As an angel of God

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In The Christian Ministry - which, incidentally, every pastor and would-be pastor ought to read - Charles Bridges weighs in on the matter of pastoral character. Again, he is not so much taking up and directly expounding a passage like 1 Timothy 3, but rather painting with careful strokes of the brush from the palette of Scripture colours:
Upon the whole, therefore, our personal character must be admitted to have weighty influence upon our Ministrations. 'Simplicity and godly sincerity,' disinterestedness, humility, and general integrity of profession - are an 'epistle known and read of all men.' Indeed character is power. The lack of it must therefore blast our success, by bringing the genuineness of our own religion, and the practical efficacy of the Gospel, under suspicion. Apart also from the natural effect of our public consistency, there is also a secret but penetrating influence diffused by the habitual exercise of our principles. Who will deny, that - had he been a more spiritual Christian - he would probably have been a more useful Minister? Will not he, who is most fervent and abundant in secret prayer, most constant in his studies, most imbued with his Master's spirit, most single in his object, most upright and persevering in the pursuit of it - be most honoured in his work? For is not he likely to be filled with an extraordinary unction? Will not he speak most 'of the abundance of his heart?' And will not his flock 'take knowledge of him,' as living in the presence of his God; and 'receive him' in his pastoral visits and pulpit addresses, 'as an angel of God - even as Christ Jesus?' (164-165)
Posted February 21, 2012 @ 2:55 AM by Jeremy Walker
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