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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol III:
Tertullian: Part III: The Fourth Clause.

Early Church Fathers  Index     

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 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 when the kingdom of God, which we pray may arrive, tends unto the consummation of the age? 8792 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 altar 8793 cry in jealousy unto the Lord, “How long, Lord, dost Thou not avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” 8794 for, of course, their avenging is regulated by 8795 the end of the age. Nay, Lord, Thy kingdom come with all speed,—the prayer of Christians the confusion of the heathen, 8796 the exultation of angels, for the sake of which we suffer, nay, rather, for the sake of which we pray!


Footnotes

683:8790

Prov. xxi. 1.

683:8791

Or, “world,” sæculo.

683:8792

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.).

683:8793

altari.

683:8794

Rev. vi. 10.

683:8795

So Dodgson aptly renders “dirigitur a.”

683:8796

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


Next: The Fifth Clause.

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