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set forth as the chief and last. These are also they, as Moses, which are to look over all the building, and to see that all in this house be done according to the pattern showed to them in the
mount. Ex. xxxix. 43. Jn. xx. 21-23. 1 Co. iii. 9; iv. 9.
Let us then keep these distinctions clear, and not put an apostle in the room of Christ, nor Christ in the place of one of those apostles. Let none but Christ be the high-priest and sacrifice for your souls to God; and none but that doctrine which is apostolical, be to you as the mouth of Christ for instruction to prepare you, and to prepare materials for this temple of God, and to build them upon this foundation.
VIII. Of the richness of the stones which were laid
for the foundations of the Temple.
These foundation stones, as they were great, so they were costly stones; though, as I said, of themselves, of no more worth than they of their nature that were left behind. Their costliness therefore, lay in those additions which they received from the king's charge
First, In that labour which was bestowed upon them in sawing, squaring, and carving. For the servants, as they were cunning at this work, so they bestowed much of their art and labour upon them, by which they put them into excellent form, and added to their bigness, glory, and beauty, fit for stones upon which so goodly a fabric was to be built
Secondly, These stones, as they were thus wrought within and without, so, as it seems to me, they were inlaid with other stones more precious than themselves. Inlaid, I say, with stones of divers colours. According as it is written, I will lay thy foundations with sapphires.' Is. liv. 11. Not that the foundations were sapphires, but they were laid, inlaid with them; or, as he saith in another place, They were adorned with goodly stones and gifts.' Lu. xxi. 5.
This is still more amplified, where it is written of the New Jerusalem, which is still the New Testament church on earth, and so the same in substance with what is now. The foundations of the wall of the city,' saith he,' were garnished with all manner of precious stones.' Re. xxi. 19. True, these there are called 'The foundations of the wall of the city,' but it has respect to the matter in hand; for that which is before called a temple, for its comparative smallness, is here called a city, for or because of its great increase: and both the foundations of the wall of the city, as well as of the temple, are the twelve apostles of the Lamb.' Re. xxi. 14. For these carvings and inlayings, with all other beautifications, were types of the extraordinary gifts and graces of the apostles. Hence the apostle calls such gifts signs of apostleship. Ro. xv. 19. 2 Co.
Nor were these stones only laid for a foundation for the temple; the great court, the inner court, as also the porch of the temple, had round about them three rows of these stones for their foundation. 1Ki. vii. 12. Signifying, as it seems to me, that the more outward and external part, as well as that more internal worship to be performed to God, should be grounded upon apostolical doctrine and appointments. 1 Co. iii. 10-12. 2 Th. ii. 15; iii. 6. He. vi. 1-4. IX. Which way the face or front of the Temple stood. 1. The temple was built with its face or front towards the east, and that, perhaps, because the glory of the God of Israel was to come from the way of the east into it. Eze. xliii. 1-4; xlvii. 1. Wherefore, in that its front stood toward the east, it may be to show that the true gospel church would have its eye to, and expectation from, the Lord. We look, said Paul, but whither? We have ‘our conversation,' said he, in heaven,' from whence our expectation is. 2 Co. iv. 18. Phi. iii. 20. Ps. lxii. 5.
2. It was set also with its face towards the east, to keep the people of God from committing of idolatry; to wit, from worshipping the host of heaven, and the sun whose rising is from the east. For since the face of the temple stood toward the east, and since the worshippers were to worship at, or with their faces towards the temple, it follows that both in their going to, and worshipping God towards that place, their faces must be from, and their backs towards the sun. The thus building of the temple, therefore, was a snare to idolaters, and a proof of the zeal of those that were the true worshippers; as also to this day the true gospelinstituted worship of Jesus Christ is. Hence he is said, to idolaters, to be a snare and trap, but to the godly a glory. Is. viii. 14; Ix. 19.
3. Do but see how God catched the idolatrous Jews, by this means, in their naughtiness: And he brought me,' saith the prophet, into the inner court of the Lord's house, and behold at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces towards the east.' Eze. viii. 16. It was therefore, as I said, set with its face towards the east, to prevent false worship, and detect idolaters.1
1 To oppose the customs of heathens, who made their chief gates towards the west, that these stupid worshippers, drawing nigh to their blind, deaf, and dumb deities, might have their idols, as it were, arising upon them out of the east.'-(Lee's Solomon's Temple, p. 242.)—(ED.)
