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hath some show of truth in it, however, I will leave in Canaan. Jos, xiv. 10. Now, as there were forty. it to wiser judgments.
five years of trouble, so here are forty-five pillars * And it was covered with cedar above, upon the for support, perhaps to intimate that God will have beams that lay on forty-five pillars, fifteen in a in his church in the wilderness a sufficient succes. row.' i ki. vii. 3. These pillars, as the others, are sion of faithful men that, like pillars, shall bear up such upon which the house did also bear; this is the truth above water all the time of Antichrist's clear, because the beams that lay upon the four reign and rage. rows of pillars afore-mentioned lay also upon these The thick beams that lay over-thwart to couple forty-five.
this house of the forest of Lebanon together, did It seems, therefore, that these four rows of pil- bear upon these forty-five pillars, to show that, by lars were they that were the more outside ones; the burden-bearers that have and shall be in the that is, two rows on this side of the house and two church of God in the wilderness, the unity of that rows also on that; and that those forty-five pillars, house is through the Spirit maintained. And infifteen in a row, stood in three rows more inward, deed, had it not been for these pillars, the sufferers, and so did bear up with the other the beams that these burden-bearers in the church, our house in were laid upon them, much like to those inner the forest of Lebanon, or, more properly, our church pillars that usually stand in our parish churches, in the wilderness, had before this been but in a If so, then the first four rows did seem to be a poor condition. Thus therefore this church, which guard to these, for that, as they stood more to the in her time is the pillar and ground of truth in outsides of the house, so more to the weather, and the world, has been made to stand and abide it. nearer to the first approach of the enemy. • When the blast of the terrible ones has been as
And this may show that the apostles in their a storm against the wall.' Is. XXV. 4. 1 Ti. ii. 15. Many
be pillars and pillars and beams and beams too,
made capable, through good management, to give Here therefore was but hard lodging; the house check to those of Damascus when they should of the forest of Lebanon was not made for tender attempt to throw down that worship. skins and for those that cannot lie out of down And as I said before, these pillars were sweetbeds, but for those that were war-like men, and scented pillars, for that they were made of cedar; that were willing to endure hardness for that re- but what cared the enemy for that, they were ofligion that God had set up in his temple, and is fensive to him, for that they were placed as a forfitly anwered by that of the apostle: Thou, there- tification against him. Nor is it any allurement fore,' my son, 'endure hardness as a good soldier to Satan to favour the mighty ones in the church of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth in the wilderness for the fragrant smell of their himself with the affairs of this life, that he may sweet graces, nay, both he and his angels are the please him who bath chosen him to be a soldier.' more bent to oppose them because they are so 2 Ti. li. 3, 4. Forty-five pillars! It was forty-five sweet-scented. The cedars therefore got nothing years that the church was of old in a bewildered because they were cedars at the hands of the borand warlike condition before she enjoyed her rest | barous Gentiles—for they would burn the cedars
as the angels or pillars get nothing of favour at set on fire; the church shall not be consumed the hands of Antichrist because they are pillars of although she be afflicted. Ex. lii. 3. And this reason and angels for the truth, yea, they so much the is, because God has still his fifteens; therefore if more by ber are abhorred. Well, but they are Abel falls by the hand of Cain, Seth is put in his pillars for all that, yea, pillars to the church in place. Ge. iv. 25. If Moses is taken
away, Joshua the wilderness, as the others were in the house of shall succeed him. Jos. l. 2, 3. And if the devil the forest of Lebanon, and pillars they will abide break the neck of Judas, Matthias is at hand to there, dead and alive, when the enemy has done take his office. Ac. i. 16–26. God has, I say, a sucwhat he can.
