Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church

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Also, she, his beloved, saith of him, 'His countenance is as Lebanon, excellent as the cedars' Cant 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 ; 2 Kings ; Acts 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.

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 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.

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!

Heb , ,23, 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 -- 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 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. 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.

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 ; 1 Chron , ; 2 Chron 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 , , 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. 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. He shall build an house for my name, and he shall be my son, and I will be his father' 1 Chron ,10; Psa 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 ,13; Heb ,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 ; Micah 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 But it was built by rules prescribed by, or in a written word, and as so delivered to him by his father David.

For, saith he, 'I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me. He gave me a commandment what I should speak. 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. No, in no wise' Rom Nay, I think, if any be best, it is they which are left behind.

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. 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 ; 1 Kings ; 1 Chron 28, 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 ; Rom 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 ; Rom ; Col 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. 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 , ,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 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 To be a ploughman here is to be a preacher; and to be a vine-dresser here is to be a preacher Luke ; 1 Cor ,27; Matt ,8, 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 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 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. 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 ; Eph ,21, ; Col 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 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.

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 ; Eph ,21; Heb Wherefore these stones were stones of the biggest size, stones of eight cubits, and stones of ten cubits 1 Kings 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 , 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 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 ; John ; 1 Cor , 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.

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 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 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.

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 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 ; 2 Cor ; Heb 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 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 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 ; 2 Thess , ; Heb Which way the face or front of the Temple stood.

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 , 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 ; Phil ; Psa 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.

Hence he is said, to idolaters, to be a snare and trap, but to the godly a glory Isa , 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 It was therefore, as I said, set with its face towards the east, to prevent false worship, and detect idolaters.

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 ; Job ; Eze , ; Psa ; Eze 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 ; Eze ; Matt 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.

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. 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 , 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 ; 2 Cor 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 ; 1 Cor ; 2 Cor 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.

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 , ; 1 Kings 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 ; Eze 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 ; John 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.

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.

Of the great brazen altar that stood in the inner court of the Temple.

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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 , 29; 2 Chronicles ; 2 Kings ; Joel 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 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 Peter ; Heb 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.

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. Now the body of Christ was the gift; for so he saith, I give my flesh for the life of the world John 6.

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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 , ; Heb ; Col 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 ,2.

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.

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. 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.

This is looking to Jesus; this is coming to God by him, of whom this altar and the sacrifice thereon was a type. 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.

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.

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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 ; 2 Chron 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 So then, these two pillars were types of these two order of the apostles in this their divers service for God.

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 , 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.

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 Wherefore Paul says of himself, 'I am set for the defence of the gospel,' 'that the truth thereof might continue with you' Phil ; Gal 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 ; 2 Chron 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 ; 1 Cor ; Gal ; 1 John ; 3 John 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?

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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. 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 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 Kings ,42; 2 Chron ; Deut ; Rom 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. The world is compared to a sea, men to fishes, and the gospel to a net Eze ; Matt 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. 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 ; Cant , , , , 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 ; Acts Grace and glory, grace and glory!

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 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. Ancient Wall Painting in Bedford Church. There stands the messenger of truth : there stands The legate of the skies!

By him the violated law speaks out Its thunders ; and by him, in strains as sweet As angels use, the Gospel whispers peace. Page 20 - Yes, that blessed name imparts Comfort to those, who in the grave have sown The seed, that they had garnered in their hearts, Their bread of life, alas! Into its furrows shall we all be cast, In the sure faith, that we shall rise again At the great harvest, when the Page - The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box together, to beautify the place of my sanctuary; and I will make the place of my feet glorious.

Page - Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor. Page - Unskilful he to fawn, or seek for power, By doctrines fashion'd to the varying hour ; Far other aims his heart had learn'd to prize, More bent to raise the wretched than to rise. Over the last thousand plus years, the temple was destroyed by warfare, fire, and even an earthquake.

