Skip to main content

Full text of "Faithful pastors angels of the churches. : A sermon preached to the bereaved flock, March 4. 1739. On the Lord's-Day after the funeral of the Reverend Mr. Peter Thacher of Boston. aetat. 62. : And now printed at their desire"

See other formats


Dr. Colman's 

S E R M O N 


of the very Reverend 

Mr. Teter Tbacher 


g^5 m --' *~ -- 

Faithful PASTORS 
Angels of the Churches. 



Preached to the ;'* /, 

^Bereaved FlocJ^ 

March 4. 1739. 

On the Lord's-Day after the Funeral 
of the Reverend 

Mr. Peter Tbacber 

of Boflon. JEcat. 62. 
And now printed at their Defire. 

By ^Benjamin Colman, D- D. 

Revel, ii. i. Unto the Angel of tie Clurcl of\ 
Ephefus, Write tlefe flings j faith He that hath 
the feven Stars in his right Hand^ who walketb in 
the midft of the feven golden Candleftlcks. 

BOSTON: Printed by J. draper, for D. 
Henclman and S. Eliot in Cornhill. 1739. 

' I i| ill l| ill I' ii 111 ill II IllPilPi PHI II IlllliiiUPilll 

f?*%-iH?^^* w 1^ 

Faithful Paftors 


Angels of the Churches. 

R E V E L. I. 20. 

THE Myftery of the Jeven Stars which tbou faw- 
ejt In my right Hand, and the feven golden 
Candlefticks : The (even Stars are THE ANGELS 
of the (even Churches, and the (even Candkfticks 
which tbonfaweft are the feven Churches. 

HE beloved Difciple Job*; 
who had lain in the Bofom 
of Jefui in the Days of his 
Fleihj was honoured by Him 
to out-live the other dfoftles, 
and to receive his laft Reve 

lations to the Church. 


From JESUS CHRIST, the faithful 
r andfrfl begotten of the Dead, he wrote to 
Churches which were inAfia by Name; and calls 
hitnfelf their Brother and Companion In Tribulation, 
and in the Kingdom and farttncc ofjefus Cbrift* 


Pa ft or s 

He writes to 'em of His Eternal Power and 
God-head^ " I am jtlpha and Omega, the Beginning 
and ibe Ending, faith the LORD, 'which is and 
which was and which is to come, the Almighty ! He 
writes to 'em of his fecond coming in Glory 
7 Behold, He cometh with Clouds, and every Eye fh all 
fee Him, and they alfa which pierced Him, and all 
Kindreds of the Earth Jhall wail becatije of Him : 
Even ft, Amen, 

St. John was now in the IJle called Patwes, an 
Exile there and Prifiner for the Ttflimony ofjefus 
Chrift his Lord ; and there on the Lord's-Day he 
was in the Spirit, in a fpiritual Trance, Extafy or 
Rapture ; and heard behind him a great Voice as 
as of a Trumpet and turning to fee the Voice 
that (pake to him, he faw /even golden Candle- 
flicks, and in the midft of them One like the Son 
of Man, his dear Lord and Saviour himfelf 5 
but O how chang'd and more than transfigured, 
in an ineffable Glory! fo that iriftead of flying 
.into his b!eiled Arms again, as in the Days of 
eld, he fell at his Feet as dead ! For his Eyes were 
as a Flame of Fire, and his Feet as if they had 
burnt in a Furnace, and his Voice was as the Sound. 
of many Waters and He had in his right Hand 
(even Stars, and out of his Mouth went a fharp 
two-edged Sworcl^ and his Countenance was as 
the Sun filming in its ftrength -- No wonder 
then if the holy and moft favoured Di/ciple was 
Jaz,kJ and ftruck dead before the (urprifing Glo 
ry / but the Lord laid his Hand of Power and 
Love upon him, which fuftain'd and revived 
him $ laying to him," Fear not, I am the 
Fivffi and the Lafl ! I am he that Hveth and was 
dead and behold I am alive for evermore ^ Awen, 
and ba-vt the Key of Hades. Reviving JfW, which 


'Angels of the Churches'. 5 

is Life from the Dead to Ton this Day, bereaved 
of your Elder Pajlor ! the Lives of all his 
faithful Minlfters, and of all his Saints, thro' all 
his Churches, are in the right Hand ot the rlfc# 
and living JESUS. 

And now my Text brings us to the Myflery of 
the leven Stars, and of the feven golden Candle- 
flicks j the Candlefticks are the Churches, and the 
Stars are the fining and burning Lights fet up in 
them 5 Minifters in the Spirit of the Baptift, as 
he came in the Spirit of Elias, to give Witnefs 
unto Chrlfl the Sun of Righteoufnefs : We preach 
Hint the trueLlght ; and his Word which is theLlght 
that fiimth In a dark World. 

Now thefe Stars, thefe Minifars of the Word, 
are called ANGELS, the Angek of the Churches ; 
which is to fay, the MeJJcvgers of the Lord of Hofts 
unto them, bringing his Word of Truth and Life, 
the Light of 1 be Knowledge of the Glory of God in the 
Face of Jefus Chrlft. This Light of God in 'em 
and on 7 em, which makes them fhine on and give 
Light to others, both makes 'em Stars, and (what 
is more than Stars ) it makes 'em Angels. 