4. From the east also came the most blasting | for, as I said, outward show will avail nothing, winds, winds that are destructive to man and when the beast comes to turn and toss up profesbeasts, to fruit and trees, and ships at sea. Ex. x. 13. sors with his horns. Re. xi. 10–12.
Job xxvii. 21. Eze. xvii. 10; xix. 12. Ps. xlviii. 7. Eze. xxvii. 26.
I say, the east wind, or that which comes from thence, is the most hurtful; yet you see, the temple hath set her face against it, to show that the true church cannot be blasted or made turn back by any affliction. It is not east winds, nor none of their blastings, that can make the temple turn about. Hence he saith that Jacob's face shall not wax pale. And again, I have made thy face strong against their faces,' and that the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.' Is. xxix. 22. Eze. iii. 8.
Mat. xvi. 18.
5. It might be also built with its face towards the east, to show that the true church looketh, as afore I hinted, for her Lord and King from heaven; knowing, that at his coming he will bring healing in his wings; for from the east he will appear when he comes the second time without sin unto salvation, of which the sun gives us a memento in his rising there every morning. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.' Mat. xxiv. 27. Mal. iv. 2. He. ix. 28. Col. iii. 4. 2 Pe.
6. Christ, as the north pole, draws those touched with the load-stone of his word, with the face of their souls towards him, to look for, and hasten to his coming. And this also is signified by the temple standing with its face towards the east.
X. Of the courts of the Temple.
I perceive that there were two courts belonging to the temple. The first was called the outward court. Eze. xl. 7; xlvi. 21.
1. This was that into which the people of necessity first entered, when they went to worship in the temple; consequently that was it, in and by which the people did first show their desires to be the worshippers of God. And this answers to those badges and signs of love to religion, that people have in face, or outward appearance. Mat. xxiii. 27.
2 Co. x. 7.
2. In this, though there may sometimes be truth, yet oftener lies and dissimulation: wherefore commonly an outward appearance is set in opposition to faith and truth, as the outward is in opposition to the inner court, and outward to the inner man; and that is, when it is by itself, for then it profits nothing. Ro. ii. 28. 1 Co. xiii. 1-3. 2 Co. v. 12.
3. Hence, though the outward court was something to the Jews, because by outward bodies they were distinguished from the Gentiles; yet to us it is little, for now he is not a Jew who is one only outwardly.' Therefore all the time of the Beast's reign, this court is given to be trodden under foot;
4. But as there was an outward, so there was an inner court, a court that stood nearer the temple; and so to the true practical part of worship, than that outward court did. Eze. x. 3; xlvi. 1. 1 Ki. vi. 36.
5. This inner court is that which is called 'the court of the priests,' because it was it in which they boiled the trespass-offerings, and in which they prepared the sin-offering for the people. 2 ch. iv. 9. Eze. xlvi. 20.
6. This court, therefore, was the place of practice and of preparation to appear before God, which is the first true token of a sincere and honest mind. Wherefore here, and not in the outward court, stood the great brazen altar, which was a type of Christ, by whom alone the true worshippers make their approach with acceptance unto God. Also here stood the great brazen scaffold, on which the king kneeled when he prayed for the people, a type of Christ's prayers for his when he was in the world. 2 Ch. vi. 18. Jn. xvii.
7. Wherefore this court was a type of practical worship, and so of our praying, hearing, and eating, before God. There belonged to this court several gates, an east, a south, and a north gate; and when the people of the land went into this court to worship, they were not to go out at that gate by which they came in, but out of the gate over against it, to show that true Christians should persevere right on, and not turn back, whatever they meet with in the way. 'He that entereth in by the way of the north gate to worship, shall go out by the way of the south gate; and he that entereth in by the way of the south gate, shall not return by the way of the gate whereby he came in, but shall go forth over against it.' Eze. xlvi. 9.
8. These courts were places of great delight to the Jews, as both feigned and sincere profession is to those that practice therein. Wherefore, when the Jews did enter into these, they did use to do it with praise and pipe, as do both hypocrites and sincere ones. So then, when a man shall tread in both these courts, and shall turn what he seems to be, into what he should be in reality; then, and not till then, he treads them as he should; for then he makes the outward court, and his treading there but a passage to that which is more inward and sincere. But he that stays in the outward one is but such an one as pleases not God, for that he wants the practice of what he professes with his mouth.
