Christ - A Fountain

“For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” Jeremiah 2:13.
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness,” Zechariah 13:1.

Among the many things Christ is compared to in the holy scripture, to set forth his transcendent excellency, beauty, usefulness, and perfections, this of a Fountain is none of the least, it being a most profitable metaphor.

METAPHOR PARALLEL
A Fountain is the spring and head of a river; from thence waters issue and stream forth: it is the rise and beginning of springs and waters, Genesis 7:11. From God, as from a Fountain, that great and glorious river of the Spirit flows; “proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb,” Revelation 22:1. Hence Christ is compared to a Fountain, as well as the Father, Jeremiah 2:13: he is the spring and rise of all spiritual joy and consolation, the Head of the waters of life: “For with thee is the fountain of life,” Psalms 36:9.
A Fountain implies abundance of water: “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys,” Isaiah 41:18, that is, fulness or store of water; it denotes plenty. Christ hath abundance, yea, a fulness of grace and Spirit is in him, he received it not by measure, John 1:14, 16. “And gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all,” Ephesians 1:22-23. There is abundance, nay, a redundancy of all divine grace, peace, and refreshment, in the Lord Jesus, an ocean or sea of goodness.
A Fountain is very tenacious, a place fit, dense, hard, and well compact, to retain the water, leaving some certain passage, to let its water out in an orderly manner. As the Lord Jesus contains, so he retains the waters of life in himself. He is a spiritual Fountain, every way fit, and well compact, (in respect of that glorious union of the two natures in one Person,) to retain all heavenly fulness; and has ordered certain passages, as conduit-pipes, ordinances and promises, which through the help of the Spirit led out divine grace and comfort, in a gracious and orderly manner, to all his saints.
A Fountain, when the passage or vent is open, lets out its water freely. Christ is a Fountain opened, Zechariah 13:1. He hath made a passage or vent, by assuming man’s nature, and dying on the cross, to let out his grace and spiritual blessings to the sons of men. And with that natural freeness doth this Fountain run. He seems restless, always diffusing, imparting, and giving forth from himself, to all thirsty souls: “And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely,” Revelation 22:17.
Fountains always empty themselves into low places; they love to glide in the valleys of the earth: “He sendeth the springs into the valleys,” Psalms 104:10. Jesus Christ filleth the humble soul with goodness; he delights in the lowly heart. The lofty mountainous spirits, or dry heathy souls, retain not the water of life; they cannot receive the things of the Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:14. “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble,” James 4:6.
Fountains, by letting out their water into valleys, meadows, and low ground, make them very fruitful, when mountains, and high grounds abide barren and unprofitable. Jesus Christ, by letting forth his Spirit, and heavenly grace, into the humble and lowly heart, maketh it very fruitful in holiness and good works. The churches of Christ, like low meadows, near the Fountain, whose waters continually flow, are always green and flourishing, and know no drought; when the wicked, like hills and dry ground, are barren and unprofitable.
Fountain-water is usually common to all the poor, and he that hath no money may partake of it; none are forbidden to come to a Fountain. The waters of life, which flow from Jesus Christ, the divine Fountain, are common to all. None are forbidden to come to Christ. The poor, and “he that hath no money,” (no worth or righteousness in him) is invited to come to these waters, Isaiah 55:1.
Fountains yield pure and unmixed water. Streams are sometimes, muddy, they may be defiled; but Fountain-water is clear, fair, and without filth. The water in this spiritual Fountain, Christ, is pure, clear as crystal; there is no mud, nor the least mixture of any defilement in it, Revelation 22:1-2. Men have endeavoured to foul and pollute the doctrine of Christ, and his ordinances, which flowed from him; but truth in itself, in the Fountain, is still the same, and cannot be corrupted.
Many Fountains are deep, men may swim in them; it is hard to find a bottom. Jesus Christ is a deep Fountain. We read of the deep things of God; Christ’s riches are said to be “unsearchable;” there are such depths of mercy and goodness in Christ, that none can find a bottom. His love and grace is very wonderful.
Fountains are pleasant and delightful to behold; it is a lovely thing to see, and abide by Fountains of water; they beautify and adorn a place, and make it much more pleasant and desirable. Hence Fountains, or pools of water, Solomon reckons up as one of the delights of he sons of men, Ecclesiastes 2:6. Christ is a delightful and pleasant object. There is no Fountain so lovely to the sensual eye, as Christ is to the eye of faith. He is called a “Fountain of gardens,” Song of Solomon 4:15. The church is a garden, Christ is the Fountain that waters it; and how pleasant if a Fountain in a garden! “At thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore,” Psalms 16:11.”And thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures,” Psalms 36:8.
Fountains are places good to wash and bathe in, and have been made use of in former times upon that account. Christ is the soul’s only bath; in this Fountain sinners must wash, if ever they would be clean: it is his blood that “cleanseth us from all sin,” 1 John 1:7. Hence he is said to be “a fountain opened … for sin and for uncleanness,” Zechariah 13:1.
Fountains do not send out sweet water and bitter, nor fresh and salt; that which is good, and bad proceed not from the same Fountain, James 3:11. There is nothing unsavoury in Christ, nothing bitter nor brackish in him; whatsoever flows from this Fountain is sweet and good; every drop of this water is as sweet as honey.
Fountains are sufficient to fill many great and small vessels; those that go thither may take what they need, yea, fill their vessels to the brim, and not diminish of its fulness. Christ is able and sufficient to fill and satisfy all the hearts and souls of men and women that come unto him. Believers may have here what they really want, and yet diminish not from Christ’s fulness.
A Fountain is constant in its emanations, or continual runnings and flowings forth. Jesus Christ, the heavenly Fountain hath never cease running from the beginning of the world; his goodness always flows forth, from one generation to another.
Many in former times used to drink out of the Fountains. ”Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink,” John 7:37.
Fountains have springs in themselves and can never be emptied. Streams may be dried up, cisterns may be broken, and let the water run out; but the water in a Fountain, abides the same and is lasting. The riches and treasures of Christ are inexhaustible. He is always full: he has springs in himself, and can never be emptied, nor dried up. As for quantity, so for quality, this Fountain is ever the same, never loses its lively virtue and efficacy; the waters that flow from hence, have the same operation that ever they had.
FOUNTAIN DISPARITY
Fountains are beholden to some other thing (as the sea, springs, and vapours,) for their waters are not from themselves. Jesus Christ is God, and as so considered hath all fulness originally and independently in himself, being Superintendent over all creatures, he that made heaven and earth, the sea, and Fountains of water.
Fountains only contain earthly and elementary water. Christ is a Fountain that contains spiritual water, of a most divine and sublime nature.
Other Fountains cannot heal distempers or diseases of the soul; but few have that virtue in them as to heal the body. Jesus Christ is the Fountain that heals all diseases, both of body and soul. It is opened for sin, and uncleanesss, of the inward man more especially.
Fountains cannot give life, though they may help to preserve and maintain it. Christ giveth life to men, yea a threefold life: 1. Natural life. 2. Spiritual life. 3. Eternal life. He raises from the dead, and quickens who he will; hence called our life, Colossians 3:3-4.
He that drinks of the water of other Fountains may thirst again. But he that drinketh of the water that flows from Christ, this living Fountain, shall thirst no more, John 4:14.
METAPHOR DISPARITY
Other Fountains may be filled and stopped up, as the well that Abraham’s servants digged; or however the streams may be stayed. Christ cannot fail of his fulness; he cannot be stopped up by the skill of men nor devils; nay, none can hinder the glorious streams that flow from him from watering and refreshing his people.

