The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that wins souls is wise.
A learned divine was asked, on his death-bed, what he considered the greatest of all things. His answer was, "It is not theology, nor controversy; it is to save souls." Doddridge wrote, "I long for the conversion of souls, more sensibly than for anything besides." Matthew Henry says, "I would think it a greater happiness to gain one soul to Christ than mountains of gold and silver for myself." Brainerd said, "I cared not where nor how I lived, or what hardship I went through, so that I could but gain souls to Christ." Ward Beecher says, "As the pilot beats cruise far out, watching for every whitening sail, and hover through day and night all about the harbour, vigilant to board every ship that they may bring safely through the Narrows all the wanderers of the ocean, so should we watch off the gate of salvation for all the souls, tempest-tossed, beating in from the sea of sin, and guide them through the perilous straits, that at last, in still waters, they may cast the anchor of their hope." The Christian is to do good, not by force or hardness, but by gentle persuasion and persevering kindness. To win, as in a game, implies skill in adapting the means to the end.
1. He who would be successful in winning souls to Christ must be considerate and thoughtful.
2. Another qualification is courage.
3. Another is tender, unaffected sympathy. It is said that if a piano is struck in a room where another stands unopened, one who should place his ear near it would hear a responsive note within, as though touched by the hand of an unseen spirit. Such is the power of sympathy.
(John N. Norton.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise.