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'twas the Obstinacy and Impenitence of the Jews, their wilful Refusal of the Means of Salvation, that occafion'd the Sacking and Destru&tion of their City : They had many repeated Warnings to avoid the Danger, many loud Calls and passionate Invitations to Repentance, to prevent their Ruin ; but they turn'd the deaf Ear to them all, and nothing could prevail with them to accept their own Hap. piness. Instead of hearkning to, they killd the Prophets, and ston'd them that were sent to them; and the Judgment that follow'd it was, Behold your House is left unto you defolate, Mat. 23. 37, 38. Therefore is Desolation come upon you, your City, Temple, and whole Nation are irreversibly destroy'd; your City for the Oppression and Injustice practis'd in it, your Temple for not hearkning to the Instructions deliver'd in it, and your whole Nation for abusing the Mercies and Blessings conferr'd on it. Thus they who wilfully refus'd the Offers of Mercy, became the Objects of Vengeance, and are set forth as Monaments of Divine Justice to all succeeding Generations, to let us know, that if we follow their Steps, we matt expect the fame Fate ; and except we repent, we must alt likewise perim. Esse
defolat your City, The City for the old hearkning Nation for
This is the first Part of the Gospel for this Day, which is design'd for å Warning to all wilful and impenitent Sinners. There is yet a second part of it, which relates to the Reverence due to the Temple, or the publick Places of God's Worship, held forth in the following words;
And he went into the Temple, and began to cast out them that fold therein, and them that bought, saying, My House is the House of Prayer, but ye have made it a Den of Thieves. Where we shall observe,
ift, That publick Places were fet apart for Divine Worfhip both under the Old, and New Testament, and that not only by the Divine Liking and Approbation, but by Divine Appointment and Designation. This is evident in the Old Teltanient, by the Tabernacle firit, and afterward by the Temple ; the former being stilld the Tent which God had pitch'd among Men, Pfal. 78.60. the latter, the Sanctuary, the high and holy Place; and the Place robich he had chosen to set his Name there: with many other Expressions to the like purpose. in the New Testament 'tis plain from those words of the Apostle, Have ye not Houses to eat and drink in, but despise ye the Church of God? 1 Cor. 11. 22. Where the Church of God being oppos'd to Houses where they might eat and drink, mult be un. derstood of the Publick Place of God's Worship, where
fuch common and ordinary Actions are not to be done. · This is so fully prov'd by the Learned Mr. Mede on that
Place, that I need not enlarge upon it, but refer the Rea, der to him.
say 2dly, We may observe farther, that the publick Places of Divine Worship were and still are to be accounted Holy unto the Lord; not indeed by, any inherent Holiness, for neither Times nor Places are capable of that, but by a reJative Holiness, because they belong to God, and are separated from all common Ufes, and apply'd only to holy and religious Purposes. Thus the Sabbath-day is callid Holy, because 'tis fet apart for the Service of God, and other Holy Uses; and for the same reason the Sanctuary, the Temple, the Church, are to be accounted Holy unto the Lord, being appropriated wholly to his Use and Service. From
appre may observer of Respect apar to God, and thom
3dly, That some kind of Respect and Reverence is due to such Places, for the Relation they bear to God, and their Dedication to his Worship. So God himself expresly commands, Te mall fanctify my Sabbath, and reverence my Sanctuary; Lev. 19. 30. God's more immediate Presence there requires from us the Respect of the Cap and the Knee ; and his Promise to meet, to direct, to assist and bless us there, calls for a greater Regard to be paid to it, than other ordinary Places. To satisfy us herein, we may, .
Athly, Observe our Saviour's great Care to keep the Temple from Profanation. For going into the Temple, and finding Buyers and Sellers there, he cast them out with great Indignation, and forbad the carrying of any Vefsel or Burden thro it. St. Matthew and St. Mark tell us, that our Saviour, himself overthrew the Tables of the Mony. Changers, and the Seats of them that sold Doves; tho they pretended to fit there for the Convenience of Offerings and Sacrifices for the Use of the Temple. And St. John, that be made a Scourge of small Cords, and drove them all out of the Temple; which he did with that Indignation and Zeal, as made the Disciples call to mind that prophetical Saying of David concerning him, The Zeal of thy House bath eaten me up, as we read, John 2. 14, 15, &c. From hence a Learned Divine hath observ'd, That our Saviour, whilft he was upon Earth, never exercis'd any kingly or coercive Jur
risdiction, but in vindicating his Father's House from Profanation, which he could not see prostituted to vile and vulgar Ufes, nor suffer it to be defécrated and profan'd.
To all which he adds that smart Saying and Rebuke ; It is written, My House is the House of Prayer, but ye have made it a-Den of Thieves. The Saying is written in Ifa. 56.7Mine Houfe Mall be called an House of Prayer for all People. Where we have, e ve
(1.) God Almighty's Right or Title to the Temple or Church asserted; for he calls it My House, and juftly too, being devoted and consecrated to him: by which it is made his Peculiar, and no other may lay any Claim, or pretend to any Property in it. i'iiiiiiiiii1. os." - (2.) We have the Use to which it was design'd, and is to be put; it mall be called an House of Prayer: that is, the Place where all our folemn Prayers, Praises, Devotion and Sacrifice are to be offer'd up.
