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is no blind act of the soul; the mysteries that the very feet of such as carry these concerning life being hid from us nacural-good tidings should be lovely and delirable. ly, they must be revealed ere we can believe: faith is an understanding act of the
OBSERVATIONS. foul, and presupposeth knowledge. 3. And I. Humble depending on God, and how Mall they hear without a preacber?' seeking him and his help in all our straits How can they be confirmed in these mat and necessities, is necessary unto life, by ters, unless there be some set apart of virtue of a command, so as such who scorn purpose for that office and employment, to call on God, have no warrant to expect 10 preach the glad tidings of the gospel life, but do certainly exclude themselves with authority. And, 4. How shall they therefrom; the whole contexture of the preach, except they be sent? How shall they means of life is for this end: How can they take upon them this office, to preach with call on him, &c. See Píal.cxix. 94. and xiv. 4. authority, unless they have a commission, II. Howbeit many may call upon the and unless they be authorized for that effect. Lord with their lips, Luke xviii. 11. tho' And for the confirmation of this, he citeth they have not faith, yet none can truly and a passage out of Isaiah lii. 7. in citing heartily lay out their condition before the whereof, he followeth not the Seventy, Lord with confidence, but such as have which is corrupt, (for they render the placed their hope in the Lord, and have words thus : I am present as beauty upon calt their burden over on him by faith, the mountains, as feet preaching the bearing having grounds of hope to be heard: of peace, and preaching good things :) but strangers may cry, but his own only can the Hebrew; citing what was for his pur- call upon him as their engaged God and pose, and turning the fingular into the Father: Huw can they call upon him in plural, following the force of the Hebrew whom they have not believed? See Mark word, As it written, How beautiful are the xi. 24. James i. 6. 7. Rom. xiv. 23. Heb. feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, xi. 6. and bring glad tidings of good things. And III. Seeing neither angels nor faints de though the Hebrew verb rendered, to parted are such as we are allowed to place preach the gospel, signifieth only to publish our confidence in, being discharged thereridings, yet the apostle doth thus render from, under the pain of a heavy curse, it, thereby declaring what it was which Jer. xvii. 5. therefore neither dare we invothe prophet was mainly aiming at, viz. cate them, and send up our desires to them the publishing of the gospel. Also in these in a religious manner : it is impossible that words the prophet was speaking of the re we can call upon them aright in whom we turn of the captivity from Babylon, Neh. have not believed. j. 11. and therefore fays, How beautiful? IV. True and saving faith is not a blind, how comely or desirable are the very dusty rafh, and groundless act of the soul, but and sweary feet of such as preach the go- is a most rational deed, founded upon cerspel of peace and reconciliation with God, tain knowledge, and clear grounds; none and declare peace and welfare, and pu- truly believe in God, but whom they blifli glad and good tidings. Now, by know, and have heard : How can they béthis passage ihus cited, he cleareth the lieve in him of whom they have not heard? sum of what he has been saying, viz. that V. By nature we are utter strangers unthe gospel must be preached, and that it to the nature and excellent properties of cannot be done without a commission from God, the knowledge whereof would enthe Lord; .yea, that the preaching of the courage a foul to believe in him; and so glad tidings of the gospel is fo neceffary, by nature we cannot believe, and cast our
anchor on the Most High; for we cannot IX. Howbeit all private Christians may believe, except we know; and we cannot and ought, according to their stations, know, without revelation: What we know to endeavour to promote the spiritual of God must be drunken in with the hear- welfare of their neighbours, by occasional ing of the ear; How fall they believe in warnings and rebukes, Lev. xix. 17. and bim of whom they have not heard? other wholesome admonitions and instruc
VI. Tho' the Lord has his own way of tions; yet none may presume to take upworking faith, and other graces necessary on them the office of a preacher, and to to falvation, in infants who are elected, officiate therein publickly, and with all and in such as are born deaf; yet in the authority, in a constirured church, unless Lord's ordinary course and way of work they be called thereto, either immediately ing of faich, it is begoten by the preach and extraordinarily only, as were the ing of the gospel; and such as stop their prophets and apoítles; or mediately, by cars at the word preached, are likely never his church, in the way carved out by him; to believe : How mall they believe in him so that it is not sufficient that they be inof whom they have not heard?
