The Glory Of The Second House;
A Sermon, Preached At The Opening of Providence Chapel, Gray's - Inn Lane, on Sunday, June 23, 1811,
WILLIAM. HUNTINGTON, S.S.
THE Jews had lately come from the Babylonian captivity; they had received Cyrus's decree to build the temple of God, which was long foretold, even four hundred years, by the prophet Isaiah: "Thus faith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him. I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways. He shall build my city, and he shall let go my captives, not for price nor reward, faith the Lord of Hosts." And then the former chapter in Isaiah concludes, even living to Jerusalem, "Thou shalt be built," and to the temple, "Thy foundation shall be laid."
And, as soon as Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest, and Zerubbabel the governor of the Jewish nation, began to build, they found a great opposition from the governor of the city of Samaria; that governor, and several more, combined together to put a slop to this work; and, when the Jews found there was this obstacle in their way, they dropped it, and every man went away to his own house. Upon the back of this, God sent the prophet Haggai to reprove them, saying, "Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit." The reason is, because this house of mine lies waste, and ye run every one to his own house. They concluded, from the opposition made against them, that the time to build was not come; but God asks, "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this my house lie waste?" By this message the Holy Ghost stirred up the governor, the high priest, and the remnant of the people, and to work they went; and as soon as the foundation was laid, "Now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong O Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, faith the Lord, and work, for I am with you, faith the Lord of Hosts" It is said that the young men were glad that God was going to have a house at any rate, and rejoiced; but the old men, remembering the magnificence of the former structure, considered this house as nothing to the former house, and wept: but the Almighty promised that, notwithstanding this was the case, he had a glory to bring into this house, which the other never had. "It is a little while," says he, "and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come; and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts." And, if it had pleased me to fill it with earthly splendour, "the silver is mine, and the gold is mine;" I have it at my command. I tell you, I have another glory; "the glory of this latter house than be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of Hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith, the Lord of Hosts."
I shall go through the particulars of the text; but you must give me leave, as there are many things in it, to handle one at a time.
The text begins, "And I will shake all nations."
The next thing is, "And the desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, faith the Lord of Hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of Hosts; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts,"
Now by the shaking of all nations you and I may take it, in the first place, to mean, removing them from their old bases. He did most wonderfully shake and unsettle the whole Persian empire by the Grecian, and the Grecian by the Roman. He shook the Jewish nation also; and by and by he will shake and unsettle all nations, and give them up to Christ; and of this the prophet Ezekiel prophesies, saying, "I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, until He comes, whose right it is, and I will give it him." He overturned the Persian, then the Grecian; then he overturned the Romans by the Goths and Huns; and he will overturn the Roman again; and I believe that this is not far off; and then the desire of all nations shall come: he will take to himself his great power, and reign; and then his glory shall not be consigned to this house, but the "glory of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the sea."
What I understand by the shaking of the earth is this; there are two foundations on which all the human race build, and there are no more; the rock and the sand. You have the account of this by Christ himself in these words: "Therefore, whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock." Then comes the shaking: "And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell not, for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand; and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it." - Now what God aims at by the shaking, is bringing men from their own ways, and moving them from their old bottoms. Among the Jews, the generality of them founded their hopes upon a broken law and their legal sacrifices; and the Gentile world, they trusted in their own gods. But wherever the gospel comes, it is intended to sweep away these refuges of lies. And this is the reason of all the terror, horror, chastisement, and scourges, with which sensible sinners are exercised: it is to destroy their vain confidences, and faith hopes, and to bring them from their own foundations. And, as soon as this shaking comes, as it did upon Ezekiel's dry bones, God tells them that, when he has unsettled them, he will take possession of them himself. "I that am the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, - whose name is Holy, I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite one." And again: "To this man will I look, even to him that is poor, and of a contrite heart, and that trembles at my word." There is shaking and trembling with a witness at his reproof, when God is pleased to accompany his word with the power of his own spirit; for as long as the shaking and trembling comes on, false hopes, false confidence, and the sandy foundation, all give way together; and as soon as ever these are gone God takes possession of the heart: "I dwell with him that is of a humble and contrite heart, and that trembles at my word; to revive the spirit of the humble, and the heart of the contrite one." It is by these ways, as the Psalmist says, that we are brought to the rock that is higher than we. When God lent his word and spirit to David, he found him upon the land; and when this foundation gave way, down he went into deep waters, where there is no standing. But when God had destroyed his legal hope, his fleshly confidence, and stripped him of his self - righteousness, then he brought him out of the horrible pit, and out of the miry clay, and let his feet upon a rock: "Then," saith the Psalmist, "he put a new song into my mouth, even thanksgiving to God." Thus God led him to the rock that is higher than he; then he found his heart fixed, trusting in the Lord. And wherever, the gospel comes, there is sure to be a shaking; fame, having their hopes shook, burn with rage at the truth, and oppose it with all their might: and there are others who feel their need of a Saviour, and cordially embrace him. And whenever carnal enmity is stirred up against the gospel, such enemies wage war with the Holy Ghost, while he inflames his own servants with love and zeal for the truth; and this begins the prophet's fiery contest; "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments, rolled in blood; but this shall be with burning and fuel of fire: for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given." Our Lord seems to fix his eye upon that passage when he says, "Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth; I come not to send peace, but a sword, and a fire; and what will I, if it be already kindled? For I am come to set a man at variance against his own house; for from henceforth there than be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three. The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother," &c. Then he tells you how it shall operate between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. If three are for God, love shall burn in them; and if two for Satan, hellish wrath shall burn in them; the devil leads the one, and the Holy Spirit leads the other: and this breach shall never be closed, nor shall any mediator ever stand in this gap.
