The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
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    How may we know that the kingdom of grace is set up in our 
    It concerns us to examine this, for our salvation depends upon 
it, and we had need be cautious in the search, because there is 
something that looks like grace, which is not. 'If a man think 
himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.' 
Gal 6: 3. Many think they have the kingdom of grace come into their 
heart, and it is only a chimera, a golden dream. Quam multi cum vana 
spe descendunt ad inferos! [How many with vain hope go down to 
hell!] Augustine. Zeuxis painted grapes so lively that he deceived 
the living birds. There are many deceits about grace. 
    (1) Men think they have the kingdom of grace in their hearts 
because they have the means of grace. They live where the silver 
trumpet of the gospel sounds, they are lifted up to heaven with 
ordinances. 'I have a Levite to my priest,' surely I shall go to 
heaven. Judges 17: 13. The Jews cried, 'The temple of the Lord, the 
temple of the Lord are [we].' Jer 7: 4. We are apt to glory in this, 
that the oracles of God are committed to us, that we have the word 
and sacrament. Alas! this is a fallacy; we may have the means of 
grace, and yet the kingdom of grace may not be set up in our hearts. 
We may have the kingdom of God come nigh us, but not into us; the 
sound of the word in our ears, but not the savour of it in our 
hearts. Luke 11: 20. Many of the Jews, who had Christ for their 
preacher, were not the better for it. Hot clothes will not put 
warmth into a dead man. Thou mayest have hot clothes, warn and 
lively preaching, and yet be spiritually dead. 'The children of the 
kingdom shall be cast out.' Matt 8: 12. 
    (2) Men think they have the kingdom of grace set up in their 
hearts, because they have some common works of the Spirit. 
    [1] They have great enlightening of mind, profound knowledge, 
and almost speak like angels dropped from heaven; but the apostle 
supposes a case in which, after men have been enlightened, they may 
fall away. Heb. 6: 4, 5, 6. 
    But wherein does this illumination come short? 
    The illumination of hypocrites is not virtual, it does not 
leave an impression of holiness behind; it is like weak physic that 
will not work. The mind is enlightened, but the heart is not 
renewed. A Christian that is all head, but no feet, does not walk in 
the ways of God. 
    [2] Men have had convictions and stirrings of conscience for 
sin, they have seen the evil of their ways, and now hope the kingdom 
of grace is come; but though convictions are a step towards grace, 
they are not grace. Had not Pharaoh and Judas convictions? Exod 10: 
    What makes convictions prove abortive? Wherein do they fail? 
    They are not deep enough. A sinner never saw himself lost 
without Christ. The seed that wanted depth of earth withered. Matt 
13: 5. These convictions are like blossoms blown off before they 
come to maturity. They are also involuntary. The sinner does what he 
can to stile them; he drowns them in wine and mirth; he labours to 
get rid of them. As the deer when shot runs and shakes out the 
arrow, so does he the arrow of conviction; or as the prisoner files 
off his fetters, and breaks loose, so he breaks loose from 
convictions. His corruptions are stronger than his convictions. 
    [3] Men have had some kind of humiliation, and have shed tears 
for their sins, and therefore hope the kingdom of grace is come into 
their hearts. But this is no infallible sign of grace. Saul wept, 
and Ahab humbled himself. 
    Why is not humiliation a grace? Wherein does it come short of 
    Tears in the wicked do not spring from love to God, but are 
forced by affliction, as water that drops from distillation is 
forced by the fire. Gen 4: 13. The tears of sinners are forced by 
God's fiery judgements. They are deceitful tears; lacrimae mentiri 
doctae [tears taught to lie]. Men weep, yet go on in sin; they do 
not drown their sins in their tears. 
    [4] Men have begun some reformation, therefore surely now they 
think the kingdom of grace is come; but there may be deceit in this. 
