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rifdiction, but in vindicating his Father's House from Profanation, which he could not fee proftituted to vile and vulgar Ufes, nor fuffer it to be defecrated and profan'd.

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To all which he adds that fmart 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. 56.7. Mine Houfe shall be called an Houfe of Prayer for all People. Where we have,

(1.) God Almighty's Right or Title to the Temple or Church afferted; for he calls it My Houfe, and juftly too, being devoted and confecrated to him: by which it is made his Peculiar, and no other may lay any Claim, or pretend to any Property in it.

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(2.) We have the Ufe to which it was defign'd, and is to be put; it fhall be called an House of Prayer: that is, the Place where all our folemn Prayers, Praifes, Devotion and Sacrifice are to be offer'd up.

(3.) We have the Perfons for whofe Ufe it was intended; and that is, woris veal, for all People and Nations: which was a Prophecy of the coming in of the Gentiles, who fhould be all gather'd into one Flock, and meet in one Fold, and fo be all joyful together in his Houfe of Prayer.

Laftly, We have our Saviour's Rebuke for profaning the Temple, and converting the Houfe of God to vulgar and common Ufes; making the House of Prayer a Den of Thieves. Te have made it a Houfe of Merchandize, faith he in St. Matthew, a Place of Trade for felling 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 Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, and fo refcu'd it from Abufé and Profanation, he reftor❜d it to its Right, by making it a House of Prayer, and the Place of teaching and inftructing the People; for fo the laft words tell us, And be taught daily in the Temple. And of the Apoftles we read after, that they were continually in the Temple blessing and praising God; Luke 24. 53.

Thus I have briefly fumm'd up the whole of this Day's Gofpel; which we may improve and apply to many good Purposes. As,

1. From God's dealing with Jerufalem, we learn his great Goodness in allotting to them and us a Day of Grace, and

giving both Time and Means of working out our own Salvation. He is not wanting to any, in affording them Ways: and Opportunities of being happy, but is ever ready to af fift 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 Meffengers and Ambaffadors to befeech them to be reconcil'd. Such is the Mercy and Goodnefs 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 them to be miferable, but hath made them rational Creatures, and fet Life and Death before them, giving them fufficient Time, Strength and Encouragement to chufe the one, and escape the other. So that he hath left all obftinate Sinners without Excufe, and if any mifcarry, their Mifery 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 beft 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 Ufe of it. 'Tis the Apoftle's Advice, to know the Time, that now 'tis high time to awake out of the Sleep of Sin, and to mind our own Salvation. We fee how it far'd with Jerufalem, for not confidering the Time and Things that belong'd to their Peace, how for that reason they were hid from their Eyes, and what Mi feries befel them for not knowing the Day of their Vifitation. Remember that our Time too is paffing away; beware then of flipping our Opportunity, which being loft, cannot be regain'd. While the Day lafts let us work, becaufe the Night is haftning upon us, when no Man can! work.os!

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Laftly, From our Saviour's cafting those that bought and fold out of the Teniple, and rebuking thofe that turn'd the Houfe of Prayer into a Houfe of Merchandize, or a Den of Thieves, let us learn to pay all due Reverence and Refpect to God's Houfe, and beware of profaning it by any rude or unbecoming Actions: having Houfes to eat and drink, to buy and fell in, let us do thofe things at home, and not make the Houfe of God an Alehouse or a: Market; but preferve it pure and free from all com

mon,

omon, and much more from all finful Ufes: fo fhall our Prayers afcend up from thence like Incenfe, and yield a fweet-fmelling Savour, &c. ton mi dà a

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DISCOURSE XXXII.

The EPISTLE for the Eleventh Sunday after Trinity.

I Cor. xv. 112.

Brethren, I deliver'd unto you the Gospel, which I preach'd unto you, &c.

WE

E are taught to pray this Day for fuch a Measure of Divine Grace, that by running the way of God's Commandments, we may obtain his gracions Promifes, and be made Partakers of his Heavenly Treafure. The Grace here chiefly pray'd for, is the Grace of Faith, to which the running the Paths of God's Commandments, and the obtaining the Promifes, are frequently afcrib'd. And in this we may be the more confirm'd by the Epiftle ap-pointed for the Day; in which the Apostle labours to efta blifh the Corinthians, and in them all Chriftians in a firm Belief of the Death, Burial, and Refurrection of our Sawiour: which he the rather did, because fome falle Teachers had crept in among them, who deny'd the Refurrection, and had fhaken the Faith of many in that great Article, as fome have likewife attempted to do in our Days.

