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and should have been destroyed when it was first defiled, had not the Mediator interpofed to keep up the tottering fabric for fome time for the elect's fake, I. xlix. 8. So men are hafted through it, as through a defiled place, and have an opportunity of praifing God by the way. And therefore it cannot be expected, that that opportunity fhall be repeated.

ever

Laftly, When the dead fhall live again, this world fhall be deftroyed, and be no more. As long as we shall lie in our graves, incapable to praife, this world will laft: but when we shall live again at the refurrection, it fhall be confumed by the general conflagration, and be no more. So there is no access to praise God in the world, but for those that now live, and thofe that shall -live, to the end: Rev. xx. 12.-The dead were judged out of thofe things which were written in the books, according to their works. Chap. xxi. 1. And I faw a new heaven, and a new earth: for the firft heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

In the new

heavens and earth, no doubt God will be praised, 2 Pet. iii. 13. but he will have no more praises bere off the hand of any, when once they are gone off the ftage, which will fall down under the laft generation to be on it.

USE 1. of Information. Hence learn,

1. That the business of life is to honour God in the world. And if that be fo, many have been many years in it, that have never yet fallen to their business, nay nor once feriously laid to heart what their business is. O hear the great Mafter saying to you, Matth, xx. 6. Why fłtand ye here Q 3

all

all the day idle? and fee how ye will answer that queftion. Ye are bufy doing nothing, worse than nothing but what have ye done, are you doing, will ye do, for God? Ye are living; but what praise, what honour comes to God by your living? What more honour comes to God by your living, than ye would do him if ye were in the grave? I beleech you confider this, as ye will answer it to God, who hath faid, Mal. i. 6. Afon honoureth his father, and a fervant his master : if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a mafter, where is my fear?

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Object. 1. Some I fear will think, though not fay, that they have other business to fill their heads and hands with, how to get a through bearing in the world for them and theirs. Anf. Ah, is another world not worth your confideration? Or can ye think that ever ye fhall enjoy God in that world, who are not careful to honour him here? Confider what the Lord fays, 1 Sam. ii. 30.—Them that honour me, I will honour; and they that defpife me, fhall be lightly efteemed. To spend all the time you live in wrestling with this world for a through bearing, and after ye are dead to wrestle with the wrath of God for ever, is a fad tryst; better ye had never been born. Be concerned to honour God while ye live ; and God will fee to your provifion while ye live, and make you happy after.

Object. 2. But I have no access to do any thing for the honour of God, in refpect of my circumftances in the world: worldly bufinefs is by Providence laid to my hand for the business of my life.

Anf. 1. It is a common mistake in point of

practice,

practice, that there are any who have no access to honour God in the world. Though fome are placed in higher and more extenfive fpheres of activity for God, yet there is no ftation fo low in the world, but it is a fphere wherein people may honour God, if they have a heart for it. This you may fee verified in the parable of the talents, Matth. xxv. 14. 15. The kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own fervants, and delivered unto them his goods: and unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to every man according to his feveral ability, and ftraightway took his journey. If one is in life, though never fo low, according to the text, he may honour God. If one is a magiftrate, or a church-officer, he has access to honour God among those over whom he is fet. Though he be neither, if he is a perfon of weight: and confideration in the place where he lives; as far as that weight goes, fo far goes the sphere of his activity for God, which he is to fill up by honouring of God. If he is a master of a family, there is a sphere of activity for God he is put in, If he is a fingle member of a family, he has a fphere of activity among other fingle members of it. To this purpose speaks the Apostle, 1 Cor. vii. 24. Brethren, let every man wherein he is called, therein abide with God,

2. It is the honouring of God in our several stations that is the true honouring of him, 1 Cor. vii. 24. just now cited. That we cannot do for the honour of God what does not belong to our station, is so far from being our fin, that it would be a difhonouring of him to attempt it. The moon is useful to the world, though it shines not

by day; the stars too, though they fhine not fo bright as the moon. The hands are useful to the body, though one does not walk on them ; the feet, though one does not fee with them, &c. Are you a child of a family? your bufinefs of life as fuch is to be an obedient, dutiful, pliable child : are you a fervant? yours is to be a faithful, honeft, dutiful fervant. Whatever relation you stand in, ye are to honour God by a confcientious practice of the duties, of your relation.

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1

3. Whatever bufinefs God has laid to your hand, follow it as duty from God laid upon you; fo ye will live to his honour. Hence is that exhortation of the Apoftle, Col. iii. 17. Whatfoever do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jefus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. And verf. 23. Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord. Set about your business as commanded you of God, acting in it as under the eye of God, and looking to his word as your rule, and to the merit of Chrift for God's acceptance of it. Whatever trials and fufferings the Lord lays on you, bear them patiently, because it is his will; and bear them for the fake of Christ that bare greater for us; and look for the acceptance of your bearing them through Chrift. So fhall the honouring of God be the business of your life whatever your circumftances are, high or low.

2. The business of honouring God in the world, formerly in the hands of the former generation, is now devolved on you. See what ye will do with it. To this purpose prophefies the Pfalmift David, Pfal. cxlv. 4. One generation fall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy migh

ty.

ty acts. The former generation of the righteous, by keeping the law, contended with the wicked, and maintained the honour of God in the world; they rowed against the stream of an ungodly crew, in the face of perfecution, fining, confining, banishment, violent death, till they fell by death holding up the ftandard for the honour of God: and then they gave it to you, faying, The living, the living, he fhall praife thee, as I do this day; the father to the children shall make known thy truth. On this I would fay,

If

ift, Ye muft answer for the standard now. it go now while ye live, your life fhall go for ever for it, though ye were left alone to hold it up: Pfal. Ix. 4. Thou haft given a banner to them that fear thee that it may be difplayed because of the truth. Mark viii. ult. Whofoever therefore shall be afhamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and finful generation, of him alfo fhall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels. Take heed then, there is a facred truft committed into your hands; the generations of martyrs all along have conveyed it to you at the expence of their blood, it having been fet up firft at the expence of the

blood of Christ.

2dly, Ye muft either hold it up, or treacheroufly defert into the enemies camp, formed to dif honour God. Hence fays our Lord, Matth. xii. 30. He that is not with me, is against me: and he that gathereth not with me, foattereth abroad. Many fet up for neutralifts; they go not into all excefs with the openly profane, but they are as far from making it the bufinefs of their life to honour God. God will rank fuch with his ene

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