« PreviousContinue »
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 desirable. ly, they must be revealed ere we can be. lieve: faith is an understanding act of the
OBSERVATIONS. foul, and presupposeth knowledge. 3. And 1. Humble depending on God, and how all they hear without a preacher? 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 Psal.cxix. 94. and xiv. 4. authority, unless they have a commission, II. Howbeit many may call upon the and unless they be authorized for chat 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 li. 7. in citing heartily lay out their condition before the whereof, he followeth not the Seventy, Lord with confidence, but such as hare which is corrupt, (for they render the placed their hope in the Lord, and have words thus: I am present as beauty upon cast 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 pore, and turning the fingular into the | Farher: How 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 dethough 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, yei 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 invcthe 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. I have not believed. j. 11. and therefore says, How beautiful? IV. True and saving faith is not a blind, how comely or desirable are the very dusty rash, and groundless act of the soul, but and sweaty feet of such as preach the go. is a most rational deed, founded upon cer. spel of peace and reconciliation with God,tain knowledge, and clear grounds; none and declare peace and welfare, and pn. truly believe in God, but whom they blili glad and good ridings. Now, by know, and have heard : How can they bethis passage ihus cited, he cleareth the lieve in him of whom they have not heard? fum 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 necessary, by nature we cannot believe, and cast our
anchor 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 all they believe in warnings and rebukes, Lev. xix. 17. and bim of whom they have not heard?
other wholesome admonitions and instrucVI. Tho' the Lord has his own way of tions; yet none may presume to take up. working faith, and oiher graces necessary on them the office of a preacher, and to o 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 constitured church, unless Lord's ordinary course and way of work they be called thereto, either immediately ing of faith, it is begoten by the preach and extraordinarily only, as were the ing of the gospel; and such as stop their prophets and apostles; or mediately, by ears at the word preached, are likely never his church, in the way carved out by him; to believe: How ball they believe in him so that it is not sufficient that they be inof whom they have not heard? . I 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 effential even to ordinary teachers, or all own private studies, without public preach whose office it is to beget faith; and this ing; ger 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 authoricaappointed public preaching to be the ordi- tive, such as agreeth to watchmen and hetary 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 feers, Heb. xiii. 17. 24. Rewards, i 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 fent? See Heb. v. 4. 5. endeavours: How sall 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 perib, Prov. xxix. 18. See Cor. not an office to fall down, but is a stand. 1. 18. i Tim. i. 16.
ing ordinance to the end of the world, VIII. Tho' God may sometimes bless being of a great neceffity for the vegering the labours of parents in educating their of faith in people, fo chat so long as there children, Gen. xviii. 19. Eph. vi. 4. and is faith to be wrought in people chis ordiof masters in instructing their servants, and nance and office will be found necessary; a school-masters 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 bours; yet God's ordinary way of beget. presence with such, Marth. xxviji. 20. 192 faith in souls is by the preaching of God's end in instituring this, calls for it, ken in office, who are authorized, not by Eph. iv. 11. I Cor. xii29. : How can they fitts alone, but also by an auihoritative hear without a preacher ? million; and it is the duty of pastors, and XI. This ordinance of the ministry is Den in office, as such, even to beger chil. noc an ordinance of man, tho' God be teen to God, and by their preaching .10 pleased mediately to instate some particuWork faith in their hearers : How can they jar persons in the office, but it hath its rise hear without a preacher? and how canthey from heaven; God is its author, who breach, except they be sent ?
I therefore hath designed particular persons : 3 G
Thereio, thereto, distinguishing them from others preaching as an intolerable burden whereby distinct sirles and characters, 1 Cor. xii. ' of they weary; yet the very truth is, mini. 28. Acts xiii. 2. and xx, 28. 1 Pet. v. 2. : fters are about nothing but whar is good Tit. i. 7. Gal. vi. 10. Luke xii. 42. and and profitable to them, and excellent in it. less than others which may render them ! and bring glad tidings of good 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 ridings are not believed by bigbly in love for their work's fake, iTheff. 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 liji. 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 ofice, and that upon this account: How was come in the flesh; for thus he breakbeautiful are the feet of them that preach the | 'ech out, Lord, who hath believed our reg0/pel of peace!
