The Church of Jesus Christ
THE CHURCH COMPARED TO A CANDLESTICK
" The golden Candlesticks are the seven Churches." Rev. i. 20
MR. Brighton, and others, understand this metaphor of golden Candlesticks, is taken from the Candlesticks that were in the tabernacle erected by Moses ; and the resemblance between these holds good in two or three particulars, which take as follow.
I. So the Church holdeth out the light of God's word to all that dwell therein, in which respect the apostle calleth the Church the pillar of truth, 1 Tim. iii. 15, because she holds out the truth to be seen, saith Weemse,* the expression being taken from the custom of many nations, who are used to write their laws in tables, and so to hang them upon pillars of stone, that the people whom
it concerned to know them, might see and read them ; as amongst us, proclamations are nailed to posts in market towns.+
The Church holds out her light three ways.
1. By her doctrine; she having divers approved ministers belonging to her, that she calleth forth to preach and publish the word of truth. Hence the law is said to " go forth to Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem."
2. By her holy discipline.
3. By her godly example and conversation: " Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven," Matt. v. 16. Walk as the children of the light," Eph. v. 8. The Church ought to meet publicly, to make a public profession.
II. So the Church is very precious in God's sight: "Ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me, above
Exercit., Divin, Exer. 9. +Dr. White, Way to the True Church, p. 80. Curs. Theol, Part. 2. Col. 324.
all peopIe," Exod.xix.5,6, Mal.iii.l7. Hence they are called his jewels. This Candlestick only belongs to the prince of heaven and Earth; they are Christ's Churches.
III. The Church of God is not only of use to hold out the light of God's word; but it is also richly adorned with several choice and heavenly graces, that make it, and every member thereof, who truly fears God, amiable in Christ's sight, 1 Pet. iii. 3, 4.
IV. So when a Church is removed out of its place, the light of God's Word is many times removed from a nation or people likewise; which severe judgment hath befallen the people of Asia long ago, by God's taking away or removing those seven famous golden Candlesticks, or Churches, that once were there.
Let the saints and people of God take heed how they walk before him: it behoves them to strive to recover themselves from whence they are fallen, lest he remove their Candlestick out of its place.
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