It is this lajt Word only that I fliall now at 
tempt to explain and illuftrate to You, and fo the 
My fiery and Dottrlne before us is, 


f c That the qualified faithful Minifters of the 
Gofpcl, and Taflors of the Churches of our 
LORD JESUS, are in his Sight, and ought to 
be efteemed by #/, as his ANGELS to them; 


4 Faithful Pajtort 

You will fay, This is a high Style indeed / and 
founds much too high, if the LORD Himfelf had 
not given it, for any of the fintul mortal Sons 
of Men. For what a Soleclfm were it to (peak 
of an Infirm imperfect Angel ! of a dying Or ! 

dead Angel ! But it is the Soul that is the 

Angel, in the Body or out of the Body / And 
as it is eafy to the Grace of God to make fome 
Perfons Angelical in this mortal State, fo if He 
pleafe to call them Angels in Flefh, who fhall 
prefutnc to difallow the Style ? No Angel in 
Heaven will find fault with it, and no Man on 
Earth may, 

Man in his firft and beft State was made lower 
than Angels, and but a little lower 5 * which is a 
Crown of Glory and Honour put on him, Pfalm viii, 
y : but how far is he funk be ] ow it by his Sin ? 
Who (hall put him again as among the Celefiial 
Spirits ? The beft of Saints that ever have been 
in the Church of God, ( Abraham,* Mofes, Elias, 
Daniel or the Baptift ) what a poor kind of An 
gels were the Holy M*n while in the Body ? in 
Modks of Sin and Death ! of like Infirmities and 
Pa/ions as other Men ! weak and weary Angels ! 
diftemper'd ; dlfeafed and in Deaths often / fick, 
and in Pain, and under fpiritual Diforders and 
Maladies .' Angels that were fubjed to Grief 
and Shame and Fear \ with Flefh about 'em 
Ittfting avalnft the Spirit ! Paul himfelf was but fuck 
an -Anfd-\ Angels approved in Patience, Afflictions, 
Neceilities and Diftreflcs ' || hungry and thirfty 
and naked Angels / 

Afts xiv.' f 5. Jam. v. 17. Rom. vii, 24. Gal, V. 
17, 2 Cor. xi 27. Matth, viii. 20. 


'Angtls of the Churchei. f 

But was not the LORD Himfelf, the Lord of 
all Angels, once in like Circumftances in cur 
Nature Sin only excepted ? The Angel of the 
Covenant Himfelf / the Angel of Inter cejjion, now 
before the Golden Altar, in the Holitf, p;efent> 

ing our Prayers, Revel, viii. 3, 4. Why them 

may not Jbofe for whom He died, and is making 
Interceffion, be called by Him his Angels in his 
Church on Earth ? tho' they live here repent 
ing and dying daily, wreftling with Flefti and 
Blood and fpiritual Wickednejjes, and thro' Death 
parting to Incorrupiion. 

Yea, that which puts the Crown of Angels on 

them is their dying ivdl \ the crowning Vittory is 

6?er the laft Enemy I as the Beggar died, and 

Angels carried him to Abrahams Bofom, to their 

,% own Paradife ! and fo they buried the Body of 

Mofes, after ( as the Jews have been pleas'd to 

.v fay ) they had kifsd awty his Soul : for He 

had been an Angel of a Man, both in the Sight 

of God and of his People, long before. 

Yet far would it have been from Mofes, or any 
of the following. Propkets, Apo flics or Evangelifts, 
to have taken to Themfelves this Heavenly Style, 
if CHRIST had not put it on them, He is the 
Fountain of fpiritual Honour, t " HEAD over all 
things to the 'church, and makes whom he will 
Kings and Triefts and Angels unto God : Nay this 
Honour have all the Saints ! pralfe ye the Lord. 

It is not to elate or puff up j God forbid it I 
but to admonijli us of our Duty, which ever rifes 

t Eph, i, 22, Revel L d 

B wich 

6 faithful T aft or* 

with Dignity ; what manner of 'Perfons we 
and ought to be, in Heavenly Temper aadCon- 
verfation, as Citizens of the Sion above. Philip, 
in-. 20. And if we can but think and (peak 
and live as singels in the Church on Earth., we 
may leave our going Spirits at Death to the Care 
of real Angels, and the Remains of a Stephen to 
devout Men to take up ( as they lately did your 
Thachers ) and carry to its Grave as Angel's-dup ! 
the Duft of GoU, from the Candlefllck in which 
it once glitter' d. 

And fo I return to the MINISTER and PASTOR 
in fpecial, as my Text requires, and alfo the fad 
Occafion of my <uifitlng You, at your Defire, this 
mournful Day, which my Text would turn into a 
joyous one. 

L Mlnlfters are the Meffengers ofChrift unto his 
People, and therefore Angels of the Churches. For 
what is the plain English of the Word ANGELJ 
but a MeJJenger, or One fent ? Angels are Mef- 
fengers from Heaven to Earth, and io are Prophets, 
Apoftles and Evavgelifts, Pajtors and Teachers, the 
MeJJengers of the Lord of Hofts,> Mai. ii. 7. The 
Baftift was fuch an Angel of God, of whom we 
read, * Behold I fend my MeJJenger ! Angels de- 
fire to go on fuch MlJJions, tvtt\ Gabriel Himfelf ; 
and he flew fwiftty to Daniel and Zecharlah and 
the bleffed Virgin, with the glad Tydings of Salva 
tion. ||. God's MiJJlon makes an Angel of Light, 
whomfoever He fends and the Mejjenger is to 
be received even as Gabriel from the Prefence of 

Mai. iii. r. iv. J. Mark i. 2. Luke 5. 7$. Vii. 27, 
Dan, ix. 21. Luke I ip>a<5. 


r Angels of the Churches. 7 

God. An Eglon himfelf will own this, who 
arofe out of his Seat, when Ehud faid to him, " I 
lave a Meffage from God unto thee, Judges iii. 20. 
How much more will the Churches of Chrifl re 
verently own his Minifters as his Angels to them? 
Gal. iv. 14. Te received me as an Angel of God, even 
as Jefus Chrifl. 

