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Solomon's Temple Spiritualized

or,
Gospel Light Fetched out of the Temple at Jerusalem,
to Let us More Easily into the Glory of New Testament Truths.

London: Printed for, and sold by George Larkin, at the Two Swans without Bishopgate, 1688.

'Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Isreal; - shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out hereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof'-Ezekiel 43:10, 11

[ADVERTISEMENT BY THE EDITOR]

Of all the wonders of the world, the temple of Solomon was beyond comparison the greatest and the most magnificent. It was a type of that temple not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, of that city whose builder and maker is God, and which, at the consummation of all things, shall descend from heaven with gates of pearl and street of pure gold as shining glass, and into which none but the ransomed of the Lord shall enter. Jesus, the Lamb of God, shall be its light and glory and temple; within its walls the Israel of God, with the honour of the Gentiles, shall be brought in a state of infinite purity. No unclean thing will be able to exist in that dazzling and refulgent brightness which will arise from the perfection of holiness in the immediate presence of Jehovah; and of this, as well as of the whole Christian dispensation, the temple of Solomon was a type or figure. It would have been impossible for the united ingenuity of all mankind, or the utmost stretch of human pride, to have devised such a building, or to have conceived the possibility of its erection. The plan, the elevation, the whole arrangement of this gorgeous temple, proceeded from the Divine Architect. He who created the wondrous universe of nature condescended to furnish the plan, the detail, the ornaments, and even the fashion of the utensils of this stately building. 'David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat, and the pattern of all that he had BY THE SPIRIT, of the courts of the house of the LORD, and of all the chamber round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things' (1 Chron 28:11,12). 'Now, behold I have prepared for the house of the Lord an hundred thousand talents of gold, and a thousand thousand talents of silver; brass, and iron without weight, timber and stone also, and all manner of cunning workmen' (1 Chron 22). And lest his heart should fail before a work so vast, 'David said to Solomon, Be strong and of good courage, and do it; fear not, nor be dismayed: for the Lord God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord' (28:20). Thus furnished with wisdom from above, with materials and with cunning workmen, and, above all, with the approbation and protection of his God, Solomon commenced, and eventually finished, this amazing structure, and fitted it to receive the sacred implements, all of which, to the minutest particular, had been made by Moses, 'after their pattern, which was shewed him in the mount' (Exo 25:40).

Every part of the building, including the foundation, its altar, its courts, the holy of holies, all the utensils, and the ark, were types of that more glorious system which, in the fulness of time, appeared as the antitype, and perfected the Divine revelation. The temple becomes therefore an object of our special attention as a light to guide us while searching into gospel truths.

Under the peculiar aid of Divine guidance and protection, this sumptuous structure was finished, and most deeply impressive were the ceremonies on the day of its consecration. Solomon had made to himself an everlasting name, and it would be natural to expect that in such a scene of splendid triumph he would have felt exalted to the proudest height that human nature was capable of attaining. But Solomon had not only heard of God by the hearing of the ear, but by internal communion had seen and conversed with him. He could say with Job, when he had been restored from the deepest abasement to an elevated position, 'Mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.' Thus, in Solomon's beautiful prayer on the dedication of this gorgeous temple, he humbly inquires, 'Will God in very deed dwell with men on the earth? behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have built?' (2 Chron 6:18). Thus was completed the most perfect, splendid, and magnificent building that was ever erected by human hands. Still it was only a type of that infinitely more glorious antitype, the Christian dispensation. 'Most stately and magnificent is the fabric of God's house, yielding admirable delight to such whom free grace has vouchsafed to give spiritual eyes to discern it; far surpassing the splendour of its ancient type, the temple of Solomon, which was once the wonder of the world.'[1] 'A greater than Solomon is here.' 'The BRANCH he shall build the temple of the Lord'-the more glorious, spiritual, eternal temple (Zech 6:12).

In a few hundred years after the temple of Solomon was finished, this sumptuous structure was doomed to destruction, like all the fading handiwork of man. Sin enervated the nation which should have protected it; while the immensity of its riches excited the cupidity of a neighbouring royal robber. It was plundered, and then set on fire; the truth of the declaration made by Job upon the perishable works of man was eminently displayed- 'For man to labour he is born, and the sons of the burning coal they mount up fluttering.'[2] In a few days the labour of years, aided by unbounded wealth and resources, was reduced to a heap of ashes. And now, after a lapse of about twenty-five centuries, accompanied by John Bunyan, 'a cunning workman,' as our guide, we are enabled to contemplate the account given us of this amazing edifice recorded in the volume of truth, and to compare that utmost perfection of human art, aided from heaven, with the infinitely superior temple in which every Christian is called to worship-to enter by the blood of the everlasting covenant into the holiest of all, the way consecrated by the cross and sufferings of Christ-without the intervention of priests or lordly prelate-without expensive victims to offer as a type of expiation-without limit of time, or space, or place, the poorest and most abject, with the wealthiest-the humbled beggar and the humbled monarch have equal access to the mercy seat, sacrificing those sinful propensities which are the cause of misery, and pleading the Saviour's merits before the eternal Jehovah. Christ has consecrated the way, and we enter into the holiest of all not only without fear, but with solemn joy. The cost of Solomon's temple has been estimated at eight hundred thousand millions of money: if this is true, still how infinitely inferior is that vast sum to the inconceivable cost of the eternal temple, with its myriads of worshippers, for which the Son of God paid the ransom, when he made the atonement for transgression, and built that imperishable temple which neither human nor satanic malevolence can ever destroy, and in which every spiritual worshipper will be crowned with an everlasting weight of glory.

While we cannot doubt but that the temple and its services contained many types highly illustrative of the Christian dispensation, incautious attempts to find them may lead to fanciful interpretations which tend to cloud, rather than to elucidate gospel truths. Bunyan very properly warns his readers against giving the reins to their imaginations and indulging in speculations like those fathers, who in every nail, pin, stone, stair, knife, pot, and in almost every feather of a sacrificed bird could discern strange, distinct, and peculiar mysteries.[3] The same remark applies to the Jewish rabbis, who in their Talmud are full of mysterious shadows. From these rabbinical flints some have thought to extract choice mystical oil to supple the wheels of their fancy-to use a homely expression. Such Jewish rabbis and Christian fathers limped and danced upon one learned leg, to the amazement of all beholders, but not to their edification; their lucubrations may amuse those who have patience to read them, but they afford no instruction. Even the learned Samuel Lee, whose work on the temple abounds with valuable information, has strongly tinctured it with pedantry. It is seldom that a more curious jumble is found than in the following paragraph:- 'The waxen comb of the ancient figures and typical eels is fully matted and rolled up in shining tapers, to illuminate temple students in finding out the honey that couches in the carcass of the slain Lion of the tribe of Judah.' There is no fear of Bunyan's indulging his readers with the vagaries of the Jewish rabbis or Christian fathers-his converse was limited to the prophets and apostles. His object is to make us familiar with those types exhibited in the temple and alluded to by the inspired writers of the New Testament; to use a Puritan expression, he would enable us to plough with our spiritual Samson's heifer to expound the riddle, and thus discover the dark patterns of heavenly things (Heb 9:23,24). Among the many striking objects to which Bunyan directs our wondering eyes, a few should excite our deeper attention while we accompany him in viewing this marvellous temple.

1. All the materials that were used required preparation. The stones must be quarried, squared, and fitted for the building with many a hard knock and cutting of the chisel. So must you and I, my readers, pass through the new birth, and be prepared by the Holy Spirit to fit us for the spiritual building composed of living stones; and if not made meet for that building, we shall be eventually found lifting up our eyes in torment.

2. Very solemn is the consideration insisted on by our author-that all sons are servants to assist in building this spiritual edifice, but all servants are not sons to inherit a place in it; an awful thought, that there have been and now are servants employed in the conversion of sinners, and in building up the saints, who never did nor never will worship in that temple. Let us examine ourselves before we enter that dreary abode, to which we are hastening; 'for there is no work nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave, whither thou goest' (Eccl 9:10).

3. Are we zealously affected to forward the work, be careful then as to the materials we use, 'living stones' not wood, hay, or stubble. May all our persuasions be constantly used to bring poor thoughtless sinners to repentance but introduce them not as members of that house until you have a scriptural hope that they have passed from death unto life-that they are believers in Jesus, and have brought forth fruit meet for repentance.

4. All the foundation, the superstructure, the furniture, must be according to the written word of the prophets and apostles, Jesus Christ being the chief corner stone. Reject all the inventions of man and all human authority in the worship of God.

5. The temple was so built that the worshippers looked to the west toward the holy of holies. All the superstitions and idolatrous notions of man lead him to turn to the east, to worship the rising sun. 'The heathen made the chief gates of their temples towards the west, that these stupid worshippers, drawing nigh to their blind, deaf, and dumb deities, might have their idols rising upon them out of the east.'[4] The temple as a type, and Christianity as the antitype run counter to such idolatrous absurdities and folly.

6. Christian, be content with whatever may be your lot, however humble your place in the church and world. Soon will it be changed for the better. In this world we are working men, and must be content to be clad and fed as such, that we may be fitted for our solemn and joyful change. Soon we shall put on our church-going holiday suit and partake all the dainties of the heavenly feast, the glories of the New Jerusalem. Reader, these are samples of the prominent truths which will occupy your attention, while accompanying Bunyan in your interesting visit to Solomon's temple. May you richly enjoy your survey of that astonishing building, under so trusty and experienced a guide.

GEO. OFFOR.

[TO THE CHRISTIAN READER]

COURTEOUS CHRISTIAN READER,

I have, as thou by this little book mayest see, adventured, at this time, to do my endeavour to show thee something of the gospel-glory of Solomon's temple: that is, of what it, with its utensils, was a type of; and, as such, how instructing it was to our fathers, and also is to us their children. The which, that I might do the more distinctly, I have handled particulars one by one, to the number of threescore and ten; namely, all that of them I could call to mind; because, as I believe, there was not one of them but had its signification, and so something profitable for us to know.

