Scottish Christian Herald
1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.…
An aged Scotch divine had occasionally to avail himself of the assistance of probationers. One day, a young man, very vain of his accomplishments as a preacher, officiated, and on descending from the desk, was met by the old gentleman with extended hands, and expecting high praise, he said, "No compliments, I pray." "Na, na, ha, my young friend," said the parson, "nowadays I'm glad o' onybody." Rowland Hill on ministerial work: — No man ever had stronger views than Mr. Rowland Hill of the true nature of the ministerial work, and of the necessity of a humble dependence on the Lord's assistance for a blessing in it. One of his remarks was, "If favoured at any time with what is called a good opportunity, I am too apt to find myself saying, 'Well done!,' when I should lie in the dust, and give God all the glory." Another was, "Lord, make me distrustful of myself, that I may confide in Thee alone; self dependence is the Pharisee's high road to destruction." He was accustomed strongly to urge on all who entered the sacred office the necessity of maintaining Christian and heavenly tempers among their people. "Some folks," he would say, "appear as if they had been bathed in crab verjuice in their infancy, which penetrated through their skins, and has made them sour-blooded ever since; but this will not do for a messenger of the gospel; as he bears a message, so he must manifest a spirit of love." He used to like Dr. Ryland's advice to his young academicians — "Mind, no sermon is of any value, or likely to be useful, which has not the three R's in it, — Ruin by the Fall, Redemption by Christ, Regeneration by the Holy Spirit." Of himself he remarked, "My aim in every sermon is a stout and lusty call to sinners, to quicken the saints, and to be made a universal blessing to all." It was a favourite saying with him, "The nearer we live to God, the better we are enabled to serve Him. Oh how I hate my own noise, when I have nothing to make a noise about! Heavenly wisdom creates heavenly utterance." In a letter to Mr. Jones, he observes, "There is something in preaching the gospel, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, I long to get at. At times I think I feel somewhat like it, and then I bawl almost as bad as the Welshman. If we deal with Divine realities, we ought to feel them such, and the people will in general feel with us, and acknowledge the power that does wonders on the earth; while dry, formal, discussional preaching leaves the hearers just where it found them. Still, they who are thus favoured had need to be favoured with a deal of humility. We are too apt to be proud of that which is not our own. Oh humility, humility, humility!" It is no wonder, with such impressions as to the nature of his work, and the state of his mind, that Mr. Rowland Hill's preaching was so honoured and blessed of God. "Lord, help!" was his constant and earnest prayer, and it was heard.
(Scottish Christian Herald.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.