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A High and Proper View of the Pastoral Ministry

By admin | March 11, 2009

We live in a day when the distinctions between pastors and people have largely broken down. Loud voices cry out, calling for a mobilization of every member of the church, as if all had the same call and responsibilities from the Lord. While this may be the dominant view today, it is really an historical novelty. As confessional Reformed Baptists, we ought to expose this error and resist it with great vigor. It doesn’t reflect the doctrine and practice of Scripture or Confession.

Here is a wonderful sermon by Benjamin Keach, in which he expresses just how high a view our Baptist fathers had of the ministerial office. This is the sixth sermon in his 1698 book The Display of Glorious Grace, or, The Covenant of Peace opened. You will notice how he begins with Christ, and then moves to those Christ has appointed. Keach’s position reflects the common ideas of our fathers. It is especially important to notice how Keach’s doctrine flows out of his covenant theology. Dispensationalism is much more amenable to the every-member-a-minister notion. Read, enjoy, be challenged, serve the Lord as He has called you.

SERMON VI.

Wherein is showed who are the Ambassadors of Peace, or who are appointed to Proclaim, or Preach the Gospel of Peace.

ISA. Liv. x.

Neither shall the Covenant of my Peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.

I am upon the Second General Head, first proposed to be opened, viz. to clear up the main Covenant Transactions, about the bringing in, and Establishment of the Covenant of Peace.

1. I have passed through those Eight Explanatory Propositions.

2. The Second I have been some time upon, i. e. the Covenant Transactions.

I. I showed you there was a treating about it between the Father and the Son, as our Head and Representative, before the World began.

II. That the Terms of our Peace were then by them both agreed on, and that Jesus Christ was chosen Mediator and Surety of the Covenant

III. That this Covenant is confirmed.

IV. And that it is Proclaimed.

Here I told you, that I should do four Things.

1. Show you what the Proclamation is; this we did the last Day.

2. Show you who are the Ambassadors of Peace.

3. Open the Nature of the Proclamation.

4 Show you upon what Terms Peace is offered, or proclaimed.

To proceed.

Secondly, My Business is to show you now who they are that God hath appointed, empowered, or authorized to be the Ambassadors of his Peace.

I. The Great and Chief Ambassador of this Peace, is the Lord Jesus Christ; and from hence he is called the Messenger of the Covenant; The Lord whom ye seek,* shall suddenly come to his Temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant. All Expositors agree, that this is meant of Christ; yea, (as one observes) both Christian and Jewish Interpreters; and the same Author also shows from the Hebrew, that a Messenger signifies an Ambassador, Messengers, i. e. Ambassadors of Peace. My Brethren, I showed you, that Jesus Christ considered as Mediator, was our great Plenipotentiary, representing us, and treating with God for us, in that Council of Peace held betwixt them both.

1. He was authorized and approved of by the Father, to Treat about it, and Conclude the Peace upon such Terms that the Father proposed to him on our behalf; As thou hast given him power over all Flesh, that he should give Eternal Life to as many as thou hast given him —I was set up from Everlasting, &c.

2. He only was able to make our Peace, not only capable to treat about it, but as the Grand Ambassador, to answer all the Just Demands of the Holy and abused Majesty of Heaven, in order finally to conclude it.

3. He was sent from Heaven to Earth, actually to do this; and from thence, as I conceive, he bears the Name or Title of Messenger, or Ambassador. The Father sent my Brethren, Christ as Mediator; The Father that sent me, is with me: God so loved the World, that he sent his only Begotten Son.

4. He was the first that Published or Preached the Gospel of Peace, Which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, &c. First, As to the full and clear Promulgation of it; some conceive this may refer to his publishing of it to our first Parents after the Fall; yet I rather conclude, it refers to his Ministry in his own Person, whose Doctrine was confirmed with Signs and Wonders; The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord hath appointed me to Preach good Tidings unto the Meek. Moreover he is called, A Minister of the Sanctuary, and of the true Tabernacle which the Lord pitched, and not Man: This Work refers to his Prophetical Office.

5. He only knows the Counsel of God, or the whole Covenant Transactions between the Father and himself, and therefore could best reveal them, or make them known to us; nor can we know or understand the Mysteries of God, the Mysteries of the Covenant, and Gospel, but by this Interpreter, Who is one among a Thousand: Neither knoweth any Man the Father, save the Son, and he, to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. He only is the Ambassador that can make the People to hear and understand; I have given them the Words that thou gravest me: He hath the Tongue of the Learned, he was God’s Great Ambassador whilst he was on Earth, to make known the Joyful News of Peace and Reconciliation, purchased by his own Blood, and that gives Success to his Servants whom he employs.

