This quote from Samuel Pearce, admired contemporary of William Carey and Andrew Fuller, brings tears to my eyes and defies the contemporary ideal of a godly pastor. O, that this would become the prayer of more of God’s people.
Give me the preacher who opens the folds of my heart; who accuses me, convicts me, and condemns me before God; who loves my soul too well to suffer me to go on in sin, unreproved, through fear of giving me offense; who draws the line with accuracy, between the delusions of fancy, and the impressions of grace; who pursues me from one hiding place to another, until I am driven from every refuge of lies; who gives me no rest until he sees me, with unfeigned penitence, trembling at the feet of Jesus; and then, and not till then, sooths my anguish, wipes away my tears, and comforts me with the cordials of grace. Give me the preacher ‘who constantly affirms that they who have believed, be careful to maintain good works;’ who insists, that a life of peace and communion with God, is utterly abhorrent to the practice of iniquity; and faithfully reminds me, that ‘if I sin, that grace may abound, my damnation is just.’ Give me the preacher who pants not for my safety only, but also for my increase in grace; who cautions me, ‘reproves me, rebukes me, exhorts me with all longsuffering and doctrine;’ who charges me ‘to give all diligence to add to my faith, virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity.’ Brethren, if Christ have given you such a man as this, receive him as an angel from heaven; and prize such a pastor as one of the most valuable gifts that can be imparted to the church.
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