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for the building had to be hewn out of the quarry by Hiram's servants, assisted by some of Solomon's people, who had inferior skill and therefore were set about the more laborious and rougher parts of the work. The same fact you will notice, if you will read the history of the building of Solomon's temple, occurred with regard to the making of the vessels of the house. It is said that Hiram did cast them, and Solomon found the gold; and the moulds were made in the great plain, and Solomon did cast them there, with Hiram for his chief designer and director.
Ah! but herein Solomon fails to be a type of Christ. Christ builds the temple himself. There stand the cedars of Lebanon that the Lord hath planted, but they are not ready for the building; they are not cut down, nor shaped, nor made into those planks of cedar, whose odoriferous beauty shall make glad the courts of the Lord in Paradise. No; Jesus Christ must cut them down with the axe of conviction; he must cut them up with the great saw of his law; he must plane and polish them with his holy gospel. And when he hath made them fit to be pillars in the house of the Lord, then they shall be carried across the sea to heaven; then shall they be placed in his temple for ever. No Hiram is needed. The axe is in his hand, the plane is in his hand too. He understandeth well that business. Was he not a carpenter on earth? And spiritually, he shall be the same to his church for ever and ever. It is even the same with the stones of the temple. We are like rough stones in the quarry. Behold the hole of the pit whence we were digged, and the rock whence we were hewn. But we were hewn out of that rock by no hand but Christ's. He raised up seed unto Abraham out of the stones of the pit; it was his own hammer that broke the rock in pieces, and his own arm of strength that wielded the hammer, when he dashed us from the rock of our sin. Though we are each of us being polished, so that we may be ready for the temple, yet there is nothing that polishes but Christ. Afflictions cannot sanctify us, except as they are used by Christ, as his mallet and his chisel. Our joys and our efforts cannot make us ready for heaven, apart from the hand of Jesus who fashioneth our hearts aright, and prepareth us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light.
Thus you notice that herein Jesus Christ excels Solomon, for he provides all the materials. He hews them himself; he rough-casts them first, and then afterwards, during life, polishes them till he makes them ready to transport them to the hill of God, whereon his temple is to be built. I was thinking what a pretty figure was that floating of the trees of Lebanon after being sawn into planks and made ready to be fixed as pillars of the temple—what a fine emblem of death! Is it not just 80 with us? Here we grow, and are at length cut down, and made ready to become pillars of the temple. Across the stream of death, we are ferried by a loving hand, and brought to the port of Jerusalem, where we are safely landed, to go no more out for ever, but to abide as eternal pillars in the temple of our Lord. Now, you know the Tyrians floated these rafts; but no stranger, no foreigner shall float us across the stream of death. It is remarkable that Jesus Christ always uses expressions with regard to his people, which impute their death to him alone. You will recollect the expression in the Revelation-" Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe." But when he begins to reap, not the vintage, which represents the wicked that were to be crushed, but the harvest which represents the godly; then it is said, “He that sat upon the throne thrust in the sickle.” He did not leave it to his angels, he did it himself. It is so with the bringing of those planks, and the moving of those stones. I say no king of 'Tyre and Sidon shall do it; Jesus Christ, who on the death of death and hell's destruction, he himself shall pilot us across the stream, and land us safe on Canaan's side. “He shall build the temple of the Lord.”
Well, after these things were brought, Solomon had to employ many thousand workmen to put them in their proper places. You know that in Solomon's temple there was no sound of hammer heard; for the stones were made ready in the quarries, and brought all shaped and marked so that the masons might know the exact spot in which they were to be placed; so that no sound of iron was needed. All the planks and timbers were carried to their right places, and all the catches with which they were to be linked together were prepared, so that there might not even be the driving of a nail-everything was ready beforehand. It is the same with us. When we get to heaven, there will be no sanctifying us there, no squaring us with affliction, no hammering us with the rod, no
making us meet there. We must be made meet here; and blessed be his name, all that Christ will do beforehand. When we get there, we shall not need angels to put this member of the church in one place, and that member in another; Christ who brought the stones from the quarry and made them ready, shall himself place the people in their inheritance in paradise. For he has himself said, “I go to prepare a place for you, and if I go away, I will come again and I will receive you unto myself." Christ shall be his own usher; he shall receive his people bimself; he shall stand at the gates of heaven himself to take his own people, and to put them in their allotted heritage in the land of the blessed.
