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Means of communicating Divine Know: ledge in his Time, Whether there be Prophecies, they all fail, whether there be Tongues, they shall cease, is true of all those Methods of Instruction now nam'd, that they shall cease too, and we shall be more immediately taught of God, and more directly influenced by his Divine Spirit, and made to understand by Things themselves,
Furthermore, The Kingdom of Grace is established upon the Sacrifice of Christ's Death, and all our Prayers, and Worship, and Thanksgivings, are as yet accepted by God no otherways than thro' the Intercefli. on of our Mediator, who is Christ the Lord. And this is one plain Reason why the King. dom of the Gospel is called the Kingdom of Christ. But now when the Kingdom of Heaven hereafter shall appear, it will be administred another way. For when the End is come, Christ shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, i Cor. 15:24. that is, he shall deliver up his media. tory Kingdom, as being now fully accom. plish'd, in the perfect Redemption and Sala vation of all his fincere Children and Followers, when he shall have conducted them into his Father's House, perfectly cleansed and purified from all Sin, shining with Innocence and Righteousness, without Spot or Blemish, with glorified Bodies, for the Habitation of immortal. Souls: He shall then
need no farther to intercede for them in Right of his Death, he shall have no more Cause to interpose in their Behalf, as their Highi Priest, to atone for their Sins, or to gain Acceptation of their Persons by his Merits. But all the Power to which he was exalted for the Sake of his Church, the Power of his Royal Priesthood, he will lay down at the feet of the Father, having fully accomplish'd the End for which it was given to him, and then shall all Obedience, and Praise, and Thankfulness, be given immediately to God, without need of Sacrifice; or Mediation, or High Priest. And thus in the Kingdom of Glory, which will be administred in a yet more Divine Way than the Kingdom of Grace is, God will be all in all, as the Apostle speaks. He will immediately fill the Hearts of all Good Men with all Divine Grace, Goodness, and Joy, and immediately receive from them all possible Testimonies of Love, ThankfulDess, and Obedience. Christ sall reign till he hath put all Enemies under his Feet, the last Eneny that shall be destroyed is Death, and that is to be destroyed by the Resurre&tion, and then shall the Kingdom be delivered up to the Father, that is, there shall be an End of the mediatory or sacerdotal Kingdom of Christ, and God will be obey. ed, and honoured, and worshipped, without any need of Sacrifice or Mediator.
4thly, and lastly, The Duration of this Kingdom will be Eternal in that State wherein it shall be established by Christ at the last Judgment. For Christ is not to deliver up the Kingdon to the Father, till he hath saved all to the uttermost that come to God by him, till he hath fet them out of all Danger of their Enemies; whereas the best Men here are in a Laplible State, and had need be often called upon to take heed left they fall. But the Reward of our Perseverance in this State will be a Kingdom that cannot be shaken, an Everlasting Kingdom.
And thus much concerning the Nature of that Kingdom, which is to commence at the second coming of Christ.
The second Point was this, to fhew how it appears to be a fit Matter for our Prayer. For we are sure that it will come, and that God hath appointed the Time when it shall begin.
In answer to this, it must be laid down for a Rule, that we 'may pray for those Things that will certainly come to pass. And then the Meaning of such Prayer is this, that we earnestly defire to see those Things which we pray for.
for And therefore when we pray that the Kingdom of God may come, we do in effect fay, that what God hath promised we do heartily wish and desire. And thus 'when God had promised a great Blessing to'the Jews Absolute
ly, ly, that they had no reason to doubt but it should infallibly be conferred on them, he said nevertheless, I will yet for this be enquired of by the House of Israel, to do it for them, Ezek. 36. 36, 37. In like manner God had Absolutely foretold to them the , coming of the Messias, but yet the pious Jews prayed for his coming, by which they expressed their Longing after his Appearance, their earnest Desire to see the Salvati: on of God. So in like manner the second coming of Christ, which is Absolutely foretold, promised to the Good indeed, but a Thing most dreadful to the Wicked, likewise, I say, the second coming of Christ, and the Kingdom of God, which will then come, is to be the Matter of our earnest Desire and Expectation, and in that Sense we pray for its as St. John, having brought the Prophecies concerning the State of the Church, as far as till Christ's second coming, concludes, He which testifieth these Things saith, Surely I come quickly: Amen, Even so come, Lord Jesus, Rev. 22. 20.
And surely we ought to express our most vehement Expectation and Desire that that Kingdom may come, when the Goodness of God will be most illustriously displayed, when his Mercy is over all his Subjects, when God is known and seen as he is
, when the End of our blelled Lord's Mediation will be fully attained, when the eternal
Laws of Righteousness and Goodness will be perfectly understood and obeyed, when there is no Danger of Sin and Misery for ever. If it be an Happiness so desirable, and deservedly takes up so great a room in our Prayers, that Peace and Rigliteousness, that Unity and Charity, that Quiet and Godliness, that the Blessings of God upon Mankind, and the Virtues of Men may flourish in this imperfect State of Christ's Kingdom upon Earth, with how much more Affection should we long for the coming of that Kingdom, when all these Bler sings will flow in theịr utmost Perfection, and abide without Interruption, and without End? This is that Kingdom of God, fo much for the Benefit of his Servants, that in admitting them thereunto he is said to give them a Kingdom. So faith our Saviour to his Disciples, It is your Father's good Pleasure to give you the Kingdom, Luke 12, 32: So glorious a State it is to be God's Subjects there, that they who are so are thereby' made Kings themselves, and their Reward is said to be no less than that of a Croton of Righteousness, ? Tim. 4. 8.
But then, I beseech you, does not the Petition, even in this Sense, teach us what manner of Persons we ought to be who use it? To what End do we think did our Lord put this Prayer into our Mouths, but that we might be certainly admonished, that