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actions ; but had rather leave it to others to sanctify the name of God practically, than undertake it themselves. This is a common hypocrisy (for so I must call it), and so indeed are all other petitions, which are not offered up to God in sincerity, with real desires, and diligent endeavours, that our practice may be answerable to our prayers.* In what, then, it is asked, do these duties consist, which devolve upon us in the use of this petition?
First. That we are careful to reverence Jehovah by our walk and conversation. There is a moral obligation arising from it, which we should always bear in our minds, and observe in our actions. We should be concerned “to walk in his fear, and in the comfort of the Holy Ghost;" and this is the way for “believers to be the more added unto Him." Unless this be our care, we do but mock his perfections, when we thus approach his footstool. There should be also a life of prayer and practical religion. We must carry out the principle into every duty. The tradesman must take it with him into his daily commerce; the husbandman into his field ; the father must exemplify it in his family; the master in his household; and the servant in all the labours of his hands. In all religious services it must be uppermost. He must be worshipped in a manner agreeable to his nature and directions: “as a spirit, by the spirit; and as a God of truth, in truth.” To this we are called, for such is the meaning of these exhortations: “Let your light so shine before men, that others seeing your good works, may glorify your Father which is in heaven.” “Whether, therefore, ye eat or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” “Walk worthy of God unto all pleasing.” “ Ye are not your own, for ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God with your bodies and
• See a volume of excellent sermons on Prayer, by the late Rev. John Whitty, Lyme,
spirits which are God's."* “ Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me; and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I show the salvation of God.”+
Secondly. There must be zeal for the promotion of the divine glory. Without this principle, prayer is an insult to heaven. The means and the end are connected; and it is impiety to expect the latter, unless we use the former. "I have planted, Apollos watered, and God gave the increase," was the grateful acknowledgment of an apostle; but the increase was given to faithful and arduous labour. The doctrine of divine influence is frequently abused by the professors of Christianity. Some pervert its design, by leaving all to God; and others despise it, by wholly overlooking it. It is the scriptural union of prayer with effort, that I seriously recommend to you. Combine them, and you take the most effectual method for the attainment of the request you make. And is there not reason to apprehend, that while this petition escapes their lips every day, yet thousands, in the professing world, live wholly to themselves, and concentrate all their care and anxiety into the advancement of their own name? Can they be sincere in their profession ? Will the Almighty accept such heartless service? Is it any thing better than miserable infidelity? Are any of my hearers guilty of such a crime? Dethrone, I beseech you, the idol of self from your heart, or else renounce the use of this divine supplication. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked.” He will be glorified ; his name shall be revered, though He will not regard your intercessions. Be consistent, therefore, brethren, and let your actions correspond with your professions" for faith is dead being alone.”
Finally. How necessary is impartial enquiry into your state! Are you sanctified? Have you been separated
from an unholy world by the spirit of God? Is the divine image impressed upon you? Is the glory of the Redeemer your highest aim, and his revealed will your guide? Do you find your soul full of determination in his service? Ah! in how narrow a compass does the whole of this matter lie. Are sin and iniquity offensive to us, and do we aspire after conformity to Him“ who was holy, harmless, and undefiled ?” Have we made a cordial and grateful dedication of ourselves to his service?
Then we may indulge the hope that his “name” is sanctified in us, and that we shall finally join the everlasting choir of the redeemed, in singing holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty,” in the mansions of purity and joy.
But perhaps it is otherwise! My eye affects my heart, when I look round on some of my congregation-always kind, and respectful, and attentive,—but undecided still ! I charge you once more, “deceive not yourselves.”* If you are not partakers of the grace of sanctification, whatever be the ultimate destiny of the heathen, who hallow not the name of God, your end will be most awful! A nominal faith-an orthodox creed-and the profoundest veneration for this beautiful prayer—will not save you? There must be “a new birth unto righteousness,"-a personal application of the redemption of Christ to the soul. To the perfection of his atonement, and the efficacy of his grace, I affectionately commend you. Amen.
• Jer. xxxvii. 9.
MATTHEW vi. 10.
" THY KINGDOM COME; THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH,
AS IT IS IN HEAVEN."
We combine these two petitions, because they refer to the same object--the one being the means, and the other the end. To “hallow" the Divine Name, we have already seen, is to declare the glory and grace of God throughout the world; and the reign of Messiah is the powerful engine by which that will be effected. And when He shall have obtained “ dominion from sea to sea, .and from the river unto the ends of the earth,' " then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father: when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”*
It is generally considered by learned commentators, that the kingdom, or rather the reign, of Christ mentioned in the textt means, the moral empire of the Messiah frequently foretold in prophecy, and generally designated
• 1 Cor. xv. 24-26.
+ See Dr. Campell, in loco. D D
the kingdom of grace. For that it cannot intend the providential government of God is immediately obvious. That kingdom is come already—it ruleth over all; every thing in the universe is under its control, and subject to its authority. It embraces the revolutions of empires and the death of a sparrow—the mighty movements of the celestial bodies, and the fluttering existence of the insect of an hour. “ He doeth as it seemeth him good among the armies of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth.”
“ Life, death, and hell, and worlds unknown,
Hang on his firm decree ;
Nor borrows leave to be."
The dominion, therefore, to which the text refers, and for which we are directed to pray, respects the reign of Messiah, as King of saints, over all the hearts of men. This moral government is foretold in the page of inspired prophecy with all conceivable clearness.
« For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."* Daniel foretels its commencement, its progress, and its eternal perpetuity, with equal precision and distinctness. “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed : and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces, and consume all
Isaiah ix. 6, 7.