I have no doubt you have read many times the story of Solomon's temple, and you have noticed that he overlaid all the temple with gold. He provided much of the substance, but his father David brought him a good store. Now Jesus will overlay all of us with gold, when he builds us in heaven. Do not inagine we shall be in heaven what we are to-day. No, beloved, if the cedar could see itself after it had been made into a pillar, it would not know itself. If you could see yourselves as you shall be made, you would say, “It doth not yet appear' how great we must be made." Nor were these pillars of cedars to be left naked and unadorned-though they had been fair and lovely then-they were overlaid with sheets of gold. So shall we be. "It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body,” plated with pure gold: no longer what it was, but precious, lustrous, glorified.
And in the temple, we understand, there was a great brazen sea, in which the priests did wash themselves, and there were other brazen seas, in which they washed the lambs and bullocks when they were offered. In heaven there is a great laver, in which all our souls have been washed, " for they have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb." Now Christ himself prepares this sacred sea. He filled it with blood from his own veins. As for our prayers and praises, the great laver in which they are washed, was also made and filled by Christ; so that they with us are clean, and we offer acceptable sacrifices to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. I say again, before I leave this head, there is no part of the great temple of the church, which was not made by Christ. There is a great deal in the church on earth, that Christ had nothing to do with; but there is nothing in his true church, and nothing especially in his glorified church, which was not put there by him. Therefore, we may well come to the conclusion, on the last head, here, he shall bear all the glory, for he was the only builder of it.
III. Now, what a sweet thing it is to try and GLORIFY Christ. I am happy this morning to have a subject that will maguify my Master. But is it not a sad thing, that when we would magnify Christ most, our poor, failing lips refuse to speak. Oh, if you would know my Master's glory, you must see it for yourselves, for like the Queen of Sheba, the half can never be told you, even by those who know him most and love him best. Half his glory never can be told. Pause awhile, and let me endeavour to address to you a few loving words. Your Master, O ye saints of the Lord, has prepared you, and will build you into his temple. Speak and say, he shail have all the glory. Let us note, first, that the glory which he shall have will be a weighty glory. Dr. Gill says, “the expression implies, that the glory will be a weighty one, for it said, he shall bear the glory." “They shall hang,” says another expression, “ upon him all the glory of his Father's house;" and in another place, we are told, that there is “an exceeding weight of glory," which is prepared for the righteous. How great then, the weight of glory which shall be given to Christ. Oh, think not that Christ is to be glorified in such humble measure, as he is on earth. The songs of heaven are nobler strains than ours. The hearts of the redeemed pay him loftier homage than we can offer. Try not to judge of the magnificence of Christ by the pomp of kings, or by the reverence paid to mighty men on earth. His glory far surpasses all the glory of this time and space. The honour which shall be bestowed upon him, is as the brightness of the sun, the honours of earth are but the twinklings of a fading star. Before him, at this very day, principalities and powers do bow themselves. Ten thousand times ten thousand seraphim wait at his footstool. * The chariots of the Lord are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels," and all these wait his beck and his command. And as for his redeemed, how do they magnify him? never staying, never changing, never wearying; they raise their shout higher, and higher, and higher, and yet louder, and louder still, the strain is
lifted up, and evermore it is the same. “ To him that liveth and was dead and is alive for evermore, unto him be glory, world without end.”
And note again, that this glory is undivided glory. In the church of Christ in heaven, no one glorified but Christ. He who is honoured on earth has some one to share the honour with him, some inferior helper who laboured with him in the work; but Christ has none. He is glurified, and it is all his own glory. Oh, when you get to hcaven, ye children of God, will ye praise any but your Master? Calvinists, to-day you love John Calvin; will you praise him there? Lutheran, to-day thou dost love the memory of that stern reformer, wilt thou sing the song of Luther in heaven? Follower of Wesley, thou hast a reverence for that evangelist; wilt thou in heaven have a note for John Wesley ? None, none, none! Giving up all names and all honours of men, the strain shall rise in undivided and unjarring unison "unto him that loved us, that washed us from our sins in his blood, unto him be glory for ever and ever.”
But again: he shall have all the glory; all that can be conceived, all that can be desired, all that can be imagined shall come to him. To-day, you praise him, but not as you can wish; in heaven you shall praise him to the summit of your desire. To-day you see him magnified, but you see not all things put under him; in heaven all things shall acknowledge his dominion. There every knee shall bow before him, and every tongue confess that he is Lord. He shall have all the glory.
