The Unsearchable Riches of Christ
Thomas Brooks, 1655
Having spoken much concerning ministers' duty, I shall
now speak a little concerning the
ministers' dignity, and so finish this text.
"Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is
this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable
riches of Christ!" Ephesians 3:8
This grace, this favor, this honor
is given to me—that I should preach, etc. I look not upon it as a poor, low,
base, contemptible thing—but as a very great honor, "that I should preach
among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ."
The observation that I shall speak to is this: That
the office of a minister or preacher is honorable.
For the understanding of this point, premise with me two
First, That by a minister, I understand one who is
qualified according to gospel rules, and who is internally called by God,
and externally called by the people of God, to the ministerial office.
The second thing that I would have you premise
with me for the understanding of the point is this, that the common
appellation of those who are set apart for the preaching of the gospel in
the New Testament is ministers. So in 1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 3:6, and
chapter 6:4, and chapter 11:15, 23; 1 Tim. 4:16, and in many other places,
the word minister is a title of office, service, or administration given
frequently to the preachers of the gospel. As for the names of ambassadors,
stewards, and the like, wherewith they are often honored, they are
figurative, and given to them by allusion only.
These two things being premised, we shall now proceed to
the opening of the point.
1. And, in the first place, I shall prove that the office
of a minister is an honorable office.
2. And then, in the second place, I shall show you what
honor is due to them.
3. And then, in the third place, I shall show you how you
are to honor them.
4. And then, in the last place, we shall bring home all
by a word of application.
Christians, give me permission to tell you this as an
aside—that since the gospel has shined in England, a godly, faithful
ministry was never more subtly and vehemently struck at by men who make a
fair show, and by men of corrupt doctrines and wicked lives. This age has
many church destroyers. Some there are, who under that notion of plucking up
corrupt ministers, would pluck up by the very roots the true ministry. But
God has and will be still too hard for such men. If they will be monsters,
God will be sure to be master. His faithful ministers are stars which he
holds in his right hand, Rev. 2:1; and men shall as soon pull the sun out of
the skies, as pull them out of the hand of God.
Now, considering that there is such a spirit abroad in
the world, I hope no sober, serious Christians will be offended at my
standing up to vindicate the honor of a godly, faithful ministry. In order
I. I shall first prove that the office of a minister is
honorable; and to me these following things
speak it out:
[1.] The several
and titles which are given to them in Scripture,
does speak them out to be honorable. They are called fathers, stewards,
ambassadors, overseers, and angels, as you all know, who know anything of
Scripture. To spend time to prove this, would be to light candles to see the
sun at noon.
is honorable. Their
whole work is about souls, about winning souls to Christ, and about building
souls up in Christ; and to these two heads the main work of the ministry may
be reduced. The more noble the soul is, the more honor it is to be busied
and exercised about it: James 5:20, "Let him know, that he who converts the
sinner from the error of his way, shall save a soul from death, and shall
hide a multitude of sins." [O divine soul, invested with the image of God,
espoused to him by faith, etc.—Bernard.]
"Let him know," that is, let him take notice that an
honorable and glorious work is done by him. The soul is the immediate work
of God; the soul is the image of God; the soul is capable of union and
communion with God; the soul is worth more than a world, yes, than a
thousand worlds. Christ prayed for souls, and wrought miracles for souls,
and wept for souls, and left his Father's bosom for souls, and bled out his
heart's blood for souls, and is gone to heaven to make provision for souls,
yes, he is now a-making intercession for souls. All which speaks out the
excellency of their office whose whole work is about souls.
The Jews say of Moses his soul, that it was sucked out of
his mouth with a kiss. Souls are dear and sweet to Christ.
[3.] A third thing that speaks out this truth is
are fellow-laborers with God;
they are co-workers with God in the salvation of
sinners. And this is a mighty honor, to be a fellow-laborer with God, to be
a co-worker with God: 1 Cor. 3:9, "For we are laborers together with God."
Who would not work hard with such sweet company? Who would not affect,
prize, love, and honor such service? Ministers are called the light and salt
of the world, because they enlighten blind souls, and season unsavory souls,
and so save them from corruption and perdition, Mat. 5:14; John 5:35; Mat.
