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night; and that upon all the glory there may be a defence;
and that he may yet recover the spoils of the house, that the
nncircumcised Philistines have carried away. 4- See hence, that when a church departs from Christ,
either in point of doctrine, worship, discipline, or government, she is off from her proper hinge, and therefore is fallen from her purity; her crown is fallen from her head, her glory is departed. The glory of that church is at a low pass, which hangs upon the nail of legal securities, by kings and parliaments, instead of the nail which God hath fastened in a sure place. This, alas! is the cafe with the church of Scotland at this day. What have the judicatories to support them, in their sereeuing the erroneous, suspending, ejecting, and deposing men for bearing testimony to the truth? in tyranizing over the Lord's people, by wresting from them their Christian rights and liberties, and the like? The word of God cannot support them in such proceedings; they do not hang upon the nail in a sure place; no, such things stand in a flat contradiction unto the authority and will of the King of Zion. The only thing that supports and emboldens them in such proceedings, is the nail of a legal security and establishment, which one time or other will give way, and then all that hangs on it falls to the ground. As it is said of Eliakim, personally considered, or of Shebna his predecessor, upon his removal by death, or otherwise, from his high station in the court of Hezekiah, he and all his dependents should fall together, in the rerse following the text, "And in that day, faith the Lord of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off:" Thus will it fare with churches that hang only on legal securities from men; Jer. xvii. 5. 6." Cursed is the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord," &c.
Vol. III. N
Is. xxii. 14.*—And they Jball hang upon him all the glory os bis Father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vejils of small quantity : from the -vessels of cups, even to all the vejils cf flagons.
THE THIRD SERMON ON THIS TEXT.
I AM yet insisting upon the fourth general head proposed in the prost-cution of the doctrine, viz. What is it that hangs upon our blessed Eliakhn, Jesus Christ.' And here we are told ot" three things that are said to hang upop this nail. i. All the glory of his Father's house. 2. The whole offspring and issue. 3. All the vessels of the house, from the least to the greatest. And these two, namely, the offspring of the house, and the vessels, are a great part of its t;lory, also mentioned in the first part of the verse. I have already mentioned several glorious things in the house of our God, which do all hang upon the nail fastened in a sure place.
1 proceed, secondly, to speak a little of the offspring and ijpte of the house, which are also said to hang upon Christ. Uy the offspring and issue, I understand all true believers, who are so called upon several accounts.
1. Because they are born or brought forth in the house: Psal. Ixxxvii. c. "Of Zion it shall be said, This man and that man was born in her.'' And ver. 6. «• The Lord shall count when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there." The church is the mother that bare them; for, "Jerusalem, which is from above, is the mother of us all," Gal. iv. 26.
2. Because the Father of the house or family begat them: James i. 18. "Of his own will begat he us by tht word of truth. John i. 13. «« Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will ot the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God j" hence commonly defined the children of God, being m a day of power begotten by the incorruptible feed os the won!.
3. Because the first-born of the family, Jesus Christ, the onI ^g°""\of the Father by eternal generation, he owns them tor h« br.curen, ami is n.n aw am=d to do so, saving to his Fa
oT.U I? *'%",imC U1-f° m? b«*«=- £ the midst
pared w.v.1 rich, u. is.
4. They ave fitly called the offspring and issue of the house, because, like new-born babes, they are suckled and dandled there: 1 Pet. ii. 2. " As new born babes drink in the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." The ordinances of the gospel, particularly the preaching of the word, and administration of the sacraments, are, as it were, the br<asts which the church, like an indulgent mother, draws out unto all the babes of the family: If. lxvi. 11. " That ye may fuck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations:" and in the verse following, believers are said to be " borne upon her" fides, and dandled upon her knees." What shall we think of that church that dandles the bastards, and neglects the true begotten of the family, and is more concerned to encourage and cherish the world's preat ones, than Christ's little on>*s, and that yields the corrupt and unsound milk of error unto rhe children of the family, which has an evident tendency to poison instead of nourishing them? Surely she mult be an adulterous mother, for the natural mother is more careful of the children.
c. They are called the offspring and issue of the house, because they have their education and nurture there: *' All thy children shall be taught of the Lord:" and they are trained up in the knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom. The Father of the family takes pains upon their instruction; and all that have heard and learned of the Father, come to the Son to be taught by his word and Spirit more and more: and thus they know the Lord, and follow on to kno'w him ; and his goings forth to them are prepared as the morning. Upon this, «nd other accounts, believers are called the offspring and issue of the house.
And now I come to let you sec that the offspring and issue co all hang, with every thing that concerns them, upon the New Testament Eliakim, who is fastened as a nail in a sure place.