Now, says God, "I will shake all nations," and unsettle and remove them: and this is proved by every child of God, if he will act the honest part, and look back, and say what he trusted in; 'Why,' says he, 'in my own deceitful heart, and in my own arm for strength; in a form of godliness without the power; in my own supposed righteousness; in a broken law, and in my obedience to it; and my resolutions, vows, promises, eye services, and superstitious duties; by which I endeavoured to recommend myself to the favour of God.' Now whenever God's word reacheth the heart it removes the sinner from these things; nor can he be satisfied, until such time as he hears of a Saviour; and when Christ, with all his fullness and laying benefits, is set before him, when faith comes by hearing, and Christ�s righteousness is brought nigh, then he is brought to the chief corner stone: "Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I lay in Zion, for a foundation, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation; and he that believeth shall not make haste." He shall never be ashamed nor confounded, who confides in this rock. God has founded Sion, and the poor of his people shall trust in him.
Now when God thus shakes the nations, take notice of the words: "And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come." It may be; liked, How Jesus Christ became the desire of all nations? Do you observe this, that wherever there was a flourishing city, a city famous for trade and commerce, there the Jews generally flocked in great numbers. This appears plainly in the apostles� days; for into whatsoever city of the east the apostles entered, they were sure to find Jews, and proselytes to the Jewish religion. There were, I believe, but few opulent cities in the east that had not a Jewish synagogue in it; for if there were but ten Jews, or Jewish proselytes, they were allowed by the grand senate of Israel to have a synagogue: and they were sure to gain proselytes wherever they settled; for our Lord says they compassed sea and land to make one proselyte. In this way the Jewish religion spread, and with it the hope of Israel was spread abroad also; for Paul tells us that the whole twelve tribes served God day and night in hope to come. It is left also upon record, "There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab." It is thought by the learned, that this prophecy of Balaam was left upon record to the people of his own country; so that, as soon as they saw the star (such as were astronomers), they came away from the east to Jerusalem to make inquiry, saying, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews, for we have seen his star in the east." And that country lay a great way from Jerusalem, which shews that Jesus Christ was expected, and much desired, in those parts. And there seems to have been a general expectation of him at the time of his coming; even the woman of Samaria could say, "We know that Messiah cometh, and when he is come he will tell us all things." As soon as the Baptist appeared the messengers were sent by the grand council to inquire, "Art thou he that should come?" and the poor illiterate disciples cried out, "We have found the Messiah." My text calls him "the desire of all nations;" and, blessed be God, we reap the benefits of his coming, as the promised seed, in whom the families of the earth shall be blessed.
But them you will ask the reason of his bearing the name of the desire of all nations. The reason is, because all burdened sinners desire him, to save them from sin; and, when this desire is accomplished, it is sweet to the soul. I will not say that every individual of mankind desire him; for, as Christ says, "the whole need not the physician, but those that are sick." There ever will be some that are excluded from the life of the gospel. But the sensibly lost man, that has Christ and his gospel set before him, that man will part with all, to have a part and lot in his salvation: he will seek him early, for the Scripture says, that "Israel shall be saved in the Lord;" then out of him there is no salvation: and God tells us that he shall be his salvation to the ends of the earth. And God teaches sensible sinners to know that there is salvation in no other name: and he does set him before us in the gospel as our everlasting light; our only and all - sufficient saviour, being God and Lord. And lost sinners, who know the spirituality and holiness of God's law, - that are acquainted with the depth of man's fall, and the depravity of human nature, - that are conscious of their lost state, and of the necessity of having the blood of Christ to purge their consciences, and the righteousness of Christ to justify them, and the grace of Christ to subdue their sins; - such are taught to know that grace and glory are the gift of Christ. These are the men that desire Christ, because of the savour of his good ointments: and such souls cannot rest, till they see their interest in him: therefore God calls him the desire of all nations: "I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come." And take notice of this, there never was any intense, real, or spiritual desires in a sinner's heart for a whole Christ, till God himself put it there; for all our feeling sense of want, our hungerings and thirstings after the grace of God, and the righteousness of Christ, do spring from the quickening influences and operations of the Holy Spirit of God. And whenever that blessed Spirit does enter the heart, and begin his work, he will not suffer that man to settle on his lees; he will not suffer him to rest in his own performances; he will empty him from vessel to vessel, till he makes - him a vessel of mercy, and fills him with his own treasures.
Our dear Lord is called the desire of all nations; and those that have already had their desires kindled by the Spirit, and those desires gratified by the manifestation of Christ, may say, with the wise man, that "Hope deferred maketh the heart lick; but when the desire cometh it is a tree of life." By the tree of life he does not mean believers, though such are called trees of righteousness; but he means Christ. He does not put it in the plural, but in the singular. When the desire cometh, it is a tree of life: Christ is this tree, and he bears twelve manner of fruits in all believers. That very same Saviour, that was typified by the tree of life in the Garden of Eden, is now (in truth) the tree of life in the paradise of God. And Solomon tells us that, when our desires are gratified: (that is when the heart's desire is accomplished), it is sweet co the soul. Now he is called the tree of life in the believer, because he spreads his quickening influences through every power of the soul, and banishes spiritual death, the fling of it, the bondage of it, the power of it, and even the fear of it. By faith this tree new lives and flourishes in us; and in eternal glory we shall feast our eyes and cars, our hearts and souls, upon him for ever and ever. "He that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God."
Let me ask you, have you ever felt your conscience slung with guilt? Have you ever felt the commandment of the law come home with its dreadful curse and killing power, so as to revive your sin, and slay you? If you have, let me tell you that the leaves of this tree are to heal the nations: eternal life is in its very name; and the fruit is such as fills the soul with joy unspeakable and full of glory; such as the natural eye never saw, the uncircumcised ear never heard, nor the carnal heart never conceived: but the Holy Ghost reveals them, and renews the soul to embrace them, feel them, feed upon them, grow and flourish by them, and rejoice in them, as the first fruits of the harvest of glory. So much for shaking, removing, and unsettling us from our sandy foundations, in order to lead us to the Rock, the only basis of God's church, against which foundation Satan, sin, and death, cannot prevail. This is God's foundation in the holy mountain, Psalm lxxxvii. I. And in this holy hill we find the feast of fat things, of marrow and fatness, before described.
