2 Timothy 4:1
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom:
A Solemn Charge to Timothy to Make Full Proof of His MinistryT. Croskery 2 Timothy 4:1, 2
A Word in SeasonChristian Miscellany.2 Timothy 4:1-2
An Earnest ChargeT. Hall, B. D.2 Timothy 4:1-2
An Ordination ChargeR. M. McCheyne.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Benefit of ReproofP. B. Power.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Charged Before GodT. Hall, B. D.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Conditions of Success in Working for ChristJ. D. Fulton, D. D.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Constant PreachingOld Puritan.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Earnestness in PreachingJ. Trapp.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Effectual Reproof2 Timothy 4:1-2
Fruitful RebukesC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 4:1-2
In Season, Out of SeasonAmerican Messenger.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Making an Opportunity2 Timothy 4:1-2
Ministers At the JudgmentW. H. Baxendale.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Ministers Must be FaithfulT. Watson.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Need of ReproofG. Swinnock.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Never Out of SeasonC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 4:1-2
No Harpoons on Board2 Timothy 4:1-2
Not Strawberry-PreachersC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Personal Rebuke BestM. Miller.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Preach the WordJ. Parsons.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Preach the Word, not Sceptical ObjectionsC. H. Spurgeon.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Preaching in the Sight of God2 Timothy 4:1-2
Preaching the WordE. R. Ingersoll, D. D.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Seasonable FishingR. Cecil.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Silent ReproofMemoir of Dr. Cutler.2 Timothy 4:1-2
The JudgmentH. O. Mackey.2 Timothy 4:1-2
The Ministry of the WordJ. Riddell.2 Timothy 4:1-2
The Seasonable Word not to be Delayed2 Timothy 4:1-2
The Second AdventU. R. Thomas.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Unlikely Opportunity UsedJ. F. B. Tinling. B. A.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Urgency of the Ministerial OfficeBp. Baring.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Using an OpportunityThos. Cooper.2 Timothy 4:1-2
Zealous ExhortationA Faithful Pastor2 Timothy 4:1-2
Solemn Charge to TimothyR. Finlayson 2 Timothy 4:1-8

The prospect of his approaching death led the apostle to address his young disciple with deep and earnest feeling.

I. THE SOLEMN ADJURATION. "I charge thee in the sight of God, and of Christ Jesus, who shall judge the quick and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom." The object of the apostle is to impart to Timothy a solemn sense of responsibility in the discharge of his ministry.

1. All preachers must one day give an account of their stewardship. Such a thought ought to stimulate them to greater faithfulness.

2. Their responsibility is to God and Jesus Christ, who are Witnesses of their work, as they have made them good ministers of the New Testament.

3. Jesus Christ is the Judge of the two classes of living and dead saints, who in the last day shall appear before his judgment seat. All judgment is committed to him, and he will exercise it righteously.

4. The judgment will take place at "his appearing and his kingdom;" that is, at his second coming.

5. The reward of fidelity is also held out to faithful servants in connection with the glory of his kingdom.

II. THE DUTIES OF THE FAITHFUL MINISTER. "Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching."

1. His first and pre-eminent duty is to preach the gospel, because it is the power of God to salvation. There is no injunction to administer the sacraments, though that would be included in his duties. There is nothing, therefore, to justify the higher place which Tractarians assign to the sacraments beside the Word. It is a significant fact that the success of the apostles, as recorded in the Acts, is never once attributed to the sacraments, but always to the Word.

2. The minister must have an earnest urgency in every part of his work. He must create opportunities where he cannot find them; he must work at times both convenient and inconvenient to himself; he must approach the willing opportunely and the unwilling inopportunely.

3. He must reprove, or convince, those in error as to doctrine.

4. He must rebuke the unruly, or immoral in life.

5. He must "exhort with all long suffering and teaching - exercising due patience, and using all the resources of a sanctified understanding, to encourage men to keep to the ways of good doctrine and holiness. - T.C.

I charge thee.
Cold preaching makes bold sinners, when powerful preaching awes the conscience. Matters of greatest importance must be pressed with greatest vehemence. God putteth not forth great power but for great purpose (Ephesians 1:18, 19).

(T. Hall, B. D.)

The master's and the commander's eye make the servant and the soldier active (Matthew 6:6; Acts 10:4).

(T. Hall, B. D.)

It is weakness to be hot in a cold matter, but worse to be cold in a hot matter.

