صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

It is a wonderful text, tho' ordinarily cited, Rev. iii. 20. "Behold, I ftand at the door and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will fup with him, and he with me. He fhall fup with me;" that is, he fhall partake of my Spirit and graces, that fhall be as comfortable to the ful as meat to the body: and "I will fup with him;" that is, I will flace and comfort myfelf in thefe their graces which I give them, as much as any man is comforted with his food. I will delight to fee my own graces exercifed, as much as a man, difpofed for meat, delights therein. Hence Song v. 1. "I am come unto my garden," fays Chrift to his church; "I have gathered my myrrh, with my fpices; I have eaten my honey-comb, with my honey; I have drunk my wine, with my milk."-Thus it is his banquetting-house. This fpiritual temple, then, is God's houfe; his dwelling houfe; his pleasure houfe; his treafure-houfe; his magazine-houfe; his veffel-houfe; his banquetting-house.

II. The fecond thing propofed, in the general method, was, What is the foundation of this fpiritual temple.

To this we anfwer, with the apostle, 1 Cor. iii. 11. "Other foundation can no man lay, than that is laid, which is Chrift Jefus." Chrift is the alone foundation of the fpiritual temple, and that if we confider these four things. 1. What a foundation implies. 2. How Chrift is the foundation. 3. Wherein he is the foundation. 4. Whereof he is the foundation to the church.

1. Chrift is the foundation of this fpiritual temple, if we confider what a foundation implies. It implies primacy, potency, and confirmation.-I fay, a foundation imports primacy and priority. A foundation is ordinarily taken for the firft ftone that is laid in a building, or the first range of ftones. Now, Chrift is thus the foundation; for he is the firft ftone, that is laid in the church; and every ftone is laid upon him, in whom believers are rooted and built up, Col. ii. 7.-Alfo, a foundation implies potency, power, and ftrength to bear the whole of the building, and to fupport the whole fabric. Now, Chrift is thus a powerful and mighty foundation; "I have VOL. VII.

+ B


faid help upon one that is mighty. He is able to fave to the uttermoft;" able to bear the whole weight of the fuperftructure. Again, a foundation implies confirmation, as it fallens, cements and unites the building, and brings it to an harmonious proportion. Well, thus Chrift is the foundation or corner-ftone; "We are built up upon the foundation of the apoftles and prophets, Jefus Chrift himfelf being the chief-corner-ftone, in whom all the building fitly framed together, groweth up into a holy temple in the Lord," Eph. ii. 20. The corner-ftone faftens all the reft: and fo does Chrift confirm and conjoin all the members of his myftical body in himfelf. But then,

2. Confider how he is the foundation. And here, in fhort, you may fee he is the foundation perfonally, doctrinally, and practically.-He is the foundation perfon ally; he, even the God man, Chrift Jefus himself, is the foundation laid in Zion, for fouls to be built upon; "He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit." Believers are not joined to the purchafe of Chrift only, but to the perfon of Chrift: they clofe with his perfon as the foundati on.-Alfo, he is the foundation doctrinally; Chrift is the fum of all gofpel-doctrine; the fcriptures teftify of him: the apoftles and prophets are indeed called the foundation; but Chrift is the corner-ftone of it. He is the foundation of that foundation; and therefore, I think, it would be an odd text that a gofpe-minifter could not find Chrift in. Again, he is the foundation practically: he is the copy after which every foul that comes to him, will write; his practice is the rule and foundation of our prac tice: He hath left us an example, that we fhould folIow his fteps." But more particularly,


3. Confider wherein he is the foundation. Why, he is the foundation in his doing; for, he came not to destroy the law, but to fulfil it; and to fulfil all righteoufaefs; and fo to bring in everlasting righteoufnefs, which is the very ground of our falvation: therefore the gofpel is cal led, The power of God to falvation. Why? Becaufe therein is revealed the righteoufnefs of God from faith to faith," Rom. i. 7. This is the righteoufnefs we must be found in, if ever we be found happy to eternity.-And, again, he is the foundation in his fuffering; for, 'our

