What Can Be Done For Augmenting The Number Of Christian Ministers? -- By: Edwards A. Park

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 028:109 (Jan 1871)
Article: What Can Be Done For Augmenting The Number Of Christian Ministers?
Author: Edwards A. Park

What Can Be Done For Augmenting The Number Of Christian Ministers?1

Prof. Edwards A. Park

Eighteen hundred years ago it was said: “The harvest is plenteous”; for then the field was the world; but the harvest of souls is more plenteous now, for the world is more populous. Then our land was an undiscovered, now it is a fruitful, section of that field; but in this garden the need of laborers now is greater than it was ever. Our old Southern States are decayed plantations, needing improved methods of spiritual husbandry. Four millions of freedmen; tens of thousands of foreign immigrants arriving every year at our wharves; Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Montana, are swelling the cry which has been resounding from California and Oregon, the wailing cry for more laborers in the harvest. But, as eighteen hundred years ago so now, “the laborers are few.” Heathen lands, the countries of papal Europe, our own southern, southwestern, western, northwestern, even our middle states, an unprecedented number of parishes in New England are making such a demand for ministers of the gospel as it is not easy to supply. Our late rebellion, with the events involved in it, has so diminished the number and the resources of our clergymen; and our recent peace, with the events involved in it, has so intensified our need of clergymen, that it has become a grave query for all patriots as well as Christians: What shall we do to enlarge the supply for which there is this quick demand?

As eighteen hundred years ago, so now, the answer is: “Pray ye the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth

laborers into his harvest.” For increasing the number of Christian ministers prayer is the most expeditious method, the most general, the most effective, and therefore the most philosophical; for, if we truly pray, we shall work for the good that we crave, and if we rightly work for it, we shall truly pray for it. There is no real prayer which is not accompanied with appropriate labor, and there is no labor which ends well if it is not accompanied with appropriate supplication. But what particular forms of labor are comprehended in our prayer for the increase of true preachers? Every father can adopt some mode of activity; every mother can perform some noiseless but sure work; every brother and sister can start some influence; every pulpit, every teacher in the Sabbath school, or in any school, can do something; every minister of the gospel can do much that will be God’s method of answering the prayer for more laborers in. his vineyard. The question on which we are now to meditate is: What can we all do in augmenting the number of Christian ministers?

In the f...

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