1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.…
The American religious journal, the Independent, relates the following story of rebuked vanity, which was told recently in a gathering of ministers, by the Rev. Dr. Gould, of Worcester. "A certain Rev. Samuel Smith had been discoursing very learnedly and loftily, and was now walking home with his brother, eagerly waiting for some word of commendation. Not finding it forthcoming, he dropped a slender oblique hint, to see what could be drawn out. He was somewhat startled and shocked by the outburst: "I tell you, Sam, what it is. Instead of preaching "Jesus Christ and Him crucified," you seem to have been preaching Samuel Smith and him dignified." How necessary it is for preachers of the gospel to hide themselves in the shadow of Christ's Cross, and to forget themselves in the majesty of the message which they deliver.
I. A minister of good report: — About thirty years ago the present Bishop of Minnesota went to Chicago, and built a church near the business centre of the city. In those days there were no street cars, and it happened that the reverend gentleman took up his residence in West Chicago, convenient to an omnibus line. It frequently occurred that the omnibus would be crowded, and many obliged to take "deck passage." The writer was riding on the seat with the driver one Saturday night, when the conversation turned upon Sunday labour and the consistency of professed Christians, the driver thinking it rather hard that he should be obliged to labour on Sunday, while others should take their rest. It appeared from his conversation that his faith in Christianity was rather weak; but turning to me he said, with considerable emphasis, "There is one clergyman whom I respect and believe to be a consistent Christian." Being a little curious to know who the clergyman was, and upon what evidence he had based his opinion, I asked him for an explanation. "Well," said he, "there is the Rev. Mr. Whipple, who built that church down town; he has a free pass over this line, but walks down and back on Sundays rather than compromise his Christianity; that proves to me that he is a consistent Christian." It sometimes occurs that a clergyman's most eloquent sermon is being preached when he least expects it; and any private Christian may preach the same kind of sermon.
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.