For, though we are not now to worship God in these methods, or by such ordinances, as once the old church did: yet to know their methods, and to understand the nature and signification of their ordinances, when compared with the gospel, may, even now, when themselves, as to what they once enjoined on others, are dead, may minister light to us. And hence the New Testament ministers, as the apostles, made much use of Old Testament language, and ceremonial institutions, as to their signification, to help the faith of the godly in their preaching of the gospel of Christ.

I may say that God did in a manner tie up the church of the Jews to types, figures, and similitudes; I mean, to be butted and bounded[1] by them in all external parts of worship. Yea, not only the Levitical law and temple, but, as it seems to me, the whole land of Canaan, the place of their lot to dwell in, was to them as ceremonial, or a figure. Their land was a type of heaven, their passage over Jordan into it a similitude of our going to heaven by death (Heb 3:5-10). The fruit of their land was said to be uncircumcised (Lev 19:23). As being at their first entrance thither unclean (Exo 12:15). In which their land was also a figure of another thing, even as heaven was a type of sin and grace (Lev 6:17, 23:17).[2] Again, the very land itself was said to keep Sabbath, and so to rest a holy rest, even then when she lay desolate, and not possess of those to whom she was given for them to dwell in (Lev 26:34,35).

Yea, many of the features of the then church of God were set forth, as in figures and shadows, so by places and things, in that land. 1. In general, she is said to be beautiful as Tirzah, and to be comely as Jerusalem (Can 6:4). 2. In particular, her neck is compared to the tower of David, builded for an armoury (Cant 4:4). Her eyes to the fish-pools of Heshbon, by the gate of Bethrabbim. Her nose is compared to the tower of Lebanon, which looketh towards Damascus (Cant 7:4). Yea, the hair of her head is compared to a flock of goats, which come up from mount Gilead; and the smell of her garments to the smell of Lebanon (Cant 4:1,11).

Nor was this land altogether void of shadows, even of her Lord and Saviour. Hence he says of himself, 'I AM the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys' (Cant 2:1). Also, she, his beloved, saith of him, 'His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars' (Cant 5:15). What shall I say? The two cities Sion and Jerusalem, were such as sometimes set forth the two churches, the true and the false, and their seed Isaac and Ishmael (Gal 4).

I might also here show you, that even the gifts and graces of the true church were set forth by the spices, nuts, grapes, and pomegranates, that the land of Canaan brought forth; yea, that hell itself was set forth by the valley of the sons of Hinnom and Tophet, places in this country. Indeed, the whole, in a manner, was a typical and a figurative thing.

But I have, in the ensuing discourse, confined myself to the temple, that immediate place of God's worship; of whose utensils, in particular, as I have said, I have spoken, though to each with what brevity I could, for that none of them are without a spiritual, and so a profitable signification to us. And here we may behold much of the richness of the wisdom and grace of God; namely, that he, even in the very place of worship of old, should ordain visible forms and representations for the worshippers to learn to worship him by; yea, the temple itself was, as to this, to them a good instruction.

But in my thus saying, I give no encouragement to any now, to fetch out of their own fancies figures or similitudes to worship God by. What God provided to be an help to the weakness of his people of old was one thing, and what they invented without his commandment was another. For though they had his blessing when they worshipped him with such types, shadows, and figures, which he had enjoined on them for that purpose, yet he sorely punished and plagued them when they would add to these inventions of their own (Exo 32:35; 2 Kings 17:16-18; Acts 7:38-43). Yea, he, in the very act of instituting their way of worshipping him, forbade their giving, in any thing, way to their own humours or fancies, and bound them strictly to the orders of heaven. 'Look,' said God to Moses, their first great legislator, 'that thou make all things according to the pattern showed to thee in the mount' (Exo 25:40; Heb 8:5). Nor doth our apostle but take the same measures, when he saith, 'If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord' (1 Cor 14:37).

When Solomon also, was to build this temple for the worship of God, though he was wiser than all men, yet God neither trusted to his wisdom nor memory, nor to any immediate dictates from heaven to him, as to how he would have him build it. No; he was to receive the whole platform thereof in writing, by the inspiration of God. Nor would God give this platform of the temple, and of its utensils, immediately to this wise man, lest perhaps by others his wisdom should be idolized, or that some should object, that the whole fashion thereof proceeded of his fancy, only he made pretensions of Divine revelation, as a cover for his doings

Therefore, I say, not to him, but to his father David, was the whole pattern of it given from heaven, and so by David to Solomon his son, in writing. 'Then David,' says the text, 'gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy-seat, and the pattern of all that he had by the spirit, of the courts of the house of the Lord, and of all the chambers round about, of the treasuries of the house of God, and of the treasuries of the dedicated things: also for the courses of the priests and the Levites, and for all the work of the service of the house of the Lord, and for all the vessels of service in the house of the Lord' (1 Chron 28:11-13).

Yea, moreover, he had from heaven, or by Divine revelation, what the candlesticks must be made of, and also how much was to go to each; the same order and commandment he also gave for the making of the tables, flesh-hooks, cups, basins, altar of incense, with the pattern for the chariot of the cherubims, &c. (vv 14-19). 'All this, said David, the Lord made me understand in writing by his hand upon me, even all the work of this pattern' (v 19). So, I say, he gave David the pattern of the temple, so David gave Solomon the pattern of the temple; and according to that pattern did Solomon build the temple, and no otherwise.

True, all these were but figures, patterns, and shadows of things in the heavens, and not the very image of the things; but, as was said afore, if God was so circumspect and exact in these, as not to leave any thing to the dictates of the godly and wisest of men, what! can we suppose he will now admit of the wit and contrivance of men in those things that are, in comparison to them, the heavenly things themselves? (Heb 8:5, 9:8-10,23, 10:1).

It is also to be concluded, that since those shadows of things in the heavens are already committed by God to sacred story; and since that sacred story is said to be able to make the man of God perfect in all things-2 Timothy 3:15-17-it is duty to us to leave off to lean to common understandings, and to inquire and search out by that very holy writ, and nought else, by what and how we should worship God. David was for inquiring in his temple (Psa 27:4).

And, although the old church-way of worship is laid aside as to us in New Testament times, yet since those very ordinances were figures of things and methods of worship now; we may, yea, we ought to search out the spiritual meaning of them, because they serve to confirm and illustrate matters to our understandings. Yea, they show us the more exactly how the New and Old Testament, as to the spiritualness of the worship, was as one and the same; only the old was clouded with shadows, but ours is with more open face.

Features to the life, as we say, set out by a picture, do excellently show the skill of the artist. The Old Testament had the shadow, nor have we but the very image; both then are but emblems of what is yet behind. We may find our gospel clouded in their ceremonies, and our spiritual worship set out somewhat by their carnal ordinances.

Now, because, as I said, there lies, as wrapt up in a mantle, much of the glory of our gospel matters in this temple which Solomon builded; therefore I have made, as well as I could, by comparing spiritual things with spiritual, this book upon this subject.

I dare not presume to say that I know I have hit right in every thing; but this I can say, I have endeavoured so to do. True, I have not for these things fished in other men's waters; my Bible and Concordance are my only library in my writings. Wherefore, courteous reader, if thou findest any thing, either in word or matter, that thou shalt judge doth vary from God's truth, let it be counted no man's else but mine. Pray God, also, to pardon my fault. Do thou, also, lovingly pass it by, and receive what thou findest will do thee good.

Thy servant in the gospel,

JOHN BUNYAN.

Solomon's Temple Spiritualized

'Thou son of man, shew the house to the house of Isreal; - shew them the form of the house, and the fashion thereof, and the goings out hereof, and the comings in thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and all the forms thereof, and all the laws thereof'-Ezekiel 43:10, 11

I. Where the Temple was built.

The temple was built at Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, in the threshing-floor of Arnon the Jebusite; whereabout Abraham offered up Isaac; there where David met the angel of the Lord, when he came with his drawn sword in his hand, to cut off the people at Jerusalem, for the sin which David committed in his disorderly numbering the people (Gen 22:3-5; 1 Chron 21:15, 21:12; 2 Chron 3:1).

There Abraham received his Isaac from the dead; there the Lord was entreated by David to take away the plague, and to return to Israel again in mercy; from whence, also, David gathered that there God's temple must be built. This, saith he, is the house of the Lord God, and this is the altar of the burnt-offering for Israel (1 Chron 21:28, 22:1, 3:1).

This Mount Moriah, therefore, was a type of the Son of God, the mountain of the Lord's house, the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail.

II. Who built the Temple.

The temple was builded by Solomon, a man peaceable and quiet; and that in name, by nature, and in governing. For so God had before told David, namely, that such a one the builder of the temple should be. 'Behold,' saith he, 'a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about; for his name shall be Solomon, and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days. He shall build an house for my name, and he shall be my son, and I will be his father' (1 Chron 22:9,10; Psa 72:1-4).

As, therefore, Mount Moriah was a type of Christ, as the foundation, so Solomon was a type of him, as the builder of his church. The mount was signal,[1] for that thereon the Lord God, before Abraham and David, did display his mercy. And as Solomon built this temple, so Christ doth build his house; yea, he shall build the everlasting temple, 'and he shall bear the glory' (Zech 6:12,13; Heb 3:3,4). And in that Solomon was called peaceable, it was to show with what peaceable doctrine and ways Christ's house and church should be built (Isa 9:6; Micah 4:2-4).

III. How the Temple was built.

The temple was built, not merely by the dictates of Solomon, though he was wiser than Ethen, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, and all men (1 Kings 4:31). But it was built by rules prescribed by, or in a written word, and as so delivered to him by his father David.

