On Fulfilling The Ministry -- By: N. Adams
BSac 3:12 (Nov 1846) p. 743
On Fulfilling The Ministry
As we look back on those who in different generations and ages of the world have constituted the ministry of the true religion, we are struck with two things which preeminently characterize them. One is, that those of them who have fulfilled their ministry, have been earnest men. If we may speak of Moses as a minister of Israel, we have in him, a powerful example of earnestness. The faithful prophets were eminently earnest men; it is like the sudden sound of a trumpet to meet the name of Elijah, Samuel and Daniel; while the lives and sufferings, or the unequalled utterances of the other men of God in the Old Testament, and the histories of the Apostles, make this great impression on the mind, that each of them had his special work to do; and how was he straitened till it was accomplished! The tide that was set in motion by the Apostles, imparted its vigor to the early Christian fathers, till it lost itself in the great sea of human philosophy, and became for a time only one of the cross currents in the ocean of human thought. But see the Reformers of the sixteenth century, French, German and English, of any one of whom, Satan might have started and said, as Herod did of Christ, “It is John the Baptist whom I beheaded.” The English Puritans were earnest men; the fathers of New England were baptized with fire. Wherever we find a ministry exerting a decided influence upon their generation, we find men of strong impulses, consecrating themselves wholly to their work.
With this earnestness we notice another peculiarity in them. The thoughts and labors of a faithful and able ministry are always
BSac 3:12 (Nov 1846) p. 744
identified with the peculiarities of the age in which they live. We do not see them absorbed in religious, philosophical, literary speculations and labors. Their learning is employed in practical efforts for the welfare of their contemporaries, in illustrating the great principles of common life, as well as of revealed truth. They translate the Bible. They enter into the controversies of truth with error; they expose the time-honored, moss-grown follies of the age, and make their own generation wiser and happier for their having lived in it. We may select any able, faithful minister of Jesus Christ in any land or age, and the history of his mind, his studies, his labors, is a part of the history of the times in which he lived.
It becomes an interesting question for every minister of the Gospel, What does my ministry in this generation and age require of me?
In fulfilling the ministry, we must be earnestly devoted to its private duties and labors.
A man who undertakes abstractly to live for the world, as some do...
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