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Agreeable to this Notion, we read, Rev. :2 1„ 12. of Twelve Angels, seen in the Twelve Gates ; and also the Names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And , i Pet. 2. f. Te, as lively Stones are built up a spiritual House. So, Eph. 2. 19, 20. Therefore , ye are no more Strangers, and Foreigners, but FeSow-Citizens -Mfith the Saints , and of the Houfhold of God: ^4nd are built on the Foundation of the Prophets and Apostles: Jesus Christ himself being the chief Corner-stone, The Dottrine of the Prophets and Apostles, that's theFoundation of the Fabrick: And upon that Revelation leans our Faith, which is the Beginning of our Salvation. But with the Blessed , there's an End of the Faith. For having attain'd to the Salvation of their Souls, they no longer do Believe, what they are come actually to See and Enjoy.
Jesus Christ is the only Foundation, in propriety of speaking, i Cor 3. 11. And where the Apostles also are said to be Twelve Foundations, 'Tis only in Him , and as he spake by them. For all their Authority is from his Grant. And we build upon what they say, only as it is his Word.
But then, How can he be the Foundation, and also the chief Corner-stone? Must we believe him to be the Highest, and also the Lowest ? At the Top and the Bottom both ? Why not ; in different Respects? For Metaphors do give divers Names to the E J -'. some same Person, as he hears distinct Offices. And so our Lord, as the Foundation, bears all the weight of the Fabrick 5 To Support our Persons, and also Tolerate our Infirmities. When, as the Head-stone, he Rules overall ; who must evermore submit unto him. And as the Head of the Corner, He joyns together the Walls of Jews and Gentiles - making 'em both one Church, and holy Ttmp;e to the Lord. <
C H A P. X.
Of the Mystical Gate as the City of God.
SAug. will have the Gates of the Hea. venly City to signify the Twelve Apostles. Though S. Jobn Rev. 21. mentions only. the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And yet here's no Contradiction. For the Holy Land being a Type of the Heavenly City, 'Twas promised to Abraham - and divfded among the twelve Tribes, as his Posterity. Therefore, their Names were written in the Gates; To sliew5 That the promise of Entrance, as right of Inheritance, belong'd only to the Children of Israel. But S. Jobn, who speaks Mystically, understands by the Tribes of Israel, true Israelites, that are such , not
accordingjO'jthe Flt[kr but Spirit. Whereby the Apost'les and,' ^eir/jw;**/Offspring
also come in. For all are not Israel that ar* 'of Israel: Neither because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all Children. Rom. 9. 6, 7. Many Branches were cut off from the Tree, for Unbelief. And others were Grafted in, through Faitb. Upon the Jews Revolting, the Believing Gentiles became the true Israelites. And these now are the Children of Sarah and Jacob: Those, the Children of Hagar and Esau. Faithful Christians are Israelites indeed, and the Children of the Promise. Therefore to them belongs the right of Entrance in at those Gates os' the Heavenly City, upon which are the Names; of the Tribes of Israel. And the Angels in those Gates are as the Watch there; To take care, that none Enter, but such as have the right of Inheritance.: .
0/ the Mystical Stones in the City
WHat are those Precious Stones in the City above, but such Heavenly Inhabitants as have obtained precious Faith? Which being the Acquisition of all Believers in general, It may be of some good Service, To describe the Qualifications of
such Possessors, for their own Satisfaction, and also for others Admonition. Now, Three things.are requisite to any ones Suferedifi'cation upon so glorious a Foundation; That he be a Stone, a Living stone, and Polijked for the place.
I. They must be Stones, that are built on this Foundation : Not Wood, Hay, Stubble. That they may make solid Work in the Fabrick. They must be Grave, Stedfast, continuing in Faith, Charity, Humility, and sincere Duty. Not such as are carried about with the wind of strange Doctrine, nor with the Lure of every Lust and Vanity.
II. They must be Living Stones j Full of Spirit, Zeal, and Fervency: Like their Glorious Head j Who, though he died once after the Flesh, still Lives in the Spirit; And so must they be spiritually Alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
III. They must be Squard and Polish'J: Not Rough, Unhew'n , and Mifhapen: But like those Stones for the Temple,i King. 6, 7. Smoothed and fitted, before they be brought thither. Arid what njeans the Squaring and Planing r But that here they must go through their works of Mortification, and Labour of Love, and Sufferings for
Righteousness, and Conquests over their own stubborn Wills? Here, they must Abide the Hammer; and not be lo Nice and delicate, as to Endure nothing Sharp or Bitter: But change their Revels into Retirements; their Luxury into Abstinence; Their wanton Prating into serious Praying: The gorgeous Dressing and high Feeding, into such a Discipline upon their Backs and Bellies, as shall kill the Pride and Lust Taking Vengeance upon themselves, instead of seeking to be Avenged of their Adversaries: Counting it happier to Endure, than to swim in Pleasure: and reckoning with the Apostle, Rom. 8. 18. That the Sufferings of this present Time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory to be revealed in us. Yea, 2 Cor. 4. 17, 18. That the Light Affliction which is but for a moment, worketh for us afar more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory. For how far'd the Saints of old? and how our Lord himself, and all the best of his Followers in the World? How little had they of its Sweets, and how much of the Sharp? Did they not Suffer, and so enter into Glory? To live here then in carnal Pleasure, is none of the way to that supreme Pleasure, which is at God's right hand forever.