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borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem." He is expressly called their Friend, Husband, and a Brother born for adversity. When all these tender relations meet in one person, his affection must be strong and inconceivable. Christ speaks with remarkable complacency about the relation between him and his people; and dwells upon it with peculiar delight. Thus in Song viii. 12, he says, "My vineyard which is mine is before me." He never says in all the Scripture, my world, to express his delight in it; but he always speaks about his people in the language of appropriation, and says, My treasure, my vineyard, my people, my sheep, and my jewels.
6. Jewels shine, and have a peculiar brightness and lustre. They differ in beauty and lustre from the common pebble. This is eminently true of Christ's jewels, to whom it is said, Isaiah Ix. 1, 2, "Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee," and whom Christ addresses, Matth. v. 16, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven;" and they are called in express terms "The light of the world." Believers have an external polish through the robe of righteousness, by which they are guiltless in the eye of justice and the law. This is the bright robe of salva
tion, the glorious wedding garment which makes them shine conspicuously at the marriage supper of the King's son. In allusion to the proverb, this robe at once defends from all the storms of Divine wrath, clears all their debt, and is security against every future claim. Though originally lying in the dunghill, it entitles them to a seat with the princes of God's people. It is a robe of finer contexture, brighter colour, and superior excellence, than that which covers the angels. It is perfect in its nature, subject to no pollution or decay, infinitely adapted to the person who wears it, and makes him the admiration of every beholder. Besides, Christ's jewels are "all glorious within, they are brought unto the king in raiment of needle-work." This is the inward holiness of the saints which pervades their hearts and lives. Cultivating it, they aim at walking worthy of their vocation, and having their conversation in heaven. They walk in the Spirit, and as Christ walked. It is true, that while in this world they have some spots; but they shine compared with the lumber of the world, and with what they were themselves before the Lord began to polish them. It is their happiness that they are sensible of these spots; and they make daily application to the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness. One spot is washed away after another, till at last "they are found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless," or, in the language of Jude, "presented faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy," and "shine as stars in their Father's kingdom." Then the lustre and brightness of believers will exceed the
sun in his meridian glory! and Christ will even so polish their bodies as to make them shine," for that which is sown in dishonour will be raised in glory”—
and the Saviour shall change their vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body." What a sight will the believer then be! Comparing himself with what he was in the quarry of nature, he will eternally cry out, O to grace how great a debtor! But, even in this world, the lustre of Christ's jewels is remarkable, and, as it were, constrains the wonder of the Redeemer himself, who is represented in Song vi. 10, crying out, "Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners!" If the men of the world were not blind to true worth, and enemies to holiness, they would also admire the lustre of the saints. As matters stand, it often carries a ray of conviction into their hearts, and if it has no greater influence, it makes them desire to die the death of the righteous.
May not the believer, when he thus shines, be allowed to indulge a self-applauding thought? Boasting is excluded by the law of faith. That question, "Who maketh thee to differ, and what hast thou that thou didst not receive?" at once produces gratitude and humility. Besides, they are clothed with humility, which constitutes a distinguishing part of their lustre. It is owing to their being polished by Christ that they shine; and they are comely only through his comeliness put upon them.
7. Jewels are rare. They are not to be found in every house. They are costly, and few possess
them; and in general are only in the cabinets of the great. A real Christian is a rarity indeed! The jewels in our text are truly few, and only to be found in Christ's cabinet. What a small part of the world are Christians in name, and how few of these are Christians indeed! About being in Christ we may adopt the apostle's words, and say, "If any man be in Christ," which evidently implies that it is a rare thing; but, blessed be the Lord, it is a reality, and we hope some here can say with the same apostle, “I knew a man in Christ." When the Lord Jesus tabernacled in the flesh, he went about and proclaimed the news of salvation to his own, and no man received his testimony. This made him when he met with Nathanael cry out, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no guile!" The Scripture is most explicit about the purity of believers. In the days of Isaiah and Jeremiah they were so few as to be men wondered at. Christ, who knew every heart, and needed none to testify what was in man, expressly spake of them on many occasions as few in number. These are his words, (Matt. vii. 13, 14.) "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." And often he said, Many are called, but few chosen." The general rule about real Christians is, there is one out of a large city, and two from a numerous tribe or family. Sad experience proves the truth of Scripture asser
tion, that though Sion's assemblies be crowded, only this and that man is born in her.
While there is a similarity between jewels and the saints about being few in number, there is an obvious difference about the place where they are generally to be found. While jewels are in great houses, the believer commonly occupies the mean cottage. Christ was reckoned not enough qualified to be a guest at the tables of chief priests and rulers; and seldom was invited; he was entertained in general by the poor, and lodged with the fishermen of Galilee. His personal reception in Judea was an emblem of what his Gospel and grace would meet with ever after: thus justly says the apostle, 1 Cor. i. 26-29, "For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are."
8. Jewels and gems are set in crowns. The best polished are prepared with the utmost care, that they may sparkle in the king's crown on his coronation day. In the language of metaphor, Christ's crown is entirely made of gems and jewels. Every believer, when polished by the Redeemer, with the utmost cordiality and cheerfulness presents and dedicates himself, soul and body, to him, to be a shining jewel