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and his Offerings; by which the least, that SERM. can be imported, must needs be, that they V. are God's in a more peculiar Manner, than any Thing in the same Kind, or the same Degree, are, or can be; which being granted, I proceed to thew,

II. THAT God honours those Places where his Name is thus recorded, with his more immediate Presence, and to make this good, I shall consider,

First, In what this particular Presence of God doth confift; and then thew,

Secondly, THAT God is thus peculiarly present, in our Christian Churches. And,

1. WHAT) this Presence of God is, which is peculiar to those Places, which are set a-part for God's public Worship.

We know that God is present in all Places, by his Essence, though he is contained by none, but, properly speaking, Place ought rather to be said to be in God, than God to be contained in any He was, before the World was created, and therefore, when we say that God is in Heaven, or on Earth, we speak very improperly, though according to the best Notions, we poor, ignorant Creatures are poffeffed of; but this essential Presence of God is not the Presence we are here speaking of, whereby God is in a

peculiar

any Place.

H 3

Serm. peculiar Manner present in those Places,

V. which he has chosen to record his Name min ; but this particular Presence doth con

fist, either in some visible Symbol of his Presence, such as the Schechinah, or Glory of God, which appeared in the first Temple; or the invisible Effects of his Prefence, which being dispensed in a more plentiful Manner in these Places, than oihers, Thew that God is here present of a Truth, though we know it not : And since we are told, that the Angels are ministering Spirits, and that it is their Employment and Delight to do Good to their Fellow-creatures, God making Use of their Ministry, in the Government of the World, to communicate both his temporal Blessings and spiritual Gifts unto Men; it has therefore been the Opinion of learned Men, countenanced both by Scripture and Reason, that Places dedica ted to God's public Worship, are frequented by these holy Spirits, who are sent thither to affift God's Servants in their Devotions, to help their Infirmities, and take great pleasure and Delight, in bearing a part in our earthly Choir, assisting good Men, in celebrating the Praises, and magnifying the Name of their gracious Lord and Master, the great God of Hea

yen

ven and Earth; and that nothing is more SERM. grievous and irksome to them, than the V. disorderly . Affections, the unbecoming Postures, and careless Behaviour of the irreverent Worshiper.

Innumerable is that heavenly Host which incamps round about us, and though we are ignorant of the Discipline, Government, and Employment, Order and Policy of these glorious Spirits ; yet the Holy Scriptures fufficiently intimate to us, that they are the constant Attendants of the Divine Majesty, that they take

they take great pleasure in cont templating his Perfections, celebrating the Divine Attributes, and obeying his Commands; that the Government both of the natural and moral World is committed to their Care, as also, the safe Keeping of God's Children and Servants, who are protected and defended by them, and assisted in the Performance of their Duty ; and, therefore, that Place which is the Residence of these holy Angels, by whose Ministry God is pleased to bestow such particular Favours upon Men, both temporal and spiritual, may be truly said to enjoy the more peculiar Prefence of God himself.

2. That God is thus peculiarly present in our Christian Churches will need but little

H4

Proof:

SERM. Proof : For if he youchsafed his Presence V. in the Tabernacle and Temple ; if he was - fo gracious under the Jewiß Dispensation,

as to dwell in the midst of his people, and to give them Audience, when they came to worship him ; can we think that, under a better Oeconomy, he will absent himself from those who seek him, in those Places where he records his Name ? Especially since we are assured by our Lord himself, that where two or three are gathered together, in his Name, be is in the midst of them.

III. I PROCEED now to shew, that the Blessings of God are in a more particular Manner conferred upon those Persons, who frequent those Places, and there worship God after a due Manner. God has promised to come unto them, and bless them there, i. e. in his House. His House is the Place that he has chosen to meet with, and give Audience to his People ; and whoever comes there July qualified, and prepared with godly Fear, and an attentive Mind, and offers up his humble Addresses with becoming Zeal and suitable Behaviour, shall not return empty ; God will endear that Place to him by granting his Requests, and giving him the Desire of his Soul, he shall ei,

ther

1

V.

ther obtain the Things he stands in Need SERM.
of, or else his Mind shall be rendered
more contented, and his spiritual Part bet-
tered by the Want of them.
It is true, God's Ear is every

where
open to the Prayers of the devout Peti.
tioner ; he is no Respecter either of Person
or Place, but hears the private Whispers
of Prisoners who lie in the lowest Dun-
geon, as soon as the greatest Monarch
who sits upon the Throne. But this must
be understood only in such Exigencies,
when we are not permitted to join with the
public Devotions; for private Prayers are
not acceptable to God, when they hinder us
from joining with the Congregation of
the Faithful. God tells us, that his
House shall be called, or shall be, the House
of Prayer ; it is set a-part for this Purpose,
it is God's House, and therefore most fit
and proper for this End. God is our
King, and has a Palace and fixed Throne
amongst us, and has appointed that we
should

pay our Homage there ; And whosoever neglects the public Worship of God, and thinks to make amends by his Closet Performances; he offers up the Blind and Lame, an unacceptable Sacrifice to God. Our private Prayers are, indeed, necessary to make known our private Wants to

God,

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