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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Puritan Nuggets of Gold # 58

The Ministry

A minister ... a merchant of invaluable jewels. (Abraham Wright)

In our prayers for our people, God will teach us what we shall preach unto them. We cannot pray for them, but we must thing on what it is we pray for, and that is the consideration of their condition. The apostles "gave themselves to prayer and the word." Prayer is in the first place. (John Owen)

Men whose calling and work it is to study the Scripture, or the things revealed therein, and to preach them to others, cannot but have many thoughts about spiritual things, and yet may be, and oftentimes are, most remote from being spiritually minded. They may be forced by their work and calling to think of them early and late, evening and morning, yet their minds be no way rendered or proved spiritual thereby. And the reasons of it are manifest. It requires as much if not more watchfulness, more care, more humility, for a minister to be spiritually minded in the discharge of his calling, than for any other sort of men in theirs. .. because the commonness of the exercise of such thoughts, with their design upon others in their expression, will take off their power and efficacy. And he will have little benefit by his own ministry who endeavors not in the first place an experience in his own heart of the power of the truths which he doth teach unto others. (John Owen)

The word "work" forbids loitering and the word "ministry" lording. (John Boys)

He that is more frequent in his pulpit to his people than he is in his closet for his people, is but a sorry watchman. ( John Owen)

The labors of the ministry are fitly compared to the toil of men in harvest, to the labors of a woman in travail and to the agonies of soldiers in the extremity of a battle. (John Flavel)

Though Noah's servants built the ark, yet themselves were drowned. God will not accept of the tongue where the devil has the soul. Jesus did "do and teach." If a man teach uprightly and walk crookedly, more will fall down in the night of his life than he built in the day of his doctrine. (John Owen)

Brethren, it is easier to declaim against a thousand sins of others, than to mortify one sin in ourselves. (John Flavel)

Three things make a preacher - reading, prayer and temptation. (John Trapp)

The minister should prepare himself inwardly and outwardly. The inward preparation is if his mind and soul be instructed and furnished with godly doctrine and a fervent spirit and zeal to teach his audience, to establish them in the truth, and to exhort them to perpend and mark well the merits and deservings of Christ. The outward preparation, the more simple it is, the better it is. (John Hooper)

Unholiness in a preacher's life will either stop his mouth from reproving, or the people's ears from receiving. (William Gurnall)

A minister may fill his pews, his communion roll, the mouths of the public, but what that minister is on his knees in secret before God Almighty, that he is and no more. (John Owen)

A faithful minister must see before he say. (Edward Marbury)


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