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since angels dwell in churches, and God hath made his name to dwell there too; if there also be a holy people, that there be saints as well as angels, it is a holy fellowship, and a blessed communion : but to see a devil there, would scare the most confident and bold fancy, and disturb the good meeting; and such is every wicked and graceless person: " Have I not chosen twelve of
is a devil ?" An evil soul is an evil spirit, and such are no good ornaments for temples : and it is a shame that a goodly Christian church should be like an Egyptian temple; without, goodly buildings; within, a dog or a cat, for the deity they adore. It is worse, if in our addresses to holy places and offices, we bear our lusts under our garments. For dogs and cats are of God's making, but our lusts are not, but are God's enemies; and therefore, besides the unholiness, it is an affront to God to bring them along, and it defiles the place in a great degree.
16. For there is a defiling of a temple by insinuation of impurities, and ancher by direct and positive profanation, and a third by express sacrilege. This“ defiles a temple” to the ground. Every small sin is an unwelcome guest, and is a spot in those“ feasts of charity,” which entertain us often in God's houses: but there are some, (and all great crimes are such,) which desecrate the place, unhallow the ground as to our particulars, stop the ascent of our prayers, obstruct the current of God's blessing, turn religion into bitterness, and devotion into gall; such as are marked in Scripture with a distinguishing character, as enemies to the peculiar dispositions of religion: and such are, unchastity, which defiles the temples of our bodies; covetousness, which sets up an idol instead of God; and unmercifulness, which is a direct enemy to the mercies of God, and the fair return of our prayers. He that shows not the mercies of alms, of forgiveness, and comfort, is forbidden to hope for comfort, relief, or forgiveness, from the hands of God. A pure mind is the best manner of worships, and the impurity of a crime is the greatest contradiction to the honour and religion of holy places. And, therefore, let us imitate the precedent of the most religious of kings; “ I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord, and so will I go to thine altark;" always remembering those decretory and final words of St. Paul, “ He that defiles a temple, him will God destroy!."
Animadverto gratiorem existimari qni delubris deornm pnram castamque mentem, quàm qui meditatum carmen intnlerit. -- Plin. Sec. Pan. Trajan.
'Αγνον δή ναιοΐο θυώδεος ένδον ιόντα Εμφάμεν αγνείη δ' έστι, φρονείν όσια. - Porphyr. de Non Esu Animal. lib. ii.
Optimus animus pulcherrimus cultus. Mή καθαρώ καθαρού εφάπτισθαι ου μη Soustóv. — Hierocl.
O eternal God, who “ dwellest not in temples made with
hands; the heaven of heavens is not able to contain thee,” and yet thou art pleased to manifest thy presence amongst the sons of men, by special issues of thy favour and benediction; make my body and soul to be a temple pure and holy, apt for the entertainments of the holy Jesus, and for the habitation of the Holy Spirit. Lord, be pleased, with thy rod of paternal discipline, to cast out all impure lusts, all worldly affections, all covetous desires, from this thy temple; that it may be a place of prayer and meditation, of holy appetites and chaste thoughts, of pure intentions and zealous desires of pleasing thee; that I may become also a sacrifice, as well as a temple; eaten up with the zeal of thy glory, and consumed with the fire of love; that not one thought may be entertained by me, but such as may be like perfume, breathing from the altar of incense; and not a word may pass from me, but may have the accent of heaven upon it, and sound pleasantly in thy ears. O dearest God, fill every faculty of my soul with impresses, dispositions, capacities, and aptnesses of religion; and do thou hallow my soul, that I may be possessed with zeal and religious affections; loving thee above all things in the world, worshipping thee with the humblest adorations and frequent addresses, continually feeding upon the apprehensions of thy divine sweetness, and consideration of thy infinite excellences, and observations of thy righteous commandments, and the feast of a holy conscience, as an antepast of eternity, and consignation to the joys of heaven, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
* Ps. xxvi. 6.
11 Cor. iii. 17.
Of Jesus's Departure into Galilee ; his Manner of Life,
Miracles, and Preaching ; his calling of Disciples; and what happened until the Second Pussover.
1. “ When Jesus understood that John was cast into prisona,” and that the Pharisees were envious at him for the great multitudes of people that resorted to his baptism, which he ministered, not in his own person, but by the deputation of his disciples, they finishing the ministration which himself began, (who, as Euodius, bishop of Antioch, reports, baptized the blessed Virgin, his mother, and Peter only; and Peter baptized Andrew, James, and John, and they others ;) he left Judæa, and came into Galilee; and in his passage he must touch Sychar, a city of Samaria, where, in the heat of the day and the weariness of his journey, he sat himself down upon the margin of Jacob's well; whither, when“ his disciples were gone to buy meat, a Samaritan woman cometh to draw water," of whom Jesus asked some, to cool his thirst, and refresh his weariness.