But to conclude on this point; this glory is continual glory. It says he shall bear all the glory. When shall this dominion become effete? When shall this promise be so fulfilled that it is put away as a worn out garment? Never,
“ While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures,”
we shall never leave off praising Christ. We think we can almost guess how we shall feel when we get to heaven, with regard to our Master. Methinks if I should ever be privileged to behold his blessed face with joy, I shall want nothing but to be allowed to approach his throne, and cast what little honour I may have before his feet, and then be there and ever more adore the matchless splendour of his love, the marvels of his might. Suppose some one entering were to say to the redeemed, “Suspend your songs for a moment! Ye have been praising Christ, lo, these six thousand years; many of you have without cessation praised him now these many centuries! Stop your song a moment; pause and give your songs to some one else for an instant.” Oh, can you conceive the scorn with which the myriad eyes of the redeemed would smite the tempter? Stop from praising him! No, never. Time may stop, for it shall be no more; the world may stop, for its revolutions must cease; the universe may stop its cycles and the movings of its world, but for us to stop our songs-never, never!”—and it shall be said, “ Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.” He shall have all the glory, and he shall have it for ever; his name shall endure for ever; his name shali continue as long as the sun; men shall be blessed in him, and all generations shall call him blessed; therefore shall they praise him for ever and
IV. Now, in conclusion, let us just make A PRACTICAL APPLICATION OF OUR TEXT. Brothers and sisters, are we to-day built upon Christ? Can we say, that we hope that we are a part of his temple; that his handiwork has been exhibited upon us, and that we are built together with Christ? If so, listen to one word of exhortation. Let us evermore honour him. Oh! methinks, every beam of cedar, and every slab of gold, and every stone of the temple, felt honoured when it was raised up to be a part of the fabric for Jehovah's praise. And if that cedar, that marble, could have been vocal in that day when the flame descended from heaven, the token of Jehovah's presence, the stone, and the cedar, and the gold, and the silver, and the brass, all would have burst out into song, and would have said, “ We praise thee, O God, for thou hast made the gold more than gold, and the cedar more than cedar, inasmuch as thou hast consecrated us to be the temple of thine indwelling.” And now, will you not do the same ? O my brothers and sisters! God has highly honoured you to be stones in the temple of Christ. When you think of what you were, and what you might have been; how you might have been stones in the black dungeons of vengeance for ever, dark dank stones, where the moss, and the weed, and the slimy thing for ever might have lived ; disgraced, abandoned, cast
away in blackness of darkness for ever-when you think of this, and then remember that yon are stones in Jehovah's temple,-living stones,- oh, ye must say that ve will praise him, for man is more than man, now that God dwelleth in him, Daughters of Jerusalem, rejoice! for you are more than women now. Sons of Israel, rejoice! for your manhood is exalted; he hath made you temples of the Holy Ghost-God dwelling in you and you in him.' Go out from this place and sing his praise; go forth to honour him; and while the dumb world wants you to be its mouth, go and speak for the mountain, for the hill, for the lake, for the river, for the oak, and for the insect; speak for all things; for you are to be like the temple. the seat of the worship of all worlds; you are to be like the priests and offerers of the sacrifices of all creatures.
