12 August 2008

Mystery quotation: disciples, discipleship, and pastors

by Dan Phillips

I have a post I'm working on, not quite ready for Prime Time. In the meanwhile... how about another round of Mystery Quotation? I believe I have one to share that is lengthy, but good, and worth tracking-through.

Remember, no tricks
  1. Use your memory (or guessing) alone
  2. No electronic tools
  3. No Googling
  4. No murmuring about the "no tricks" rule
  5. No murmuring about the "no murmuring" rule
And so, without further eloquence, here is your Mystery Quotation:
Convince them how impossible it is to go the way to heaven without knowing it, when there are so many difficulties and enemies in the way; and when men cannot do their worldly business without knowledge, nor learn a trade without an apprenticeship. Convince them what a contradiction it is to be a Christian, and yet to refuse to learn; for what is a Christian but a disciple of Christ? And how can he be a disciple of Christ, that refuseth to be taught by him And he that refuseth to be taught by his ministers, refuseth to be taught by him; for Christ will not come down from heaven again to teach them by his own mouth, but hath appointed his ministers to keep school and teach them under him. To say, therefore, that they will not be taught by his ministers, is to say, they will not be taught by Christ; and that is to say, they will not be his disciples, or no Christians.

Make them understand that it is not an arbitrary business of our own devising and imposing; but that necessity is laid upon us, and that if we look not to every member of the flock according to our ability, they may perish in their iniquity; but their blood will be required at our hand. Show them that it is God, and not we, who is the contriver and imposer of the work; and that therefore they blame God more than us in accusing it. Ask them, would they be so cruel to their minister as to wish him to cast away his own soul, knowingly and wilfully, for fear of troubling them by trying to hinder their damnation? Acquaint them fully with the nature of the ministerial office, and the Church’s need of it; how it consisteth in teaching and guiding all the flock; and that, as they must come to the congregation, as scholars to school, so must they be content to give an account of what they have learned, and to be further instructed, man by man. Let them know what a tendency this hath to their salvation, what a profitable improvement it will be of their time, and how much vanity and evil it will prevent. And when they once find that it is for their own good, they will the more easily yield to it

Have at it.

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32 comments:

Tyler said...

Erwin McManus?

Barbara said...

*snickers at Tyler's answer*

Hmm..old English...I'm still new and haven't learned all the old English guys (but I like the ones I've read so far). Spurgeon would be TOO obvious, sooooo... Jonathan Edwards?

Don Fields said...

Richard Baxter?

Daryl said...

I've no idea but wow, what a great quote.

Kim from Hiraeth said...

Sounds like the kind of advice Samuel Rutherford wrote in his "Letters"

In fact, I'm going to go out on a limb and say I think I've read that in Rutherford's Letters.

(now I hope I haven't totally embarrassed myself...)

DJP said...

Tyler nails it!!

Just kidding. But that was funny, Tyler. Great comic timing.

Kim, how can you embarrass yourself guessing some great figure most of us can't even describe? Even if you fail, you fail in such an urbane, literate, well-read way!

Mesa Mike said...

Uncle Screwtape?

DJP said...

Screwtape, working to destroy his own interests? Say, that's so crazy it just might....

Nah.

Mesa Mike said...

Ooops. I did scan over that quotation WAY too fast.

I can feel the redness in my face...

DJP said...

That's okay, Mike; nobody noticed.

(c;

Some poster at FreeRepublic has a tag-line something like "Proudly commenting without reading articles since 1998."

Adam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Love the elongated sentences--almost like a sermon--hmmm. C.H.S.

BJ Irvin said...

On a limb... Matthew Henry.

m.e. said...

It reads a little like J.C. Ryle? But its not something I remember reading of his.... so I'm not sure.

DJP said...

All intelligent guesses, as usual; we do have some of the very best readers.

Actually, Fields got it right off. It's Richard Baxter, from The Reformed Pastor.

Well-done!

Libbie said...

Can I get in a late murmur about the 'no murmuring about the 'no-murmuring' rule?

DJP said...

There is a special English Muffin Exception Clause you could invoke, yes.

Bo Salisbury said...

Not Baxter... I'm seeing late 18th or early 19th century English, I believe... Later than Matthew Henry?

I'm thinking Charles Simeon, but admit that's more of a guess.

Bo Salisbury said...

Well, this is very embarrassing!

Is that quote from an abridged or updated version or The Reformed Pastor?

ChiefsSuperfan said...

Tyler, I laughed out loud, bro!

Mesa Mike said...

Well, don fields could have cheated. Not saying he did, just that he could have.....

DJP said...

Mike, two words:

Sore.
Loser.

:^P

DJP said...

Bo, that's pretty funny. Don't have my copy with me, but MMike linked to an online version that has it.

Bo Salisbury said...

I think it's from Orme (1831?)or Brown's abridgement. The original edition (1656) would be rough sledding. At least I got the language of the period right, but that's cold comfort.

Good on Don Fields!

Jerry said...

I was guessing that it wasn't Charles Finney, but didn't narrow it down any further.

Susan said...

Ok, I'm not peeking at any of the comments right now....

Jonathan Edwards?

Susan said...

Guess not.

Yeah, Barbara, the olde English got me, too, and I know nothing about Baxter.

Stefan said...

I was going to guess Baxter, put purely on a hunch because someone mentioned last week that he used the word "minister" in his writing—not because I'm erudite enough to have actually ready any of his work.

I was too caught up trying to keep up with the last comment thread, and never got around to posting my brilliant guess. You snooze, you lose.

Don Fields said...

Nope. Didn't cheat. Just took an informed guess. The embarrassing thing is I haven't read The Reformed Pastor yet. I have a copy and it is on my must-read list, but just haven't gotten there yet.

I didn't see a mention of a prize. Did I miss something? :)

DJP said...

(A) If you haven't read Baxter and you're a pastor, when you do, I'm warning you: he'll beat you up. I got it when it was a free audiobook, and I cringe as I listen to it. Gentile, insistent, brutal.

(B) Your prize is you got it before a guy who wrote a book on Baxter.

(c:

Bo Salisbury said...

Heeeeeey. That hurt :-)

TM said...

CS Lewis - Screwtape Letters!