(J. Trapp.)

Dr. John Brown, speaking of a minister's leaving his people for another pastorate, says that he mentally exclaims, "There they go! When next they meet it will be at the judgment! "(H. O. Mackey.)

Adalbert, who lived in the tenth century, was appointed Archbishop of Prague. This preferment seemed to give him so little satisfaction that he was never seen to smile afterwards; and on being asked the reason, he replied: "It is an easy thing to wear a mitre and a cross, but an awful thing to give an account of a bishopric before the Judge of quick and dead."

(W. H. Baxendale.)

I. WHERE FAITHFUL MINISTERS STAND — "Before God and the Lord Jesus Christ."

1. Before God.(1) As a sinner saved by grace. Once far off, but brought nigh by the blood of Christ.(2) As a servant. In prayer, how sweet to kneel at His footstool, no veil, no cloud between the soul and God. In preaching, how sweet to say, like Elijah, when he stood before Ahab, "I stand before the Lord God of Israel."

2. Before Jesus Christ.(1) The faithful minister has a present sight of Christ as his righteousness. He, like Isaiah, saw "His glory and spake of Him."(2) The faithful minister should feel the presence of a living Saviour (Jeremiah 1:8; Acts 18:10).(3) Within sight of judgment.


1. Preach the Word.

(1)Not other matters.

(2)The most essential parts especially.

(3)More in the manner of God's Word.

2. Reprove, rebuke, exhort. Most ministers are accustomed to set Christ before the people. They lay down the gospel clearly and beautifully, but they do not urge men to enter in. Now God says, exhort; not only point to the open door, but compel them to come in.


1. With long-suffering. There is no grace more needed in the Christian ministry than this. This is the heart of God the Father towards sinners — "He is long-suffering to usward, not willing that any should perish."

2. With doctrine — the clear and simple statement of the truth preceding the warm and pathetic exhortation.

3. With urgency. If a neighbour's house were on fire, would we not cry aloud and use every exertion? If a friend were drowning, would we be ashamed to strain every nerve to save him?

4. At all times. Satan is busy at all times — he does not stand upon ceremony — he does not keep himself to Sabbath-days or canonical hours. Death is busy. Men are dying while we are sleeping. The Spirit of God is busy. Blessed be God, He hath cast our lot in times when there is the moving of the Great Spirit among the dry bones. Shall ministers then be idle, or stand upon ceremony?

(R. M. McCheyne.)

In a visit which I once made, when a young clergyman, to the churches of Belgium, so remarkable for the grandeur and elaborate carving of their pulpits, my attention was especially attracted by one well suited to enforce a solemn lesson on every one who might occupy it. There arose from the back of it a gigantic figure of death, stretching its gaunt skeleton form over the head of the preacher, and holding in one hand a scythe, and with the other presenting a scroll on which was inscribed "Hasten thou to gather in thy harvest, for I must soon reap mine." Yes! it is the brevity of the opportunity and the inestimable interests at stake which render the ministerial office of such urgency that no season may be missed, no effort spared, in order that it may accomplish its work.

(Bp. Baring.)

Bishop Latimer having one day preached before King Henry VIII. a sermon which displeased his majesty, he was ordered to preach again on the next Sabbath, and to make an apology for the offence he had given. After reading his text, the bishop thus begun his sermon: "Hugh Latimer, dost thou know before whom thou art this day to speak? To the high and mighty monarch, the king's most excellent majesty, who can take away thy life if thou offendest; therefore, take heed that thou speakest not a word that may displease. But then consider well, Hugh, dost thou not know from whence thou comest — upon whose message thou art sent? Even by the great and mighty God! who is all present! and who beholdeth all thy ways! and who is able to cast thy soul into hell! Therefore, take care that thou deliverest thy message faithfully." He then proceeded with the same sermon he had preached the preceding Sabbath, but with considerably more energy. The sermon ended, the Court were full of expectation to know what would be the fate of this honest and plain-dealing bishop. After dinner the king called for Latimer, and, with a stern countenance, asked him how he dared to be so bold as to preach in such a manner. He, falling on his knees, replied, his duty to his God and his prince had enforced him thereto, and that he had merely discharged his duty and his conscience in what he had spoken. Upon which the king, rising from his seat, and taking the good man by the hand, embraced him, saying, "Blessed be God I have so honest a servant!"