And have not Tou had your Meffen^ers^ my Bre 
thren, Men of a thoufand ! was not your deceafed 
Pa/hr fuch a Mejjenger from God unto You ? 
did He not bring you the Lord's Mejjagcs in a fo- 
lemn manner ? with the Gravity and Authority o 
an Angel ! ufed be any Ligbtnefs ? Spake he not 
as the Oracles or the GREAT GOD ? that was the 
glorious and fearful Name in his Lips, as often as 
you heard him from the Pulpit ; the Great God ! 
the Great God ! and how greatly did he pronounce 
it ! Striking every One that heard Him with a 
facred Reverence and Fear I and this was his Man 
ner from his Toutb, from his very frfl publick 
facred Exercifes : I think that I never heard the 
Name of God pronounced Great, more than in 
his praying and preaching,, Accordingly 

he commanded "the Ears and Confciences of his 
Hearers more than many a divine Teacher. ' He 
was bold, and took on him Authority, in his 
Mafter's Name, Worftiip, Truth and Laws. He 
( could reprove, rebuke and exhort for his Will 
and Glory, in a vehement manner, fathetick and 
ftriking. Jofoua was fuch an Angel & Ifrael, 
under the Confcience of the Charge given him j 
*' Only be thdu Jtrong and very courageous ! and after 
his Death came the Lord himlelt, in the Form of 
an Ang si, reproving the People at Bochim : Judges 
ii. 2, But ye have not obeyed my Voice, why have ye 
done this ? Such a Witnefr, Leader and Comm*n~ 
B 2. tier 

8 Faltlful Tajlors 

Jer under CHRIST, fuch a Monger from Heaven^ 
was your Thatcher to You, 

II. Mlniflers are yet with greater Propriety 
the Angel* of the Churches, becaufe fent to 
wlnifter unto the Heirs of Salvation. This is an 
eminent Cbarathr of the Angels of God, Heb. 
i. 14. Are they not miriiftring Spirits, fent forth to 
winifter for them -who fyall he Heirs of Salvation ? 
And what, more or lefs than this, is the Office 
and Work of Ministers ? A&s xri, 17. They ar? 
the Servants of the Aloft High Qod^ -who frew us the 
Way of Salvation* 

'' " 


Abraham was vifited by the Lord and his An- 
els as an Heir of Salvation. He fojournd on 
arth as in a ftrange Land, looking for a better 
Country, which is the Heavenly, The Lord there 
fore came down from Heaven to his humble 
Tent. He fent his An^tls that Day to ftngle out 
Lot in Sodom, and fave his Houfe. Afterward 
they attended Jacob out and home, for he inhe* 
nted the Promitc ; He faw ? em on the Ladder as 
he went out, and Hefts of ? em about him on his 
Return. And all the little Ones of Cbrift to this 
Day have their Angels that behold his Face on 
High, and are on the Wing to ferve them for 
ftfiv fake. 

Now, like Love and Care for the precioqs 
Souls committed to them, is the bounden Duty 
and natural Temper ( thro' Grace ) of a faithful 
Pastor. Such an Angel was Timothy, of whom 
faid the Apoflle y Philip, it. 20. I have no Manlike* 
winded, -who will paturallj care fir your Swk. 


'Angels of the Gkurcbesl 9 

So natural was the Care of yours become, thro* 
Grace, to your dear Taftor *. He traveled in 
Birth to fee Cbrift formed in Tou, and you born to 
God. As a Nurfe cberijhetb her Children, he was 
gentle among Tou Becaufe you were dear to him, 
and being affectionately dejlrous of you, he was 
willing to have imparted bis ownSoul with the Gofpel. 
Was it not his vifible Concern that he might 
. both fave Himfelf and them that heard him ? And 
as there is Joy in Heaven among the Angels of God 
over one Sinner that repenteth, fo was his 'Joy herein 
fulfilled, if he might favea Soul from Detth, and 
cover a multitude of Sins. Had the LORD put it 
to your Peter, as he did to the great Apojlle of 
fiis Name ; " Loveft thou me ? and 'wilt thou feed 
my Sheep and Lambs ? he would have anfwered 
with his Truth, Fear and Fervency , " Tea Lord ! 
Jhou knoweft all things, thou knoweft that I love 
Thee and them j to minifter unto Thee for their 

III. Minifters ftiould be as Angels for Light 
find Knowledge, Underftanding and Wifdom ; more 
efpecially in the Mjftery of the Father and of 

c * Wife as an Angel of Gcd, and Angtls of Light, 
is the known Language of Scripture f- The Fear 
of the Lord is their Wifdom as well as ours ; a 
good Understanding have all they that do his Gom~ 
mwdments. The Knowledge of Angell is 

* Gal. iv. ip. r ThelT. ii. 7, ?. i Tim. iv. 16* 
Luke xv. 7, 10. r Pet. iv. S. John xxi. 17.^ 

t 2 Sam. xiv, 20, ^ Cor.xi, 14* Pfal.ciii.ult. Pan. 
ix. 22, 


io Faithful Tajlors 

praftical, like that of Saints they excel 
in hearkning to the Voice of God's Word " Wijtr 
Than Daniel, was a Proverb among the Nations, 
while he lived & prefided over them,and atter his 
Deceafe ; but the Man Gabriel was wifer than he ; 
for he came down to give him Skill and Underftan- 
ding and he left fome more Rajs of Heavenly 
Light upon his Mind and Heart. 

Minijlers are Angels in being aft to teach * , the 
Law is to be fought from their Lips ; they need 
the Tongues of Angel^ the Tongue of the Learned, 
to fpeak in Seafin to 'weary Souls : Angels have 
fuch Tongues, as Hagar found, and anfwer d 
" Thcu Lord fee ft me /The Urim always be 
longed to the Vrieftboody and it fliines more and 
more under the Go/pel, toward the ferfett Day. 
Heavenly Knowledge is the requifite Ornament, 
and the neceflary Furniture of a Go/pel Minifter : 
Ignorance is Darknefs when we fpeak of Souls. 