6. Without the Exercise of this his Office, as a Prophet, Minister, or Ambassador, he could not perfect his Work as Mediator, for it is hereby he reconciles us to God; by speaking to our Hearts, by enlightening our Understandings, bowing our Wills, and renovating our Souls. Moreover, all other Ambassadors labor in vain, if he works not, labors not with them.

7. He hath all the excellent Properties of a Messenger, or of an Ambassador of Peace.

1. A regular Call, or Authority, this he received from the Father.

2. Wisdom, He excels in Wisdom and Knowledge, he is the Wisdom of God,—and in him is hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge; never Man-spake like him.

3. Faithfulness, He was Faithful to him that appointed him, as also was Moses; and as Faithful to us, witness his Death, and also his continual Intercession now in Heaven.

4. Lowly, and of a Condescending Spirit; How did he abase himself to become God’s Servant, that is his own Eternal Son; nay, our Servant, he came to serve us, and was as one that served, while here on Earth.

5. Active and Diligent, It is my Meat and Drink to do the Will of him that sent me.

6. Swift and Speedy, How much Work did he do in three Years and a half? For Swiftness he is compared to an Hart, or young Roe.

But no more as to this.

II. Jesus Christ hath substituted, ordained, or appointed others under him, for him, and in his stead to be his Ambassadors of this Peace:

Quest. Who are they?

1 Answ. Negatively, they are not the Holy Angels, though it is true, the Angels brought the Good News of his Arrival, or first coming into the World, and also proclaimed Glory to God on high, on Earth Peace, Good Will to Men: Yet these he hath not appointed to be his Ambassadors of Peace: No, no, they are Men, or Gospel-Ministers.

2. Yet Negatively, they are not all which are called Gospel-Ministers.

1. Some are Legal Ministers, Preachers of a Law, who know not what they say, nor what they affirm, yet not Preachers only of Moses Law, but of a New Law, turning the Gospel, or Free Promise of God, and Eternal Life (to such that believe in Jesus) into a Law of Imperfect Faith, and Sincere Obedience, as the Matter and Condition of Justification before God; and indeed they seem to violate the Perfect Law of God, as if that was abolished, and a new Law, or Rule of Obedience procured by Christ’s Merits in its room.

2. Not such that only Preach Good Manners, or Morality, though Christ’s Ministers Preach this; yet to Preach this, is not to Preach Christ and Peace to lost Sinners; neither is this the great Doctrine contained in their Mission, but Christ only, and him Crucified.

3. Not such that are Ministers of Man’s making, that come to their Ministry as Men come to Trades, who perhaps never knew Christ themselves, or were ever Converted: Can such be Christ’s Ministers?

4. Not such that Preach the Moral Law, as it is written in Men’s Hearts, or that call the Light or Law that is in all Men, the true Christ of God; no, these are Deceivers, and Satan in them hath transformed himself into an Angel of Light.

5. Not such that deny the Godhead of Christ and his atoning Sacrifice, or that Satisfaction he gave to the Law and Justice of God.

6. Not such that deny his Humanity, or affirm, that he took not Flesh of the Virgin, being neither true God of his Father’s Substance, nor true and real Man of the Substance of his Mother.

II. Affirmatively, they are such that Christ hath Regenerated, and graciously Qualified, by giving them Grace and Ministerial Gifts, and are also authorized by him, to proclaim the Covenant of Peace. Let me open this a little.

Every Ambassador must have a Regular Mission, or be Authorized, or Empowered, before he can be employed in that high Place and Trust: And so it is here, How shall they Preach except they be sent? That is, duly, or authoritatively, and to the Profit of the People. And,

1. They ought to be Converted Persons; and also to be Members of some true Church or Churches of Jesus Christ, and Baptized Persons; for Christ himself, until he was Baptized, did not enter upon the Work of his Ministry.

2. They must pass the Probation of that Church, with whom they are Members, and receive a Regular Call from them to Preach God’s Word.

3. Moreover, they that are regularly called and authorized, and every ways complete and orderly Ambassadors, must be Ordained by Prayer and Imposition of Hands, by the Eldership.

