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nerations. And all nations shall serve all the people of God, so this as the him. For he shall now take unto effect of it will most clearly appear, himself his great power, and rule and an unfeigned, cordial love for Christ's reign throughout the world. So that sake unto all the people of the Most the saints, seeing the Jews converted, High, even unto every one who oband the fulness of the gentiles toge- tain like precious faith in the righther with the Jews brought in as one teousness of God, our Saviour, even sheep-fold, under one Shepherd, Jesus Jesus Christ.
As Christ's person, the conqueror, will most gladly shout, righteousness, sufferings, sacrifice, and “ Hallelujah! for the Lord God om- blood-shedding, together with his most nipotent reigneth.” The everlasting amazing love, will most clearly and gospel will now be preached through- plainly be now exhibited unto the out all the earth ; and the Lord will saints in the preaching of the gospel, be king over all the earth : “ In that and in the administration of his orday there shall be one Lord, and his dinances, so his believing people bename one.” The everlasting gospel ing led into more and greater acquainbeing preached, and the Holy Ghost tance with him, will increase in their accompanying it with remarkable suc- love to him, and to all his true and cess, Popery and Mahometanism will living members. be entirely overthrown and destroyed, The epistle being directed to the and the kingdoms of the world will minister, or ministers--the servants become the kingdoms of the Lord and of Christ's church-our Lord is pleaof his Christ, and the whole earth sed here to assume the following titles. shall be filled with his glory. All that “ These things saith he that is holy, spiritual peace and harmony, riches he that is true, he that hath the key and tranquility promised to the church of David, he that openeth, and no man in the latter day, will now be enjoyed. shutteth, and shutteth and no man Kings will now be its nursing fathers, openeth.” Each of these titles deand Queens its nursing mothers, and serve our most particular attention the Lord will be its everlasting and and regard. its eternal glory.
First. Let us notice this, “ These Before we enter upon our text, we things saith he that is holy.” This. are, first, to give you a brief view of as it is a part of Christ's address unto the letter or epistle, which represents ministers, should put them in rememthe state of the church, and which is, brance of the holiness of Christ as it as were all the former, directed to the respects his Godhead, his manhood, angel or minister. " And to the an
his word, works, ordinances, provigel of the church in Philadelphia, dences, and people. Christ as God write, These things saith he that is is essentially holy-invariably holyholy, he that is true, he that hath the immutably holy-the fountain of hokey of David, he that openeth, and liness. He is celebrated with a thrice no man shutteth; and shutteth and holy by the seraphim in the sixth no man openeth.". The word Phila- chapter of Isaiah, “ Holy, holy, holy, delphia, signifies brotherly love, and is the Lord of Hosts." Which vision it serves to point out the mutual love is applied unto Christ in the twelfth and affection which ought to subsist chapter of John's gospel.