A man may leave his oaths and drunkenness, and still be in love with 
sin. He may leave his sin, out of fear of hell, or because it brings 
shame and penury, but still his heart goes after it, 'They set their 
heart on their iniquity' (Hos 4: 8); as Lot's wife left Sodom, but 
still her heart was in Sodom. Hypocrites are like the snake which 
casts her coat, but keeps her poison. They keep the love of sin as 
one that has been long suitor to another; though his friends break 
off the match, yet still he has a hankering love to her. It may be a 
partial reformation. He may leave off one sin and live in another; 
he may refrain drunkenness and live in covetousness; he may refrain 
swearing and live in the sin of slandering; one devil may be cast 
out and another as bad may come in his room. A man may forsake gross 
sins, but have no reluctance against heart sins; motus primo primi 
[the very earliest motions of sin] as proud, lustful thoughts. 
Though he dams up the stream, he lets alone the fountain. Oh, 
therefore, if there be so many deceits, and men may think the 
kingdom of heaven is come into their hearts when it is not, how 
curious and critical had we need be in our search whether we have it 
really in our hearts! If a man be deceived in the title of his land, 
it is but the loss of his estate; but if he be deceived about his 
grace, it is the loss of his soul. 
    How may we know positively that the kingdom of grace is set up 
in us? 
    In general, by having a metamorphosis or change wrought in the 
soul, which is ca]led the 'new creature.' 2 Cor 5: 17. The faculties 
are not new, but there is a new nature; as the strings of a lute are 
the same, but the tune is altered. When the kingdom of grace is set 
up, there is light in the mind, order in the affections, pliableness 
in the will, tenderness in the conscience. They who can find no 
change of heart, are the same as they were; as vain, as earthly, as 
unclean as ever; there is no sign of God's kingdom of grace in them. 
    More particularly we may know the kingdom of grace is set up in 
our hearts. (1) By having unfeigned desires after God, which is the 
smoking flax that Christ will not quench. A true desire of grace is 
grace: by the beating of this pulse we conclude there is life. 'O 
Lord, let thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servants who 
desire to fear thy name.' Neh 1: 11. But may not a hypocrite have 
good desires? 'Let me die the death of the righteous.' Num 23: 10. 
Unfeigned desires evidence the kingdom of God within a man. 
    How may these unfeigned desires be known? 
    An unfeigned desire is ingenuous. We desire God propter se, for 
himself, for his intrinsic excellencies. The savour of the ointment 
of Christ's graces draws the virgins' desires after him. Cant 1: 3. 
A true saint desires him not on]y for what he has, but for what he 
is; not only for his rewards, but for his holiness. No hypocrite can 
thus desire God; he may desire him for his jewels, but not for his 
    An unfeigned desire is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied 
without God; let the world heap her honours and riches, they will 
not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is thirsty; so 
nothing will quench the soul's thirst but the blood of Christ. He 
faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psa 84: 2; Psa 
119: 20. 
    An unfeigned desire is active; it flourishes into endeavour. 
'With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit 
within me will I seek thee early.' Isa 26: 9. A soul that desires 
aright says, 'I must have Christ; I must have grace; I will have 
heaven, though I take it by storm.' He who desires water will let 
down the bucket into the well to draw it up. 
    An unfeigned desire is supreme. We desire Christ, not only more 
than the world, but more than heaven. 'whom have I in heaven but 
thee?' Psa 73: 25. Heaven itself would not satisfy without Christ. 
He is the diamond in the ring of glory. If God should say to the 
soul, I will put thee into heaven, but I will hide my face from 
thee, I will draw a curtain between that thou shalt not behold my 
glory, the soul would not be satisfied, but say, as Absalom, 'Now 
therefore let me see the king's face.' 2 Sam 14: 32. 
    An unfeigned desire is gradual. It increases as the sun in the 
horizon. A little of God will not satisfy, but the pious soul 
desires still more. A drop of water is not enough for the thirsty 
traveller. Though a Christian is thankful for the least degree of 
grace, yet he is not satisfied with the greatest; he still thirsts 
for more of Christ, and his Spirit. Desire is a holy dropsy. A saint 
would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ's presence. 
A glimpse of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; 
and the soul will never leave longing till it sees him face to face. 
