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Again, the lowest parts of the temple were narrowest : so those in the church who are nearest or most concerned with earth, are the most narrow-spirited as to the things of God. But now let even such a one be taken up higher to above to the uttermost parts of the temple, and there he will be enlarged, and have his heart stretched out: for the temple, you see, was widest upwards; the higher, the more it was enlarged. Paul being once caught up into paradise, could not but be there enlarged, 2 Cor. xii. All others are widest downwards, and have the largest heart for earthly things : the church only is widest upwards, and has its greatest enlargements towards heaven.
The porch of the temple was overlaid with gold ; which oftentimes was a type of grace, and particularly of the grace of love: that in Solomon's chariot called gold is yet again mentioned by the name of love; Cant. iii. 9, 10. As it is in the church, the grace of love is as gold; it is the greatest, the richest of graces, and that wbich abides for ever. Hence, they that shew much love to saints are said to be rich, 1 Tim. vi. 17, 18, 19. And hence charity is called a treasure, a treasure in the heavens, Luke xii. 33, 34. Love is a golden grace; let then the churches, as the porch of the temple was, be inlaid with love as with gold.
Observe, the wall of the temple, and to worship in the temple, was a type of being in Christ, and worshipping God by him ; for Christ, as was said, is the great temple of God, in which all the elect meet. The true worshippers are said to be in him, to speak in him, to walk in him, to obey bim, 2 Cor. ii. 14. xii. 19. Col. ii. 6. For as of old all true worship was to be found at the temple, so now it is only found with Christ, and with them that are in him. The promise of old was made to them that worsbipped within these walls : “ I will give, (saith he,) to them in my house, and within my walls, (to them that worship there in truth,) a place, and a name better than that of sons and daughters," Isaiah lvi. 5, 6. But now, in the new testament times, 6 all the promises in him are yea, and in bim, amen, to the glory of God by us,'' 2 Cor. i. 20.
Now this wall was overlaid with fine gold. Gold here is a figure of the righteousness of Christ, by which we are justified in the sight of God: therefore you read that his church, as justified, is said to stand at bis right hand in cloth of gold; “ Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Opbir;" and again, “ Her clothing is of wrought gold,” Psalm xlv. 9, 13. This the wall was overlaid with; this the body of Christ was filled with. Men, while in the temple, were clothed with gold, even with the gold of the temple; and men in Christ are clothed with righteousness, the righteousness of Christ.
The lavers were len in number, and were a figure of the ten commandments. Christ was made under the law, and. all his acts of obedience to God for us were legal; and his living thus a perfect legal life was his washing his offering in these ten lavers, in order to his presenting it upon the altar for our sins. The lavers went upon wheels, to signify walking feet, and Christ walked in the law, and so became a clean offering to God for us. The wheels were of the very same as were the layers; to shew that Christ's obedi. ence to the law was of the same, as to length and breadth, with its commands and; demands to their utmost tittle and extent. The inwards and legs of the burnt-offering were to be washed in these lavers, Lev. i. 9, 13. 2 Chron. iv. 6. to shew that Christ should be pure and clean in heart and life.
Observe the singers. First, they were of old appointed to sing that were “cunning and skilful” in songs : and answerable to that it is said, " Tbat no man could learn our new testament songs but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redcemed from the earth ;" 1 Chron, XV. 22. Rev. xiv. 3.
Secondly, these songs were sung with harps, psalteries, cymbals, and trumpets ; a type of our singing with spiritual joy from " grace in our bearts;" I Chron. xxv. 6. 2 Chron. xxix. 26, 27, 28. Col. iii. 16.
Thirdly. The singers of old were to be “ clothed in fine linen ;” which fine linen was a type of innocency and an upright conversation. Hence the singers under the new testament are said to be virgins, such in whose mouth was no guile, and that were without “fault before the throne of God;" 1 Chron. xv. 27. and Rey. xiv. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. See also chap. vii. 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Psalm xxxiii. 1.
Foorthly. The songs sung in the temple were new, or such as were coinpiled after the manner of repeated mer. cies, that the church of God had received or were to receive; and answerably to this is the church to sing now, new songs, with new hearts, for new mercies; Psalm xxxiii, 3. xl. 3. xcvi. cxliv. 9. Rev. xiv. 3.
New songs, I say, are grounded on new matter, new occasions, new mercies, new deliverances, new discoveries of God to the soul, or for new frames of heart; and are
such as are most taking, most pleasing, and most refreshing to the soul which create new songs.
Remark the union of the holy and most holy in the temple, called the temple of God at Jerusalem, considered as consisting of two parts, which was called the outward and inward temple, or the holy and most holy place. They were built upon one and the same foundation. The difference then betwixt us and them is, not that we are really two, but one body in Christ in divers places. It is true, we are below stairs, and they above; they in their brigbt, and we in our working-day clothes ; they in harbour, but we in the storm ; they at rest, and we in the wilderness; they singing, as crowned with joy, we crying, as crowned with thorns. We are all of one house, one family, and are all the children of one father.
The most holy place was dark; it had no windows in it, though there were such round the chambers; the more special presence of God too on mount Sinai was in the thick darkness there; 1 Kings viii. 12. 2 Chron. vi. l. Exod. xix. 9. chap. XX. 21.
