26 September 2009

"What an ornament to the Church!"

Now, seeing the case of weakness in the converted is so sad, how diligent should we be to cherish and increase their grace! The strength of Christians is the honour of the Church. When they are inflamed with the love of God, and live by a lively working faith, and set light by the profits and honours of the world, and love one another with a pure heart fervently, and can bear and heartily forgive a wrong, and suffer joyfully for the cause of Christ, and study to do good, and walk inoffensively and harmlessly in the world, are ready to be servants to all men for their good, becoming all things to all men in order to win them to Christ, and yet abstaining from the appearance of evil, and seasoning all their actions with a sweet mixture of prudence, humility, zeal, and heavenly mindedness - oh, what an honour are such to their profession! What an ornament to the Church; and how serviceable to God and man! Men would sooner believe that the gospel is from heaven, if they saw more such efforts of it upon the hearts and lives of those who profess it. The world is better able to read the nature of religion in a man's life than in the Bible. - Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor pg. 98


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