« These amongst all the household and family things said Esaias when he saw his of faith--among the spiritual bro- glory (Christ's glory) and spake of therhood. It may be used here to him.” Yea, he is called “ the most signify to us, the love and concord holy," Dan. ix. 24. As Christ as God which the saints in this interval of is originally and eternally holy,
so he time will be partakers of. For as in is like wise holy as respects his huthis period, great grace will rest upon manity, which out of incomprehensible
or as some
grace and love, for the sake and be
ness, and he dwells in them by faith, nefit of his church and people, he and makes them real partakers of his assumed into personal union with Holy Spirit. Christ makes his memhimself, giving the humanity assumed bers holy: he gives them his Holy by him, an inexpressible subsistance Spirit, makes them partakers of a in himself, whereby God and man are divine nature, leads them to walk in united in one Christ, which is the the paths of holiness, and it is he greatest of all mysteries, God manifes- only who can preserve them unblame. ted in the flesh, and most wondrous of able in holiness before God even the all unions, excepting the union of the Father. . Christ's word is holy, his three divine, co-equal, and co-eternal works are all holy, his ordinances are Persons in the unity of the one in- means whereby holiness is increased comprehensible Nature or Essence. and promoted. His providences are Christ as man was perfectly holy, his holy : " For the Lord is righteous in nature free from all impurity, his all his ways, and holy in all his heart and life exactly conformable to wurks.” And his people are holy: Jehovah's moral law. He as God. “ For he died to redeem his people Man Mediator, was “ Holiness unto from all iniquity, and to purify unto the Lord.” He was prefigured as the himself a peculiar people, zealous of great High Priest of his people by good works." Aaron, who upon the plate of the He adds, “ He that is true.” He holy crown of pure gold, which he is truly and properly God : he is true wore when he entered into the holy and very man: he is true and faithful of holies, had this inscription on it, in the discharge of his several offices : “Holiness unto the Lord,
he is truth itself. He with the utmost render it, “ The Holy One of Jeho- fidelity and clearness declares to men vah." Christ, as our High Priest, is the whole truth of God, necessary to · the Holy One of Jehovah, whose hu- be known, and nothing else. He is manity is the pavilion of the Sun of the truth of all the types, they have Righteousness, and which is brighter all received their perfect accomplishthan the sun, and holier than the hea- ment in him. He is the true God,
“ For such an High Priest and the true, the sole Mediator bebecame us, who is holy, harmless, tween God and man: the true and undefiled, separate from sinners, and only way to the Father. He is the made higher than the heavens.” And substance of all the promises : in him he is the fountain of all holiness unto they are yea, and in him amen. And his church and people, and his human Christ being truth itself, his word may nature, as Dr. Owen expresses it, is be relied upon, his promises may be the conduit pipe, through which all trusted to; for heaven and earth shall the blessings of grace are conveyed pass away, but his word endureth for
He is the fountain, spring, and cause of all the holiness which “ He that hath the key of David ; his saints partake of. The holiness he that openeth, and no man shutteth, of his human nature is their perfect and shutteth, and no man openeth.” sanctification before the Lord, for the The Lord Jesus, the anti-typical Daholiness of Christ's human nature as vid, has his throne in the church, and well as the righteousness of his obe- he hath the key of David, the whole dience is imputed unto all his people. and sole authority over his house the He presents them perfectly holy as church. He knows all his people, well as perfectly righteous. He is the their particular cases and circumfountain of sanctification and holiness stances. He understands the scripunto them. Out of his fulness they tures, and appoints his ministers to receive life and light, grace and holi- explain theni. He hath the key of
authority and government in his ple to receive it; for it is he only that church; he fixes ordinances, bestows can open the door of faith, and cause gifts, and dispenses blessings as he his word to run and be glorified. pleaseth. Our Lord here seems to “ He openeth, and no man shutteth,” refer to a passage in the 22nd of for he works in a sovereign way and Isaiah, where a threatening is de- manner; and he shutteth, by leaving nounced against one Shebna, who some to their own natural blindness was lord high treasurer in king Heze- and hardness of heart. And he will kiah's reign.