Thus it has had to be rebuilt many times, and most of its surviving buildings date to the seventeenth-nineteenth centuries. Worshipers enter through the main gate. The side buildings are of secondary importance. They include halls to patron saints, halls to remember loved ones and temple offices. The next layer out is made up of buildings used by monks and nuns rather than lay people. There are dormitories, study halls, and dining halls for those who live in the temple.

The main gate is also called the mountain gate. Looking inside we see an incense burner set before the first central building and a pair of lions guarding the door, which are common to many kinds of buildings in China, not just Buddhist temples. Passing through the gate we glance to our right and left and see the drum and bell towers respectively. As the name implies, the drum tower houses a large drum and the bell tower, a bell. The central buildings are ones of primary importance. They house the shrines to Buddhas, bodhisattvas, and other deities as well as scriptures and holy relics.

The characters over the door in the he first central building tell us it is the hall of the Divine Kings, the guardians of this temple. These temple buildings are good examples of traditional Chinese architecture. Even today there are attempts to incorporate elements of traditional Chinese architecture into new temple buildings. The main altar in the Main Hall is on the left side as you enter. A gilded Buddha statue almost four meters tall stands in the center, flanked by two other figures. In front of them are a ceremonial incense burner, candles, a vase of flowers, and plates with offerings of fruit.

Further back in the temple compound we find the building that houses the Buddhist scriptures. Buddhist women's association meet for worship. Ceremonies at tenmples are held for things like the enshrinement of an image of a wealthy patron. Joss sticks incense sticks have traditionally been an important component of Taoist religious practice. Worshippers believe the smoke helps waft prayers towards their deities. Today the sticks are also fixtures of Confucian and Buddhist worship. Sometimes they are even part of Christian rituals. Worshippers normally light three joss sticks in the courtyard of the house of worship, and place them in sand-filled containers or in specially prepared racks.

Joss sticks and incense burners are found in family altars, spirit houses, and temple courtyards and before the figures of Buddha. Not all joss sticks are fragrant as some are primarily for smoke and have only the faintest odor. However, the more favored joss sticks are the ones with incense which serves both as a means of veneration and as a practical deodorizer. Few homes are without a joss stick to be utilized for some reason.

Traditionally, joss sticks have been handmade. Basically the joss stick is made with a thin bamboo stick, which is painted red, Part of the stick is rolled in a putty-like substance-the exact formulae are guarded by their owners. Joss sticks are very reasonably priced, and it is good for the common people that this is so, for few acts of devotion could be complete without the lighting of joss sticks.

These may be placed in sand-filled containers either in the temple courtyard or in racks located in front or on top of an altar. Sometimes after burning joss sticks are placed in front of a Buddha statue, the ascending smoke from the burning joss stick is thought by some to have beneficial aid in pleasing that power to whom worship is made, or prayers offered. Japanese style. There are 70, Buddhist temples in Japan. They are places of worship not shrines sacred places for praying. Shrines are usually associated with Shintoism. A temple generally contains an image of Buddha and has a place where Buddhists practice devotional activities.

Buddhist temples are generally clusters of buildings, whose number and size depends on the size of the temple. The architecture of Buddhist temples is influenced by the architecture of Korea and China, the two countries that introduced Buddhism to Japan. Early Japanese Buddhist temples consisted of pagodas, which were modeled after Chinese-style pagodas, which in turn were modeled after Indian stupas. Over time these pagodas became one building in a large temple complex with many buildings.

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Buddhist temples built in the 7th century featured vermillion-painted columns and eaves supported and decorated with mythical beasts sculpted in "dry-lacquer" layers of hemp cloth glued together and covered with lacquer or guilt bronze. Unfortunately no original examples of this style of architecture remains. The earliest Buddhist paintings had a strong Indian influence. Large Kyoto temples, such as Chionin temple the head temple of Jodoshu Buddhism?

The priests who work at Chionin receive a salary from the temple. The majority of the salaried priests have their own small temples elsewhere, but the support of their danka alone is not enough. They use their Chionin salaries to subsidize their own small temples, much like Sakakibara used his salary from the university to sustain his temple. There are three main types of Buddhist Temples: 1 Japanese style wayo , 2 Great Buddha style daibutsuyo , and 3 Chinese style karayo.

