« PreviousContinue »
Q3. Who, and what hinders the propagation of it?
A. Antichrift, that man of fin, hinders. it externally; 2 Theff. ii. 4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; fo that he as God fitteth in the temple of God, fhewing himself that he is God. The devil and mens lufts internally; I Theff. ii. 18. Wherefore we would have come unto you (even I Paul) once and again; but Satan hindered us. Luke xix. 14. But his citizens hated him, and sent a meffenger after him, faying, We will not have this man to reign over us.
Q. 4. What then is the defire of all good men, with respect to the coming of the gofpel kingdom?
A. That all nations may be brought to Chrift by the preaching of it, and fo Chrift's kingdom be greatly exalted and enlarged; Ifa. ii. 2. And it fhall come to pafs in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and fhall be exalted above the hills; and all nations fhall flow unto it.
Q5. What is the second thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. It fignifies and intends the work of faving grace wrought in mens fouls; Luke xvii. 21.-Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Q.6. Why is this work of grace called the kingdom of God? A. Because where-ever faving grace comes, it fubdues the foul to Chrift's fceptre; 2 Cor. x. 5. Cafting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Chrift.
Q. 7. Wherein confifts the kingdom of grace
A. It confifts not in external rites and obfervances, but in righteoufnefs, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghoft; Rom. xiv. 17. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the holy Ghoft
Q8. What do we ask of God in this petition, with refpect to this kingdom of grace?
A. Herein we defire not only our own personal progressive fanctification, but the fanctification of others all the world over; Acts xxvi. 29. And Paul faid, I would to God that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almoft, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.
Q. 9. What is the third thing here meant by the kingdom of God?
A. By it is here meant the future ftate of glory and bleffed
nefs; 1 Cor. xv. 50. Now this I fay, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, &c.
Q.10. Why is the heavenly state called the kingdom of God? A. This is called the kingdom of God, because in that state God reigns over his people gloriously, there being no rebellion in them in the leaft degree; Luke xx. 36.-For they are equal unto the angels, and are the children of God, being the children of the refurrection. And they reign with Chrift; Rev. iii. 21. To him that overcometh, will I grant to fit with me: in my throne, &c.
Q.11. What do we defire in prayer for the coming of this kingdom?
A. We defire not only our preservation in our paffage to that fate of glory; 1 Pet. v. 10. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Chrift Jefus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, ftablifh, ftrengthen, fettle you. But the haftening of it to ourselves and others; Rev. xxii. 20.-Amen, even fo, come Lord Jefus.
Q. 12. What is the firft inftruction hence?
A. That the gofpel is an invaluable mercy, as it is the inftrument of bringing us into Chrift's gracious and glorious kingdom; Acts xxvi. 18. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of fins, and inheritance among them which are fanctified by faith that is in me. Q. 13. What is the second inference from hence?
A. That many men really hate and oppofe the very thing they pray for.
Q. 14. What is the laft inftruction hence ?
A. That how firmly foever Satan's and Antichrift's kingdom feem to be founded in the world, they muft and fhall fall before the daily prayers of the faints.
Concerning the doing of God's Will.
Queft. 103. W
Hat do we pray for in the third petition? A. In the third petition, which is, [Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven], we pray, that God, by grace, would make us able and willing to know, obey, and submit to his will in all things, as the angels do in heaven.
Q. What will of God is here intended?
A. Not the will of his decree; for that is in himself alone;' 1 Cor. ii. 11. The things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.
Q. 2. What will then is here meant ?
A. The will of his providence may be here meant; Pfalm cxxv. 6. Whatsoever the Lord pleafed, that did he in heaven, and in earth, and in the feas, and all deep places. And Pfalm cxix. 89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is fettled in heaven. Ver. 91. They continue this day according to thine ordinances; for all are thy fervants.
Q. 3. How are we to understand the doing of this will of providence in heaven?
A. (r.) As it is done by the fun, moon, and ftars; Pfalm cxix. 89. Thy word is fettled in heaven. Ver. gr. They continue this day according to thine ordinances. Pfalm xix. 6. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. (2.) As it is done by angels; Pfalm civ. 4. Who maketh the angels fpirits, his minifters a flaming fire. Heb. i. 14. Are they not all miniftering fpirits, fent forth to minister for them who fhall be heirs of falvation?
Q. 4. How do these perform the will of God's providence ? A. (1.) The heavenly bodies do it evenly, conftantly, and unweariedly; Pfalm civ. 19. He appointeth the moon for feafons, the fun knoweth his going down. (2.) The angels do it fpeedily, voluntarily, chearfully, and fo knowingly'; Pfalm ciji. 21. Ye minifters of his, that do his pleasure.
