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lie heavy on unholy or negligent ministers, so a great many souls are ruining themselves under some measure of fit means; and so the slighting of those means will make their condition far heavier than that of many others; remembering our Saviour's word, Woe to thee, Chorazin! Voe unto thee, Bethsaida! It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you.
II. The discharge of this high task we have here duly qualified: the Apostle expresses the upriglit way of it, both negatively and positively.
i. Negatively. There be three evils the Apostle would rernove from this work, constrainedness, covetousness, and ainbition; and the positive qualifications opposed to them, which I shall consider with them, are willingness, a ready mind, and an exemplary temper and behaviour. 1. We are cautioned against constrainedness, un ávæynasa's, either driven to the work by necessity, indigence, and want of other means of subsistence; as it is with too many, making a trade of it to live by, and setting to it as to any other cal. ļing for that end; yea, making it the refuge and forlorn resource of their insufficiency for other callings, And as men are not to undertake the work, driven to it by that hard weapon of necessity, so, being engaged in it, they are not to discharge the duties of il merely upon necessity, because of fines binding to it, and for fear of censure ; this is a violent forced motion, and cannot but be both very unpleasant and unprofitable, as to the proper end and profiting of this work. And as the principle of the motion in this service should not be a compelling necessity of any kind, but true willingness of heart;
So, 2dly, This willingness should not arise from any other but pure affection to the work, not for filthy gain, but purely from the inward bent of the mind. As it should not be a compulsive or violent motion by necessity from without, so it should not be an artificial motion by weights of avarice, and love of gain, hung on within. The former motive, necessity,
ḥ Matt. xi.
makes the mind like a wheel, that is driven or drawn forcibly; the latter, avarice, makes it like a clock, which is kept going by art, and by weights hung to it. But there should be à natural motion, as that of the heavens in their course; a willing obedience to the Spirit of God within, moving a man in every part of this holy work; that is, apodopads, his mind carried to it as the thing he delights in, and in which he loves to be exercised'. There may be in a faithful pastor very great reluctancies in engaging and adhering to the work upon a sense of the excellency of it, and his unfitness, and the deep apprehension of those high interests, the glory of God, and the sal. vation of souls; and yet he enters into it, and continues in it, with this readiness of mind too, that is, with most single and earnest desires of doing all he can for God, and the flock of God; only grieved that there is in him so little suitableness of heart, so little holiness and acquaintance with God, for enabling him to it. But finding that, he is satisfied, and, in attendance upon that, goes on, and waits, and is doing according to his little skiļl and strength, and cannot leave it. He is constrained indeed, but all the constraint is that of love to Jesusk; and for his sake to the souls he hath bought; and all the gain sought is to gain souls to Christ, which is far different from the constraint and the gain here prohibited ; yea, is indeed that very willingness and readiness of mind which is opposed to that other constraint ; that is without, this is within ; that other gain is base filthy gain, aixporépdo-, this noble and divine.
Inf. 1. Far be it from us, that necessity and constraint should be the thing that moves us in so holy a work. The Lord whom we serve, sees into the heart ; and if he find not that primely moving, accounts all our diligence nothing. And let not base earth within be the cause of our willingness, but a mind touched with heaven. It is true, the tempta
Timothy careth ymciws, not artificially, but naturally, Phil. ii. 20.
* 2 Cor. y. 14.
tions of earth with us, in matter of gain, are not great ; but yet the heart may cleave to them, as much as if they were much greater; and if it do cleave to them, they shall ruin us, as well a poor stipend and glebe, if the affection be upon them, as a great deanry or bishopric. If a man fall into it, he may drown in a small brook, being under water, as well as in the great ocean. Oh! the little time that remains, let us join our desires and endeavours in this work, bend our united strength to serve him, that we may have joy in that day of reckoning,
And, indeed, there is nothing moves us aright, nor shall we ever find comfort in this service, unless it be from a cheerful inward readiness of mind, and that from the love of Christ. Thus said he to his Apostle, Lorest thou me ? then feed my sheep, and feed my lambs'. Love to Christ begets love to his people's souls, that are so precious to him, and a care of feeding them: He devolves the working of love towards him upon his flock for their good; puts them in his room, to receive the benefit of our services, which cannot reach him considered in himself; he can receive no other profit from it. Love, much love, gives much unwearied care, and much skill in this charge. How sweet is it to him that loves, to bestow himself, to spend, and be spent, upon His service whom he loves. Jacob, in the same kind of service, endured all tl at was imposed on him, and found it light by reason of love, the cold of the nights, and heat of the days ; seven years he served for his Rachel, and they seemed to him but a few days, because he loved her m
Love is the great endowment of a shepherd of Christ's flock. He says not to Peter, Art thou wise, or learned, or eloquent; but, Lovest thou me? Then feed my sheep.