structed with gifts, but they must have an VII. Howbeit many may despise the orderly mision and call thereto, as being preaching of the word, and account it public messengers and embassadors, 2 Cor. foolishness, and may think to be edified as v. 19. 20.: Mission is essential, and it is well in the faith, if not better, by their efsential even to ordinary teachers, or all own private studies, without public preach. whose office it is to beget faith; and this ing; yet however God may be pleased to mission is not only providential, which bless these private means to some, he has can warrant no act of itself, but authoritaappointed public preaching to be the ordi- tive, such as agreeth to watchmen and bepary way of salvation, and of grounding folk ralds, Isa. lii. 8. rulers, i Tim. v. 17. overin the knowledge of God, so as none who seers, Heb. xiii. 17. 24. Rewards, 1 Cor. contemn the same can have any ground to iv. 1.: How can they preach, except they expect God's blessing upon their private be sent ? See Heb. v. 4. 5. endeavours: How shall they hear without a X. This office wherein some are fet, preacher? so that where there is no vision, with spiritual commission and warrant, is the people perish, Prov. xxix. 18. See i Cor. not an office to fall down, but is a standi. 18. i Tin. i. 16.
ing ordinance to the end of the world, VIII. Tho' God may sometimes bless being of a great neceffity for the vegeting the labours of parents in educating their of faith in people, so that so long as there children, Gen. xviii. 19. Eph. vi. and is faith to be wrought in people, this ordiof masters in instructing their servants, and nance and office will be found necessary; of school-malters their scholars, and of hence we find promises of the continuance private Christians in instructing their neigh- of it, Jer. iii. 15. and xxiii. 4. and of God's
yet God's ordinary way of beget presence with such, Maith. xxviii. 20. ing faith in souls is by the preaching of God's end in instituting this, calls for it, men in office, who are authorized, not by Eph. iv. 11. 1 Cor. xii. 29. : How can they gifts alone, but also by an authoritative hear without a preacher ? mission; and it is the duty of pastors, and XI. This ordinance of the ministry is men in office, as such, even to beget chil- not an ordinance of man, tho' God be dren to God, and by their preaching .to pleased mediately to instate some particuWork faith in their hearers: How can they lar persons in the office, but it hath its rise bear without a preacher? and how canthey from heaven; God is its author, who preach, except they be sent ?
therefore hath designed particular persons 3 G
thereto, distinguishing them from others preaching as an intolerable burden whereby distinct titles and characters, 1 Cor. xii. ' of they weary; yet the very truth is, mini28. Acts xiii. 2. and xx. 28. 1 Pet. v. 2. : fters are about nothing but what is good Tic. i. 7. Gal. vi. 10. Luke xii. 42. and and profitable to them, and excellent in itxvi. 2. he it is who hath set down what self; all that which they speak according qualifications is fit for such, Tim. iii 2. to their commillion, how bitter and unsaand ii. 2. 15. and the like; for he who voury soever it appear, yet is wholesome made the rest of the links of the chain and useful ro people: they treat about made this too; he who said, How can heaven and erernity, and labour to clear they believe in him of whom they have not the way thither, and to engage folk in heard? faid also, How can they hear with that way, to the salvation of their souls; out a preacher and how can they preach, so they are said to publish good things. except they be fent?
