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

SERM. XL.] human nature almost two thousand years, andwhere ten thousands of his blessed saints and angels are for ever enjoying divine consolations; to maintain a firm belief that there is a reward for the righteous laid up on high, while they are here trodden to the dust; to believe there is a hell, an unseen world ofmisery and torture, where damned spirits art punished for their rebellion against the .great God, and shall for ever suffer the weight of his indignation; and to walk through this world with a holy negligence and contempt of it under the influence of these future invisibles, these eternal joys and eternal sor- rows; This is a faith that gives much glory to God, while we live, and speak, and act, while we suffer and endure, as seeing him who is invisible, and firmly be- lieving all the joys and terrors of another world, which are hidden from us by the veil of flesh and blood. This was the faithof the ancient patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; this was' the faith of Noah and Mo- ses, and many other heroes, whose names shine with honour in St. Paul's epistle to the Hebrews; and the great and blessed God received daily honours from this their faith. In heaven all these invisibles are seen, all these futu rities become present, and they are no longer matters of faith. O that this faith might overspread the earth, as sight is found all over heaven ! H. Hope and expectation of future blessings, either here' or hereafter, under all present darknesses and dis- couragements, is another grace which may be exercised by the living saints ; but among the saints that are dead there is no room nor place for it; for in heaven our hope' is turned into enjoyment; " hope that is seen or enjoyed, is not hope, What a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that which we seenot, then dowe with patience wait for it," Rom..viii. 24, 25. And this patient and chearful expectation under discouraging difficulties, is a glorious homage paid to God, such as the saints in heaven cannot pay him. The living christian knows not what honour he brings to his God, when his hope for promised mercies bears itself up, while there are no appearing prospects to the eye of sense, and in opposition to a thousand risingdan- gers; when he can live upon the nuked promise, and be z 4 LIVING ABOVE THE DEAD. ] 67