In the next place, says God, "I will fill this house with glory." If we observe what was the glory of the former temple, we shall find a vast treasure, which David had amassed together, and which Solomon expended in the building and adorning of it. The gold and silver were immense: the costly stones, and all sorts of precious stones; the rich and noble furniture; the curious vessels; its ornaments and adornings; the wonderful plan, form, pattern, and model of it, being given by God himself, as we read 1 Chron. xxviii. 19. All this grandeur was as if it came from heaven; there never was such an house built before: it was to be wonderfully great, 2 Chron. 9. The dedication of it was most grand and noble. Solomon was most richly attired; the brazen scaffold on which he stood; the heavenly prayer he put up; the many thousands of priests which attended; the wonderful garb of the high priests, and inferior priests; the melody of their songs, and of their innumerable instruments of musick; and, above all, God, in answer to Solomon's prayer, descended in a cloudy pillar, and filled the house with his presence, so that the priest could not stand to minister, because of the cloud, "for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord," I Kings viii. Nevertheless, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former; and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." But this glory could not be either in its size, its magnificence, or its furniture; for in all these things it came far short of the former house, for it appeared in the eyes of the old men as nothing, when compared to Solomon's temple, insomuch that the old men wept at the sight of it. To whom God replies, The gold is mine, and the silver is mine, if I choose to adorn it with these things; but I have a greater, a better, and a more divine and heavenly glory to bring into this house, in which it shall exceed the former.
Now do you observe this, that there were several things in that first temple - that the children of Israel wonderfully gloried in; and yet the whole Bible gives no account of them to be found in the second temple.
1. The first thing that the Jews had to glory in was the Ark; it was the throne of God, as Jeremiah calls it, "A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our sanctuary," Jeremiah xvii. II. It was an oblong chest; the mercy - seat upon it, the law was in it, and the cherubims stood on each end of it; and it was God's mercy - seat, where he met and communed with the priests. This was in the former house, but never was in the latter. "In those days, faith the Lord, they shall say no more, the ark of the covenant of the Lord; neither than it come to mind; neither shall they remember it; neither shall they visit it; neither shall that be done any more," Jer. iii. 16. This, I believe, was never more seen after the destruction of the first temple by the king of Babylon. Hence it is plain that the glory of the latter house did not lie in the ark, nor yet in the mercy-seat.
2. We have no account of God's descending in a cloud at the dedication of the latter house. There was no token or symbol of the divine majesty; no cloud of glory was seen; no divine train of the brilliant perfection of God displayed, at the dedication of this latter house: - therefore this excelling glory must lie in something more than tokens, signs, or symbols.
3. We do not read of the holy fire coming down from heaven upon the altar of burnt-offering, to consume the sacrifice, in this latter house, nor of any thing like it.
4. The holy anointing oil, which was used at the consecration - of priests, seems also to be missing in the latter house: nor do we read anything of it under the second temple, that I know of.
5. The urim and thummim, by which God was consulted, was not in the second temple; for, although we read of it in Nehemiah, vii..65, yet the Jews allow that these were not found, though they were fought after: and, to supply the place of these, the Jews invented what they called Bath Col, which the learned say had more the appearance of the necromancy of the heathens, than of communion with the Almighty.
6. It does not appear that the Shechina dwelt in the second temple, We have no requests made under the latter house, that he that dwelt between the cherubims would shine forth, stir up his strength, and come amongst us.
7. It is a question whether the Holy Ghost (as the spirit of prophecy) was given under the second temple. Some think this ceased from the days of Malachi, which appears from the following passage: "And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, thou shalt not live, for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth," Zech. xiii. 3. It appears that the spirit of prophecy ceased in Israel for many years. The Old Testament is concluded by Malachi, the last of the prophets; and as the oracles of God were finished, and left upon record, so they prophesied until John, as Christ says; but, in the days of John, good old Simeon, and Anna the good old widow, as well as Elizabeth and the blessed virgin; all these seem to be blessed with the spirit of prophecy; which shews that he was given a little before Christ came, and that to do as he always has done, and ever will do; namely, "testify of Christ." He enlightens poor souls to see their lost state, and their need of a Saviour, and animates them, and sends their hearts after him: he kindles new desires, and raises up new hopes and expectations; he lets them upon the watch-tower, and keeps them longing and looking out; he awakens their attention, and makes them perceive the Lord's most distant footsteps upon the mountains, as well as his nearer approaches. And wonderfully did he stir up the souls of men, both Jews and Gentiles, a little before the Holy One of Israel appeared. But to return to my subject: - Seeing the second temple came so far short of the first in size, in architecture, in its richness, its furniture, in its dedication, in symbols, and shadows, where is its excelling glory? According to what learned men write, the Jews, the inveterate enemies to our blessed Saviour, have invented many things which they call the excelling glory of the latter house: they say that its glory lay in the duration of it, because it stood ten years longer than the first temple did. Others say that Alexander the Great visited this house, and that sacrifices were offered up for him, about the time of his besieging the city of Tyre, in his expedition against Darius. But a heathen, an idolater, a murderer, a robber, and one who lived in the sin of Sodom, could bring no glory to this latter house, but rather make it a den of thieves.
There are others who tell us that the glory of this latter house consisted in the number of persons in the neighbourhood of Judea, which in the days of the Maccabees became proselytes, such as the Edomites and the Moabites; and that they brought such a vast treasure into this house, and enriched it to that degree, that they made the glory of the latter house to exceed the glory of the former. But then gold and silver, as a good man well observes, is not included in this glory; "The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts;" and though there is but little gold and silver in this house, when compared with the other, yet "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of Hosts."