Q. 5. Muft we be agents in this providential will?
A. Yes, we must; Acts xiii. 36. For David, after he had, ferved his generation by the will of God, fell on fleep. Q. 6. How must we do it?
A. By employing our abilities, faculties, and interests, in the duties of our particular callings, and by moving conflantly, prudently, and vigorously in our own fphere, and so imitate those in heaven.
Q. 7. Why do we pray that God's will of providence may be done by us?
A. Because we are his creatures, and the moft noble inftruments of the inferior world; and therefore we fhould be willing to be acted by him, and active for him; and because this will of providence is always juft, good, and true, and for his own glory; Pfalm cxlv. 17. The Lord is righteous in all his ways, and holy in all his works. Pfalm cxix. 89. For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven. Ver. 91. They contirue this day according to thine ordinances; for all are thy fer
8. What other will of God is here meant ?
A. The will of his precepts, and this is chiefly intended. Q. 9. And how is this will of God done in heaven?
A. By the angels it is done univerfally, chearfully, conftantly, humbly, thankfully, loyally, readily; Pfalm ciii. 20. Blefs the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in ftrength, that do his com mandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. And fo it is done by the faints in heaven; Rev. vii. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and ferve him day and night in his temple; And chap. xxii. 3. And his fervants fhall serve him.
Q. 10. Do we pray then that we may thus do the will of God? A. Yes; for tho' we cannot perfectly without fin do it, yet that is our duty; Mat. v. ult. Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. And in all other particulars we may and we muft imitate them herein; Pfalm Gxix. 6. Then fhall I not be afhamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments. Verfe 14. I have rejoiced in the way of thy teftimonies as much as in all riches Verfe 60. I made hafte, and delayed not to keep thy commandments. Verfe 112, &c. I have inclined my heart to perform thy ftatutes always even unto the end.
Q. 11. How must we know God's will?
A. Not notionally and rationally only, but fpiritually alfo,; Cor. ii. 14. They are spiritually discerned.
Q. 12. Why is knowing God's will placed here before doing it, &c.?
A. Because the understanding is the leading faculty, without ch it is impoffible there fhould be any obedience; Prov. xix. 2. Alfo that the foul be without knowledge it is not good. Jer. v. 4. Therefore I faid, Surely thefe are poor, they are foolish; for they know not the way of the Lord, nor the judgment of their God.
Q. 13. Why pray we to God for this knowledge; can we not know it of ourselves?
A. No, it is the fpecial gift and grace of God; Gal. i. 15, 16. But when it pleafed God, who feparated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the Heathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood. Eph. i. 17, 19. That the God of our Lord Jefus Chrift, the Father of glory, may give unto you the fpirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. And what is the exceeding greatnefs of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Eph. v. 8. For ye were fometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord.
Q. 14. Why do we pray that we may obey; can we not do it of our own free-will when we know it?
A. No, for our wills are stubborn and rebellious against God's commands, as well as our minds ignorant of them; Rom. viii. 7. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not fubject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. Ezek. xxxvi. 25, 26. Then will I fprinkle clean water upon you, and fhall be clean; from all your filthinefs, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart alfo will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the ftony heart out of your flefh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. Phil. ii. 13. For it is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
Q. 15. What is meant by fubmitting to God's will?
A. (1.) Either a voluntary subjection of foul, and a preparedness actually to do his will: Or, (2.) A voluntary and filent fubmiffion to his will of providence in affliction: but in this particular we cannot imitate thofe in heaven, because no cross ever befals them.
Q. 16. Why is will added in all things?
A. Becaufe partial obedience is no obedience; he that does not obey God in every thing, obeys him in nothing; Jam. ii. 10. For whofoever fhall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
Q. 17. Why do we pray that God by his grace would work this will in us, and by us?
A. Because it is free grace that determines it; 2 Tim. i. 9. Who hath faved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Chrift Jefus, before the world. began. And efficacious grace that works it in us, and enables us to do it ; Eph. v. 8. For ye were fometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord. Verse 19. Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Q. 18. What is the firft inference from hence?
A. That it is man's glory and felicity to be conformed to the will of God; Prov. xii. 26. The righteous is more excellent than his neighbour. Pfal. xix. 10, 11. More to be defired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; fweeter also than honey and the honey-comb. Moreover, by them is thy fervant warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward.
Q. 19. What is the second inference?
A. That we muft mortify in ourselves every luft that contradicts God's will, and renounce without ourselves every thing