Nehemiah Coxe on the Importance of the Gospel Ministry and the Means of Grace

In 1681, Nehemiah Coxe preached a sermon at the ordination of officers in a London church. That sermon was published and later portions of it were used by Benjamin Keach, in his book Tropologia, to reinforce the importance of the gospel ministry. Here is one paragraph, taken from page 833 of Keach.

Nehemiah Coxe wrote:

It is the business of your salvation, and the concern of your precious and immortal souls, that a Minister is employed in; and therefore it is much more your own interest than his, that you should make conscience of your duty. With this argument the apostle enforces his exhortation, Heb. xiii. 17, ‘ For they watch for your souls, as they that must give an account, that they do it with joy, and not with grief, for that is unprofitable for you.’ The ministry can never be effectual to the saving of your souls, if you be not sincere in obedience under it. And will you be less careful for your souls, and their eternal welfare, than you are for your bodies, and the comforts of a temporal life? Can you be content to lay out your strength and substance to provide for these, and neglect the other? It is sad to consider, how many there are among professors, that live in the world, as if there were no truth in the report of that which is to come, and have the meanest esteem of the most necessary means of salvation, viz., the Word, and ordinnances of Christ, and a Gospel ministry; can expend perhaps an hundred pounds per annum, more or less, for the convenience, ornament, or delight of a frail carcase, but will not bestow half so much for the poor, or the support of Gospel worship.