III. An Ambassador is a Person of Eminency and Honour in his Prince’s Sight, they represent their Prince’s Person; so is Christ’s true and faithful Minister; he is one that Christ confers great Dignity and Honour upon, though many of Christ’s true Ministers have but little Honour from Men, nor are they accounted Honorable Ones by the World, but they are notwithstanding, Stars in Christ’s Right Hand, and are called Angels of the Churches. Yet what saith Paul? You see your Calling, Brethren, how that not many Wise Men after the Flesh, not many Mighty, not many Noble are called: But God hath chosen the Foolish things, &c. and base things of the World, and things despised: That is, Persons of no Esteem in the Eyes of the World, yet they represent Christ’s Person, which is no small Dignity.

IV. Some Ambassadors are Ambassadors of Peace, to persuade Enemies to accept of Terms of Peace, and to lay down their Arms, &c. The Ministers of Christ are Ambassadors of Peace, not to reconcile God to Men, but Men to God; Now then we are Ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us, we pray you, in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. Man naturally is in a State of Enmity against God; and this way, through the Workings of the Holy Spirit by the Word, they come to be reconciled unto God.

V. An Ambassador of Peace is a Joyful Messenger, so are the true Ministers of Jesus Christ: How beautiful upon the Mountains, are the Feet of him that bringeth good Tidings, that publisheth Peace, that bringeth good Tidings of Good, that publisheth Salvation, &c.

1. An Ambassador is a welcome Messenger, if he comes with Tidings of Peace from a formidable and powerful Prince, whose Arms are irresistible, or whose force is unconquerable, and hath also been justly incensed, enraged, and stirred up to Wrath. My Brethren, the Consideration of this renders the Ambassadors of Christ, most Joyful, and Welcome Messengers, where they come and proclaim Peace, because the great God is an irresistible Enemy, Who is a Match for him? And he is also justly incensed and stirred up to Wrath, by all Ungodly Persons: God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth, the Lord revengeth and is furious, the Lord will take Vengeance on his Adversaries, and he reserveth Wrath for his Enemies—The Mountains quake at him, the Hills melt, and the Earth is burnt at his Presence, the World, and all that dwell therein:* Who can stand before his Indignation? And who can abide the fierceness of his Anger? He is an amazing Warriour, he can shake the Heavens by his Voice, And cause the Mountains to tremble before him; with God is terrible Majesty, he is the Lord mighty in Battel: He causeth the Earth to fear, and the Inhabitants thereof to melt away, so that the Men of might cannot find their Hands: He can make Empe|rors as Stubble to his Bow, and mighty Kings as Chaff before the Whirlwind: He makes Beelzebub, with his Black Guards, to quiver and fly into Darkness to hide themselves: He cuts off the Spirit of Princes, and Triumphs over the greatest and proudest Monarchs: Alexander, Pompey, Caesar, and Tamberlain, have all yielded to this Invincible Conqueror; and so shall in a short time the Proud and Haughty Tyrant Lewis le Grand: If God shows but his Finger on the Wall, he makes proud Belshazzar to quake; nay, he can employ Inanimate Creatures to terrifie and destroy Pharoah and his mighty Hosts. O how joyful then must those Tidings be, to hear that such a King, such an Enemy is reconciled to us?

2. An Ambassador of Peace, is welcome to a People who lie under heavy Burdens, or are in fearful Bondage, Slavery, and Misery, and have no power to save, or relieve themselves; for such, I say, to hear of Liberty, or of a Proclamation of Peace declaring their Freedom, and that for ever, who had once been a Free People, but lost it; this renders such an Ambassador welcome indeed!

Now this is the State of all Mankind: What Slaves? What Vassals of Sin and Satan are all Ungodly Mortals? Their Eyes put out, their Robes rent from them, their Souls wounded, and nothing but loathsome Sores from the Crown of their Head, to the Sole of their Feet; and fed with nothing but Ashes, Chaff, Husks, and Gravel Stones, and laid under the Sentence of Death, being Cursed by God, or by his Holy Law, and Condemned to be Burnt alive, or to lie in Everlasting Flames ever dying, and yet can never die. O! How welcome is the News an Ambassador of Christ brings to such a People, who see this is their State, and yet are by him delivered!

3. An Ambassador of Peace is welcome, if he comes to offer Peace from a Prince that is Faithful, and true to his Word and Covenant; and one that can give good Security as to what he agrees to, or Covenants to perform.

