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* Three gates
of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.” If so, a dead sinner cannot enter there, nor live in the presence of God; for in his favour is life, and in his presence fulness of joy, Psalm xxx. 5; which shews that they must be quickened by the Holy Ghost, and find favour with God, that enter these gates. And if these twelve patriarchs whose names the twelve tribes bore, being written on these gates, are twelve of the elders of this city, as I really believe they are, they do represent the church of God in her twelve different states and conditions, signified by the gospel sense of their names; and they appear to be elders by their names at the gates of this city. northward; one gate of Reuben, one gate of Judah, one gate of Levi; on the east side, one gate of Joseph, one gate of Benjamin, one gate of Dan; on the south side, one gate of Simeon, one gate of Issachar, one gate of Zebulun; on the west side, one gate of Gad, one gate of Asher, one gate of Naphtali,” Ezek. xlviii. 31–34.
I come now to the signification of these names, by which these twelve patriarchs represent the whole Israel or church of God.
First, Reuben, by his name, represents the family of God as children of light. - The children of this world are wiser in their generation than the children of light.” Reuben represents, by name, the fraternity of God as children of light. “ And when the Lord saw that Leah was hated, he opened her womb; and she bare a son, and
called his name Reuben; for she said, Surely tlie Lord hath looked upon my
upon my affliction.” Secondly, Judah represents the church of God as God's own workmanship, “ created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” " This people have I formed for myself, they shall shew forth my praise.” Judah signifies praise God. “ And she conceived again, and bare a son; and she said, Now will I praise the Lord; therefore she called his name Judah,” Gen. xxix. 35.
Levi, by name, represents the church of God in the character of the Lamb's wife, who is made one with Christ; for they that are joined to the Lord are of one spirit, 1 Cor. vi. 17. We are of the Saviour's flesh and of his bones.
" This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and his church,” Eph. v. 32. Levi signifies joined, united, or in union.
“ And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, Now this time will my husband be joined to me: therefore was his name called Levi.”
Joseph was a type of the church, as a fruitful mother, or an increasing kingdom. His name signifies addition, or increase; as the kingdom of Christ must increase. " And she conceived and bare a son; and said, God hath taken away my reproach: and she called his name Joseph; and said, The Lord shall add to me another son,” Gen. xxx. 23, 24. Zion shall be prolific. Shall I bring to the birth, and not give strength to bring
forth? Before she travailed, she was delivered of a man-child. Shall a nation be born at once? As soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children,” Isaiah lxvi. 7, 8. Nor shall she ever be barren. God shall add to her many sons, and daughters too. She shall have five wise virgins marriageable, that shall be taken into the marriage chamber, when the Bridegroom cometh to judgment.
Benjamin, by his name, represents the safety of the church in the hand of God the Father, and God the Son; out of which hands Christ says they shall never be plucked.
“ Neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of
my Father's hand. I and my Father are one." They are right-hand sons; and at the right hand of the Judge they shall appear at the great day, when the goats shall stand on the left. Benjamin signifies the son of the right hand. And he is called the beloved of the Lord, who shall dwell in safety by him ; “the Lord shall cover him all the day long; and he shall dwell between his shoulders,” 'Deut. xxxiii. 12. “ And Rachel travailed, and she had hard labour. And it came to pass, as her soul was in departing (for she died), that she called his name Ben-oni [the son of my sorrow], but his father called him Benjamin” (the son of my right hand], Gen. xxxv. 16—18.
Dan, by his name, represents the church of God in a justified state, whose judgment is al
ready past; and they are a righteous nation, who have taken their trial, been judged at the bar of the law, brought in guilty by it, condemned and silenced, and justified by an act of
which passed upon them, through faith in Christ Jesus; and they are justified from all things from which they never could be justified by the law of Moses. Dan signifies judgment, and may représent the church of Christ upon the seat of judgment with the Judge, seeing they have been his witnesses in the world, and will be the same at the great day.
“ And Rachel said, God hath judged me, and hath also heard my voice, and hath given me a son: therefore she called his name Dan.”
Simeon, by name, represents the church of God as true Israelites, who are prevalent with God in prayer, whose prayers
God hears; “ For the of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayers.” And they are an obedient people to the Saviour's voice, whom they hear and obey. My sheep hear my voice, and follow me.” Simeon signifies that hears, obeys, or is heard. “ And she conceived again, and base a son; and said, Because the Lord hath heard that Į was hated, he hath therefore given me this son also: and she called his name Simeon.”
Issachar, by his name, represents the church of God as the Saviour's hire or reward. He had the elect for redeeming them.
" Thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and I lay down my life for the sheep." They are the reward of the
Saviour's labour, as the spangled sheep was the hire of Jacob, as well as his wife. " And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a wife; and for a wife he kept sheep,” Hos. xii. 12. And so did our blessed Saviour. He assumed our nature, was among us as him that served, paid the debts of his spouse, quickened her dead soul, and espoused her to hiinself, as the purchase of his blood, and the reward of his labour. Jacob's time seemed but a day for the love he had for Rachel, who was the object of his reward; for a wife he kept sheep. And for the joy that was set before Christ, he endured the cross, and despised the shame, Heb. xii. 2; which joy consisterl in glorifying his Father, in his being glorified in his human nature, and in the marriage of his wife, and eternal glorification of her. Issachar signifies hire or reward. “ And God hearkened unto Leah, and she conceived, and bare Jacob the fifth son. And Leah said, God hath given me mine hire, because I have given my maiden to mine husband : and she called his name Issachar.'
Zebulun, by name, represents the church of God as residing in the cleft of the rock Christ, Song ii. 14; of whom Zion says, “Lord, thou hast been our dwelling-place in all generations;" in whom they live, move, and have their being, and in whom they are commanded to stand fast. “ Stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.” Zebulun signifies dwelling. “ And Leah said, God hath endowed me with a good dowry: now will my