But the Knowledge that eminently becomes tha 
Minifters ofChrift, and makes ? em like the Angels, 
is a clear Underftanding in the Myfteries and 
Doftrines of Salvation by Him. As we read of 
the Cbertibims of Glory over the Mercy-Seat, with 
their Faces bowed and Eyes fixed down upon it ; 
xod. xxv. 17. The Gofpel of which we have, 
I. Per. i. 12. " Which 'things the Angels dejire to 
look into : fcil. the manifold Wifdom and marvel 
ous Grace of God, in drift's taking our Nature 
and not theirs. The Minifter who has 

well fiudied and preach'd the unfeanbable Riches 

* r Tim. iii. 2. Malii, 7, Ifai, i 4, Gen.xvl 13 

t. xxxiil 8, 


r Angtls of the CKUfcteii it 

cf Chrift, fhincs as an Angel in the Churches. 
Blelled Paul was fuch a Cherub of Glory in the 
Chriftian Church t : " I dtfoe, fatd he, to knew 
nothing among you fa<ve Jefus Cwift and Him cru 
cified " And to make all Men know what Is the 
Fcllowfhip of the Myftery, that hath been bid In G*l 
from the Beginning of the WorU : and again, " that 
your Hearts may be comforted -with the Riches of the 
full Ajjurance of Understanding, to the Acknowledg 
ment of the My fiery ef God, and of the Father and 
Ckrift ; in whom are hid all the Treasures of Wifdom 
and Knowledge* 

So Angels above, and thofe below, ftudy and 
proclaim the Glories of free Grace in Cbritt Jefus 
our Lord. And thus did our Mr Thacher ; Ton 
are Witnefles and Go^alfo. The Wifdom of God 
was in Him, he was wife to Salvation, and to win 
Souls : A Scribe inftrufted, and inftru&ing others^ 
to the Kingdom of God : a judicious Divine and 
ftrong in the Do&rines of Grace ; able and ready 
to advife and dired Souls in the Way of Life. 
He could as feelingly as any Man adore the dif- 
tinguifliing Mercy of God in putting him into 
the Miniftry, and counting him faithful : " That to 
me, the leaft of all Saints, this Grace Jhould be given , 
to preach among you the unsearchable Riches aCbrift / 
Eph. iii. 8. He is gone to join the Multitude of 
the Heavenly Hofi in that &oxology, Luke ii. 14, 
" Glory unto God in the Highejl, en Earth Peace, Good* 
will towards Men. 

IV. Mintfters fhould be 'Angels for Purity, Sanc 
tity and Holinejs; and for Zeal in the Gaufe of 

. Cor, ii, 2, EpW. iii, 9, Cpl, u. ^> 3, 4. 


i Faithful Pa/lots 

GOD and Godlinefs ; for his Truths and 

Kingdom and Interejt on Earth. 

Holinefs {hows the Angd more than *// Know- 
ledge , and fo it doth the Mlnlfter and P*/?*r in 
the Church. Without this, has our Saviour laid, 
the Light that is In you is Darknefi, and how great 
is that Darknefs ? Matth. vi 23. Holinefs is moft 
of all the Light of Heaven ; God is infinitely Holy, 
Christ is the Holy One of God, and Angels are in 
his Likenejs holy, in all their Worlhip and Obe 
dience. Their Parity is without a Stain, in high 
Perfection, and gives ? em their Glory and Blifs for 

The Style of the Angels of God is taken from 
their Sanftity and fo is that of Ministers on 
Earth t- Even the Conn of Nebuchadnezzar knew 
this before the Inftru&ions of Daniel : " I fau> a 
Holy One come down from Heaven, faid the King> 
relating his Vifions on his Bed. But our Lord 
Jefus has confirmed the Style unto us, in thatgra,- 
cious Promife, "The Son of Man {ball come In bis 
Glory, with all his holy Angels. An unholy Angel is 
a Devil. Angels and Saints are reprefented in 
white Robes, and fuch were of old thofe of the 
Triesthotd ; to fignify a Profcffion of and Obliga 
tion unto fingular Purity and Holinefs. St. Paul 
teaches the Minister how to become an Angel in 
the Church ,- i Tim. vi, u. "Ttiu O Man of God, 
follow after Rigkteoufnefs, Godlinefa &c. And again, 
" Ee thou an Example of the Believers In Worl, In 
Converfation> In Charity, In Spirit, in Faith, in Purity, 

f Dan iv, 13, Mat, xxv, 31. r.Tiin. iv, 12, i.Thef. 

ii, 10. 



Angels of the Churches. x \ 

Such was your Tkacher among YOU, thro' t\i$ 
Grace given him from on High. Much of the 
Holincfs ofChrift, and of Angelical Sanctity was irj 
Him. He was a Watcher and a holy One among 
us in his Meafure ; which was an Abundance ofths 
Gift of Rlghteoufnefi ; like Phlneas z,ealottt for his 
God, and as Ellas jealous for the Lord of Hy/l's. 
Like the Angel of the Lord, he could have wltb- 
flood Balaam in his Way ; valiant for the 
and refolute in the Caufe of Piety. 

