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iment into clem, and will I lay if he thal
mit the government into his hand, and he thall be a father to the inhabicants 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 fhall Thut, and he shall fhut, and none shall open." (1.) 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, Pral. 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. cx. 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 loose this nail, but the gates of hell could never, and never shall accomplilh their design.
4. We are here told to what advantage he should discharge his trust : “ He shall be for a glorious throne to his Father's house.” God manifested in the fleth, or God reconciling the world to himself in Christ, is the throne of grace 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, 11. 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 earch has credit by him. Solomon tells us, Prov. xxvi. 6. that “he who sends 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 sent 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 embally to this lower world, reap advantage and honour by him; he restores what he took not
away, away, even glory to God, and falvation 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. Ai i they fall bang upon him all the glory of his Father's house, &c.
Where we have, ult, The designation given unto the church r God; it is called, “The house of the God and Father of Christ.” 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 hose is the church militant: 1 Tim. iii. 15. we read “ of the house of God, which is the church of the living God.” See Heb. iii. Christ was sent and received gifts for men, ihat the Lord God might have a house wherein he might dwell with men, Psal. Ixviii. 18.
2dly, We have the nature and quality of the house : it is gloricus, there is glory in it: Il. iv. s. where the prophet, speaking of the church of Christ under the New Teitament, says, "The Lord will create upon every dwelling-place of Mount Zion, and upon her afiemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory Thall be a defence.” And Psal. xxxvii. 3. “Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God." There is a visible glory in the church visible, of which we read, Rom. ix. 4.“ To them belong. ed the adoption, and the glory. Some view of this glory and ma. jesty made Balaam, when he saw the comely order of the tent3 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 fhewed in the mount, and so much of a divine lustre, as strikes beholders both with terror and admiration; for then it is that“ the looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and 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 in. vifible. God communicates something of the divine glory and image unto every one of his children: “ The King's daugh. ter 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 yels low gold.”
2dly, We have the high and honourable station that Christ hath in his Father's houte ; he is the great Master-household, and the whole family is conmitted to lin, and is said to hang
upon him as a nail fastened in a sure place.” Of which more afterward.
4thly, We have the common consent of the whole family unto his management; They fall hang upon him all the glory, &c. ; i.e. the Father of the family, and the whole offspring of the house, concur amicably that he should have the sole management. God the Father cries, “ He is mine elect in whom my soul 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!
5thly, We have some accou:t of the furniture of the house, committed to the management of the great New Testament Eliakim. (1.) The glory. (2.) The offspring and isue. (3.) The vessels of small quantity, from vesels of cups, even to all the veffels of flagons. By which we are to understand believers, for they are the children of God, and the feed of Christ by regeneration; and likewise called 28/fels, because they are the reci. pient 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 is
the sole manager of it, and all its concerns hang upon him as upon a nail fastened in a sure place.” And they shall hange upon him all the glory, &c.
In discoursing this doctrine, through divine asistance, I in. cline to obferve the following method.
I. I would shew that the church is the house of God, and Thew somewhat of its glory.
II. That Christ is the great manager of the house. .
III. That he is fastened in the management like a nail in a sure place.
IV. Shew that all its concerns hang upon him, all the glory, all the offspring, and all the vefrels of a leffer and greater quantity.
V. Why the management of the house is committed to him.
VI. Make some application and improvement of the whole.
1. The first thing in the method is, to fiuew that the church is the house of God.
This is clear from the whole current of scripture; I only quote two or three texts to this purpose. II. ii. 2. 3. where
there is a prophecy in the church of God in the days of the New Teitament, “ And it hall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills ; and all nations thall flow unto it. And many people fhall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the house of the Lord, to the mountain of the house of the God of Jacob," &0. Heb. iii. 6. Christ is said to be “ faithful as a Son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence, and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.” Heb. X. 21. Chrilt is called “the high priest over the houte of God.” i Pet. ï. 5. Believers " are built up a spiritual house.” Now, how fitly the church is called the house of God, will appear by the following particulars.
1. He is the founder of the house: If. xiv. ult. “ What shall one answer the messengers of the nation? God hath founded Zion.” And like a wile builder, he doth not lay his foundation upon the sand, but upon the rock, against which the gates of heli shall never prevail. He hath founded the earth upon the seas, a Auctuating and unstable element; but when he builds a house, wherein he might dwell 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, so he rears up the superstructure. It is God that doth build up Jerusalem ; 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 purchaser of the house ; he hath bought it with an immense fum, not of Hilver 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 sums expended in building the temple of Solomon were but a mere trifle in comparison of what was laid out in the purchase of the New Testament church.
3. Having purchased the house, it follows that he is the sole proprietor of it, and of every thing in it or about it : “ The Lord's portion is his people: Jacob is the lot of his inheritance." His treasure, his peculiar treasure, is kept here : Here he hath his jewels, his crown and diadem : “ Thou shalt be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” The house, I say, and all its valuable fura niture, are his property.
4. It is fitly called his house, because here he hath his abode and refdence; he thews himself present in his church, both in a symbolical, gracions, and providential way: Psal. cxxxii. 13. 14. “ The Lord hath cholen Zion; he hath delired it for his habitation. This is my reft for ever: here wili I dwell, for
I have desired it.” Thus you see 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 very glorious structure. The plan of it was laid by Infinite Wisdom from all eternity : Prov. ix. 1. “ Wifaom hath builded her house, she hath hewn out her feven pillars." There being a joint concurrence of all the three persons of the glorious Trinity, it must needs be a consummate piece of workmanship.
Igive you at present a little glimpse of the glory of this house in a few particulars, because I may have occasion afterwards, if the Lord will, to infilt on these at greater length, when I come to thew how all the glory hangs upon the Nail fastened in a sure place.
1. The foundation of the house is glorious ; the stones are laid with fair colours, and its foundations with sapphires. When God is to lay the foundation of his church, he invites all the world to come and behold its glory: Is, 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, 1 Cor. iii. II. “ Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Jesus Chrift.” 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 accord ing to the pattern fhewed in the mount of divine revelation. A house must needs have a form ; to deny this is to make it like the primitive chaos, Gen. i. 2. “ without form, and void." The Old Testament church had a certain form both of doctrine, worship, discipline, and government; much more must the New Teitament church, considering that the whole Mo. saic economy was but like a porch to lead the world in to the greater glory of the New Testament dispensation. This che apoitle 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 molt 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 ashamed of all that they have done, thew them the form of the house, and the fathion thereof, and the goings out there. of, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereo , and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof : and write it in their right, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereot, VOL. III.