III. As these things about which miniKII. Such as God hath commiflionated sters are to be employed are transcendently and authorized for the work of the mini- excellent, lovely and delirable, being the ftry, ought to go about the duties of their gladest news that ever was heard of, and calling with gravity and authority, with the best things that ever were inagined; out fear; they should be like heralds, fo ministers in haodling of these should be knowing who hath fent them forth, and have themselves suitably, and fould be impowered them; such as are once fent affected with the sweetness and desirable. may boldly and freely preach, with all ness of the news themselves, and hold authority: How can they preach, except they them forth so as others may be convinced be sent that says, that if once they be of the truth and worth of them, and acsent, they may preach, that is, as heralds cordingly affected: their duty is, to handle publish and proclaim the inind of the Lord: these good things, and that peace, as glad And because the thoughts of our calling news; and, to speak so, they should evanare not fresh upon our fpirits, therefore gelize this matter of peace, and thele good we faint so readily when we meet with things: They preach the gospel of peace, opposition.
and bring glad tidings of good things: From the passage cited OBSERVE,
IV. Seeing men by nature are ene niesto
God, and there is no peace between God 1. The principal talk and er rand of the and them, and seeing they are also denudauthorized ministers of Christ, is to pu- ed of all chefe precious and excellent com. blilh and proclaim peace to all rebels, who modities of heaven; such as come in the will lay down their weapons, and fubmit name of the Lord with offers of such things to take quarters from Christ Jesus the to them, should be most heartily welcomPrince of Peace, who has bought peace ed and embraced, with all love and favour; with his precious blood, and hath laid and the more any poor foul be fenfible of down his life to purchase peace and recon- their want of these spiritual and saving ciliation betwixt God and finners; they are enjoyments, and of their need of peace public heralds fent forth to publish peace, and reconciliation with God, the more and the terms of an everlasting agreement. highly will they esteem them: How beauSee Acts x. 36. 37
tiful are the feet of such as preach the gospel II. However carnal people, that are wed- of peace! They are beautiful and lovely, ed to their lufts, and blinded with self-love, and none can tell how beautiful they are and love to their idols, so as they cannot unto markind finners. clearly take up, nor understand the nature V. Whatever infirmities midifters are of divine things, do look on ministers | compassed with, (being subject to them no
less than others) which may render them and bring glad tidings of good things, so contemptible; yet it is the duty of all the as their feet ought to be beautiful; yet, Lord's people to be esteeming them very alas! these glad tidings are not believed by bighly in love for their work's sake, Theff
. all these to whom they come; They have v. 13. and upon this account should their
not all believed the gospel. And this he eltimation be founded, that they are car- confirmeth out of Ilaiah liü. l. where he riers of the glad tidings of the gospel; is complaining of the naughty welcome and where true and hearty love and estima- that the offers of Christ got in his time, tion is, it will be extended to all in that and would get in after times, when Christ office, and that upon this account: How was come in the flesh; for thus he breakbeautiful are the feet of them that preach the eth out, Lord, who hath believed our re8 spel of peace!
Pert? Paul addeth, Lord, to thew to VI. The more that ministers have been whom the prophet was making this reloosers through preaching of the gospel, gret. Then, verse 17. he draws a conhaving spent their strength and substance, clufion from his former discourse, saying, and having incured reproach and obloquy So then, fuith cometh by hearing, and hearbecause of their faithful deportment in fol. ing by the word of God; that is, the word lowing their commission, the more should of God, by being preached and heard, is they be loved and esteemed, tho’upon that the only mean whereby faith is begoten account they should be less accounted of in in the heart ; and fo faith hath its rise from the world; even their feet, that are defil- | God, who works it according to his own ed with duft, and are made to suffer, are mighty power; and so before a foul can beautiful: How beautiful are the feet of in the Lord's ordinary way of dispensaJuch!
tion) believe, the gospel must be preach
ed to it; and so I cannot be blamed for VERSES 16. 17. But they have not all o- preaching, being sent and commiflioned
beyed the gospel. For Esaias faith, unto the Gentiles, seeing without this they
Lord, who batb believed our report? would never get faith, and so would never So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hear be saved, contrary to God's promise, ing by the word of God.