Angels are called Straf kirns from their 
with holy Zeal. YourThacher was fuch a Sp?V;V 
F/rfwe <?/ 2w, in the Service of his Ged, and in 
ading for his Glory. |) The Baptift was fuch 3 
Burning Light, a flaming Miniftcr j " O Genera*- 
tlon of yiperSj who hath warned yoii to five from 
the Wrath to come ? bring forth therefore Faults meet 
for Repentance. Peter was another He faeW and 
/mote in the Caufe of Cbrift, till he was bid to 
put up his Sword Stephen fpake to the Council wich 
the Face and Ardor of an Angel $ and Epapbrat 
had a great Zeal for the Coloflians, labouring fer- 
vi^/y in Prayer for them. But He was wort than 
an Angel, of Whom we read, " the Zeal of thy 
Houfe hath eaten m% up* 

Light and Heat go together in tie Kingdom of 
Nature and of Grace, Fervour in the Soul of 
Man produces Attlvity in his Life, and that 3- 
gain cherifties and increafes Fervour* 

V- Mlnlfters ftiould be \i^t Angels for Spirit* ?//- 
and z heavenly Mind. Such their Temper, and 

Mat Hi, 7. John ^Viii,- 1 if. A<5& vi, 15, C . 
|oha ii. 17, 

C , t>sruc : : 

14 Faithful Tajlors 

perpetual Pkafure ; their Heart and Work, their 
Imploy and Joys, all fpiritual. Heaven is there 
fore their Dwelling-flaw. They reft not Day or 
Night, faying, " Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God 
Almighty ! which art and wait and art to come, 
Revel., iv. * 

So Mlnifters are to lead and continue in the 
flip of God with facred Pleafure ; the Mouth of 
others to God, and of God to them, out of the 
Abundance, of their Heart to both. St. Paul was 
fuch an Angel to the Churches, inceflant in 
Prayers for them, and in his high Devotions and 
as a iingutar Reward hereof, he was caught up to 
Heaven * ^ ^whether In the Body, er out of it, he could 
not tell. Appollos was like him, " mighty In the 
Scriptures, fervent In Spirit, And teaching diligently 
the Things of God. 

The Heavenly Minifter lives like Mojes in the 
Mount t has Mread there which the World knows 
not of, his Diet is on the Manna of Angels,, Bread 
from Heaven ; and his Meat and Drink (hould be 
( in Conformity to Chrifl his Mafler ) to do the 
Witt of God, and foijti his WorL His Inter eft is in 
Heaven, his Acquaintance there, his Heart and 
Jreajure there and his Life is hid -with Chrift In 
Cod within rhe Vail He would be accurate in his 
Devotions and Obedience, as are the Angels 
" doing the Will of God on Earth as it Is done above* 
He would be reverend and earnejt in Duty and 
Service,- would find Wings to fly, as well as Feet 
to run ,- " run and return as the Flafl) of Lightning ! 

* 2 Cor. xii. 2, 4. A6ls xviii. 25. John iv. 32, 34. 
Col, iii, 3, Ezek, i, 14. Ifai, xi. 31. 

s f 

Angels of the Churchei. iy 

to the Angels are reprefented, and from their 
sigllity are called Chtrubim. 

Angels in Flefo can "t attain this j- it is too 
wonderful and high for them j they foon flag and 
tire in their Work j ev*n the Touths faint and are 
weary , how much more the ^(g^ in their Decays ? 
tho 7 not weary of it ; Yet is there a Tromlfe of 
Angelical Strength and Vigour to all that wait on 
the Lord ; c They fa all renew their Strength, mount 
up with Wings as -Eagles , run and not be weary^ walk 
a nd not faint, 

How fpiritual and rais'd was Mr. Thacher in 
his publick Devotions ? more efpecially in the 
Duty of PRAYER ! that was his Gift and Element / 
then he breach d his native Air! then his Afttbma 
left him 1 he foard up as on Eagles Wings, and 
with its Eye he could look into the Light of the 
Throne of the Majejly in the Heavens ! He came 
near unto his Seat, and fili'd his Mouth with Ado 
rations : The nearer his Accefs was unto God, 
the more awful was his godly Fear, and profound 
his Reverence / like that of the Celejtial Spirits, 
Revel. XV; 4 Who jhall not fear Thee, O Lord, and 
glorify thy Name t for Thou only art holy. 

I fay again, He was a heavenly Man in 
He excelled in this in a great Copioufnefs and 
Solemnity ; whether in Adoration, Confeffion, 
Supplication, Thankfgiving, Interceffion, Profef- 
fion and Pleadings before the Throne. He could 
wreftle like an Ifracl, and as a Principality in the 
heavenly Places, having Power with God and 
from Him. How often have you (ten him in this 
Desk, as ic were cover his Face and cry Holy 9 Holy* 
Holy, before the Lord of Ho ft s ! many a time mak- 

C z ing 

T6 Faithful Paflors 

ing your Hearts to move, ancl filling them with 3 
Smoke of fragrant Incenfe, Ifai. vi, 4. 

VI. Mlnlfters as Angds of the Churches are to 
yrefide, rule and govern, with Meeknefs, Equity, 
Tendernefs ; Benevolence, Humility and Pati 
ence j Wifdom and Integrity , by the Rules of 
thi Kingdom $ for the Glory of Cbrtfi and tjie Good 
of Souls. 

are <c Thrones and Dominions and Towers 
under GOD, and us'd by Him 3 in the Or*/i <^/- 
y^Yj of Nations and Empires, Scares and Provinces, 
as we are led to chink from the Prophecies qf 
Daniel "\; and more efpccially muft we fuppofe . 
their Mlnlftry in thoff of the Vifible Church. 

Bur leaft of all would the true Mlmflers ofChrift 
affect a Refemblance of the Heavenly Hierarchy, in 
re!pe<5l of Prehemlnence, Auchority or Dominion ! 
for " we have not Dominion over your Faith ^ but are 
l he Helpers of your 'Joy. 

