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II. The second general head is, to Thew, How it is a valuable mercy and privilege of the living, that they have access to praise God in the world. The
living Mould value this as their privilege, . 1. In regard they might justly ere now have
been put beyond ali posibility of praising God at all; but might have been blafpheming in hell, through extreme annuith and despair : Lam. iii. 22. It is of the Lord i mercies that we are not consumed, because his inpafsions fail not. The rich man in hell, tor nted in the fame, had no access to praile Gac. ile burden of wrath lying on the damned there, will hold down for cver their praises, and change thein to howlings. .
2. In regard of the honour thereby to be brought to God in the world; which in itself is inost valu. able, and therefore is man's chief end : 1 Cor. x. 31. Whether therefore ye eat or drink, or whatroever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Compared with Psal. 1. 23. Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth ine. He lives to good purpose, that lives to the honour of God: and he that doth not fo live, doth at belt 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
III. The third general head is, to Thew, How 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, have no access more to praise God in this world, Pfal. cxv. 17. There have been many generations on earth before us; and millions of men and women 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
the time shall be on the stage. There will be generations after us, as there have been before us; and the work will be devolved on the next generation for their time; with whom we, being gone off the Nage, will have no more access to join, than those already dead have to join with us. And then they will go, and another rise up in their stead, and get the work put into their hands, none of the former to meddle with’it: and fo on to the end. The rea. fons are,
11, There is no returning to this world when once gone. Death is a Aitting for good and all, never to come back, Job vii. 9. 10. Job was fenfible of this, Chap. X. 21. when he said,- I go whence I Mall not return, even to the land of darks nels, and the Madow of death. We must praise him before we lie down in the grave, or never ; for there is no rising out of it to that work, Pfal. lxxxviii. 10. We cannot come back, and God will not bring us back.
2dly, The state and business of the two worlds are, by an unalterable purpose, made quite different. Here men are in a state of trial; there in a settled state for ever, according to their management in the trial. Here is the place of working at the command and for the honour of the Master ; there is the place of the reward of their works. If the sun should come back over from west to eaft, and so make night day too, thc ordinance of heaven would be quite altered; so no body expects it. As little is the access of any but the lic ving, to praise God in the world, to be expected or looked for.
3dly, This world is under a peculiar mark of divine indignation, as defiled by fin, Gen. ii. 17.;