cession of pillars in his house; he has to himself a The pillars were set in three rows, for so are forty-five when they are set fifteen in a row. And Yet again, methinks that there should be fortythey were set in three rows to bear. This manner five pillars, and besides them four rows of pillars, also of their standing thus was also doubtless sig- and all this to bear up an invisible burden, for we nificant. But again, they, these pillars, may be read of nothing upon the pillars but the heavens set, or placed thus in three rows in the house of and roof. It should be to show that it is imposthe forest of Lebanon, to show that the three offices sible that a carnal heart should conceive of the of Christ are the great things that the church in weight that truth lays upon the conscience of a the wilderness must bear up before the world. believer. They see, nothing, alas, nothing at all,
The three offices of Christ, they are his priestly, but a beam, a truth, and, say they, are you such his prophetical, and his kingly offices. These are fools to stand groaning to bear up that, or what is those in which God's glory and the church's sal-contained therein? They, I say, see not the vation are most immediately concerned, and they weight, the glory, the weight of glory that is in a that have been most opposed by the devil and his truth of God, and therefore they laugh at them angels. All heresies, errors, and delusions with that will count it worth the while to endure so which Christ's church has been assaulted in all much to support it from falling to the ground.? ages, have bent themselves against some one or Great pillars and beams, great saints and great all of these. Re. xvi, 13, 16. Christ is a priest to truths, are in the church of God in the wilderness; save, a prophet to teach, and a king to rule his and the beams lie upon the pillars, or the truth church. Is. xxxiii. 22. But this Antichrist cannot upon the saints. bear, therefore he attempts to get up into the throne The tabernacle and ark formerly were to be himself, and to act as if he were one above all that borne upon men's shoulders, even as these great is called God, or that is worshipped. 2 Th. ii. 3, 4. beams are borne up by these pillars. And as this
But behold! here are pillars in three tabernacle and ark were to be carried hither and rows, mighty pillars to bear up Christ in these his thither, according to the appointment of God, so offices before the world and against all falsehood were these beams to be by these pillars borne up, and deceit.
that therewith the house might be girt together, Fifteen in a row, I can say no further than I kept uniform, and made to stand fast, notwithcan see; what the number of fifteen should signify standing the wind and storm. I know not, God is wiser than man; but yet methinks their standing thus should signify a reserve;
CHAP. V. as suppose the first three that the enemy comes at should be destroyed by their hands, there are three times fourteen behind; suppose again that they should serve the next three so, yet there is a The house of the forest of Lebanon had
many reserve behind. When that fine one, Jezebel, had windows in it; “And there were windows in three done what she could against the afflicted church rows, and light was against light in three ranks.? in her time, yet there was left a reserve, a reserve
Windows are to let the light in at, and of seven thousand that were true worshippers of the eye out at, to objects at a distance from the God. i Ki, xix. 18. Ro. xi. 4.
house, and from those that are therein. Always when Antichrist made his inroads upon the church in the wilderness, to slay, to cut off,
| It is one of the strongest proofs that the human mind is and to kill
, yet some of the pillars stood, they disordered by sin, that man is by nature senseless to the were not all burnt in the fire, nor cut down. They sublime truths of Christianity--the beam, the truth which
saves the world from utter moral desolation. What wonders said indeed, Come and let us cut them off from
open before the eyes of the young convert, stretching far being a nation, that the name of Israel may be no away into that heavenly and eternal felicity which had been more in remembrance. Ps. lxxxiii. 4. But what then? shut out from his vision by the gloom of death! Life and im. there is a difference betwixt saying and doing; the mortality is brought to light. His life, and all other things,
become but dross, that he may win Christ, and maintain his bush was not therefore consumed because it was
cause in the world.—(ED.)
Re. xix. 19-21.
OF TIIE WINDOWS IN THE HOUSE OF THE FOREST OP
1 Ki, vii. 4.
The windows here are figures of the Word of God, I no house, that we read of in the Bible, was thus by which light the light of life is let into the heart; adorned with light, or had windows in three rows, through that, the glass of these windows, the beams but this; and answerable hereunto, no congregation of the Sun of righteousness shine into the church. or church, but the true church of God, has the Hence the word is compared to glass, through true antitype thereof. Light! windows! A sufwhich the glorious face of Christ is seen. 2 Co. iii. 18. ficiency of windows was of great use to a people This, therefore, this house of the forest of Lebanon that dwelt in a forest, or wood, as the inhabitants had; it had windows, a figure of that Word of God, of the house of the forest of Lebanon did. But through, and by which, the church in the wilder- how solitary had this house been, had it had no ness sees the mind of God, and so what while there light at all! To be in a wood, and that without she ought to believe, do, and leave undone in the windows, is one of the worst of conditions. This world.