Yet Power is committed to the Taflors of tfie 
Churches for their Order, Peace, Edification and 
Puricy, for which they can (how an ample Ccm- 
nnijion, necdlefs to produce before Tou, who have 
not fo learned Chrijt, as not to remember Them 
that have the Rule over You, and watch for ycur 
Souls and admonifh you to'Jubmit ycurjelvcs and 
obey them in the Lord ; thac they may give tbtir 
Account with J<y & not withGrief ! Heb. xiii. 7,17. 

He is the Angel of a Mlnifttr in the Church pf 
Chrlft, Who in the JL6^and Gentknefs of his Lord, 

f Daniel x. 13, 20, xii. i. the 

r Angels of the Churches. 17 

the Mecknefs ofWifdom, behaves gravely, humbly 
and affectionately in the Hcttfe of the Living God, 
The Pillar and Ground of Truth , i Tim. iii. I J Who 
like the Watcher from on High is intent on his 
Mifflon and particular Charge, watching in all things 
to make full Proof of his Minlflry ; to prevent Evil 
and Sin all he can ? and promote all he can what is 
good and holy. 

If St. Paul were again in the Flejh juft fo would 
he rule and manage exercife no other Jurifdif* 
tlon nor affect any other Preheminence 9 than the 
holy Ends of his Miniftry, in the (awing Effetts 
of it, make neceflary to the Souls of Men j their 
j own and thofe in Fellowship with them. And if 
He were again ; to take Leave of the Flocks to which 
he had mmift/ed, it would be ftill in the fame 
humble and endearing Words, with which he mel 
ted the Elders at Ephcfus : Afts xx, 18, &C, " Ye 
" know how I have been among you at ail Sea- 
u fons, ferving the Lord with all Humility of 
cc Mind, and have kept back nothing that is pro- 
' fitable to you ^ but have {hewed you publickly 
cc and from Houfe to Houfe, tcitifyingunto all 
cc Repentance toward God and Faith toward our 
cf Lord J'fus Chrift : And now that you are to 
c; fee myFace no more ? I take you to Record this 
" Day that I am pure from the Blood of all Men; 
cc for I have not ftiunned to declare unto you the 
cc whole Council of God. Take heed therefore 
u unto your Selves, and unto all the Flock ever 
cc which the Holy Ghoft hath made you Biftiops ; 
" to feed the Church of God which He hath 
" bought with his own Blood. And now hre- 
c thren, I commend you to God., and to the Word 
u of his Grace, which is able to build you up, 

" and 

1 8 Faithful Paftors 

" and to give you an Inheritance among all them 
" that are fan&ified. 

This is the true Evangelical, Chrip-Uke, 
Heal and Angelical Spirit of Rue and Govern 
ment in the Churches ; the true Chriftian Pafto- 
ral Spirit and Regimen. And juft thus yourTbxcher 
defired to be among You and over Ton In the Lord, 
and you efleemed him highly In Love herefor, while 
he returned the Bowels of Love to You and yours 
for your Reverend Rejpetfs and Kindnelfesto him; 
You received him always gladly in the Lord, as an 
Angel of Jefus Chrift. 

And now you may be ready to faS upon his 
Pifiure as I hold it before you 5 and kifs it in your 
deep Sorrow 5 " that you muft fee his Face no more 
But if this Face of an Angel that I have (hewn 
You, and you fee that it is He ktmfelf, will not 
dry up y out Tears for Him, and turn your Sor 
row into Joy on bis Account j tho 7 it open new 
Sluices for your Selves and for your Children ; 
you would feem Infenfibk indeed, and to have no 
fflritiial Senfation of things joyous or grievous. - 
But this is far from you : You are true Mour 
ners, and many of you I doubt not fyiritually fb^ 
amidtt abundant Confolation before the Lord. 
I have accordingly exprefs'd my hearty Sywfatby. 
with you on both Accounts j that we may be eji- 
fied together by a mutual Faith ; as with refpeft 
unto the Dottrines of Grace in general^ fo in the 
Application of them, on the prefent Bereavement 
from God upon you. 

And now to go into a more enlarged 
tion of the Subject, than the Circumltances of a 
particular Qongregation led me to, I would lay, 

i. Let 

Angtls of the Qhurchci. 19 

1. Let the Churches of Chrift and his Minifters 
be admomftied of that fpecial Regtrd and Refpe& 
Which they owe unto the blejjed Angels. There 
is a mutual Relation between us and Them, which 
obliges us to honour them as the Sons of God, we 
know not how far before us, both in Order of 
Nature and Time. We ftiould highly reverence 
p em for all the Graces of God to 7 em and in 7 em. 
Let us realize their Prefence with us in our holy 
Studies, fecret Devotions, private Dlfcourfes with 
Perfons on the Service of their Souls, and in our 
publick Affemblles and let it be an Argument 
with us to be ferious and folemn in all, " becaufe 
of the Angels. Let us defire to commend our Selves 
to their Love and Affiftance, in our Meditations, 
Prayers and Administrations ,- and allb in our 
Temptations, Afflictions and dying Hours. But: 
however good they are in our Sight, yea though 
they were to bring us even the Revelations of 
God, yet may we not worfbip 'em, for they are our 
Brethren and Fellow-Servants, that keep the Com 
mandments of God and the Teft Imony of Jefus $ Rev. 
xxii. 9. 

