By What Means May Ministers Win Souls?
O.k., that last post definitely did not fly, so I took it down. Oh well. Making it a discipline to read up on the Puritans, I have had a few quotes that I have saved to post when I had the opportunity. This one is from Robert Trail called "By What Means May Ministers Win Souls?" and was written in 1682. I would like to dedicate this post to Mr. Rob Mart who, because of my love for the Puritans, has called P&P and "ecumenical blog." Here is the quote:
Men, brethren, and fathers, you are called to a high and holy calling: your work is full of danger, full of duty, and full of mercy. You are called to the winning of souls; an employment near akin unto our Lord’s work,—the saving of souls; and the nearer your spirits be in conformity to his holy temper and frame, the fitter you are for, and the more fruitful you shall be in, your work. None of you are ignorant of the departure of our glory, and the daily advance of its departure, and the sad appearances of the Lord’s being about to leave us utterly. Should not these signs of the times rouse up ministers to greater seriousness? What can be the reason of this sad observation,—that, when formerly a few lights, raised up in the nation, did shine so as to scatter and dispel the darkness of Popery in a little time; yet now, when there are more and more learned men amongst us, yet the darkness comes on apace? Is it not because they were men “filled with the Holy Ghost and with power,” and many of us are only filled with light and knowledge and inefficacious notions of God’s truth? Doth not always the spirit of the ministers propagate itself amongst the people? A lively ministry, and lively Christians. Therefore, be serious at heart; believe, and so speak; feel, and so speak; and as you teach, so do: and the people will feel what you say, and obey the Word of God. (209-10)Source: A Continuation of Morning-Exercise Questions and Cases of Conscience, Practically Resolved, by Sundry Ministers. Vol.3