These in turn vary according to the Buddhist school and the historical period in which they built. The main hall kondo or hondo is usually found at the center of the temple grounds. Inside are images of the Buddha, other Buddhist images, an altar or altars with various objects and space for monks and worshipers. The main hall is sometimes connected to a lecture hall. This is because temples have long been regarded as being associated with death. Other buildings include a lecture hall kodo , where monks gather to study and chant sutras; the sutra depository kyozo , a place where Buddhist scripture are kept, and often shaped like a log cabin on stilts; living, sleeping, and eating areas for monks; and offices.

Some have a pagoda. Many temples have small shops that sell religious items. Japanese style pagodas have multiple stories, each with a graceful, tiled Chinese-style roof, and a top roof capped by a spire. The central images in the main hall is often surrounded by burning incense sticks and offerings of fruit and flowers.

Inside the temple there is one set of wooden plaques with the names of large contributors and another set the afterlife names of deceased people. In the old days the afterlife names were only given to Buddhist priests but over time they were given to lay people who paid enough money and now are almost used as ranking system in the after life.

Chion-in Temple in Kyoto contains the largest bell in Japan a massive ton bronze made in Ringing the massive bell requires 17 monks, 16 of them to raise the giant wooden hammer by pulling it away from the bell with hanging ropes, while the 17th monk rides the hammer, ready to push off with his legs in the split second before impact. The chime produced by the bell lasts for 20 minutes.

When Albert Einstein visited Chion-in in he investigated the bell and said that the assertion that the bell was inaudible directly underneath it when it was struck was based on sound physics. Many temples use concrete that has been expertly camouflaged to look like wood. Near many Buddhist temples are stone Jizo figures with red bibs and a staff in one hand and a jewel in the other.

They honor the souls of children who have died or been aborted. See Above. The most common myoo, Fudo Myoo, is usually a menacing-looking holding an upright sword. Bosatsu are distinguishable from nyorai by a more human like appearance and a top knot of hair or a crowed headpiece, sometimes with smaller figures in the crown. One of the most common bodhisattvas found in Japanese temples is Jizo, a bodhisattva who helps children and travelers.

Kannon Avalokitesvara appears in 33 different manifestations, including the Goddess of Mercy, is also very popular, especially with pregnant mothers. Nyorai images are recognizable by their simple robes, lump on the head symbolizing wisdom and "snail shell" curls of hair. Common images found in temples include 1 Shaka the Historical Buddha , recognizable by one hand raised in a praying gesture; 2 Yakushi the Healing Buddha , with one hand raised in the praying gesture and the other holding a vial of medicine; 3 Amita Buddha of the Western Paradise , sitting down with the knuckles together in a meditative position; 4 Dainichi the Cosmic Buddha , usually portrayed with in princely clothes, with one hand clasped around a raised a finger on the other hand a sexual gesture indicating the unity of being; and Maitreya Buddha of the Future.

Temples are places where people pray, meditate participate in religious ceremonies, make offerings, light incense and candles, offer food to monks, meditate alone or in groups, chant mantras, listen to monks chant mantras, attend lectures or discussions led by respected teachers. Individual may also seek counseling from monks on nuns on personal matters. Buddhists are not required to visit temples.

One needs to take one's shoes off only if entering a temple. Hats should also be removed. Do not clap at Buddhist temples as you would at a Shinto shrine.

2. What did God expect His people to learn from the sanctuary?

The great bell at Chion Temple in Kyoto. Praying is done by prostrating oneself or bowing with hands clasped from a standing or seated position in front of an image of Buddha. Prayers are usually made after tossing a coin into the saisen-bako offering box. Offerings left at shrines include coins, apples, business cards,. Many Japanese visiting temples and shrines attach omiyuki folded paper fortunes to trees in the belief it will bring them good fortune.

Borobudur, in Central Java, Indonesia, is the biggest Buddhist monument in the world. It was built during over a half century by the Sailendra Dynasty after Mahayana Buddhism was introduced from the Srivijaya Kingdom of South Sumatra in the early half of the 8th century AD. The stepped pyramid shape without an inner space as found at Borobudur is found in neither India nor Sri Lanka.