2. Our Dottrlne ftiould comfort, animate and in 
vigorate Mlnifters in their Work, and at the fame 
time greatly humble and abaft 'em before God and 

On the one hand let us magnify our Office, and 
take Pleafure in our high and Heavenly Calling ; 
as when the Hand of the Angel couched Daniel, 
it fet him on his Feet, What a Name is this with 
in God's Hotife and Walls ? called to be Angels ! 
a Name meet to be 'written In Heaven ! And what 
a good God do we ferve, who ralfes the poor out of 
tks Dttfl, to let them among the Vrincifalitfa and 


ao Faithful 

Powers above, and make them inherit the Tkront 
of (j lory, 

It is to encourage us in our Work, and at the 
fame Time lead us to reflect, how little meet we 
are to wear this Name, and how aftanid the blef- 
fen Angels may well be to own us, were they not 
Good like Chrift their Lord and ours. .. . -. Com 
pare their Accomplishments and Miniftrations with 
6ur^ and how do we indeed walk as Men, and 
below Angels ! yet " behold we take upon us to 
fpeak to the moft High God, who are but Dujt and 
Jfljes ! as Abraham faid before the Lord, in the 
Day and Hour that his Angels had vifited him- 
The beft of Prophets muft fall before the Mercy- 
Seat, as Ifalah did, when he had feen the Sera* 
fbims worftiipping with cover d Faces : Ifaiah vi- 
y. cc Then faid I, Wo is me, for I am undone; be- 
caufe lam a Man of unclean Lips, and I dwell among 
a People of unclean Lips.* . c Lord Jefut, fend 
" fome heavenly Seraph, with a Coal from thy Al- 
" tar,, to touch my Heart and Lips j that my Ini- 
" quity may be 'taken away and my Sin purged. 

Ah ! were we but thus humbled, we fhould be 
alfo thereby greatly qukkned and excited, to ap 
frove our Selves unto God and his People, as An 
gels in his Church. Let us feel this faared hea 
venly Ambition, fince God calls us to it. Afplre 
to walk worthy of the Vocation. Let the Character 
of the Chrlftlan Bifoop make us emulate that of An- 
gels themleivcs : Titus i. 7, 8, 9. For a Bifhop mufi 
be blamelefs, as a Steward of God $ not f elf -willed, 
not foon angry, not given to Wine, no Striker, not 
given to filthy Lucre but a lover of Hofyltallty, a 
lover of good Men, fober, juft> holy, temper ate, holding 
the faithful Word) &c. z. Tim. ii, 24. And the 


'Angels of tie Churches. 21 

Servant of the Lord mujl not ftriw, bat be genthw- 
t all Men, aft to teach, in Meeknefs inffirutllng tbofe 
that oppofe tbemfelvei, &c. What but the Idea of 
Michael, the Arch-Angel, arifes in our Minds, up 
on our reading theft Words ? in his " Contending 
with the Devil about the Body ofMofes, not daring 
or inclining to bring a railing Accufativn againit 

O that we could be in any manner as the An 
gels of God for Knowledge, Sanftity, Devotion, 
Charity, Humility, in every Excellency / what- 
loever things are juft, fare, Uvtlj and of good Re- 
fort j every Vtrtut andPraffe ! more efpecially in 
holy Zeal and Activity in ferving and praifing 
God. Let us in Spirit be daily amending to the 
Son of M~t in Heaven. Let us be in the Mount 
with God often, preparing for the Prefence and 
Vtjion of God for evermore. Let us be pleafant 
and joyful in our Lord's Work. Let us be glad 
to lerve the poor Members of J e f us Cbrifi in their 
Mtly Needs, Sickneffes and Sorrows, but much 
more in their fpiritual Wants, Griefs, Fears, Temp 
tations and Diftreffes. 

Thus Mini/fers have been cL rf'd before GOB 
and his EleSl Angels, to be like 'em here, that they 
may be with them for ever. And could we rea 
lty the Charge coming from the Mouth of the Son 
fMa, in theMidfl of the Golden CanJIeftieks, in 

at tremendous Glory wherein John faw Him in 
our Context, it would ftrike us dead at his Feet: 
isuc at leaft let us be fouck with Jacob's holy 
vrctdi on his feeing the Ladder from Heaven to 
tarth, with the Angels of God upon it ; " How 
dreadful u this Place < it is no other than the Houfe 
/ *% *ndtke Catt of Heaven. 

D 3. As 

22 Faithful Paftors 

3. As here is great Honour put upon tht faith* 
ful Minifltrs of Chrift, and on his holy Churches ; 
or rather only on the Free Grace of God to ? em 
and in ? em fo what Condemnation and Confufton 
belongs to wicked and ungodly Minifters, and unto 
like 'Prof effort in all the Churches of the Saints ^ 
who are carthlj, fenfual, devilifo Enemies to the 
Crofs ofChrift, and as contrary to Him and his 
Angels as Darknefs to Light, as Belial to the Hea 
venly Hofl. So, as the Afoftle teaches us, " Sa- 
tan hlmfelfis transformed into an Angel of Light 
therefore It Is no great thing if his Minifters alfo be 
transformed as the Minifters of Rlghteoufnefs whofe 
End flwll be according to their Works, 2 Cor. xi f 
14, ij. 

4. Here is a fingular Dlrettion, with a mighty 
Motive, to the Candidates for the Evangelical Mi- 
nlflry j with what Aims and Hopes, with what 
Humility, Fear and Prayer, they ly at the Foot of 
Grace for the requifice Gifts and Graces, and En 
dowments from on High, to their foining one Day 
among the Angels of the Churches. Of the Fulnefs 
that is in Chrift they muft feek and Grace for Grace ! 
and " O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is thy Name 
in aU the Earth, 'who haft fet thy Glory above the Hea 
vens j and out of the Mouth of Babes and Sucklings 
ordaineft Strength I Pfal. viii. i, ^. 

5-; Here is fpecial Direction unto Churches in 
their Eleflhn of Perfons into the Pafloral Office 
over them. May God dire<9: them always unto 
Such, as they truly hope will moft {bine in the 
Gifts and Graces of Angels among them j and 
ever behave toward them with Angelical Hotinef* 3 
Wtfdom, Benevolence and Care for their Souls. 

