[Burnt down.] Faringdon Ward within. [Rebuilding.]153

[Burnt down.] Faringdon Ward within. [Rebuilding.]

dreadful Conflagration in London, Anno 1666. Which yet did not discourage his Majesty, who by an Act of Parliament, appointed a certain Duty upon every Chaldron of Coals, for the carrying on and perfecting the Work of St. Pauls. And in the Year 1673. the thick Walls, with vast Charges being pulled down, that were so shaken by the Fire, and the Foundations cleared, a new Foundation was begun to be laid, of such a Fabrick, as for Amplitude, Splendor, Solidity, Figure, and curious Architecture, the World hath scarce seen the like. The Model whereof was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Kt. an approved Architect; according to which Model, with some Alterations, it hath been since erecting.

In the Year 1678. King Charles gave out his Letters Patents, in favour of the great and expensive Work. This was backed by Henry, the careful Lord Bishop of London. Who by causing an Address to be printed, excited all Persons throughout the Kingdom, to extend their Liberality towards the Buidling; endeavouring to take off certain Objections that might stick in some Mens Minds against it. And then shewing how far they had proceeded, and what Receipts and Disbursements had hitherto been made. It was to this Tenor.

The Condition of St. Pauls, now rebuilding.

J. S.

"YOU perceive by his Majesty's Letters Patents for rebuilding the Cathedral Church of St. Pauls, how zealously his Majesty is concerned to have this so pious and charitable a Work effectually carried on. And to that end, how earnestly, both by his Royal Grant and Example, he recommends it to all Cities, Towns and Parishes, throughout his Kingdom of England, and Dominion of Wales."

The Bishop of London's Le ter, recommending a Contribution.

"In pursuance of this his Majesty's pious Intention, and that it may have its desired Effect, it will be requisite not only to vindicate the Piety of this Design, but also the Necessity and Reasonableness of so general a Contribution toward the accomplishing of it. For besides the Objections against so good a Work, proceeeding from disaffection to Religion in some, and from a covetous and sordid disposition of Mind in others, there are likwise these two great Prejudices against it, which have too far possessed the Minds even of better disposed Persons."

" 1. That the Sumptuousness and Magnficence of Churches, is not at all suitable to the times of the Gospel, nor according to the simplicity of the primitive Christian Worship."

" 2. That the Church of St. Pauls, belonging only to the City and Diocess of London, ought to be rebuilt solely at their Charge, without having recourse to so extraordinary a way of Supply and Contribution, from others who are in no way concerned in it."

" First, It is objected against the Work it self, That the Sumptuousness and Magnificence of Temples, and so much Splendor in the outward Circumstances of God's Worship, is Jewish and Ceremonial, and not so suitable to the spiritual Nature and Design of the Gospel, and the Worship thereby required; which consists in the inward Purity of our Hearts, and the Devotion of our Minds and Spirits. Nor so agreeable to the Simplicity of the primitive Christianity, which in Things of this nature, contained it self within the Bounds of Necessity and Convenience; and therefore whatever is beyond these, may justly be deemed superfluous, and might much better be imployed in Alms and Works of Charity."


" For the removal of this Prejudice, we may please to consider,"

" 1. That the publick Worship of God, is a moral Duty, founded in the light of Nature, and the common Reason of Mankind."

" 2. That the publick Worhsip of God, tho' it doth suppose and require inward and spiritual Devotion, yet as publick is necessarily external; and as such, ought to express, in the best manner we are able, that inward Honour and Reverence which we pay to the Divine Majesty. And therefore, that the Circumstances of it should not only be decent, but very solemn and magnificent, the Light of Nature seems plainly to require, and the Gospel doth no where gainsay. And the Resolution of David, that he would not offer to the Lord his God of that which cost him nothing; and the Declaration which he arfterwards made concerning the building of the Temple, that the House which is to be built to the Lord, must be exceeding magnifical, was not a piece of ceremonial Piety, but grounded upon a moral and eternal Reason, of equal force in all Ages and Times, namely, that which Solomon his Son gave to King Hiram, why he designed so magnificent a Temple, that it might be in some measure suitable to the Greatness and Majesty of that God who was to be worshipped in it: The House (says he) which I build is great, for GREAT is our God above all Gods. Christians indeed are not tied to one Place of Worship, as the Jews were; but they are obliged to honour God as much as they; and to declare their high Regard and Esteem of so glorious a Majesty, by all outward fitting Testimonies of Respect and Reverence."

" 3. That the mean Estate and Circumstances of God's publick Worship in the beginnings of Christianity, was not the effect of Choice, but of Necessity; and enforced upon Christians by their Poverty and Persecution. By reason whereof, their Worship was not only without Splendor and Magnificence, but without ordinary Decency, and the common Conveniences of Time and Place; being usually performed in the Night, in Chambers, and Grotts, and secret Places; not because they thought this best, but because they could then do no better. As they sufficiently testified so soon as they were free from Persecution; when every where, with great zeal, they raised stately Structures for the publick Worship of God, and spared no Cost to that purpose; believing it to be highly for the Honour of Christ and his Religion, that Men should declare their Regard to Almighty God, and the solemnity of his Worship in this way. And surely they, who from the obscurity and meanness of the Places of publick Worship in the primitive Times, would draw a Pattern for Churches in succeeding Ages, may do well to consider, whether they would be willing that the Poverty of the first Christians, should be made the measure and standard of Mens Estates in all Ages. Because the force of the Argument from bare primitive Example, is the very same in both Cases. God is pleased to accept of that in Case of Necessity, which he will disdain where Men have the Ability and Opportunity to serve him after a better mannner. While the People of Israel were in a persecuted and unsettled Condition, God was content that the Ark should be placed in a Ta-"