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is lawfully call'd by those that have Authority to invest and fet him apart for the Office of teaching, he is a true Pastor or Minister of Christ: How Jhall they preach (faith the Apostle) except they be sent? signifying it to be absurd and. presumptuous to run before they are sent, and to venture upon that Office, before they are duly call'd and authoriz'd to undertake if, whereas they who were sent by Christ, as the Apostles were, and they who are sent by them, to whom he gave a Commission to send others, as his Father lent him, are the true Shepherds of the Sheep, and have full Authority to feed and guide the Flock of Christ, and to have power over them.

To them (as the Parable goes on) the Porter openeth, and the Sheep hear his Voice, and he calleth his own Sheep by name, and leadeth them out; where the Porter is generally understood of Christ, who after calls himself the Door, and the great Shepherd of the Sheep, and here the Porter '> to open the Door of the Fold for his Sheep to enter in, and likewise to guard it from Thieves, and Wolves in Sheep's Clothing, that they may not eater in and devour the Flock. And, the Sheep hear his Voice, that is, all humble,- faithful and good Christians, which are Christ's Flock, obey his Call, and receive his Word. And he calleth his own Sheep by name: This alludes to the Custom of Shepherds in thoie Countries, who were so converfant among their Cattle, that they knew them severally, and had a particular Name for each of them, by which they distinguish'd and call'd them , and the Sheep, by often hearing it severally call'd upon them, knew it, and answer'd each to their Call: suitable hereunto our Saviour fays, ver. 14. I am the good Shepherds and know my Sheep, and am known of mine: and ver. 27. My Sheep hear my Voice, and I know them, and they follow me; they hearken to the Voice,of my Precepts, and as I distinguish theni from others, so do they by becoming my Followers: all which is agreeable to that of the Apostle, The foundation cf the Lord fiandeth sure, the Lord knoweth who are his. 2 Tim. 2. 19.

But to go on with the Parable ., when the Shepherd leadeth out the Sheep, and brings them forth, to the Water or Pasture, he goeth before them, anet'the Sheep follow him, for they know his Voice. Here again is a Reference to the Custom of Shepherds in Jewry, where the feeding of Cattle was their main Trade and Business-, and with them the Practice was for the Shepherd to lead and go before, and,



by the Arts of Speech or Words, to call the Sheep after them : whereas Shepherds now go after and drive the Sheep before them •, such Customs being disferent in divers Countries. Of the Custom of leading or going before the Sheep in antient times, we have many Hints in Holy Scripture: David, who was himself taken from the Sheepfold, stiles God his Shepherd, and speaks or him as feeding his Sheep in a green Pasture, and leading them forth befide the Waters of Comfort, Pfal. 23. 1,2. & Pfal. 77. 20. Thou leadest thy People like Sheep by the Hand of Moses and Aaron. And again, Psal.--8o. 1. Hear, 0 thou Shepherd of Israel! thou that lead' est Joseph like a Sheep. In allusion to this Custom, Christ is here said to go before, and his People like Sheep to follow, and to hear his Voice. A Stranger will they not follow (faith the Parable) but will flee from him ; for they know not the Voice of Strangers. Being accustom'd to the Call of the Shepherd, they know his Voice, and readily obey it; but being unacquainted with the Sound or Tone of a Stranger, they shun and flee from him as from a Wolf, being mov'd by the Newness or Strangeness of the Voice, The Moral whereof is, that Christ's faithful Servants being acquainted with his Doctrine, which leads to Peace, Piety, and Holiness of Life, are willing to hear and walk by it; knowing by those Tokens that 'tis the true Shepherd's Voice. But Impostors and false Teachers, that instil Notions contrary to Piety and sound Doctrine, they will not follow, but flic from them, taking it for the Voice of Seducers, calling them from the Ways of Truth and Peace, and drawing them into Errors and Divisions; which they plainly discover by the Newness and Strangeness of their Doctrine, being quite contrary to that Piety and Probity which they have been taught by God, and so it is a Stranger's, and not the true Shepherd's Voice.

This Parable spake Jesus unto them (faith St. John) but they understood not what things they were, which he spake unto them. He deliver'd his Mind so siguratively and parabolically unto them, that they could not rightly apprehend the Drift or Meaning of his Discourse •, which made him add the following words for the unfolding of it, Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily I fay unto you, I am the Door of tha Sheep; where he repeats the fame Terms of Asseveration, Verily, verily, and.continues the fame Metaphor, faying, I am the Door of the Sheep. A Door, you know, is that by which we ordinarily enter or pass into any House; and Christ stiles Himself a Door, because by him ah Entrance Is made into the Church of God, as by a Door an Entrance is iiiade into any Dwelling. And because the Church is often iompar'd to a Fold, so is Christ to a Door, as the only way 'by which the Sheep, or true Servants of God, can enter Into that Fold. _