xvi. 2. he it is who hath set down what 'self; all that which they speak according • qualifications is fit for such, 1 Tim. iii 2. ! to their commislion, how bitter and unía
and 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 eternity, and labour to clear they believe in him of whom they have not the way thither, and to engage folk in beard? 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 miniXII. Such as God hath commissionated 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 imagined; out fear; they should be like heralds, so ministers in handling of these should beknowing who hath sent them forth, and have themselves suitably, and should be impowered them; such as are once sent affected with the sweetness and desirablemay boldly and freely preach, with allness of the news themselves, and hold authority: How can they preach, except they them forth so as others may be convinced be fent? 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 mind of the Lord: these good things, and that peace, as glad And because the thoughts of our calling news; and, to speak fo, they should evanare not fresh upon our spirits, 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.
IV. Seeing men by nature are enemies to From the paffage cited OBSERVE, God, and there is no peace between God I. The principal task and errand of the and them, and seeing they are also denudauthorized ministers of Christ, is to pu- ed of all these precious and excellent comblish and proclaim peace to all rebels, who | modities of heaven; such as come in the will lay down their weapons, and submit 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 peaceed 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 beau. See Ads 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 lusts, and blinded with self-love, and none can tell how beautiful they are and love to their idols, so as they cannot | unio markind finners. clearly take up, nor understand the nature I VWhatever infirmities micisters are of divine things, do look on ministers | compaffed with, (being subject to them no
port? Paul addeih, Lord, to thew to VI. The more that ministers have been whom the prophet was making this reloosers through preaching of the golpel, I gret. Then, verse 17. he draws a conhaving spent their strengih and substance, clusion from his former discourse, saying, and having incured reproach and obloquy So then, faith cometh by hearing, and bearbecause 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 duf, and are made to suffer, are mighty power; and so before a soul can beautiful : How beautiful are the feet of in the Lord's ordinary way of dispensaJucb! .
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 on preaching, being sent and commissioned :. beyed the gospel. For Efaias faith, unto the Gentiles, seeing without this they
Lord, who hath believed our repori? would never get faith, and so would never So tben, faith cometh by hearing, and hear. | be saved, contrary to God's promise, ing by the word of God.
OBSERVATIONS. D Efore that he draw a conclufion from I. People being naturally rude and ig
B his argument, verses 14. 15. he casts, norant, and so possessed with conceits of ima 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 there therefore ministers should be careful to rewords, How fball 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 mighi 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 side, as it were, to clear what he had faid gospel should not be rejected for unbelief; touching preaching, left they thould 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 fpel be such as preach the gospel of peace, of faith in people, and blessed of God for
the actual working of the same in some ; · VI. It is a great aggravation of forks 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 refuling But they have not all obeyed the gospel. fubmiffion thereto, toʻbe 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-bring. faith in the heart, and hence it is caileders 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 irore taineth nothing but terms of peace, and to aggravate the Jews and others guilt 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 believed of heaven, and how a poor empty dyvour the gospel. may be enriched with all good things, and VI. God's seting up of the ordinance may be filled with fpiritual blelings in hea of the ministry amongst men, and authovenly places in Christ, Eph. i. 3. : what rizing these in office to "hold forth glad was before called peace and good things, is ridings, to preach the gbfpel of peace, and here called the gospel, which is indeed glad publifh 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 scul 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 soul heard offered, seeing God is in earnest, and hath? of; yet there are multitudes who never sworn ir : yea, not only are they allowed! welcome these news, and give any kindly and warranted to close with Christ, and entertainment unto them, as becometh; embrace the covenant, but they are bound; but notwithstanding there be a great com under a certification to do it; there is a · mand, that comerh forth with the gospel, command above their heads, and under i
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, fars, of; neither doth the sweetness of the tid they might have done so; yea, that they ings allure them, nor the weight of a com- should have done so, seeing there were mand constrain them, but they stand out messengers sent to preach these glad ridinge for all that: But they have not all obeyed of peace. the gospel.
V. The main duty which is called for From the paffage cited OBSERVE, from the hearers of the gospel, is humble I. Christ Jesus should be the theme and submission 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 Chrift is a theme fufficient choosing of him as our head and husband, for ministers in all ages; they will food 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 fubje&t of Jesus Christ; the gospel must be obeyed: the discourse of all the minifters of the They have not all obeyed the gospel, 1 gospel; their duty is to make report of him,