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Rule iv. Reverential estimation of him, with submission unto him for his work’s sake.

1 Cor. iv. 1, “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.”

591 Thess. v. 12, 13, “We beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake.”

1 Tim. v. 17, “Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”

1 Pet. v. 5, “Submit yourselves unto the elders.”

Heb. xiii. 17, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves.”

Explication iv. The respect and estimation here required is civil, the motive sacred; whence the honour of the minister is the grace of the church, and the regard to him a gospel duty acceptable to God in Christ, 1 Tim. v. 17. Honour and reverence is due only to eminency in some kind or other. This is given to pastors by their employment; proved by their titles. They are called “angels,” Rev. i. 20; Heb. xii. 22; — “bishops,” or overseers, Ezek. iii. 17; Acts xx. 28; Tit. i. 7; — “ambassadors,” 2 Cor. v. 20; — “stewards,” 1 Cor. iv. 1; — “men of God,” 1 Sam. ii. 27; 1 Tim. vi. 11; — “rulers,” Heb. iii. 7, 17; — “lights,” Matt. v. 14; — “salt,” Matt. v. 13; — “fathers,” 1 Cor. iv. 15. And by many more such-like terms are they described. If under these notions they honour God as they ought, God will also honour them as he hath promised; and his people are in conscience to esteem them highly for their work’s sake. But if any of them be fallen angels, thrown-down stars, negligent bishops, treacherous ambassadors, lordly revelling stewards, tyrannical or foolish rulers, blind guides, unsavoury salt, insatiate dogs, the Lord and his people shall abhor them and cut them off in a month, Zech. xi. 8.

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