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Can We Rest?

The following quote is taken from the farewell address of Lemuel Haynes on 24 May, 1818 to the congregation he had served for thirty years.

Lemuel HaynesAll gospel ministers know experimentally, in some degree, the terror of the Lord and are led to persuade men (2 Cor. 5:11). The man who does not appreciate the worth of souls and is not greatly affected with their dangerous situation is not qualified for the sacred office. It was the saying of a pious minister who would arise at midnight for prayer, How can I rest, how can I sleep, when so many of my congregation are exposed every moment to drop in hell!

Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Crossway, 2007), 56.

The preceding quote applies, of course, to pastors. If a man is not burdened for the souls of his flock, he is not qualified to be their shepherd. But lets apply this principle more broadly. The Lord Jesus has sent each of us into the world with an assignment: to preach the gospel and make disciples. This is the office to which we are all ordained when we ourselves become disciples. If we are not burdened for the souls around us who are exposed every moment to drop into hell, are we worthy of that office?

Posted 2009·04·02 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Church History · Lemuel Haynes · Thabiti Anyabwile · The Faithful Preacher
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