6. And 

Angels of tie Churches*. 2; 

6. And let a Pe0p/e fo favoured of 'God fee how 
they ought to receive and entertain the MeJJagtt 
bro't them from God by their MinVhrs : Even 
as the Afian Churches did, and thofe of Galatiq^ 
who notwithstanding the Temptations in their Teach- 
crs Fltjh ( whatever they were ) defyiid them not, 
but accounted ot ? cm and jubmitted themfelves as 
unto the Angels of God. Or if the Angel 
vifit you in your Tent or Field, as fometimes A- 
braham, GiJeon, Manoah and Mary were gracioully 
vifited, receive Him gladly as the Heavenly Viji- 
tors of old were welcomed, and hearknedto. 

7. But what muft we fay then unto Thofe who 
have fat long under the Minipry of an Angel, and 
their Hearts have not been touched, affetted, cnlight- 
ned and fet a burning within them \ " Neither 
would they be per (waded ( they fhould fear ) tho one 
came from the Dead ! altho' a Lazarus were fent 
down to them from the Bofom of Abraham *. 

YourPaftors, as they have received Mercy, have 
not fainted $ but by Manifeftation of the Truth have 
commended Themfelves to your Consciences in the Sight 
of God! a far more proper Means, ordained by 
God, for yeur Con<verfion and Salvation, than any 
Angels Defcent from the Skies in a luminous Form. 
But if our Goffel be hid (as we are awfully admo- 
nifoed from God ) it is bid to them that are loft ; 
in whom the God of this World ( Satan, the fallen 
Angel y the Angel of the boltomlefs Pit )has blinded 
their Minds, left the Light of the glorious Gof- 
pel of chrift, who is the Imagt o^ the Invifible 
God ftiould jhine into them (j. ' 

Luke xYl 31, I] 2 Cor. iv. 2, 3, 4* 

D z To 

24 Faithful Pa/fors 

To draw unto a Clofy 

8. We learn from all that has been faid, what a 
forroivful Senfe we ought to have of the Dectafe of 
faithful Minifters and Paflors, who have been An- 
gels of Men among us. And therefore learn 
your prclent Duty, O Flock of Chrift bereaved of 
fuch a P aft or. 

Drop now all the Duft, and bury every Infir 
mity in the Grave, and look only upwards after 
the a/cended Angel ! All that was Angelical in 
Him and in his Minijlrj, let that /fi/ewith you, 
and abide in a pleating, thankful, profitable and 
perpetual Remembrance. 

v^Vfo^fc '^tawi 1 ' rrsiKJ son T/ti'J i*"$al itS/h 

The ^^/ is gone j the &/ was that ! gone 
to GOD, who made and remade it ! to Whom it 
Jias liv'd de-voted thro' his Power and Grace. It 
is gone to the innumerable Company of holy An- 
gels, and is as one of them among the Spirits of 
<lu(l Men made perftft. It is gone to Abrabam, 
~lfaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom of God , gone 
to be with Chrift in Ttradlfa to behold his Glory 
and /i* Him as He is ! and to come again with 
Him^ when he {hall return in the Glories of the 
Father, with all his holy Angels. He is gone, 
whither you cannot follow Him now, but we hope 
many of You will foon hereafter. 

His Going is to quicken you in a diligent Prepa 
ration, by following him in holy Living, to meet 
hirn*m the Joys of his Lord for ever. O what 
an Angtl will you fee Him then, and ht-Tou ; his 
Joy and Crown of rejoicing ! Arc not even Tcu to 
be this, in the fre fence of our Lord Jefus Cbrift at 
his Coming ? for Tt are bis Glory and Joy I 


of tie Churches. ^j* 

When Ckrift Himfelf fhall prefent You and Him 
together, faying, or give him leave to fay, <f e- 
keld I, and the Children whom thou haft given we f. 

Then the Soul of (he now defolate Widow, truft- 
ing in God, (hall fee the Angel of a Husband that 
once was, for flous Aftedion and ftrong Endear 
ment 1 but O how much more holy and lovely, in 
the Image of Cbrlft perfeded on him ! to be there 
fore embrtcd again with a Joy unknown in our 
prefent State. 

Then the weeping Relatives, fuch as Mary and 
Martha were to Lazarus, the Family of Faith and 
Piety which Jefus loved, {hall fee their Brother 
alive again, "and all Tears fhall be wtfd from 
their Eyes. 

Then the Friends, that were as his own Soul, 
^andthe^wr Golkgue-Paftors, who were knit toge 
ther in Spirit, as Jonathan to David, in Angelic 
Bonds having united their Endeavours to turn 
many unto Rigbteonfnefs , fhall fhine as the Stars to 
gether in the Firmtmcnt of Glory. 

And then all Ton that have fhowfl the Klndne/et 
*f God unto the Deceafed for his Works fake, and 
fhali do it filS from Love to Chrift unto the Half 
(f Him left below, fhall hear the Lord of Glory 
take it to Himfelf ; " Te did it- unto Me. 

And finally, Then all the Elett of God among 
You, and (anttifed in Jefus Chrijt, fhall at length 
meet in an everlafting Sabbnth of Reft from Sin 

t i Thcff ii, * Hebrews ii 13. 


Faithful Paftors, 

and Sorrow, in the General Affembly and Church of 
the Fir ft born, whofe Names are written In Heaven $ 
a glorious Church indeed, not having Spot or Wrin 
kle or any (ucb thing 3 * to ferve Him day and night 
in his Temple above, and to fmg the New Song tor 
ever and ever : " Thou art worthy ,f or tbou waft 
Jlaln, and bast redeemed us to God by thy Blood, out 
of every Kindred and Tongue and People and Nation ! 
Wherefore Bleffing and Honour and Glory and 
"Power be unto Him that Jittetb on the Throne ^ and 
U the Lawk for ever $n& ever. 


14 DAY 


" " ""