Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Lessons of wisdom

Red Sky At Night

Amongst the Swiss, the Vaudois, and the Waldenses, every minister trains one young man. Those pastors or shepherds always have a younger brother to travel with them wherever they go. He watches the elder pastor, observes his ways, listens to his holy prayers, is inspired with his spirit, learns to tread the craggy mountains with him, learns to defy the enemy through the courage which he sees in his elder brother. He learns lessons of wisdom which are not to be learnt from books, lessons of practical pastoral training which are not to be gathered from the best professors of the best colleges in the world. And thus the Swiss have ever maintained a succession of men, perhaps not brilliant, but always useful, — perhaps not popular, but always sound and valiant in their defense of the truth. And should it not be so with the Church? If to carry it out it need a laborious ministry, so much the better. If it need a holy and wise ministry, so much the better. No other man should be a minister at all. If it need a watchful Church, and a prayerful Church, and a Church which consecrates liberally of its substance to the Lord, I say so much the better — for so ought every Church to be. The only question is, are we in the right state now to accomplish all the Lord’s purposes? If we be not, let us make it a matter of prayer that we may be brought into this state, for we are never healthy unless we are prepared to do whatever God calls us to do.

From a sermon entitled "The Church — Conservative And Aggressive," delivered May 19, 1861. Flickr photo by Amy Mew ; some rights reserved.

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