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bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.”
8. The next thing of infinite value in this city is the glorious apparel of the citizens. They all wear one colour; and, as priests unto God, they are all clad in linen: “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white; for the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints."
9. The next thing to be observed is this, namely, that there is nothing promised in all this book but to overcomers: “ He that overcometh shall inherit all things.” Hence they all appear in triumph, and all shout and sing victory. This is represented by the palm branch, which used to be carried in the eastern triumphs: “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands.”
10. They have all got crowns upon their heads: We read of being crowned with knowledge, crowned with lovingkindness, crowned with righteousness, crowned with never-fading glory, and crowned with life; but to be found in Christ in the great day, and to be owned of him, blessed and glorified with him, is the best of all glorious crowns: “In that day [and especially in the great day] shall the Lord of hosts be for a crown of. glory and for a diadem of beauty, unto the residue of his people.” Hence we read that the worshippers
above cast their crowns before the throne, saying, “ Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”
11. The next thing to be enjoyed in this city is immortality. These vile bodies of ours must be purged, purified, refined, and changed, and fashioned like unto the glorious body of Christ; weakness must be changed for power; dishonour shall be changed for glory; corruption must be put off, and incorruption be put on; mortality left behind when immortality takes place. This is being clothed upon with our house which is from heaven; and this is what I understand by the following passage: “ These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God.”
12. The next unutterable delight, and that which crowns all the rest, is, a promised sight of our most wonderful, adorable, ever-blessed, propitious, and ever-loving Father.' "The time cometh when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.” “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.” “ I will make thy windows of agates.”
“And thy gates carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones.” The carbuncle is red; that is the colour of it. And Christ crucified is the only gate of this city. Without a sacrifice, and
satisfaction to justice by it, there can be no pardon; and without a mediator there can be no access to God here or hereafter; for without shedding of blood there is no remission; and into the heavenly Jerusalem there shall in no wise enter any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie, Rev. xxi. 27. And without a mediator none can approach unto God: “No man cometh unto the Father but by me. As our surety he discharges our debts, and by the blood of his covenant we come forth from the prison. By faith in him we come to the light of God's countenance; by faith in him we come to the enjoyment of God's love; by faith in him we pass from death to life; being justified by the faith of him we find peace with God; by faith we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory; “ We that believe do enter into rest;" by faith we stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, while those that believe not are in bondage, and wrath abideth on them. The righteousness of Christ is to all and upon alí that believe: “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” The Spirit's grace is the firstfruits of glory, and the Spirit himself is the earnest of it; and we receive the promise of the Spirit through faith; and by the eye of faith we obtain the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Christ is therefore the only gate, as I have shewn
before in this little work; and it is by the faith of him that we come to enjoy the firstfruits, pledges, earnests, and foretastes, of all these heavenly joys, pleasures, and dainties. And this I have shewn at large.
“I will make thy gates carbuncles.” Christ crucified is the door of hope; hope enters by him, and centres in God. He is the door of faith to the Gentiles; the Gentiles find access to God's favour by the faith of him. He is the door of mercy; the sure mercies of David are in him. Ile is the door of the sheep; we cannot enter into his fold, nor feed in green pastures, but by faith in him. He is the gate of life, by which we pass from the shadow of death, and from the gates of death. He is the gate of righteousness, by which we enter into a state of justification; and he is the gate of truth, by which we enter into liberty, and find freedom of access to God. He is the strait gate, which is attended with so much opposition from men and devils at the entrance; he is the vail through which we pass into the holy of holies. In short, he is the house of God, and the gate of heaven, Gen. xxviii. 17; I say, he is the house that God has provided for us: “Be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me;" and he is the gate that leads to glory; for we have boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, Heb. x. 19. But I must come to the last clause of my text, “I will make thy gates carbuncles,"
“ And all tlıy borders of pleasant stones.” The word, border, sometimes signifies the boundary of a country, as appears from what follows:'“ Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships: and his border shall be unto Zidon.” Again: But Sihon would not suffer Israel to pass through his border, Num. xxi. 23. All that is meant by these passages is the skirts, extremities, or boundaries, of a country. But sometimes it signifies the limits, suburbs, or liberties, of a city: “But if the slayer shall at any time come without the border of the city of his refuge, whither he was fled; and the revenger of blood find him without the borders of the city of his refuge, and the revenger of blood kill the slayer; he shall not be guilty of blood.” Sometimes border signifies no more than the bounds of a man's landed property: “ And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah.” Again: “ Thou shalt set bounds unto the people round about, saying, Take heed to yourselves that ye go not up into the mount, or touch the border of it; whosoever toucheth the mount shall surely be put to death.” By all these places it appears that the border is the boundary of any sacred spot, inheritance, or country, and of the liberties of a city. But, then, what is Zion's border? All her borders are to be made of pleasant stones. We shall find a little light upon this subject in Ezekiel. “Moreover, when