom of God, concerning which Christ spake to the disciples: Acts i. 3. These are to be kept till Christ's appearing:' Tim. vi. 14. It is an honour to God, and of great profit to the church, and a rejoicing to God's people, to see them pure and unmixed: 'Though absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in the spirit, joying and beholding your order' Col. ii. 5. And then that God would enrich them with his presence: Mat. xxviii. 20, 'Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.' It is God that giveth the increase: 'Paul may plant, and Apollos water; but God giveth the increase,' 1 Cor. iii. 6 for conviction, conversion, confirmation. It was not the ark, nor mercy-seat covered with cherubims, but the answer from between the cherubims, given immediately by God, that manifested his presence. It is not the sound of the gospel, or outward ministry, but the work of his Spirit: Ps. Ixxxiv. 2, 'My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord; my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.'

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