Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Gleanings from Charles Bridges' "The Christian Ministry"

Gleanings from Charles Bridges’ The Christian Ministry (original 1830; abridged edition, 1849; Banner of Truth reprint, 1967):

Our plain and cheering duty is therefore to go forward—to scatter seed—to believe and wait (p. 76).

Ours is the care of service—His is the care of success. “The Lord of the harvest must determine, when, and what, and where the harvest shall be” (p. 76).

Cowper’s line—‘If parsons fiddle, why may’nt laymen dance?’ –has at least as much truth as wit in it (p. 121).

…and who knoweth, but that we shall find that our most successful efforts for our people were the hours—not when we were speaking to them from God, but when we were speaking for them to God? (p. 149).

Believe—wait—work—are the watchwords of the Ministry (p. 179).

So true is it, that we must preach the Gospel, in order to reform the world (p. 242).

No souls, therefore, can be won to him, except by setting forth his name, work, and glory (p. 245).

Indeed, we are bound to explain to our people, according to the light afforded us, every part of the book, which was designed for general instruction, and of which we are the ordained interpreters (p. 249).

If some poison their people, others may be in danger of starving them (p. 254).

Let Christ be the diamond to shine in the bosom of all your sermons (p. 258).

Christian experience is the influence of doctrinal truth upon the affections (p. 259).

Our doctrine must be as a garment, fitted for the body it is made for; a garment that is fit for every body, is fit for nobody (p. 270).

The Minister, that does not manifestly put his heart into his sermon, will never put his sermon into the heart of his people…. A painted fire may glare, but will not warm (p. 320).

How gently we handle those sins, which will so cruelly handle our people’s souls (p. 323)!

The constant repetition,—not the weight—of the heavenly showers, makes impressions on the hardest substances (p. 326).

Favoritism in Scripture is the grand parent of both heresy and instability of profession (p. 378).

Experience shows us, that often the most difficult work remains when we have come down from the pulpit, needing special direction of prayer, study, and careful regard to our Master’s ministration for its effectual discharge. On one particular, however, we cannot mistake; that to all, of every class and at every stage, the attractions of the cross must be unfolded, and its heavenly glory made intelligible…. (p. 383).


Mad Jack said...

If some poison their people, others may be in danger of starving them

I've been through this. While in search of a new church in Madison, WI (I lived there for two years), I discovered three things:
1. Unless it's a special holiday, what you hear today is pretty much what you're going to hear tomorrow. If it's no good, don't waste time giving them a second chance.
2. More ministers than you might ever believe preach their own opinions and facts instead of, or in addition to, Holy Scripture. I stood up and walked out of one service because the 'scripture' being preached didn't appear in my Bible - or anyone else's.
3. Starvation is real. I show up to the Lord's table on Sunday morning, and I go away hungry. Then I heard from one very learned Pastor that the church was losing members because people didn't want a teaching sermon. People wanted a sermon that made them feel good. The two are not mutually exclusive, but a little more digging led to the discovery that a teaching sermon is too much like work, and so is rejected. Now me, I never found it so, and if I didn't understand the entire sermon I could go home and read about it in my Bible, and I could return during the week and pester the poor Pastor with questions. Which is what I used to do, and we both enjoyed it.

Now I'm looking for a new church in Columbus, Ohio. Any suggestions?

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

MJ, thanks for the comment. The quote you focus on is an admonition to the church and her preachers (yours truly included).

As for churches in Columbus, have you looked at this RB church directory?:

Hope you can find a place to be fed.