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mit thy government into his hand, and he (hill be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah, And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder: so he shall open, and none shall shut, and he shall shut, and none shall open." (i.) He is clothed with a royal robe. So Christ is clothed, Rev. i. with a garment down to the foot, that serves to cover and adorn himself and all his members; and his robe is so odoriferous, with the holy anointing oil of the Holy Ghost, that they perfume the ivory palaces, Ps.il. xlv. 8. (2.) He is strengthened with a girdle, a girdle of truth and faithfulness; he is always ready girded for the execution of his work. (3.) He hath the keys of the house committed to him, and the sole government; he opens, and none shuts, &c. the keys of the heart, and the keys of hell and death are in his hand.
3. We have his confirmation in his honourable office and station •, he is " fastened as a nail in a sure place;" ver. 23. "And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place," &c. Christ is nailed in his mediatory work and office by an eternal decree, Psal. ii. 6. and by the oath of God, Psal. ex. 4.; and all the powers of hell and earth shall never loose this nail. Many attempts have the powers of hell and earth made to hose this nail, but the gates of hell could never, and never shall accomplish their drsign.
4. "We are here told to what advantage he should discharge his trust : " He shall be for a gloriou« throne to his Father's house." God manifested in the flesh, or God reconciling the world to himself in Christ, is the throne of gr ice to which we are called to come with boldness, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need: and this may well be called a glorious throne, because there is, in this dispensation of grace, the brightest display of the glory of God; the views of which made the angels. If. vi. to cover their faces with th ir wings, and, Luke ii. to tune their harps at his incarnation and birth, crying, " Giory to God in the highest." Christ is the ornament of his Father's house, the brightness of his glory, and the brightest crown that ever adorned the human nature. Heaven and earth has credit by him. Solomon tells us, IV>v. xxvi. 6. that "he who fends a message by the hand of a fool, cutteth off the feet, and drinketh damage;" i. e. he sullies his own character, ruins his business, and is a reproach to him that fcnt him. But Christ, the Sent of God, the great Apostle and High Priest of our profession, he managed the affair of redemption, in which he was employed, to such advantage, that all parties concerned in his embassy to this lower world, reap adTjntige and honour by him; he restores what he took not
away, away, even glory to God, and salvation and happiness to lost mankind.
5. "We have Christ's pre-eminence in God's family, and the dependence of all the domestics upon him: ver. 24. At I they shall hang upon him all the glory of his Father's house, &c. vVhere we have, 1st, The designation given unto the church «■' God; it is called, "The house of the God and Father of !Jhrist." God has a higher and a lower house. His higher house is heaven, where is the residence of the church triumphant, Is. xiv. 2. His lower ho-.!fe is the church militant: 1 Tim. iii. 15. we read " of the house of God, which is die church of the living God." See Heb. iii. Christ was sent and received gifts for men.that the Lord God might havea house wherein he might dwell with men, Psal. lxviii. iS.
idly, We have the nature and quality of the house: it is glorious, there is glory in it: If. iv. 5. where the prophet, speaking of the church of Christ under the New Testament, says, "The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of Mount Zion, and upon her nflemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming sire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a dtfence.'' And Psal. Ixxxvii. 3. "Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city os God." There is a visible glory in the church visible,of which we read, Rom. ix. 4. " To them belonged the adoption, and the glory. Some view of this glory and majesty made Balaam, when he saw the comely order of the tents of Israel and God's tent, or tabernacle, in the midst of them, to cry out, " How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob, and thy tabernacles, O Israel! The Lord his God is with him." There is such a divine majesty in the church of Christ, when her doctrine, discipline, worship, and government, is ordered .according to the pattern (hewed in the mount, and so much of a divine lustre, as strikes beholders both with terror and admiration; for then it is that" she looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the fun, arid terrible as an army with banners," unto all the enemies of Christ; so was it in our own land, in our reforming period. And as there is a visible glory in the church visible, so there is an invisible glory in the church invisible. God communicates something of the divine glory and image unto every one of his children: " The King's daughter is all glorious within." Through justifying and sanctifying grace, they who had " lain among the pots," become like " the wings of a dove covered with silver, and her feathers with yellow gold."
3<//y, We have the high and honourable station that Christ hath in his Father's house; he is the great Master-household, and the whole family is committed to him, and is said to J* hang
upon upon him as a nail fastened in a sure place." Of which more afterward.
ifhly, We hare the common consent of the whole family unto his management; They shall hang upon him all the glory, &c;». t. die Father of the family, and the whole offspring of die bouse, concur amicably that he should have the sole management. God the Father cries, " He is mine elect in whom my foul delighteth; and I have laid help upon one that is mighty;" and all the family in a day of conversion, having the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ darted into their hearts, unanimously cry, every one, Approve, approve, approve!
$tkly, We have some account of the furniture of the house, committed tQ the management of the great New Testament Eliakim, ( 1.) The glory. (2.) The offspring and ijsue. (3.) The vejstls of small quantity, from vessels of cups, even to all the vtfils of flagons. By which we arc to understand believers, for they are the children of God, and the feed of Christ by regeneration ; and likewise called vijfels, because they are the recipient subjects of divine grace, which is the wine, milk, and honey of the house. But of these things more afterward, if the Lord will.
