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Isa,xxi, 11. Ezek. iii, 17. chap xxxiii. 7. Acts xx. 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. 2 Tim. iv. 5. Rev. iii. 2, 3.
6. Sometimes every awakened Christian is said to be a porter, and such at Christ's firit knock open unto himn immediately, Luke xii. 36, 37, 38, 39.
7. The heart of a Christian is also sometimes called the porter, for that when the true Shepherd comes to it, to hin this porter openeth allo, John
8. This last has the body for his watch-house ; the eyes and ears for his port-holes; the tongue therewith to cry, “ Who comes thure?” as also to call for aid, when any thing unclean thall attempt with force and violence to enter in to defile the house.
CH A P. XXVI.
of the Charge of the Porters of the Temple more
particularly. THE charge of the porters was, to keep
their watch, in four square, even round about the temple of God. Thus it was ordained by David, before him by Moses, and after him by Sou lomon his son, 1 Chron, ix. 24. Numb.iii. 2 Chron, xxiii. 19. XXXV. 15
2. The porters had some of them the charge
porters were types of our gof. pel-ininifters, as they were watchmen in and over the house of God; and therefore in that they were thus to watch round about the temple, what is it, but to lhew, how diligent Satan is to see if he can find a hog hole for that purpose.
2. This also heweth, that the church of itself, without its watchmen, is a weak, feeble, and very helpless thing. What can the lady, or mistress do,
to defend herself against thieves, and sturdy villains, if there be none but she at honie ? it is said, when the shepherd is smitten, the Meep fall be scattered." What could the temple do without its watchmen?
3. Again, in that the porters had charge of the treasure-chambers (as it is, - Chron. ix. 26.) it is to intimate, that the treasures of the gospel are with the ministers of our God ; and that the church, next to Christ, should seek them at their mouth. “We have this treasure in earthen' vessels, faith Paul; and they are stewards of the manifold mys. teries of God," 1 Cor. iv. 1. 2 Cor. iv. 7. 1 Pet. iv. 10. Ephef. iv, Il, 12, 13
4. These are God's true fcribes, and bring out of their treasury things new and old ; or, as he faith in another place," at our gates, that is where our porters watch, are all manner of pleasant fruit, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved, Matth. xiii. 52. Song vii. 13:
5. Further, some of them had charge of the mi.. nistring-vessels, and they were to bring them in and out by tale, i Chron, ix. 18.
1. If by ininiftring.vessels you understand gor. pel ordinances, then you see who has the charge of them, to wir, the watchmen and ministers of the word; Luke i. 12. 2. Theff. ii, 15. 2 Tim. ii. 2.
2. If by ministring-vessels you mean the mein. bers of the church, for they are also ministring vessels, then you see who has the care of them, to wir, the pastors, the golpel-ministers.
Therefore " obey them that have the rule over you, for they watch for your souls as they that must give an account ; that they may doit with joy, and not with grief, for that is anprofitable for you ;" Heb. xiii. 17.
2. The opening of the gates did also belong to the porters, to friew, hat the power of the keys, to wit, of opening and shutting, of lecting in and
keeping out of the church, doth ministerially be. long to these watchmen, Matth. xvi. 19. Heb. xii, 15
4. The conclusion is, then, let the churches love their pastors, hear their pastors, be ruled by their pastors, and suffer themselves to be watched over, and to be exhorted, counselled, and, if need be, reproved and rebuked by their pastors. And let the ministers not sleep, but be watchful, and look to the ordinances, to the souls of the saints, and the gates of- the churches. Watchman, watchinan! watch.
of the Doors of the Teniple, O W we come to the gate of the temple ;
namely, to that which let out of the porch into the holy place.
1. Thefe doors or gates were folding, and they opened by degrees. First a quarter, and then a half, after that three quarters, and last of all the whole. Thefe doors also hanged upon hinges of gold, and upon polts made of the goodly olive-tree ; 1 Kings vi. 33, 34. Ezek. xli. 23, 24.
