Tag Archives: Pastoring

“Make much of our Lord Jesus Christ” by J.C. Ryle

“In conclusion, I will remind you of the words the Apostle addressed to the Ephesian elders: ‘I commend you to God and to the word of His grace.’ (Acts 20:32)

We are about to part, perhaps to meet no more in this world. Let us solemnly commend one another to God, and to the word of His grace, as that which will never err, never fail us, never lead us astray.

Guided by that Word as our light and lamp, we shall at last receive an inheritance among them that are sanctified.

Above all, let us never forget the advice which Whitefield gave in one of his letters: let us ‘make much of our Lord Jesus Christ.’

There are many things of which we may easily make too much in our ministry, give them too much attention, think about them too much.

But we can never make too much of Christ.”

–J.C. Ryle, “What Is Our Position,” Home Truths, seventh series (Ipswich: William Hunt, 1859), 267-268. These words were addressed to pastors at Weston-Super-Mare in August 1858.

2 Comments

Filed under Bible, Christian Theology, Elders, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“A prayer request for pastors” by J.C. Ryle

“I will ask one favour on behalf of the brethren who have done the principal part of the labour in the meeting now nearly concluded. We ask a special place in your intercessory prayers.

You should consider the position in which we are placed. We are often put forward into positions which others perhaps would fill just as well, if they would but make the trial, and we are deeply sensible of our own deficiencies.

But still, being put forward in the forefront of the battle, we may surely ask for a special place in your prayers.

We are only flesh and blood. We are men of like passions with yourselves. We have our private trials, and our special temptations.

Often, while watering the vineyards of others, our own is comparatively neglected. Surely, it is not too much to ask you to pray for us.

Pray that we may be kept humble and sensible of our own weakness, and ever mindful that in the Lord alone can we be strong.

Pray that we may have wisdom to take the right step, to do the right thing, in the right way, and to do nothing to cause the Gospel to be blamed.

Pray, above all, that we may go straight on, even unto the end– that we may never lose our first love, and go back from first principles,– that it may never be said of us, that we are not the men we once were, but that we may go on consistently and faithfully, die in harness, and finish our course with joy, and the ministry which we have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the Gospel of the grace of God.”

–J.C. Ryle, “What Is Our Position,” Home Truths, seventh series (Ipswich: William Hunt, 1859), 267-268. These words were addressed to pastors at Weston-Super-Mare in August 1858.

3 Comments

Filed under Apostasy, Christian Theology, Elders, Glory of Christ, Humility, J.C. Ryle, Jesus Christ, Patience, Perseverance, Prayer, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“A minister needs to be a jack of all trades” by John Newton

“Give my love to Mr. ****. He has desired a good work; may the Lord give him the desires of his heart.

May he give him the wisdom of Daniel, the meekness of Moses, the courage of Joshua, the zeal of Paul, and that self-abasement and humility which Job and Isaiah felt when they not only had heard of Him by the hearing of the ear, but saw His glory, and abhorred themselves in dust and ashes.

May he be taught of God, (none teacheth like Him,) and come forth an able minister of the New Testament, well instructed rightly to divide and faithfully to distribute the word of truth.

In the school of Christ, (especially if the Lord designs him to be a teacher of others,) he will be put to learn some lessons not very pleasant to flesh and blood: he must learn to run, to fight, to wrestle, and many other exercises, some of which will try his strength, and others his patience.

You know the common expression of a jack of all trades. I am sure a minister had need be such an one: a soldier, a watchman, a shepherd, a husbandman, a builder, a planter, a physician, and a nurse.

But let him not be discouraged. He has a wonderful and a gracious Master, who can not only give instructions, but power, and engages that His grace shall be sufficient, at all times and in all circumstances, for those who simply give themselves up to His teaching and His service.

I am sincerely yours’s,

John Newton”

–John Newton, “Letter XVIII (August 13, 1773)” in The Works of John Newton, Vol. 6. Ed. Richard Cecil (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 6:102–103.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Ecclesiology, Elders, Jesus Christ, John Newton, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church, The Gospel

“Our hearts will be turned inside out” by Jonathan Edwards

“In this world, ministers and their people often meet together to hear of and wait upon an unseen Lord. But at the judgment, they shall meet in His most immediate and visible presence.

Ministers, who now often meet their people to preach to them the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, to convince them that there is a God and declare to them what manner of being He is, and to convince them that He governs and will judge the world, and that there is a future state of rewards and punishments, and to preach to them a Christ in heaven, at the right hand of God, in an unseen world—shall then meet their people in the most immediate sensible presence of this great God, Savior, and Judge, appearing in the most plain, visible, and open manner, with great glory, with all His holy angels, before them and the whole world.

They shall not meet them to hear about an absent Christ, an unseen Lord, and future Judge; but to appear before that Judge—being set together in the presence of that supreme Lord—in His immense glory and awful majesty, of whom they have heard so often in their meetings together on earth…

How highly therefore does it now become us to consider of that time when we must meet one another before the chief Shepherd! When I must give an account of my stewardship, of the service I have done for, and the reception and treatment I have had among the people to whom He sent me. And you must give an account of your own conduct towards me, and the improvement you have made of these three and twenty years of my ministry.

For then both you and I must appear together, and we both must give an account, in order to an infallible, righteous and eternal sentence to be passed upon us, by Him who will judge us with respect to all that we have said or done in our meeting here, and all our conduct one towards another in the house of God and elsewhere.

He will try our hearts, and manifest our thoughts, and the principles and frames of our minds. He will judge us with respect to all the controversies which have subsisted between us, with the strictest impartiality, and will examine our treatment of each other in those controversies. There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, nor hid which shall not be known.

All will be examined in the searching, penetrating light of God’s omniscience and glory, and by Him whose eyes are as a flame of fire. Truth and right shall be made plainly to appear, being stripped of every veil. And all error, falsehood, unrighteousness, and injury shall be laid open, stripped of every disguise. Every specious pretense, every cavil, and all false reasoning shall vanish in a moment, as not being able to bear the light of that day.

And then our hearts will be turned inside out, and the secrets of them will be made more plainly to appear than our outward actions do now. Then it shall appear what the ends are which we have aimed at, what have been the governing principles which we have acted from, and what have been the dispositions we have exercised in our ecclesiastical disputes and contests.

Then it will appear whether I acted uprightly, and from a truly conscientious, careful regard to my duty to my great Lord and Master, in some former ecclesiastical controversies, which have been attended with exceeding unhappy circumstances and consequences. It will appear whether there was any just cause for the resentment which was manifested on those occasions.

And then our late grand controversy, concerning the qualifications necessary for admission to the privileges of members, in complete standing, in the visible church of Christ, will be examined and judged in all its parts and circumstances, and the whole set forth in a clear, certain, and perfect light.

Then it will appear whether the doctrine which I have preached and published concerning this matter be Christ’s own doctrine, whether He will not own it as one of the precious truths which have proceeded from His own mouth, and vindicate and honor as such before the whole universe.”

–Jonathan Edwards, “A Farewell Sermon,” The Works of Jonathan Edwards, Vol. 1. Ed. Edward Hickman (Banner of Truth, 1834/1998), 1:ccii, cciv. This sermon from 2 Corinthians 1:14 was preached in Northampton on June 22, 1750.

1 Comment

Filed under Christian Theology, Eschatology, Jesus Christ, Jonathan Edwards, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Church