For when David gave to Solomon his son a charge to build the temple of God, with that charge he gave him also the pattern of all in writing; even a pattern of the porch, house, chambers, treasuries, parlours, &c., and of the place for the mercy-seat; which pattern David had of God; nor would God trust his memory with it. 'The Lord made me,' said he, 'understand in writing, by his hand upon me, even all the works of their pattern.' Thus, therefore, David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of all; and thus Solomon his son built the house of God (1 Chron 28:9-20).

And answerable to this, Christ Jesus, the builder of his own house, WHOSE HOSE ARE WE, doth build his holy habitation for him to dwell in; even according to the commandment of God the Father. For, saith he, 'I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me. He gave me a commandment what I should speak.' And hence it is said, God gave him the revelation; and again, that he took the book out of the hand of him that sat on the throne; and so acted, as to the building up of his church (John 12:49,50; Rev 1:1, 5:5).

IV. Of what the Temple was built.

The materials with which the temple was built, were such as were in their own nature common to that which was left behind; things that naturally were not fit, without art, to be laid on so holy a house. And this shows that those of whom Christ Jesus designs to build his church, are by nature no better than others. But as the trees and stones of which the temple was built, were first hewed and squared before they were fit to be laid in that house, so sinners, of which the church is to be built, must first be fitted by the word and doctrine, and then fitly laid in their place in the church.

For though, as to nature, there is no difference betwixt those made use of to build God's house with, yet by grace they differ from others; even as those trees and stones that are hewed and squared for building, by art are made to differ from those which abide in the wood or pit.

The Lord Jesus, therefore, while he seeketh materials wherewith to build his house, he findeth them the clay of the same lump that he rejecteth and leaves behind. 'Are we better than they? No, in no wise' (Rom 3:9). Nay, I think, if any be best, it is they which are left behind. 'He came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance' (Mark 2:17). And, indeed, in this he doth show both the greatness of his grace and workmanship; his grace in taking such; and his workmanship in that he makes them meet for his holy habitation.[2] This the current of Scripture maketh manifest; wherefore it is needless now to cite particulars: only we must remember, that none are laid in this building as they come out of the wood or pit, but as they first pass under the hand and rule of this great builder of the temple of God.

V. Who was to fell those trees, and to dig those stones, with which Solomon built the Temple.

As the trees were to be felled, and stones to be digged, so there was for that matter select workmen appointed.

These were not of the sons of Jacob nor of the house of Israel; they were the servants of Hiram, king of Tyre, and the Gibeonites, namely, their children that made a league with Joshua, in the day that God gave the land of Canaan to his people (Josh 9:22-27; 1 Kings 5:1; 1 Chron 28, 29).

And these were types of our gospel ministers, who are the men appointed by Jesus Christ to make sinners, by their preaching, meet for the house of God. Wherefore, as he was famous of old who was strong to lift up his axe upon the thick boughs to square wood for the building of the temple; so a minister of the gospel now is also famous, if much used by Christ for the converting of sinners to himself, that he may build him a temple with them (Psa 7:4-6; Rom 16).

But why, may some say, do you make so homely a comparison? I answer, because I believe it is true; for it is grace, not gifts, that makes us sons, and the beloved of God. Gifts make a minister; and as a minister, one is but a servant to hew wood and draw water for the house of my God. Yea, Paul, though a son, yet counted himself not a son but a servant, purely as he was a minister. A servant of God, a servant of Christ, a servant of the church, and your servants for Jesus' sake (Titus 1:1; Rom 1:1; Col 4:5).

A man then is a son, as he is begotten and born of God to himself, and a servant as he is gifted for work in the house of his Father; and though it is truth the servant may be a son, yet he is not a son because he is a servant. Nor doth it follow, that because all sons may be servants, that therefore all servants are sons; no, all the servants of God are not sons; and therefore when time shall come, he that is only a servant here, shall certainly be put out of the house, even out of that house himself did help to build. 'The servant abideth not in the house for ever,' the servant, that is, he that is only so (Eze 46:16,17; John 8:35).

So then, as a son, thou art an Israelite; as a servant, a Gibeonite. The consideration of this made Paul start; he knew that gifts made him not a son (1 Cor 12:28-31, 13:1,2).

The sum then is, a man many be a servant and a son; a servant as he is employed by Christ in his house for the good of others; and a son, as he is a partaker of the grace of adoption. But all servants are not sons; and let this be for a caution, and a call to ministers, to do all acts of service for God, and in his house with reverence and godly fear; and with all humility let us desire to be partakers ourselves of that grace we preach to others (1 Cor 9:25).

This is a great saying, and written perhaps to keep ministers humble: 'And strangers shall stand and feed your flocks, and the sons of the alien shall be your ploughman, and your vine-dressers' (Isa 61:5). To be a ploughman here is to be a preacher; and to be a vine-dresser here is to be a preacher (Luke 9:59-62; 1 Cor 9:7,27; Matt 20:1-4,8, 21:28). And if he does this work willingly, he has a reward; if not, a dispensation of the gospel was committed to him, and that is all (1 Cor 9:17).

VI. In what condition the timber and stones were, when brought to be laid in the building of the temple.

The timber and stones with which the temple was built, were squared and hewed at the wood or pit; and so there made every way fit for that work, even before they were brought to the place where the house should be set up: 'So that there was neither hammer, nor axe, nor any tool of iron heard in the house while it was in building' (1 Kings 6:7).

And this shows, as was said before, that the materials of which the house was built were, before the hand of the workman touched them, as unfit to be laid in the building as were those that were left behind; consequently that themselves, none otherwise but by the art of others, were made fit to be laid in this building.

To this our New Testament temple answers. For those of the sons of Adam who are counted worthy to be laid in this building, are not by nature, but by grace, made meet for it; not by their own wisdom, but by the Word of God. Hence he saith, 'I have hewed them by the prophets.' And again, ministers are called God's builders and labourers, even as to this work (Hosea 6:5; 1 Cor 3:10; 2 Cor 6:1; Col 1:28).

No man will lay trees, as they come from the wood, for beams and rafters in his house; nor stones, as digged in the walls. No; the stones must be hewed and squared, and the trees sawn and made fit, and so be laid in the house. Yea, they must be so sawn, and so squared, that in coupling they may be joined exactly; else the building will not be good, nor the workman have credit of his doings.

Hence our gospel-church, of which the temple was a type, is said to be fitly framed, and that there is a fit supply of every joint for the securing of the whole (1 Peter 2:5; Eph 2:20,21, 4:16; Col 2:19). As they therefore build like children, that build with wood as it comes from the wood or forest, and with stones as they come from the pit, even so do they who pretend to build God a house of unconverted sinners, unhewed, unsquared, unpolished. Wherefore God's workmen, according to God's advice, prepare their work without, and make it fit for themselves in the field, and afterwards build the house (Prov 24:27).

Let ministers therefore look to this, and take heed, lest instead of making their notions stoop to the Word, they make the Scriptures stoop to their notions.

VII. Of the foundation of the Temple.

The foundation of the temple is that upon which it stood; and it was twofold: First, the hill Moriah, and then those great stones upon which it was erected. This hill Moriah, as was said afore, did more properly typify Christ. Hence Moriah is called 'The Mountain of the house,' it being the rock on which it was built. Those great stones, called foundation-stones, were types of the prophets and apostles (Matt 16:18; Eph 2:20,21; Heb 11:10). Wherefore these stones were stones of the biggest size, stones of eight cubits, and stones of ten cubits (1 Kings 7:10).

Now, as the temple had this double foundation, so we must consider it respectively and distinctly; for Christ is the foundation one way, the prophets and apostles a foundation another. Christ is the foundation personally and meritoriously; but the prophets and apostles, by doctrine, ministerially. The church then, which is God's New Testament temple, as it is said to be built on Christ the foundation; so none other is the foundation but he (1 Cor 3:11,12). But as it is said to be built upon the apostles, so it is said to have twelve foundations, and must have none but they (Rev 21:14).

What is it then? Why, we must be builded upon Christ, as he is our priest, sacrifice, prophet, king, and advocate; and upon the other, as they are infallible instructors and preachers of him; not that any may be an apostle that so shall esteem of himself, nor that any other doctrine be administered but what is the doctrine of the twelve; for they are 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 (Exo 39:43; John 20:21-23; 1 Cor 3:9, 4:9).

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' (Isa 54:11). 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' (Luke 21:5).

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' (Rev 21:19). 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' (Rev 21:14).

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 (Rom 15:19; 2 Cor 12:12; Heb 2:4). For as the foundation stones of the temple were thus garnished, so were the apostles beautified with a call, gifts, and graces peculiar to themselves. Hence he says, 'First apostles'; for that they were first and chief in the church of Christ (1 Cor 12:28).

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 (1 Kings 7:12). 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 Cor 3:10-12; 2 Thess 2:15, 3:6; Heb 6:1-4).

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 43:1-4, 47:1). 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 Cor 4:18; Phil 3:20; Psa 62:5).

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.[3] 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 gospel-instituted worship of Jesus Christ is. Hence he is said, to idolaters, to be a snare and trap, but to the godly a glory (Isa 8:14, 60:19).

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 8:16). It was therefore, as I said, set with its face towards the east, to prevent false worship, and detect idolaters.

4. From the east also came the most blasting winds, winds that are destructive to man and beasts, to fruit and trees, and ships at sea (Exo 10:13; Job 27:21; Eze 17:10, 19:12; Psa 48:7; Eze 27:26). 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' (Isa 29:22; Eze 3:8; Matt 16:18).

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' (Matt 24:27; Mal 4:2; Heb 9:28; Col 3:4; 2 Peter 3:11-14).

