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The Spiritual Vineyard

The Spiritual Vineyard

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Sep 25, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SPIRITUAL VIEYARDBY REV. JOH CLOWES, A. M.OF THELORD'S PLATIG,SERMO V.Matt. xxi. S3.Hear another parable : There loas a certain house-holder which planted a vineyard, and hedged itround about, and digged a zuine-press in it, andbuilt a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, andwent into a far country *^I the preceding discourse, I endeavoured to shewwhat we are here to understand by the term householder,and how this significative name is applied to the Lord, todenote his entire dominion and rale in his household, thechnrch.I shall now proceed to consider the next particularwhich presents itself in these words of the parable, viz.the planting, a vineyard, and point out the lesson of holy40 THE HOUSEHOLDER and edifying instruction, which the Lord intended hereiufor all his true disciples.
There is much mention made of vineyards^ of viaes^of grapes^ and of wine, in the s*acred Scriptures ; butp.erhaps few people consider, as they ought, that bythese things ore signified, and meant to be expressed,apiritual and heavenly things relating to the Lord andhis church.That vineyard hath such a spiritual signification, mustJ)e evident to every one who will read, with any degreeof serious attention, the 5th chapter of the prophet Isai-ah, where the prophet begins with saying, " ow will Ising to my zcell-bdoved a song of my beloved, touching hisvineyard. My well-beloved hath a vineyard in a veryfruitful hill.''^ And after describing several particularsconcerning this vineyard, and especially concerning itsunfruitfulnr-ss, he concludes his parable with these words:" The vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,and the men of Jiidah his pleasant plant ; and he lookedfor judgnicni, but behold oppression; for righteousness,but behold a cry.'''\From this passai^c, it must be very, plain to every in-lelligefit mind, that by vineyard is here signified and de-scribed the Lord's church, as to those spiritual and liv-ing principles whiclj constitute the church ; and there-fore, when this vineyard became unfruitful, or when thosespiritual principles were perverted and abused, it is said,*" Whnt is here rfnderpd di veri/ fmiffnl hill, is in tlie originalppS» iOC"p— wliicb is literally, /« " '-"r'l //.f son of oil. .^f Verse 7.PLATIG A VIEYArRD. 41^^ He looked for judgment, but behold oppressicii ; forrighteousness^ but beJwld a cry,''''*
Agreeable to this spirittKal sense and signification othe word vineyard^ it is written again in the same pro-phet, speaking of the pure and uncorxupted church, " hithat day answer ye her, A vineyard of pure wine, I Je-hovah do keep^ it, I will water it every moment :"t andagain, speaking of the church in its state of trial andtrouble, " In the vineyards there is' no singing nor rejoic-ing :^''\ and again, speaking of the church perverted anddesolated, " Jehovah rt'iY/ en^fef wto judgment with theelders, for ye have burned up the vineyard :"§ and again^in Jeremiah, " Many shepherds have destroyed my vine-yard ; they have made it a wilderness ;"|j and agreeableto the ^ame sense of the word, the Lord calls himself avine, sayingj " I am the true vine, and my Father is thebusbandman."*^From this spiritual sense and signification then of the"y;[ox<\ vineyard, as used in the sacred writings, it will ap-pear very manifest to every thinking person, what ismeant by planting a vineyard^ as ascribed to the house-holder in the words of my text. The householder, it hasbeen already shewn, denotes the Lord Jesus Christ as thesupreme head and ruler of his church ; and by his plant**ls3\sh V. 7,f Chap, xxvii. 2,/4.i Chap. xvi. 10.^Chap. iii. 14.i! Chap. iii. 10.^^ ** John XV. 1 .F.242 THE HOiySEHOLDEirmg a vineyard therefore nothing else can possibly" besignified or understood, but the implantation of spiritualliruthfrom him and his zvord in the chtvch, n^herebij spiri-

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