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thus we therefore ought to praise Him as well as we can: but being conscious to ourselves, that when we have done our best, we come far short of what we ought to do, we must trust in our Blessed Saviour for God's acceptance of it, and then we need not doubt but these our spiritual sacrifices will be acceptable to God, through Jesus Christ i Pet. 2. 5. our Lord.

I shall observe only one thing more concerning this great duty; which is, that although it ought never to be omitted in our religious assemblies, yet it ought not to be confined to them; for we ought to praise and give thanks to God 1 Thess. 5.

18; Eph. 5. upon all occasions, for every thing, every day, continually. 20. · By Him therefore,” saith the Apostle, “ let us offer the Heb. 13. 15. sacrifice of praise to God continually;" as all the Apostles Luke 24.53 did; and David, “ I will alway give thanks unto the Lord, His Ps. 34. ). praise shall ever be in my mouth.” “ I will magnify Thee, Ps.145.1, 2. O God, my King, and I will praise Thy Name for ever and ever: every day will I give thanks unto Thee, and praise Thy Name for ever and ever.” “Seven times a-day do I Ps.119. 164. praise Thee, because of Thy righteous judgments.” Not but that he did it oftener, but that was the least he ever did; for usually it was his continual employment for a whole day together: “As for my tongue,” saith he, “it shall be talking Ps. 35. 28. of Thy righteousness and of Thy praise all the day long." And that too as long as he lived, “While I live will I praise Ps. 146. 1. the Lord, yea, as long as I have any being, I will sing praises unto my God.” So Psalm civ. 33.

And that we and all mankind are bound to do so as well as he, will easily be granted by all who consider that this is the end of our creation, the end of our redemption, the end of all the blessings that God is pleased to bestow upon us, even that we may bless, and praise, and magnify His great and glorious Name for them : for He made all things for Himself, for the manifestation of His own glory; and He endued man particularly with reason to discern the glory that shines forth in all His works, and with the use of speech, to declare, extol, and praise it; and by that means to glorify Him, as He Himself saith, “ Whoso offereth praise, Ps.50. 23. glorifieth Me,” and His Apostle intimates (Rom. xv. 9, 10). Wherefore, they who live in the neglect of this duty

LIX.

19.

ch. 5. 12.

SERM. do not answer God's end in making them; which must

needs be a great offence unto Him, and provoke Him to (Ps. 2. 9.]

dash them in pieces as useless vessels, and destroy them for ever. Whereas, they who are always praising God, are always doing the work He made them for, and sent them into the world about, and so always please Him; for

nothing pleaseth God so much, as for a man to thank and In Eph. 5. praise Him, as Chrysostome observes; and David himself,

Psalm lxix. 30, 31; civ. 33, 34. And therefore nothing

prevents judgments, or procures mercy at the hands of 2 Chron. 20. God more, than this doth by Jesus Christ; and none live 22;

in His favour and under His protection so much, as they who are always praising and glorifying His Holy Name, with their lips, as well as in their lives.

And as there is nothing we can do more pleasing unto God, so nothing affords more pleasure to those who do it as they ought; for this being that which we were at first designed and fitted for, so far as we are restored to our primitive state and temper, it is natural to us to be praising and glorifying God. But all natural actions have something of pleasure in them; and this being the highest, and that to which all other tend, must needs have most of all; as they find by experience who are exercised in it. “My soul," saith David, “shall be satisfied, even as it were with

marrow and fatness, when my mouth praiseth Thee with Ps. 147. 1. joyful lips.” “O praise the Lord, for it is a good thing to

sing praises to our God, yea, a joyful and pleasant thing it is to be thankful.” To recount and celebrate the wisdom, the power, the goodness, the mercy, the truth, and all the wonderful works of God, our Maker, our Saviour, our Sanctifier, our God, this is a joyful and pleasant thing indeed : it is the work of Heaven, the only place where perfect joy and pleasure can be had. Though we know but little of what they do there, we know they praise God there, and seldom read of any thing else they do. This is their constant business and recreation too, their employment and their pleasure both together: and so it should be ours; for we have the same obligations upon us to be alway praising God, as they have; and it is our own faults if we do not take pleasure in it as they do. And it is a fault that must