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 40:7, 46:21).

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 (Matt 23:27; 2 Cor 10:7).

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 (Rom 2:28; 1 Cor 13:1-3; 2 Cor 5:12).

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; for, as I said, outward show will avail nothing, when the Beast comes to turn and toss up professors with his horns (Rev 11:10-12).

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 10:3, 46:1; 1 Kings 6:36).

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 Chron 4:9; Eze 46:20).

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 Chron 6:13; John 17).

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 46:9).

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 one. 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 Exodus 40:6, 29; 2 Chronicles 6:13; 2 Kings 16:14; Joel 2:17.

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' (Heb 9:14).

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 (Gal 1:4, 2:20; 1 Peter 3:18; Heb 9:14).

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 (Matt 23:19). Now the body of Christ was the gift; for so he saith, I give my flesh for the life of the world (John 6).

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 (John 6:51, 17:19; Heb 9:14; Col 1:19-21). Now, since this altar of burnt-offering was thus placed in the inner court, it teaches us several things:

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 (Rev 11:1,2).

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!' (Heb 9:13,14, 11:12; 2 Chron 7:5-8).

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, [God] shall establish; and the name of that on the left hand was Boaz, in it is strength (1 Kings 7:21; 2 Chron 3:17).

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 (Gal 2), 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' (Gal 2:9). So then, these two pillars were types of these two order of the apostles in this their divers service for God.[4]

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' (Rom 11:13, 15:16).

4. And since the name of this pillar was Jachin, 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 (Jer 15:20). Wherefore Paul says of himself, 'I am set for the defence of the gospel,' 'that the truth thereof might continue with you' (Phil 1:17; Gal 2:5).

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 apiece, 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 (Deut 3:11; 2 Chron 3:15).[5] 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 Aga, 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 only speak now of the high call by which they, and only they, were made capable of apostolic authority. The apostles were sent immediately,[6] their call was extraordinary, their office was universal; they had alike power in all churches, and their doctrine was infallible (Acts 26:16; 1 Cor 9:1; Gal 1:1; 1 John 1:1; 3 John 2:23).

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 (Acts 4:33).

These chapiters had belonging to them a bowl made pummil-fashion,[7] 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' (Rom 1:5; 1 Kings 7:16,42; 2 Chron 4:13; Deut 32:10; Rom 15:29).

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; namely, that by their preaching they might bring many souls to God. And hence Christ calls them fishermen, saying, 'Ye shall catch men' (Matt 4:19; Mark 1:17; Luke 5:10; 2 Cor 12:16). The world is compared to a sea, men to fishes, and the gospel to a net (Eze 47:10-12; Matt 13:47-50). 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.

XV. Of the pomegranates adjoined to these nets on the chapiters.

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 Kings 7:42; Cant 4:3, 8:2, 4:13, 6:11, 7:12). There were to be two rows of thess 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 (Matt 24:14; Acts 20:24).

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 (Exo 3:8). 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 (Acts 2). 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!

XVI. Of the chains that were upon these pillars that stood before the Temple.

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 Chron 3:16).

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, and gospel obligations, are ties and binding things; 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 (Hosea 11; Cant 8:6).

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 Cor 5:14). 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 Chron 3:16). 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 (Gen 49:11).

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 chapiters, 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 Kings 7:19-22).

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[8] a stalking-horse to worldly greatness, and that preferment. There was lily work upon them; that is, they lived upon the bounty and care of God, and were content with that glory which he had put upon them. 'The lilies,' saith Christ, 'they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet - Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these' (Matt 6:28,29; Luke 12:27-29). Thus, therefore, these pillars show, that as the apostles should be fitted and qualified for their work, they should be also freed from cares and worldly cumber; they should be content with God's providing for them, even as the goodly lilies are. And as thus prepared, they were set in the front of the house, for all ministers to see and learn, and take example of them how to behave themselves as to this world in the performing of their office.

And that which gives us further light in this is, that this lily work is said, by divine institution, to be placed 'over against the belly,' the belly of the pillars, a type of ours (1 Kings 7:20). The belly is a craving thing; and these things, saith the text, were placed over against the belly, to teach that they should not humour, but put check unto the havings and cravings of the belly; or to show that they need not do it, for that he that calls to his work will himself provide for the belly. It is said of the church, that 'her belly is like a heap of wheat set about with lilies' (Cant 7:2). To show that she should without covetousness have sufficient, if she would cast all her care upon God, her great provider. This the apostles did, and this is their glory to this day.

'So was the work of the pillars finished.' To live lily lives, it seems, is the glory of an apostle, and the completing of their office and service for God. But this directly opposite to the belly, over against the belly, and this makes it the harder work. But yet, so living is the way to make all that is done sweet-scented, to those that be under this care. Covetousness makes a minister smell frowish,[9] and look more like a greedy dog, than an apostle of Jesus Christ. Judas had none of this lily work; so his name stinks to this day. 'He that grows like the lily shall cast forth his scent like Lebanon, his branches shall spread, and his beauty shall be as the olive tree, and his smell as Lebanon' (Hosea 14:6). Thus lived Christ, first; and thus the apostles, next; nor can any other as to this, live like, or be compared to them. They coveted no man's silver or gold, or apparel. They lived like lilies in the world, and did send forth their scent as Lebanon.

Thus you see of whom these pillars were a shadow, and what their height, their chapiters, their bowls, their nets, their chains, their pomegranates, and their lily work did signify, and how all was most sweetly answered in the antitype. These were men of the first rate; the apostles, I mean, were such.

XVIII. Of the fashion of the Temple.

Of the length and breadth of the temple I shall say nothing; but as to the height thereof, there methinks I see something. The temple was higher than the pillars, and so is the church than her officers; I say, consider them singly as officers, though inferior as to gifts and office; for, as I said before of ministers in general, so now I say the same of the apostles, though as to office they were the highest, yet the temple is above them. Gifts and office make no men sons of God; as so, they are but servants, though these were servants of the highest form. It is the church, as such, that is the lady, a queen, the bride, the Lamb's wife; and prophets, apostles, and ministers, &c., are but servants, stewards, labourers for her good (Psa 45:9; Rev 19:7; 1 Cor 3:5, 4:1,2). As therefore the lady is above the servant, the queen above the steward, or the wife above all her husband's officers, so is the church, as such, above these officers. The temple was higher than the pillars.

Again, as the temple was highest, so it enlarged itself upward; for as it ascended in height, so it still was wider and wider; even from the lowest chambers to the top.

The first chambers were but five cubits broad, the middle ones were six, but the highest were seven cubits (1 Kings 6:5,6). The temple therefore was round about above some cubits wider than it was below; for 'there was an enlarging and winding about still upward to the side chambers, for the winding about - went still upward round about the house; therefore the breadth of the house was still upward, and so increased from the lowest chambers to the highest, by the midst' (Eze 41:7).

And this was to show us that God's true gospel temple, which is his church, should have its enlargedness of heart still upward, or most for spiritual and eternal things: wherefore he saith, 'Thy heart shall fear and be enlarged,' that is, be most affected with things above, 'where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God' (Isa 60:5; Col 3:1). Indeed it is the nature of grace to enlarge itself still upward, and to make the heart widest for the things that are above. The temple therefore was narrowest downwards, to show that a little of earth, or this world, should serve the church of God. And having food and raiment, let us be therewith content.

But now, upwards, and as to heavenly things, we are commanded to be covetous, as to them, and after them to enlarge ourselves, both by the fashion of the temple, as by express words (1 Kings 4:29; Isa 60:5; Phil 3:14; 1 Cor 12:31; 1 Tim 6:8; Psa 119:32).

Since, then, the temple was widest upward, let us imitate it, and have our conversation in heaven. Let our eyes, our ears, our hands, and hearts, our prayers, and groans, be most for things above. Let us open our mouths, as the ground that is chapt doth for the latter rain, for the things that are eternal (Job 29:23; Psa 81:10).

Observe again, that the lowest parts of the temple were the narrowest part of the temple; so those in the church who are nearest, or most concerned with earth, are the most narrow-spirited as to the things of God. But now let even such a one be taken up higher, to above, to the uppermost parts of the temple, and there he will be enlarged, and have his heart stretched out. For the temple, you see, was widest upwards; the higher, the more it is enlarged. Paul being once caught up into paradise, could not but be there enlarged (2 Cor 12).

One may say of the fashion of the temple, as some say of a lively picture, it speaks. I say, its form and fashion speaks; it says to all saints, to all the churches of Christ, open your hearts for heaven, be ye enlarged upwards!

I read not in Scripture of any house, but this that was thus enlarged upwards; nor is there anywhere, save only in the church of God, that which doth answer this similitude. All other are widest downward, and have the largest heart for earthly things. The church only is widest upward, and has its greatest enlargements towards heaven.

XIX. Of the outward glory of the Temple.

I do also think that as to this, there was a great expression in it; I mean, a voice of God, a voice that teacheth the New Testament church to carry even conviction in her outward usages that, I say, might give conviction to the world. And besides this of its enlarging upwards, there was such an outward beauty and glory put upon it, as was alluring to beholders. The stones were curiously carved, and excellently joined together; its outward show was white and glittering, to the dazzling of the eyes of the beholders; yea, the disciples themselves were taken with it, it was so admirable to behold. Hence it is said, they came to Christ to show him the building of the temple.'Master,' said they, 'see what manner of stones, and what buildings are here' (Matt 24:1; Mark 13:1; Luke 21:5). And hence it is said, that kings, and the mighty of the earth, were taken with the glory of it. 'Because of thy temple at Jerusalem, shall kings bring presents unto thee'; as it is (Psa 68:29,31).

Kings, Gentile kings, they shall be so taken with the sight of the outward glory of it; for they were not suffered to go into it; no uncircumcised were admitted in thither. It was therefore the outward glory of it with which the beholders were thus taken.

