Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.2

SLAM. XXXVII.1 THE CSIRISTIß.ì'S TREASURE. H7. Read and believe it; Eph. iv. 11, 12. Andhe gave some apostles; and someprophets; and some evangelists ; and some pastors and teachers ; fór the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for o the edifying of the body of Christ. . And as the gifts and graces of the ministers of the gos- pel are designed for the benefit of the church, so the outward circumstances that attend them, their sorrows, and their joys, are ordained for the advantage of chris- tians: And St. Paul rejoices in it; 9 Cor. i. S, 4, 6. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Fattier of mercies, and the God of all com- fort, who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God ;And whether we be afflicted, it is for your con- solation and salvation, which appears to be effectual; when ye endure the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation, that is, we preach more effectual from our own experience." Thus whatsoever be the characters, or the talents, or the circumstances of life that attend your ministers, they are ordained of God for some valuable purposes to you. II. This world is yours. Not only the ministers of the gospel but the world, and the things of it are yours. It is for your sakes, O believers, that the world stands! For when sin entered into it by Adam, the first man, there was a curse spread over it; and perhaps immedi- ate destruction had attended it, but for the sake of the children of God, who were appointed to beborn in suc- cessive ages, amongst the posterity of Adam, among the children of men. It is for the sake of the elect, who were given to Christ before the world was, that this earth, and these lower heavens are continued in being. This earth abides as a stage of action, proper for a state of trial for the saints, and when the last saint is born, and his state of trial is finished, the world and the works of it shall be burned up together. It is for you, O christians, that these heavens, or, shall I say, this globe of earth rolls round in its dailyand yearly courses, and the sun and the moon send out their, a3