This Shebna was open the kingdom of glory to receive wicked man, and the Lord declares and admit all his redeemed, and he that he would pull him down from will shut out and exclude from thence his exalted station. “ And it shall all the workers of iniquity. come to pass in that day (saith the Our Lord is pleased to signify his Lord) that I will call my servant Elia- approbation of the members of this kim, the son of Hilkiahı: and I will church. “ I know thy works.” And clothe him with thy robe, (he should which appears to be good and accephave the robe of state belonging to table in his sight, for there is no this office,) and strengthen him with charge brought against them, nor any thy girdle, and I will commit the go- reproof given, which was against all vernmeni into his hand, and he shall the former churches, excepting the be a father to the inhabitants of Je- church of Smyrna ; and she being in rusalem, and to the house of Judah. a suffering state, Christ uses her tenAnd the key of the house of David derly. "I know,” says Christ, “thy will I lay upon his shoulder : so he works,” thy zealous attachment to my shall open, and none shall shut, and gospel and ordinances, and that it he shall shut, and none shall open. proceeds from an unfeigned faith in And I will fasten him as a nail in a me, and love towards me. For thy sure place; and he shall be a glorious encouragement, Behold, I have set throne to his father's house.” Now before thee an open door, and no man as Eliakim, being put into the office can shut it,” which, according to the of lord high treasurer, had all the prophetical meaning, signifies an unkeys of the king's treasures lodged in common opportunity of preaching the his hands ; 60 Jesus Christ, who was gospel. For now will be fulfilled that typified by Eliakim, has all the trea- passage in the fourteenth chapter of sures of his Father's grace and glory this book, verse 8, “ And I saw ancommitted unto him, as the blessed other angel fly in the midst of heaMediator and Trustee of his people. ven, having the everlasting gospel to And he having the key of all his Fa- preach unto them that dwell on the ther's treasures of grace and glory, he earth, and to every nation and kincan open the treasury and give his dred, and tongue, and people.” By people a view of it. He opens and which is meant a set of gospel minisgives the saints a discovery of his ters in the spiritual reign, and it points Father's everlasting love towards them out the public and the clear ministraof the unsearchable riches of grace tion of it. It is called the everlasting and glory they are entitled unto, and gospel, because it shall never more be are heirs of; and hereby he gives and beclouded and obscured by the foolish fills their hearts with all joy and peace inventions of men. The everlasting in believing in, and embracing God, love of the Eternal Three, and the Father, Son, and Spirit, as their ever- everlasting covenant of grace;
the lasting portion and their exceeding everlasting righteousness of Jesus, great reward. And Christ openeth a and his everlasting salvation, shining door for the preaching of his gospel, in its glory and majesty in the minisand he openeth the hearts of his peo, tration of the word; shall enlighten the world; according to what is said the secular grandeur of the church, in the 18th chapter of this prophecy, with regard to its numbers, power, “And I saw another angel come and riches. (see Isaiah xlix. 18—23; down from heaven, having great lx. 8–17. The church of Christ will power, and the earth was enlightened always have strength, yea, everlasting with his glory.” By which, says Dr. strength, in her great Head Christ; Gill, “ is meant the glorious gospel of and therefore she is exhorted to trust Christ, the light of which at this in him : “ Trust ye in the Lord for time will be very great." The breath ever; for in the Lord Jehovah is evof the Lord, or the Lord the Spirit, erlasting strength."
erlasting strength.” And this the shall breathe upon his people; the
church confesses: " In the Lord have presence of God shall be remarkably I strength." experienced in the ordinances. The And (says Christ) thou hast kept glory of the Lord shall be upon his my word, and hast not denied my church; his holiness to purify her, name.” The gospel, called Christ's aud his power to protect her. Per word, and the ordinances of it, had secutions without, and divisions with- and were kept fast and pure by the in, shall now cease. The Lord him- ministers and members of this church, self will now exalt his church, and and that even in the beginning of make it a praise throughout the whole this church state. And the open and earth. And what crowns the whole faithful profession of Christ was held is, that the Highest himself will es- fast, and held forth, which was truly tablish her. It is a mercy which can well pleasing to Christ Jesus. never be enough valued, when in any Our Lord proceeds to give forth state or period of the church, the this promise : Behold, I will make Lord is pleased to set before ministers them of the synagogue of Satan, an open door to preach his truths, to which say they are Jews [that is, problow the silver trumpet, and to pro
fessing themselves christians] but are claim salvation from the Lord to not, but do lie: behold, I will make wretched dying men.
And it is a them to come and worship before thy great blessing when Christ gives his feet, and to know that I have loved ministers a door of utterance, as well thee." The Lord here declares that as a door of opportunity. And when he will confound the enemies of his he is pleased to open the door of faith church. “Behold, I will make them in the hearts of the hearers, this in- of the synagogue of Satan, who say creases the church in number, for they are Jews, and are not, but do hereby souls are added unto the lie: behold, I will make them to come Lord. Behold, I have set before and worship before thy feet.” Which thee an open door, and no man can passage respects the conversion of shut it." For the Lord will work, the Jews, which will be in the latter and who shall let ?
day.. And they being converted, shall " For thou hast a little strength.” return, and seek the Lord their Which is spoken by way of encou- God, and David (that is, Messiah) ragement unto the church, and as a their king, and shall fear the Lord, motive for her to persevere in the and his goodness in the latter day,” faith and purity of the gospel. And Hosea iii. They shall then join which by Dr. Gill is understood of themselves unto the Lord, and to his some great men and princes of the church. They shall
come to the earth, which will come in to the place of worship, and from the bleschurches of Christ; even kings will sed effects which the gospel has come to the brightness of her rising; upon their hearts, will know, and for now will all those prophecies have openly confess, that God has loved their accomplishment, which respects the elect of the Gentiles, and the
church among them. They will now in this state of the church will be clearly see that God did and has visi- most highly prized and valued, both ted the Gentiles, to take out of them by ministers and people, and it will a people for his name. And that be more desirable unto them than hereby he has fulfilled that promise, gold, yea than fire gold; and it " that in the place where it was said will be to their spiritual taste sweeter unto them, Ye are not my people; also " than honey or the honeycomb.” there it shall be said unto them, Ye "Hold fast that which thon hast, that are the sons of the living God,” Hos. no man take thy crown.
The crown i. 10.
of everlasting life is the free gift of Christ adds, by way of further en- God's love, and the Lord's people couragement to his church,“ Because cannot have it taken from them. thou hast kept the word of my pa
The church is also a crown of glory tience, [that is, the gospel, which in the hand of the Lord, and a royal gives an account of the patience of diadem in the hand of her God. By Jesus Christ, and upon account of the church's crown in this place, I which the church has suffered, and should understand the everlasting sometimes still does suffer great per, gospel, which being in her possession, secutions, afflictions, and reproaches; she is here exhorted to hold fast, to and while the saints are here below, maintain, and defend it, in spite of they are and must expect to be more every artifice made use of by earth or or less exercised with temptations and hell to beguile and rob her of it. desertions; and under all which, the And as Christ forewarns her of a tryglorious gospel serves to bear their ing hour of temptation, which should spirits up] I also (says Christ) will come on all the world to try them keep thee from the hour of tempta- that dwell upon the earth : so here tion, which shall come upon all the he puts his people upon the exercise world, to try them that dwell upon of their graces, and bids, them hold the earth.” By the hour of tempta- that fast which they had in their postion some sore visitation is designed, session, his word of truth; lest by and which is to be universal, and it giving up the truths of it, they should will try them that dwell upon the lose the honour and renown which earth. By which is generally under- they had concerning their faith and stood, some sore affliction, which will faithfulness, their integrity, sincerity, be caused by Antichrist, and which and purity. will try and prove who are the Lord's Now follows the words of our and who are not.
And Christ will text. Him that overcometh I will in this hour of temptation, preserve make a pillar in the temple of my his churches and members, and be as God, and he shall go' no more out: a hiding-place from the wind, and a and I will write upon him the name covert from the storm. For the of my God, and the name of the city church-believers—are Christ's jew- of my God, which is New, Jerusalem, els, they are God's hidden ones, and which cometh down out of heaven Christ will remember and make good from my God: and I will write upon his promise unto them, “ They shall him my new name. He that hath an be mine in that day, saith the Lord, ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith when I make up my jewels.” unto the churches.".
I shall now " Behold (says Christ, to quicken wholly omit all further explanation and excite the attention of his people) of this epistie, and confiue myself I come quickly," to fulfil my promises wholly to the text before is. May and to execute my threatenings. the Holy Spirit be graciously pleased % hulu fast that which thou hast :") to assist us in our endeavouring to that is, the everlasting gospel, which open and explain it. And there are