2. Little knew the woman the excellency of the person, that asked so small a charity: neither had she been taught, that " a cup of cold water given to a disciple should be rewarded,” and much rather such a present to the Lord himself. But she prosecuted the spite of her nations, and the interest and quarrel of the schism; and, instead of washing Jesus's feet, and giving him drink, demanded, why he, “ being a Jew, should ask water of a Samaritan? for the Jews have no intercoure with the Samaritans."
3. The ground of the quarrel was this. In the sixth year of Hezekiah, Salmanasar, king of Assyria, sacked Samaria, transported the Israelites to Assyria, and planted an Assyrian colony in the town and country; who, by Divine vengeance, were destroyed by lions, which no power of man could restrain or lessen. The king thought the cause was, their not serving the God of Israel according to the rites of Moses; and therefore sent a Jewish captive priest, to instruct the remanent inhabitants in the Jewish religion ; who so learned and practised it, that they still retained the superstition of the Gentile rites; till Manasses, the brother of Jaddi, the high priest at Jerusalem, married the daughter of Sanballat, who was the governor under king Darius. Manasses being reproved for marrying a stranger, the daughter of an uncircumcised Gentile, and admonished to dismiss her, flies to Samaria, persuades his father-in-law to build a temple in mount Gerizim, introduces the rites of daily sacrifice, and makes himself high priest, and began to pretend to be the true successor of Aaron, and commences a schism, in the time of Alexander the Great. From whence the question of religion grew so high, that it begat disaffections, anger, animosities, quarrels, bloodshed, and murders ; not only in Palestine, but wherever a Jew and Samaritan had the ill fortune to meet. Such being the nature of men, that they think it the greatest injury in the world, when other men are not of their minds; and that they please God most, when they are most furiously zealous; and no zeal better to be expressed, than by hating all those whom they are pleased to think God hates. This schism was prosecuted with the greatest spite that ever any was, because both the people were much given to superstition; and this was helped forward by the constitution of their religion, consisting much in externals and ceremonials, and which they cared not much to hallow and make moral, by the intertexture of spiritual senses and charity. And, therefore, the Jews called the Samaritans“ accursed;" the Samaritans, at the paschal solemnity, would at midnight, when the Jews' temple was open, scatter dead men’s bones“, to profane and desecrate the place; and both would fight, and eternally dispute the question; sometimes referring it to arbitrators, and then the conquered party would decline the arbitration after sentence; which they did at Alexandria, before Ptolemæus Philometor, when Andronicus had, by a rare and exquisite oration, procured sentence against Theodosius and Sabbæus, the Samaritan advocates : the sentence was given for Jerusalem, and the schism increased, and lasted till the time of our Saviour's conference with this woman.
a Matt, iv, 12.
Quæsitum ad fontem solos deducere verpos. --Jur. Sat. xiv.
4. And it was so implanted and woven in with every understanding, that when the woman “ perceived Jesus to be a prophet,” she undertook this question with him: “ Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” Jesus knew the schism was great enough already, and was not willing to make the rent wider: and though he gave testimony to the truth, by saying, “ Salvation is of the Jews ;" and “ we know what we worship, ye do not;" yet, because the subject of this question was shortly to be taken away, Jesus takes occasion to preach the Gospel, to hasten an expedient, and, by way of anticipation, to reconcile the disagreeing interests, and settle a revelation, to be verified for ever. Neither here nor there, by way of confinement; not in one country more than another; but wherever any man shall call upon God“ in spirit and truth,” there he shall be heard.
5. But all this while the holy Jesus was athirst, and therefore hastens at least to discourse of water, though as yet he got none. He tells her of " living water,” of eternal satisfactions, of “ never thirsting again,” of her own personal condition of matrimonial relation, and professes himself to be the Messias, and then was interrupted by the coming of his disciples, who wondered to see him alone, “ talking with a woman,” besides his custom and usual reservation. But the woman, full of joy and wonder, left her water-pot, and ran to the city, to publish the Messias : and immediately “ all the city came out to see; and
believed on him upon the testimony of the woman, and more when they heard bis own discourses.” They invited him to the town, and received him with hospitable civilities for two days, after which he departed to his own Galilee.
6. Jesus, therefore, came into the country, where he was received with respect and fair entertainment, because of the miracles which the Galileans saw done by him at the feast; and being at Cana, where he wrought the first miracle, a a noble personage; a little king, say some; a palatine, says St. Jerome; a kingly person, certainly, came to Jesus with much reverence, and desire that he would be pleased to come to his house, and cure his son, now ready to die;