This holiest therefore being thus made, was to shew, that God, as in heaven, is altogether invisible to us on earth, and not to be reached otherwise than by faith; for in that this house had no windows, nothing therein could be seen by the bighest light of this world. Things there were only seen by the light of the fire of the altar, which was a type of the shinings of the Holy Ghost; I Cor. ii. and bence it is said, notwithstanding this darkness, “ He dwelleth in the light which no man can approach unto; none but the high priest, Christ;" 1 Tim. vi. 16. 1 Peter iii. 21, 22.
The veil was also a type of the body of Christ ; for as the veil of the temple, when whole, kept the view of the things of the holiest from us, but when rent gave place to man to look in unto them, cven so the body of Christ, while whole, kept that of the things of the holiest from that view we have of them since he was pierced : bence we are said to enter into the holiest, by faith, through tbe yeil, that is to say, his flesh, Heb. x. 19, 20, 21, 22.
But yet, I say, all is by faith ; and indeed the rending of the veil that day that Christ was crucified, did loudly preach this to us. For no sooner was the body of Christ pierced, “but the veil of the temple rent in twain from the top to the bottom ;” and so a way was made for a clearer
Here is a pon that chat. The good sie places id laid on spread gold gold and glory is. Here is the palmin: upon
sight of what was there beyond it, both in the type and antitype, Matt. xxvii. 50, 51, 52, 53. Heb. X. 19, 20.
The doors of the inner temple were overlaid with gold. Here is gold upon gold! gold laid on them, and then gold spread upon that. He overlaid them with gold, and then spread gold upon that. The Lord gives grace and glory, Psal. Ixxxiv. 11. gold and gold; gold spread upon gold. Grace is gold in the leaf, and glory is gold in plates. Grace is thin gold, glory is gold that is thick. Here is gold laid on, and gold spread upon that ; and that both upon the palm-trees, and the cherubims; gold upon the palm-trees, that is, upon the saints; gold upon the cherubims, that is, upon the angels : for i doubt not but that the angels themselves shall receive additional glory for the service which they have done Christ and his church on earth.
The ark had a crown of gold round about upon it; to sbew how Christ is crowned by his saints by faith, and shall be crowned by them in glory, for all the good he hatb done for them; as also how all crowns sball one day stoop to him, and be set upon bis head. This is shewn in the type, Zechi. vi. 11, 14, and in the antitype, Rev. iv. 10, chap. xix. 12.
We have a farther account of the furniture of God's house. (1.) Those
things that were of brass. The altar for burnt-offerings, ver. 1. The sea and lavers to hold water, ver. 2-6. The plates with which the doors of the court were overlaid, ver. 9. The vessels of the altar, and other tbings, ver. 10--18. (2.) Those that were of gold; the candlesticks and tables, ver. 7, 8. The altar of incense, ver. 19. and the appartenances of each of these, ver. 20-22. All these, except the brazen altar, ver. 1. were accounted for more largely, 1 Kings vii. 23, &c.
CHAPTER V. The temple being built and furnished for God, we have here, (1.) Posses
sion given to him, by bringing in the dedicated things, ver. 1. but especially the ark, the token of his presence, ver. 2--10. (2.) Possession taken by him in a cloud, ver. 11–14. For if any man open the door of his heart to God, he will come in, Rev. iii. 20.
VER. 7, “ And the priest brought in the ark of the covenant of the Lord unto his place, to the oracle of the
house, into the most holy place, even under the wings of the cherubims.")-- It was fit that the ark should be brought with great solemnity, and so it was. All the other vessels were made new, and bigger in proportion to the house than they had been in the tabernacle; but the ark with the mercy-seat and the cherubims were the same ; for the presence and grace of God is the same in little assemblies that it is in large ones, in the poor condition of the church, that it is in its prosperous estate; wherever two or three are gathered in Christ's name, there is he as truly present with them as if there were two or three thousand. The ark was brought in attended by a great assembly of the elders of Israel, who came to grace the solemnity; and a very magnificent appearance, no doubt, they made, ver. 2, 3, 4. It was carried by the priests, ver. 7. brought into the most holy place, and put under the wings of the great cherubims which Solomon bad set up there, ver. 7,8. There they are unto this day; not the day wben this book was written after the captivity, but when that was written out of whicb this story was transcribed. Or, they were there (so it migbt better be read) unto this day, tbe day of Jerusalem's desolations, that fatal day, Psalm cxxxvii. 7. The ark was a type of Christ, and as such a token of the presence of God: that gracious promise, “ Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world," doth in effect bring the ark into our religious assemblies, if we by faith and prayer put that promise in suit; and this we should be most solicitous and earnest for, “ Lord, if thy presence go not up with us," wherefore should we go up? The temple itself, if Christ leave it, is a desolate place, Matt. xxiii. 38.
Ver. 14. “ For the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”] – First, as ibe priest could not stand to minister because of the glory that filled the house of God, it evidently proyes that the high priests were men of weakness and infirmity. Secondly, the glory that filled the temple was an emblem that the glory of the Levitical priesthood should cease, and that they should minister no longer when the “ glorious Messiah should appear;" for the glory that filled the temple was a type of him, as it shadowed forth the glories and perfections of the Godhead dwelling in the temple, or tabernacle of Christ's human nature ; whose glory is infinite and immeasurable and etenal; there. fore be is called the “ King of glory," and "the glory of bis people Israel.”