XI. Of the great brazen altar that stood in the inner court of the Temple.
1. In the inner court stood the great brazen altar which Solomon made. This is evident; for
that when he kneeled upon the scaffold there to pray, he kneeled before this altar. See Ex. xl. 6, 29,
2 Ch. vi. 13. 2 Ki. xvi. 14. Joel ii. 17.
2. This altar seems to be placed about the middle of this court over against the porch of the house; and between it and the temple was the place where Zechariah was slain. This altar was called the altar of burnt-offering,' and therefore it was a type of Christ in his divinity. For Christ's body was our true burnt-offering, of which the bodies of the sacrificed beasts were a type; now that altar upon which his body was offered was his Divinity or Godhead; for that, and that only, could bear up that offering in the whole of its suffering; and that therefore, and that only, was to receive the fat, the glory. Hence it is said he, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God.'
He. ix. 14.
3. For Christ is priest, and sacrifice, and altar, and all. And as a priest he offered, as a sacrifice he suffered, and as God he supported his humanity, in that suffering of all the pains it underwent, Ga.
i. 4; ii. 20. 1 Pe. iii. 18. He. ix. 14.
4. It was then Christ's Godhead, not the tree, that was the altar of burnt-offering, or that by which Christ offered himself an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour.
5. That it was not the tree, is evident, for that could not sanctify the gift, to wit, his body; but Christ affirmeth, 'that the altar sanctifieth the gift.' And by so saying, he affirmeth that the altar on which he offered his offering was greater than the offering itself. Mat. xxiii. 19. Now the body of Christ was the gift; for so he saith, I give my flesh for the life of the world. Jn. vi.
But now, what thing is that which is greater than his body, save the altar, his Divinity on which it was offered? The tree then was not the altar which sanctified this gift, to make it of virtue enough to make reconciliation for iniquity. Jn. vi. Now, since this altar of burnt-offering was thus placed in the inner court, it teaches us several things:
51; xvii. 19. He. ix. 14. Col. i. 19-21.
First, That those that come only into the outward court, or that rest in a bare appearance of Christianity, do not, by so doing, come to Jesus Christ; for this altar stands not there. Hence John takes notice only of the temple and this altar, and them that worship therein, and leaves out the outward court, and so them that come no farther.
Re. xi. 1, 2.
Second. This teaches us also that we are to enter into that temple of God by blood. The altar, this altar of burnt-offering, stood as men went into the temple; they must go by it; yea, there they must leave their offering, and so go in and worship, even as a token that they came thither by sacrifice and by blood.
Third. Upon this altar Solomon, at the dedication of the temple, offered thousands, both of oxen and of sheep, to signify, surely, the abundant worth and richness that would be in the blood of Christ to save when it should be shed for us. For his blood is spoken of with an 'how much more.' For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God!' He. ix. 13, 14; x. i. 12. 2 Ch. vii. 5—8.
Let us then not dare to stop or stay in the outward court, for there is not this altar. Nor let us dare, when we come into this court, to be careless whether we look to this altar or no. For it is by blood we must enter; for without shedding of blood is no remission.' Let us always then, when we come hither, wash our hands in innocency, and so compass this holy altar: for that by Christ, who is the altar indeed, we are reconciled to God. This is looking to Jesus; this is coming to God by him, of whom this altar and the sacrifice thereon was a type.
XII. Of the pillars that were before the porch of the Temple.
There were divers pillars belonging to the temple; but in this place we are confined to speak of only two; namely, those which stood before the temple.
These pillars stood before the porch or entrance into the temple, looking towards the altar, the court, and them that were the worshippers there; also they were a grace and beauty to the front of the house.
1. These pillars stood, one on the right hand and the other on the left, at the door of the porch of the temple, and they had names given them, you may be sure, to signify something. The name of that on the right hand was called Jachin, he [God] shall establish; and the name of that on the left hand was Boaz, in it is strength. 1 Ki. sil 21. 2 Ch. iii. 17.
2. These two pillars were types of Christ's apostles; of the apostles of circumcision, and of the uncircumcision. Therefore the apostle Paul also calleth them pillars, Ga. ., and saith that that pillar on the right hand was a type of himself and his companions, who were to go to the uncircumcised, and teach the Gentiles the way of life. When James, Cephas, and John, saith he, who seemed to be pillars, perceived the grace that was given unto me, they gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go unto the heathen, and they unto the circumcision.' Ga. ii. 9. So then, these two pillars were types of these two
orders of the apostles in this their divers service for God.1
3. And that Paul and Barnabas were signified by those on the right hand, to wit, to be the apostles of the Gentiles, he showeth again, where he saith, I am the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.' Ro. xi. 13; xv. 16. 4. And since the name of this pillar was Jachin, God shall establish, as it showeth that opposition shall attend it; so also, that God would bless his word preached by them to the Gentiles, to the conversion of numbers of them, maugre the opposition of the enemy.