Her enlarging upward, as that was to show us what the inward affections of Christian should be, so her curious outward adorning and beauty was a figure of the beauteous and holy conversation of the godly (Col 3:1-3). And it is brave, when the world are made to say of the lives and conversations of saints, as they were made to say of the stones and outward building of the temple, Behold, what Christians, and what goodly conversations are here! I say it is brave when our light so shines before men, that they seeing our good works shall be forced to glorify our Father which is in heaven (Matt 5:16).

Hence this is called our adorning wherewith we adorn the gospel, and that by which we beautify it (Titus 2:10). This, I say, is taking to beholders, as was this goodly outside of the temple. And without this, what is to be seen in the church of God? Her inside cannot be seen by the world, but her outside may. Now, her outside is very homely, and without all beauty, save that of the holy life; this only is her visible goodliness. This puts to silence the ignorance of foolish men. This allureth others to fall in love with their own salvation, and makes them fall in with Christ against the devil and his kingdom.

XX. Of the porch of the Temple.

We come next to the porch of the temple that is commonly called Solomon's. 1. This porch was in the front of the house, and so became the common way into the temple (1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chron 3:4). 2. This porch therefore was the place of reception in common for all, whether Jews or religious proselytes, who came to Jerusalem to worship (Acts 3:11, 5:12). 3. This porch had a door or gate belonging to it, but such as was seldom shut, except in declining times, or when men put themselves into a rage against those better than themselves (2 Chron 29:7; Acts 21:28-30). 4. this gate of this porch was called Beautiful, even the Beautiful gate of the temple, and was that at which the lame man lay, to beg for an alms of them that went in thither to worship (Acts 3:1,2,10).

Now then, since this porch was the common place of reception for all worshippers, and the place also where they laid the beggars, it looks as if it were to be a type of the church's bosom for charity. Here the proselytes were entertained, here the beggars were relieved, and received alms. These gates were seldom shut; and the houses of Christian compassion should be always open. This therefore beautified this gate, as charity beautifies any of the churches. Largeness of heart, and tender compassion at the church-door, is excellent; it is the bond of perfectness (1 Cor 12:31, 13:1-4; Heb 13:1-3; John 5:6,7; Col 3:14).

The church-porch to this day is a coming in for beggars, and perhaps this practice at first was borrowed from the beggars lying at the temple-gate. This porch was large, and so should the charity of the churches be. It was for length the breadth of the temple, and of the same size with 'the Holiest of all' (1 Kings 6:3; 2 Chron 3:4). The first might be to teach us in charity we should not be niggardly, but, according to the breadth of our ability, we should extend it to all the house; and that in our so doing, the very emblem of heaven is upon us, of which the holiest was a figure. 'As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all,' &c. (Gal 6:10).

It is a fine ornament to a true church to have a large church-porch, or a wide bosom, for reception of all that come thither to worship.[10] This was commanded to the Jews, and their glory shone when they did accordingly: 'And it shall come to pass, that in what tribe the stranger sojourneth, there shall ye give him his inheritance, saith the Lord God' (Eze 47:23).

This porch was, as I said, not only for length the breadth of the temple, and so the length and breadth of the holiest; but it was, if I mistake not, for height far higher than them both: for the holy place was but thirty cubits high, and the most holy but twenty; but the porch was in height an hundred and twenty cubits. This beautiful porch, therefore, was four times as high as was the [oracle in] temple itself (1 Kings 6:2,20; 2 Chron 3:4).

One excellent ornament, therefore, of this temple was, for that it had a porch so high, that is, so famous for height; hence he says, 'This house that is so high,' that is so famous for height. So high as to be seen afar off. Charity, if it be rich, runs up from the church like a steeple, and will be seen afar off; I say, if it be rich, large, and abounds. Christ's charity was blazed abroad; it was so high no man could hide it: and the charity of the churches will be seen from church to church, yea, and will be spoken of to their commendations in every place, if it be warm, fervent, and high (Mark 7:36-44; 2 Cor 8:24, 9:2,13,14).

XXI. Of the ornaments of the porch of the Temple.

There were three things belonging to the porch, besides its height, that were ornaments unto it. 1. It was overlaid within with gold. 2. It had the pillars adjoined unto it. 3. It was the inlet into the temple.

First. It was overlaid with gold. Gold ofttimes was a type of grace, and particularly of the grace of love. That in Solomon's chariot called gold is yet again mentioned by the name love (Cant 3:9,10). As it is in the church, the grace of love is as gold. It is the greatest, the richest of graces, and that which abides for ever. Hence they that show much love to saints are said to be rich (1 Tim 6:17-19). And hence charity is called a treasure, a treasure in the heavens (Luke 12:33,34). Love is a golden grace; let then the churches, as the porch of the temple was, be inlaid with love, as gold.

Second. It had the pillars adjoined to it, the which, besides their stateliness, seem to be there typically to example. For there was seen, by the space of four cubits, their lily-work in the porch (1 Kings 7:19). Of their lily-work I spake before. Now that they were so placed that they might be seen in the porch of the house, it seems to be for example, to teach the church, that she should live without worldly care, as did the apostles, the first planters of the church. And let ministers do this; they are now the pillars of the churches, and they stand before the porch of the house; let them also show their lily-work to the house, that the church may learn of them to be without carefulness as to worldly things, and also to be rich in love and charity towards the brethren. A covetous minister is a base thing, a pillar more symbolizing Lot's wife than an holy apostle of Jesus Christ; let them, since they stand at the door, and since the eyes of all in the porch are upon them, be patterns and examples of good works (1 Tim 6:10-12; Titus 2:7).

Third. Another ornament unto this porch was, that it was an inlet into the temple. Charity is it which receiveth orphans, that receiveth the poor and afflicted into the church. Worldly love, or that which is carnal, shuts up bowels, yea, and the church-doors too, against the poor of the flock; wherefore look that this kind of love be never countenanced by you. Crave that rather which is a fruit of the Spirit. O churches, let your ministers be beautified with your love, that they may beautify you with their love; and also be an ornament unto you, and to that Gospel they minister to you, for Jesus Christ's sake.

XXII. Of the ascent by which they went up into the porch of the Temple.

1. This porch also had certain steps, by which they went up into the house of the Lord. I know not directly the number of them; though Ezekiel speaks something about it (Eze 40:38,39). Hence, when men went to worship in the temple, they were said to go UP into the house of the Lord (Isa 38:22).

These steps, which were the ascent to the temple, were so curiously set, and also so finely wrought, that they were amazing to behold. Wherefore, when the queen of Sheba, who came to prove Solomon's wisdom, saw 'the house which he had built, - and his ascent by which he went up into the house of the Lord, she had no more spirit in her.' She was by that sight quite drowned, and overcome (1 Kings 10:4,5).

2. These steps, whether cedar, gold, or stone, yet that which added to their adornment was the wonderment of a queen. And whatever they were made of, to be sure they were a shadow of those steps which we should take to and in the house of God. Steps of God (Psa 85:13). Steps ordered by him (Psa 37:23). Steps ordered in his word (Psa 119:133). Steps of faith (Rom 4:12) Steps of the Spirit (2 Cor 12:18) Steps of truth (3 John 4). Steps washed with butter (Job 29:6). Steps taken before, or in the presence of, God. Steps butted and bounded by a divine rule. These are steps indeed.

3. There are therefore no such steps as these to be found any where in the world. A step to honour, a step to riches, a step to worldly glory, these are everywhere; but what are these to the steps by which men do ascend or go up to the house of the Lord!

He then that entereth into the house of the Lord is an ascending man; as it is said of Moses, he went up into the mount of God. It is ascending to go into the house of God. The world believe not this; they think it is going downward to go up to the house of God; but they are in a horrible mistake.

The steps then by which men went up into the temple are, and ought to be, opposed to those which men take to their lusts and empty glories. Hence such steps are said not only to decline from God, but to take hold of the path to death and hell (Psa 44:18; Prov 2:18, 5:5, 7:25-27).

The steps, then, by which men went up to the house of the Lord, were significative of those steps which men take when they go to God, to heaven, and glory: for these steps were the way to God, to God in his holy temple.

But how few are there that, as the queen of the south, are taken with these goodly steps! Do not most rather seek to push away our feet from taking hold of the path of life, or else lay snares for us in the way? But all these notwithstanding, the Lord guide us in the way of his steps: they are goodly steps, they are the best.

XXIII. Of the gate of the porch of the Temple.

1. The porch, at which was an ascent to the temple, had a gate belonging to it. This gate, according to the prophet Ezekiel, was six cubits wide. The leaves of this gate were double, one folding this way, the other folding that (Eze 40:48).

Now here some may object, and say, Since the way to God by these door were so wide, why doth Christ say the way and gate is narrow?

Answ. The straitness, the narrowness, must not be understood of the gate simply, but because of that cumber that some men carry with them, that pretend to be going to heaven. Six cubits! What is sixteen cubits to him who would enter in here with all the world on his back? The young man in the gospel, who made such a noise for heaven, might have gone in easy enough; for in six cubits breadth there is room: but, poor man, he was not for going in thither, unless he might carry in his houses upon his shoulder too, and now the gate was strait (Mark 10:17-27). Wherefore he that will enter in at the gate of heaven, of which this gate into the temple was a type, must go in by himself, and not with his bundles of trash on his back;[11] and if he will go in thus, he need not fear there is room. 'The righteous nation that keepeth the truth, they shall enter in' (Isa 26:2).

2. They that enter in at the gate of the inner court must be clothed in fine linen: how then shall they go into the temple that carry the clogs of the dirt of this world at their heels? 'Thus saith the Lord God; No stranger uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh, shall enter into my sanctuary' (Eze 44:9).

