Thursday, January 10, 2008

John Owen on pastoral fervency

I am in Boca Raton this week teaching a J-term for Reformed Theological Seminary and have had no time to post. I hope to get back on schedule next week.

A friend pointed me to this quote John Owen on a pastor's inner life and attitude. It is rich, and convicting. It comes from his Exposition of the Epistle to the Hebrews, (vol. 5, 195).
I say, without this earnest and fervent desire after the profiting and salvation of our people, we shall have a cold and ineffectual ministry among them. Neither is it our sedulity or earnestness in preaching that will relieve us, if that be absent. And this desire proceeds from three principles; and that which pretends thereto, and doth not so, is but an image and counterfeit of it. And these are, (1.) Zeal for the glory of God in Christ; (2.) Real compassion for the souls of men; (3.) An especial conscientious regard unto our duty and office, with respect unto its nature, trust, end, and reward. These are the principles that both kindle and supply fuel unto those fervent desires for the good of our people which oil the wheels of all other duties, and speed them in their course.

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