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ments. Having taken possession of their hearts, and united them to Christ, he continues to abide in them, and to carry forward the work of grace, working in them both to will and to do. He teaches them the nature, extent and holiness of the divine law, and attaches their hearts to it. He enlarges and improves their views of Christ and the nature of his kingdom; and directs them to that part which they are to act as subjects of it. He influences the whole of their obedience to Jesus. He strikes at the root of lust in their souls, invigorates and adds strength to the new man, and enlarges their hearts to run the way of God's commandments. In virtue of this great privilege, "They walk in the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, and crucify the flesh with the affections and lusts." Their souls are fitted for observing divine ordinances, and for fellowship with their Lord in them. By having the Spirit they read the Scriptures and observe the ordinances of the gospel with spiritual advantage. They sustain trials with patience and submission, and prosecute their warfare with success. All their intercourse with their king, and with God through him, is by the operations of the Spirit, working in them, faith, love, holiness, and spiritual mindedness. (c They have, therefore, access by one Spirit unto the Father." The enjoyment of the Spirit must be one of the most valuable privileges which the church has from her Lord. The Scriptures contain all means for promoting her interest, and the Spirit gives them all that efficacy necessary for that end. In human governments, the executive power is sometimes inadequate to give efficacy to the laws: it is never so in Messiah's kingdom; every thing proceeds as he will have it. "His subjects are willing in the day
of his power, and the pleasure of the LORD prospers in his hand."
3. THE church's Lord confers upon her the valuable privilege of well qualified and faithful officers. In civil society the faithful execution of the laws depends much on subordinate magistrates; if these are corrupt or unfaithful, the subjects will be subjected to many disadvantages, though the laws be very wholesome. The truth of this hath long been verified in the church, much to her disadvantage. God may deliver a professing people into the hands of corrupt and unfaithful teachers, as a punishment of their sin, in rejecting his. faithful messengers, refusing to listen to their instructions, and to profit by them. Or they may precede terrible judgments, as before the destruction of Jerusalem.
WHEN Messiah intends good to his church, by means of a faithful administration of his laws and ordinances, he qualifies and authorises fit persons for that end. He teaches them the knowledge of his word, illuminates them by his Spirit and attaches them to the interests of his kingdom. He makes them acquainted with religion, the exercises of the heart, under the influence both of grace and corruption, and various temptations, to fit them for applying the word more closely unto others. He invests them with power and authority to employ their talents, and all their spiritual gifts in the service of his church. He has often promised such to his church. "I will clothe her priests with salvation; and her saints shall shout aloud for joy." Psalm cxxxii, 16. "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Jer. iii. 11. When it is in God's heart to have his people taught, he will teach his servants, that their lips
may keep knowledge, and that his people may receive the law at their mouth. Without being qualified in this way they are unfit for their work, and must be unsuccessful in it. "We are not," says an Apostle, "sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament," &c. 2 Cor. iii. 5, 6. They are qualified and authorized for their work because Jesus intends to accompany them, and crown their labours with success. "Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." Such as run without being sent, and prophesy when God has not spoken to them, cannot expect his presence, nor a blessing on their labours.
WHEN Jesus has conferred such teachers on his church he will also have them vigilant, active, and faithful in their work; that she may, from their labours, derive all the advantages he intends. When the prophets and apostles had received their commission and message, nothing would make them conceal the word of God, nor handle it deceitfully; but, by manifestation of the truth, commend themselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God." The church has much need of such teachers, and, when she obtains them, will reap much advantage from them. Various titles are given them, pointing out the nature and extent of their work, and also in what respects the church needs them. They are placed, as watchmen upon the walls of a city, to give notice of approaching danger, by sin, error, or judgment; to defend the truth, the or dinances of the gospel, and the attainments of the
church, against corruption. "I am set," said Paul, "for the defence of the gospel." If it be of advantage to the church to have these preserved pure, it must be a singular favour to have from her Lord, persons well qualified for that purpose. They are faithful and wise stewards, set by the Lord over his household to give to every one his portion of meat in due season.” The pure doctrines and ordinances of the gospel, the faithful government of his house according to his laws, and the application of discipline when necessary, are Zion's provision, which God has promised to bless. They are, therefore, to take heed over all the flock "over which the Holy Ghost hath made them overseers, and feed the church of God." If wholesome food be necessary to animal life and health, it will be no less necessary that the food of the soul be so too, the sincere milk of the word. A faithful declaration of sin and duty is a considerable part of their work, in order to discourage the one and promote the other. Their whole aim, and all their efforts, should be to over-run and destroy Satan's kingdom, and to promote the kingdom of the Messiah. When they are sent by him, this will be their grand object: and in pursuit of it, they will be successful. These faithful teachers are promised, and when the promises are fulfilled much good will accrue to the church; she should, therefore, put her Lord in mind of his own word, and importune him for the fulfilment of it. "Thine eyes shall see thy teachers: and thine ear shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left."
set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace, day nor night." Isa. xxx. 20, 21. chap. Ixii. 6.
I SHALL reserve some farther remarks upon this part of the subject till after, and now deduce some infer
1. MESSIAH is the immediate representative of God to us. We are in the habit of viewing him as our representative to God, but perhaps we do not sufficiently attend to his being the representative of God to us. If two men at variance chuse one to act between them, to adjust their difference, he equally represents both, and acts in the name of each. Though we had no choice, God has chosen for us, as well as for himself; and Jesus is the " One Mediator between him and us.'
HAD Jesus been appointed to no other work but to obey the law and die for sinners, he could have represented none but them. But he was appointed to be the Lord of the church, and the administrative head of the whole creation; and as this dignified place belonged only to God, he must be his representative in occupying it. The Father clothed him with power to act, and he, in exercising it, represents him, and acts in his As God's vicegerent he often appeared in human form and conversed with the Patriarchs, and communicated to them the divine will. He also came down on mount Sinai and delivered the law.
HERE then, Christians, you have a glorious representative of God, in your Lord." He is the image of the invisible God." In executing the work of your salvation, he displays every divine perfection, in an astonishing manner: and if you have faith you cannot fail to see them. By his incarnation these excellencies make a very near approach to you, and in a manner adapted to your situation. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father." John i. 14.