John Newton on the ministry

Recently a wee booklet called “Ministry on my mind,” by John Newton has been published. I’ll be posting a few choice bits from it over the next number of days. Today we’ll hear Newton’s brief thoughts early on about who is able for ministry. He writes

Whenever I think of a minister, I necessarily suppose such a one (if honoured and useful) must have

– an extensive knowledge of the scripture,

– a large stock of divine experience,

– an eminent degree of discernment and prudence,

– an ardent thirst for the glory of God, and the salvation of souls,

– and a readiness and aptitude to bring forth out of his treasuries those instructions the Lord has given him, according as circumstances require either for stated or occasional services.

More to come.

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2 Responses to “John Newton on the ministry”

  1. Chris Highcock Says:

    Interesting, but interesting also how 1 Timothy 3 seems to focus much more on demonstrable character if you see what I mean.

  2. luehrmann Says:

    Good point Chris. To balance, perhaps, here is the sentence immediately before the stuff quoted above. “What zeal, courage, diligence, faithfulness, tenderness, humility and self-denial are necessary to fill up all the various parts of the ministerial character.” Also, this wee booklet is drawn from Newton’s journals. When he was considering entering the ministry he set himself to think through and write about it. As such, they are more stream of thought than an edited work, and they are also quite early on in his christian experience. Anyhow, you’re right, God’s concern is far more with character than ability (1 Cor 1.26-27).

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