The third evil is ambition, and that is either in the affecting of undue authority ; cr the overstrained and tyrannical exercise of due authority ; or to seek those dignities that suit not with this charge, which is not dominium, but ministerium. This temper, there, 1 John xxi.
m Gen, xxix, 20.
fore is forbidden in Luke xxii. 25, 26.
The kings of the gentiles exercise lordship over them, but ye shall not be so. There is a ministerial authority to be used in discipline, and more sharpness with some than others; but still lowliness and moderation must be predominant, and not domineering with rigour ; rather being examples to them in all holiness, and especially in humility and meekness, wherein our Lord Jesus particularly propounds his own example, Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart.
Being ensamples, tutoi.] Such a pattern as they may stamp and print their spirits and carriage by'; and be followers of you, as you are of Christ. And without this, there is little or no fruitful teaching. Well says Nazianzen, Either teach not, or teach by living. So the Apostle exhorteth Timothy to be an example in word, but withal in conversation", that is Tút@, the best printed copy. · But this pares off, will some think, all encouragements of learning. No advantage, no respect, nor authority. Oh! no, it removes poor worthless encouragements out of the way, to make place for one great one, that is sufficient, which all the other together are not.
That is, III. The high advantage to be expected: A crown of glory which fadeth not away, to be received when the chief Shepherd shall appear. Thou shalt lose nothing by all that restraint from base gain, and vain glory, and worldly power. No matter, let them all go for a crown, that weighs them all down, that shall abide for ever. Oh! how far more excellent! A crown of glory, pure unmixed glory, without any ingrediency of pride or sinful vanity, or any danger of it. And a crown that fadeth not, apcepárlovov, of such a flower as withers not; not a temporary garland of fading flowers, such as all here are, Wo to the crown of pride'. Though it be made of flowers growing in a fat valley, yet their glorious beauty is a fading Aower ; but this will remain fresh and in perfect lustre to all eternity. May they not well trample ni Tim. iv. 12.
o Isa. xxviii. 1.
on base gain, and vain applause, who have this crown to look to ? They that will be content with those, let them be doing ; but they have their reward, and it is done and gone, when faithful followers are to receive theirs. Joys of royal pomp, marriages and feasts, how soon do they vanish as a dream? That of Ahasuerus lasted about 'half a year, but then ended ; and how many since that are gone and forgot! But this day begins a triumph and a feast, that shall never either end or weary, affording still fresh, ever new delights. All things here, the choicest pleasures, cloy, but satisfy not. Those above shall always satisfy and never cloy. IVhen the chief Shepherd shall appear, and that shall shortly be, this moment will shortly be out.
What is to be refused in the way to this crown? All labour is sweet for it. And what is there here to be desired to stay your hearts, that we should not most willingly let go, to rest from our labours and receive our crown? Was ever any king sad to think that the day of his coronation drew nigh? There will be no envy, nor jealousies, but all kings, each with his crown, and each rejoicing in the glory of another; and all in his, who that day shall be all.
Ver. 5. Likewise ye younger, submit yourselves. unto the
elder ; yed, all of you be subject one to another, and he clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble,
$in hath disordered all; so that nothing is to be found but distemper and crookedness in the condition and ways of men towards God, and towards one another, till a new Spirit come in and rectify all : And very much of that redress lies in this particular grace of humility, here recommended by the Apostle.
That regulates the carriage, l. Of the younger towards the elder. 2. Of all men one to another. S. Towards God.
Ist, He enjoins the younger to be subject to the elder.