5:13; Mark 9:59-60. Oh, to be joined in any work with God, is an honor
beyond what I am able to express!
The senate of Rome accounted it a diminution of Augustus
Caesar's dignity to join any consuls with him for the better carrying on the
affairs of the state. Oh—but our God does not think it a diminution of his
dignity, that even his poor despised servants should be fellow-laborers and
co-workers with him in the salvation of souls.
The honorable account that the Lord has of them in this employment,
speaks out this truth, that their office is honorable. In Mat. 10:41-42,
compared, "He who receives you, receives me; he who receives a prophet in
the name of a prophet, shall receive a prophet's reward;" and Luke 10:16,
"He who receives you, receives me; and he who despises you, despises me."
This honorable account God has of all his faithful servants in this
employment. Kings and princes have their ambassadors in very high account:
so has God his.
[5.] The fifth thing that speaks out this truth is
this, they serve an
honorable master. They serve him who is
all ear to hear, all hand to uphold, all power to
protect, all wisdom to direct, all goodness to relieve, and
all mercy to pardon. They serve that God that is optimum, maximum,
the best and greatest. God has within himself all the good of angels, men,
and universal nature; he has all dignity, all glory, all riches, all
treasure, all pleasure, all delight, all joy, all beatitudes. Mark,
abstracts do better express God than concretes and adjectives. [He has
all—who has the haver of all.—Αugustine.] God is being, goodness, beauty,
power, wisdom, justice, mercy, and love itself. "God is love," says the
apostle, in the very abstract. God is one infinite perfection in himself,
which is eminently and virtually all perfections of the creatures. And oh
then, what an honor must it be to those who are employed under so honorable
Their very work and service is honorable.
Why else did the apostle cry out, "Who is sufficient for these things?"
There is no such embassage in the world as this is in which they are
employed: Eph. 6:19-20, "Pray for me, that I may make known the mystery of
the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in bonds." [Their main work is to
treat with sinners about eternity, etc.] Faithful ministers do represent the
person of the King of kings and Lord of lords; their work is to treat of
peace between God and man, or of open hostility between the Creator and the
creature, 2 Cor. 5:19-20.
Their reward from God is honorable.
Though the world crown them with thorns, as it did their Lord and master
before them—yet God will crown them with honor: Dan. 12:3, "They shall shine
as the stars in the skies." You know ambassadors have not honors while they
are abroad—but when they come home into their own country, then their
princes honor them, and put much honor upon them. So will God deal with his
ambassadors 2 Tim. 4:7, 8, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my
course, I have kept the faith: henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that
day; and not to me only—but unto all them also that love his appearing."
So in Isaiah 49:5. "I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength." So in 2 Cor. 2:15, "For we are unto God a
sweet savor of Christ in those who are saved, and in those who perish." [God
will at last highly reward those very services that men don't regard, etc.]
Ministers shall be rewarded according to their faithfulness and diligence,
though some perish. It shall be with them as with vine-dressers. You know
vine-dressers are rewarded according to their diligence and faithfulness,
though some vines never bear, nor bring forth any fruit at all. As ministers
are diligent and faithful, so the reward, the crown, shall be given forth at
last. This is many a faithful minister's grief, that he takes a great deal
of pains in rubbing and washing, as it were, to make souls white and clean,
pure and holy, and yet they remain after all as black as hell; but surely
their reward shall be never the less with God. The nurse looks not for her
wages from the child—but from the parent. If ministers, like clouds, sweat
themselves to death that souls may be brought to life, great will be their
reward, though their souls should perish forever, for whom they have wept,
sweat, and bled.
God won't deal by faithful ministers, as Xerxes did by
his steerman, who crowned him in the morning, and beheaded him in the
evening of the same day. No; God will set an everlasting crown upon their
heads who remain laborious and faithful to the death. The world for all
their pains will crown them with thorns—but God at last will crown them with
glory; he will set a crown of pure gold upon their heads forever. And thus
you have the point proved.
The second thing that I am to do is to show you,
2. What honor that is, which is justly due to faithful
Now, this I shall show you in three things. There is a
threefold honor that is due unto them.