Now to arm them against fuch falfe Teachers, and to prevent the Poifon and Contagion of their corrupt Doctrines, he here gives them an Antidote to keep them found in the Faith, and to confirm them in the Belief of this and other great Articles of it. To which end, he

-First, Puts thefe Corinthians in mind of what he had before taught them, and how they embrac'd it, and for fome time made no Question, or entertain'd any Doubt concerning it: So he tells them, ver. 1. Brethren (faith he) I declare unto you the Gospel which I preach'd unto you, which al

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fo you receiv'd, and wherein you ftand. And the better to keep them ftedfaft in the Faith, he

Secondly, Minds them not only of the Excellency, but the Neceflity of it to Salvation; ver. 2. By which alfo ye are fav'd that is, by this Faith you were converted to Chriftianity, and turn'd from the Darkness of Paganifm to the Light of the Gofpel, and fo are put into a State of Salvation, which he therefore tells them was worthy to be remembred, and kept ftill in memory, without which all their former believing would be in vain, and to no purpose: If ye keep in memory (faith he) what I preach'd unto you, it will affuredly bring you to Salvation; but if ye forget or let it flip, and much more if ye revolt and turn from it, then our Preaching to you will be in vain, and your Faith is alfo vain. To prevent which, and to refresh their Memories, he

Thirdly, Let's them know his Fidelity in delivering his Meffage, and imparting the Truths of the Gospel to them; ver. 3. I deliver'd unto you first of all that which I alfo receiv'd meaning, that he did not forge or falfify with them, neither adding to nor concealing any thing from them, but freely and fairly deliver'd what he was intrufted withal, and charg'd to communicate to them; and then gives them a brief Summary of the Doctrine deliver'd by him in this and the following Verfe, namely, How that Chrift died for our Sins, according to the Scriptures, and that he was bury'd, and that he rose again the third Day, according to the Scriptures: which great Points are three fundamental Articles of our Faith, containing what our Saviour did and fuffer'd for our Redemption, and confequently ne ceffary to be believ'd by all that expect any Interest in or Benefit by it. The

ift Whereof is, That Chrift died for our Sins, according to the Scriptures: where we have the Paflion or Death of Chrift, he died; and likewife the Caufe or Reafon of it, 'twas for our Sins, together with the Confirmation of both, according to the Scriptures. For his Death, it was the moft bitter, barbarous, and bloody one that could be undergone, a Death wherein the Wrath of God, the Fury of Men, and the Rage of all the Powers of Darkness moft fatally confpir'd: He was obedient to Death (faith the Apoftle) even the Death of the Crofs, which of all the Roman ways of Execution was the moft painful and the most ignominious, being attended with all the Cruelty and Shame

that

that could be fhew'd to the vileft Malefactor. And of this accurfed Death both the Jews and Romans were the Witnes fes, as well as the bloody Inftruments.

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But what was the Guilt that expos'd him to fo heavy a Punishment? Why, not his own, for he had no Sin, nor was any Guile found in his Mouth, but ours, for which he undertook to be the Propitiation. He himself was holy, harmless, undefil'd, feparate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens, Heb. 7. 26. and fo could not be liable to Death upon his own fcore; but taking upon him our Sins, he became obnoxious to the Punishment due to them, and fo laid down his Life for the Expiation. He was deliver'd up to Death for our Offences, faith St. Paul, Rom. 4. 25. Chrift fuffer'd once for Sins (faith St. Peter) the Fust for the Unjust, that he might bring us unto God; 1 Pet. 3. 18. And all this according to the Scriptures; that is, according to the Prophecies and Predictions of the Old Teftament, where the Death and Paffion of the Meffias is plain ly foretold and recorded. All the Sacrifices under the Law, where all things were purg'd with Blood, and without the Thedding of Blood was no Remiflion, were but fo many Types and Shadows of this great propitiatory Sacrifice under the Gospel, where this Lamb of God was flain to take away the Sins of the World: of which the Prophet Ifaiah gave fuch a lively and particular Account many hundred years before, as if he had liv'd to fee it actually done Chap. 53. All we (faith he) like Sheep have gone aftray, we have turn'd every one to his own way, and the Lord hath lain on him the Iniquity of us all. He was opprefs'd, and he was afflicted, yet be open'd not his Mouth. He is brought as a Lamb to the Slaughter, and as a Sheep before the Shearer is dumb, fo he open'd not his Mouth. He was taken from Pri Jon and from Judgment, he was cut off out of the Land of the Living, for the Tranfgreffion of my People was be fricken. How punctually thefe, and many other Prophecies to the fame purpofe, were fulfill'd in the Perfon of our Saviour, the Hiftory of the New Teftament may fully inform us.

2dly, Another Point that St. Paul deliver'd to the Corinthians, was his Burial, How he dy'd for our Sins, and that he was bury'd. The Rites of Burial, you know, ever attend Death, all Nations interring their deceas'd Friends. Accordingly we read that our Saviour's Body was taken from the Cross, and begg'd by his Difciples, in order to his Burial, that Mary Magdalen and others brought Spices to embalm

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