Some Jews make the glory of this latter house to exceed the glory of that built by Solomon, after it had been rebuilt, enlarged, and adorned by Herod the Great; when for beauty, splendour, and magnificence, it exceeded the temple of Solomon; and indeed Josephus speaks much in praise of Herod's architecture, and of the temple as rebuilt by him. But the glory of this latter house consists not in its size, its beauty, its grandeur, or its excellent workmanship. Nor can this house be called the desire of all nations; nor is the temple in the least intended by the glory mentioned in my text; but it is something that was to be brought into it. "The desire of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of Hosts," Haggai ii. 7. Hence we see the temple itself is no part of this glory, for that had been standing near four hundred years before it was filled with this promised glory; so that the temple and the glory are two distinct things; the former was a den of thieves, but the latter is "Immanuel, God with us." "The glory of this house shall be greater than the former, and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." There be many things in Scripture that are called glory, such as the majesty and grandeur of earthly princes. God gave to Nebuchadnezzar a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory, Dan. ii 37. Our Lord ascribes glory to Solomon. "Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin; and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." For there was a deal of toiling and spinning too, in order to array Solomon: the bowels of the earth, the sheep, the silk-worm, must all contribute to set him off; and it is but artificial after all. But the lily appears arrayed in its own native glory and beauty, and no art can come up to nature; no artist can reach the workmanship of God. The greatest glory that adorns the creation appears to be the sun: we read of the glory of the sun, and of the moon, and of the stars; but the sun stands first upon the list of the heavenly bodies.
The glory of the sun proclaims the glory of Omnipotence; but the image of God in Adam was a display of the glory of God's grace. This was a greater glory than that of the sun. Adam was the image and glory of God, but the woman the glory of the man. But all have sinned, and therefore all have come short of this glory of God.
The excelling glory in my text is the incarnation of God's eternal Son; and by this we are enabled to answer both the question of Job, and that of the wise man; "Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one," Job xiv. 4. And yet God can, and hath done it: here is a holy thing born of a sinful woman; a living and life-giving root out of a dry ground. "Is there any thing whereof it may be said, see, this is new?" Eccl. i 10. Yes, there is - "For the Lord hath created a new thing in the earth, a woman shall compass a man," Jer. xxxi. 22. In this wonderful work we see the second Adam and everlasting Father. We see our nature, after a long separation from God, made nigh again, being united to the person of God's eternal Son, so as to be separated no more. Our nature lost, ruined, polluted, defiled, and in itself undone; but by the incarnation of Christ we see it restored and made holy, harmless, and undefiled, ascended and exalted far above all heavens. In this nature of ours, which Christ assumed, dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily. There is not a name nor a title that God takes to himself; not a perfection, quality, or attribute that is peculiar to the Deity, but what dwells, in all their glory, in all their fullness, and in all their meaning, in the man Christ Jesus; "in him dwells all the fullness of the godhead bodily."
The Holy Ghost filled every power of his human soul with wisdom and knowledge, grace and truth, like an overflowing fountain. He is the fountain of life, the well of salvation, and a river of water in a dry place. The Spirit was not given by measure unto him, but with all his power and glory, with all his gifts and graces, and with all his influences and operations. This heavenly dove was the anointing oil upon his head, and the holy fire in his heart; the consecration of his everlasting priesthood, and his best benediction to the children of men. To all which we may add - the hypostatical and indissoluble union that subsists between his own divine person, and the person of his Father, being one in essence: the oneness of nature that subsists between them is inconceivable, yet so it is. "I and my Father are one," John x. 30. Their mutual indwelling in each other cannot be comprehended by us, but so it is, for our blessed Lord declares it, - "the Father is in me, and I in him," John x. 38. "The Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works," John xiv. 10. Lay all these things together, and confider the spotless nature that he assumed, holy, harmless, and undefiled. Confider the fullness of the godhead that dwelt in him; the fullness of the Spirit, with all his gifts and graces; the union and oneness of nature that subsists between him and his divine Father; his high and holy calling to his wonderful offices; the oath and sacred consecration which attended his investiture; and, if substance exceeds shadow, and truth exceeds type; and if God manifested in the flesh exceeds sign and symbol; you will agree with me, that the glory of the latter house was greater than the glory of the former. And this my text declares, from the mouth of the Lord of Hosts, who is the belt judge of these things.
To which excelling glory we may add the glorious work he came to do. He came to bring God and man together by his incarnation; to make himself an offering for sin, and, by his grand oblation, to perfect for ever all that are sanctified or set apart in the purpose of God: to finish transgression by bearing it, and abolishing it from the book of God's remembrance. Christ made such an end of it, as that it never be imputed to us, nor be even found when it is fought after, Jer. 1. 20. He made reconciliation for iniquity, and reinstated rebellious man in the favour of the Almighty, and in eternal friendship with him. He fulfilled all the promises and prophecies, and was the truth of all the types, and substance of all the shadows, that ever went before, as they all pointed out God's good will to men. He is the effect of every divine vision given in the prophetic age; he brought to light, and he brought all to pass; and he is the vision that still speaks, while faith, life, and righteousness attend his word; for the just man still lives by his faith, and this is his voice in all his saints.
He came in the flesh to destroy the devil's works; I mean sin, by bearing it away; and death, by his resurrection from the dead; and these are the two props and pillars of Satan's empire upon which his kingdom stands. The Saviour blotted out our sins as a cloud from our divine creditor's debt-book; he sprinkles clean water upon our conscience: one drop of this water is faith, which purifies the heart from all its filthiness; and another drop is love, and this cleanses us from all our idols. By his imputed righteousness he justifies us from sin; by the empire of his grace he counteracts its reign; at our death he will abolish it from the soul, and at the resurrection he will banish it from the body; "he shall change our vile bodies, and fashion them like unto his own glorious body:" then will sin be finally abolished, death will be swallowed up in victory; the uncircumcised and the unclean shall no more pass through the city of Salem, nor the Canaanite be found any more in the house of the Lord of Hosts.
