Imágenes de páginas

itself to be a£ied upon by Nothing. Aiiserm. the sensible Qualities of Matter, are mere- VIII. ly relative to Us in our present sttate, de-^*"*** pending on the frame of our bodily Organs, and not being any thing really inherent in the Things themselves. We behold only the outward Surfaces of things, and are affected only by the various Motions and Figures of certain small parts of Matter; which, by the Help of Microscopes, appear even to Us to be really very different in Themselves from what our Senses represent them; And to a Spirit, which sees the inward real Essences of- Things, and not the "external sensible Images which affect Us, they have no similitude at all with our Imaginations.

/\thly, I T will be here necesfary to. observe, How and in what sense, God, who is every where necesfarily alike present, is yet in Scripture so frequently represented to be in Heaven: As if He who is in All "places, could be confined in Any; or any proper Habitation could be ascribed to Him, whom (as Solomon declares) the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain. The True meaning therefore of - .; N 3 God's

SeR M.God's being in Heaven, is to express his VIII. Jlelght and Dignity not in place, but in

ISY*^ Power: It being only a Jimilitude drawn into common Speech, from the Situation of things in Nature. As the Heavenly Bodies, the Sun and Stars, are High above us in place; and all Earthly Blessings depend on the Sun and Rain and the Descent"1 of kindly Influences literally from above: so, by an easy figure of speech, whatsoever is above us in Fewer, we are from hence used to represent as being above us in Place. Our Saviour, speaking of the Pride and Greatness of Capernaum; And thou Capernaum, fays he, which art exalted unto Heaven, JJ:alt be brought down to Hell, Matt, xi 23. The Power and Dominion of the King of Babylon, is thus set forth by the Prophet -saiah, ch. xiv. 13, 14. 'Thou hajl said in thine heart, I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will ascend into Haven, I will exalt my Throne above the Jlars of God: And the QeflruStion of his Monarchy is described after the like manner, ver. 12. How art thou fallen from Heaven f The Greatness and Dignity of cur Saviour's Kingdom, is


represented in Scripture, by his Jitting at S r. R M. the right hand of God in the Heaven/y VIII. places. We know that God has no Hands, nor any Shape or Figure; but the meaning of Christ's sitting on his right hand, is his being exalted next to him in Authority and Power. Thus therefore when we lpeak likewise of God, even the invisible Father himself, as being in Heaven; it must be understood to express his Supremacy, not in Place but in Power and Dominion; that He is the High and Holy One, Great and Glorious and Supreme above All. But there is also another reason of this expression, of God's being in Heaven: And That is, To signify, that though of his real actual Presence there is indeed no Confinement, yet of his Glory and Majesty there is in that Place a particular and extraordinary Manifestation. Thus the Angel in the Book of Tobit represents it, ch. xii. 15, / am ( faith he ) one of the seven holy Angels, which go in and out before the Glory of the Holy One: And the Salutation to the Churches, which begins the Book of the Revelation, ch. i. 4. Grace be unto you, and Peace from him N 4 which

Szkm.which is, and which was, and which is to VIII. come, and from the seven spirits which are before his Throne. The real and proper Acts xvii. Prfence of God, is equally in all places: 2 7- But his Throne, his Glory, the place where the righteous shall fee his Face, where they (hall behold a more particular glorious Manifestation of his Power and Majesty, is in Heaven. In like manner, here upon Earth; in places, where God has been pleased more particularly to manifest his Glory, to place his Name There, to receive There the Homage of his Servants; in those places God in Scripture^ phrase is faid to Be: Not as if at the fame time he was not equally in all other places also; but that in these places he chose to manifest himself to his Servants, and There to receive Homage from them. The Patriarch Jacob, concerning the place where he first faw the Vision of Angels ascending and descending out of Heaven j Surely, fays he, the Lord is in this place, Gen. xxviii. 16; and it shall be the House of God, ver. 22. In like manner in the Temple at Jerusalem, the Glory of God appeared visibly, 2 Chro,:. vii. 1. and there k also- was, when it did not appear: andScrm. how He whom the Heaven, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain, did thus1^^'' at that time dwell on Earth in a Temple made with hands, is well expressed by Solomon, 1 Kings viii. 30, Hearken thou to the Supplication of thy Servant, and of thy people .srael, -when they shall pray in, or towards, this place j and hear thou in heaven, thy dwelling-place: The fense is; God, who is present in every place, had appointed in That place to receive his Tribute of worship. And upon this Account, the place was esteemed Holy, and respected accordingly: Ecclesv. 1. Keep thy foot; when thou goejl to the house of God. What the meaning is, of that unusual Phrase, Keep thy foot; is explained Exod. iii. 5. where God, appearing to Moses in the Bush, fays thus unto him; Put off thy shoes from off thy Feet, for the place whereon thou standejl is holy ground. The Custom or Manner in those Eastern countries of showing Honour or Veneration, was by uncovering the Feet; as our present method of showing respect, is by uncovering the Head, Yet God himself was


« AnteriorContinuar »