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dreadful is this place ; this is no other but the house of God, and this is the gate of Heaven, Ger. 28. 16, 17. On then when thou letreft thy foot over the threshold of Gods Temple tremble to think who is there, lift up chine awfull eyes, and bow thine hunible knces, and raise up thy devout and faithful soul to a religious reverence and fear of those mighty and Majestical Spirits chat are there ; and of that great God of spirits, whose both they and thou art; and study in all thy carriage to be approved of so glorious witnesses and oversceres. That so at the last those blessed Spirits with whom we have had an invisibic conversation here, may carry up our departing foules into the heaven of heavens, into the presence of that infinite, and incomprehensibly-glorious God, both theirs and ours, there to live and raign with them in the participation of cheir unconceivable blific and glory. To the fruition whercof he that hath ordained us, graciously
bring us by the mediation ; and for the sake of his blessed Son Jesus;To whom with thee O Father of Heaven,and thy co-eternall Spirit, three persons in one God, be given all praise, honor, immortality now and for ever.
Know thar a clean heart, and a right spirit is that
so he justly expects, that it should be also wholly devoted to him ; so as the Apostle, upon good reason, prayes fur his Thessalonians, that their whole Spirit, and Soul, and body may be i Thef.5. preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; and 'be. 23. secches his Romans tytbe mercies of God that they present their bodies
Rom.12. a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God.
Now as the body is capable of a double uncleanness; the one, morall ; when it is made an instrument, and agent in fin; the other naturall when it is polluted with ourward filthinels, so both of these are fit to be avoided in our addresses to the pure and holy God; the former out of Gods absolute command, who hach charged us to cleanse our felves from all filthiness both of the flesh and Spirit ; the latter out of the just grounds of Decency, and expe- 1. dience : for though there be no sinfull turpitude in those bodily uncleanenesses, wherein we offer our selves to appear before the Lord, our God; yet there is so deep an unbcseemingness in them, as places them in the next door to fin : Perhaps Gods ancient people the fewes were too superstitiously scrupulous in these externall obfervations ; whose Talmud tells us of one of their
great Rabbies that would rather suffer under extremity of hunger and thirst, then
talt of ought with unwashen hands : as counting that neglect equill to lying with an harlot ; and who have railcd a great question whether if any of their poultry have but dipped their beak in the bowle, the water may be allowed to wash in ; forbid.ling to void the urine standing (except'it be upon a descent of ground) left any drop fhould recoyle upon the feet; and in case of the other evacuation, beside the paddlc-staffe, and other ceremonies in uncovering the feet , injoyning to turn the face to the South, not to the East or Welt, because those coafts had their faces directed towards them in cheir devotions : what should I speak of their extreme curiosity in their outward observances concerning the Law; which no man might be allowed to read whiles he was lut walking towards the unloading of nature or to the Bache, or ncar to any place of annoyance ; no Man might so much as spit in the Temple or before that sacred Volumn, or tretch forth his feet towards it, or turn his back upon it, or receive it with the left hand : no Man might presume to write it but upon the parchment made of the skin of a clean braft : nor to write or give a bill of divorce but by the side of a running stream: yea the very Turks as they have borrowed our circumcision, so also religious niceties from these Jewes, not allowing their Alcoran to be touched by a person that is unclean.
But surely, I fear these men are not more faulty in the one extreme, then many Christians are in the other; who place a kinde of holinesse in a slovenly neglect; and so order themselves as if they thought a nasty carelessenefle in Gods services were most acceptable to him : Hence it is that they affect homely places for his worship; abandoning all magnificence, and coft in all the acts and apendances of their devotion; clay and sticks please thern better, then Marble and Cedars; Hence it is that their dresses make no difference of festivals ;all stuffes, all colours are alike to them in all facrcd foleminicies ; Hence that they stumble into Gods house without all care or show of reverence; and fit them dorvn at his Table, like his fellows, with their hars on their heads; Hence that they make no differnnce of coming with full panches to that heavenly banquct; and that the very dogs are allowed free accesse and leave to lift up their legs at those holy tables, In quibus populi vota membra Christi portata funt,Oprat.Milevit l. 6.where we partake of the Son of God.