We may take notice further of the glory that still attends the gospel. The temple, or the house mentioned in my text, was a type of the three following things:-
1st It represented heaven: "the Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing, which was a figure for the time then present: but Christ being come, an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building, neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us."
2nd. The tabernacle and temple were typical of the incarnation of Christ, who tabernacled among us; and this he himself intimates when he says, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up:" but he spake of the temple of his body. And,
3rd. It was a figure of the church of God, which is called the temple of the living God, as God hath said "I will dwell in them, and walk in them."
The first tabernacle was built partly with the spoils of Egypt, and perhaps partly with the spoils taken in the wars with Sihon and Og and partly with the free-will offerings of the people. And the temple of Solomon appears to have been built with the spoils taken in David's wars, and with the offerings of Israel. And so in like manner is the church of God; there is not a lively stone, a wedge of gold, or a precious jewel, in all the building of mercy, but what the king of Zion takes out of the hand of the Amorite with his sword (Psalm, xliv. 3), and with his bow (Rev. vi. 2 .) And, when these spoils are taken from the mighty, and these lawful captives delivered, then they willingly offer themselves.
The next thing done, in building the tabernacle and temple, was the consecration of these materials. The tabernacle, the books, the people, and almost all the vessels of the ministry, were purged with blood; and without shedding of blood there is no remission. "It was necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves," or the vessels of mercy, "with better sacrifices than these."
Another part of their consecration was oil and spice; and, if this was not sprinkled upon all the materials, all the materials were perfumed by the odour of them.
Two men called of God, and called by name, were inspired with the Holy Ghost, and furnished with wisdom from above to put these materials of the tabernacle together; and Solomon, not David, was to build the temple. Divine wisdom had a hand in all their joints and joinings, and so it is now. Every builder, that builds to purpose, must be endowed with wisdom from above, or be made wise to salvation, or he can be of no use in God's building; for such are sure, first or last, to set at naught the chief Corner-stone, and prefer the sand; nor will such choose gold, silver, or precious stones, but rather hay, straw, and stubble. A builder of this house must be joined to the Lord, and in fellowship with the Father and the Son; and be in covenant with God, and understand the bond of peace, the unity of the faith, and divine love, the bond of all perfectness, or he can be of no use he may paint, plaster, and daub, but he is no joiner.
But the completing and perfecting work was the grand and glorious entrance of the Lord into it, when he took possession of the house, and made it his habitation. Here the glory of God appeared, and out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, he shined forth. So it is now with the church of God; he takes possession of the broken and contrite heart, and says he will dwell with such: "Zion is my people, this is my rest for ever; here will I dwell, for I have desired it." Nor is his entrance into his church like that of his coming down into the temple; many saw that glory, and were filled with terror at the sight: for although, many saw it, few felt and enjoyed it. He dwelt between the cherubims, but he now dwells in the hearts of his people; that was the shechina, some say the symbol, of his presence, but into the church come the whole Trinity. "If a man love me he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him," John xiv. 23. The Spirit descends to convince us of sin, and. to testify of Christ. The Saviour appears in his own time; his reward is with him, and his work before him. He washes away our sins, heals the wound of the old serpent�s sting , binds up the broken heart, and becalms the soul with the sentence of justification unto life, and with the abundance of peace as the fruit and effect of it; and in the heart by faith he dwells, in the affections he is crowned, in the will and conscience he sways his powerful sceptre, and makes the soul rejoice in his government, and admire the glorious majesty of his kingdom, while sin and devils rage in vain. God the Father sheds abroad his love in the heart, and in that love he takes up his abode, in that love he dwells, and we in him; saying, "this is my rest for ever, here will I dwell, for I have desired it." The ever-blessed Spirit bears his witness to our justification by faith, and to our acceptance with God in his dear righteousness, and to our adoption into God's family, and cries Abba, Father, in confirmation of it. If the glory of Solomon's house was great, having the divine shechinah in it, and the second temple more glorious, having God incarnate in it, surely the third temple (the church of the living God) must exceed the glory of both there; having the gracious and glorious display of the most Holy Trinity in it, who really do inhabit; and take up their eternal abode, in the souls of every member of it.
But I have a few more things to speak of concerning the glory of the second, or rather of the third house, the church of God; for surely they be glorious things that are spoken of it. This excelling glory doth not appear in pulling down the old building, nor yet in digging out the materials, nor in cutting, squaring, and forming the stones; for no glory appears here but the glory of justice, truth, and terrible majesty. The glory appears in railing the fabric; "When the Lord than build up Zion he shall appear in his glory." It is the Holy Ghost, as the spirit of revelation and understanding in the knowledge of Christ: that testifies of him, which he does by taking of the old veil, by anointing the eyes of the understanding, and by calling up the heart in faith to behold the fight; for, like David, we should faint at the fight of this glorious goodness, unless we believe, for it is the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; the object presented to view is, "that just One," the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, the express image of the Father's person, and the brightness of his glory, and the glory of the Father is seen in it. We have the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ; and sure I am that no man living could bear this sight without terror, unless propt up with the faith of interest, and influenced with love to embrace the object set before us. The devils have great light, but much enmity; therefore the more light, the more miserable. So some professing people have much light into spiritual things, but their affections are set upon carnal things. But this is not the true light, but the contrary; this light our Lord calls darkness, and how great is that darkness! The Lord does not say, where the head is there is your treasure, but where your treasure is there will your heart be also. The view that faith has of Christ is assimilating, or transforming; it changes us into the same image from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord; and this changing us into the same image is nothing else but shedding abroad God's love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us. For John tells us that God is love; then his image and likeness must be the same. And, if all faith and all knowledge, all gifts and understanding, all prophecy, and all the tongues of men and angels, are nothing without charity; then it is plain that the image of God stands not in those things, for these are nothing without charity, but charity is all without these, for charity believeth and hopeth too: moreover, the apostle saith that we are renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created us; and, according to John, love is the highest branch of divine knowledge, and all other knowledge is nothing without it; "He that loveth is born of God and knoweth God; but he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love." We are said to be changed into this image from glory to glory. Every deliverance that God works out for us, every love-visit that God pays us, every renewal or revival, every refreshing or enlargement of heart, with which we are favoured, is a changing us into this image; which, inflaming the heart, and brightening the understanding, is what the apostle means by changing us from glory to glory by the spirit of the Lord.
