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I might enlarge this head in a great many particulars. i only add, in so many words, whatever we can name in and about the believer, it all hangers upon Christ. Hast thou any faith, believer? Why, Chrilt is the author and finisher of it. Haft thou any spark of true love to God? It is Christ that kindled it; he it is that theds abroad the love of God in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. Haít thou the lively hope of a glory to come? Why, he is our hope; and it is Christ in us that is the hope of glory. Haft thou any delight in the law, and in the ways of holiness? Well, lie puts his Spirit in us, causing us to walk in his statuies. Hait thou any thing of that peace which pofles all understanding? Well, Christ is our peace with God, for he made peace by the blood of his cror: ; and his blood, applied by faith, yields peace like a river: “ Place I leire with you, my peace I give unto you." Hast thou a joy that is unfpeakable, and full of glory? Christ is the fountain of is; the river that makes glad the city of God, takes its rise from under the throne of God, and of the Lamb. Thus you see that the offspring and the issue, and every thing about them, hangs upon the blefled nail, &c.
Thirdly, But now I am come to a third thing in the text which hangs upon the nail fastened in a lure place, and that is the oeffits of the house, from veffils of cups to vefsels of flagons. Now, for clearing this claule of the text, I would, 1. Shew what we are to understand by the vessels of the house. 2. Shew that these vefleis are of different sizes, fonie vifsels of cups, others vefjils of flagons. 3. M.ke it appear that they all kang upon Chrift, and by what bonds they co fo.
1. I would thew what we are to understand by the vellets of the house. I answer, By the vessels of the house we are to understand believers, who, under different confiderations, are sometimes called the house itfeif, Heb. ni. 6.; fonetimes the feed and off pring of the mouse, as here, and Pial. xxii. at the clofe ; fonctimes the sells of the house, 2 Tim. ii. 20. 21. “But in a great house there are not only veficis of goid, and of Gl: Sr, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and fire to dithonour. If a man therefore purge himself fron; ther, he that be a vet) unto honour, fai.ciified and meit for the Mailer's use, and p.epared unto every good vorh." I fi d feveral epithets or designations given in füripe ture urteb lievers, urcer the notion of veje's. Sonieiinies they are consid kojin e fun's, Actu ix. 15. says the Lord to Ananias concerning Paui, * De is a choicn viile! unto me.” They were all cheii in Christ before the foundation of the world. Soweines que's of mercy, Ror. ix. 2 3. because it is not according to ihe work of rishicouiness that they have done, but
because he praises
eide glory on
according to his mercy, that he faves them. Sometimes " prepared vessels, fitted for the Master's use," 2 Tim. ji. 21. because he forms them for himself, to shew forth his praises. Sometimes " vefsels of honour and glory," because he draws a greater revenue of honour and glory to himic!f from them, than from all the world beside. In a word, they are called velsels, becaufe the milk, the wine, the honey, and the oil of divine grace, is bestowea and laid up in them; out of the fulness of Christ they are daily receiving grace for grace. And as the vefsels of a house are its ornament, so are fruitful believers the ornament of the church, and of the great owner thereof, for he calls them his crown and diadem.
2. We are here told that these vefleis are oi different sizes; some are vejlels of cups, others are velfils of flacons ; plainly intimating, that in God's family there are faints of différent itature; there are babes, young men, and fathers; for " unto every one is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.” Some are like the smoking fax, others like a flaming lamp; some like the bruised reed, oilers like the till cedar of Lebanon.
And if you ask me, why God will have it so, that the verfels of the house Thall be of different sizes? I answer, (1.) For the manifestation of his own fovereignty. He is the Lord of the house, and he will do all his pleasure, and it is the good will and pleasure of God to give more or his grace unto ole, and to another lefs; “ and who may say unto him, What doft thou?" He is no man's debtor, but may do with his own what he pleases. (2.) Because this is for the beauty and ornament of the house. It serves not a little to ornament and adorn a house, that there are different veftels in it, fome more, and some less, for different services; the leaft vefiel, like the least member in the natural body, has its proper uiefulness in the body, so that the one cannot say to the other, “ I have no need need of thee.” (3.) God will have it fo, that there may be room for the edifying exercises of the fellowship of the saints. If every saint had the same degree of faith, love, knowledge, and other graces, the one could not be edified by the other: but it is otherwise ordered, that the strong may be uteful to the weak in strengihening; and that those who have more krowledge and experience than cilicis, may communicate of their gifts to the benefit aud edilying others, until they all come to a perfed man, to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Cirill. But I do not insist on this at present. I come,
3. To fiew that all :he vcflels cí different sizes, from vefleis of curto vetiels of fagons, do larg upon the great Manager, Jesus Christ, as upon a nail fafenic in a lure place. This is what is commonly called the myftical union between Christ
and believers, and is in scripture set forth to us by a variety of metaphors : sometimes by the union that is between the branches of a tree and the root of it; for as all the branches hang upon the root, and receive their sap and nourishment, growth, and fruit from it, so doth every believer, whether of a higher or lower ftature, receive life, grace, and growth from Chrilt, Hof. xiv. 8. “ I am like a green fir-tree, from me is thy fruit found.” John xv. 5. “ I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without me ye can do nothing." Sometimes this union is represented by the union betwixt the building, and the foundation upon which it stands. As the whole building, and every stone of it, hangs and rests on the foundation, and receives their support and stability fron it; so doth the whole house of God, and every spiritual stone thereof, hang upon Christ by faith of his operation, iPit. ii. 4. 5.“ To whom coming, as unto a living itone, ye also as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house," &c. Sometimes this union is represented to us by the union betwixt head and members of the natural body, for which I refer you to two texts of scripture, Eph. iv. 15. 16. Col. ii. 19. fron which you see, that the whole body, and every particular member, greater or lefler, hangs upon Christ as by joints and bands. But here arises the main question to our present purpole.
