The Necessity, Dignity and Duty of Gospel Ministers – by Thomas Hodges (1600-1672).
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Thomas Hodges (1600-1672) was a fiery puritan, a Covenanter, a dedicated minister of the Gospel and an active member of the Westminster Assembly.
From Matthew 5:13, “Ye are the salt of the earth,” Hodges demonstrates remarkable clarity expounding the reality that ministers must be the salt of the earth. He shows us that Christ teaches the disciples to be this preserving and medicinal agent for the good of the church. Good ministers are given to God’s people as a gift of mercy from Jesus Christ.
Hodges shows how Gospel ministers are necessary, and why their duty before God is so important in six areas: 1. Ministers are the salt of the earth, and that it is their duty to be savory salt. 2. It is possible that some ministers may prove to be unsavory salt. 3. By what means this salt becomes unsavory. 4. That this unsavory salt is hardly curable. 5. That in this condition it is useless and unprofitable. 6. That unsavory salt, or bad ministers, unfaithful in their office, are liable to ejection and contempt, or to be deprived and scorned, and to be trodden underfoot of men. He says that preachers must realize, being salt, that they are a preservative, and a medicinal, where their preaching must be sharp, truthful, biblical, doctrinal and applicable.
The Scriptures emphatically teach that ministers are gifts to God’s people in mercy, who have hearts that beat along with God’s for truth, who are one in a thousand, who are the salt of the earth, and who are necessary under the Gospel ministry. The ministry, then is the fulfillment promised by God through the Shepherd and Bishop of Souls, Jesus Christ, for the good of God’s people.
(This work is not a scan or facsimile, has been carefully transcribed by hand being made easy to read in modern English, and has an active table of contents for electronic versions.)