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

iniquity was laid upon him, and he was made fin for us,, and fo was wounded for our fins, and bruifed for our. tranfgreffions; He gave his life a ranfom for many:' and God himself, having found this ransom for them, he says, as it were to juftice, "Deliver their fouls from going down to the pit; for I have found a ranfom."-Hence, allo, he is the foundation in his merit and purchafe: he hath purchased heaven, and all the means of getting to it. He hath purchafed all bleffings, and all the graces of the Spirit, viz. faith, repentance, love, joy, hope, affurance; all the graces are his purchase: and what he hath purchafed, he is ready to give; yea, readier than you are to receive; he is ready, by his Father's allowance and appointment, who hath anointed him with the Spirit above meafure: he is full of grace and truth, that out of his fulness we might receive, and grace for grace.-But then he is the foundation in his refurrection; for, as he was delivered for our offences, fo he was raifed again for our juftification. His refurrection, or coming forth out of the prifon of the grave, being an evidence that the judge who had caft him into prifon, was pleafed; and that the debt was all paid; both the debt of obedience to the law, and fatisfaction to juftice; and fo a way made for the juftification of finners; and a fure ground laid for his people's refurrection to glory.-Moreover, he is the foundation in his afcenfion and exaltation; for, "Having afcended up on high, he led captivity captive, and received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that God the Lord might dwell with them: and accordingly, now, him hath God exalted, with his right-hand, to be a Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Ifrael, and remiffion of fin." I do not cite all the fcriptures that I repeat for gaining of time.-He is alfo the foundation in his interceffion; being "able to save to the uttermoft, all that come to God through him, because he ever liveth to make interceffion for them."-And fo finally, he is the foundation in refpect of the application of his whole purchafed redemption; being a Saviour by power as well as by price, he powerfully applies, by his Spirit, what he hath dearly purchafed with his blood. O! all you that would, by faith, look and lean to this B 2


foundation, hear his own word, "Look unto me, and be ye faved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none elfe.

4. Confider whereof he is the foundation to his church. Why, in general, he is the foundation of all the promises, and the bleffings therein contained; for, In him are all the promifes, Yea and Amen." In him are given to ús, exceeding great and precious promifes. Thefe that are ftrangers to Chrift, are ftrangers to the covenants of pr mife; for Chrift is the foundation of them all. Hath God promifed, "I will be thy God, and thou shalt be my people?" Hath he faid, "I will take away the heart of ftone, and I will give you a heart of flefh?" Hath he faid, "I will put my Spirit within you?" O take hold of Chrift, and you have all the promifes in him. You will fay, O what right have I to the promife, that know not if I be in Chrift? You would know there is a right of accefs, and a right of poffeflion. Now, I would fay of the promife, as I may fay of Chrift: What right have you to Chrift? fuch right have you to the promises. All you that are out of Chrift, and yet hear this gofpel; you have a right of accefs to him; being called, upon your peril, to come to him for falvation: "Whofoever will, let him come, and take the waters of life freely." And all you that come to Chrift, by faith, you have a right poffeffion of him, you may fay, My beloved is mine, and I am his." Well, thus it is with the promise; all that hear me have a right of accefs to the promife. I fay to you, as Peter faid, in his preaching to a company of the greatest finners that ever were, even to the mur derers of the Son of God, Acts ii. 39. The promife is to you, and to your children; and to all that are afar off even as many as the Lord our God fhall call." The call of the gofpel gives you a right of accefs, and warrant to plead the promife; and cry, that God would make out that to you, for the fake of Chrift, who is the founda tion of them: and this is fuch a right, as that you can. not have a better right thereto, till you get faith. The promife is fo to you, as that it cannot be more to you, until you believe; and then you have a right of poffel fion of it; for, then you are, as Ifaac was, children of the


[ocr errors]


promife, Gal. iv. 28.-If this be a new fcheme, I own it, becaufe it is the New-teftament fcheme.

But I proceed. As Chrift is the foundation of all the promifes, fo he is the foundation of all the bleffings contained in the covenant of promife: more particularly, to give a fhort fum of thefe.-Chrift is the foundation of our pardon and remiffion; for," In him we have redemp tion thro' his blood, even the remiffion of fins," Eph. i. 7. He is the foundation of our deliverance from the curfe; for he hath redeemed us from the curfe of the law, being made a curfe for us, Gal. iii. 13.-He is the foundation of our reconciliation with God; for, "While we were enemies, we were reconciled to God, thro' the death of his Son," Rom. v. 10.-He is the foundation of our juftification; In him fhall all the feed of Ifrael be juftified, and fhall glory," Ifa. xlv. 25. and fo the foundation of our title to eternal life, Tit. iii. 7. That being juftified by his grace, we fhould be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."-He is the foundation of life itfelf; "This is the record, that God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son, hath life; he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life," John v.11, 12.-He is the foundation of our fanctification, and of cur progrefs in it; for, "He is made of God unto us wifdom, righteoufnefs, and fan&tification:" and he that abideth in him, bringeth forth much fruit; for, "Out of his fulnefs we receive, and grace for grace." He is the foundation of our faith, as being not only the object thereof, but the Author and Finisher of faith.-He is the foundation of repentance, being exalted of God to give repentance, and all other graces that we need.-He is the foundation of our access to God; for," Thro' him, we have accefs, by one Spirit, unto the Father."-He is the foundation of our acceptance with God, in our perfons and duties; for, "We are accepted in the Beloved." Accepted in him, you will fay; that is, for his fake: there is more than that in it; he being our head, and believers the members of his body, and he having performed perfect obedience, and given complete fatisfaction, the Head having done it, the whole body is accepted as having done it; and fo we are accepted in him; his doing it is ours.

« السابقةمتابعة »