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ful Acknowledgements of the great Good-Serm.
ness of God the Author, and our generous IV.
Benefactors, the Instruments by whom
such valuable Blessings are handed down
to us; these Confiderations are sufficient
to make every well disposed Person sensi-
ble, how excellent a Work the Building
and Enlarging of Churches is; and, that
next to the Building and Enlarging, the
Adorning and Beautifying them is to be
taken Care of, and the Providing suitable
Furniture and Utensils proper for them.
It is true, our Christian Churches must
not resemble the Temples of the Heathens,
nor the Churches in Popish Countries
which are filled with profane and ridicu-
lous Pictures of the ever bleffed Trinity,
and Images of the Saints ; and, are
too liable to be abused to Idolatry, by
the ignorant and superstitious Vulgar ;
but with such chaste and decent Orna-
ments, as render the Place more vene-
rable, and strike an holy Awe on the Minds
of the Beholders. For it is evident, that
the Solemnity, and decent Ornaments of
a Place, infuse into Men's Minds venerable
Notions of that God who is worshipped

and the due Proportion, and
Stateliness of the Building, is apt to be-

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SERM. get more venerable Thoughts of the IV. Owner of it. This, I am sure, was the

Voice of the Church in the purest Times; this is the Opinion of the most pious, learned, and orthodox Divines, both in foreign Churches, and the Church of England; and, therefore, let me desire all those, who profess themselves Members of the Church of England, to hearken to the Voice of their venerable Mother, when she speaks unto them in her excellent Homilies, and reasons with them after this Manner : ' If * a Man's private

House, wherein he dwells, be decayed, · he will never cease till it be restored up

again ; if his Barn, or his Stable, be out

of Repair, how diligently doth he bestow " Cost on them? And shall we be fo mind

ful of those Places deputed to such mean

Employments, and be forgetful of the - House of God, wherein be intreated the < Words of our eternal Salvation, wherein

are ministred the Sacraments and Myfi teries of our Redemption ? The Foun"tain of our Regeneration is there present'ed to us, the Partaking of the Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ is there

offered See the Homily for Repairing and Keeping clean, and comely Adorning of Churches,

have any

offered to us; and shall we not esteem Serm. the Place where such heavenly Things IV. are handled? Wherefore, if ye Reverence to the Service of God, if ye have any common Honesty, if ye

have any Conscience in keeping of necessary

and godly Ordinances, keep your Churches ' in good Repair ;' and not only repair them but beautify and adorn them, and furnish them with such Things as are required in them, and preserve them clean, comely, and sweet ; that ye may encourage People to resort thither, and to continue there. Consider with what Earnestness, with what vehement Zeal, did our Saviour Christ drive the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple of God, and threw down the Tables of the Money-Changers, and the Seats of the Sellers of Doves, and could not abide that any Man should carry a Vesel through the Temple ; he told them, that his Father's House was a Houfe of Prayer, but they had made it a Den of Thieves. And yet the place where these MoneyChangers fat, and the Seat of the Sellers of Doves were, was only the outward Temple ; and what they bought or fold, was only for the furnishing the People with Materials for their Sacrifices,

SERM. If therefore the Building, Enlarging and IV. Beautifying of Churches is so commendable

and praise-worthy a Work, so acceptable to God, fo beneficial to Men, then let us join together in offering up the Sacrifice of Praise and Thanksgiving to our good God, who has put it into the Hearts of charitably disposed Persons, to enlarge and adorn this place, dedicated to his public Worship. And, fince God is exalted above the Praise of Men or Angels, since he dwells in Light inaccessible, let us Thew these Tokens of our Gratitude and Esteem to those Instruments whom he has made Use of, to hand down his Benefits unto us.

Let us pay them that due Respect which their good Deeds deserve, and treat them as public Benefactors to their Country.

And, lastly, Let our Gratitude to God for these, and all his Blessings, shew itself in our Good-will towards Men, in Works of Love and Charity, of Kindness and Liberality to the Poor, those living Temples of the Lord. And let us all put on such Bowels of Mercy and Compassion to our indigent Brethren, that, by making ourfelves Friends of the Mammon of Unrighteoufness, we may be received, at the

Last

Last Day, into those Mansions of Blessed- SERM.
ness prepared for us eternal in the Hea- IV.
vens; and that our Light may so shine
before Men, that others, seeing our good
Works, may glorify our Fother which is in
Heaven : Which God of his Mercy grant
for Jesus Christ his Sake. Amen and
Amen.

SERMON

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