We know that the rising sun communicates both light and heat, and so does the Son of righteousness: it was this that made John a burning and a shining light; he could not burn without love, nor shine without illumination; but all the Lord's ministers are as a torch in a sheaf, he makes them a flaming fire. O what a blessing to be inflamed, melted, enlarged, and enlightened of God! "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of God is risen upon thee, and the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and thy God thy glory,'' Isai. lx. 19. And this glory will discover itself in the children of light, for it is at this that the grand enemy inflames with rage his own offspring, at this the generation of serpents; so that the coming sinner may soon find out where the glory of God is by the desperate malice of the ungodly. "If ye are reproached for the sake of Christ, happy are ye," says Peter, "for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you." Wherever the spirit of God and of glory rests, there the reproach of God's enemies is sure to fall: sinners will always resist the Holy Ghost; as their forefathers did, so do they. It is true the glory of the church is internal, as the scriptures "The King's daughter is all glorious within;" yet there are many beams and sparks that blaze out and fly abroad; some arrows go forth as lightning, which are sharp in the hearts of the king's enemies. The flaming sword still keeps the way of the tree of life, and turns its edge in every direction against him that is out of Christ. Israel could not endure the rays of Moses' face, nor the false witnesses the face of Stephen. Saul saw God with David, and Ahab saw the divine fortitude of Elijah and Micaiah. When God answers secret prayer he gives an open reward; and, is the reward be open, it is not hid; and so it is written, "The Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee," Isai. lx. 2.
But the glory in my text will extend its glorious beams far beyond this latter house that I am leaking of. The end of all these things, according to Paul, is "God hath not appointed us unto wrath, but to obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory." All the glory that is gone before is to bring about and accomplish this end, which is God's aim; and in this we have the Mind of Christ, for this is the aim and end of all his saints.
The disciples of Christ seemed to be much struck with the fight of the holy temple at Jerusalem "Master see what manner of stones and buildings are here!" Mark xiii. Yet there was not one stone to be left upon another of that building that was not to be thrown down. But what was the rock of mount Moria, and the temple built thereon, when compared to the Rock of our strength, the tried Stone, the precious Corner-Stone of Zion, the Living Stone? or to the lively stones that are built thereon, which Peter calls a spiritual house, built for an habitation of God through the Spirit, that we should offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God, under the direction and operation of the spirit of grace and supplications?
And indeed the basis and ground-work of that wonderful city, called the holy and heavenly Jerusalem, is included in the glory of this latter house: here was God manifest in the flesh, the only foundation that ever was laid in Zion. In Christ all the twenty-four attributes of God meet, harmonize, and conspire together to the glory of God in the salvation of men: there are the twelve foundations of that celestial city; in this latter house (with their divine master) appeared the twelve apostles of the Lamb, who first trusted in Christ, and who were the first evangelical builders of gospel Zion, and therefore, to their honour, they have their names engraven on the twelve foundations of that mystical city, called the Lamb's wife.
We have seen something of the glory of the second house, and a glimpse of the glory of the third house, the church of God; and more glorious things are spoken of this than of all the rest; for at Shiloh God forsook the tabernacle; in the reign of Zedekiah he forsook the first temple; and at the crucifixion of Christ the glory of the second house decreased and soon became desolate; and at Jerusalem's destruction; it was destroyed by fire, and a Turkish mosque now stands on the same spot where the holy of holies once stood. But this will never be the case with God's holy habitation called the church, for this is his rest for ever; here he will dwell, having desired it.
Once more: As the foundation and the first materials of the gospel church appeared in this second house, which was the surpassing glory, so we may see the top-stone brought forth, and the building complete in John's vision. "And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof," Rev. 21. The glory of the gospel church, and the first materials of it which appeared in the second house, are shining in endless glory in John's vision; and, as Christ was the excelling glory of the second house, so he is of the holy city; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof; that is, Christ is the glory of God, that illuminates every part of this heavenly city: which leads me to the last particular in my text.