Now the Ministers, or Ambassadors of Christ, come from the Faithful God of Heaven and Earth, who never did, nor can fail in his Covenant nor Promises, to any Person, or People; He is Faithful, and cannot deny, i. e. He can as soon cease to be God, as cease to be True and Faithful: Hence all Covenant-Blessings come to be so firm and sure;* In hope of Eternal Life, which God that cannot lie, promised before the World began: Besides, he hath given good Security, even his own Oath, he hath Sworn to his Covenant by his Holiness, &c.

4. An Ambassador is welcome, if he comes to offer Peace on easier Terms.—Now

The Terms upon which God offers Peace, you have heard, are very easy; true, on his part, our Peace was made on hard Terms, it was by the Blood of his own Son: Had he said you shall have Peace upon a Sacrifice of a Thousand Rams, or Ten Thousand Rivers of Oil, that might seem hard; or if you would Offer your First-born in Sacrifice, or run your Knife into his Throat, and let out his Hearts Blood, you would think those hard Terms; but it is not your First-born, but his First-born, whose Blood must be let out to make your Peace; you are but to look to him,* trust in Christ: Hear and your Souls shall live.

What though Faith will launch the Plague Sore, and let out all the Filth and Corruptions of your Polluted Hearts; will a Man think that is a Cure on too hard Terms? Sirs, the Spirit will cause you to vomit up that Poison that you have taken down; But is that too hard to save the Life of your Immortal Souls? Is it hard to tell a Man he must give up the Traitor he has harbored in his House? If he would have the King’s Pardon, or possess that Peace purchased by the Blood of his own Dear Son.

VI. That Love and Respect People show to an Ambassador, a Prince looks upon, as showed to himself, because the Ambassador represents his Person, and that Contempt which is showed to his Ambassador, he takes as cast on himself.

So Jesus Christ takes the Honour, Love, and Respect which is showed to his Faithful Ministers, as if it was showed to him, and the same Dishonor done to them, as if it was done to himself; He that heareth you, heareth me; and he that despises you despises me.

VII. An Ambassador is to do his uttermost, in order to accomplish his Embassy, and to bring the King’s Enemies to accept of Peace.

So are Christ’s Ministers, they are to pray, to entreat, to beseech Sinners to be reconciled to God; We pray you in Christ’s stead, &c. Paul besought them with Tears, Faithful Ministers are willing to spend their Lives to win Souls to Christ, yea, to die upon the spot to save one poor Sinner; Knowing the Terror of the Lord,* we persuade Men. Our Great Master thought not his Blood too dear to make our Peace, and shall Ministers think their Strength, their Lives, their Blood too much, that so they might see the Travel of Christ’s Soul; I mean, Sinners reconciled unto God, or Christ’s Blood by Faith sprinkled on their Hearts: Many like the Minister’s Dignity, but few like their Work and Duty. My Brethren, it is a great Trust that is committed to them.

1. The Charge of the Souls of Men that are more worth than all the World, is committed to them.

2. The wonderful Worth of Gospel Verities, Truth is a rich Treasure; We have this Treasure in Earthen Vessels, this is committed to them.

3. ‘Tis the Embassy of that Peace which was made by the Blood of the Son of God, that is committed to them.

4. The Charge of the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood, is committed to them.

VIII. An Ambassador is to keep close or exactly to his Instructions, or to the Words of his Commission, not to add to it, alter it, or diminish from it, on pain of incurring his Prince’s highest Displeasure; so must Christ’s Ambassadors keep close to their Commission; Add thou not to his Word, least he reprove thee, and thou art found a Liar; they must deliver their whole Message: There is a Curse pronounced to him that adds or diminished.

1. They must in all things exalt Jesus Christ, or seek the Honour alone of their Blessed Sovereign: The whole of their Work is to magnified Christ, exalt Christ; To Preach Christ the Lord, and themselves but Servants for Jesus sake.

Not magnify the Creature, nor set the Crown on the Head of the Will of Man; but throw the Creature down at Christ’s Feet, and to Teach all Men, to account all Things done by them, or in them, in comparison of Christ, but Dung, or Dogs Meat, for thus did Paul.

2. They are to preach nothing to be Christ’s Ordinance, but what he hath instituted, or positively appointed in the New Testament, or Word of God, they must look into their Commission, Matt. 28.18, 19, 20.