Honorable countenance is due unto those who are in so honorable a
place and office as they are in: 1 Cor. 4:1, "Let a man so account of us
as of the ministers [Under-rowers to Christ, the master-pilot, helping
forward the ship of the church to the haven of heaven.] of Christ, and
stewards of the mysteries of God;" 1 Thes. 5:12-13, "And we beseech you,
brethren, to know those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord,
and admonish you; and to esteem them very high in love for their work's
sake;" or, "to esteem them more than exceedingly," or, more than abundantly,
as the Greek will bear. And so, in 1 Tim. 5:17, "Let the elders who rule
well be accounted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the
word and doctrine." The Greek word that is here rendered labor,
signifies not simply to labor—but to labor with much travail and toil, to
labor even to exhaustion, as he does who chops wood, or that toils in
harvest, or who goes a warfare. Preaching is a most difficult work, and
enfeebles a man exceedingly; whence the prophet cries out, "My leanness, my
leanness," Isaiah 24:16. [Our Savior, at little past thirty, was reckoned by
the Jews to be towards fifty, John 8:57, he had so spent himself in
preaching. Preaching is a spending, painful work.] No pains, no labor, no
work compared to that of the brain, to that of the mind, nor any so worthy
of praise as those who are most in that labor, in that work.
No men's work is so holy and heavenly as theirs, nor no
men's work is so high and honorable as theirs, and therefore none deserve to
be more honored than they, though not for their own sakes—yet their work's
sake. Shall Turks and papists so highly esteem and honor every hedge-priest
of theirs above their merits, and shall not Christians much more honor their
faithful ministers? Faithful ministers must have countenance
as well as maintenance, they must have reverence as well as
recompense. You are not to nod the head and put out the lip, to scoff,
and mock, and jeer at them.
Isaiah 52:7, "How beautiful upon the mountains are the
feet of him who brings good tidings, who publishes peace; who brings good
tidings of good, who publishes salvation; who says unto Zion, your God
reigns." "How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet!" What is their face
then? What is their doctrine then? Their very feet, when dirty, sweaty, and
dusty, are yet very beautiful and lovely.
It was a common saying at Constantinople, that it was
better the sun should not shine than that Chrysostom should not preach.
I have read of one that said, "if he should meet a
preacher and an angel together, he would first salute the preacher, and then
the angel afterward." If you do not give them honorable countenance, Jews
and Turks, papists, and pagans, will in the great day of account rise up
against you, and condemn you. I could say much of what I have observed in
other nations and countries concerning this thing—but I shall forbear.
Should I speak what I have seen, many professors might well blush.
The Grecians used to give far greater respect and honor
to their philosophers than to their orators, because that their orators did
only teach them to speak well—but their philosophers did teach them to live
well. Oh what honor then is due to those who do teach you both to speak well
and to live well! both how to be happy here and how to be blessed hereafter.
And thus you see that honorable countenance is due to faithful ministers.
[2.] Secondly, There is
an honor of maintenance,
as well as an honor of countenance that is due to them: 1 Tim. 5:17-18,
"Let the elders who rule well be accounted worthy of double honor,
especially they who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says,
You shall not muzzle the ox that treads out the corn, and the laborer is
worthy of his reward." [Harvest-laborers have food and drink, and double
wages. Some think that the apostle has respect to the law of the first-born,
Deut. 21:17, in which a two-fold portion is commanded to be given him. The
ancient Christians, as appears by Tertullian, were accustomed, in their
Agapae, or love-feasts, to give their ministers a double portion. Surely
ministers should have such a liberal, honorable maintenance, as might set
them above the vulgar, as the first-born by their double portion were set up
above the rest of their brethren.]
Gal. 6:6, "Anyone who receives instruction in the word
must share all good things with his instructor. Do not be deceived: God
cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." So in 1 Cor. 9:7-11, "Who
serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not
eat of its grapes? Who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk? Do I
say this merely from a human point of view? Doesn't the Law say the same
thing? For it is written in the Law of Moses: "Do not muzzle an ox while it
is treading out the grain." Is it about oxen that God is concerned? Surely
he says this for us, doesn't he? Yes, this was written for us, because when
the plowman plows and the thresher threshes, they ought to do so in the hope
of sharing in the harvest. If we have sown spiritual seed among you, is it
too much if we reap a material harvest from you?" Mat. 10:9-10, "Don’t take
along gold, silver, or copper for your money-belts. Don't take a traveling
bag for the road, or an extra shirt, sandals, or a walking stick, for the
worker is worthy of his food." God's appointment in all these texts bespeak
Again, you may consider the necessity of it.
