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Serm. God, and to return Thanks for those V. particular Blessings which we have re

ceived, and are acceptable to God, when they are offered' up in the Intervals of our public Devotions; but every good Man will take Care, that, when he performs the one, he doth not leave the other undone.

Many are the Bleffings and Benefits which he has Reason to expect, who frequents the public Worship of God; for God has promised to honour that Person who honours him, and, the more public our Worship is, the more Honour it brings to God; Honouring or giving Glory being nothing else, but the making God's Praise to be glorious in the Eyes of Men, which can only be performed by praising him in the Congregation. And as God is better glorified; so are our own united Prayers much more prevalent than our private Prayers can be, for our Prayers will be rendered more fervent, by beholding the devout and well governed Zeal of those who worship with us. As Fire kindles Fire, so a devout Worshiper stirs up and incites the same holy Flame in the Breasts of those who behold him; his prudent Zeal will compose our Thoughts to Seriousness and Attention, and attach them

to

to the Business we are about ; and, by Serm. joining our Prayers to those of the Faith

V. ful, they will become more powerful and more successful : Thus we shall enjoy the Benefit of other Men's Prayers as well as of our own, in joining with the heavenly Host of good Men, in singing Hallelujabs, and offering Praises and Thanksgivings to God. These and many more are the Benefits of offering up our Devotions in that Place where God has chosen to record his Name. It only remains now, that I draw fome Inferences from these Premises, and so conclude.

1. First, If some Places in a more particular Manner belong to God, and God honours them with his more peculiar Presence ; then, from hence, we may infer, that some places are more holy than others. The Barn, or Stable, is not so holy as the Church; the one is set a-part for holy Uses, the other for such as are more common ; and, therefore, these Prayers, which are offered up to God in the one, are more acceptable to him, than when they are performed in any other Place; because it is in those Places in which God records his Name, that he has promised to meet his Servants and bless them. Places, indeed, have no inherent Holi

ness,

SERM, ness, and, in that Respect, one Place V. is as holy as another ; there is no Diffe

rence in Places before they are set a-part, and God as well hears us from one place as another ; but when they are set a-part for holy Uses, and dedicated to God and his Worship, they are to be esteemed as the Houses of God, in a more eminent Manner, and hereby distinguished from those which are designed for meaner Employments. God is pleased to meet his Servants here, and to give them Audience, and to afford à favourable Ear to their Prayers and Praises ; and to grant them their Requests; it is in these Places where he enters into Covenant with them, and renews this Covenant, when it is violated and broken; where, with open Arms, he receives the humble Penitent, and seals his Pardon with the Blood of his dear Son, in whom he is well pleased: And therefore to think our own Thoughts, or to do our own Works, or to transact our fecular Affairs in them, is to profane them, and to turn the House of God into a Market, or an Exchange, if not into a Den of Thieves. The Temple, we know, amongst the Jews, was esteemed holy, and pronounced so by God himself, and

by by our Blessed Saviour, who never shewed Serm. a warmer Zeal for God's Glory, than

V. when he whipped the Money-changers outs of the Temple, and those who fold Doves, though they sold them only for the Use of those who offered Sacrifice, and employed only the outermost Part of the Temple for this Purpose : *And ought not our Christian Temples to be accounted holy, in which the Symbols of God's Covenant with Men are exhibited, the Word of God preached, the Sacrifices of Prayer and Praises offered up, and the Memorial of Christ's Body and Blood celebrated, which are more glorious and more beneficial Indications of God's more peculiar Presence, than was, or could be discovered in the Jewish Temple.

2. If God is in a more peculiar Manner present in those Places in which he records his Name, then we may infer from hence, how diligent we ought to be in the constant Attendance on God's public Worship. And, had we a due Regard for the House of God, and those heavenly Gifts which are dispensed there, we should impatiently expect the Returns of those Seasons of Grace appointed for God's public Worship. We should look upon it, as the highest Privilege imagia

nable,

SERM. nable, that we are permitted to frequent V. the Courts of the King of Heaven, and to

approach his Throne ; for, if it is esteemed so great an Honour to have the Ear of fome principal Favourite of an earthly Prince, how glorious a Privilege ought we to esteem it, that we have the Liberty of addressing ourselves to the King of Kings, the great Creator and Governor of the World, and of making known the Desires of our Hearts unto him ? It was a Sense of those valuable Privileges which every good Man is intitled to, which made the Saints, recorded in the Holy Writ, so desirous of going up to the House of God, and express themselves with so much Zeal and Earnestness in this Matter. How affectionately

doth David expatiate on the Subject ? Pfal. How amiable are thy Tabernacles, O Lord xxxiv. 1, of Hosts! My Soul longeth, yea, even faint

eth for the Courts of the Lord : My Heart and my Flesh criets out for the living God.

Blessed are they that dwell in thy House, Ver. 10. they will be still praising thee. A Day in

thy Courts is better than a thousand : I had rather be a Door-keeper in the House of my

God, than to dwell in the Tents of Wickedxxvi. ness. And, Lord, I have loved the Habitation of thy House, and the Place where

2, 4•

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