Quiet Hints, Chapter 24–"Near to Men Near to God”
post date: February 14, 2010
Notes taken from Quiet Hints to Growing Preachers by Charles E. Jefferson, Chapter 24, “Near to Men Near to God.»
A man may be a pagan alone, he cannot be a Christian.
A preacher of Christianity must live as close as possible to men. Isolation to him is fatal.
If he has a disposition which shrinks from the society of others his disposition must be born again.
Among their books they are serene and happy: among God’s children they are restless and forlorn.
By pampering this disposition a man may come at last to have a horror of entering the homes of his people and may secretly despise the very souls he is sent into the world to love.
Knowing men is the preacher’s first and most important business.
It is the man in the street whom the preacher must know, and if he does not know him no other sort of knowledge will make him a successful preacher.
There are two volumes to which a preacher must give his days and nights, his Bible and his parish. A knowledge of the second is not a whit less important than is a mastery of the first.
If a preacher really deserves to serve his people he will not count time lost which is spent in their company.
Men who aim to keep the Godward side of their soul open while the manward side remains shut aim at the impossible.
Men are better any day than books. They are written all over by the finger of God and happy the man who can read this living revelation edited down to date.
If a minister is not taking his people deeper into his heart and if he is not constantly growing deeper into theirs his life will grow increasingly monotonous and he will be likely to be one of the notorious one hundred who apply for every vacant pulpit.
In short it is the gospel of love which the preacher is most in need of. Not until he loves is he truly born of God.
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