Richard Baxter on the labour of ministers with weak and even obstinate believers

Discussion in 'Daily Devotional Forum' started by Jerrod Hess, Jan 19, 2020.

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  1. Jerrod Hess

    Jerrod Hess Puritan Board Freshman

    What a sad thing this is to yourselves, and unto us; when ministers that are as the nurses of the church, or stewards of the household, to give them all their meat in due season, must see that all that ever they can do for you will do no more than keep you alive! Yae, how often are you quarelling with your food, and you do not like it; or you cannot get it down, something still ails it for matter or manner; or else, if the minister displease you, your feeble stomachs do loathe the food, because you like not the cook that dressed it, or because his hands are not so clean as you desire! The full soul loatheth an honey-comb, but to the hungry every bitter thing is sweet. Or if you get it down, you can hardly keep it, but are ready to cast it up to our faces. And thus a great deal of our labour is lost with you; holy doctrine lost, and sacraments and other ordinances lost, because you have not the strength to digest them. Labour, therefore, to be established and built up..

    I know that the strong must bear with their infirmities and exercise compassion on them. But yet you should remember the words of Christ, 'It is more honourable to give than to receive.' And therefore be persuaded to bestir yourselves for spiritual health, and strength, and riches, that the multitudes of needy miserable souls may have some help from you; and that when they come to your doors you may not turn them away with so cold an answer. Alas! we have nothing for ourselves. Were you but strong confirmed Christians, what blessings might you be to all about you! what a stay to the places where you live! Your lips would feed many as a tree of life. The ear that heard you would bless you, and the eye that saw you would bear you witness. You would be to poor souls, as bountiful rich men are to their bodies, the support and relief of many that are needy. You would not eat your morsels alone, nor would you see any perish for lack of clothing, but the loins of the poor would bless you. O pity the poor would that needeth more than children's help; and grow up into confirmation. O pity the poor church that abounds with weaklings, that is pestered with childish, self-conceited quar-rellers. O pity yourselves, and live not still in so childish, sickly, and beggarly a condition, when the way of riches and health is before you; but up and be doing, till you have attained confirmation.

    - Richard Baxter, 'Directions for Weak Christians and the Character of a Confirmed Christian' sermon
     
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