Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

SERM. XXXIX.] TIIE RIGHT IIVIPROVFAIPXT OF LIFE. 155 disciples, Mat. v. 13, 14. What a dark dungeon would this world be, if it had never a saint in it ? " Ye are the salt of the earth :" What corruption of manners would overspread the face of the earth! What vile communi- cations, and odious practices would defile the world in a few ye4rs, if every christian were dead ! What shameful and abominable works had over -run the heathen nations, before Christ and his gospel appeared, and the idolaters were made christians ? A saint in a family, is like the ark of God in the house of Obed- edorn; 2 Sam. vi. 12. " For the Lord blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertained to hinr, because of the ark of God." ;Apious soul is a Joseph in ,thefamilyof Potiphar; Gen. xxxix. 5. "When the Lord blessed the Egyptian's house for Joseph's sake, and the blessing ofthe Lordwas upon all that he had in the house and in the field." A number ofsaints in a city, or a nation, are many times like Noah, Daniel, and Job, in the midst of them. They guard the public by their prayers from mighty ruin and wide desolation. Sodom itself had been saved, if there had been ten righteous souls in it. And I amper- suaded, Great Britain had been a kingdom of idolaters and slavery, or a heap of confusion and slaughter, and a fieldof blood long ago, because of the provoking wick- edness in the midst of it, had it not been for the few righteous that have always stood in the gap : There have been always some powerful pleaders at the mercy-seat, when the wrath of God and the destroying angels have been breaking in like a flood upon us,(some Moses and Samuel to with-hold the desolation, when popery and tyranny have, beenjust at our gates, and ready to over- whelm us. Q howmany unknown blessings do these sinful orations enjoy, because of the lives and the prayers of the saints that are in it! Holy souls, who though they are divided into different parties, and, practise their different forms, yet worship the same God, through the same Mediator, and by the same Spirit, who are ever welcome to Ole throne of grace, who are all saints in the esteem of God, and in the language of scripture. Strange, that the name of a saint should be used as a terni of reproach amongst us, and cast upon one party in a way of scorn, 3