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CHAP. XV.

of the Duries of people towards their Paftours and

Ministers.

spoken of the Duties of Children to their Nataral Parents, and of Inferiour's to Magistrates, their civil Parents, I come now to those of people to their Ministers, their Spiritual Parents. Thus St Paul tels che Corinthians, 1 Cor.4.15. That in Christ Fesus he had begotten them through the Gospel. And the Galldians Chap.4.19. That he travels in birth of them, vil Christ be formed in them.

Their Duties to them are these four.

First, To eftcem them very highly in love for their work fake, as the Apostle commands, 1 Thef.5.13. And surely this will seem veryolu fonable, if either,

1. The Nature of their work be considered, or

2. Who it is that employe's them. 1. Their work is of all others most excellent. No Calling or employment more honourable than the rescuing of precious Souls out of the hands of Satan, and from endlesje perdition.

II. 'Tis a great and an hard work. They are, 1. To instruct the people, to feed them with

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knowledge and understanding, Jer. 3. 15. And ccach them the right way to Salvacion,

2. To pray for them: To be the Lords remembrancersand their Solicitors in the Court of Hete Uen..pa

3. To be ab Example to the Flock in a holy and Kablameable life and conversation.

4. To visit the fock.

3. To labour she fetling the distressed Confci. encede

6. To watch: over the Flock to preserve shem,

1. From corrupt Doctrine.

2. From a corrupt Conversation. And to this end to endeavour the reclaiming the disorderly by admonitions, and such other cene fares as Christ hach left in the Church. ( Their work therefore is such as ought in all reason to procare them love and esteem, it being of so great advantage to the world. Fosephs office in delivering out corn in a time of Famine, made him juftly honoured by the Egyptians. How

worthy an employment is it then to deliver out the w Manna of Gods Word, the food of life to the

men, who without it, are in danger to 2. Consider who it is that employes them. They are Ambasadors for Christ, 2 Cor.5.20, Ambaffadors by che. L'am of Nations are to be treated with a respect answerable co the quality of

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those that send them. Therefore Christ cels his Disciples, when he sends them out to preach, He that despisetbe you, despiseth me ; he' that despiseth me, despiserb him that fent me, Luke ro. 16. It seems, 'tis a worse businesse than people ordina vily consider, to despise the Ministers of Chrift, Let those think of this, who make it their defigi and Sport to put affronts upon the persons, and to deride che Calling of the Ministers. Cercainly there will be a strict account requir’d of all that derision, Sanders, reproaches, and hard usage, the faithful Ministers of Christ do meet with in the discharge of their places and calling. And furcher, it ic be Christ that employes them, then tec those confider seriously of it, who dare prefum. to exercise the offices of this facred function, without being lawfully Call d chereto. Whatis this, but as if a man on bis own head, Mould go as an Ambassador from his Prince. The Apostle faies of the Priests of the Law which yet are inferiour to those of che Gospel). That no man takes this honour to himself, but hei which was calld of God, Heb.5.4. Cercainly they chat sfuerp facred offices, for which they are noi duły filted, and to which they were never lawfully sellid, will be able to give but a very fad account to God, when he reckons with them for this their presumption. Let me advise such to read the flory of Corah, in Numb. 16. Who being arrogant and Ambitious, would needs cake upon him the

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Priesthood, and be, and his accomplices rise up against

. Moses and Aaron, and their plea is, all the Congregation are holy, take too much upon you ; Wherefore lift you up your felves above the Congres gåtion of the Lord ? So chat we see this levelling humour is no new thing in che world. To make head against Moses and Aaron, to oppose Magistracy

, and Ministry. you see was Corahs sin; Take heed of imitating him, left you perish likewise in 5.C

the gainsaying of Corah, Jude v.11. You may read the sad end of him and his Company Num. 16.32. And so much of the first Daty people

ought to pay to their Ministers. They ought to A love and esteem them, thes

Secondly, They ought to pray for them, thac il they may be furnished with all those Graces and

Gifts, and blessed with such asistances of Gods spirit, as may enable them to discharge that holy

Calling faithfully and successefally: Of chis I have het spoken more, R. 323. id. Thirdly, They ought confcientiously to attend

aspon their Ministry, and submit to their Spiritual

guidance and direction, really endeavouring co by grow in knowledge and Grace thereby. Obey ibem *** Taicha che Apostle, Heb.13.17. that have the rule

over you, and submit your felves, for they watch ** for your souls, &c. Whatfoever they out of Gods

Word häll make manifest co be his Will and Com. beli mand, is to be obeyed, seeing 't is not they, bue huge God requires it, according to that of Christ, He

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that heareth you, heareth me, Loke 10.16. And e his whecher it be delivered by way of pablick preaching, or private exhortation, for in both, so long as they keep them to the Rule, wbich is Gods Word, they are the messengers of the Lord of Hofts, Mal.2.7. People therefore must labour to grow in Spiritual knowledge and Grace answerably to the means of Grace afforded them, and thereby strengthen the hands, and encourage the beart of their Minister in his work. The proficiency of the people in knowledge and holines is the Cromon and rejoycing of every Faithful Mini fter, and chough God will not reward him accord. ing to his fucceffe, but his sincerity and industry, yet nothing more troubles him theo co see his multiplied pains nor answered with desired succeffe. Let people therefore look to it, chat chey bring forth che fruits of the Gospel that is preached to them. The Husbandman taies his ground fallow, when he sces it will not bring forth Corn, To as to quit charges. The Kingdom of Heaven laies our Saviour, Thall be taken away from you, and given to others which will bring forth the fruits chereof; Mat. 21:43. Tis juft with God to take away the means of Grace from a people, when he sees they live unprofitably under chem.

Fourthly, Seeing Ministers low Spirituals, the people should not begrudge them, if they reas iome of their temporals, I Cor.9.14. God hash ordained that they that preach the Gospel, fhosts

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