It desires to have grace perfected in glory. Dulcissimo Deo totus 
immergi cupit et inviscerari [it desires to be wholly plunged and 
embowelled in the sweetness of God]. We would be swallowed up in 
God, and be ever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of 
pleasure which run at his right hand for ever. Surely this unfeigned 
desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace is come 
into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life. Est a Deo ut 
bene velimus [God desires are from God]. Augustine. If iron move 
upwards contrary to its nature, it is a sign some loadstone has been 
there drawing it; if the soul move towards God in an unfeigned 
desire, it is a sign the loadstone of the Spirit has been drawing 
    (2) We may know the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts 
by having the princely grace of faith. Fides est sanctissima humani 
pectoris [Faith is the most sacred jewel of the human heart] Gemma. 
Faith cuts us from the wild olive of nature, and ingrafts us into 
Christ. It is the vital artery of the soul. 'The just shall live by 
faith.' Heb 10: 38. Faith makes a holy adventure on Christ's merits. 
As a princely grace it reigns in the soul, when the kingdom of God 
is come unto us. The Hebrew word for faith comes from radix which 
signifies to nourish; faith nourisheth the soul, and is the nurse of 
all the graces. But, who will not say he is a believer? Simon Magus 
believed, yet was in the gall of bitterness. Acts 8: 13, 23. The 
hypocrite can put on faith's mantle, as the devil did Samuel's. 
    How shall we know therefore that our faith is sound, that it is 
the faith of the operation of God, and that the kingdom of God is 
within us? 
    True faith is wrought by the ministry of the word. 'Faith comes 
by hearing.' Rom 10: 17. Peter let down the net of his ministry, and 
at one draught caught three thousand souls. Let us examine how our 
faith was wrought. Did God in the ministry of the word humble us? 
Did he break up the fallow ground of our heart, and then cast in the 
seed of faith? A good sign; but, if you know not how you came by 
your faith, suspect yourselves; as we suspect men to have stolen 
goods, when they know not how they came by them. 
    True faith is at first small, like a grain of mustard-seed; it 
is full of doubts and fears; it is smoking flax: it smokes with 
desire, but does not flame with comfort. It is so small that a 
Christian can hardly discern whether he has faith or not. 
    True faith is long in working, non fit in instanti [it does not 
come about in a moment]. It costs many searchings of heart, many 
prayers and tears; there is a spiritual combat. The soul suffers 
many sore pangs of humiliation before the child of faith is born. To 
those whose faith is per saltum [at a leap], who leap out of sin 
into a confidence that Christ is theirs, we may say, as Isaac 
concerning his son's venison, 'How is it that thou hast found it so 
quickly?' Gen 27: 20. How is it that thou camest by thy faith so 
soon? The seed in the parable which sprung up suddenly withered. 
Mark 4: 5, 6. Solent praecocia subito flaccescere [Things that are 
too forward have a way of suddenly wilting]. 
    True faith is joined with sanctity. As a little bezoar is 
strong in operation, and a little musk sweetens, so a little faith 
purifies. 'Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.' I 
Tim 3: 9. Though faith does but touch Christ, it fetches a healing 
virtue from him. Justifying faith does that in a spiritual sense 
which miraculous faith does; it removes the mountains of sin, and 
casts them into the sea of Christ's blood. 
    True faith will trust God without a pawn. Though a Christian be 
cut short in provisions - the fig-tree does not blossom - yet he 
will trust in God. Fides famem non formidat. Faith fears not famine. 
God has given us his promise as his bond. 'Verily thou shalt be 
fed.' Psa 37: 3. Faith puts this bond in suit, that God will rather 
work a miracle than his promise shall fail. He has cause to suspect 
his faith, who says, he trusts God for the greater, but dares not 
trust him for the less: he trusts God for salvation, but dares not 
trust him for a livelihood. 
    True faith is prolific. It brings forth fruit; it has Rachel's 
beauty and Leah's fruitfulness. Fides pinguescit operibus. Luther. 
Faith is full of good works. It believes as if it did not work, and 
it works as if it did not believe. It is the spouse-like grace which 
marries Christ, and good works are the children which it bears. By 
having such faith we may know the kingdom of God is within us; that 
grace is certainly in our hearts. 