also is the relief that the church in the wilderness This house had plenty of windows—three rows had; true, she was in a wood, but had light, called of windows on both sides the house. In three in another place God's rod, or his Word, which giv. rows; by these windows in three rows perhaps was eth instruction. • Feed thy people with thy rod, prefigured how into the church in the wilderness the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitary in was to shine the doctrine of the Trinity: yea, to the wood,' &c. Mi. vii. 14. signify that she was to be possessed with that in To be, as was said, in a wood, and without liglit her most low state, and when under her greatest too, is a condition very desolate : the Egyptians clouds. The doctrine of the Trinity ! that is the found it so, for all they were in their houses. Ex. substance, that is the ground and fundamental of all. 2. 21, 23. But how much more then is that people's 1 Jn. ii. 22, 23; iv. 2-4. 2 Jn. 9, 10. For by this doctrine, case to be lamented that are under persecution, but and by this only, the man is made a Christian; and have not light in three rows to guide them. But he that has not this doctrine, his profession is not this is not the state of the church in the wilderness; worth a button. You must know that sometimes the she has her windows in three rows, to wit, the light church in the wilderness has but little light, but the of the face of the Father, the light of the face of diminution of her light is not then so much in or the Son, and the light of the face of the Holy as to substantials, as it is as to circumstantial Ghost; all shining through the windows or glass of things; she has then the substantials with her, in the Word, to her comfort and consolation, though her darkest day, even windows in three rows. now in the forest of Lebanon.
The doctrine of the Trinity! You may ask me * And light was against light in three ranks.' what that is ? I answer. It is that doctrine that This is an additional account of the windows that showeth us the love of God the Father, in giving were in the house of the forest of Lebanon. Beof bis Son: the love of God the Son, in giving of fore he said she had windows in three rows, but himself; and the love of the Lord the Spirit, in his now he adds that there was light against light, work of regenerating of us, that we may be made light opposite to light, and that also in three ranks. able to lay hold of the love of the Father by his In that he saith they were in ranks, lie either Son, and so enjoy eternal life by grace. This doc- means in order, or insinuates a military posture, for trine was always let in at these windows into the in both these ways is this word taken. Nu ii, 16, 24. church in the wilderness, for to make her sound in 1 Ch. xii. 33, 38. Mar. vi. 40. Nor need any smile because faith, and hearty in obedience; as also meek and I say the lights were set in a military posture; we patient in temptation and tribulation. And as to read of potsherds striving with potsherds; and why the substance of Christianity, this doctrine is suf- may it not as well be said, 'light was against light.' ficient for any people, because it teaches faith, and Is. xlr. 9. produceth a good moral life. These therefore, if But we will pursuie our design. Here is opposithese doctrines shine upon us, through these win- tion insinuated; in the margin it is sight against dows of heaven, so as that we see them, and re- sight;' wherefore the lights thus placed in the ceive them, they make us fit to glorify God here, house of the forest of Lebanon give me another and meet to be glorified of, and with him hereafter. encouragement, to think that this house was a type These lights, therefore, cause that the inhabitants of the church in the wilderness, and that she is the of this church in the wilderness see their way seat of spiritual war also. Re. xii. 7.
