Founders Journal

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A Solemn Charge to the Pastor

The charge you are about to receive is awful and solemn. The work before you is weighty and important. The consequence before you, both to yourself and your hearers is much to be regarded, and will be joyful or sowwowful as you are faithful or unfaithful in it, as you are found or not found a pastor according to God's heart. Let me, therefore, exhort and beseech you, in the language of the Apostle, 1 Timothy 4:16, Take heed unto thy self and to thy doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this, thou shalt both save thy self and them that hear thee. The work before you is great, it is weighty, it is very important. You are called to it in a time and place when and where you may expect great difficulties, perhaps uncommon trials. Keep your eyes fixed upon Christ. Let those promises and declarations of His be your encouragement, Lo I am with you always: My grace is sufficient for thee.

Dear sir, the time is coming when you and I, in a vastly more solemn and august assembly, before God and Christ, must appear and come under examination as to whether we have been pastors according to God's heart or not. The good Lord grant that you and I may obtain mercy and grace to be found faithful; that, when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, we may receive a crown of glory which fadeth not away. Amen.

--John Shaw, an excerpt from The Character of a Pastor According to God's Heart, An Ordination Sermon Preached August 26, 1752. First Printed in 1752 in Boston. Reprinted in 1992 by Soli Deo Gloria Publications, 213 W. Vincent Street, Ligonier, PA 15658.

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