Quest. What are these bands by which all believers, from the least to the greatest, hang upon Chrift?
Answ. These bands are principally two. (1.) The Spirit. (2.) Faith of the Spirit's operation.
ist, I say, the Spirit is one, and the principal band whereby believers do hang upon Christ : 1 Cor. vi. 17. “ He that is joined unto the Lord, is one spirit with him." By the Spirit the union is made up berween Christ and his members, Eph. ii. ult. “ We are built up an habitation of God through the Spirit ;" yea, the Spirit himself is the band, i John jii. ult. “ We know that he (viz. Christ) abideth in us, because of the Spirit that dwelleth in us." The Spirit of life that is in Chrift Jesus, by the means of the word, in a day of converlion, enters into the soul, and quickens it, and in the very quickening by the Spirit, it becomes a member of Chrift; and so for ever after it hangs upon him as a nail in a fure place.
2dly, Another band, by which they all hang upon the nail, is faith of the Spirit's operation. Not a niere historical, temporary, partial, or legal faith ; but a living, working, justifying, and sanctifying faith, which applies and appropriates Chrift
by · by the means of the word of grace and promise ; such a faith.
as eats the flesh, and drinks the blood of Christ, and so lives in and upon him, according to that of the apostle, Gal. ii. 20. "I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live : yet not l, but Christ that liveth in me: and the life I live is by faith on the Son of God.” In a word, faith hangs all its everlasting concerns upon the nail fastened in a sure place, and there it stays and rests all its cares and concerns; and in this way the foul is kept in perfect peace, k'nowing that the nail being well fastened will not yield and give way. And thus you see how it is that all the glory, the whole offspring and issue, and all the vessels of the house, greater and lesser, hang upon our bleffed Eliakim.
V. The fifth thing in the general method is, 'to inquire into the reafons of the doctrine. Why is Christ constitute Tole Manager of his Father's house? why doth he hang the offspring and issue, and all the vessels, upon him, as upon a nail fastened in a sure place?
I thall not stay in answering this question, the reasons of it. will naturally occur from what has been already said ; only; therefore, in so many words, the management of the house, and of all its concerns, are committed unto Christ, because it was the good pleasure of God that it should be so. But though levereignty is enough to satisfy us upon the head, yet there are some ways of Infinite Wisdom to be observed in this conftitution of things in the church which is the house of the living God; as,
1. He only had ability for bearing such a weight; " I have laid help (faith the Lord), upon one that is mighty.”
2. Because Christ voluntarily undertook it in the council of peace, saying, “Lo, I come : I delight to do thy will, O my God.” Whereupon JEHOVAH, the Father, said and determined, “He shall build the temple, and bear all the glory.”
3. Because hereby a new revenue of glory is brought in to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, even glory to God in the highest, higher glory than what comes in by creation and providence.
4. Because hereby all men are brought to honour the Son, 25 they honour the Father. “Every knee shall bow unto him, and every tongue shall confess, that he is the Lord, to the glory of God the Father."
5. Because this was for the safety and comfort of the saints and children of God. All their everlasting concerns hang upon him, that they may warble out that song through eteruity, Rev. v, 12. 13. “ Worthy is the Lamb that was Nain, VOL. III.
to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blefling. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power be unto him that sitteth upon the throure, and into the Lamb, for ever and ever."
Is. xxii. 24. And they fball hang upon him all the glory of his
Father's house, the offspring, and the isue, all vessels of small ' quantity : from the vessels of cups, even to all the vefsels of
Firsi, For Information and Instruction. I have deduced feveral inferences already, intermingled with the doctrinal part, and therefore I shall mention the fewer at prefent.
1. See hence, why it is that the eyes of the Lord run to and fro, to fhew himself strong on the behalf of his people in this world , why he rides in the heavens for their help, and makes all things work together for their good. There is good reason for it; they are the offspring and issue of his family ; they are the gold and filver vessels of his house ; and you know, if a man have power and ability, he will not suffer his offspring to be hurt, or his house to be plundered of its valuable furniture, which perhaps he has bought at a dear rate. Hence it is that he watches his house by day and night, left any hurt it. All his faints are in the hand of the great Manager, and he defies hell and earth to pluck them out of his hand.
2. See hence, what trust and credit our glorious KinfmanRedeemer has with his father. Why, you see how that he puts the whole family under his hand; he hangs the whole glory upon him, all the offspring and issue, and all the vessels,