INFERENCES

  • We may infer from hence, that sin is of an heinous and defiling nature; it is called here uncleanness, and such uncleanness that is not easily washed off.
  • Behold the exceeding greatness of God’s love, and of he love of Christ, to polluted mankind, in providing such a Fountain to wash their souls, their defiled souls in.
  • Be sure, that God’s people shall never want sufficient means for inward cleansing and purification.
  • How inexcusable are those that die in their filthiness under the Gospel! If Naaman, after the prophet directed him to wash in Jordan, and returned without washing who would have pitied him if he had died a leper? Sinner, who would pity thee, if thou refusest to wash and be clean?
  • Let polluted and unclean sinners come to this Fountain, and for their further encouragement, observe these following motives and considerations.
    • There is abundance of filth in thy heart and life, which must be purged and washed away, or thou must perish.
    • There is no Fountain can wash away thy sin but this; all soul-cleansing is by Christ’s blood. All the legal purifications pointed to the spiritual purgation by Christ’s blood: the like does baptismal washing; the outward washing of the body, signifies the inward washing by faith in this Fountain, Hebrews 1:3, John 17 and Revelation 15.
    • This fountain can wash and heal thee, whatever thy uncleanness and sickness is; it cleanses from the guilt of sin, and from the filth of sin also, Isaiah 53:4-5, Romans 3:24, 1 Corinthians 1:2.
    • This Fountain is opened; which expression signifies, (1.) The willingness of Christ to accept and embrace poor sinners. (2.) It shows the clearness of Gospel-revelation, above the legal. (3.) It shows the readiness and easiness of access, which is afforded to poor sinners to come to Christ.
    • Consider the multitude of sinners that have been cleansed by Christ.
    • Consider the multitude of sins in every one sinner washed away.
    • Consider the happy state of all such as are made clean.
    • Thou knowest not how soon this Fountain may be shut up as to thee.

Caution

Take heed of slighting and undervaluing of the Fountain of Christ’s blood. What do they less than slight it, who think they can get cleansing from sin by the light within? What do the Papists less, who have other purgations, who go to their mass, and call that a propitiatory sacrifice; who go the merits of their own works, thinking thereby to expiate sin, and purchase God’s favour? What do all such else, that rely upon the mercy of God without having an eye and respect to Christ’s blood?  What do all those less, that never come, though very guilty and unclean, and often invited to this Fountain? Let the opening of this Fountain move thee to open thy heart.

Exhortation

To love him who hath washed thee, to be thankful, to believe, to be humble, and deny thyself. Whenever thou seest a Fountain of water, think upon Christ, the spiritual Fountain.

Consolation

Here is comfort, a Fountain of comfort for poor saints: thou hast a bitter Fountain in thee; here is a sweet one to cleanse thee: thou hast a filthy Fountain; here is a clear and crystal one, to bathe and wash thee. Christ is more able to cleanse, than sin is to defile. Darest thou say, that thy filth is greater than this Fountain can wash away? Remember, whatever Satan says, this Fountain is open.

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Benjamin Keech

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 2:13

Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness;