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The Minister’s Speech

From the “Nothing New under the Sun” file comes this quote by Bishop Daniel A. Payne, from a sermon preached in 1859.

danielalexanderpaynesmall.png    The moral character of the minister of Jesus, then must be so elevated that he will be an example to believers:
   a. In his words. This has reference to both his speech inside the pulpit and outside of it. No foolishness, no arrogant sayings, no ludicrous antidotes, no filthy comparisons, no vulgarity, no obscene epithets, no blasphemous expressions should ever come from his lips—darkening, confusing, disgracing the text he has undertaken to expound. The doctrine, the pure doctrine—the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth—should ever be his utterances, both inside the pulpit and outside of it. In the sanctuary and in the parlor, the lips of the righteous man must speak wisdom, and his tongue must talk of judgment, so that every word and all his words shall be “like apple of gold in pictures of silver” (Prov. 25:11).
   The moral character of the minister of Jesus must be elevated, so he will be an example of the believer.
   b. In conversation, i.e., in conduct. Oh, how careful we should walk before God and man! Rudeness in behavior disgraces the minister’s character, for it lowers the dignity of the Christian ministry. So does buffoonery, especially pulpit buffoonery, in which some men seem to pride themselves. I have seen such men whom people fond of fun would just as soon pay twenty-five cents to hear as see a clown perform in the circus.

—Daniel A. Payne, cited in Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Crossway, 2007), 92.

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Posted  in: Church History · Daniel A. Payne · Thabiti Anyabwile · The Faithful Preacher
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