5. This is further implied, for that they were made of brass; as he saith of the prophet, I have made thee a fenced brazen wall, an iron pillar; and their fighting against thee shall nothing at all prevail. Je. xv. 20. Wherefore Paul says of himself, I am set for the defence of the gospel,' 'that the truth thereof might continue with you.' Phi. i. 17.
Ga. ii. 5.
XIII. Of the height of these pillars that thus stood before the porch of the door of the Temple. The pillars were eighteen cubits high a-piece, and that is as high, yea, as high again as the highest giant that ever we read of in the Word; for the highest of which we read was but six cubits and a span. True, the bedstead of Og was nine cubits long, but I trow the giant himself was shorter. De. iii. 11. 2 Ch. iii. 15.2 But put the longest to the longest, and set the one upon the shoulders of the other, and yet each pillar was higher than they.
We have now, as I know of, but few that remain of the remnant of the giants; and though they boast as if they were higher than Agag, yet these pillars are higher than they. These pillars are the highest; you may equal them; and an inch above is worth an ell below. The height therefore of these pillars is, to show us what high dignity God did put upon those of his saints whom he did call to be apostles of the Lamb: for their office and call thereto is the highest in the church of God. These men, I say, were made thus high by their being cast in such a mould. Of that which added yet further to their height we will speak anon: we
1 There were two pillars, which some resemble to the two states of the church-Jewish and Christian; others understand magistracy and ministry.'-(Lee's Temple, 1659, p. 281.)-(ED.)
The height of these pillars was thirty-five cubits each, including the base and chapiter. The base, ornamented with lines or net-work, twelve cubits; the column eighteen cubits, and the chapiter five cubits, making the height thirty-five cubits; while the column or pillar, cast by itself, was only eighteen. This reconciles the apparent discrepancy between 1 Ki. vii. 15 and 2 Ch. iii. 15.-(ED.)
only speak now of the high call by which they, and only they, were made capable of apostolic authority. The apostles were sent immediately,3 their call was extraordinary, their office was universal; they had alike power in all churches, and their doctrine was infallible. Ac. xxvi. 16. 1 Co. ix. 1. Ga. i. 1. 1 Jn. i. 1—3. Jn. ii. 23. And what can our pretended giants do or say in comparison of these? The truth is, all other men to these are dwarfs, are low, dark, weak, and beneath, not only as to call and office, but also as to gifts and grace. This sentence, 'Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ,' drowneth all! What now are all other titles of grandeur and greatness, when compared with this one sentence?
True, the men were but mean in themselves; for what is Paul or what Apollos, or what was James or John? Yet by their call to that office they were made highest of all in the church. Christ did raise them eighteen cubits high; not in conceit; for so there are many higher than they, but in office, and calling, and Divine authority.
And observe it, these stand at the door, at the entering into the temple of God, at which they enter that go in thither to worship God, to shew that all right worship, and that which will be acceptable to God, is by, or according to, their doctrine.
XIV. Of the chapiters (capitals) of the pillars of the Temple.
There were also two chapiters made for the pillars of the temple; for each, one; and they were five cubits high apiece. These were for the adorning of the pillars, and therefore were types and shadows of that abundance of grace which God did put upon the apostles after the resurrection of our Lord. Wherefore, as he saith here, the chapiters were upon the pillars; so it saith that great grace was upon all the apostles. Ac. iv. 33.
These chapiters had belonging to them a bowl made pummil-fashion,* and it was placed upon the head of them, perhaps to signify their aptness to receive, and largeness to contain of the dew of heaven; that shadow of the doctrine of the gospel; which doctrine the apostles, as the chief, were to receive and hold forth to the world for their conversion. Hence, as the bowls were capable to receive the dew of heaven, these are said to receive grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name.' Ro. i. 5. 1 Ki. vii. 16, 42.
2 Ch. iv. 13. De. xxxii. 10. Ro. xv. 29.
There was also upon these chapiters a net-work, or nets like unto chequer-work, which still added to their lustre. These nets were they which shewed for what intent the apostolical office was ordained;
3 Immediately, or by Christ himself.-(ED.) Pummil, or pommel, round like an apple.-(ED.)
stood before the Temple.
namely, that by their preaching they might bring XVI. Of the chains that were upon these pillars that many souls to God. And hence Christ calls them fishermen, saying, 'Ye shall catch men.' Mat.iv.19. Mar. i. 17. Lu. v. 10. 2 Co. xii. 16. The world is compared to a sea, men to fishes, and the gospel to a net. As therefore men catch fish with a net, so the apostles caught men by their word, which word, as I told you, to me is signified by this net-work upon the top of these pillars. See therefore the mystery of God in these things.