For the re&tifying of which misconccics and pradises , let it be laid down as an undoubted rule ; that it is a thing well-pleasing to God that there should be all ourward cleanlinels, gravity, reverent and comely postures, meet furniture, utensils, places, used and observed in the service of the Almighty: a cruth sufficientlygrounded upon that irrefragable Canon of the Apostle: Let all things le 1 Cor.14 dore decently and in order ; whereof Order refers to persons, and
40. a&tions ; decency to the things done, and the fashion of doing them: disorder therefore and indecency, as they are a direct violation of this Apoftolick charge, so doublesse they are justly offensive to the Majesty of that God whose service is disgraced by them , as for diforder it falls not into our present discourse;in matter of indecency the main disquisition will be how it may be judged,and determincd; to know what is comly, hach been of old noted to be not more commendable then difficult ; for the mindes of men may be of a diffcrent diet ; one may approve that for decent which another abhors as most unbeseeming : Suarum rerum nemo non mitis arbiter pius judex,Petrarch. A Cynick curre or some Turkish Saint may think it not uncomly to plant his own kind in the open market place; and Xenophon tells us of a certain people , called Mofynecians whose pra
Raphaea' termini aise was to do all those acts in publick which other men men mowomi. (placing shame in them) are wont to reserve for the greatclt se- &c. Xe crecy? and contrarily: to do those things in private, which other nogb.de
1x ped. Co Nations thought fit for the opencst view, and we finde that the Stigmatical Saint of the Church of Rome ( who could say of himself that God would have him fatuellum quendam). Dixit mibi Dominus Conform. quod volet at me ose unum fatuellum in boc mundo , ) thought separait no shame to go itark naked through the streets of Allisium: tor. S) did Tbeodore the Taylor and feven Men, and five Women Anabaptists strip chemselves and ran naked through Amsterdam, G:cy de Pref. Idem fecit coram Episcopo Affifii.lib. Conform.f: 21!. But certainly there are unquestionable rules, whereby decency may be both regulated and judged: The great Doctor of the Gentiles when i Cor. he would correct an indecent practise in his Corinthians uses these 11. 131 three expressions, Fudge in your selves is it comly? Doth nat nature it 14.16. self teach you? We have no such castome, nor the Churches of God: Wherein he sends us for the determination of decency, to the judg. ment of our right realon, undebauched nature, and approved
custome; and surely, if we follow the guidance of thele three, we cannot easily erre in our decision of comlinesse both in our carriage in humane affaires,and in the services of God;ill these will tell us that it is most meet that all outward cleanliness gravity, modefty, reverence, should be used in all the actions of divine worship;and will in form us that whatsoever fashion of deportment is held rude & uncivil in humane conversation is so much more indecent in divine actions by how much the person whom we deal with is more awful and worthier of the highest observance.
It is no other then an crror therefore in those men who think that if they look to the inward disposition of the soul it matters not in what posture, or what loathsone turpitude the body appears before the Almighty; Even that slovenly Ciniek when he saw a woman bowing her self forward too low in her devotion, could chide her for het unregard to those deities, which beheld her on alfides; Our blessed Saviour though he had good cheere at the Phariscos house, yet he somewhat taxeth his host for want of a due comple
ment; I entred into thine house, thou gavest ne po water fer my feet, Lui. 7.
mine heal with oyle didA thou not anoint, &c. He looks still for mece formalities of good entertainment as well as the substance of the
dishes: It was Gods charge that no steps shculd be made to go up Exod. 20 to his altar ; left the nakednesle of the sacrificer should be discover
ed;for this cause it was that he who made the first sute of skins for our first parents,ordained linnen breeches for his Priests in their ministrations.
God hath no where commanded us to cut our nailes, or our hair ; but it were a foul indecency not to do both: and if we would justly loath a man that should come to cur table like wild Nebuchadnezzar in the desert, with hair to his waft,and clawes on his fingers, how much more odious would this seem in a man, that should thus thrust himself in to the Table of the Lord ? and if our displeasure would justly arise at char barbarous guest; which should come to our board with his hands besmeared with ordure or blood, how can we think it can be otherwise then ill-taken of the holy God, that we should in a beastly garbe offer our selves into his presence.
It is not onely in regard of spiritual filthyness, that the evill Spirits are called unclean; but even of external also; wherein how much they delight;, we may well appeal to the confessions of those