"And in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." Peace is one of the good and perfect gifts which comes down from the Father of lights, and Christ crucified is the only medium through whom it comes. Upon Adam's fall all peace and friendship with God subsided. "All have sinned," and "there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked; destruction and misery are in all their ways, and the way of peace they know not." Man rebelled, and God drew his sword against the rebels. Sin is the thing which God hates; and, sinners hate both Christ and his Father. The carnal mind is enmity against God; and God will visit the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate him. His sword must come down upon the people of his curse to judgment: and no wonder, when sinners, whose words are drawn swords, set their mouths against the heavens. This is a sad war, and all convinced sinners feel it so, and tremble at the issue. The conscious sinner knows that the broken law must be obeyed, that the offended law giver must be honoured, that incensed majesty must be appeased, and the demands of justice must be answered by a great ransom; for without the blood of the covenant justice will never send forth the prisoners of hope, Zech. ix. 11. By mercy and truth iniquity is purged; but truth must be cleared and confirmed by the sacrifice of Christ, before mercy and truth can meet together; for God will be true to his law and threatening, as well as to his promise and grace. Nor can we expect that righteousness and peace should kiss each other, without an offering made for sin. "In mercy shall the throne be established," Isai. xvi. 5. But not at the expense of the honour of divine justice; the law's sentence must be executed, and divine justice must have satisfaction, before the throne of grace can be erected; justice and judgment must be the habitation of his throne, before mercy and truth can go before his face, Psalm lxxxix. 14. A king therefore, abstractedly considered, doth not fill this throne, because it is to be established by sacrifice. Every high priest ordained of God is to offer gifts and sacrifices, Heb. viii. 9; and he that fills this throne is one in whom divinity and humanity, the kingly office and the sacerdotal, the royal diadem and the sacred mitre, all unite; that is, in our Lord Jesus Christ. And we have all this in one text - "Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both," Zech. vi. 12, 13. The crown used to be confined to the tribe of Judah, and the priesthood to the tribe of Levi; but both offices meet in Christ Jesus, who is king of Zion, and the high priest of our profession. As a priest, he made peace by the blood of the cross; and, as king, he proclaims it through all his realm as the third branch of his empire, which stands in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.
"In this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." Peace is a fruit of the Spirit in us, and a fruit of Christ's mediation, and it comes on the footing of Christ's sacrifice and satisfaction. Upon him our sins were all laid; and where sin was laid there the curse fell, and there the wrath of God was poured out; and by the death of Christ both were done away, insomuch as sin is never more to be imputed to us, and God has sworn that he will not be wrath with us again, Isai. liv. 9: so that we are redeemed, and delivered from both these. How blind and ignorant are we while in a state of nature, in thinking to make our peace with God by legal strife and brittle vows! When God promises to give peace, the forgiveness of all sins is included; for "there is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked," but false peace, which sometimes is nothing but a callous conscience: the mind gets benumbed and the conscience feared; and, being past feeling, such are cast into the deep sleep of death. Others obtain a peace by a religious observance of legal duties, and trusting in them for righteousness; but all such peace is from the strong man armed, who holds his palace for his own, and keeps his goods in peace, Luke xi. 21. True peace with God and conscience is a blessing of the everlasting covenant, and a fruit of divine teaching: "All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children," Isai. liv. 13. Repentance and forgiveness of sins were to be published in Christ's name among all nations: pardon and peace were the glad tidings that the ambassadors of God proclaimed both to Jews and Gentiles; and they published this good news from the possession of them, and the enjoyment of them, in their own experience. Christ did not send them forth with those things in word only; but he furnished their hearts with this treasure. "Now ye are clean through the word that I have spoken unto you."
"He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every wit, and ye are clean." This was the first part of their tidings, and the next was the fruit and effect of it, "My peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you." These things the apostles were to proclaim to the world, and the good Spirit was promised to dictate these things to their minds, and to articulate them by their mouths; this treasure, by the Spirit, flowed from their hearts, while they spake as the Spirit gave them utterance. And, if we had no other preachers in this country but men thus furnished by God himself, we might repeat our Lord's words with a witness; for, however great the harvest may be, the labourers would be few indeed. Nor can we know God as our Covenant God, but by the forgiveness of sins, for this is the finishing lesson of divine teaching. By an application of the law to the sinner's conscience divine justice appears; and, when the heart is searched, and inbred corruptions laid open, and the vain thoughts of the heart made manifest, we learn his omniscience; for all the crimes that have escaped our memory are bought to light when the book of God's remembrance is opened, and the dismal contents appear in the light of God's countenance. But this is the wind, the earthquake, and the fire, which go before the fill small voice. "This shall be my covenant; I will put my law in their inward parts, and will write it upon their hearts:" and he adds, "They shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more." The law here spoken of is not the law of Moses, for this law, God tells us, is a new covenant, which makes the law of Moses old. Besides, the law here spoken of, in its application, is attended with pardon, which the moral law, when applied, is not; for at the entry of that sin revives and the sinner dies. But there is a deal of difference between reviving sin and removing it; and between slaying the sinner and quickening him. By the moral law sin becomes exceeding sinful; but by the law here spoken of the heart is purified from it, so that God remembers it no more. No law can purify us from sin but the law of faith, for Truth itself has said that "if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins." He that believes shall be saved from sin, death, and hell too; but he that believeth not shall be damned, let him trust in what law he may. "In this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." When the Lord gives spiritual peace, he gives righteousness also: peace is the fruit and effect both of pardon and of justification. God has provided a fountain to cleanse us from all sin; and he has provided a wedding garment also, as the bridal attire of his church. There are two branches of righteousness revealed in the gospel. The obedience of the Surety, which makes many righteous; this is to all and upon all that believe. Secondly, the other branch adorns the saint within "Put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness," These three things, reader, will make thee shine like the sun. The blood of Christ cleanseth us from all sin, and from all the dark and dismal stains of it. And what does Christ say to such a soul? "Thou art all fair, my love, there is, no spot in thee." Thus the dark, the scarlet, and the crimson stains, are all gone, and we are as white as the show in Salmon. The righteousness of the new man is love: "Charity believeth all things" revealed in the gospel, and is the fulfilment of the whole law; and charity never faileth - never fails of the great reward of inheritance. And it is this that makes "the King's daughter all glorious within." But the obedience of the Surety makes us all glorious without: "At the right hand did stand the queen, in gold of Ophir; the shall be brought unto the King in raiment of needle-work." These things are the adorning of the bride, the Lamb's wife. The preparation and readiness of the church to meet her God consist in these things; and all these adornings are prepared and bestowed upon the church by the Bridegroom. His church is clothed at his own expense; and to us it is all of grace. Let my reader observe this: we receive the forgiveness of sins according to the riches of his grace; thus our cleansing is of free grace, and so is our inward glory, which is the love of God shed abroad the heart. "Let us get up early so the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my loves," Song vii. 12. Our wedding robe comes also in the same way; "For, if by one man's offence death reigned by one, much more they which receive abundance of grace, and of the gift of righteousness, shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ," Rom. v. 17. "In this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts."