3. The wideness therefore of this gate is for this cause here made mention of, to wit, to encourage them that would gladly enter thereat, according to the mind of God, and not to flatter them that are not for leaving of all for God.

4. Wherefore let such as would go in remember that here is room, even a gate to enter in at six cubits wide. We have been all this while but on the outside of the temple, even in the courts of the house of the Lord, to see the beauty and glory that is there. The beauty hereof made men cry out, and say, 'How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord'; and to say, 'a day in thy courts is better than a thousand' (Psa 84:1,2,&c.).

XXIV. Of the pinnacles of the Temple.

1. There were also several pinnacles belonging to the temple. These pinnacles stood on the top aloft in the air, and were sharp, and so difficult to stand upon: what men say of their number and length I wave, and come directly to their signification.

2. I therefore take those pinnacles to be types of those lofty airy notions with which some men delight themselves, while they hover, like birds, above the solid and godly truths of Christ. Satan attempted to entertain Christ Jesus with this type, and antitype, at once, when he set him on one of the pinnacles of the temple, and offered to thrust him upon a false confidence in God, by a false and unsound interpretation of a text (Matt 4:5,6; Luke 4:9-11).

3. You have some men cannot be content to worship IN the temple, but must be aloft; no place will serve them but pinnacles, pinnacles; that they may be speaking in and to the air, that they may be promoting their heady notions, instead of solid truth; not considering that now they are where the devil would have them be; they strut upon their points, their pinnacles; but let them look to it, there is difficulty standing upon pinnacles; their neck, their soul, is in danger. We read, God is in his temple, not upon these pinnacles (Psa 11:4; Hab 2:20).

4. It is true, Christ was once upon one of these; but the devil set him there, with intent to have dashed him in pieces by a fall; and yet even then told him, if he would venture to tumble down, he should be kept from dashing his foot against a stone. To be there, therefore, was one of Christ's temptations; consequently one of Satan's stratagems; nor went he thither of his own accord, for he knew that there was danger; he loved not to clamber pinnacles.

5. This should teach Christians to be low and little in their own eyes, and to forbear to intrude into airy and vain speculations, and to take heed of being puffed up with a foul and empty mind.[12]

XXV. Of the porters of the Temple.

1. There were porters belonging to the temple. In David's time their number was four thousand men (1 Chron 23:5).

2. The porters were of the Levites, and their work was to watch at every gate of the house of the Lord; at the gate of the outer court, at the gates of the inner court, and at the door of the temple of the Lord (2 Chron 35:15).

3. The work of the porters, or rather the reason of their watching, was to look that none not duly qualified entered into the house of the Lord. 'He set,' saith the text, 'the porters at the gates of the house of the Lord, that none which was unclean in any thing should enter in' (2 Chron 23:19).

4. The excellency of the porters lay in these three things, their watchfulness, diligence, and valour, to make resistance to those that, as unfit, would attempt to enter those courts and the house of God (1 Chron 26:6; Mark 13:34).

5. These porters were types of our gospel ministers, as they are set to be watchmen in and over the church, and the holy things of God. Therefore as Christ gives to every man in the church his work, so he commands 'the porter to watch' (Isa 21:11; Eze 3:17, 33:7; Acts 20:27-31; 2 Tim 4:5; Rev 2:2,3).

6. Sometimes every awakened Christian is said to be a porter, and such at Christ's first knock open unto him immediately (Luke 12:35-40).

7. The heart of a Christian is also sometimes called the porter; for that when the true shepherd comes to it, to him this porter openeth also (John 10:3).

8. This last has the body for his watch-house; the eyes and ears for his port-holes; the tongue therewith to cry, Who comes there? as also to call for aid, when anything unclean shall attempt with force and violence to enter in, to defile the house.

XXVI. Of the charge of the porters of the Temple more particularly.

1. The charge of the porters was, to keep their watch, in four square, even round about the temple of God. Thus it was ordained by David, before him by Moses, and after him by Solomon his son (1 Chron 9:24; Num 3; 2 Chron 23:19, 35:15).

2. The porters had some of them the charge of the treasure-chambers; some of them had the charge of the ministering vessels, even to bring them in and out by tale; also the opening and shutting of the gates of the house of the Lord was a part of their calling and office.

3. I told you, the porters were types of our gospel ministers, as they are watchmen in and over the house of God; and therefore in that they were thus to watch round about the temple, what is it but to show how diligent Satan is, to see if he may get in somewhere, by some means, to defile the church of God; he goes round and round and round us, to see if he can find a hog-hole for that purpose.

4. This also showeth that the church of itself, without its watchmen, is a weak, feeble, and very helpless thing. What can the lady or mistress do to defend herself against thieves and sturdy villains, if there be none but she at home? It is said, when the shepherd is smitten, the sheep shall be scattered. What could the temple do without its watchmen?

5. Again, in that the porters had charge of the treasure-chambers as it is (1 Chron 9:26), it is to intimate, that the treasures of the gospel are with the ministers of our God, and that the church, next to Christ, should seek them at their mouth. 'We have this treasure in earthen vessels,' saith Paul, and they are 'stewards of the' manifold 'mysteries of God' (1 Cor 4:1; 2 Cor 4:7; 1 Peter 4:10; Eph 4:11-13).

6. These are God's true scribes, and bring out of their treasury things new and old; or, as he saith in another place, 'At our gates,' that is, where our porters watch, 'are all manner of pleasant fruits, which I have laid up for thee, O my beloved' (Cant 7:13; Matt 13:52).

7. Further, some of them had charge of the ministering vessels, and they were to bring them in and out by tale (1 Chron 9:28). (1.) If by ministering vessels you understand gospel ordinances, then you see who has the charge of them, to wit, the watchmen and ministers of the word (Luke 1:12; 2 Thess 2:15; 2 Tim 2:2). (2.) If by ministering vessels you mean the members of the church, for they are also ministering vessels, then you see who has the care of them, to wit, the pastors, the gospel ministers. Therefore 'obey them that have the rule over you - for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you' (Heb 13:17).

8. The opening of the gates did also belong to the porters, to show that the power of the keys, to wit, of opening and shutting, of letting in and keeping out of the church, doth ministerially belong to these watchmen (Matt 16:19; Heb 12:15).

9. The conclusion is, then let the churches love their pastors, hear their pastors, be ruled by their pastors, and suffer themselves to be watched over, and to be exhorted, counselled, and if need be, reproved, and rebuked by their pastors.[13] And let the ministers not sleep, but be watchful, and look to the ordinances, to the souls of the saints, and the gates of the churches. Watchman, watchman, watch!

XXVII. Of the doors of the Temple.

Now we are come to the gate of the temple; namely, to that which let out of the porch into the holy place.

1. These doors or gates were folding, and they opened by degrees. First, a quarter, and then a half, after that three quarters, and last of all the whole. These doors also hanged upon hinges of gold, and upon posts made of the goodly olive tree (1 Kings 6:33,34; Eze 41:23,24).

2. These doors did represent Christ, as he is the way to the Father, as also did the door of the tabernacle, at which the people were wont to stand when they went to inquire of God. Wherefore, Christ saith, 'I am the door,' alluding to this, 'by me if any man enter he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture' (Exo 33:9,10, 38:8, 40:12; Lev 1:3,4, 8:3,4,33, 15:14; Num 6:13,18, 10:3, 25:6, 27:2; 1 Sam 2:22; John 10:9). (1.) 'I am the door.' The door into the court, the door into the porch, the door into the temple, the door into the holiest, the door to the Father. But now we are at the door of the temple. (2.) And observe it, this door by Solomon was not measured as the door of the porch was: for though the door into the court, and the door into the porch were measured, to show that the right to ordinances and the inlet into the church is to be according to a prescript rule, yet this door was not measured; to show that Christ, as he is the inlet to saving grace, is beyond all measure, and unsearchable. Hence his grace is called 'unsearchable riches,' and that above all we can ask or think, for that it passeth knowledge (Eph 3:8,19,20).

3. It is, therefore, convenient that we put a note upon this, that we may distinguish rule and duty from grace and pardoning mercy; for as I said, though Christ, as the door to outward privileges, is set forth by rule and measure; yet, as he is the door to grace and favour, never creature, as yet, did see the length and breadth of him (Eph 3:17,19).[14]

4. Therefore, I say, this gate was not measured; for what should a rule do here, where things are beyond all measure?

5. This gate being also to open by degrees, is of signification to us; for it will be opening first by one fold, then by another, and yet will never be set wide, wide open, until the day of judgment. For then, and not till then, will the whole of the matter be open. 'For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part, but then shall I know even as also I am known' (1 Cor 13:12).

XXVIII. Of the leaves of this gate of the Temple.

The leaves of this gate or door, as I told you before, were folding, and so, as was hinted, has something of signification in them. For by this means a man, especially a young disciple, may easily be mistaken; thinking that the whole passage, when yet but a part was open; whereas, three parts might be yet kept undiscovered to him. For these doors, as I said before, were never yet set wide open; I mean, in the antitype; never man yet saw all the riches and fulness which is in Christ. So that I say, a new comer, if he judged by present sight, especially if he saw but little, might easily be mistaken; wherefore such, for the most part, are most horribly afraid that they shall never get in thereat. How sayest thou, young comer, is not this the case with thy soul? So it seems to thee that thou art too big, being so great, so tun-bellied a sinner. But, O thou sinner, fear not, the doors are folding-doors, and may be opened wider, and wider again after that; wherefore, when thou comest to this gate, and imaginest there is not space enough for thee to enter, knock, and it shall be wider opened unto thee, and thou shalt be received (Luke 11:9; John 6:37). So, then, whoever thou art that art come to the door, of which the temple door was a type, trust not to thy first conceptions of things, but believe there is grace abundant. Thou knowest not yet what Christ can do, the doors are folding-doors. He can 'do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think' (Eph 3:20).

