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arc sensible tkat they want this test. Moreover, the reproich that falls on us, for Christ's fake, is the reproach of Christ himself: it falls on the mem* bers for the fake of the head. And—
Great is the reward of righteous persons, suffering wrongfully for righteousness fake; for God is their portion, glory their crown, and heaven itself their home, and their reward of inheritance.
For so persecuted they the prophets that were before you. They suffered reproach and persecution who shewed before of the coming of the Just One; and they share the fame who embrace him that is come. The Saviour, therefore, sets the reward against persecution, to counterbalance it; that light afflictions, which are but for a moment, may appear as nothing, when compared to an eternal weight of glory.
Te are the fait of the earth. Salt is emblematical cf special grace. ic Have falt in yourselves, and *' have peace one with another." Mark ix. 50. And to shew that the grace of God is needful in every branch of God's service and worship, God fays, With all thine ofserings thou shalt offer salt. Lev. ii. 13. Grace is needful in christian conversation, or no grace can be communicated by it. "Let your speech be seasoned with falt." Col. iv. 6. Salt is a penetrable article: and so is grace; it will penetrate into a hard heart, a stubborn wiH, and soon stop a raging putrefaction, and heal a
fcathsottic disease. Ye are the salt os the earth. ** All flesh hath corrupted it's way; but I have sca** soned you." The Spirit, and grace of God, are in you, and you are to season others.
But is the salt hath lost it's savour, tbherewilb shall it be sailed? But if your ministry, company, and converfation, hath lost all it's favour with graceless prosessors, or earthly-minded men, so that they relish not the things that be of God, how shall the earth le salted? What else can preserve them from becoming a stink, in the nostrils of God? Nothing. And so it appeared when the Romish army laid them in heaps, as dung upon the earth; the falt was all gathered out, and the stink of theircamps and their carcases soon went up. i
// is thenceforth good for nothing. It is good for nothing in the judgment of hardened and impenitent sinners; it profits them nothing; but is a favour of death unto death: they mack at it, and their bands are made strong', it leaves them without a cloak for their sin; in their esteem it is good for' nothing but to be cast out; they cast the apostles out of the synagogue, and broke the pleasing bonds of the Everlasting Covenant asunder, and cast their cords from them, and so judged themselves unworthy of eternal lise. And at last the falt—
Was trodden under foot of men. They trampled on the blood of the Everlasting Covenant, on tho ministry of Divine Grace, and on the Church of the
-.living God; and therefore the Saviour trampled them in his fury, and left them without help, to tread, by themselves, the wine-press of the wrath of Almighty God.
Ye are the light os the world. Ye are Mount Zion, the persection of beauty, out of which God will Ihine. ct In you hath he set a tabernacle for "his Sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of "his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run ** a race." The Spirit of Illumination is in you; and it will ever shine through you, and make you burning and shining lights; "yea, a flaming fire:" and from you the light shall shine from east to west, and nothing shall le hid from the heat thereof.
A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. It's smoke, lights, lamps, towers, and walls, arc seen at a great distance. "And upon Mount Zion, and "on all her assemblies, shall be a smoke by day, "and the burning of a flaming fire by night. I "am your wall of falvation, your high tower, and ** your fortress: and I will make you as a tower ** and a fortress; yea, as an iron pillar, and a brazen "wall." And the Lamp of Salvation, in the hand of your faith, shall enlighten thoufands into the ways of Zion, who shall see her glory, privileges, and beautiful situation; and both "strangers and "foreigners shall become fellow-citizens of it."
Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick. I have not enlightened
you you into the knowledge of your own hearts, and into the mysteries of my kingdom, that you should be hid in obscurity; or conceal that wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, that I have given you.' No: I shall shortly raise up many churches; and, as so many candlesticks, I shall place you as so many candles on them, that you may give light unto all that are of my houshold.
Let your light so shine before men. All that I have faid to you, in secret, proclaim upon the housetop. I have made manisest the counsels of your heart; and by your ministry the thoughts of many hearts shall be revealed: they shall see, as in a glass, their lost estate, their fins in their true colours, their need of a despised Saviour; and they shall see him as the only way to the Father. It is the Spirit that speaketh in you; and I, who am your everlasting light, your God, and your glory, will shine in you, and shine out by you. "Let your light so shine ** before men"—
That they may fee your good works. The office of a Bishop, or a Pastor, is a good work. Magnify your office, and make full proof of your ministry. Evangelizing souls by my unctuous Spirit, is a good work on them; and communicating grace to their hearts, is a good work in them. Freely ye have received—freely give. Heal the fick, and cast out devils; "which are good deeds done to impotent folks. Converted souls shall be the fruit of your ministry.
C V I have ** I have chofen you, and ordained you, that you "should go and bring forth srait $ and your fruit «' shall remain." It shall remain to the world's end: "For when the Son of Man cometh, he shall "sind faith on the earth." The Pharisees say, and do not; but you must do, and not say. "Let them « See your good works." Sound not your own trumpet, as the hypocrites do: a good workman will have trumpeters enough.
And glorify your Father which is in heaven. By proclaiming his eternal and matchless love in th« gift of his Son; by making known hi» secret purpofes, grace, and good-will to men; by celebrating his high praises, and by 'provoking others to love him,' and to da the fame; by ascribing all falvation to hirn; By faith in him,- love to him, and by thanking him, blessing him, worshipping him, praising him, and adoring him; and by a life, walk, and converfation, that is honourable to him, and well becoming you as the children of such a benign Parent.
Hitherto the Saviour has been speaking to his disciples and faithsul followers; which appears evident by the many blessings that he pronounced on them, whofe blessings never fly at random. Nor can it be suppofed that he would call Scribes, Pharisees, and hypocrites, the light of the world, and the falt of the earth; for such are rather the scum and the dregs of it. All that ha* been faid is applicable