This peace the High Priest of our profession made by the blood of his cross; and, as our mediator, he ever lives to maintain it between God and us. The holy Spirit sprinkles the blood upon our conscience, and it speaks peace and friendship with God; and upon this oblation the plea of the great Advocate silences every accusation both of the law and of Satan. This is the ground-work of all solid peace with God and conscience; and every one that comes to Christ by faith shall soon find his feet to be guided into the way of this peace. Peace has two helpmates in attendance, quietness and assurance. "The work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever," Isai. xxxii. 17. The work of righteousness in the soul by the Holy Ghost, who brings near the righteousness of Christ to us, and works faith in the heart to put it on, and who enlightens us to see the glory of it, and the beauty of Him that wrought it out, and brought it in; this work is attended with peace. Moreover, the justified man, who labours in the word and work of righteousness, has peace with God, and is at peace with himself, and sows the grace of peace in the ears and hearts of others, God giving testimony to the word of his grace. Yea, every just man who lives by faith, who is under a daily cross, and who is engaged in self-denial; who holds fast his profession, who exercises himself in living in friendship with God, and in harmony with conscience; who is a constant attendant at God's courts; who perseveres in the work, warfare, and worship of God; though in this world he sends tribulation, yet in Christ he sends peace and quietness too. Christ is our hiding place, our refuge, and a covert from the form. When this rock is embraced, it becomes to us a shelter; the storms of Sinai blow over, the displeasure of the Almighty abates, his anger turns away, the terrors of the law subside, the menaces of Satan and the reproaches of conscience cease; while divine consolation slow over all their banks, and peace pours down like a river. These things becalm the troubled mind; still the clamours of unbelief and carnal reason, dissolve our perplexing doubts, disperse our troubled and turbulent thoughts, put a stop to our mediations of terror, banish the dread of damnation, and close the doors of the shadow of death. Sin and fear, guilt and shame, vanish, when the Prince of Peace causes his voice to be heard, and shews the lighting down of his arm with the indignation of his anger: he kindles the flame of love in the hearts of his chosen, and goes through the briers and thorns in his wrath, and burns them altogether. All solid peace, quietness and assurance for ever, come to poor sinners thus, and in this way; and that every soul shall knew who puts his trust in the Son of God, in his finished salvation, and in the fullness of his grace.
I shall now state a few things respecting our own case, which I forebore to mention at the opening of the chapel. The first is, that the temples at Jerusalem, the first and the second house, were burned with fire. And this has been our case. Some years ago a fire broke out at a floor-cloth manufactory adjoining the old chapel; on which occasion it was damaged, but not destroyed.
On the evening of July 13th, 1810, a fire broke out at some distance from the chapel, when it was entirely burned to the ground. At this catastrophe, I am told, that two gentlemen, in particular, made themselves very merry, both of whose dwellinghouses have since shared the same fate. "Man is born to trouble;" and it is plain that these good men have no more assurance of being exempted from calamity than we have. I was much surprised that, on hearing of the circumstance, it did not in the least alarm or move me. But my mind was wonderfully supported; and, considering that it was not destroyed through any neglect or carelessness of mine, or of any of the congregation, I believed that the hand of God was in it; that he gave it to us, and that he now took it away from us. "Shall there be evil in a city, and the Lord hath not done it?" Amos iii. 6. I had moreover a persuasion that, according to God's word, it would work together for good, but how I knew not. Sometimes I thought that my work in town might be finished, and it was intended to drive me into the country, to labour as an itinerant. And my mind was kept in suspense for some months about going into the country, till God stirred up the spirit of the people to build another chapel. And those, whose hands laid the foundation of this house, their hands have also finished it, and have brought forth the top-stone, with a repetition of the old inscription, ascribing it to Providence.
That all things do work together for good to them that love God, is one of the sweetest lessons of Christ's school, but not the easiest to learn. How ever, we can set to our seal that God is true to the word of his grace. There were about twenty-two years unexpired of the lease of the old chapel; of the new chapel we have a lease for ninety-nine years. The old chapel, first and last, cost about three thousand pounds; we have more than double that sum to pay for this. That was sadly surrounded and enclosed, this is open. That was extremely hot, this is more cool. That was at one end of the town, this is more central. In short, we are contented with this new house, and thankful for it. Some men are not a little offended at our inscribing the name of Providence upon it; but this is no new thing nor is this doctrine of Providence a novel doctrine. It was an article in the faith of Abraham; for, upon Isaac's "Where is the lamb for the burnt offering?" Abraham replied, "God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering," Gen. xxii. 8. And that Lamb of God has since appeared to take away the sin of the world. And, when Abraham found that God had provided a ram to be offered up instead of his son Isaac, he called the name of that place "Jehovah-Jireh," which is not very different in meaning from Providence mount.
What is Providence, but the Creator of all things making provision, or providing for all his creatures? Nor is Providence confined to this world; "God has provided come better thing for us;" Heb. xi. 40. God made every plant of the earth before it grew, Gen ii. 5; and he keeps a succession of these trees to this day, by which he provides timber. He provided clay, and he still provides brick-makers to temper the clay, mould it, and burn it into bricks, as well as men of skill also to put these materials together. God tells us that the gold and silver are his, and so are the wool and the flax. And by these things we are provided with money to pay the builders. And we daily see that those very men, who scoff at Providence, have recourse to the provision of God as well as we who believe in it. They can no more create these materials than we can. And, if the Almighty has not provided all these things, let them tell us who has, that we may do them honour.
T. Bensley, Printer, Bolt Court, Fleet Street, London,