The hinges on which these doors do hang were, as I told you, gold; to signify that they both turned upon motives and motions of love, and also that the openings thereof were rich. Golden hinges the gate to God doth turn upon,

The posts on which these doors did hang were of the olive tree, that fat and oily tree, to show that they do never open with lothness or sluggishness, as doors do whose hinges want oil. They are always oily, and so open easily and quickly to those who knock at them. Hence you read, that he that dwells in this house gives freely, loves freely, and doth us good with all his heart. 'Yea,' saith he, 'I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart, and with my whole soul' (Jer 3:12,14,22, 32:41; Rev 21:6, 22:17). Wherefore, the oil of grace, signified by this oily tree, or these olive-posts, on which these doors do hang, do cause that they open glibly or frankly to the soul.

XXIX. What the doors of the Temple were made of.

1. The doors of the temple were made of fir; that is so sweet scented, and pleasant to the smell (1 Kings 6:34).

2. Mankind is also often compared to the fir tree. As Isaiah 41:19, 55:13, 60:13-17, 14:8.

3. Now, since the doors of the temple were made of the same, doth it not show that the way into God's house, and into his favour, is by the same nature which they are of that thither enter, even through the veil, his flesh? (Heb 10:20). For this door, I mean the antitype, doth even say of himself, 'I Am like a green fir tree, from me is thy fruit found' (Hosea 14:8).

4. This fir tree is Christ; Christ as man, and so as the way to the Father. The doors of the temple are also, as you see here, made of the fir tree; even of that tree which was a type of the humanity of Jesus Christ. Consider Hebrews 2:14.

5. The fir tree is also the house of the stork, that unclean bird, even as Christ is a harbour and shelter for sinners. As for the stork, saith the text, the fir tree is her house; and Christ saith to the sinners that see their want of shelter, 'Come unto me, and I will give you rest.' He is a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in time of trouble (Deut 14:18; Lev 11:19; Psa 104:17, 84:2,3; Matt 11:27,28; Heb 6:17-20). He is, as the doors of fir of the temple, the inlet to God's house, to God's presence, and to a partaking of his glory. Thus God did of old, by similitudes, teach his people his way.

XXX. How the doors of the Temple were adorned.

And Solomon carved upon the doors 'cherubims, and palm trees, and open flowers, and covered them with gold' (1 Kings 6:35; Eze 41:25).

First. He carved cherubims thereon. These cherubims were figures or types of angels, and forasmuch as they were carved here upon the door, it was to show,

1. What delight the angels take in waiting upon the Lord, and in going at his bidding, at his beck. They are always waiting like servants at the door of their Lord's house.

2. It may be also to show how much pleased they are to be where they may see sinners come to God. For 'there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth,' and comes to God by Christ for mercy (Luke 15:10).

3. They may be also placed here to behold with what reverence or irreverence those that come hither to worship do behave themselves. Hence Solomon cautions those that come to God's house to worship, that they take heed to their feet, because of the angels. Paul also says, Women must take heed that they behave themselves in the church as they should, and that because of the angels (Eccl 5:1,2,6; 1 Cor 11:5,6,10).

4. They may also be carved upon the temple doors, to show us how ready they are, so soon as any poor creature comes to Christ for life to take the care and charge of its conduct through this miserable world. 'Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?' (Heb 1:14).

5. They may also be carved here, to show that they are ready, at Christ's command, to take vengeance for him upon those that despise his people and hate his person. Hence he bids the world take heed what they do to his 'little ones,' for 'their angels do always behold the face of their Father which is in heaven,' and are ready at the door to run at his bidding (Matt 18:10).

6. Or lastly, they may be carved upon these doors, to show that Christ Jesus is the very supporter and upholder of angels, as well as the Saviour of sinful man. For as he is before all things, so by him all things consist; angels stand by Christ, men are saved by Christ, and therefore the very cherubims themselves were carved upon these doors, to show they are upheld and subsist by him (1 Cor 8:6; Col 1:17; Heb 1:3).

Second. Again, as the cherubims are carved here, so there were palm trees carved here also. The palm tree is upright, it twisteth not itself awry (Jer 10:5).

1. Apply this to Christ, and then it shows us the uprightness of his heart, word, and ways with sinners. 'Good and upright is the Lord, therefore will he teach sinners in the way'; in at the door to life (Psa 25:8, 92:15).

2. The palm or palm tree is also a token of victory; and as placed here, it betokeneth the conquest that Christ, the door, should get over sin, death, the devil, and hell for us (Rom 7:24, 8:37; 1 Cor 15:54-57; Rev 7:9-11).

3. If we apply the palm tree to the church, as we may, for she also is compared thereto (Cant 7:8-10), then the palm tree may be carved here to show, that none but such as are upright of heart and life shall dwell in the presence of God. 'The hypocrite,' says Job, 'shall not come before him.' 'The upright,' says David, 'shall not dwell in thy presence' (Job 13:16; Psa 140:13). They are they that are clothed in white robes, which signifies uprightness of life, that stand before the Lamb with 'palms in their hands' (Rev 7:9).

Third. There were also carved upon these doors open flowers; and that to teach us that here is the sweet scent and fragrant smell; and that the coming soul will find it so in Christ, this door. 'I AM,' saith he, 'the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.' And again, 'His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh' (Cant 2:1, 5:13). Open flowers. Open flowers are the sweetest, because full grown, and because, as such, they yield their fragrancy most freely. Wherefore, when he saith upon the doors are open flowers, he setteth Christ Jesus forth in his good savours, as high as by such a similitudes he could; and that both in name and office. For open flowers lay, by their thus opening themselves before us, all their beauty also most plainly before our faces. There are varieties of beauty in open flowers, the which they also commend to all observers. Now, upon these doors, you see, are open flowers, flowers ripe, and spread before us, to show that his name and offices are savoury to them that by him do enter his house to God his Father (Cant 1:1-4).

'All these were overlaid with fine gold.' Gold is the most rich of all metals; and here it is said the doors, the cherubims, the palm trees, and open flowers, were overlaid therewith. And this shows, that as these things are rich in themselves, even so they should be to us. We have a golden door to go to God by, and golden angels to conduct us through the world: we have golden palm trees as tokens of our victory, and golden flowers to smell on all the way to heaven.

XXXI. Of the wall of the Temple.

The wall of the temple was 'ceiled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains' (2 Chron 3:5-7).

The walls were as the body of the house, unto which Christ alluded when he said, 'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up' (John 2:19). Hence to be, and worship in the temple, was a type of being in Christ, and worshipping God by him. For Christ, as was said, is the great temple of God, in the which all the elect meet, and in whom they do service to and for his Father.

Hence again the true worshippers are said to be in him, to speak in him, to walk in him, to obey in him (2 Cor 2:14, 12:19; Col 2:6). For, as of old, all true worship was to be found at the temple, so now it is only found with Christ, and with them that are in him. The promise of old was made to them that worshipped within these walls. 'Unto them,' saith he, 'will I give in my house, and within my walls,' to them that worship there in truth, 'a place, and a name, better than of sons and of daughters' (Isa 56:5).

But now, in New Testament times, 'all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him, amen unto the glory of God by us' (2 Cor 1:20). This is yet further hinted to us in that it is said these wall s are ceiled with fir;[15] which, as was showed before, was a figure of the humanity of Jesus Christ.

A wall is for defence, and so is the humanity of Jesus Christ. It is, was, and will be, our defence for ever. For it was that which underwent and overcame the curse of the law, and that in which our everlasting righteousness is found. Had he not in that interposed, we had perished for ever. Hence we are said to be reconciled to God in the body of his flesh through death (Col 1:19,20; Rom 5:8-10).

Now, this wall was overlaid with fine gold. Gold here is a figure of the righteousness of Christ, by which we are justified in the sight of God. Therefore you read, that his church, as justified, is said to stand at his right hand in cloth of gold. 'Upon thy right hand did stand the queen in gold of Ophir.' And again, 'Her clothing is of wrought gold' (Psa 45:9,13). This the wall was overlaid with; this the body of Christ was filled with. Men, while in the temple, were clothed with gold, even with the gold of the temple; and men in Christ are clothed with righteousness, the righteousness of Christ. Wherefore this consideration doth yet more illustrate the matter. In that the palm trees were set on this wall, it may be to show that the elect are fixed in Jesus, and so shall abide for ever.

Chains were also carved on these walls, yea, and they were golden chains; there were chains on the pillars, and now also we find chains upon the walls. 1. Chains were used to hold one captive, and such Paul did wear at Rome, but he called them 'his bands in Christ.' 2. Chains sometimes signify great afflictions, which God lays on us for our sins (Psa 107:9-11; Lam 1:14, 3:7). 3. Chains also may be more mystically understood, as of those obligations which the love of God lays upon us, to do and suffer for him (Acts 20:22). 4. Chains do sometimes signify beauty and comely ornaments. 'Thy neck,' saith Christ to his spouse, 'is comely with chains of gold.' And again, 'I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck' (Cant 1:10; Eze 16:8-11; Prov 1:9). 5. Chains also do sometimes denote greatness and honour, such as Daniel had when the king made him the third ruler in the kingdom (Dan 5:7,16,29).

Now all these are temple-chains, and are put upon us for good; some to prevent our ruin, some to dispose our minds the better, and some to dignify and to make us noble. Temple-chains are brave chains. None but temple-worshippers must wear temple-chains.

