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47But it was Solomon who built a house for him.

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47. Solomon built. Stephen seemeth to gird Solomon glancingly 463463     “Videtur hic oblique Stephanus Solomonem perstringere,” Stephen here seemeth indirectly to rebuke Solomon. in this place, as if he did not regard the nature of God in building the temple; yet did he attempt that work not without the commandment of God. There was also a promise added, wherein God did testify that he would be present with his people there. I answer, that when Stephen denieth that God dwelleth in temples made with hands, that is not referred unto Solomon, who knew full well that God was to be sought in heaven, and that men’s minds must be lifted up thither by faith; which thing he uttered also in that solemn prayer which he made:

“The heaven of heavens do not contain thee,
and how much less this house?”
(1 Kings 8:23;)

but he reproveth the blockishness of the people, which abused the temple, as if it had had God tied to it; which appeareth more plainly by the testimony of Isaiah, (Isaiah 6:6,) which he citeth also; God, saith he, would have Solomon to build him a temple; but they were greatly deceived who thought that he was, as it were, included in such a building; as he complaineth by his prophet that the people do him injury, when as they imagine that he is tied to a place; but the prophet doth not for that cause only inveigh against the Jews, because they worshipped God superstitiously, thinking that his power was tied to the temple, but because they did esteem him according to their own affection, and, therefore, after that they had ended 464464     “Defuncti sunt,” performed. their sacrifices and external pomp, they imagined that he was pleased, and that they had brought him indebted to them. This was almost a common error in all ages; because men thought that cold ceremonies were sufficient enough for the worship of God. The reason is, because forasmuch as they are carnal, and wholly set upon the world, they imagine that God is like to them; therefore, to the end God may take from them this blockishness, he saith that he filleth all things.




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