For as this through the dark pitch night of this world. For house of the forest of Lebanon was that which was as the house of the forest of Lebanon, this church the object of the rage of the king of Assyria, beof God in the wilderness had always her lights, or cause it stood in his way to hinder his ruining windows in these three rows, to guide, to solace, Jerusalem; so the spirit and faithfulness of the and comfort her.
church of God in the wilderness stands in the way, This house therefore, is thus discriminated and and hinders Antichrist's bringing of the truth to distinguished from all other houses in the world; the ground,
And as the
enemy brake into Lebanon, and did | resolved not to be guilled by the eye of a beast, set fire to her cedars, so the boar, the Antichrist, though he pretends to have his light by that very the dragon, and his angels, got into the church in window by which the church has hers. The beast the wilderness. Ps. lxxx. 13. 2 Th. ii 4. Re. xii. 7. This is moon-eyed, and puts darkness for light, yea, and being so, here must needs be war; and since the hates the light that is so indeed ;' but the saints war is not carnal but spiritual, it must be made by will not hear him, for they know the voice of their way of controversy, contention, disputation, argu- Lord. Is. v. 20. Jn. iii. 20. How then can it be but ment, reasonings, &c. which were the effect of op- that light should be against light in this house, and posite apprehensions, fitly set out in this house of that in a military posture ? And how can it be the forest of Lebanon, for that there was 'light but that here `every battle of the warrior' should against light,' sight against sight,' in three ranks. be with confused noise, and garments rolled in Wherefore in that he saith light was against blood.' Is. ix. 5. light in three ranks,' he suggesteth, to the life, how And in that he saith, light was against light in it would be in the church in the wilderness. And three ranks,' it shows their preparations one against suppose they were the truly godly that made the another; also that they on both sides are resolved first assault, can they be blamed ? For who can to stand by their way.
The church is confident, endure a boar in a vineyard ; a man of sin in a the man of sin is confident; they both have the holy temple; or a dragon in heaven ? What then same windows to see by, and so they manage their if the church made the first assault ? Who bid the matters; yet not so simply by the windows, as by boar come there? What had he to do in God's their divers judgınents they make of that which house? The church, as the house of the forest of shineth in at them. Each one therefore hath the Lebanon, would have been content with its own true and false profession, will be confident of his station; and bread and water will serve a man, that own way; he that was right, knew he was right; may with peace enjoy his delights in other things. and he that was wrong, thought he was right, and But when privilege, property, life, delight, heaven, so the battle began. There is a way that seem
• and salvation, comes to be intruded, no marvel if eth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the the woman, though but a woman, cries out, and ways of death.' Pr. xiv. 12. set her light against them; had she seen the thief, Nor is it in man to help it; there has been reasonand said nothing, she had been far worse. ing, there has been disputing, there has blood also
I told you before that by the windows is meant been spilt on both sides, through the confidence the Word, which is compared to glass. 1 Co. xiii. 12. that each had of the goodness of his own way; but 2 Co. iii. 18. Ja. i. 23–25. What, then, is the Word against no reconciliation is made, the enmity is set here of the Word ? No, verily, it is therefore not the Word, God; iron and clay cannot mix, Ge. iii. 15. Da. ii. 42, 43. but opposite apprehensions thereabout, that the God will have things go on thus in the world, till Holy Ghost now intends; for he saith not that his words shall be fulfilled: “The deceived, and window was against window, respecting the true the deceiver, are his.' Job xii. 16. Things therefore sense of the Word, but light was against light, re- must have their course in the church in the wilderspecting the divers notions and apprehensions that ness, till the mystery of God shall be fulfilled. Re. men of opposite spirits would have about the Word. xvii. 17. Nor are we to take this word light, especially in Hence it is said God will bring Gog against his the antitype, in a proper but in a metaphorical people of Israel, ' as a cloud to cover the land.” sense, that is, with respect to the judgment of both Eze. xxxviii. 16. But for what cause? Why, that he parties. Here is the true church, and she has the may contend a while with them, and then fall by true light; here also is the boar, the man of sin, their light to the ground. Therefore he says also, and the dragon; and they see by their way, and that he will give unto Gog a place there of graves yet, as I said, all by the self-same windows. They in Israel, and it shall be called the valley of Ilamouthat are the church do, in God's light, see light; gog.' Eze. xxxix. 11. but they that are not, do in their own way see. God will get himself great glory by permitting And let a man, and a beast, look out at the same the boar, the man of sin, and the dragon, to revel window, the same door, the same casement, yet it in the church of God; for they, by setting up the one will see like a man, and the other but like and contending for their darkness and calling of a beast.
