Page images

Is. nit. 24.—And they Jhall hang upon him all the glory of hit Father's house, the of spring, and the ijfut, all vessels of small quantity: from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of




HAVING discoursed the first general head in the prosecution of the doctrine, 1 proceed now to,

!'■ The second thing proposed, which was, to Jbeiu, that as "X church is the house of Gsd,so Christ is constitute the great Ma-. ml'r of his Father's house, all the concerns of it are committed to tis care. There is nothing clearer than this from the scripfires of truth. If. ix. 6. "Unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government (hall be upon his shoulder.'1 Mic. v. a. " Out of Bethlehem fliall he come forth unto me, tat is to be ruler in Israel : whose goings forth have been, from of old, from everlasting." But this will be farther cleared f the induction of the following particulars.

1. la the council of peace, from eternity, he was chosen to ^ the builder of the house. It was enacted at that councilsble, from eternity, as in Zech. vi. 12. 13. '' Behold, the man *hosename is the Branch, he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord, and bear the glory, and sit and rule upon his throne." As by him, who is the wisdom of God, and the power of God, he brought a beautiful world out of the barren womb of nothing; so by him he tears up a beautiful habitation for himself among men, out of the rilest of materials, which were good for nothing but to be faggots for the sire of hell.

a. As he is the builder, so he is the Father, and the everlasting Father of the family; Is. ix.' 6. " His name shall be called, The everlasting Father." The first Adam was but a fcort.lived father unto his family, although he lived a long Mural life, nine hundred and thirty years, ytt he soon died aa a covenant-head, and left his family like a company of fatherless orphans cast out to the open field, without any eye to P';y them among men or angels. But when God. in his inficiielove, is to take up a new family among the sons of men, hspioyidfes also a new Father, an everlasting lather, for them, Cod had promised to his btloved Son a feed to serve him, I'sjt. xxii. and that he should see his seed j and that they might never more be orphan? again, he constitutes his own Son, the Son of his love, God blessed for ever, to be their everlasting Father, ami through him the Father of Christ becomes their Father also.

3. He is the great Oracle and Counsellor of the house: If. ix. 6. "Hi.; name (hail be called the wonderful Counsellor." And O what happiness is it to the offspring and issue, that they have such a Counsellor to go to in all their perplexing cases, who hath all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge hid in him, and therefore can never give the counsel that causeth to err! There is no searching out of his understanding; he was never bemisted, or nonplussed, with difficult cases; yea, he is, both by office and promise, engaged to lead the blind in the way they know not, to make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. The faith of this made David sing, Pfal. lxxiii. 24. " Thou wilt guide me by thy counsel, and afterward thou shalt bring me to thy glory."

4. He is the great Priest over the house, Heb. x. 21. As the high priest under the law was over the temple, so Christ is the great High Priest over the house of God, and as such he 15 entered within the vail of the visible heavens, to appear in the presence of God for us, to represent our persons, and to offer up the prayers of the church with the much incense of his intercession.

> 5. He is the great Lord-treasurer of the house; yea, he himself is the treasury of the house; for " it hath pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell, that out of his fulness we all might receive grace for grace." As all the stores of Egypt were in the hand of Joseph, so all the stores of grace are in the hand of our Jesus. The whole blessings and gifts of the covenant of grace lie ready in his hand for the use of the offspring; and whenever the children or servants of the house want furniture, either for work or warfare, they have no more ado but to come unto him for it, and whoever comes unto him, he will in no wise cast out. For,

6. lie is the great Lord-steward or Dispenser of the house j it is he that gives the offspring and issue their food in due season ; there is not a crumb ot the children's bread but passes through his hand, and his very hand perfumes the food to the true-born children of the family, for his ringers drop sweetsmelling myrrh -, and whenever they get a meal from him, thek' hearts are so cheered with it, that they are ready to sing^ as tph. i. 3. " Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blelfings in Christ Jesus."

a • 7. He

7. He is the Lawgiver of the house: Is. lv. 4. " I will give him for a commander to the people." Which may be understood not only in a military but forensic sense, because all the laws of a God-Creator are issued to the offspring of the family through him; for " we are not without law to God, but we we are under the law to Christ ;" and as such, all the children of the house cry out with one consent, fs. xxxiii. 7.2. "The Lord is our judge, the Lord is our king, the Lord is our lawgiver," «r, as it is in the Hebrew, " our statute maker:" and this is it that makes the law to the believer a law of love, and a law of liberty; "bis yoke is easy, and his burden light; and his commandments are not grievous;" the love of Christ constrains them to obey, and run like the chariots of a willing people." So I fay, he is the Lawgiver of the house, and we that are ministers are expressly ordered to " go and teach all nations, to observe and do whatsoever he has commanded us," Matth. xxviiL at the close. And therefore, whatever ministers or church officers teach or act in the house of God, that is inconsistent with his orders, they h^v^ him to reckon with. And what fort of a reckoning they will meet with, at the coming of the gTeat Master, fee Luke xii. 45—47. " But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the men servants, and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken : the lord of that servant will come when he looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers. And that servant, which knew his lord's will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes."

