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Love for Souls


Love is naturally productive of love; it scatters heavenly sparks around, and these kindle the gentle flame where they fall . . . Let a minister of Christ ascend the sacred desk, with a heart glowing with the love of souls, and what an amiable, engaging figure does he make . . . Love gives a smooth, though sharp edge to his address. Love animates his persuasions and exhortations. Love breathes through his invitations and renders them irresistible. Love brightens the evidence of conviction, and sweetly forces it upon unwilling minds . . .

My glorious and condescending Lord has appointed me the most pleasing work—the work of love and benevolence. He only requires me to shew myself a lover of souls—souls, whom He loves, and whom he redeemed—souls, whom his Father loves, and for whom he gave up his own Son unto death—souls, whom my fellow-servants of a superior order, the blessed angels, love, and to whom they concur with me in ministering—souls, precious in themselves, and of more value than the whole material universe—souls, that must be happy, or miserable, in the highest degree, through an immortal duration—souls, united to me by the endearing ties of our common humanity—souls, for whom I must give an account to the great Shepherd and Bishop of souls. And, oh! can I help loving these souls? Why does not my heart always glow with affection and zeal for them! Oh! why am I such a languid friend, when the love of my Master and his Father is so ardent! when the ministers of heaven are flaming fires of love, though they do not share in the same nature! and when the object of my love is so precious and valuable! The owners of those souls often do not love them; and they are likely to be lost for ever by the neglect. Oh! shall not I love them! shall not love invigorate my hand, to pluck them out ill the burning! Yes, I will, I must love them. But, ah! to love them more! Glow, my zeal! kindle, my affections! speak, my tongue! flow, my blood! be exerted, all my powers! be, my life! if necessary, a sacrifice to save souls from death! Let labour be a pleasure: let difficulties appear glorious and inviting in this service. O thou God of Love! kindle a flame of love in this cold heart of mine; and then I shall perform my work with alacrity and success.

—Samuel Davies (1724–1761), as quoted by Murray in Revival & Revivalism

Posted 2007·03·05 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Church History · Iain Murray · Love · Revival & Revivalism · Samuel Davies · To the Under-Shepherd

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