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partiality accordingly; and in reference to his deliverance from the anxiety and straitness of affliction, and to his being restored to a state of liberty, “ he praises the Lord for setting his feet in a large place, or room.” But,-
THIRDLY, It is said in the text by the Lord to his disciples, in reference to the man and his house, where they were to eat the passover, --" he shall shew you a large upper room.
The mind of man may be rationally and scripturally compared to an house, which is divided into several distinct apartments. The Lord uniformly enters into the supreme, or inmost part of every man, giving him life and all its faculties. But this may be the case when all the superior degrees of man's mind are shut against the Lord, and only one, viz. the natural degree is opened; therefore such an upper room as this the Lord dwells in, when man is not with him, but against him, whereas the Lord wishes his disciples to eat the passover together with him, in the large upper room; that is,--the Lord wishes, all the spiritual affections and
thoughts of the soul to be dedicated unto him alone; he wishes to reign supremely in-us without a rival, and to be the subject of all our enquiries and pursuits; he wants to preside with mild and gentle sway over all our faculties and powers. He must have the upper room, or none, in reality; and when he has the upper room, he has all the others; for if the Lord dwells not in the high and holy place, and his name is not accounted holy by us, in heart and life, some other chief object, ruling love, or prevailing principle hath usurped his place. But, if he is loved above all things, if he is thus in the upper room, and we are with him, then all the lower rooms are at his service and disposal, down to the ultimate, sensual, and corporeal principles of life, order, or reception; for what is uppermost in the mind, in man, and in the world, governs and superintends what is lower, but not in a reversed situation of order; and in like manner what is inmost flows into and directs what is external; but a contrary or order of things is utterly impossible. And as the holy supper, or the christian passover, is the highest, most
sacred, and holy of all worship;--as it is most extensive in its uses, and brings us nearest to the Lord and heaven,--therefore it was celebrated in the large upper room, furnished and prepared, which was our Fourth particular to be attended to.
This I believe is the only occasion in the word, where mention is made of a room furnished. But in the 12th of Matthew, we read of an house "empty swept and garaished,” into which, it is said, “the unclean spirit, after having gone out of a man, returns.” But both these two contrary expressions are to be understood according to the respective subjects whereof they are predicated, and in this sort of way, viz. that the human mind is furnished with evil and falsehood, when destitute of goodness and truth; and on the contrary, it is destitute of evil and falsehood, when furnished with goodness and truth. For the human mind is not a vacuum, but a plenum; it is not void, but full, like the universe of created nature. A room, or an house, may be empty, with respect to furniture, but the mind must be furnished with something for, or against, the Lord. Subjects
of meditation must employ the thoughts, objects of delight must engage the affec, tions; and the man is either preparing, or prepared, for the society of devils, and for his eternal abode in hell; or else, as the apostle says, he is “a man of God, truly perfect, being thoroughly furnished unto every good work.”
Now, the large upper room I have been speaking of, must be furnished and prepared, in order to the presence of the Lord, and the communion of his disciples, or angels; and consequently, in order to the institution, or celebration of the holy supper therein. All things necessary, useful, and conducive, must be procured and arranged for such a divine occasion; I mean spiritually, as well as naturally, in: ternally, as well as externally. All lumber and rubbish must be cleared out of the way; all contradiction, inconsistency, and hostile enmity, must flee before the presence of the heavenly guest. He comes to celebrate a feast of love, to distribute and participate with us the influences, as well as the symbols, of his divine love and wisdom. Therefore our house must be put in order; our state of reception must be prepared and qualified; or the King of Glory, the divine bridegroom, the master of the feast, cannot enter in. If our minds are furnished principally with hatred, revenge, pride, lust, or covetousness, then we must get such things removed off the premises as soon as possible, by striving against them with all the ardour of desire, the energy of prayer, the sincerity of mo. tive, and all the humility of soul we can at present collect together. The Lord rejects us not, nor disdains our house, because we have sinned; but he says, “ I will plead with thee, because thou sayest, I have not sinned.” He does not expect to find us rich in divine things, or in natural ones; he only wants a preparation for his reception. “He despises not the day of small things,' or the humble contrite sinner. All the furniture he requires in the house, are the dispositions of acknowledgment and desire, for the first allows his glory, grace, and goodness, and our own unworthiness; and the last powerfully attracts him into the upper room, there to abide with us for ever, Which leads me to the