« AnteriorContinua »
Spirit fpeaketh to the Churches in the outward ministry of the word; where the holy ones of God do fpeak to God by the fame Spirit in prayers,in hymnes, and spiritual songs, where the facrifices of righteoufneffe are offered.
And herein is that gracious Prophecy of lay fulfilled which Our Saviour alleadgeth in the Gospel,
For mine baufe shall be called a house of prayer for all people. Obferve: here is not only oratio, prayer, which is cultus divinus, divine worship, but here is Domus mea, my house,a place defigned for the worship of God, and that for all people.
This cannot be made good in the temple of ferufalem; nor in any one Church, but muft determine both the extent and dilata tion of Gods worship, and the defignation of fit houses for the fame.
Ifa. 2. 2.
Another like Prophecy we have before in Ifay.
It shall come to paffe in the last dayes that the mountains of the Lords houfe fhall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hils, and all nations shall flow unto it.
And many people fhall go and fay, come ye and let us go up to the top of the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and he will teach us his ways, and we will walk in his paths; for aut of Sion fball go forth the Law, and the Word of the Lord from Je rufalem.
The common expofition is that after the returne of the people of Ifrael from the 70 years captivity in Babylon, then. Religi on and Gods Worship (hall be fetled at Ierufalem.
But obferve how this expofition fhriveleth up the promise of grace; for this is not all. He faith this shall be in io rais műszali in the last time: and he addeth that all nations fhall flow to it, and he faith, not that one mountain, but The mountains of the Lord shall be established; which muft needs be understood of the Churches of the Chriftians to which the faithful fhould refort.
For further proof hereof read Micha 4. where you shall find Verf. 1,2 this Prophecy totidem verbis, in fo many words, and a commenta ry upon it, Micab 5. wherein he prophecyeth the birth of Chrift in Bethlehem,
In both these Prophecies we obferve, that the promise of God hath not only affured the spreading of true Religion, but the affemblies of beleivers to certain places for inftruction, that they may bee taught vias Domini, the ways of the Lord.
Never was there Religion in the world, without fome places of publick-Worship, for meeting of people together: Even in Adams time, there was a place where Adam and his childrenmet to offer facrifice, and Cains flying from the prefence of the Lord, was his wilfull excommunication from that place.
And in truth they that would have no Churches, may afwell I cry down Religion, and the publique miniftry of the Word, and pluck down the hedge which God hath planted about his Vine, and lay all common.
Underftand us rightly; we do not affix holineffe to the place, nor think any speciall fanctity inherent in it;but seeing God is by afingular right become mafter of the house, that is feparate to his ufe, as the Apostle faith, judge I pray you, is it comely, that Wee put not difference between Gods House and our owne bonfes.
It is obferved that Chrift when he purged the temple, purged only that part of the temple which was fet apart to prayer, and hearing of the Word, because that ufe of the Church was to continue in the time of the Gofpel: and after he had caft out the oxen and the doves, which were provifions for facrifice, then he citeth that place and reneweth the fanction,
My houfe fhall be called an house of prayer to all nations, which is afanctification of all Churches to the worship of God. That this was fo understood,
Know that before they had any Churches built for the publick exercite of Religion, they had fome places of meeting which they called Ædes facras, holy houses; of which the Apostle putting difference, fayth, have ye not houses to eat and drink in? de- Cor1, 15, Spife ye the Church of God?
Here be our own houses for common and natural, moral and. civil afe;here is the Church of God, the place of affembling of the Congregations to the Worship and fervice of God.
Gen. 28. 19.22.
So when facob had fet up a stone for a pillar, in the place where he dreamed and had the vifion of the ladder, he called the name of it Bethel,, Gods houfe. And after
At his returne he came to that place, and having first put down all the strang gods, he built an altar to the Lord, and called it , the god of Gods house.
It is palestra in which we do meet with God to wrestle with him in our fervent prayers and fupplications; He by his word wraftlech with us to overcome both our ignorance and impiety. And therefore as Jacob, fo may we call our Church 1, the face of God: for there God did look upon him.