III. The third thing in the method was, to Jhetv that Christ is fixed, in the management of the house of God, as a nail in asure fkee. This will appear, if we consider,

1. That there is an irreversible decree passed in heaven for >', that he should be the sole manager and governor of the honse: Psal. ii. 6. 7. "I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art mine only Son, this day have I ^gotten thee. I have set or anointed him King in my holy Wl of Zion." And therefore they who go about to dethrone Mm, as head and King of Zion, or to invade his sovereignty, M some have done of late, they make but as vain an attempt, as one who with his hand attempts to remove mountains of brass; yea, these mountains of brass, I mean the divine purpose establishing Christ's government, will crush and grind

Vol. III. M them

them to powder in the issue, however light an account they make of it at present.

7. He is fixed in the administration of the house, with the solemnity of a covenant transaction: Psal. Ixxxix. 3. *' I have ma<le a covenant with my chosen :—Thy throne shall be established for ever." In the council of peace, between the Father and the Son, it was concluded, agreed, and finally ended, that the Son of God should reijjn over the house of Jacob for ever ; and, for farther security, this is recorded in the volume of God's book.

3. With the solemnity of an oath taken by the great JehoVah. This is one- of the immutable things wherein it is im» possible for God to lie: Psal. taxxix. 4. " Once have I sworn to build up thy throne, and perpetuate thy seed." And if God hath interposed his oath, all controversy should be at an end about Christ's supremacy in the house of God.

4. In his oath he pledges the brightest jewel of the crown of Heaven, the most dazzling perfection of his nature: ** I have sworn by my holiness, 1 will not lie unto David," &c. He will as scon cease to be a holy God, as suffer his Son's authority in his house to be overturned.

5. He is fixed in th„- msnngement by a solemn call and investiture: "I the Lord have cnlled thee," If. xiii. 6. Heb. v. 4. he. was " calltd of God, as was Aaron." And as for his inauguration in'o his mediatory oluces of Prophet, Priest, and King of his cV uxch, w: read of it in the context; and Matth. iii. at the close, when the heavens were opened, a voice heard from the excellent glory," This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleised -," and the Spirit, at the same time, descending upon him in the likeness of a dove.

6. He is fixed in the government by an actual possession of the throne, he is sir down at the right hand of the Majesty on high: Psal. ex. t. "The Lord s:id unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool." See this actually fulnlled, Phil. ii. 9—1 r. "Wherefore God also huh highly exalted him, and given him a name which is abrve every r.ame: that at the name of Jesus every knee should now, of tlinM i« heaven, and things in eanh, and thin.;; under the earth ; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the prsise'and glory of his cterna Father." .

7. He is fixed in the government of the church, by a com plete victory over all his and his church's enemies, so tha none of them are capable to give him the ienst disturbance^ The head of the old sirpent is bruised, Cn, that Erst-born 0 the devi', is finished, and transgression ended, the world i

overcome overcome, death is unstinged, the curse of the broken law is abolished, torn, and disannulled, hell and death bound and.cast info the lake that burneth with sire and brimstone-.

Thus you fee that our great Immanuel is fixed in the govtrament of his Father's house, like a nail fastened in a.sure place.

IV. The fourth thing in the method was, toshew that iht vikle Ixuse, viith all, its aptirlenances, hang or depend upon this Mtjjbd nail that is fastened in a sure,place. I sliall confine myself to the text j and there we find, three things mentioned, that are said to hang upon our blessed Eli.ikim. 1. AU the gkry. 2. All the offspring and issue. 3. All the ves/'els of the htife, from vessels of cups, to vessels of flagons. A word to each of these.

First then, All the glory of the house hangs upon our Lord Jtsus Christ. I gave already a hint to prove that the house is glorious; but now I would enlasge it a little, in order to let you fee, that every glorious thing in the house of our C.od hnngsupon the nail that he has fastened in a sure place; and Job may take up this in the following particulars.

1. God's presence in a church is that which makes her glorious: Psal. J. 2. " Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God hath shined.*' Psal. ixxvi. 1. 2. "In Judah is God known: ills name is great in Israel. In Salem also is his tabernacle, and Ms dwelling-place in Zion." When God withdraws from a church, the ways of Zion do mourn, and a dismal Ichabod is to he read in every corner of her streets, "The glory is departed." Well, this glory hangs upon Christ, for it is owing to him that the takernacle of God is with men. Unless God *ere in Christ reconciling the world to himself, if he had not Seen well pleased with hi* person, his mediation, and smelt a Tret savour In the sacrifice os !;is death, the Lord God had ncner taken up house again with men, no more than with the angels'tliat fell. It is owing to Christ's appearing in the preface of God for us in heaven, that God a delights are with the sons of men upon earth.

2. The revelation of the mind and will of GoH in the ferip:«cs of truth, is the glory of the church, and as necessary for htras the light of the fan in the firmament is unto this lower ^O'U. This is "as a light shining in a d.trk place, to which *« Co well to take heed, until the day dawn, and the day-star Me in our hearts." This was the glory of the church of 'frael, that God gave his stntutes and testimonies unto them *hcn he dealt not so with every nation. 1 his makes the church a Gosbent.i land of light, when the rest ot' the world are


« PreviousContinue »