XXXII. Of the garnishing of the Temple with precious stones.

'And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty' (2 Chron 3:6,7). 1. This is another ornament to the temple of the Lord; wherefore, as he saith, it was garnished with them; he saith it was garnished with them for beauty. The line[16] saith, garnished; the margin saith, covered. 2. Wherefore, I think, they were fixed as stars, or as the stars in the firmament, so they were set in the ceiling of the house, as in the heaven of the holy temple. 3. And thus fixed, they do the more aptly tell us of what they were a figure; namely, of the ministerial gifts and officers in the church. For ministers, as to their gifts and office, are called stars of God, and are said to be in the hand of Christ (Rev 1:20). 4. Wherefore, as the stars glitter and twinkle in the firmament of heaven, so do true ministers in the firmament of his church (1 Chron 29:2; John 5:35; Dan 12:3). 5. So that it is said again these gifts come down from above, as signifying they distil their dew from above. And hence, again, the ministers are said to be set over us in the Lord, as placed in the firmament of his heaven to give a light upon his earth. 'There is gold and a multitude of rubies, but the lips of knowledge are a precious jewel' (Prov 20:15).

Verily, it is enough to make a man in this house look always upward; since the ceiling above head doth thus glitter with precious stones. Precious stones, all manner of precious stones, stones of all colours. For there are divers gifts, differences of administrations, and diversities of operations, 'but it is the same God which worketh all in all' (1 Cor 12:4-6). Thus had the ceiling of this house a pearl here, and there a diamond; here a jasper, and there a sapphire; here a sardius, and there a jacinth; here a sardonyx, and there an amethyst. 'For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another the word of knowledge'; to one the gift of healing, to another faith; to this man to work miracles, to that a spirit of prophecy; to another the discerning of spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues (1 Cor 12:8-11).

He also overlaid the house, beams, posts, walls, doors, &c., and all with gold. O what a beautiful house the temple was; how full of glory was it! And yet all was but a shadow, a shadow of things to come, and which was to be answered in the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of truth, by better things than these.

XXXIII. Of the windows of the Temple.

'And for the house, he made windows of narrow lights' (1 Kings 6:4). There were windows of this house, windows for the chambers and windows round about (Eze 40:16,22-25,29,33,36). These windows were of several sizes, but all narrow, narrow without, but wide within; they also were finely wrought, and beautified with goodly stones (Isa 54:12).

1. Windows, as they are to a house an ornament, so also to it they are a benefit. 'Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun' (Eccl 11:7). The window is that which Christ looks forth at, the window is that which the sun looks in at (Cant 2:9).

2. By the light which shines in at the window we also see to make and keep the house clean, and also to do what business is necessary there to be done. 'In thy light shall we see light'; light to do our duty, and that both to God and man.

3. These windows therefore were figures of the written word, by and through which Christ shows himself to his, and by which we also apprehend him. And hence the Word of God is compared to a glass through which the light doth come, and by which we see not only the beams of the sun, but our own smutches also (2 Chron 30:18; James 1:23-25).

4. The lights indeed were narrow, wherefore we see also through their antitype but darkly and imperfectly. 'Now we see through a glass darkly,' or, as in a riddle, now we know but in part (1 Cor 13:12).

5. Their windows and their light are but of little service to those that are without; the world sees but little of the beauty of the church by the light of the written Word, though the church, by that light, can see the dismal state of the world, and also how to avoid it.

XXXIV. Of the chambers of the Temple.

In the temple Solomon made chambers (1 Kings 6:5).

1. The chambers were of several sizes; some little, some large; some higher, some lower; some more inward, and some outward.

2. These chambers were for several services; some were for rests, some to hide in, some to lay up treasure in, and some for solace and delight (2 Chron 3:9; Eze 40:7, 41:5,9-11; 2 Chron 31:11,12). They were for resting-places. Here the priests and porters were wont to lodge. They were for hiding-places. Here Jehoshabeath hid Joash from Athaliah the term of six years (2 Kings 11:3). They were also to lay the temple treasure, or dedicated things in, that they might be safely kept there for the worshippers (Ezra 8:29). And some of them were for solace and delight; and, I must add, some for durable habitation. Wherefore in some of them some dwelt always, yea, their names dwelt there when they were dead.

(1.) Those of them which were for rest, were types of that rest which by faith we have in the Son of God, and of that eternal rest which we shall have in heaven by him (Matt 11:28; Heb 4:3). (2.) Those chambers which were for hiding and security, were types of that safety which we have in Christ from the rage of the world (Isa 26:20). (3.) Those chambers which were for the reception of the treasures and dedicated things were types of Christ, as he is the common store-house of believers. 'For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell'; 'and of his fulness we all receive, and grace for grace' (John 1:16; Col 1:19). (4.) Those chambers that were for solace and delight, were types of those retirements and secret meetings of Christ with the soul, where he gives it his embraces, and delights her with his bosom and ravishing delights. 'He brought me,' said she, 'into his chambers,' 'into the chamber of her that conceived me,' and there he gave her his love (Cant 1:4, 3:4).

The chambers which were for durable dwelling-places were types of those eternal dwelling-places which are in the heavens, prepared of Christ and the Father, for them that shall be saved (John 14:1-4; 2 Cor 5:1-4). This it is to 'dwell on high,' and to be safe from fear of evil! Here therefore you see are chambers for rest, chambers for safety, chambers for treasure, chambers for solace, and chambers for durable habitations. O the rest and peace that the chambers of God's high house will yield to its inhabitants in another world! Here they will 'rest from their labours,' 'rest in their beds,' rest with God, rest from sin, temptation, and all sorrow (Rev 14:13; Isa 57:1,2; 2 Thess 1:7). God therefore then shall wipe all tears from our eyes, even when he comes out of his chamber as a bridegroom, to fetch his bride, his wife unto him thither, to the end they may have eternal solace together. O these are far better than the chambers of the south!

XXXV. Of the stairs by which they went up into the chambers of the Temple.

There were stairs by which men went up into these chambers of the temple, and they were but one pair, and they went from below to the first, and so to the middle, and thence to the highest chambers in the temple (1 Kings 6:8; Eze 41:7).

1. These stairs were winding; so that they turned about, that did go up them. So then, he that assayed to go into these chambers, must turn with the stairs, or he could not go up, no, not into the lowest chambers.

2. These stairs therefore were a type of a two-fold repentance. That by which we turn from nature to grace, and that by which we turn from the imperfections which attend a state of grace to glory. Hence true repentance, or the right going up these turning stairs, is called repentance to salvation; for true repentance stoppeth not at the reception of grace; for that is but a going up these stairs to the middle chambers (2 Cor 7:10).

Thus, therefore, the soul, at its going up these stairs, turns and turns, till it enters the doors of the highest chambers. It groans, though in a state of grace, because that is not the state of glory. I count then, that from the first to the middle chambers may be a type of turning from nature to grace. But from the middle to the highest, these stairs may signify a turning still from the imperfections and temptations that attend a state of grace, to that of immortality and glory (2 Cor 5:1-9).

For as there are turning stairs, form the lowest to the middle chambers, so the stairs from thence still turn, and so will do, till you come to the highest chambers. I do not say that they that have received grace, do repent they received grace; but I say they that have received grace, are yet sorry that grace is not consummate in glory; and hence they are for going up thither still, by these turning stairs; yea, they cannot rest below, as they would, till they ascend to the highest chambers. 'O wretched man that I am!' And 'in this we groan earnestly,' is the language of gracious souls (Rom 7:24; 2 Cor 5:1-3). True, every one doth not do thus that comes into the temple of God; many rest below stairs, they like not to go turning upward. Nor do I believe that all that bid fair for ascending to the middle chambers, get up to the highest stories, to his stories in the heavens. Many in churches, who seem to be turned from nature to grace, have not the grace to go up, turning still; but rest in that show of things, and so die below a share in the highest chambers.

All these things are true in the antitype, and, as I think, prefigured by these turning stairs to the chambers of the temple. But this turning, and turning still, displeases some much; they say it makes them giddy; but I say, there is no way like this, to make a man stand steady; stedfast in the faith, and with boldness in the day of judgment. For he has this seated in his heart; I went up by the turning stairs, till I came to the highest chambers. A strait pair of stairs are like that ladder by which men ascend to the gallows; they are the turning ones that lead us to the heavenly mansion-houses. Look, therefore, you that come into the temple of God to worship, that you stay not at the foot of these turning stairs, but go up thence; yea, up them, and up them, and up them, till you come to the view of the heavens; yea, till you are possessed of the highest chambers! How many times has God, by the Scripture, called upon you to TURN, and told you, you must turn or die! and now here he has added to his call a figure, by placing a pair of turning stairs in his temple, to convict your very senses, that you must TURN, if you mean to go up into his holy chambers, and so into his eternal mansion-houses; and look that you turn to purpose; for every turning will not serve. Some turn, but not to the Most High; and so turn to no purpose.

XXXVI. Of the molten sea that was in the Temple.

There was also a molten sea in the temple; it was made of brass, and contained three thousand baths (2 Chron 4:2-10).

[17] This sea was for the priests to wash in when they came into the temple to accomplish the service of God; to wash their hands and feet at, that they might not, when they came thither, die for their unpreparedness. The laver also which was in the wilderness was of the same use there (Exo 30).

1. It was, as may be supposed, called a sea, for that it was large to contain; and a sea of brass, for that it was made thereof. It is called in Revelation a sea of glass, alluding to that in the wilderness, which was made of the brazen looking-glasses of women that came to worship at the door of the tabernacle (Rev 4:6, 15:2; Exo 38:8).

2. It was also said to be molten, because it was made of that fashion, by fire; and its antitype therefore is said to be a sea of glass mingled with fire (Rev 15:2). (1.) This sea was a figure of the word of the gospel, in the cleansing virtue of it; which virtue then it has when mingled with the fire of the Holy Ghost. And to this Christ alludes, when he saith, 'Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you' (John 15:3). (2.) It was a figure of the word, without mixture of men's inventions; hence i