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it have its more ample Reward in the SERM.
World to come. This was the Reason IV.
why the Heathens preferred the Love of
a Man's Country to all other Virtues;
why the Primitive Christians were so zeal-
ous in building Churches; why we our-
felves enjoy fo many stately Buildings and
magnificent Structures, built and dedicated
to the Service of God by our pious and
generous Ancestors; fo magnificent that we
cannot behold them without Amazement,
nor confider them without being consci-
ous how much we have degenerated from
them. The best Way to form in our
Minds juft Notions, how excellent a Work
the Building and Enlarging of Churches is,
is to confider those excellent Ends for which
they are defigned, what Uses they serve,
and what Divine Offices are performed in
them. Is not this the Place where we meet
together to hear and learn the bleffed Word
and Will of the everlasting God; to partake
of the bleffed Sacraments, which convey
to us the most valuable Privileges, and
the Pardon of all our Sins? Do we not
here meet and join together, both in
Heart and Voice, to adore, praise, and
magnify our heavenly Father, for all these
wonderful Benefits which he daily and

SERM. plenteously fhowers down upon us; and IV. to offer up unto him the acceptable Sacrifice of our Alms and Oblations, as the best Return that we can make, though infinitely unequal to them? And, laftly, because we are beft inftructed in the Value of Things, by the Price we fet upon them, when we ftand in Need of them ; let us confider, how uncomfortable a Condition it is to be excluded from the Place of God's public Worship. In those Countries where there are no Churches, and the Profeffors of Christianity can only pay their Adorations in private, and go in Danger of their Lives, when they perform the Rites of their Religion in public; what would they give for those bleffed Opportunities which we enjoy? For a Famine of the Word is as grievous to every good Man, as a Famine of Bread and, with the Pfalmift, he as much longs to go into God's Sanctuary, as others do into the Places of Gain and Profit. Let us confider, how uneafy most of us were, when we were only for fome short Time excluded from this Place, and confined to the narrow Limits of a private Room; and let fuch Reflections fill our Minds with grateful Ideas, and our Mouths with thankful

ful Acknowledgements of the great Good-SE RM. nefs of God the Author, and our generous IV. Benefactors, the Inftruments by whom such valuable Bleffings are handed down to us; these Confiderations are fufficient to make every well disposed Person sensible, 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 fuitable Furniture and Utenfils proper for them. It is true, our Chriftian Churches muft not resemble the Temples of the Heathens, nor the Churches in Popish Countries ; which are filled with profane and ridiculous Pictures of the ever bleffed Trinity, and Images of the Saints; and, are too liable to be abufed to Idolatry, by the ignorant and fuperftitious Vulgar; but with fuch chafte and decent Ornaments, as render the Place more venerable, and strike an holy Awe on the Minds of the Beholders. For it is evident, that the Solemnity, and decent Ornaments of a Place, infufe into Men's Minds venerable Notions of that God who is worshipped there; and the due Proportion, and Statelinefs of the Building, is apt to beget

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SERM. get more venerable Thoughts of the
IV. Owner of it. This, I am fure, 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 Eng-
land; and, therefore, let me defire all
thofe, who profefs themselves Members
of the Church of England, to hearken to
the Voice of their venerable Mother,
when she speaks unto them in her excel-
lent Homilies, and reasons with them af-
ter 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
'Coft on them? And shall we be fo mind-


ful of thofe Places deputed to fuch mean Employments, and be forgetful of the 'Houfe of God, wherein be intreated the • Words of our eternal Salvation, wherein are miniftred the Sacraments and Myfteries of our Redemption? The Fountain of our Regeneration is there prefented to us, the Partaking of the Body



and Blood of our Saviour Christ is there · offered

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



offered to us; and fhall we not efteem SERM. the Place where fuch heavenly Things IV. are handled? Wherefore, if ye have any Reverence to the Service of God, if have any common Honesty, if ye have any Confcience in keeping of neceffary and godly Ordinances, keep your Churches in good Repair;' and not only repair them but beautify and adorn them, and furnish them with fuch Things as are required in them, and preferve them clean, comely, and fweet; that ye may encourage People to refort thither, and to continue there. Confider with what Earneftnefs, with what vehement Zeal, did our Saviour Chrift 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 fhould carry a Vefjel 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 thefe 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.



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