Let me address myself last of all to others of you. Alas! my hearers, I have many here who have no portion in Israel, neither any lot in Jacob. How many of you there are, who are not stones in the spiritual temple, never to be used in the building up of God's Jerusalem. Let me ask you one thing; it may seem a slight thing to-day to be left out of the muster-roll of Christ's church,—will it seem a slight thing to be left out, when Christ shall call for his people? When you are all assembled around his great white throne at last, and the books shall be opened, oh ! how dread the suspense, while name after name is read! how dreadful your suspense, when it comes to the last name, and yours has been left out! That verse of our hymn has often impressed me very solemnly :
“I love to meet among them now,
Though vilest of them all;
When thou for them shalt call?" Sinner, conceive it! The list is read, and thy name unmentioned. Laugh at religion now! scoff at Christ now! now that the angels are gathering for the judgment; now that the trumpet sounds exceedingly loud and long; now that the heavens are red with fire, that the great furnace of hell o'erleaps its boundary, and is about to encircle thee in its flame; now despise religion! Ah! no. I see thee. Now thy stiff knees are bending, now thy bold forehead for the first time is covered with the hot sweat of trembling, now thine eyes that once were full of scorn are full of tears; thou dost look on him whom thou didst despise, and thou art weeping for thy siu. O sinner, it will be too late then; there is no cutting of the stone after it gets to Jerusalem. Where thou fallest there thog !'est. Where judgment finds thee, there eternity shall leave thee. Time shall be no more when judgment comes, and when time is no more, change is impossible! In eternity there can be no change, no deliverance, no signing of acquittal. Once lost, lost for ever; once damned, damned to all eternity. Wilt than choose this and despise Christ? or wilt thou have Christ and have heaven? I charge you by him that shall judge the quick and the dead, whose I am, and whom I serve, who is the searcher of all hearts, choose ye this day whom ye will serve. If sin be best serve sin, and reap its wages. If you can make your bed in hell, if you can endure eternal burnings, be honest with yourself, and look at the wages while you do the work. But if you would have heaven, ii Fou would be amongst the many who shall be glorified with Christ, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ; believe now, to-day "If ye will hear his voice harden not sur hearts as in the provocation.” “Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little." Men, brethren, and fathers, believe and live; cast yourself at Jesus' feet, put your trust in him,
“ Renounce thy works and ways with grief,
And fly to this most sure relief;" giving up all you are to come to him, to be saved by him now, and saved eternally. O Lord, bless my weak but earnest appeal, for Christ's sake. Amen.
[No. 192 will contain the ANNUAL SKRmon on behalf of the SUNDAY School Union, preached by
the Rev. C. H. SPURGEOX, at Bloomsbury Chapel, on Tuesday evening, May 4th, 1838. Will be published on Monday next, the 10th instant.)
THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER–A STEWARD.
AT BLOOMSBURY CHAPEL,
“Give an account of thy stewardship."-Luke xvi. 2.
We have heard many times in our lives, that we are all stewards to Almighty God. We hold it as a solemn truth of our religion, that the rich man is responsible for the use which he makes of his wealth; that the talented man must give an account to God of the interest which he getteth upon his talents; that every one of us, in proportion to our time and opportunities, must give an account for himself before Almighty God. But, my dear brothers and sisters, our responsibility is even deeper and greater than that of other men. We have the ordinary responsibility which falls upon all professors of religion, to give an account of ally we have to God; but besides this, you and I have the extraordinary responsibilities of our official standing-you, as teachers for Christ in your classes; and others of us as preachers for him before the great congregation. The first responsibility is too heavy for any man to fulfil. Apart from divine grace, it is not possible that any man should so use all that God has given him as to be accepted at last with & “ Well done thou good and faithful servant;" yet even if that were possible, it would still remain an utter impossibility for us fully to sustain the fearful weight of responsibility which rests upon us as teachers of the Word of God to our fellow immortals. Upon our necks there are two yokes; Sovereign grace can make them light and easy, but apart from that they will gall our shoulders; for they are, of themselves, too heavy for us to bear. Common responsibility is as Solomon's whip; but extraordinary responsibility derived from official standing, when not regarded, will be as the scorpion of Rehoboam, its little finger shall be thicker than its father's loins. Woe unto the watchman who warns them not; woe unto the minister who fails to teach the truth; woe unto the Sabbathschool teacher who is unfaithful to his trust. Now, let us try to stir one another up, upon this seriously important matter. You will pray for me while I preach, that I may utter some things that may do good to all now present, and I will labour that God may, in answer to your prayers, give me words and thoughts which shall be blessed to you.
Now, first, let me show the meaning of our being stewards; then let us consider what kind of account we shall have to give; and lastly, let us notice the days of reckoning when we ought to cast up our account, and the days of reckoning when we MUST give in our account.
1. First, then, THE STEWARD-WHAT IS HE?
In the first place, the steward is a servant. He is one of the greatest of servants, but he is only a servant. Perhaps he is the bailiff of a farm, and looks, to ali intents and purposes, like a country farmer: he rides over his master's estate, and has many men under him; still he is only a servant, he is under authority, he is only a steward. Perhaps he is steward in the house of some gentleman, who employs him to see after the whole of his establishment, in order that he may be free from cares. In that capacity he is himself a master, but still he is a servant; for No. 192.
Penny Pulpit, No. 2,944.