The doctrine that offers from the words is this. Doct. " That as the church is the house of God, so Christ i3 the sole manager of it, and all its concerns hang upon him is upon a nail fastened in a sure place." And they/hall hang vpn kirn all the glory, &c.
In discoursing this doctrine, through divine assistance, I incline to observe the following method.
11 would shew that the church is the house of God, and shew somewhat of its glory.
H. That Christ is the great manager of the house.;
HI. That he is fastened in the management like a nail in a fan place.
IV. Shew that all its concerns hang upon him, all the glory, *-1 the offspring, and all the vessels of a lesser and greater <pintity.
V. Why the management of the house is committed to brai.
VI. Make some application and improvement of the whole.
!• The first thing in the method is, to /hew that the church is hknfttfGcd.
Ihis is clear from the whole current of scripture; I only ?otc two or three texts to this purpose. Is. ii. 2. 3. where
there is a prophecy in the church of God in the days of the New Testament, "And it fhall come to pafs in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's houfe shall be establifhed in the top of the mountains, and fhall be exalted above the hills , and all nations lhall flour unto it. And many people fhall go and fay, Come ye, and let us go up to the houfe of the Lord, to the mountain of the houfe of the God of Jacob," &o. Heb. iii. 6 Christ is faid to be " faithful as a Son over his own houfe; whofe houfe are we, if we hold fast the considence, and the rejoicing of the hope sirm unto the end.-' Heb. x. 21. Christ is called " the high priest over the houfe of God." i Pet. ii. 5. Believers " are built up a fpiritual houfe." Now, how sitly the church is called 1 he houfe of Gtxl, will appear by the following particulars.
1. He is the founder ©f the houfe : If. xiv. ult. "What fhall one anfwer the mesfengers of the nation ? God hath founded Zion." And like a wile builder, he doth not lay his foundation upon the fand, but upon the rock, againft which the gates of hell fhall never prevail. He hath founded the earth upon the feas, a fluctuating and unstable element; but when he builds a houfe, wherein he might d .veil among men, he builds it upon a rock, and upon the holy mountain of the divine perfections as they are manifested in Christ. And as he lays the foundation, fo he rears up the fuperstructure. It is God that doth build up Jerufalem ; he it is that digs the stones out of nature's quarry, and joins them to the foundation that he hath laid in Zion.
2. He is the purchafer of the houfe ; he hath bought it with an immenfe fum, not of filver and gold, but with the red gold of the blood of his eternal Son, Acts xx. 28. 1 Pet. i. 18. 19. All the vast fums expended in building the temple of Solomon were but a mere trifle in comparifon of what was laid out in the purchafe of the New Testament church.
3. Having purchafed the houfe-, it follows that he is the fole proprietor of it, and of every thing in it or about it: " The Lord's portion is his people: Jacob is the lot of hisinheritance." His treafure, his ptculiar treafure, is kept here: Here he hath his jewels, his crown ant; diadem: "Thou fhalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God." The houfe, I fay, and all its valuable fur. nitute, are his property.
4. It is sitly called his houfe, becaufe here he hath his abode and refidence; he fhews himfelf present in his church, both in a fymbolical, gracious, and providential way: Pfal. cxxxii. 13. 14. " The Lord hath cholcn Zion: he hath defired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell, for I have desired it." Thus you fee that the church is a house, "whose builder and maker is God."
And hence it naturally follows, as is here supposed, that it must be a Tery glorious structure. The plan ot it w.is laid by Infinite Wisdom from all eternity : Prov. ix. r. " Wis.iom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars." There being a joint concurrence of all the three persons of the glorious Trinity, it must needs be a consummate piece of workmanship.
I give you at present a little glimpse of the glory of this house in a sew particulars, because I may have occasion afterwards, if the Lord will, to insist on these at greater length, when I come to shew how all the glory hangs upon the Nail fastened in a sure place.
i. The foundation of-the house is glorious; the stones are laid with^nV Colours, and its foundations with sapphires. When God is to lay the foundation of his church, he invites all the vorld to come and behold its glory: If. xxviii. 16. "Thus faith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation." This foundation is none other than Christ, the brightness of the Father's glory, as the apostle Paul declares, i Cor. iii. 11. "Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ." Such is the glory of the foundation, that it transmits a divine glory upon all the inhabitants, all the vessels of the house.
2.The form of the house is glorious, when moulded according to the pattern shewed in the mount of divine revelation. A house must needs have a form ; to deny this is to make it lie the primitive chaos, Gen. i. 2. " without form, and void.'' she Old Testament church had a certain form both of doc-triae, worship, discipline, and government; much mors mult the New Testament church, considering that the whole Mosaic oeconomy was but like a porch to lead the world in to the greater glory of the New Testament dispensation. This the apoltle argues at length, 2 Cor. iii. from ver. 7. to the close. Of this form of the house the prophet Ezekiel speaks as a thing n.ost sacred, chap, xliii. 10. 11. "Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their iniquities, and let them measure the pattern. And if they be athamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of 'he house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out theresf, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all 'be laws thereof: and write it in their sight, that they may t«p the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof.
Vol. IIL L ana