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mankind, who are now on the stage of action, instead of growing up into the fair resemblance of the spirits of just men made perfect in heaven, are contracting deeper and deeper shades of moral guilt, and becoming more and more assimilated to the terrific character of those apostate angels who are reserved in everlasting chains, under darkness, unto the judgment of the great day. The will of God, I mean his revealed will, is not done; his authority is not submitted to; his laws are not obeyed. Nor will they be obeyed until the Saviour is known, and trusted in, as the only refuge for sinners, throughout the whole habitable globe : for in
way, and by no other influence, will man cease to be a rebel against his Maker, and learn to do bis will as the angels do in Heaven.
Thus, my hearers, have I attempted to unfold the meaning of my text. It may have an indirect reference to the secret will of God. So far it requires that we should pray, with the most entire confidence in the wisdom and justice of our Heavenly Father, that he would direct and overrule all events, according to the counsel of his most holy will; that he would bring good out of evil; and, by the very opposition and wickedness of his enemies, display his most glorious perfections, and promote the eternal good of all who love him. But the petitions contained in the text refer inore directly to his revealed will. In this sense, they require, in one word, that we should pray for the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom, and that all men may
brought to the knowledge and love of the truth as it is in Jesus.
II. I proceed to consider with what spirit we should pray, “ Thy kingdom come: Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven."
First, These petitions should be offered with a spirit of love-of love to God, of love to his Son, of love to the souls of our fellow-men-How can we desire that the will of any being should be carried into effect unless we love that being ? Where a character is hateful in our view, how do we long to controul and check the purposes of him who pos . sesses it! On the contrary, where the character is amiable, we admire to see it exhibited in all its various expressions of loveliness. We are anxious that the will of its possessor should be constantly accomplished. To pray, therefore, that the will of God may be done, is but solemn mockery and insult, unless we love God. His character, as displayed in the works of creation, of providence and redemption-combining, in its full perfection, the beauty of unbounded benevolence, the purity of entire holiness, the splendor of matchless wisdom, the might of supreme power, and the majesty inflexible justice-must be the unceasing object of our veneration and love, if we mean to cherish the true spirit of prayer, and to worship the infinite Spirit in spirit and in truth.
Again; as we know it to be impossible that his will should be done in earth as it is in heaven, until
the proud and rebellious heart of man be renovated by the grace of that Spirit which his Son died to purchase, we cannot offer these petitions in sincerity without love to the Redeemer. Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God!" was the language of our Saviour, when he undertook to reconcile the world unto God by his death. “By the which will we are sanctified, through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." There is then but one way of becoming holy. It is by faith in Jesus. His blood alone can purify our souls. His righteousness alone is our refuge from the wrath to
His Spirit alone can restore to us the image of Heaven which we have lost, and make us, like the angel's above, the cheerful ministers of God's will. When we pray, therefore, that this will may be done by all the inhabitants of this lower world, great should be our affection to that Saviour who
up that he might draw all men unto him; strong should be our faith in his merits, unwavering our confidence in his promises, and ardent our attachment to his cause.
Again ; the same sincerity, requisite in offering up these petitions, makes it necessary that our hearts should be enlarged with love to the souls of our fellow-men. How can we present these requests at the Throne of Grace, without commiserating the hapless condition of millions who refuse to do the will of God? Could we but lift the veil which conceals eternity from our view, and look
with a single glance into that prison of despair in which those who once opposed the will of God in heaven are confined against the judgment of the great day; could we anticipate the awful solempities of that day, and hear the voice of the Son of man, saying, “ But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither and slay them before me;" how should we grieve at the world lying in wickedness! How ardently should we desire the salvation of our families, of our friends, of our neighbours, of all mankind! And praying always that God's will might be done in earth as it is in heaven, we should always preserve that spirit of benevolence which the Gospel enjoins. Thus devotion and charity must be kindred graces in the soul; and he has no true love to God, no honest desire for the establishment of his dominion on earth, no sincere wish that the earth may become holy and happy like heaven, whose heart does not glow with love to the souls' of his fellow-men.
Secondly, These petitions should be offered up with a spirit of submission.-Mark, my brethren, the example of Him who came into our world, not to do his own will, but the will of him that sent him. How ardent were his prayers, how unceasing were his efforts, that the will of God might be done in earth as it is in heaven! And how submissive was he to this will, even when it inflicted on his own head the severest trials and sufferings ! You remember the garden of Gethsemane, and the agony which made our Saviour sweat drops of blood.
66 He was
You remember his impassioned entreaty-- O my Father! if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt”-an entreaty thrice repeated in the anticipation of the awful scenes which were before him. He was tempted, or tried in all points, like as we are. Being a man, his human nature shrunk from the horrible agonies of the cross. Yet he bowed in meek submission to the will of his Father in heaven. oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth : he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth."
My brethren,“ be ye followers of Christ as dear children.” When you pray that the will of God may be done in earth as it is in heaven, do not forget that you, individually, are the subjects of this will. The Almighty may for wise purposes call you to mourning, lamentation and woe, on this side the grave: he may deprive you of your dearest earthly comforts ; he may blast your fondest worldly expectations ; he may bring death into your families and to your very bosoms; he may touch your health with the finger of disease, and make it wither ; he may send you days of trouble and nights of pain ; be may command it, and your riches take to themselves wings and fly away: in one word, he may so afflict
you as to leave you but one single solace-the hope of rest beyond the grave. Still if you cherish the true spirit of prayer; if you do indeed long that the will of God may be done in earth as it is in