IX. An Ambassador, if his Sovereign sees he cannot succeed in his Work, or that Rebels will not have Peace, nor lay down their Arms, whilst the White Flag of Mercy is put out; he orders him to proclaim War, and puts forth the Bloody Flag; and nothing but War, Slaughter, and utter Ruin follows: So when Christ sees that his Ministers cannot prevail with Rebellious Sinners, but that they remain Obstinate and Obdurate, rejecting Peace upon the Terms of this Covenant, or will not believe to be saved, but seek their Peace some other way, or continue in their Sins and Unbelief; he orders them to shake off the Dust of their Feet as a Witness against them, and so to proclaim War, and such will fall into the Hands of Divine Wrath and Vengeance, and Christ will at the last Day say, Bring out those mine Enemies, who would not that I should Reign over them, and slay them before my Face. Hence, Wrath came on the Jews to the uttermost: And saith Paul, Lo, we leave you, and turn to the Gentiles.

X. When an Ambassador is called Home, it is a sign the Patience of his Prince is worn out, and that he will wait on his Enemies no longer.

What may thou then think, O London! Tremble, tremble! for how many Faithful Ambassadors in thee, hath God called Home very lately? Thy Day of Grace, thou may fear, draws to an end.

XI. An Ambassador must give an account of his Ambassage to his Prince.

So Christ likewise will call all his Ministers to give an account to him, how they have succeeded in their Work; they must all appear before the Judgment-Seat of Christ; and happy will such be, who have been Faithful in all things unto him, and have won many Souls to the Lord Jesus Christ, and have their Accounts to give with Joy.

My Brethren, there are one or two Disparities concerning the Work of other Ambassadors, and the Ambassadors of Christ.

1. Other Ambassadors are empowered, to make Peace betwixt States and Kingdoms, or betwixt one Prince and another that are at variance, they are not employed only to proclaim Peace, but to make Peace; but this Christ’s Ambassadors are not empowered to do, for no Men, nor Angels could make Peace betwixt God and Man; all the Wisdom and Power of Men and Angels failed here; should the Angels have combined together to have given up all their Riches, Treasures, and their very Beings to God’s Justice, they could not have made up that Breach; or should all the Kings and Emperors of the World have agreed to part with all their Treasures, Kingdoms, and Crowns, but to have redeemed one Sinner from Wrath and Divine Vengeance; nay, to pay off the Debts but of the least Sinner in the World, it would have been contemned by the Holy and Just God.

Or, should all the Saints that ever lived, have offered up all their Graces, Gifts, Righteousness, &c. to have satisfied for the smallest Debt any Sinner owed to God, it would have signified nothing.

Alas, all that Angels have, Men have, or the Saints have, is none of their own, they owe all they have, and are, to God; therefore can spare nothing of it for others to satisfy God’s Justice: There was none could make our Peace but Jesus Christ; and Christ’s Ministers are therefore to proclaim that Peace which is already made, and endeavor to persuade Sinners to accept of it on those Terms offered to them, that they may be reconciled to God.

2. Princes do not meet together to make Peace in their own Persons, but send their Ambassadors (who are Men of less Dignity than themselves) to do it, though they receive their Instructions from their Masters; but God and Jesus Christ treated about our Peace in their own Persons, and Christ, as Mediator, made this Peace for us (who as God, is equal with God the Father) as well as he is he Chief and Grand Ambassador, to declare or proclaim it.

APPLICATION

1. This informs us what a high value we should have of the Gospel, since it brings such Blessed News and Tidings to our Ears: O! How do poor People that have suffered by a long and desolating War, who have been ruined thereby, rejoice to hear Peace proclaimed; they know not how to express their Joy, and yet know not how long it may be before War may break out again; but here is Peace proclaimed, Peace with God, Soul-Peace; Everlasting Peace, Peace that shall never be broken with such who are actually brought into the Bonds of this Covenant; The Covenant of my Peace shall not be removed, saith the Lord that hath Mercy on thee: Therefore here is infinite cause of Joy and Gladness, this is the sounding the Great Jubilee; all Bond-men now have liberty proclaimed, and they shall all be set free that take hold of the Covenant; the Great Jubilee was proclaimed and celebrated with Music, Triumph, and all Expressions of Joy.

Now what was that a Type of, but of the Proclamation of Peace in the Gospel? Hence, the Gospel it is called, The Joyful Sound: Is not here cause of Joy? Where are your Hearts? Do they not (as it were) leap in you with ravishing Joy?

2. This informs us also of the great and absolute necessity of Preaching the Gospel, because this way only is Peace made known to us, and also how it came to be made.

3. This likewise informs us of that great Dignity God hath conferred upon his Faithful Ministers, they represent the Person of Jesus Christ: O what greater Honour than this can be conferred on Men?

