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vens; but the praises above, as high a strain as they are in, reach not hither, to this our native earth.
3. They are praises raised by the way to the heavenly kingdom, which the dead have no more access to join in. The living are upon the road, the dead are at their journey's end. There is a song of praise raised in the houfe of our pilgrimage, Psal. cxix. 54. ; but there is a deep silence in the grave. The wilderness-song is peculiar to the living.
4. They are praises of faith, not of sight : 2 Cor. v. 7. For we walk by faith, not by fight. The saints in glory raife a fong of praise to God, upon their feeing and enjoying; the living faints, upon their believing what their eye hath not seen, 1 Pet. i. 8. Praising of God on what one sees of him, is more comfortable to the party himself: but praifing him, upon what one believes of him, if other circumftances be alike, is more to the honour of God: John xx. 29. Jesus faith unto him, Thomas, because thou haft seen me, thou hast believed: blejed are they that have not
seen, and yet have believed. Rom. iv. 20. 21. Abraham ftaggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God: and being fully persuaded, that what he had promised, he was able also to perform.;
5. lastly, They are praises to God amidst a deal of dishonours done to him. David takes notice of God's covering a table to him in the midst of his enemies, Psal. xxiii. 5.; and God will take notice of praises given him in the midst of thofe that difhonour him : Rev. ü. 13. I know thy works, [wri. ting to the angel of the church in Pergamos), and
where thou dwellest, even where Satan's feat is : and thou holdest faft my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was Nain among you, where Satan dwelleth. The saints in glory praise him, there being none to open a mouth to his dishonour: but living saints praise him, in the face of contradiction by a wicked world : Prov. xxviii. 4. --Such as keep the law, contend with the wicked.
II. The second general head is, to shew, How it is a valuable mercy and privilege of the living, that they have access to praise God in the world. The living should value this as their privilege,
1. In regard they might justly ere now have been put beyond all possibility of praising God at all; but might have been blafpheming in hell, through extreme anguish and despair : Lam. iii. 22. It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not confumed, because his compaffions fail not. The rich man in hell, tormented in the flame, had no access to praise God: the burden of wrath lying on thedamned there, will hold down for cver their prai. fes, and change them to howlings.
2. In regard of the honour thereby to be brought to God in the world; which in itself is most valu. able, and therefore is man's chief end : 1 Cor. x. 31. I'hether therefore ye eat or drink, or what. soever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Compared with Pfal. 1. 23. Whofo offereth praise, glori fieth me. He lives to good purpose, that lives to the honour of God: and he that doth not so live, doth at best but trifle away a life, never reaching the main end of it. Nothing should be so dear to us as God's honour; and therefore our all must be
taid out on it as he calls for it, Luke xiv. 26. And it is the mercy of life, that we have accefs to honour him in the world.
3. In regard of the good to be thereby done to others. The view of this made Paul content to abide out of heaven for some time ; as you may fee, Philip. i. 23. 24. I am in a prait betwist two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Chrift; which is far better i nevertheless, to abide in the flesh, is more needful for you. O what a satisfying thought must it be, to be inftrumental towards the saving of a soul from hell, and bringing it to acquaintance with Christ! No body knows what a good word, or a good example, at a time may do: and to this the living have access only; but once dead, men can be no more serviceable to the world of mankind : Eccl. ix. 10.-For there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goeft.
4. It is an honour to serve and horoür God in the world. This makes a man truly worthy and honourable. The dignity of the master, and the work, reflects an honour on the servant that does it. Therefore says the Psalmist, Pfal. Ixxxiv. 1o. A day in the courts is better than a thousand : I. had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. And since no master is so honourable as God is, it must be then a peculiar honour to be serviceable to him, Heb. xi.
5. This is the only true balance of that meanness, misery, and trouble that attends this life. Considering the spiritual original, make, and vask capacity of the soul of man; it will appear but a
very mean thing to be taken up in eating, drinking, decking; yea, in building, planting, work. ing, &c. on this cursed earth. From the seat of the blessed could we take our prospect, men so employed here would appear but as a company of emmets busy in a hillock. The troubles that attend this life are innumerable ; and they fly about us, as the midges do in a hot summer-day. All which viewed by the foul, are apt to make a poble mind fick of this life, in its best appearances; as a bird would be of the cage. The only balance for all this is, that in it there is access to praife God in the world. Hereby the meanest things are ennobled, and the hardeft things foftencd, that God is to be honoured in these.
6. As men have access to praise God in this world, they have access to raise their reward in another world. Men think it a great matter 10 have access to raise an estate for themselves and theirs : but we have access, by our honouring of God in this world, to raise our reward in the o ther. For though the Lord doth not give eternal glory for our works, he gives it according to them : 2 Cor. ix. 6. He which soweth Sparingly, Mall reap also Sparingly : 'and be which foweth bountifully, shall reap also bountifully. And they that have shined here in usefulnels molt, will shine there in glory mott: Dan. xii. 3. They that be wise, mall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness, as the stars for ever and ever. Compared with 1 Cor. xy: 1. There is one glory of the fun, and another glury of the moon, and another glory of the fors; for one ftar differeth from another fiar in glory.
7. lastly, The praising of God carries a reward in its bofom, to be enjoyed in time: Pfal. xix. JI. --- In keeping of them (the judgments of the Lord] there is great reward. It is good, pleasant, and comely, Psal. cxlvii. 1. There is a secret fatisfaction in one's having done his duty; endeavoura ing to live to the honour of God, 2 Cor. i. 128 And particularly it makes a pleasant reflection, when one is come to the end of his course : as in the case of Paul, 2 Tim. iv. 7. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Compared with what our Lord says, John xvii. 4. I have glorified thee on the earth: 1 have finished the work which thou gave me to do. And he that praiseth God to others, is himself partaker of the fruits:
III. The third general head is; to shex, Hot this access to praise God in the world, is and will be the peculiar mercy of the living
1. It is the peculiar mercy of us who are now living on the face of the earth; it is peculiar, I say, to us at this time. They who are yet unborn, can do nothing, since as yet they are not: they who are now dead, though yet they are in being, bave no access more to praile God in this world, Psal. cxv. 17. There have been many generations on earth before us; and millions of men and won men are gone by death from hence into another world, who sometimes had their turn of access to this praise : but now, though they are, yet not one of them all has access to join us in praising God.
2. In all time to come, to the end of the world, this privilege will be confined to those who for