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the dark places of the earth, full of the habitations of horrid cruelty. Now, this revelation hangs upon the nail fastened in a sure place; for Christ is the Alpha, and Christ is the Omega of the whole scriptures. He is the glorious Author of it; “ The only begotten Son, who is in the borom of the Father, he hath rivealed him," John i. :8. It is only the Lion of the tribe of Judah that opens the book, and looses the seven seals thereof. He is the fubje& matter of the scriptures, for to him bear all the prophets and apoftles wi:ness ;" they are just the record of God concerning Chrift; hence Christ 2:3 declares, John v. 39 “ These are they which teftify of me." He He is the end of the scriprures; they are pointed to him, as the is needle in the compass points to the pole ftar; the very deligne and end of the Bible is, w! at the ftar in the heavens was to the wise men of the east, to shew them where Jesus the Kings of the Jews is to be foun!, John ax. ult. “ These things are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name."

3. A faithful ministry is the glory of a church; for where these are wanting, the house of God is turned into a den of thieves, and grierous wolves, that plunder the house instead of preserving or defending it. Faithful ministers are the watchmen, that give warning when the house is in danger by invading enemies; they are the stewards that dispenie the bread of life unto the children of the fimily: they are the lights of the l.cute, which are not to be under a buthel, but upon the candic sticks, that they may scatter the light through the house, for the benefit of the whole : hence they are called the glory of Cbrift; much more are they the glary of the church. Now this glory hangs on the nail faften:d in a fure place, for it is he that gives the church piftors according to his heart, to feed his people with found wildom, Jur. ii. 1 5. and Eph. iv. 11.-13. *When he ascended up on high, he gave fome, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the edifying of the body. They have their commillion from him ; for “ no man taketh this honour unto himself, bu: he that is called of God, as was Aaron." They have their furniture for work and warfare from him, and he sends none a warefare upon their own charges; it is he that puts the treafure in earthen veilcls. They have their success from him ; he makes them able as well as successful miniiters of the New Testament ; he teaches them to be fithers of men ; and Paul himself may plant, and Appollos water, but he gives the increase. is who creates the fruit of the lips, and gives the tongue of the

Fie it carned.

4. The ordinances of the gospel, dispensed in purity by faithful ministers of Christ, are the glory of a church. These are the gates of Zion, which God loves more than all the dwellings of Jacob;" these are God's tabernacles, which David knew to be so amiable, that he envied the sparrows and swallows that had access there, while he was excluded from attanding them, Pfal. lxxxiv. 3. and xxvii. 4. It is in the ordinances of the gospel that the saints enjoy fellowship with God, and receive communications of his grace ; hence compared to peals that afford water to the weary traveller, and wells out of which they draw water with joy, and breasts at which the babes of grace are suckled. Well, all the ordinances of the gospel hang upon the great Manager, such as word and sacrament, pra yer and praise. The preaching of the word is of his appointment, Mark xvi. 15. “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Our authority to baptize is from him, Matth. xxviii. at the close, “ Go teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” The sacrament of the Lord's {upper carries evidently his stamp, “ What I have received of the Lord, that do I deliver unto you," 1 Cor. xi. 23. &c. And as they are of his institution, so it is he, by his own presence, and the influence of his Spirit in them, and with them, who gives them their success and sweetness. Through him it is that these ivory palaces smell of myrrh, alors, and caília, Whereby he and his people are made glad. He fills the pools with water, by causing the rain to come down, even the fora mer and latter rain of his quickening and comforting influences; and without him these ordinances are but as dry breasts, and miscarrying wombs.

5. The judicatories of a church, higher and lower, consti. tute in his name, and moulded according to his appointment, for the government and for the exercise of the keys of disci. pline ; these I say, are the glory of a church, for these are “ the thrones of judgement, the thrones of the house of David.” When there courts, constitute in the name of the King of Zion, proceed in their management with an eye to the honour of Zion's King, and according to that complete system of laws that he has given in his word, then it is that a church

looks forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the lun, and terrible as an army with banners," unto all ignorant, erroneous, or scandalous persons ; and her very enemies are obliged to say of her, as Balaam (aid of Israel, “How goodly are thy tents, o Jacob!" &c. Now, all this glory hangs upon the nail fastened in a sure place, for he alone is King in Zion, he government is upon his shoulders. He it is that gives the

keys keye of the kingdom of heaven unto his office-bearers, and promises that " what they bind on earth, fhall be bound in hea. ven; and what they loose on earth, shall be loofed in heaven;" and where they affemble in courts for discipline, he will be in the midst of them.”

6. The covenants of a church are her glory; God's covenant of grace and promise, and their covenants of duty and gratitude. Rom. ix. 4. it is said of the Old Testament church “ To them belonged the adoption, the glory, and the covenants." God's covenant of grace and promise is the glory of a church. It was the misery of the poor Gentiles under the Old Testament, before the coming of Christ, that they were 6 ftrangers to the covenants of promif:." This is the church's charter for all her immunities and privileges, visible or invisible, for the life that now is, and that which is to come: and it is “ an everlasting covenant, well ordered in all things and sure:" and him that takes hold of this covemant, “even him will God bring to his holy mountain, and make joyful in his house of prayer, Il. lvi. Now, this covenant hangs upon Christ, the nail fastened in a fure place ; for God has “ given him for a covenant unto the people ;' it was made with him as a second Adam, and with his feed in him; he has fulfilled the condition of it, by the holiness of his nature, the obedience of his life, and the fatisfaction made by his death ; his fulfilling the commands and demands of the broken covenant of works, is the very condition of the covesant of grace, and by virtue of his doing so the cry comes out,

f. lv. j. “ Ho, every one that thirsieth, come ye to the waters; he that hath no money, let him bim come ; come, buy wine and milk without money, and without price." The covenant, and all the blessings and promises of it, hang upon this blefled nail; they are all in him, and “ in him yea and amen.”