1. then, Their very being, as they are new creatures, hangs upon him: Eph. ii. 10. "Ye aie his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus." The expression is remarkable; they are "created in Christ Jesus." As the branch hab its being in the root upon which it is grassed, so has the believer his spiritual being, as a new creature, in Christ, insomuch that, if you tike Christ'from the believer, or the believer from Christ, he is not, his being ceases. A true Chriltian is a creature in Christ Jesus.
2. Hence it follows, that their life hangs upon Christ. The second Adam is called a quickening spirit, because he is the resurrection and the life ot his whole mystical body. The law
'of the Spirit of life, which is in Christ Jesus, makes them all free from the law of sin and death; and it is not so much they that live, as Christ that lives in them : hence the life that they live is •' by faith in the Son of God." He it is that quickens them at first, when dead in trespasses and sins; and he it is that holds their souls in life; the fountaion of life is not wiih them, but with him. The life of the believer is juit bound up in the life of Jesus i " Because I live (fays he) ye shall live also." Whenever the spiritual life of the believer begins to languish, they run to him, and cry, "Wilt thou not revive us again, that we may rejoice in thee i
o Have the offspring and issue of the house any thing ot the light of saving knowledge of God ? Why, this hangs upon Christ i for he is their everlasting light, the true Sun of Righteousness, the day-spring from on high, that gives light to them that fat in darkness, and in the regions of the shadow of death: 2 Cor. Iv. 6. "God who commanded the light to shine out ot darkness, hath shined into our hearts, to give us the light of the knowledge of his glory, in the face of Jesus Christ. He it is that translates them from the power of darkness unto his marvellous light. It is in his light that they are made to see light; and through him it is that the path ot the just is as the shining light, that shines more and more unto the perfect day. His absence makes night, and thence they go mourning without the fun ; but by his return the shadows of death are turned into the morning.
4. The offspring and issue of the house of God enjoy a glorious liberty: Rom. viii. we read of " the glorious liberty of the sons of God." Well, this hangs upon Christ ; for "if the Son makes us free, then are we free indeed; and, Gal. v. 1. we are enjoined to " stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free;" which has a respect both to our ecclesiastic liberty, as we are members of the visible church, and our spiritual liberty, as we are believers, or members of the church invisible. All sinners, that are out of Christ, are prisoners in chains, captives to the mighty, under the power of tin, under the curse of the law, led captive by Satan at his pleasure ; but Christ cemes in a day of power, and fays, Let the l.iwlul captive be delivered, and the prey be let go from the terrible; and it is done. He fays to the prisoner, Go fortl . it is the Lord th.it looses the prisoners, and gives liberty from the power of all their enemies, that they may serve him in holiness and righteousness all the days of their lives. In a word, he gives liberty, and he maintains it.
5. she offspring and the issue of the house have all the best lobe put upon thtm, when they ictura from a far country to their Father, I mean, a justifying and law-bidding righteousness, whereby they are enabled to stand before God with acceptance, so as the shame of their nakedness shall never appear. Well, by whom, or from whom, have they this? It is from Christ, who is " the end of the law for righteousness to eyery one that believeth. He was made sin for us, who knew no iin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." Our blessed Eliakim clothes all the children of the family with his own livery; through him it is that the righteous- v ness of the law is fulfilled in them. Hence every one of the genuine children of the family will be ready to fay, " Surely in him have I righteousness, and in his righteousness I am exalted; in him will 1 be justified, and in him alone will 1 glory." He it is that hath "clothed me with the garments of salvation, and covered me with the robe of his righteousness."
6. Have the offspring and issue of the house any thing of the beauty of holiness within, or shining out in their way and walk before the world? Why, this they have from Christ, who is made of God unto them, not only righteousness, but Jantllfication. It is the beauty of the Lord their God that is upon them; he takes them from among the pots, and makes them like the wings of the dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold.
7. Have they any strength for work or warfare? Why, he is" the glory of their strength;" they ate.strong, not in themselves, but " in the Lord;" not in their own might, but " in the power of his might." He it is that makes the feeble, as David, and as the angel of God. He it is that teaches their hands to war, and their fingers to fight; by him the arms of their hands are made strong to do exploits, and to break through troops, and break bows of steel in pieces; through him it is they wax valiant in fight, and turn to flight the armies of the aliens: and when their faith in a lively way is acted upon him, they can speak like little omnipotent;;, with Paul,«»I can do all things through Christ strengthening me."
8. Are they heirs of God and of glory? It is through him that they are so: *' If children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Jesus Christ." By faith the believer serves himself heir to the God of Christ, as his God, and to the Father of Christ, as his Father; and upon Christ's title he adventures to take up the words of the Head, faying, with the confidence of faith, " Thou art my God, my Father, and the rock of my salvation. God is the portion of my cup, and of mine inheritance; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places, aud I have a goodly heritage.'