Observe here, 1. The minister's office and employment declared: they are ambassadors for Christ; ambassadors from God to man, and as ambassadors they have their mission, their commission, from a great Prince, about great concerns; they must be faithful to their instructions, they are inviolable by the law of nations, and their embassy must be received upon pain of displeasure.
Where let us remark the wonderful goodness and wisdom of God, in appointing men of the same level with us, and not angels superior to us, to dispense the mystery of reconciliation to us. As God deals more familiarly with us in this way, (for we cannot bear the voice of God, or the sight of angels,) so there is more certainty in this way, because ministers must deceive their own souls, if they deceive us: and and herein God magnifies his own power, and lets us know, that the efficacy of the gospel is from him the Author, and not from man the dispenser.
Observe, 2. The minister's duty discovered: in God's name, and Christ's stead, to entreat, beseech, and persuade sinners to become reconciled unto God.
Here note, 1. That God and man were once friends.
2. That God and man are now enemies.
3. That man, and not God, first made the breach of friendship, and occasioned that unhappy controversy, which is now depending between God and man.
4. That though man was first in the breach, yet God is the first in the offer of reconciliation.
5. That therefore it is the highest duty and chiefest interest of man to accept of terms of peace and reconciliation with God.
6. That in order to all this, the great duty incumbent upon the ministers of the gospel, is this, with all earnestness to press upon people the doctrine of reconciliation, and to use all arguments with them, to persuade them to become reconciled unto God.