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C HA P. VII

. Of the Temple of the City of God. \

SOmewhat yet further remains here to be enquired after, in the City of our God. And that is, a Temple to Praise him in; and Meat and Drink for our selves to Live upon. (As to Cloathing, we need not be in care: For if Adam and Eve had no need of Garments in the earthly Paradise, much less will the Saints want 'em in the Heavenly ,Where they shall be cloathed with Light, as with a Garment: ) For the Temple; we are toldfRev.21.22J saw noTemple therein : For the (Lord God Almighty andtheLamb are theTemple of it. Nor may this be thought strange, that S. Jobn saw no Temple in the Heavenly City: For why are Temples here erected in the Visible Church, but for Preaching and Sacraments, and Prayers and Praises? Whereas in Heaven, Preaching the Word of God shall cease; where the Uncreated Word himself shall openly speak to all; and according to the Promise (there fully accomplish'd,,) Jer. 31. 34. Theyshall teach no more every man his Neighbour, and every man his brother, faying, Know the Lord; For theyjhall all Know me, from the Least to the greatest of 'em. Neither shall Sacraments there be

of

of any further Use: For what need the Signs, when the things signify'd are clearly Seen, and fully Enjoy d} Prayers and Praises here on Earth are offer'd up to God in the Church, that is call'd his House; where he has promised a peculiar Presence and Regard. 2 Chron.j. if. My Eyes shall be open, and my Ears Attent to the Prayer that is made in this Place. But in the Heavenly City, when God is openly Seen and Heard by all, what need of a Temple any more? And then, May it not also be asked again, why are God and the Lamb said to be the Temple of the City ? Holy Scripture is its own best Interpreter; To' open in one place, what's (aid in another, and to unfold the Darker Text by a Plainer. Now, Pfal. 91. 1. It's' said, He that dtvelleth in the secret places of the most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Of which Words this may be the Sense, That whoever is Joyned to the Lord, by a sure Affiance in him, does <$. set up his House in God ; where he may dwell Safe/ and be free from the sear of Evil. And the same may be said of Prayer and Praise, That he who is Joyn'd to the Lord, by a v pious Reverence, finds such a House in him, where Abiding, he duly Prays and Praises God. And so, in Heaven, The Lord God Almighty is the Temple of the Holy City Because the blessed Citizens there, very well regarding the Omnipotence, as well as

Omnipresence

Omnipresence of God, and reverently carrying, as close to him, and just under his Eje, In him' they dwell, as their Temple; where their Hearts are still offering up the grateful Sacrifice of their Praises.

Thus also, when they seriously and sweetly revolve in their Minds the Merits of Christ; as he is the innocent Lamb of God, who Gave up himself an Offering of a sweet smelling savour unto God, They are drawn, and closely United to him by Love, and dwell in him, as a Temple; there pouring out their Souls, with sweet Acceptance.

O that we (thro' God's especial Favour,) may begin and practise somewhat like this, here upon Earth! To draw nigh to God with such Humility and Reverence, and to Depend upon him with such Trust'&nd Confidence ; and so Delight in him, as our present Help, and house of Defence; That we might not use to go over our holy Offices in a drowsy Listless manner; as Thinking of somewhat else, or scarce Thinking ac iall; But Pray and Praise with such Attcn~ tion, Fervour , and Devotion ; That the Oblation might be indeed well pleasing to God, thro' Christ, and of singular Advantage and Comfort to our selves and others. Then might we gladly apply to our selves, Psal. so. 23. Whoso offereth Eraise Glorifies me, and to him that orders his Conversation aright, will I fiew the salvation of God. For the E Divine Divine Praises, 'made our Sacrifice by the * Fire of Love j and fiducially offer'd up 'through the Mediation of Christ , upon c the Altar of our Heart', go up with the Odour of an acceptable Savour j and open us a way to fee that Salvation which God has prepared for them that Love him. All which Blessed Benefits, O how are they Lost, by the wretched Creatures, who go over Divine Offices with such wild Vagaries of Mind, and such wicked Deadnejs of Heart, That though they do bear some share in the external part of Praying and Singing along with others; yet they partake not at all of the heavenly Consolation, and the sweet Anticipation of Eternal Bliss.

CHAP. VIII.

Of the Meat and Drink of the City of God.

OF this Heavenly Sustenance let Qs se< ths Angel's account, Rev. 22. 1,2 He shsw'd me a pure River of Water of Life -clear at Cr;{Ial, procee ding cut of the Throv cf God and of the Lamb '. In the midst of th 'Street of it, and of either fide of the River Whs tlere tht Tree of Life, which bare Tiveit

manner of Fruits; and yielded her Fruit every Month': And the Leaves of the Tree were for the Healing of the Nations. I fear, lest some that hear this should wonder at tbeParsiwony that seems here to be signified ; and cenr sure the Narrowness of the Heavenly Citizens Entertainments: As thinking, That there's more and better to be found, even in our JVildernefs-State upon Earth: When we hear of no more but the Fruics of one Tree for Meats; and only the Water of a River for Drink.

But let such as are tempted thus to surmize^ call to mind,That in the Earthly Paradise, (where doubtless was better Provision, than any inborn; present Exile,") Adam had nothing granted him , but Fruits and Herbs to Eat, and Water to Drink. Yet because it was his Panijhment, to be difpossess'd of these Entertainments, Tis an Argument to Convince us, That they Exceeded all the Meats, and the Wines of this Life: Tho' still abundantly Inferior to the Tree of Life $ and the Living Water of the Paradise Cakstial.

But in this Vale of Misery , all are Distemper d , And their Sense. of Tasting has a kind of Bitter Relish, wherewith it is Vitiated; which puts 'em upon Shifting and Inventing Varieties, to take off that nauseous Uneasiness. But the Varieties, at the fame time that they help to cure 'em of Ei. the

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