(3.) We have the Persons for whose Use it was intended; and that is, não téis 'Syeol, for all people and Nations: which was a Prophecy of the coming in of the Gentiles, who should be all gather'd into ore Flocks and meet in one Fold, and fo be all joyful together in his House of Prayer. . Lastly, We have our Saviour's Rebuke for profaning the Temple, and converting the House of God to vulgar and common Uses; making the House of Prayer a Den of Thieves. Ve have made it a House of Merchandize, faith he in St. Matthew; a Place of Trade for selling of Oxen, and Sheep, and other Cattle, faith he in St. Mark and St. John. And here, ye have made it a Den of Thieves, by the Fraud and Theft fo frequently committed therein.
Having thus turn'd the Bayers and Sellers out of the Temple, and so rescu'd it from Abuse and Profanation, he restor'd it to its Right; by making it á House of Prayer, and the Place of teaching and instructing the People; for so the last words tell'us, And he taught daily in the Temple. And of the Apostles we read after, that they were continually in the Temple blessing and praising God; Luke 24.53. · Thus I have briefly summ'd up the whole of this Day's Gospel; which we may improve and apply to many good Purposes. As,
1. From God's dealing with Ferusalem, we learn his great Goodness in allotting to them and us a Day of Grace, and
and the it, to its it from Aband Sellers
giving both Time and Means of working out our own Såler vation. He is not wanting to any, in affording them Ways and Opportunities of being happy, but is ever ready to af fist them with Grace and Strength to that end; yea, he importunes them to know the Time, and accept the Terms of Peace, and fends his Messengers and Ambassadors to befeech them to be reconcil'd. Such is the Mercy and Good.. nefs of God towards his Creatures, that he leaves no ways unattempted to provide for, and to compafs their eternal Welfare
He doth not indeed force them to be happy, nor yet doom then to be miserable, but hath made them rational Creatures, and set Life and Death before them, giving them fufficient Time, Strength and Encouragement to chuse the one, and escape the other. So that he hath left all obfti. nate Sinners without Excuse; and if any miscarry, their Misery will lie at their own door, and their Destruction is of themselves. . 2. Since God hath given every one of us time and space for Repentance, let us all improve it to the Benefit and best. Advantage of our Souls." We fee God hath not been any way wanting to us, let not us then be wanting to our felves; but having a Prize put into our hands, let us have Hearts to make a right use of it., Tis the Apostle's Ad. vice, to know the Time, that now 'tis high time to awake out of the Sleep of Sin, and to mind our own Salvation. We see how it far'd with Jerusalem, for not considering. the Time and Things that belong'd to their Peace, how for that reason they were hid from their Eyes, and what Mje feries (befel them for not knowing the Day of their Vifi. tation. Renreniber that our Time too is paffing away beware then of flipping our Opportunity, which being loft, cannot be regain'd. While the Day tafts let us work, becaufe ! the Night is haftning upon us, when no Man cant work. 1.4
01 fins i foran . Lastly, From our Saviour's casting those that bought and sold out of the Teniple, and rebuking thofe that turnd the Houfe of Prayer into a House of Merchandize, or a Den of Thieves, let us learn to pay all due Reverence and Respect to God's House, and beware of profaning it by any rude or unbecoming Actions: having Houfes to eat and drink, to buy and sell in, let us do those things ati home, and not make the House of God an Alehouse or ar Market, but preserve it pure and free from all com
omon, and much more from all sinful Uses : fo fhall our Prayers afcend up from thence likerIncense, and yield a fweet-smelling Savour, co dot tiens abaiM 0332
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OSH SMO O bassi 9 10 a od oder nit alist stetoads ar saw aloitavia li 1D I S-COURSE XXXII.'...:
The Epistle for the Eleventh Sunday after - ;* i Trinity: 1
1 Cor. xv. 1-312. Brethren, I deliver’d. unto you the Gospel, which I
,,,, preach'd unto youy &c.
TITE are taught to pray this Day for fuch a Meafure of W Divine Grace, that by running the way of God's
V : Commandments, we may obtain his gracioas ProI'mises, and be made Partakers of his Heavenly Treasure,
The Grace here chiefly pray'd for, is the Grace of Faith, to which the running the Paths of God's Commandments, 1 and the obtaining the Promises, are frequently ascrib'd. And in this we may be the more confirm'd by the Epistle ap. pointed for the Day ; in which the Apostle labours to esta. Iblith the Corinthians, and in them all Christians in a firm
Belief of the Death, Burial, and Resurrection of our Sauviour : which he the rather did, because some false Tea
chers had crept in among then, who deny'd the Refurrection, and had fhaken the Faith of many in that great Ar
ticle, as some have likewise attenipted to do in our Days. PII Now to arm them against such falfe Teachers, and to prevent the Poison and Contagion of their corrupt Doc
trines, he here gives them an Antidote to keep then found - in the Faith, and to confirni them in the Belief of this and i other great Articles of it. To which end, he' ? - First, Puts these Corinthians in mind of what he had be
fore taught them, and how they embrac'd it, and for some time made no Question, or entertain'd any Doubt concern- ing it: So he tells then, ver. 1. Brethren (faith he) I declare unto you the Gospel which I preachd unto you, thich al