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unthinking Persons into a greater Regard and Veneration for the House of God, I intreat them at least to consider how' honourable and sacred it appears to

be from the Holy Scriptures. The Psal. Plal. 87. 2. mist afsures us, That the Lord loveth these

Gates of Sion, more than all the Dwellings of Jacob. And can we so lightly esteem those Tabernacles, which the Majesty of Heaven so highly values ? Our Lord has graciously promis'd, that where two or three are thus gather'd together in his Name, there he is in the midst of them. And is it not our Duty to demean our selves after the most awful, serious, and solemn manner in the Presence of Him, who is to be our Judge? The invisible Host of Heaven, the glorious Troops of Angels (as you have seen) encamp here. And can we behave our selves rudely or unhandsomely in such glorious Company? In short, in these Consecrated Places, God has particularly promis'd to meet us, and to bless us, and

to hear our Petitions. I have sanctify'd 1 King-9.3.

the House (says He to Solomon) which thou of built, i. e. the House, which you have sign'd for my Worship, I have delis id for your Blefling ; what you hay: üidicated, I have accepted; what

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purpose, as you design d it in your first Intentions and Expence. Now then fince Man hath offer'd, and God hath accepted : Since (1 fay) these Places are both by God and Man design'd only for the Service of God, and the Offices of Religion, right Reason as well as the Religion of all the World will certify, That they ought to be treated with especial Reverence and Honour. We justly esteem those Persons honourable, whom the Fountains of Honour in Civil Account have entitled to Honour.'. But God is the proper and true Fountain of Honour, and therefore fince he has deriv'd a peculiar Honour upon these places, accepted them for his own, put his Name upon them, and dignifies them , with his special or most gracious Presence, we ought (1 say) to demean our selves in them continually with Reverence and Honour. With Reverence and Honour continually ; not only while the Offices of Religion are actually in Ministration, but also when they are over: Those places, which have once entertain'd Religion after this manner, being separate and sacred for ever.

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What mean then some amongst us, by irreverently putting on their Hats in these places, as soon as the Sacred Offices are over? They would not behave themselves at that rate in the Presence chamber, tho' the King was not there much less in the Presence of the King himself, before whom, as long as they stand, and not only while they are permitted to speak to him, they are careful to continue their Expressions of the most folemn and extraordinary Reverence. Nay, what meant our Dissenting Brethren, when in the late unhappy

times of Usurpation and Rebellion, Vid. Evag. they (as the Arian Vandals of old serv'd

the Orthodox Christians in Africa) procap. i5. stituted our Churches to all the lamenta

ble Abuses of the most insolent Prophaneness? Our Saviour drove the Beasts out of the Temple ; but they presumptuously brought them in again. He pronounced it an House of Prayer, but they most impiously render'd it again a Den of Thieves. But to conclude : Whatever others can prevail with thenselves to do, let us, my Brethren, perpetually take care to demean our selves decently in the House of God. Let us never desecrate these amiable Dwellings

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of the Lord of Hosts by our Impiety and
Impertinence, our curious, lazy, pro-
phane Dispositions; but by our Devout,
Industrious, and Reverential Attendance
upon the Holy Offices, whilst they are
doing, and our humble and modeft Rę.
tirement when they are done, demon-
strate to Men and Angels, that they are
the Desire of our Souls, the Delight of
our Eyes, and the singular Refreshment
and Joy of our Hearts. Thus will He,
whom the Heaven, and the Heaven of
Heavens cannot contain, vouchsafe us
his moft Gracious Presence in our Re.
ligious Assemblies; the Holy Angels,
that reside here, behold our Devotions
with wonderful Complacency, and De.
light, to join with us in praising the
Goodness of our God. Thus will our
Souls arise and shake themselves from
the Dust, every Day regain more and
more their Native Vigour and Bright-
ness, till (like Eagles, that have re:
new'd their Plumes) they take Wing
and fly away from these Houses of
Prayer into the Regions of Praise; from
these Amiable. Dwellings of the Lord of
Hosts, with Men upon Earth, into his
most peculiar Habitation in the Highest
Heaven, where he unveils his Beauty,

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and shines in his Essential Glory to all his Saints, who in Hymns and Songs, which none, but immortal Beings can fing, extol and magnify the Incomprehensible Greatness and Goodness of their Maker, for Ever and Ever. To which Blessed State, God in Mercy bring us all, through the Merits and Mediation of Jesus the Beloved. Το whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit, Three Persons and One Infinite and most Glorious Lord God, be Glory in the Church throughout all Ages, and World without End. Amen.

SERMON

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