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  • The Fourth Clause.

    Chapter V.—The Fourth Clause.

    “Thy kingdom come” has also reference to that whereto “Thy will be done” refers—in us, that is. For when does God not reign, in whose hand is the heart of all kings?8790

    8790 Prov. xxi. 1.

    But whatever we wish for ourselves we augur for Him, and to Him we attribute what from Him we expect. And so, if the manifestation of the Lord’s kingdom pertains unto the will of God and unto our anxious expectation, how do some pray for some protraction of the age,8791

    8791 Or, “world,” sæculo.

    when the kingdom of God, which we pray may arrive, tends unto the consummation of the age?8792

    8792 Or, “world,” sæculi. See Matt. xxiv. 3, especially in the Greek. By “praying for some protraction in the age,” Tertullian appears to refer to some who used to pray that the end might be deferred (Rigalt.).

    Our wish is, that our reign be hastened, not our servitude protracted. Even if it had not been prescribed in the Prayer that we should ask for the advent of the kingdom, we should, unbidden, have sent forth that cry, hastening toward the realization of our hope. The souls of the martyrs beneath the altar8793

    8793 altari.

    cry in jealousy unto the Lord, “How long, Lord, dost Thou not avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?”8794

    8794 Rev. vi. 10.

    for, of course, their avenging is regulated by8795

    8795 So Dodgson aptly renders “dirigitur a.”

    the end of the age. Nay, Lord, Thy kingdom come with all speed,—the prayer of Christians the confusion of the heathen,8796

    8796 [See Ad Nationes, p. 128, supra.]

    the exultation of angels, for the sake of which we suffer, nay, rather, for the sake of which we pray!


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