2. These doors did represent Christ, as he is the way to the Father, as also did the door of the taber nacle, at which the people were wont to stand when they went to inquire of God, “ Wherefore, Christ saith, I am the door, (alluding to this) by me if any man enter he fhall be saved,
go and out, and find pasture.” Exod xxxii. 9, 10. xxxviii. 8. xl. 22. Lev. i. 3, 4. viii. 3, 4, 13. xv. 14. Numb. vi. 13, 18. x. 3. xxv, 6, xxvii. 2. 1 Sam. ii, 22. John x 9.
“I am the door." The door into the court, the door into the porch, the door into the temple, the door unto the holest, the door unio the Father. But now we are at the door of the temple.
2. And observe it, this door by Solomon was not measured, as the door of the porch was ; for tho the door into the court, and the door into the.
porch were measured, to Mew that the right to oro dinances, and the inlet into the church, is to be ac. cording to a prescript rule, yet this door was not measured ; to shew that Christ, as he is the inlet to saving grace, is beyond all measure, and unsearch. able. Hence his grace is called unsearchable riches, and that above all we can ask or think, for that it paffeth knowledge, Eph. iii. 8, 19 20. 3:
It is therefore convenient, that we put a note upon this, that we may distinguish rule and duty from grace and pardoning mercy; for, as I said, tho' Christ, as the door to outward privileges, is set forth by rule and measure ; yet as he is the door to grace and favour, never a creature, as yet, did see the length and breadth of him, Eph. ii. 17, 18, 19.
4. Therefore, I say, this gate was not measured; for what thould a rule do bere, where things are be. yond all measure?
5. This gate being also to open by degrees, is of signification to us, for it will be opening first by one fold, then by another, and yet will never be set wide open, until the day of judgment. For then, and not till then, will the whole of the matter be open. “ For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face ; now we know in part, but then firill we know even known," i Cor, xiii, 2.
you before, were folding, and fo, as was hinted, has something of signification in them. For by this means, a man, especially a young disciple, may easily be mistaken ; thinking that the whole passage, when yet but a part, was open, whereas three parts might be kept undiscovered to him, For these doors, as I said before, were never yet set wide open,
I niean in the antitype ; never man yet law all the riches and fulness which is in Chrift.
So that I say, a new comer, if he judgeth by prefent fight, especially if he saw but litile, might easily be mistaken; wherefore fuch, for the most part, are most horribly afraid that they Thall never get in thereat.
How fayit thou, young comer, is not this the case with thy soul ? so it seems to thee, that thou art too big, being so great, fo tun-bellied a finner. But, thou finner, fear not, the doors are foldingdoors, and may be opened wider, and wider again after that; wherefore, when thou comeft to this gate and imaginest there is not space enough for thee to enter, “knock, and it shall b: wider opened unto thee,” and thou thalt be received, Luke xi 2. John ix. 37. So then, whoever thou art,” that art come to the door, of which the temple-door was a type, trust not to thy first conceptions of things, bu: be. Jieve there is grace abundant: thou knoweft not yet what Christ can do, the doors are folding doors, He can do exceeding abundantly above all ihat we can ask or think,” Ephes.ii, 20.
The hinges on which these doors do hang, were, as I told you, gold; to fignify, that they both turned
upon motives, and motions of love, and also that the openings thereof were rich. Golden hin. ges
the gate to God doth turn upon, The posts on which these doors did hang were of the olive-tree, that fat and oily tree, to fhew that they do never open with lothness or sluggish, ness, and as doors do, whose hinges want cil.
They are always oily, and so open ealily and quickly to those who knock at them. Hence you read, that he that dwells in this house, gives freely ; loves freely, and doth us good with all his heart, Yea, faith he, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land affuredly, with my whole heart, and with my whole fonl, Jer, iii. 12, 14, 27. Jer xxxii. 41. Rev. xxi. 6. xxii: 17. Wherefore the oil of grace, signified by this