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this makes the Saviour the more precious when he appears; and, being a friend in need, he is much prized; and he that does the whole work shall receive the whole glory. “O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted!” No comforters among men, no comfort from the
promises, no comfort from the Spirit, no comfort of hope, no comfort of love, no comfort in the world, no comfort in life, no comfort in thyself, no omfort from God.
“Behold I will lay thy stones with fair colours.” I will turn thee from a vessel on the waves into a building of mercy.
" I have laid in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation;" and upon that rock shalt thou be built, and neither sin nor death shall ever prevail against either thee or that. And în doing this, “ Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding-place,” Isaiah xxviii. 17. “ Judgment also will I lay to the line;" I will exact full satisfaction of thy Surety for every breach of the line of precept: and righteousness will I lay to the plummet; I will exact a perfect obedience in uprightness; so that Zion shall be redeemed with judgment executed on her Surety, and her converts with righteousness perfected by her covenant Head. And you that lie unpolished in the quarry of fallen nature shall come to this foundation that I have laid in Zion, and as lively stones I will build you up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. • Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Zion a chief corner-stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” “I will lay thy stones with fair colours,” and make thee and thy daughters as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace, Psalm cxliv. 12. God laid the foundation, and God takes from the quarry of the impenitent race of mankind whom he will, and brings them to Christ, when he hath polished them for his purpose, and lays them upon the foundation, making them one in him, and one among themselves, and builds them up a spiritual house, a palace for the King of kings and Lord of iords; hence called a temple, an habitation of God through the Spirit. “I will lay thy stones with fair colours;" it shall be a building of every precious stone that adorns the diadem of princes; as it is written, “The Lord of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling-stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.” Here we see the materials of this building, and what sort of stones they are; not Portland, nor marble, but the stones that adorn a crown of
state, or jewels; as it is written, “Then they that feared the Lord spake often one to another; and the Lord hearkened, and heard it: and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the Lord, and that thought upon his
And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels ; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that seryeth him,” Mal. iii. 16, 17. Here ai'3 the stones of which the church is composed; an. God will lay them with fair colours, that they may answer to the foundation, which is of sap, phires. Now there are various colours in these precious stones; and we see that the breastplate of the high priest, and the materials of the foun: dation of the New Jerusalem, the Lamb's wife, were mostly the same sort of stones. " O tliou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted! Behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours,"
Now these precious stones require a deal of cutting and polishing before the beauty and lustre of them appear, which is the principal cause of their being so violently tossed in the above tem, pest. And as the foundations of the heavenly Jerusalem were the same as were set in the breastplate of judgment, and in which stones were all the names of the twelve tribes engraved, this serves to show us that the twelve brilliant stones, at the foundation of the heavenly Jerusalem, should send their lustre, and shine with all their glory, throughout that mysterious fabric called the bride, the Lamb's wife. God says, in my text, that he will lay Gentile Zion's stones with fair colours. And here I must be beholden to the students of nature for some of the colours of these stones. And before I begin I will observe this, that among all the variety of colours that are found among these stones there is not one that is black: “I am black, but comely," Song i. 5. Black was her natural complexion; her comeliness is borrowed. Nor is any of their colours that of pale, which is a sign of sickness, guilt, and death: “And I looked, and, behold, a pale horse; and he that sat on him was death.” Pale is the colour of a soul sick, and sick of sin; which colour is to be changed at the appearance of grace:
grace: “ Therefore thus saith the Lord, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale. But when he seeth his children, the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name,' Isaiah xxix. 22, 23. By all which it appears that God's presence and God's work make a change in Jacob's pale countenance. Nor do I find any of the rouge which such as Jezebel use, who painted her face and looked out of the palace window to charm Jehu, who ordered her to be hurled from the window for the horses to trample on, and the dogs to eat. The colours of these stones seem to set forth the things which are common and natural. “I will lay thy stones with fair colours.”
The diamond is the richest, hardest, and most valuable, of all the stones in nature; its natural colouris white. This colour is applied to the church: “Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” “ And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge and to make them white.” And when these are purged and separated from the wicked, the diamond itself doth not exceed them: “When the Almighty scattered kings in it, it was white as snow in Salmon," Psalm lxviii. 14.
Jacinth is a purple colour, worn by sovereign princes; And purple raiment was on the kings of Midian, Judges viii. 26. This is the royal colour; and he hath made us kings and priests unto God, and we shall reign for ever and ever.
Hence our Lord, who compares the members of his church, which cleave unto him who is the head of it, to hair of this colour: “ Thine head upon thee is like Carmel, and the hair of thine head like purple. The king is held in the galleries,” Song vii. 5. “I will lay thy stones with fair colours."
Topaz, a beautiful yellow. And this gold colour is the colour of faith: “I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.” This is the colour of faith, or faithfulness: “I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich.” He was girt about the paps with a golden girdle, Rev. i. 13. Truth was his girdle as a prophet; faithfulness his girdle as a priest; and righteousness his girdle as a king: “ And righteousness