4. Moreover, this Title should procure an high and honorable esteem of Ministers, (Pastors are called Angels of the Churches) especially such whom they have been Instruments to bring to accept of Peace, should highly value them. Besides, this is also necessary in respect of the good success of their Ambassage; though it is true, People are too subject to make Misconstructions what a Minister may speak upon this account; as if he herein rather sought his own Honour (than in magnifying his Office to befriend the Gospel, and to advance the Honour of his Great Master Jesus Christ) and therefore perhaps he is under a Temptation to forbear. Men, for want of Charity, being so ready to interpret it as a Fruit of a Minister’s Pride, and of that Ambition or Affection they have of some outward Grandeur, and Worldly Pomp, which they design to gain by such a magnificent Title: The Apostle himself was sensible of this, but yet would not desist (though they might count it his Folly) he doth magnify his Office, 1 Cor. 4.5. Let Men so account of us as Ministers of Christ, and Stewards of God; and that they judge nothing before the time.

5. It also may inform us what need there is, that Churches take care to choose such to be Pastors, that are Sober, Grave, and Humble Men, and not Novices, Young and inexperienced

Persons, Least being lifted up with Pride, they fall into the Condemnation of the Devil; who fell by his Pride, and is ready to tempt others to fall by the same Sin.

6. And O! with what trembling should this Work be undertaken, ’tis a mighty Trust, and Woe to them that seek themselves, and not the Honour of God and Jesus Christ herein.

Object. But some may perhaps say, If Christ will have Ambassadors to treat with Sinners, why doth he not use the Holy Angels, or choose them to this High Office.

1 Answ. It is not his Pleasure so to do; the Apostle gives one reason for it; We have this Treasure in Earthen Vessels. Wherefore? That the Excellency of the Power might be of God, and not of us. And hence, he has not chosen many Wise and Noble among Men, That no Flesh should glory in his Presence; i. e. Christ’s Ambassadors, or Ministers, being Men, they have the advantage many Ways above Angels. (1.) They are concerned themselves in the Message they bring, which the Angels are not: What greater Argument to press a Man to Care and Faithfulness, than when his own Interest is concerned in the matter. (2.) Men have a more deep sense arising in their own Hearts upon the account of the Temptations they themselves are subject to. (3.) Because the Sufferings and Troubles that Ministers often meet with for Christ and the Gospel sake, are great Advantages to their Brethren, and others to whom they Preach; had the Holy Angels been the Ambassadors of this Peace, they could not have been exposed to those Trials, and Reproaches, nor have Sealed to the Truth of their Doctrine with their Blood, they cannot die. (4.) Because the Presence of an Angel might terrified us, their Glory is so great; or, may be it might create Doubts in us, whether it be a good Angel, or not.

7. This also shows, that Ministers have received a Special Commission how and what to Preach, and what Ordinance to Administer; and also that they have a Regular Call to this Office; How shall they Preach, except they be sent?

2ly. Exhortation. Sinners be ye exhorted, and fully persuaded to hearken to Christ’s Ambassadors, and carefully to receive their Message.

1. To accept of Terms of Peace by closing with Christ, by believing in him.

2. To consider the Time allowed you, is this present time; Behold now is the accepted time, behold now is the Day of Salvation.

3. To consider the Danger of rejecting, neglecting, or refusing Peace and Salvation by Jesus Christ: How shall we escape,* if we neglect so great Salvation? Know, O Sinners, that Ministers set Life and Death before you; Hear, and your Souls shall live;* but he that Believes not, shall be Damned.* He that Believes hath Everlasting Life, but he that Believeth not, shall not see Life, but the Wrath of God abides on him. What do you say, Sinners? Will you strive to take hold of Jesus Christ? Believe in him,
cry to him for Faith, resolve to lay down your Arms: What Answer shall I return to my Great Master? Do not make a Pause, but speedily come to a Resolution, your Lives are uncertain.

Lastly, This severely reproves all that cast Affronts or Contempt through Pride, Envy, or Prejudice upon any one of Christ’s Ambassadors, or that abase, deride, or raise up evil Reports on him, Christ takes it all as done to himself; also it reproves such, who account them as their Brethren, and show them no more respect than to others, may be not so much, but slight and despise them, and hardly speak Friendly to them; not considering the Place and Office they are in. But no more at this time.

Topics: Authority, Baptist History, Church, Confessions, Covenant Theology, Evangelism, Gospel, Law and Gospel, Means of Grace, Ministerial Training, Pastoral Ministry, Preaching, Puritanism, Puritans, Reformed Theology, Scripture | Comments Off

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