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feet, but is clean every whit." Hence we learn, that by lhe minifter.s feet being wafhed, and made clean, or beautiful, we are to understand that he is renewed in the spirit of his mind by the power ot the Holy Ghoft ; so that he is a living witness of the power of divine truth upon his own soul ; having effeftually turned him from darkness un'6 light, and from the power of Satan unto God. Hence he can say, upon good ground, with the apoflle: "I am hot afhamed of the gofpel or Christ; lor it is 'the power of God unto salvation, to every one that believeth."

Every rninifter of Christ ought to come to us in the spirit and power of E'-ias, and should be a burning and a mining light to the people among whom he labours. The facred fire of divine love, having been kindled in his heart, fhould be kept continually burning, and never suffered to go out; like the facred fiie which fell from heaven at the dedication of the Temple. As this holy fire will puriiy his own soul, and burn up all the dross and the tin of his unholy tempers, desires, or affections; and of confequence, make him all holy, spiritual, heavenly, and divine : fo he will burn with the mod intenfe desire for the glory of God, in the , falvation cf precious fouls. He will account nothing too difficult for him to undertake, no trial too great for him to endure, and no pains or labours too much 'for him in order to bring loft sinners to the knowledge of the truth; to feed the flock of Chrift, or to edify the Churcb of God. And O how happy lor ihote mintfters who can say, with the apoftle: ^'Neither count I my life dear unto myfeif, fo I may finifli my courfe with joy, and the miniftiy which I have received of the Lord Jesus, in left i tying the gofpel of the grace of God."

And as a minifler mould burn with the love of God, fo he fhould alfo fhine in the light of God ; and if so, then the bright beams of the Sun of Kighseoufnefs muft mine upon his own foul. He can only fhine as a {tar, in the right hand of Chrift: therefore it mould be his first and grand concern to be thus highly privileged; that being vifiicd by the DaySpring from on high, he may fhine with bright, but with borrowed rays. And as the light of God fhines upon his own foul, it will be reflected back upon the people. They mall fee it, and take knowledge that he hath been with Jefus; that he has come to them from his facred College; from the heavenly Univerfny ; and has brought the facred light of di


divine truth, and the holy fire of heavenly love along with him.

No one can doubt, but that every minister ought to be a fcribe well inftiufted in the kingdom of God; and that he fhould fhine among the people in the light of divine truth: being fully acquainted with the grand myftery of man's redemption; with the nature and extent of gofpel falvation ; with jevery branch ot Chriftian experience; with (he nature and power of temptation ; and in a word, with the whole revealed will ot God. If that precious promiTe is made good to every true believer, "And they fhali be all taught of God;" how much more fo, to every minifier of Clmft. "He *A'ho haih tieard, and learned ot my Father (faith our bleffed Redeemer) cometh unto me." And if thefe words hold good refpefting all who are brought into a ftate of favour and acceptance with God ; then certainly they are fulfilled, in a far higher sense, in thole who are fent of God, to fhew unto otheis the way of salvation. Having then fo divine a Teacher, they (hall be made wife to win fouls to Chrift their matter; and to build them up, and eftab'ifh them in the truth.

And as the faithful miaifters of Chrift fhould fhine in the light of God, so being purified by grace, their souls being brought inio a ftate ot conformity to the wilt ot God, they lhall thine in all the fruit of the Spirit; in meeknefs, gentlenefs, humility, patience, and resignation to the will of God: in heavenly mindednefs, in holy watchfulness, in serious godlinefs, and in all holy converfauon: and their fpirit and temper, their life and conversion, mall be a continual fermon, to the people among whom they live. Happy people, who are favoured with fuch minifters ; surely the good pleafure of the Lord (hall prolper in their hands.

II. This brings us to the fecond particular, to fhew that the feet of the minifters ought to appear beautiful to the people unto whom they are sent.

The prophet teaches us in the text, highly to esteem, and thankfully to receive the faithful miniftets of the Lord Jefus Chiift, whenever they come among us. This we fhould do because they aic fent by the Lord of Lite and Glory himself ; and accordingly, he hath said, "He that teceiveth you, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that ^erit me." When we consider these words, how cheerfully may we receive thofe men of God, who come to us in his

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name, to reveal his wife and gracious counfels to us! are ambafiadors for Chrift (faith the apoftle :j we have received our authority from the King of Heaven ; and we come unto you in his name. Now it is well known, ihat all the honour and refpeft which are confidered due to the king himself, whom he represents are due to the ambaflador ; and it he be flighted, or treated with contempt, or even neglefl, this is considered as done to the King. How highly then Jhould we honour, and fincerely love thofe who we hava reafon to believe are fent of God ; and accordingly, have his glory in view, and our falvation much at heart; fo that their grand concern is, to bring about a well eftablifhed peace between us and the God of Love, whom they represent : and that this facred treaty may be fo ratified and confirmed, that we may live in a ftate of love and friendfhip with him for ever.