OBSERVATIONS. Efore that he draw a conclusion from I. People being naturally rude and ig
bis argument, verses 14. 15. he casts norant, and so possessed with conceits of in a word, verse 16. partly to obviate an their own good condition, that they are objection which might be moved from ready to misconstruct and misapply truths, what he said, verse 14. viz. from these therefore ministers should be careful to rewords, How shall they believe in him of move every thing which may seem a scru. whom they have not heard? The Jews ple and doubt in peoples minds, and a might fay, that then it will follow, that ground to foster their misconceptions; all such as hear the gospel should certain therefore doth Paul break out at a broadly believe,' and so we who have heard the fide, as it were, to clear what he had faid gospel should not be rejected for unbelief; touching preaching, left they should be therefore says he, But they have not all rooted in their mistake: But they have obeyed the gospel. Next, this word is not all obeyed the gospel
. partly cast in upon the back of that II. Though public and authoritative which was cited out of Ifa. lii. 7. to this preaching by men in office, be the ordinapurpose; Tho' the preachers of the go- ry mean appointed of God for begering ipel be such as preach the gospel of peace, of faith in people, and blessed of God for
3 G 2
the actual working of the same in some; · VI. It is a great aggravation of folks yer is it not efficacious in all, but many unchearful submission unto, and not hearty may hear long and be nothing the better; acquiefcing in the plot contrived by the icthe gospel may be to them a sealed book: finitely
wise God, and makes their refusing But they have not all obeyed the gospel. submission thereto, to'be no less than rank There is more required for ihe begeting of rebellion before God, that there is nothing faith than the preaching of the gospel; in this buliness but what is most worthy of the almighty power of God must work all acceptarion, so as the very news-bringfaith in the heart, and hence it is cailed ers should be very highly esteemed of, and the gift of God, Eph. ii. 8.
loved exceedingly; for this is added upon III. The gospel of Jesus Christ con
the back of what was faid before, the more taineth nothing but terms of peace,
lo aggravate the Jews and others guili in the offers of reconciliation thro' him, and refusing obedience : How beautiful are the good things; it is the sweetest news that feet of such as preach glad tidings of peace, ever was heard tell of, how a condemned and bring glad tidings of good things
, and rebel may be reconciled to the great God yet it followeth, they have not all briieved of heaven, and how a poor empty dyvour the gospel. may be enriched with all good things, and VII. God's seting up of the ordinance may be filled with spiritual blesings in hea- of the ministry amongst men, and authovenly places in Chrift, Eph. i. 3.: what rizing these in office to hold forth glad was before called peace and good things, is tidings, to preach the gbfpel of peace, and here called the gospel
, which is indeed glad publish the terms of pacification, and to tidings of good things.
lay out the offer of desirable things, may IV. Howbeit the gospel contain nothing warrant any soul to close with the offer, but glad and excellent tidings, even the to accept of the bargain upon the terms sweetest news that ever a poor foul heard offered, seeing God is in earnest, and hath of; yet there are multitudes who never sworn it: yea, not only are they allowed welcome these news, and give any kindly and warranted to close with Christ, and entertaininent unto them, as becometh; embrace the covenant, but they are bound bui notwithstanding there be a great com
under a certification to do it; there is a mand, that cometh forth with the gospel, command above their heads, and under to all to embrace the same heartily, yet the pain of disobedience they must obey: multitudes stand out against the call there. They have not all obeyed the gospel, fays
, of; neither doth the sweetness of the tid they might have done fo; yea, that they ings allure them, nor the weight of a com- should have done fo, seeing there were mand constrain them, but they stand out messengers sent to preach these glad ridings * for all that: But they have not all obeyed
peace. V. The main duty which is called for
From the passage cited OBSERVE, from the hearers of the gospel, is humble 1. Christ Jesus Ihould be the theme and fubmiffion unto the terms of the covenant text of all the preaching of ministers; the of grace, and a willing and chearful em. fubject of all their discourse should be news bracing and taking on of Christ, and a of Chrift; and Christ is a theme fufficient choosing of him as our head and husband, for ministers in all ages; they will find and kindly submiting unto, and acquief- | matter enough of discourse in him: he has cing in the great plot of salvation through been, and will be the principal subject of Jesus Christ; the gospel must be obeyed: the discourse of all the ministers of the "They have not all obeyed the gspel. gospel; their duty is to make report of him,