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1. That there are certain Places which SERM.
God is pleased to distinguish with his VIII.
none other but the bouse of God.
of communion between God and men,
approached with awe and reverence. How dreadful is this place ! this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of beaven.
I. First, It may be collected from these words, that there are certain places which God is pleased to distinguish with his fpeçial presence, and which therefore ought to be consider'd as his Houses, or places of peculiar residence: This is none other (says Jacob) but the house of God.
Immediately as he awoke it was his first remark, surely the Lord is in this place, and
Serm. I knew it not. But what! could he be igVIII. norant that he who created the whole frame vof nature must needs be himself effenti,
ally in all places, and fill heaven and earth
felves warranted by such examples, or even SERM. authorised by the reason of the thing, to VIII. appropriate places to his honour and fervice, to invocate' his gracious Presence, and implore his auspicious residence among them.
Need I mention the example of the ancient Patriarchs, before the giving of the law, who, wherever they came, erected altars for Divine worship, and without waiting for special or express appointment, thought it highly reasonable in the nature of the thing, that some places there should be for their approaching to God, and fupplication of his aid and favour?
Need I add the example of the first Cbriftians, who had their fixed and stated places of assembly, at first thote umepwa, or upper rooms mentioned in the new testament, and afterwards more sumptuous and convenient edifices, as their outward condition and circumstances would allow ?
Nor was this only calculated for their own convenience, who could not well have come together, without some place previoufly known and appointed for that
purpofe, but the Place so appointed was looked upon as fingularly honoured with the Presence of God, and therefore sacred and appropriate to his service. This, to omit the many testimonies which might be laid together from antiquity, may sufficiently ap
Serm. pear from that single expoftulation of the
buse of the Corinthians, What, have ye not
It is not to be denied but that the word
Now, as in most instances there is a near analogy between the old and new Teftament, so our churches succeed as the houses or dwelling-places of God, in like manner as the Tabernacle first, and afterwards the Temple. And as there he appointed continual facrifices, for a record or memorial of his name, so we have a per-, petual commemorative representation of the sacrifice of Christ, which is termed, after * 1 Cor. xi. 22.
the same manner, the remembrance or me- SERM. morial of him. And as the Israelites were VIII. promised, that in every place where God's name fould be recorded, he would come unto them, and bless them *, so we make no doubt but the analogy continues, and his gracious presence is vouchsafed to us.
The manner by which this speciality of presence is distinguished, (and he whom the heaven of heavens cannot contain, is nevertheless pleased to condescend to dwell with men upon the earth) we have not obscurely hinted to us in scripture (as a learned person of our nation observes +) to consist in that train or retinue of Angels which is represented to attend him, whereever he is pleased more particularly to difplay or manifest himself. To this purpose the Law is termed the word spoken by Angels I, because when The Lord came from Sinai, and rose up from Seir unto Ifrael, be fined forth from mount Paran (as Moses expresses it) be came with ten thousands of his saints ll, or with bis boly ten thousands, as it Thould have been translated. To which the Royal Psalmist very plainly alludes, when he says, The chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of Angels; the Lord is among them, as in Sinai, in the holy place §. So has the Prophet Daniel ex
+ The great Mr. Mede. | Heb. ii. 2. # Deut xxxiii. 2. $ Pf. lxviii. 17.
* Exod. xx. 24.