And there are no stupas with that similar shape in Southeast Asia prior to Borobudur. Similar shaped monuments are found only in South Sumatra etc.

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This type of monument, originating from the mountain religions of Megalithic culture that predated the introduction of Buddhism continued through the Historical Age. Borobudur can be seen as a massive monument of this origin, decorated in Buddhism style. Borobudur, ranks with Pagan in Myanmar and Angkor Wat in Cambodia as one of the great archeological sites of Asia, if not the in world. The eminent Dutch archaeologist A. Bernet Kempers called it "a Buddhist mystery in stone.

An actual meeting of Mankind and the Holy. A shining tower of the law. It is about kilometers from Semarang. Borobudur is a square meters feet on each side and 32 meters feet high. Constructed of unmortared grey andosite and volcanic basalt stone and surrounded by lush green fields of the Kedu Plain and tourist infrastructure, it is about the size of a stadium, and took about 80 years to build. Four large volcanos, including the often-smoking Mount Merapi, and numerous hills are visible in the distance. The monument is decorated with 2, relief panels and Buddha statues.

Borobudur in Java. Borobudur is a step pyramid, built around a natural hill, comprised of a broad platforms topped by five walled rectangular terraces, and they in turn are topped by three round terraces. Each terraces is outlined with ornaments and statues and the walls are decorated with bas reliefs. More than two million blocks of volcanic stone were carved during its construction.

Pilgrims have traditionally walked around the monument in a clockwise manner moving up each of the five levels, and in process covering five kilometers. Unlike most temples, Borobudur did not have actual spaces for worship. Instead it has an extensive system of corridors and stairways, which are thought to have been a place for Buddhist ceremonies. The entire structure is formed in the shape of a giant twirling staircase, a style of architecture from prehistoric Indonesia.

Borobudur is a three-dimensional model of the Mahayana Buddhist universe. The climb to the top of the temple is intended to illustrate the path an individual must take to reach enlightenment. At the main entrance on the east side, visitors can not even see the top. Scholars believed this was intensional. At the top was the ideal of Buddhist perfection, the World of Formlessness. The architecture and stonework of this temple has no equal. And it was built without using any kind of cement or mortar!

Borobudur resembles a giant stupa, but seen from above it forms a mandala. The great stupa at the top of the temple sits 40 meters above the ground. This main dome is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. Five closed square galleries, three open circular inner terraces, and a concentric scheme express the universe geometrically.

At the center of the top of the temple is a beautifully shaped stupa which is surrounded by three circles of smaller stupas that have the same shape. There are 72 of these, each with a Buddha statue inside. Touching them is supposed to bring good luck. Unfortunately many had their heads lopped off by 19th century explorers looking for souvenirs. The 72 small latticed stupas look like perforated stone bells. The temple is decorated with stone carvings in bas-relief representing images from the life of Buddha— the largest and most complete ensemble of Buddhist reliefs in the world.

Borobudur is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. As visitors begin their journey at the base of the temple, they make their way to the top of the monument through the three levels of Budhist cosmology, Kamadhatu the world of desire , Rupadhatu the world of forms and Arupadhatu the world of formlessness. As visitors walk to the top the monument guides the pilgrims past 1, narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades.

Borobudur was built by the Sailendra Dynasty kings in the 8th and 9th centuries, around that time that Charlemagne ruled Europe. When it was completed an epic poet from Ceylon wrote: "Thus are the Buddha incomprehensible, and incomprehensible is the nature of the Buddhas, and incomprehensible is the reward of those who have faith in the incomprehensible.

This colossal temple was built between AD and years before Cambodia's Angkor Wat, years before work had begun on the great European cathedrals. Little is known about its early history except that a huge army of workers worked in the tropical heat to shift and carve the 60, square meters of stone. Why it was built remains a mystery. There are no written records on the subject.

Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church
Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church

Related Stones of the Temple: Lessons from the Fabric and Furniture of the Church

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