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ends, as a precious, none-such, pasting opportu. nity ; every filing of it is to be gathered up as gold sparkling. Hence Paul exhorts to redeen the time, because the days are evil, Eph. v. 16.
USE 2. of Reproof to several sorts of persons.
1. To those who look on the business of praising and honouring God in the world as a burden. In itself it is the mercy of life ; but they treat it as the plague of life. They are, as Doeg, detain. ed before the Lord; and any holy exercise is a weariness to them ; as was the case with Ifrael, Amos viii. 5. When will the new moon be
gone, that we may sell corn? and the Sabbath, that we may set forth wheat ? The Lord takes norice of this temper of spirit, Mal
. i. 13. Ye Said also, Behold, what a weariness is it, and ye have snuffed at it, faith the Lord of hofts. O how would ye tåke with heaven? but be sure that ye will never get there in that case, as not being made mert to be partakers of the inheritance of the Saints in light, Col. i. 12. Ye will be eased of that burden, but for a heavier one, Rev. xvi. ult.
2. To those who look on it as none of their bus finess, whoever else be concerned in it. They make no profession of living to the honour of God, and their practice is conform. This speaks you neither to look on God as your Mafler, nor yet as your Father, Mal. i. 6.' And if so, doubtless ye cannot look for his reward; nor for the éter: nal inheritance of his children : where then will lie the gain of this liberty which you take to yourselves ?
3. To those who spend their life without conlideration of the chief business of life. They
Spend their years as a tale that is told, Pfal.,
4. To those who do delay the business of honouring God, till they shall be near death. Many such off-putters are there, who can never find the time to begin their work, though they do not want thoughts of it; as was the case with Felix, Acts xxiv. 25. who said to Paul, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee. When they are young, they put off till they be old ; then, till they be going to die; when sickness takes them, they put off still in hopes of recovery ; when they are past hopes, they are not capable for it; and so the soul is loft. Mean while, all they are concerned for at best, is but their own safety, not God's hom nour; and being regardless of this latter, no wonder they fall short of the former.
5. lafly, To those whose life is a life of dishon nouring God, by secret and open wickednefs and untenderness. And this seems to be the general case of this generation, by which we appear to be a generation of God's wrath: Micah vii. 2. 4. The good man is perished out of the earth and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood: they hunt every man his brother
with a net. The best of them is as a brier : the most upright is parper than a thorn-hedge : the day of thy watchmen, and thy visitation cometh ; now mall be their perplexity. Corruption of life and manners is become universal, so that people are become shameless in their sin, and proof against conviction from the word, being so hardened under the softening means of grace, that the case is grown hopeless; all which cannot miss soon or late to bring down some rousing stroke, Jer. vi. 15. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination nay, they were not at all apamed, neither could they blus: therefore they Mall fall among them that fall : at the time that I visit them, they Mall be call down, faith the Lord.
Use 3. of Exhortation. Make it the business of your
life to live to the honour of God. Quest. How shall we do that?
Anf. 1. Honour him by faith: Rom. iv. 20. Abraham Jaggered not at the promise of God through unbelief ; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God. Faith gives God the honour of all his glori. ous perfections as manifested in the word, and without faith there is no acceptable honouring of him. Therefore the Christian life is a life of faith, Gal. ij. 20. And honour him,
if, By believing on his Son for salvation, receiving and resting on him as your Saviour, to save you from sin and wrath : 1 John iii. 23. This is his commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. If ye honour not God this way, ye honour him pot at all, John V. 23. God has sent his Son in the character of Savicur of the world, 1 John iv. 14. : put your case in his hand, that
fin, and fanctified by him, and saved from wrath through him. If ye live in your sins, and will not be healed ; if ye do not believe him able and willing to save you, ye dishonour God egregiously in a most tender point: 1 John v. 10. 11.He that believeth not God, hath made him a lyar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life: and this life is in his Son.
2dly, By trustiog God in Christ in all times and cases : T. xxvi. 4. Trust ye in the Lord for ever. The established way of communication with heaven, is by trust in God: and faith is productive of hope, which is the anchor of the soul, keeping the foul safe and spiritually at rest, in all storms public or private, Pfal. xxxvii. 7. Trusting in the creature, is a putting it in God's place; and hence bearing such a weight, it bows under it, and fails. But God is honoured by trusting him.
3dly, By believing his word in all the parts of it. Hence is that exhortation of Jehofhaphat's, 2 Chron. xx. 20.-Believe in the Lord your God, so fall you be established; believe bis prophets, so Mall ye prosper. God is to be honoured by faith's acting on every part of the word; on the commands, believing the divine authority, equity, and goodness of them, as a transcript of the divine nature, Psal. cxix. 128.; on the promises, belicving the certain accomplishment of them, however unlikely, Rom. iv. 20. 21. ; on the threatenings, believing the justice and truth of them, J. xxxix. ult. and Ixvi. 2.
2. Honour him by the practice of holiness : 1 Pet. ii. 9. re are a chofen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye Jould R
mew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. To lead a holy tender life, is the way to honour God, conforming to him, and labouring to be like bim in all conversation, 1 Pet. i. 15. 16. If ye be not uniform and universal in your obedience, that part ye are deficient in, may bring a blot on all the relt, as Judas's covetousness and treachery wiped out all his good deeds. And if ye would live to the honour of God, I would recommend to you particularly,
1/, Diligent and reverent worshipping of God: Matth. iv. 10. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only halt thou serve. Pfal. Ixxxix. 7. God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the fairts : and to be had in reverence of all them that are about him. Worship him in your families, 'morning and evening ; worship him in fecret by yourselyes ; worship him in the public affemblies; set up for his honour in the world; make conscience of joining therein for the honour of God. And be reverent in the frame of your heart, and in your outward gesture, as knowing that he is a great God with whom ye have to do: and there can be no reverence in their hearts, who behave irreverently.
2dly, Be nice and exact in point of justice in your dealings; shaking your bands of all gain of unrighteousness, as in the sight of a holy just God: If. xxxiii.' 15. 16. He thal walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly, he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that maketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ear's from hearing of blood, and Mutteth his eyes from seeing evil: he Mall dwell on high, &c. That bareness of spirit,