No marvel then, though they have the same windows, that light is against light,' and All men have the same Bible, but all have not sought for sight against sight in this house. For there are
spiritual discernment. The Beast, whether of Rome, Greece,
or England, that looks through the Word to find soine plausthat know nothing but what they know naturally ible means of tyrannising over the soul, by preventing man as brutes. Ps. xcii. 6. Je. A. 8, 14, 21. Jude 10.
from using his own eyes in seeking salvation, whether it be by No marvel then if there is here a disagreement; cise of private judgınent, is an enemy to, and hater of, the true
church canons or acts of Parliament interfering with the exerthe beast can but see as a beast, but the church is light.---(Ed.)
THE WINDOWS OF THE HOUSE OF THE FOREST OP
it the light, and by setting of it against that light,
CHAP. VI. which is light in very deed, do not only prove the power of truth where it is, but illustrate it so much OF THE DOORS AND POSTS, AND THEIR SQUARE, WITH the more. For as black sets off white, and dark
LEBANOX. ness light, so error sets off truth. He that calls a man a horse, doth in conclusion but fix the belief • And all the doors and posts were square, with of his humanity? so much the more in the appre- the windows.' The doors, they were for entrance, hension of all rational creatures.
the posts were the support of the doors, and the • Light against light in three ranks.' The three windows were, as was hinted before, for light. Now ranks on the church's side signify lier light in the here they are said to be all square; square is a Trinity, as was said, and in the three offices of note of perfection; but this word square may be Christ; and the ranks against these three ranks be taken two ways. 1. Either as to the fashion of to signify the opposite apprehensions of the enemy. the things themselves; or, 2. With reference to They differ also about the authority of the Word, the uniform order of the whole. and ordinances, about the offices, officers, and exe- In the first sense was the altar of burnt-offering, cutions of office, in the cliurch, &c. There is an the altar of incense, and the breastplate of judg. opposition everywhere, even round about the house; ment, square. Ex. xxvii. 1; xxviii. 16 ; XIX. 2. And so also there was light against light in three ranks.' it is said of our New Testament New Jerusalein. This house of the forest of Lebanon was therefore Re, axi. 16. But the square in the text is not thus to a significative thing, wisely built and fit for the be understood, but if I mistake not, as is signified purpose for which it was designed, which was to under the second head, that is for an uniform order. show what afterward would be the state of the The whole fabric, as the doors, posts, and windows, church in the wilderness. Nor could anything in presented themselves to beholders in an exact unithe temple more aptly express itself in a typical form order, and so right delectable to behold, way, as to any of the things concerning New Testa- Hence we may gather that this house of the forest ment matters, than doth this house of the forest of of Lebanon was so exactly built, and consequently Lebanon, as to the things designed to be signified so complete to view, that it was alluring to the bethereby. It speaks, can we but hear: it points to holders; and that the more, for that so pretty a things, as it were with a finger, have we but eyes fabric should be found in a forest or wood. A lily to see.
among thorns, a pearl on a dunghill, and beauty It is not therefore to be wondered at that we under a veil, will make one turn aside to look on it. hear both parties plead so much for their authority, Answerable to this, the church, even in the wil. crying out against each other, as those that destroy derness, or under persecution, is compared not only religion. So doth the church, 60 doth the man of to a woman, but to a comely and delicate woman. sin. The living child is mine, saith one; nay, but And who, that shall meet such a creature in a wood, the dead child is thine, and the living child is mine, unless he feared God, but would seek to ravish and says the other. And thus they spake before the defile her. king. 1 Ki. iii. 16–22. Now this could not be, were Therefore I say, that which is here said to be there not different apprehensions here; light against square, must be understood to be so, as to prospect light then is the cause of all this; and here is 'light and view, or right taking to the eye. against light in three ranks;' and so will be until Thus therefore they are allured, and think to the beast is dead.
defile her in the bed of love; but coming to her, and
her? Why, because she complies not with their
· Arise, let us go up at noon. Arise, and let us go
their possession; especially since it stood, as it were,