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In all Places where I record my Name, I will come unto thee, and I will bless thee.
HE Children of Israel were V.
God's peculiar People, chosenout of all the Nations of the World,
and placed under his own Government; he was both their God and their King, and they managed both their civil and sacred Affairs under his more immediate Direction. He brought them out of the Land of Egypt with Signs and Wonders, with a high Hand, and an outstretched Arm, and settled them in the Land of Canaan. He gave them Victory over all Nations round about them; and Serm. was so signally present with them, that V. they hardly eat or drank without a Miracle. And yet, such was their Stupidity and Ingratitude, that there was no Nation upon Earth so much addicted to Idolatry, as they were ! They soon forgot the God that made them, and had loaded them with so many and so great Benefits, and turned away unto strange Gods, and worshiped the Gods of those very Nations, whom they had conquered. And therefore, when God gave them the Moral Law, contained in the Ten Commandments, he gave it them from a Mountain smoking, and with the Voice of Exod. xx, a Trumpet, in the Midst of Thunderings' and Lightnings ; with which they were so terrified that they fled from it, and stood Ver. 19. afar of, and said unto Mofes, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not God Speak with us, left we die.
When God had revealed himself to them after this terrible Manner, he cautions them particularly against the Sin of Idolatry, and forbids the Making with him, Gods of Silver, and Gods of Gold. An Altar of Earth Malt thou make unto me, and shalt sacrifice thereon, thy Burntofferings, and thy Peace-offerings, thy Sheep, VOL. II.
SERM, and thine Oxen : In all Places where Irex
V. cord my Name, I will come unto thee, and und I will bless thee.
THE Meaning of which Words is plainly this, That in all Places which are set a-part for the Performance of the public Offices of Religion, by a lawful Authority, God will shew himself in a particular Manner present, by affording favourable Ear to their Requests, and bestowing upon them those Blessings which they ask according to his Will.
This being the plain Sense and Meaning of the Words, I shall treat of them, ander these following Propofitions.
1. I SHALL Thew, that some Places in a
more particular Manner belong to God,
than others. II. THAT God honours those Places with
his more peculiar Presence. III. THAT the Blessings of God are in a more particular Manner conferred
upon those Persons, who frequent these Places, and there worship God after a due Manner,
I. THAT fome Places in a more peculiar Manner belong to God, than others. Thofe Places in which God records his
Name, or which is the fame Thing, SERM. which are called by his Name, because V. dedicated to him, and set a-part for his Worship, do, in a more particular Manner, belong to God. God, indeed, is the abfolute and supreme Proprietor of the whole World, as he was the Creator; and is the Governor of all Things ; but he justly claims a more particular Right to those Places where he records bis Name; and to those Persons and Things which belong to them. And this Right and Property in them he obtains, by the same Means that one Man doth to those Goods which are in the Poffeffion of another Person ; God treats with us according to those Rules of Justice, which he has established in the World, and condescends to make Use of the fame Weights and Measures in his Dealings with us, which we ought to do one with another. He accepts of our Offerings, though we can offer up nothing to him, but what was his own before, and esteems them not according to the Value, but the Will and the affectionate Gratitude of the Donor. Now since Property amongst Men is tranfferred from one to another, either by Free-gift, or Purchase, by both these Ways Houses and Lands may, in a peculiar
SÉ RM. Manner, belong to God: For though we V. cannot, after the same Manner, in which
we transfer our Goods to Men, immediately intitle God to our Offerings, who is exalted above our Praise, much more above the Returns of our Gratitude ; yet, since God has been pleased to substitute Proxies to act for him, whatsoever we transact with them, according to his Will, and for his Honour, he acknowledges it, and takes it as kindly, as if it were done to himself. Thus, by giving or purchasing any Thing for holy Uses, we may alienate the Right of any particular Person, and transfer the Property of it to God, by delivering it to God's more immediate Servants, for his Use ; and, when thus it is dedicated to him, it cannot rightly be alienated to profane, i. e. to common Uses ; no more than what belongs to one Man can, without his Consent, be taken
and possessed by another.
INNUMERABLE are the Texts in Holy Writ, where God calls those Places which are dedicated to his public Worship, his Houses ; those Persons who are set a-part to the Service of the Temple, his Servants; and those Revenues which are appropriated to their Maintenance, his Tythes