As the minifters of Chrift mould be thus heartily received by us, becaufe he hath fent them; so likewife because he hath qualified them lor their work. If we have sufficient leafon 10 believe that they have received wildom from above, and power from on high, and are not only renewed in righteoufnefs, and true holiness, by the power of the Holy Ghoft; but are alfo enriched with fuch fpiritual gifts as are necessary to qualify them for the work of the miniflry : God having fo highly honoured them, we ought to honour them alfo, con. fidere,d as being thus qualified by him. An apoflle teaches us thus to efteem the rninifters ot Chrift: "And we beseech you brethren, to know them who labout among you, and to efteem them very highly, in love, for their works fake." And again he fays: "Remember them who have the rule over you, who have fpoken to you the word of God ; whofe taith follow; corifidering the end of t'neir converfation, Jelus Chrift, the fame yefteiday, to day, and lor ever." Here, indeed, we may obscive, that the apoftle only teaches us thus to know fuch as labour, and fuch as fpeak to us the word of God. Thofe then, who neither do the one noi the other, we have no concern with. But thofe who faithfully labour in the Lord's vineyard, and diligently preach the word of God, are worthy of our highefl efteem.

To the-above we may add. that, as the exercife of all theix gifts, and the end of all their labour, is the present and eternal falvation of our fouls, we may well receive them with the fincereft affeftion; feeing we ouifelves fhall be eternal gainers by their rmniftry, it we improve it as we ought,


And, as He who fent them hath gracioufly promifed to be ever prefent with them, even to the end of the world, we may expeft that he will confirm the word of his servants, and we Oiall receive edification and comfort by attending upon their miniftry; efpecially if we attend with eerneft prayer for a bleffing from God upon their labours. "As the rain and the fnow cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither (saith the Lord] but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth fruit and bud, that it may give feed to the sower and bread to the eater, fo fhall my word be that goeth forth out of my rnouth ; ii fhall not return unto me void, but it fhall accomplifh that which I pleafe, and it fhall profper in the thing whereunto I fend it." As then it mufl be the defign ol God, that his word fhould be made fpirit and life unto us, that it fhould minifter grace to the hearers, we ought to account the feet of thofe beautiful who are fent la us with fuch a gracious defign.

III. We now come to confider, Thirdly, The important, as well as joyful tidings they are fent to proclaim.

They are fent to publifh peace, and falvation ; to bring goad tidings of good, and to declare unto Zion, Thy God reigneth.

i. They are fent to publifh peace. This implies two things: firft, that Chnfthath made peace for us, by the blood of his crofs 5 and fecondly, that he offers peace to us, in hi« bleffed gofpel. Refpefting the firft of these, the apoflle allures us, that "God was in Chrift, reconciling the world unto himself; no longer imputing their trefpaffes unto them:" and adds, that, in confequence of this, "he hath committed unto us the miniftry of reconciliation." Here then, man is confidered as deeply guilty in the sight of God, and utterly unable to deliver himfelf from that condemnation which he has brought upon himself: the Lord Jesus having bore the punifhment due to his fins, having been wounded for his transgressions, and bruifed for his iniquities; pardon and peace are freely offered to him, in his name. He is called bv the gofpel into' a ffate of favour and reconciliation with God, to experience the sure evidence of this in his own mind, even the peace ot God which pafleth all underftanding : and laying hold of the offers of mercy and grace which are made unto him in the' gofpel, the promife of pardon and peace, through faith in the blood of Chrift, will be fealed upon his mind by the Spirit of God ; hence he is affured of his intereft in the death of Chrift, and that God is reconciled unto him; and in

conSohfeqAierlce of this, a divine tranquillity, an heavenly ferenity, will fpiing up in his mind, which is properly called, the peace of God. As peace is made between God and man, by the meritorious fufferings and death of our divine Saviour; fo peace is.proclaimed in the finner's confcience, when he is enabled to believe with his heart unto righ'teousnefs, or unto juftification, as the apoftle declares.

a. The ministers of Chrift are sent to publifli falvation in his name. The falvation which the gofpel offers to us may properly be confidered as confifting ot two grand branches. Firft, our free and full justification, through faith in the blood of the Lamb ; implying a complete deliverance from all contrafted guilt and condemnation, which we have considered already: and, fecondly, the fanctification-of all the powers and faculties of our foul ; or the renewal of the whole man, in righteoufnefs, in the image of God, in which we were originally created. This great and blefled change we are now come to consider. •;

That it was the design of our Redeemer to reftore us to the image, as well as to the favour of God, evidently appears from every part of the New Teftament; and as he inftituted the gospel miniftry, in order that the end of his fufferings and death might be fully anfwered, it follows of courfe, that his faithful ministers will, according to the text, publifh falvation in his name, that we may obtain a lot among the fane* tified.

As the apoftle aftures us, that "Chrift loved the church, and gave himfelf for it, that he might fanftify and cleanfe it with the wafhing of water by the word; that he might prefent it to himfelf, a glorious church, not having fpot, or wrinkle, or any fuch thing, but that it fhould be holy and without blemifh :" fp he clearly points out the feveral flages of this great work, and mews us how the God of love ao complifhes his own defign. In the fcventh chapter of his Epiftie to the Romans, he .fhews us the ftate of a fallen fin. her, made acquainted with the state of his own mind, andearneftly longing.for deliverance. He reprefents him "as being carnal and fold under fin," being in a ftate of miferable bondage, and utterly unable to conquer the evil propensities of his degeneiate mind; and, therefore, earneftly crying to the Lord for deliverance. "O wretched man that I am ! who fhall deliver me from the body of this death -?"- The glorious Deliverer immediately appears in view :"1 thank God thiough. Jefus Chrift our Lord." Here we have the ftate, as well as



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