How shall they go on in their warfare if they are troubled with the
things of this life? Again, they are to give themselves wholly to
the work of the ministry, 1 Tim. 4:5. And again, the equity and justice
of the duty Christ and the apostle shows in the forenamed scriptures, Mat.
10:10, 1 Cor. 9:10. The maintenance of the minister should be so free, and
so liberal, as may testify that you honor him in your hearts, and as may
keep him from contempt and scorn in the world. There are multitudes who
grumble at the expense of a penny for the maintenance of those divine
candles who spend themselves to give light to them; who will rather die than
spend a little money to save their souls. They like well of religion without
expense; and a gospel without charge. The scripture says, "Buy the truth,
sell it not." You can never overbuy it, whatever you give for it; you can
never sufficiently sell it, if you had all the world in exchange for it.
It is said of Caesar that he had greater care of his
books than of his royal robes; for swimming through the water to escape his
enemies, he carried his books in his hand above the water—but lost his
robes. But alas! what are Caesar's books to God's book? The word is the
field, and Christ is the treasure that is hid in that field. The word is a
ring of gold, and Christ is the pearl in that ring of gold, and is it then
worth nothing? Many deal with faithful, laborious ministers, as carriers do
with their horses, they lay heavy burdens upon them, and exact work enough;
and then to recompense this, they hang bells at their ears and necks. They
shall be commended and applauded for brave excellent preachers, and for
great painstakers, etc. That maintenance that is justly due to the ministers
of the gospel is honorable; it ought to be suitable to their condition and
dignity. The maintenance that is due to them, is of the same nature with
that which is given to princes and magistrates, by those who are under them,
and not a common maintenance which superiors give to their inferiors or
[3.] Thirdly, There is
an honor of obedience and service
that is due to them. And indeed, of all honors, this is the
greatest honor that can be cast upon a faithful minister, the honor of
obedience: Heb. 13:7, "Remember those who have the rule over you, who have
spoken to you in the word of God;" and verse 17, " Obey those who rule over
you." Oh, submit yourselves, for they "watch for your souls as those who
must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief, for
that is unprofitable for you."
"Obey those who have the rule over you." The word that is
rendered "Rule over you," in the seventh and seventeenth verses, signifies
captains, guides. Faithful ministers are your captains, they are your
guides, they are your chieftains, they are your champions who bear the brunt
of the battle, the heat of the day; and therefore you must obey them, even
as soldiers do their captains. So in 2 Thes. 3:14, "And if any man obey not
our words, note that man, and have no company with him." Brand him as
infamous, beware of him, let him see a strangeness in you towards him, that
all may avoid him as one whose company is dangerous and infectious.
Ah Christians! by your submission to their doctrine, you
highly honor them, and you make their heavy task to be easy and sweet unto
them. Christians! it will be your honor and happiness in the day of Christ,
that you have lived out what they have taught to you. I suppose you remember
that happiness is not entailed to hearing, or knowing, or
talking—but to doing. "If you know these things, blessed and
happy are you, if you do them, John 13:17. There are some diseases
which are called opprobria medicorum, the reproaches of physicians;
and there are some people that may be truly called opprobria ministrorum,
the reproach of ministers, and those are those who are great hearers, and
talkers, and admirers of ministers—but never obey the doctrines delivered by
them. [There is no fear of knowing too much—but there is much fear and
danger of practicing too little. I fear, with Augustine, that many
grieve more for the barrenness of their lands than for the barrenness of
their lives. The more the cypress is watered, the more it is withered. Oh
that it were not so with many in these days!]