    (3) We may know the kingdom of grace is come into our hearts by 
having the grace of love. Faith and love are the two poles on which 
all religion turns. 'The upright love thee.' Cant 1: 4. True love is 
to love God out of choice. It turns the son] into a seraphim; it 
makes it burn in a flame of affection; it is the truest touchstone 
of sincerity; it is the queen of the graces; it commands the whole 
soul. 2 Cor 5: 14. If our love to God be genuine, we let him have 
the supremacy; we set him in the highest room of our soul; we give 
him the purest of our love. 'I would cause thee to drink of spiced 
wine of the juice of my pomegranate.' Cant 8: 2. If the spouse had 
anything better than another, a cup more juicy and spiced, Christ 
should drink of that. We give the creature the milk of our love, but 
God the cream. In short, if we love God aright, we love his laws; we 
love his picture drawn in the saints by the pencil of the Holy 
Ghost; we love his presence in his ordinances. Sleidan says, that 
the Protestants in France had a church which they call paradise; as 
if they thought themselves in paradise while they had God's presence 
in his sanctuary. The soul that loves God, loves his appearing. 2 
Tim 4: 8. It will be a glorious appearing to the saints when their 
union with Christ shall be complete; then their joy shall be full. 
The bride longs for the marriage day. 'The Spirit and the bride say, 
Come: even so, come, Lord Jesus.' Rev 22: 17, 20. By this sacred 
love we may know the kingdom of God is within us. 
    (4) We may know the kingdom of grace is come into our hearts by 
spiritualizing the duties of religion. 'Ye are an holy priesthood to 
offer up spiritual sacrifices.' 1 Pet 2:5 Spiritualizing duty 
consists in three things: 
    [1] Fixedness of mind. We spiritualize duty when our minds are 
fixed on God. 'That you may attend on the Lord without distraction.' 
I Cor 7: 35 Though impertinent thoughts sometimes come into the 
heart in duty, they are not allowed. Psa 119: 113. They come as 
unwelcome guests, which are no sooner spied but they are turned out. 
    [2] Fervency of devotion. 'Fervent in spirit, serving the 
Lord.' Rom 12: 11I. The allusion is to water that seethes and boils 
over; so the affections boil over, the eyes melt in tears, and the 
heart flows in holy ejaculations. We not only bring our offering to 
God, but our hearts. 
    [3] Uprightness of aim. A man whose heart is upright has three 
ends in duty. First, that he may grow more like God. Moses on the 
mount had some of God's glory reflected on him: 'his face shined.' 
Secondly, that he may have more communion with God. 'Our fellowship 
is with the Father.' I John 1: 3. Thirdly, that he may bring more 
glory to God. I Pet 4: 11 'That Christ shall be magnified.' Phil 1: 
20. Sincerity aims at God in all things. Though we shoot short, yet 
we take a right aim, which is a sure evidence of grace. The spirits 
of wine are best, so is the spiritual part of duty. A little 
spiritualness in duty is better than all the gildings of the temple, 
or outward pompous worship which dazzles carnal eyes. 
    (5) We may know the kingdom of grace is come into us by 
antipathy and opposition against every known sin. 'I hate every 
false way.' Psa 119: I04. Hatred is against the whole kind; hatred 
is implacable: anger may be reconciled, hatred cannot. A gracious 
soul not only forsakes sin (as a man forsakes his country, never to 
return to it more), but hates sin. As there is an antipathy between 
the crocodile and the scorpion, so, if the kingdom of God be within 
us, we not only hate sin for hell, but we hate it as hell, as being 
contrary to God's holiness and happiness. 
    (6) We may know the kingdom of grace is come into us when we 
have given up ourselves to God by obedience. As a servant gives up 
himself to his master, as a wife gives up herself to her husband, so 
we give up ourselves to God by obedience. This obedience is free, as 
that is the sweetest honey which drops from the comb; and uniform. 
We obey God in one thing as well as another. 'Then shall I not be 
ashamed;' or, as it is in the Hebrew, I shall not blush 'when I have 
respect unto all thy commandments.' Psa 119: 6. As a pair of 
compasses has one foot upon the centre and the other goes round the 
circle, so a Christian, by faith, stands on God the centre, and by 
obedience goes round the circle of his commandments. It is a sign 
the kingdom of grace is not come into the heart, when it does not 
reign there by universal obedience. Hypocrites would have Christ to 
be their Saviour, but they pluck the government from his shoulders, 
and will not have him rule; but he who has the kingdom of God within 
him, submits cheerfully to every command of God; he will do what God 
will have him do; he will be what God will have him be; he puts a 
blank paper into God's hand, and says, 'Lord, write what thou wilt, 
I will subscribe.' Blessed is he that can find all these things in 
his soul. He is 'all glorious within.' Psa 45: 13. He carries a 
kingdom about him, and this kingdom of grace will certainly bring to 
a kingdom of glory. 
    I shall now answer some doubts and objections that a Christian 
may make against himself 
    I fear the kingdom of grace is not yet come into my heart. 
    When a Christian is under temptation, or grace lies dormant, he 
is not fit to be his own judge; but must take the witness of others 
who have the spirit of discerning. But let us hear a Christian's 
objections against himself, why he thinks the kingdom of grace is 
not yet come into his heart. 
    I cannot discern grace. 
    A child of God may have the kingdom of grace in his heart, and 
yet not know it. The cup was in Benjamin's sack, though he did not 
know it was there; so thou mayest have faith in thy heart, the cup 
may be in thy sack, though thou knowest it not. Old Jacob wept for 
his son Joseph when Joseph was alive; so thou mayest weep for want 
of grace, when grace may be alive in thy heart. The seed may be in 
the ground, when we do not see it spring up; so the seed of God may 
be sown in thy heart, though thou dost not perceive it springing up. 
Think not grace is lost because it is hid. 
    Before the kingdom of grace come into the heart, there must be 
some preparation for it; the fallow ground must be broken up: I fear 
the plough of the law has not gone deep enough: I have not been 
humbled enough: therefore I have no grace. 
    God does not prescribe an exact proportion of sorrow and 
humiliation; Scripture mentions the truth of sorrow, but not the 
measure. Some are more flagitous sinners than others, and must have 
a greater degree of humiliation. A knotty piece of timber requires 
more wedges to be driven into it. Some stomachs are fouler than 
others, therefore need stronger physic. But wouldest thou know when 
thou hast been humbled enough for sin? When thou art willing to let 
go thy sins. The gold has lain long enough in the furnace when the 
dross is purged out; so, when the love of sin is purged out, a soul 
is humbled enough for divine acceptation, though not for divine 
satisfaction. Now, if thou art humbled enough, what needs more? If a 
needle will let out the imposthume, what needs a lance? Be not more 
cruel to thyself than God would have thee. 
    If the kingdom of God were within me, it would be a kingdom of 
power; it would enable me to serve God with vigour of soul. But I 
have a spirit of in infirmity upon me, I am weak and impotent, and 
untuned to every holy action. 
    There is a great difference between the weakness of grace and 
the want of grace. A man may have life, though he be sick and weak. 
Weak grace is not to be despised, but cherished. Christ will not 
break the bruised reed. Do not argue from the weakness of grace to 
the nullity. (1) Weak grace will give us a title to Christ as well 
as strong. A weak hand of faith will receive the alms of Christ's 
merits. (2) Weak faith is capable of growth. The scud springs up by 
degrees, first the blade, and then the ear, and then the full corn 
in the ear. The faith that is strongest was once in its infancy. 
Grace is like the waters of the sanctuary, which rose higher and 
higher. Be not discouraged at thy weak faith; though it be but 
blossoming, it will by degrees come to more maturity. (3) The 
weakest grace shall persevere as well as the strongest. A child was 
as safe in the ark as Noah. An infant believer that is but newly 
laid to the breast of the promise, is as safe in Christ as the most 
eminent heroic saint. 
    I fear the kingdom of grace is not yet come, because I find the 
kingdom of sin so strong in me. Had I faith, it would purify my 
heart; but I find much pride, worldliness, and passion. 
