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“if I could buy your soul’s salvation”

The demands on a pastor are many: he must be a scholar, a teacher, a preacher, and a counselor, just to name the most obvious of his duties. But before he can be an effective shepherd, he must meet a much more basic requirement: he must have a genuine love for the people in his care. Iain Murray offers an example of this pastoral love in the Scottish Presbyterian Samuel Rutherford (1600-1661):

Iain Murray   For a seventeenth-century example of the closeness of pastors and people Samuel Rutherford’s Letters are unforgettable. Separated from his parish in days of persecution, he was forced to resort to letters, and the personal issues about which he writes show how his pastoral work was conducted, The spiritually cold, the sorrowing, the individual struggling with temptations, the believer lacking assurance, and many more, all have his attention and sympathetic interest. To an old man about whom he had some doubt he can write:
Samuel RutherfordMy soul longeth exceedingly to hear how matters go betwixt you and Christ; and whether or not there be any work of Christ in that parish that will bide in the trial of fire and water. Let me be weighed of the Lord in a just balance, if your souls lie not weighty upon me. Ye go to bed and rise with me: thoughts of your soul, my dearest in the Lord, depart not from me in my sleep. You have a great part of my tears, sighs, supplications, and prayers. Oh, if I could buy your soul’s salvation with any suffering whatsoever, and that ye and I might meet with joy up in the rainbow, when we shall stand before our judge! [Letters of Rutherford, p. 344]
—Iain Murray, A Scottish Christian Heritage (Banner of Truth, 2006), 126.

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#1 || 09·02·19··06:59 || donsands

That's so true, that a pastor must love the Lord's people. Peter was asked by Jesus, "Do you love Me?"
Loving Christ, and having a heart after His Word is foremost essential, in order to love the sheep.

"Oh, if I could buy your soul’s salvation with any suffering whatsoever"

This is an exceptional pastor.

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