Ps. 63. 6.

needs be mended, before we can be truly happy; for that we can never be, till we delight in praising God, more than in any thing in the world besides, as the glorified Saints and Angels do: and as ever we desire to do it with them in Heaven, we must begin to practise it upon earth, where we are sure to have the best company, the most glorious creatures that are joining with us in it; as we do with them whensoever we praise God. Although we be by ourselves, and have none else to join with us in it, we praise God with Angels, we praise Him with the spirits of just men made perfect, we praise Him with all the host of Heaven, doing the same thing here below, which they at the same time are always doing above: how much more when we meet together in God's Own house, and especially at His holy table to do it, there we may well say or sing, as I heartily wish we could all now do with one heart and mouth, “ It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and all the company of Heaven, we laud and magnify Thy glorious Name, evermore praising Thee, and saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts," &c.

SERMON LX.

THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE.

2 Tim. iii. 16, 17.

And it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

SERM.
LX.

He that with David considers the Heavens, the work of

God's fingers, the moon and the stars which He hath orPs. 8. 3, 4. dained, cannot but with him also cry out “ Lord, what is man

that Thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that Thou visitest him ?” For who can but admire and wonder, that He who made such glorious creatures in Heaven, should have any regard to those little worms upon earth, which were no sooner made by Him, but they presently fell into disobedience and rebellion against Him. This all mankind did in their first parents: and yet notwithstanding, to the wonder and amazement of the world, the Almighty Creator of all things was graciously pleased not only to visit them, but to visit them with His Salvation; to provide a Saviour for them, yea to become Himself their Saviour, to save them from the sins they committed against Himself, and from the punishments they had thereby deserved from Him.

Neither was His way of doing it less wonderful than the thing He did. For as He made all things by His Word, so

He saveth mankind by His Word too; by His Word incar[John 1. nate, and His Word written: “ The Word was made flesh," 14.)

and as such was offered up a sacrifice for the sins of the (John 3. world, or all mankind, “ That whosoever believeth in Him

should not perish, but have everlasting life.” And that men

15.]

upon

might do that, “God at sundry times, and in divers manners, spoke in times past unto the fathers by the Prophets, and in these last days He hath spoken to us by His Son,” and His Apostles, and hath caused the Word so spoken to be written, that all may read it, and thereby know how to believe, that they may be saved.

This is that written Word, which we call the Scripture; given, as we have seen, by inspiration of God; and therefore is truly His Word : and being His Word, the Word of God Himself, it must needs be all true, as God Himself is true; and we ought accordingly to believe and be fully persuaded of the truth and certainty of every thing that is there written, whether we do or do not understand it; for in this case our reason or understanding is no way concerned any further than to search out the right sense and meaning of the words, what it is which God saith ; which being once found out, our belief of it is not grounded upon our understanding it, but

the Word of God, which is infinitely beyond all other arguments and demonstrations in the world besides. It is indeed the only firm and infallible ground we have to build our faith upon, without which we could neither have known what to believe, nor could we have had sufficient reason to believe it, if we had known it. What knowledge could we have had of the Creation of the world, the Redemption of mankind, the Resurrection of the dead, and the like Articles of our faith without the Holy Scripture? And though we had bappened to have heard of some such things which are necessary for all men to believe, yet how could we have believed them? They are not the objects of any of our senses, and therefore could never have come into our minds by their means. Our reason, we find, often fails us in the common affairs of this world, so that we can hardly guess at what lies just before us; how then can we trust to that, in the things that belong to another world, and are so much above us?

And if we had heard of them only from other men; they, we know, are all fallible, apt to be deceived themselves, or may have a mind, for aught we know, to deceive us; how then could we believe such things merely upon their report or testimony? How could we be ever certain that what they said is true? That we could never be, so long as we ,

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