    The best of saints have remainders of corruption. 'They had 
their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a 
season.' Dan 7: 12. So in the regenerate, though the dominion of sin 
be taken away, yet the life of it is prolonged for a season. What 
pride was there in Christ's own disciples, when they strove which 
should be greatest! The issue of sin will not be quite stopped till 
death. The Lord is pleased to let the in-being of sin continue, to 
humble his people, and make them prize Christ more. Because you find 
corruptions stirring, do not therefore presently unsaint yourselves, 
and deny the kingdom of grace to be come into your souls. That you 
feel sin is an evidence of spiritual life; that you mourn for it is 
a fruit of love to God; that you have a combat with sin, argues 
antipathy against it. Those sins which you once wore as a crown on 
your head, are now as fetters on the leg. Is not all this from the 
Spirit of grace in you? Sin is in you, as poison in the body, which 
you are sick of, and use all Scripture antidotes to expel. Should we 
condemn all those who have indwelling sin, nay, who have had sin 
sometimes prevailing, we should blot some of the best saints out of 
the Bible. 
    Where the kingdom of grace comes, it softens the heart; but I 
find my heart frozen and congealed into hardness; I can hardly 
squeeze out one tear. Do flowers grow on a rock? Can there be any 
grace in such a rocky heart? 
    There may be grief where there are no tears. The best sorrow is 
rational. In your judgement you esteem sin the most hyperbolical 
evil, you have a disgust against it which is a rational sorrow, and 
such as God will accept. A Christian may have some hardness in his 
heart, and yet not have a hard heart. A field may have tares in it, 
and we call it a field of wheat, so in the best heart there may be a 
mixture of hardness, yet because there is some softness and melting, 
God looks upon it as a soft heart. Therefore, Christian, dispute not 
against thyself, if thou canst find but this one thing, that the 
frame and temper of thy soul be holy. Art thou still breathing after 
God, delighting in him? Is the complexion of thy soul heavenly? 
Canst thou say, as David, 'When I awake, I am still with thee'? Psa 
139: I8. As colours laid in oil, or a statue carved in gold abide, 
so does a holy complexion; the soul is still pointing towards God. 
If it be thus with thee, assure thyself the kingdom of grace is come 
into the soul. Be not unkind to God, to deny any work of his Spirit, 
which he has wrought in thee. 
    Use 1. For exhortation. Labour to find that this kingdom of 
grace is set up in your hearts. While others aspire after earthly 
kingdoms, labour to have the kingdom of God within you. Luke 17: 21. 
The kingdom of grace must come into us before we can go into the 
kingdom of glory. The motives to this are: 
    (1) The kingdom of God within is our spiritual beauty. The 
kingdom of grace adorns a person, and sets him off in the eyes of 
God and of angels. It makes the king's daughter all glorious within. 
Psa 45: 13. Grace sheds a glory and lustre upon the soul. As the 
diamond to the ring, so is grace to the soul. A heart beautified 
with grace has the King of heaven's picture hung in it. 
    (2) The kingdom of grace set up in the heart is our spiritual 
defence. Grace is called 'the armour of light.' Rom 13: 12. It is 
light for beauty, and armour for defence. He who has the kingdom of 
grace within him, is 'strengthened with all might according to 
[God's] glorious power.' Col 1: 11. He has the shield of faith, the 
helmet of hope, and the breastplate of righteousness. His armour can 
never be shot through. He is fortified against the assaults of 
temptation, and the terrors of hell. 
    (3) The kingdom of grace set up in the heart brings peace with 
it. 'The kingdom of God is righteousness and peace.' Rom 14: 17. 
There is a secret peace proceeding from holiness. Peace is the best 
blessing of a kingdom. Pax una triumphis innumeris melior [One peace 
is better than countless victories]. The kingdom of grace is a 
kingdom of peace. Grace is the root, peace is the flower that grows 
out of it. It is pax in procella [peace in a storm], such peace that 
no worldly affliction can shake. The doors of Solomon's temple were 
made of olive tree, carved with open flowers; so in a gracious heart 
is the olive of peace, and the open flowers of joy. I Kings 6: 32. 
    (4) The kingdom of grace enriches the soul. A kingdom has its 
riches. A believer is said to be rich in faith. James 2: 5. How rich 
is he who has God for his God, who is heir to all the promises! Heb 
6: 17. A man may be rich in bills and bonds, but a believer may say 
as Peter, 'Silver and gold have I none (Acts 3: 6); yet I am rich in 
bills and bonds, an heir to all God's promises;' and to be heir to 
the promises, is better than to be heir to the crown. 