The Corinthians were Paul's honor, they were his living
epistles, they were his walking certificates, they were his
letters-testimonial, 2 Cor. 3:2-3. The obedience and fruitfulness of the
people is the minister's testimonial, as the profiting of the scholar is the
master's commendation. Oh what an honor is it to a faithful minister, when
it shall be said of him, as one said once of Octavius, "When he came into
Rome he found the walls all of base materials—but left them walls of
marble!" So here is a minister who found the people dark and blind—but
left them enlightened; he found them dead—but left them alive; he
found them a proud people—but has left them humble; a profane
people—but has left them holy; he found them a carnal people—but has
left them spiritual; he found them a worldly people—but has left them
heavenly; he found them a wavering people—but has left them settled
and rooted, etc. No honor to a faithful minister like this. And thus you see
what honor is due unto them, etc.
USE. And now let me make
a word of use. Christians! if their office be so honorable, then honor
them. Oh, give them the honor that is due unto them. Will you make
conscience to give others their due, and will you make no conscience of
giving ministers their due? Are there any who are greater blessings to a
nation than faithful ministers? Who have stood more in the gap to turn away
wrath than they? Who have begotten you to Christ through the gospel but
they? Who have turned you from darkness to light, and from the power of
Satan unto God but them? Who have built you up in the light and love of
Jesus but them? etc. Oh, do not cast scorn and reproach upon them—but give
them that honor that is due unto them!
But you will say to me, How shall we honor them?
I answer, you must honor them these five ways:
[1.] You must honor them by hearing them, and giving
credit to their message. The want of
this honor troubled Isaiah too much; "Who has believed our report?" Not to
believe the report that they make concerning God and Christ, etc., is to
cast the greatest dishonor that can be upon them. [Antisthenes, a
philosopher, went every day six miles to hear Socrates.] The wise men, Mat.
2, went many weary hundred miles to find Christ at Jerusalem; some think
near a thousand miles. The Queen of Sheba, some say, went 964 miles to hear
the wisdom of Solomon; and what was Solomon's wisdom to that wisdom of
Christ that is held forth to souls in the ministry of the gospel. [We can
never hear that too often that we can never learn too well.] The holy
martyrs thought no weather too hot, no winter too cold, no journey too long,
nor no torment too great—to enjoy the preaching of the gospel, though
[2.] You may honor them, by standing fast in the
doctrine of the Lord delivered by them.
1 Thes. 3:8, "You are our joy, our crown, if you stand fast in the
Lord;" else, says the apostle, you kill our very hearts. If after all our
studying, wrestling, sweating, and preaching, you shall play apostates, and
leave the precious ways of God, and run after notions and vain opinions
which cannot profit you, nor better you, you will kill many at once: your
own souls and our hearts.
[3.] You should honor them, by being followers of them,
so far as they are followers of Christ. So
in 1 Cor. 4:16, "Be followers of me, even as I am of Christ." Chapter 11:11;
Heb. 13:7; 2 Thes. 3:7; Phil. 3:7. All these scriptures bespeak you to be
followers of them as they are followers of Christ. Oh, it is an honor to
faithful ministers, when their people are like them in knowledge, wisdom,
love, humility, holiness!
Plutarch said of Demosthenes that he was excellent at
praising the worthy acts of his ancestors—but not so at imitating them. Ah,
many in these days are excellent at praising and commending the holy and
gracious actings of their ministers—but not so at imitating them!
[4.] You must honor them by bearing them upon your
hearts when you appear before the Lord in the mount.
Eph. 6:13, 19; 2 Thes. 3:1-2; 1 Thes. 5:25; Col. 1:2,
4; Heb. 13:8; Acts 12:5. All these scriptures do bespeak Christians to bear
their faithful ministers upon their hearts when they are a-wrestling with
God. None usually are opposed as they. Their wants are many, their
weaknesses are more, their work is great, their strength is small. Oh pray,
pray more and more for them; yes, pray believingly, pray affectionately,
pray fervently, pray unweariedly—that they may speak from the heart to the
heart, that they may speak things which are seasonable and suitable to the
capacities and conditions of his people. They can tell when they lack your
prayers, and when they enjoy your prayers; did you pray more for them, they
might do more for your internal and eternal good, than now they do.
[5.] Lastly, You must honor them by adhering to
them, and abiding with them in all their trials, afflictions, and
tribulations that do or shall attend them.
