III. To show, That Ministers Must Give Account to God of their Conduct, more Especially as it Respects the People of their Charge.
This solemn consideration as suggested in the text: just the design of preaching to make things ready for the Day of Judgment. 2 Corinthians ii. 16. To the one we are the savor of dafont to death; and to the other the saver of life onto life: we are fitting man for the masters use– preparing affairs for that decisive court. This supposes that things must be laid open before the great assembly at the Day of Judgment; or, why is it that there are so many things that related thereto and our preferences therefor.
The work of a gospel minister has a peculiar relation to futurity: An approaching judgment is that too which every subject is pointing and which renders every sentiment to be inculcated, Vastly solemn, and interesting. Ministers are accountable creatures in common with other men; and we have the on airing testimony of scripture that God sure bring every working to judgment with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Ecclesiastes xii. 14. If there is none of our conduct too minute to be cognizable, we may well conclude that such important affairs that relate to the working office of gospel ministers will not pass unnoticed.
Arguments maybe taken from the names given to the ministers of Christ, that they must give account. They are soldiers, ambassadors, servants, stewards, angels, and et cetera. that they are sent of God and are amenable to him that sent them; as a servant or stewart count to his Lord and Master with respect to his faithfulness in the trust reposted in him. God tells Ezekiel, If Watchmen or not faithful and souls Parish through their neglect, then he will require their blood at the hands of such careless watchmen. It is evident that primitive ministers were influenced a faithfulness from a view of the solemn account they expected to give it the Day of Judgment. This gave rise to those words, Acts iv. 19, “But Peter and John answered and said onto them, whether it be right in the sight of God to harken onto you more then onto God, judge ye.” If God’s omniscience is emotive to faithfulness, it must be in this view that he will not let our conduct passed unnoticed, but call list to an account.
It was approaching judgment that engrossed the attention of St. Paul and made him exhort Timothy to study to approve himself onto God. This made the beloved disciple speak of having boldness and the Day of Judgment. 1 John iv. 17.
The divine glory is an object only worthy of attention; any displays holy character was the design of God and creation; as there was his other beings existing antecedent thereto, to attract the mind of Jehovah; and we are sure that God is pursuing the same things still, And always will. Cues of one mind and who can turn him? Job xxiii. 13. There is no conceivable objects that bears any proportion with the glory of God; and for him ever to aim at anything else, would be incompatible with his perfections. The Day of Judgment is designed to be a comment on all other days; At which time God’s government of the world, and their conduct towards him, will be publicly investigated, that the equity of divine administration may appear conspicuous before the assembled universe. It is called a day on which the Son of Man is revealed. Luke xvii. 30. The honor of God requires that matters be publicly and particularly attended two; that evidences are summoned at this open court: hence the saints are to judge the world. 1 Corinthians vi. 2.
It will conducive to the mutual happiness of faithful ministers and people, to have matter late open before the bar of God, as in the words following our tax, but they may do it with joy and not with grief. The apostle speaks of some ministers and people who should have reciprocal Joy in the day of the Lord Jesus–which supposes that ministers and the people in their charge are to meet another day as having something special with each other. The connection between ministers and people is such as renders them capable of saying much for or against the people of their charge; and if here is making the same observations with respect to their teachers; and in this way the mercy and justice of God will appear illustrious.
Since therefore, it Work of gospel ministers has such a new relation to Judgment Day; since they are accountable creatures, and their work so momentous; since it is a sentiment that is had so powerful and influence all true ministers and all ages of the world: also there connection is such as to render them capable of saying many things relating to the people of their charge. Above all, since it displays a divine glory are so highly concerned in this matter; we may without hesitation adopt the idea in the text, that ministers have a solemn account to give to their great Lord and Master how they discharge the trust reposed in them.