    (5) When the kingdom of grace comes, it fixes and establishes 
the heart. 'O God, my heart is fixed.' Psa 57: 7. Before the kingdom 
of grace comes, the heart is very unfixed and unsettled; like a ship 
without ballast, like quicksilver that cannot be made to fix: but 
when the kingdom of grace comes, it does stabilire animum, fixes the 
heart on God; and when the heart is fixed, it rests quiet as in its 
    (6) This kingdom of grace is distinguishing. It is a sure 
pledge of God's love. God may give kingdoms in anger; but wherever 
the kingdom of grace is set up, it is in love. He cannot give grace 
in anger. The crown always goes with the kingdom; let us therefore 
be ambitious of this kingdom of grace. 
    What must we do to obtain this kingdom? 
    (1) In general, take pains for it. We cannot have the world 
without labour, and do we think to have grace? 'If thou seekest her 
as silver.' Prov 2: 4. A man may as well expect a crop without 
sowing, as grace without labour. We must not think to have grace as 
Israel had manna; who did not plough nor sow, but it was rained down 
from heaven upon them. No, we must operam dare, take pains for 
grace. Our salvation cost Christ blood, and will cost us sweat. 
    (2) Let us go to God to set up this kingdom of grace in our 
hearts. He is called the 'God of all grace.' I Pet 5: 10. Say, Lord, 
I want this kingdom of grace, I want a humble, believing heart. O 
enrich me with grace; let thy kingdom come. Be importunate suitors. 
As Achsah said to her father Caleb, 'Thou hast given me a south 
land, give me also springs of water;' so, Lord, thou hast given me 
enough of the world, here is a south land; but Lord, give me the 
upper springs of grace; let thy kingdom come. Josh 15: 19. What is 
the venison thou hast given me, without the blessing? When we are 
importunate with God, and will take no denial, he will set up his 
kingdom within us. 
    (3) Keep close to the word preached. The word preached, is 
virga virtutis, the rod of God's strength; it is the great engine he 
uses for setting up the kingdom of grace in the heart. 'Faith comes 
by hearing.' Rom 10: 17. Though God could work grace immediately by 
his Spirit, or by the ministry of angels from heaven, yet he chooses 
to work by the word preached. This is the usual mean, by which he 
sets up the kingdom of grace in the heart; and the reason is, 
because he has put his divine sanction upon it; he has appointed it 
for the means of working grace, and he will honour his own 
ordinance. I Cor 1: 21. What reason could be given why the waters of 
Damascus should not have as sovereign virtue to heal Naaman's 
leprosy, as the waters of Jordan, but this, that God appointed and 
sanctified the waters of Jordan to heal, and not the others? Let us 
keep the word preached, because the power of God goes along with it. 
    Use 2. For thanksgiving. What will you be thankful for, if not 
for a kingdom? Grace is the best blessing, it is the result and 
product of God's electing love. In setting up his kingdom of grace, 
God has done more for you than if he had made you kings and queens; 
for you are born of God, and of the blood-royal of heaven. Oh! 
admire and exalt free grace. 'Make [God's] praise glorious.' Psa 66: 
2. The apostle seldom mentions the work of grace, but he joins 
praise. 'Giving thanks unto the Father, which has made us meet to be 
partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.' Col 1: 12. If 
God has crowned you with the kingdom of grace, do you crown him with 
your praises. 
    IV. We pray that the kingdom of grace may increase, that it may 
come more into us: and this may answer a question. 
    Why do we pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' when the kingdom of grace 
is already come into the soul? 
    Though the kingdom of grace be already come into us, yet still 
we must pray, 'Thy kingdom come,' that grace may be increased, and 
that this kingdom may flourish still more in our souls. Till we come 
to live among the angels, we shall need to pray this prayer, 'Thy 
kingdom come.' Lord, let thy kingdom of grace come in more power 
into my soul; let grace be more augmented and increased. 

The Lord's Prayer
by Thomas Watson
(continued in file 8...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-09: watlp-07.txt