AU'that-ever came before me (faith Christ) are Thieves and Robbers; but the Sheep did not hear them. All that have ever pretended to the Messiahship, or to be Deliverers of the Jews from the Roman Yoke, and Restorers again of the Kingdom of Israels of which kind were the foremention'd Theudas, and Judas of Galilee; have all been found Lyars and Impostors, having no Commission from God, nor bringing any Doctrines that carry any semblance or colour of coming from him •, but by exciting the Peo>ple to Sedition and Rebellion, shew'd that they rather proceeded from the Evil One, and were no better than the Doctrines of Devils: for which reason, The Sheep did not hear them; but the People, instead of hearkning to them, fell with Rage and Fury upon them, destroying the Ringleaders, and dispersing all their Followers. And therefore, to prevent all Farther Danger from Impostors, and to confirm our Faith in him as the true Messias, and the only Saviour or Redeemer of Mankind, he inculcates again, / am the Door • , by me if any Man enter in, he shall be saved, and stjall go in and out, and find Pasture: which is in effect the fame with what he elsewhere tells us, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; Via, Veritas & Vita. If any will walk aright, he must walk in my Way, if any will believe aright, he must believe in me, and receive my Truths; if any will live for' ever, he must come to me, that he may have Life by me; jf any Man enter into the Church here, he mail enter into Life hereafter: by this Door an Entrance shall be administer'd to him abundantly into the Kingdom of God; all that-go in at it shall be fav'd from all Enemies and Dangers•, they shall go in and out fafely, and shall find Pasture; that is, all manner of good things, both temporal, spiritual and eternal. The Thief indeed cometh not but for to steal, to kill, and to destroy. The Impostor and Seducer aim only at their own worldly Interest, and stick not by Wars, Seditions and Tumuks, to destroy and devour the Flock, to promote their ambitious and secular Ends 5, but I come upon far different and more heavenly Designs, that ye may have 'Life, and have it more abundantly; that ye may attain to

(Everlasting Life, and obtain a never-fading Crown of plory in the highest Heaven*. *1 r"

This is the Drift of this Parable, and the Design of the Gospel for this Day, which we ought to meditate upon, and to improve, by learning from it the following Lessons. As,

ist, From Christ's proving himself to be the true Meflias, by coming in at the Door of a Divine Commiflion, demonstrated by the Divinity of his Doctrine, with the Seal of Miracles annex'd to it, we may learn to receive and rely upon him as the true and only Saviour of the World; and to reject all false Ojrists orPretenders to the Mefliahship, that climb up at the Windows, or some other way, without such an Authority, as Thieves and Robbers. And he being'the true and good Shepherd, we may depend upon his Care and Provision, that we shall lack nothing that is good and convenient for us. ': ''

zdly, From his Ministers coming in at the Door of a regular Ordination, and a lawful Call, we may learn to hear them, and not to follow Usurpers and Intruders into this Holy Office. Our Saviour caution'd his Disciples-against all such, faying, Beware of salse Prophets, that come to you in Shecps Clothings but inwardly they are ravening Wolves; by their Fruits ye shatf know them: Mat. 7. 15,16. Many shatl come to you in my Name (faith he) faying. , Lo! here is Christ, and lo! there. Behold! he is in the secret Chambers, lays one, No; he is in the Field, faith another he is in the Conventicle, faith a third: but believe them not (faith our Saviour) and go not after thems Mat. 24. St.Paul foretold the fame, that after his departing grievous Wolves- would enter in among them9 not sparing the Flock j and that some would arise among themselves speaking perverse things, to draw Disciples after them m7 therefore watch against, and avoid them. Acts 20.29, &c.

idly, From Christ's comparing his Followers to Sheep, and calling them so often by that Name, they should learn to imitate the Simplicity, Meekness and Innocence of that, harmless Creature. The Sheep, we know, often receives, but never does any harm ., it is dumb before the Shearer, and openeth not its Mouth, to teach us Patience and Silence, under the sorest Affliction. -Again, the Sheep is a very usc-' ful Creature, that feeds us with its Flesh, and clothes u,& with its Fleece to teach us to be as serviceable as we may, and to do all the good we. can to one another. In short, Christ himself, the Shepherds bids us to learn of him to be ';'' 'm^eft meek and lowly in heart •, and from the Sheep to be humble, tractable and obedient to his Call: so shall we hear his Voice, and follow him in Grace and Holiness here, and that will fit us to follow him to Glory and Happiness hereafter; where he will feat us among the Sheep at his right Hand, to hear the blessed Sentence of Absolution, and to be receiv'd into our Master's Joy; Which God grant, &c.



The E p i s T L E for Trinity-Sunday.

Rev. iv. i, to the end. jester this I looked, and a Door was opened in Hea~ •ven: And the first Voice, which I heard, was as it were of a Trumpet talking with me, which said, Come up hither, and I will {hem thee things which mufi he hereafter; and immediately I was in the Spirit, &c.

THE mysterious Doctrine of the Holy Trinity was but obscurely reveal'd under the Old Testament ^ for which reason, before Christ's Coming, we find little or no knowledg of it. God the Father speaking in the Plural Number in the Creation of Man, faying, Come let iis make Man in our own Image, Gen. 1. is by some thought to denote the whole Trinity; and the mention of the Spirit's moving on the Face of the Waters, and the Son's bruising the Serpent's Head, Gen. 18. they take to refer to the three Persons in it: But these are dark Discoveries of so great a Truth ; and to interpret the three Persons that appeared to Abraham, tobe the three Persons of the Holy Trinity, is not much better!

And a Father tells us, That God on purpose conceal'd from the Jews the Doctrine of the Trinity, lest they should thence take occasion to fall into Idolatry, and worship a Plurality of Gods, to which they were too prone.


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