Again, our covenants for duty, obedience, and gratitude, they hang upon this blefled nail. These are the giory of a chirch and land, as they were unto the church of lirael. God avouched them to be his pecutjar people, and they avouched hin, by folenn covena: t, to be their God; on which account they are called Hephzibah, and Beulah; a people married to the Lord. This was the glory of this land, and of the thrue nations, thoigh perfidiously broken, burnt, and buried. Bieffed be God there is fome small degree of a resurrection of ther folemn covenants, by what has been lately transacted in this place.

But now, I say, the glory of all our covenants, and engagements unto personal or public reformation and obedicnce, must needs hang upon this nail fastened in a sure place. When men engage to duty in a legal way, in the strength of their own covenants, vows, promises, and resolutions, without fastening faith's gripes upon the nail in a sure place, for righteousness and strength, they do only make to themselves ropes of land, that will fall arunder as fast as they can make them. Christ only is “ the strength of Israel ;" all our funds of grace lie in him, “in whom it has pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell.” And whatever duty we engage to should be in the strength of promised grace for assistanc:, and in the faith of his righteousness and intercellion for acceptance : 11. xlv. 24. “Surely, shall one say, In the Lord have I righteousnels and strength. I will go (lays David) in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousness, even of thine only." And it is in this way that his commandments are not grievous, his yoke easy, and his burden light.


7. The multitude of real converts is the glory of a church ; for they are called "a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of our God.” It is spoken of as the glory of Zion, that “this man and that man was born there," for then “the Highest himself doth establish her;" and it is prophesied and foretold of the New Testament church, that * more should be the children of the desolate, than of the married woman; that a willing people shall be made in the day of his power;" and that there should be “ like the drops of dew from the womb of the morning; that the city shall flourish like the grass” for multitude of converts. Well, this glory of the church hangs upon Chrift; for it is by the rod of his power that this is effected and brought about ; of his own will he begets us by the word of grace. And when he makes us fifhers of men, and directs us when and where to let down the net, a multitude of fishes are inclosed; a seed is begot to serve him, which thall be counted to him for a generation, who shall declare his righteoufuess to a people who are not yet born.

8. The purity, holiness, and faithfulnes of church mem. bers is the glory of a church, when that motto is written upon the conversation, walk, and talk of profeflors, “ Holiness to the Lord.” Well, this glory of the church hangs upon this bluffed nail; for it is by virtue of their union with him, the hving root and head of influences, that they derive fanctifying izfluence from him ; for except we abide in hin, and he in us, we cannot bring forth much fruit; yea, without him we can do nothing. “I am (lays the Lord) like a green fir tree, from me is thy fruit sound.” Let men talk of their mora! virlues as they have a mind, they will make never a laist, or a . holy person, until he be lopt off from the first Adam, and his covenant of works, and be planted in Christ by regenerating grace : for “can a man gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thisiles ?" The tree must be made good, otherwise no good fruit can be expected. It is only they that are planted in the house of the Lord, by regenerating grace, that shall flourish in the courts of our God, and be called the trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, in whom he will be glorified.

Thus you see that the whole glory of the house of God hangs upon the nail fastened in a sure place.

I thought to have proceeded to inquire who are the offspring and issue of the house of God; and how they, and all that concerns them, do hang upon the nail fastened in a sure place. But this I must refer to another occasion.

Allow me only to deduce an inference or two from what has been said.

1. See hence that the church of Christ is the most dignified and honourable society in the world, that has so much of the divine glory in her. « Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God!" She has a glorious King in the midst of her, even “ the holy One of Israel, the King of glory, the Lord of glory, the Prince of the kings of the earth.” She has glorious walls: “ Salvation is appointed for walls and bulwarks,” If. xxvi. 1. Pfal. xlviii. A glorious river to defend and refresh her : Is. xxxiii 21. “ The glorious Lord shall be unto her a place of broad rivers and streams," &c. A glorious trade and traffic : Phil. iii. 20. “ Our conversation is in heaven," or, our traffic is with the land afar off. Glorious riches and treasures are in this house, even “ the unsearchable riches of Christ ;" glorious immunities and privileges, freedom from fin, the law, Satan, the world, death, and hell; and all the true inhabitants have an interest in the city's stock, free access to the King's throne, and to all the blessings of the covenant.

2. See whence it is that God exercises such a care about his church, that he rides in the heavens for her help, and turns about the whole wheels of providence for her benefit. Why, his glory is there : Il. xlvi. ult. “I have placed falvation in Zion for Israel my glory.”

3. See hence how much it is our concern to contend for the house of our God, against all those that would spoil her. Why, God's giory, and our glory, is in the house. And therefore let us plead with God, that glory may still dwell in our land, and that he may create upon our Zion, and her aflemblies, a cloud by day, and the thining of a flaming fire by

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