Eze. xlvii. 10-12. Mat. xiii. 47-50.
As there were nets to catch, and pomegranates to bait, so there were chains belonging to these chapiters on these pillars. And he made chains, as in the oracle, and put them upon the head of the [pillars],' or chapiters. 2 Ch. iii. 16.
But what were these chains a type of? I answer, they were, perhaps, a type of those bonds which attend the gospel, by which souls taken are tied fast to the horns of the altar. Gospel grace,
XV. Of the pomegranates adjoined to these nets on and gospel obligations, are ties and binding things;
There were also joined to these nets upon the top of the pillars pomegranates in abundance; four hundred for the net-work. Pomegranates, you know, are beautiful to look on, pleasant to the palate, comfortable to the stomach, and cheering by their juice. 1 Ki. vii. 42. Ca. iv. 3; viii. 2; iv. 13; vi. 11; vii. 12, There were to be two rows of these pomegranates for one net-work, and so two rows of them for the other.
And this was to show that the net of the gospel is not an empty thing; but is sufficiently baited with such varieties as are apt to allure the world to be catched by them. The law is but a sound of words, but the gospel is not so; that is, baited with pomegranates; with variety of excellent things. Hence it is called the gospel of the kingdom,' and the gospel of the grace of God,' because it is, as it were, baited with grace and glory, that sinners may be allured, and may be taken with it to their eternal salvation. Mat. xxiv. 14.
Ac. xx. 24.
Grace and glory, grace and glory! these are the pomegranates with which the word of the gospel is baited, that sinners may be taken and saved thereby. The argument of old was 'milk and honey;' that was, I say, the alluring bait, with which Moses drew six hundred thousand out of Egypt, into the wilderness of old. Ex. iii. 8. But behold we have pomegranates, two rows of pomegranates; grace and a kingdom, as the bait of the holy gospel; no wonder, then, if, when men of skill did cast this net into the sea, such numbers of fish have been catched, even by one sermon. Ac. ii. They baited their nets with taking things, things taking to the eye and taste.
Nets are truly instruments of death, but the net of the gospel doth catch to draw from death; wherefore this net is contrary; life and immortality is brought to light through this. No marvel, then, if men are so glad, and that for gladness they leap like fishes in a net, when they see themselves catched in this drag of the holy gospel of the Son of God. They are catched from death and hell, catched to live with God in glory!
they can hold those that are entangled by the word. 'Love is strong as death;' bands of love, and the cords of a man, and chains take hold on them that are taken by the gospel. Ho. xi. Ca. viii. 6.
But this strength to bind lieth not in outward force, but in a sweet constraint, by virtue of the displays of undeserved love. The love of Christ constraineth us.' 2 Co. v. 14. Wherefore as you find the nets, so the chains had pomegranates on them.
And he made an hundred pomegranates, and put them upon the chains.' 2 Ch. iii. 16. The chains then had baits, as well as the nets, to show that the bands of the gospel are unresistible goodnesses; such with which men love to be bound, and such as they pray they may be held fast by. He binds his foal to the vine; his saint unto this Saviour. Ge. xlix. 11.
By these chains there is therefore showed what strength there is in gospel-charms, if once the adder doth but hear them. Never man yet was able to resist them that well did know the meaning of them. They are mighty to make poor men obedient, and that in word and deed. These chains were such as were in the oracle, to show that gospel bonds are strong as the joys of heaven, and as the glories there; can make them chains as in the oracle, as in the most holy place. It is heaven that binds sinners on earth to the faith and hope of the gospel of Christ.
XVII. Of the lily work which was upon the chapi ters, that were upon these pillars of the Temple.
These pillars were also adorned with lily work, as well as with pomegranates and chains. The chapiters that were upon the top of the pillars were of lily work;' so was the work of the pillars finished.' 1 Ki. vii. 19–22.
This lily work is here put in on purpose, even to show us how far off those that were to be the true apostles of the Lamb should be from seeking carnal things, or of making their prevailing a stalking-horse to worldly greatness, and that pre
1 In all the editions of this book published since the author's death, these words are altered to their preaching.'-(ED.)