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entirely disclaim, any dependence upon what we have done or can do in point of acceptance with God. This is necessary in order to our being Christians indeed.-Without this, we cannot pay a due regard to the riches of God's grace and mercy.-Without this, we cannot suitably prize the glorious Saviour of men.Without this, we cannot share in the rich consolations which are in Christ Jesus.—Yea, without this, we cannot justly hope for the approbation of our Judge in the great day, or admission into the mansions of glory.
How important is it then, that we possess our souls with a lively and practical belief, that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we can be saved, but the name of Jesus Christ ;” and that we cast ourselves entirely upon him for salvation, firmly persuaded that “ he is able to save to the uttermost all that come to God by him!” Upon him let all our hopes be fixed. Through him let all our acknowledgments be made. Let us contract a delightful familiarity with the doctrines of free grace, and endeavor frequently to warm our hearts with the highest sentiments of gratitude and praise to God our Saviour.--"Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father ; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”
S E R M 0 N
PREACHED JULY 4, 1764,
REV. MR. EDWARD BROOKS,
TO THE PASTORAL CARE OF THE CHURCH
PASTOR OF THE FIRST CHURCH IN DEDHAM.
PRINTED BY RICHARD AND SAMUEL DRAPER, AT THE PRINTING
OFFICE IN NEWBURY STREET.
HEBREWS xiii. 17.
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as they that must give account; that they may do it with joy, and not with grief; for that is unprofitable for you."
The preaching of the gospel, being a principal method pitched on by divine wisdom, to bring sinful men acquainted with Jesus Christ, and his great salvation ; the introduction of persons into the sacred employment, must be a very solemn and important transaction ; and will always be regarded as such, by men of sober minds.
If nothing new can be said, upon an occasion which occurs so frequently ; the remembrance of several things may be revived, which can hardly pass our minds, but with advantage ; which are very interesting to all ; especially to him, who takes the care and charge of souls upon him; and to them, who have a man set over them in the Lord.
Some articles of the duty, both of ministers and people, are obvious in the passage now read, as the foundation of the following discourse ; together with the manner in which they ought to be performed; and the motives which should aniinate and excite us respectively to them.
What the words contain of the duty of Christ's ministers, may be first considered. And do they not evidently point out their duty, as to ruling and governing in the church-as to watching over the souls of their people—and the serious and faithful manner in which they are obliged to do it ?
The words teach us, first, that something of rule and government belongs to the ministerial office. So much I think necessarily implied in the first clause.“ Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves."