‘The ministerial work must be carried on diligently and laboriously, as being of such unspeakable consequence to ourselves and others. We are seeking to uphold the world, to save it from the curse of God, to perfect the creation, to attain the ends of Christ’s death, to save ourselves and others from damnation, to overcome the devil, and demolish his kingdom, to set up the kingdom of Christ, and to attain and help others to the kingdom of glory. And are these works to be done with a careless mind, or a lazy hand? O see, then, that this work be done with all your might! Study hard, for the well is deep, and our brains are shallow. . . . But especially be laborious in the practice and exercise of your knowledge. Let Paul’s words ring continually in your ears, ‘Necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! ’ Ever think with yourselves what lieth upon your hands: ‘If I do not bestir myself, Satan may prevail, and the people everlastingly perish, and their blood be required at my hand. By avoiding labor and suffering, I shall draw on myself a thousand times more than I avoid; whereas, by present diligence, I shall prepare for future blessedness.’ No man was ever a loser by God.’
Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor
This week has been my final module of the Westminster ThM at the John Owen Centre. It’s another terrific session, and I count it as a great privilege to have the time to think and learn with others. Iain D. Campbell has been a wonderful model of godly, careful scholarship, and we’ve covered a lot of ground in the Doctrine of Scripture. I’ll certainly go back to the weekly charge of preaching with a deepened appreciation of the privilege of the work of unfolding God’s Word to His people.