It is brave to own them in a storm, to own them when
others disown them, when others oppose them, and act highly against them.
Paul looked upon himself as much honored by Onesiphorus owning of him in his
chains. "May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he
often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when
he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord
grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well
in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus." 2 Timothy 1:16-18.
Chrysostom says of Christians, "That they would not be
kept from visiting the confessors in prison, although it was forbidden with
many threatening terrors, and it was great danger to them." [The saints in
the primitive times did so stick and cleave to those who were in bonds, that
the very heathen admiringly cried out, "Look how the Christians love one
But to draw to a close, you have heard that the office of
a faithful minister is honorable, and you have heard what honor is due unto
them. Let me therefore desire you all to take heed of scorning, despising,
and despising of those who are faithful, who are qualified according to
gospel rules. That is a sad word, 2 Chron. 36:15-18. God sent his messengers
early and late to reclaim them—but they mocked the messengers of God, and
despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord
arose against his people, until there was no remedy, nor no healing. David
never played such a harsh part all his days, as he did to the Ammonites that
despitefully used his ambassadors, as you may see at large in 2 Sam. 10.
The Romans sacked the famous city of Corinth, and razed
it to the ground, for a little discourtesy they offered to their
ambassadors. [Ambassadors are inviolable by the law of nations, and the
least indignity offered to them is to be as severely punished as if it had
been offered to the person of that prince whom they represent.] And they
slew many of the Illyrians and the Tarentines for misusing of their
ambassadors. And do you think that the Lord is not as tender of the credit
and honor of his faithful ministers, and that he will not avenge the
affronts, wrongs, and injuries which are done unto them? Surely he will.
"This is what the Lord Almighty says—I will send war, famine, and disease
upon them and make them like rotting figs—too bad to eat. Yes, I will pursue
them with war, famine, and disease, and I will scatter them around the
world. In every nation where I send them, I will make them an object of
damnation, horror, contempt, and mockery. For they refuse to listen to
me, though I have spoken to them repeatedly through my prophets."
"Again and again the Lord had sent his prophets and seers
to warn both Israel and Judah—Turn from all your evil ways. Obey my commands
and laws, which are contained in the whole law that I commanded your
ancestors and which I gave you through my servants the prophets. But the
Israelites would not listen. They were as stubborn as their ancestors and
refused to believe in the Lord their God. They rejected his laws and the
covenant he had made with their ancestors, and they despised all his
warnings. They worshiped worthless idols and became worthless themselves.
They followed the example of the nations around them, disobeying the Lord's
command not to imitate them." 2 Kings 17:13-15
Now mark, though these temporal judgments are not visible
among us—yet spiritual judgments, which are the worst of judgments, are very
visible. Though there is no sword, no famine, no pestilence—yet there is
spiritual madness, spiritual drunkenness, spiritual giddiness. Oh the blind
minds, the corrupt judgments, the hard hearts, the seared consciences, which
are to be found among the professors of this age! As there are no mercies to
spiritual mercies—so there are no judgments to spiritual judgments. Jer.
13:12; Ezek. 23:33; 1 Tim. 4:2; Titus 1:15. Oh the slightness, the coldness,
the deadness, the barrenness, which is abroad in the world! God suits his
judgments to men's sins; the greatest sins are always attended with the
greatest judgments. In these days men sin against more glorious means,
greater love, more clear light, more tender affections of mercy, etc, than
formerly; and therefore God gives men up to more sad and dreadful spiritual
judgments than formerly.
They say when Hercules drew up Cerberus from hell, he led
him in a chain, and he went quietly until he came to the horizon and saw the
peeping of the light—but then he pulled so strongly that he almost pulled
the conqueror and all back again. Ah it is sad when men had rather live in
darkness, and die in darkness, and go to hell in darkness—rather than see
the light, enjoy the light, and walk in the light! Many fret at the light,
and at those who bring it, as the Ethiopians once a year solemnly curse the
sun. Such souls stand in much need of pity and prayer.
And thus, according to my weak measure, I have given out
what God has given in from this scripture, and shall follow it with my
prayers, that it may be a word of life and power both to writer, reader, and
Soli Deo Gloria in Aeternum.