And in the times of the Gofpel thefe houtes of prayer have had feveral tittles;
No fooner is a place confecrate to this ufe, but it is a Temple of Gods
Edes facra, in respect of their fucceffion to them, and Templa,in respect of their fucceffion to that atferufalem.Tectum amplum, fome derive it, and weary. 1. Propter dedicationem. 2. Propter ufum. 3. Propter jus perpetuum. 4. Propter fabbatum. For there is Dominica in Dominico, thence came the word Kirke; Yet, in ufe in Scotland.
And Ecclefie, in respect of the meetings there.
When David could not come to the fanctuary of God, he worshipped toward it.
Hear the voyce of my fupplications, when I cry unto thee, when 1 Pf. 28. 2. lift up my hands towards thy holy temple.
Dan.6.10. Daniel being farre from the temple, opened his window toward
Jerufalem, and prayed three times a day.
The Temple is a type of Heaven, where the Saints of God do meet to praise God, which is the worship that is done to God in heaven;
Rev. 21.3. And I heard a great voyce out of heaven, faying; Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
This Mr. Brightman understandeth of the Church of the Gentiles, where God is feen.
So doth fames Brocard an Italian understand it of the Church delivered from Poperie, and Mahometry, and all hærefie.
But Mafter Bullinger better advised, faith, that as in the former part of this Revelation hell is described;fo in this chapter heaven is fet forth;
And that as you fee in the fimilitude of a tabernacle; fo doth Junius and Napier well interpret this place.
I conclude then that all the Churches wherein the Chriftians meet to call upon God, are the temples of Gods prefence, wherein God is invisibly refident both to give his Spirit where he thinketh good,and to direct our service of him, and to receive our prayers and facrifices of thanksgiving: and to communicate to his fervants the ordinances of his grace, the means of their falvation.
2. As God is in these temples made with hands,and declareth his prefence in his house, in his Word and Sacraments, and in the folemne meetings of his children; fo is he in heaven which is his highest temple, whereof these are but types and figures.
We beleive in him as maker of heaven, and we pray to him Our Father which art in heaven; this place he himself calleth his habitation.
I dwell in the high and holy place. 1. In heaven.
Yet as Solomon faith, The heaven of heavens is not able to con Laine him. So he is there as in the moft excellent part of his 1 Reg. 3. creation, but not comprehended there; for there he is most 27. purely worshipped; thence cometh our Sicut in Colo.
The heathen gods are no where in heaven they are not, that is the temple of the true God; in earth they are not; for they are no gods that have refidence in earth, and have no power at all in heaven,
As the Apoftle faith, we know that an Idol is nothing in the 1 Cor.8,4 world;
Here by the name of Idol is not meant, the material image. representing their god for that is a bodily fubftance to be feen and felt, and it is in the world: but he fpeaketh it de nuXx
mine, the divinity is a non ens.
For he addeth that there is no God but one;and whereas many be called gods in heaven and in earth, as there be many gods and many Lords; yet he faith there is but one God, the reft are nomina, not numina.
For there were that worshipped the, Sun the Moon and the ftarres; thefe as creatures and fecond caufes do us good, but they ferve our God.
When our God is in his Temple, all thofe help to make up the quire of them that praise him; For the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmaments and the outgoings of the morning praise
Therefore do we lift up our eyes to heaven when we pray, we fay that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights.
Yet is not God fo far off, but that as heaven is his throne, earth is his foot-stoole.
The Lord looketh from heaven, he beholdeth the fonnes of men. He is not fo far off but if we pray to him, Prope eft invocantibus ipfum, he is neer to them that call upon him.
And in this respect all the earth is a common oratory, fo is the fea, for our prayers.
But as the perpetuall duty of a Religious fervice of God,which doth require holineffe and righteousneffe all the days of our lives, doth not take away the particular duty of the Sabbath: neither doth the great hahitation of God in heaven abate any thing of his special prefence, both in the temples dedicated to his fervice, and in every particular perfon which doth belong to the electi on of grace.
For fo God faith, Idwell with him that is humble and contrite in heart and he faith so presently after he had faid, I will dwell in the high and holy place: in fo much as St. Auguftine upon thofe words of David,exaudivit de templo fancto fuo vocem meam, faith
Exaudivit de cordo meo in quo habitat Dominus vocem meam. For know you not that you are the temples of the holy Ghost, and that God dwelleth in you, &c.
God is in heaven, Per fpecialem gloriam.