Summary: This sermon speaks of God’s Grace that is everlasting and will never fail.
And he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shouting, crying,Grace,
THE MERCY OF GOD IS that attribute which we, the fallen, sinful race of Adam,
stand in greatest need of, and God has been pleased, according to our needs, more
gloriously to manifest this attribute than any other. The wonders of divine grace are the
greatest of all wonders. The wonders of divine power and wisdom in the making [of] this
great world are marvelous; other wonders of his justice in punishing sin are wonderful;
many wonderful things have happened since the creation of the world, but none like the
wonders of grace. "Grace, grace!" is the sound that the gospel rings with, "Grace, grace!"
will be that shout which will ring in heaven forever; and perhaps what the angels sung at
the birth of Christ, of God’s good will towards men, is the highest theme that ever they
In order to understand the words of our text, we are to take notice that the scope and
design of the chapter is to comfort and encourage the children of Israel, returned out of
their Babylonish captivity, in the building of Jerusalem and the temple: who it seems
were very much disheartened by reason of the opposition they met with in the work, and
the want of [the] external glory of the former temple before the captivity, so that the
priests and the Levites, and the chief of the fathers, wept aloud as the rest shouted at the
sight, as you may see in Ezra 3:12, "But many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the
fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this
house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, and many shouted aloud for
joy." You may see a full account of their great oppositions and discouragement’s in the
fourth and fifth chapters.
The prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, were sent on this occasion to comfort them
under those discouragement’s. by foretelling the glories of the gospel should be displayed
in this latter house, which should render the glories of it far beyond the glories of the
former, notwithstanding it was so far exceeded in what is external. In Hag. 2:39,
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it
now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O
Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and
be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I ; am with you, saith
the Lord of hosts: according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of
Egypt, so my spirit .; remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the Lord of hosts;
Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, i and the earth, and the sea, and
the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I
will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is
mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the
former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
See also, in the third chapter of this book, at the eighth verse, "Hear now, O Joshua
the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men wondered at;
for behold, I will bring forth my servant, the Branch." And the same subject is continued
in [his chapter, even the glorious grace of the gospel, which was to be manifested by
Christ in this temple, particularly in our text, "and they shall bring forth the headstone
with shouting, crying, Grace, grace unto it." The headstone is that which entirely crowns
and finishes the whole work, signifying that the entire gospel dispensation was to be
finished in mere grace.
This stone was to [be] brought with repeated shouting or rejoicings at the grace of
God, signifying the admirableness and gloriousness of this grace.
The gospel dispensation is finished wholly and entirely in free and glorious grace:
there is glorious grace, shines in every part of the great work of redemption; the
foundation is laid in grace, the superstructure is reared in grace, and the whole is
finished in glorious grace.
If Adam had stood and persevered in obedience, he would have been made happy by
mere bounty [and] goodness; for God was not obliged to reward Adam for his perfect