Yesterday evening I received from my friend Chisso Wang, who is working with me on a book on William Carey, the covenant that Carey drew up for his first church at Moulton (more on this anon). Around the time of the writing of this covenant, Andrew Fuller spoke to this church on the occasion of Carey’s ordination on August 1, 1787. Fuller took as his text Psalm 68:18: “Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” Fuller rightly drew attention to the fulfillment of this text in Christ’s ascension according to Ephesians 4:8, and said: “If you love Christ, you will make much of your minister, on account of his being his gift. A gift designed to supply Christ’s absence in a sort. He is gone, (“ascended,”) but he gives you his servants.” (Importance of Christian Ministers considered as the Gift of Christ [The Complete Works of the Rev. Andrew Fuller (Repr. Harrisonburg, Virginia: Sprinkle Publications, 1988), I, 521]. And the goal of Christ’s giving such ministers is that “the Lord God might dwell among them [i.e. his people].” Here Fuller discerned a difference between the old and new covenants: “God had not dwelt with the world, nor in it, while sin bore the rule; but Christ’s mediation was for the bringing it about. “Will God indeed dwell with men?” He will; and how? It is by the means of ordinance and ministers. A church of Christ is God’s house, and where anyone builds a house it is a token he means to dwell there. What a blessing to a village, a country, for God to build a house in it. It is by this that we may hope for a blessing upon the means to the conversion of our family and friends, and for the edification of believers.” (Importance of Christian Ministers [Complete Works, I, 522]). This entire passage is quite intriguing.