Imatges de pÓgina
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Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead,

be ye reconciled to God.—2 COR. V. 20.

'OD'S ministers are set forth to us in His

Word under various names, most of them taken from the ordinary duties of everyday life, and all of them expressing under different aspects the relation that exists between

God and man, the Creator and His creatures. The terms used to denote these ministers in the Old Testament are, as a rule, very different from those we find in the New; but the same idea seems to pervade them all-that God in His infinite wisdom vouchsafes to make use of certain men as channels of communication between Him and His creatures. And it is somewhat remarkable that even in the hierarchical

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times of the Old Testament, when God and man were more widely separated than they are now, we still find God addressing His ministers by the evangelical titles of “watchmen” and “shepherds." To Ezekiel he says, “Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of Israel ;” and again to Isaiah, “Go, set a watchman, let him declare what he seeth,” and by-and-by is heard the reiterated cry of the inhabitant, “Watchman, what of the night? watchman, what of the night?” and a fitting title it seems for the guardians of God's heritage, for those “who watch for your souls, as they that must give account." Again, after denouncing the false pastors of Israel, the Lord declares, “I will set up shepherds over them, which shall feed them;" and in much the same language He speaks to Ezekiel, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, who feed themselves and not the flocks! should not the shepherds feed the flock?”. solemn warning to all God's ministers! And what a high and noble meaning our blessed Lord Himself lends to this title, when He calls Himself by this very name—“I am the Good Shepherd,” He who knows His sheep and is known of them, whose own the sheep are, who seeks the lost one, and brings it home with Him rejoicing on His shoulder, who lays down His life for the sheep. Very high and noble, dear brethren, are the thoughts and aspirations such a title calls forth, and unspeakably glorious is the prospect foreshadowed by the inspired promise, that “when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away."

Then we find God's ministers spoken of as stewards

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