At His appearing

1. In mystery.

2. In glory.

3. With universality.


1. To reveal the true judgment of righteousness.

2. To proclaim open verdict on probationers.

3. To ensure an effectual separation of character.


1. The vindication of righteousness.

2. The triumph of love.

(U. R. Thomas.)

Preach the Word
Preaching is God's great ordinance now, as it has been in the past. Its source and substance is the Word. The truth you are to preach is a Divine revelation, a written system of truth. Your teaching is not the tradition of men on the one hand, or their mysterious speculations on the other, but the revealed Word of the living God. You are not the inspirer or discoverer of truth, you are only its interpreter. It is no light matter to represent with freshness and force the truth when reached. Much work goes to that, not to elaborate but to simplify. The test of clear thinking is clear expression. Let the teaching of Christ be your pattern — words clear and simple as the light of heaven — thoughts deep as eternity. Have faith therefore in hard work. But labour is not enough. The mere interpreter can see but a little way into religious truth. The heart sees best. The rays of truth, that shine down into the closet, are the brightest and the best. Have faith in prayer as well as in toil. But while preaching the Word in its fulness, preach it also in its unity — that is, preach Christ. A Bible without Christ, a pulpit without Christ, would be a world without God. Give Christ the place in preaching that He holds in the Word: Christ's death — the sinner's only hope; Christ's life — the believer's only pattern; the righteousness of Christ — the ground of pardon; the grace of Christ — the riches of believers; the love of Christ — the power of new obedience. It is only from the height of the Cross that we can get a full view of the Word. Not that you are always to be preaching on the central doctrine of the Cross, just as you are not always looking right up to the sun; but as you view all things on earth in the light that streams from the sun, so should you see all truth in the light that streams from the Cross. That is no narrow theme, or soon exhausted. Christ can enter into everything, into all doctrine, all duties, all experience. Christian doctrine is just Christ's portrait, drawn at full length. Christian morality is just Christ's portrait, embodied in the life. Christian experience is Christ realised in the heart. Christian usefulness is Christ's glory, carried out into all the details of life. And, last of all, preach the Word, for it is the "power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." Preach it for salvation; not only for instruction, that you may save yourself and them that hear you. All its truths are revealed for this end.

(J. Riddell.)

I. We must preach the Word with reference to the Divinity of its Author.

II. We must preach the Word with reference to the wonders of His love!

III. We must preach the Word with reference to the efficacy of His atoning sacrifice.

IV. We must preach the Word with reference to the sanctifying influences of His Spirit.

V. We must preach the Word faithfully and fully, in its precepts, as well as its doctrines.

VI. We must preach the Word in its catholic and evangelical spirit.

VII. We must preach the Word as the grand means of promoting the Saviour's glory; and of accelerating the approach of the millennial day.

(J. Parsons.)

1. A sound conversion is essential to successful effort.

2. An intimate association with Christ is an element of great success. Let a minister go out into the fields with Jesus to glean, and he shall come back at even, "bearing his sheaves with him." Let him go out helped by genius, by culture, by learning, by wealth, by position, leaving Christ behind, and his words are as sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

3. Christians must organise for victory. A sleepless vigilance and a tireless activity are as essential to success in the Church as in business. A progressive man holds fast to what has been attained, and reaches forth to possibilities laid bare to his eye.

4. A high ideal of a Christian's position and work must be kept in view.

5. The great fight is the preaching of the Word. The men of power and weight are men of the Book; such represent God.

6. Practise the Word.

(J. D. Fulton, D. D.)

To rightly "preach the Word" there is demanded a far-reaching preparation. Not for a work like that of the old alchemists and astrologers whose locks and beards grew grey as they bent over their crucibles or gazed at the stars, in the vain hope of solving mysteries. We have little to do with mysteries. It is for the simplicity of the gospel we search, and that leads us to heights and depths. We are to so think and pray and live that we may show to men plain paths for their feet. This makes the minister a student, but none the less a man. It is manly to follow the lead of heavenly lights over rough ways and into clouds. The richest ores and gems of Nature are guarded by her fortresses; so is it with truth, and no man but the sluggard complains that a full soul, like a full purse, comes through toil and trial. Newton was once asked, "How do you make your great discoveries?" His reply was: "I keep the subject constantly before me, and wait till the first dawnings open slowly, by little and little, into a full, clear light." This is the key to God's storehouse. The minister, who would be an approved workman, must mingle with those for whom he labours. Surrounding circumstances, bent of mind, temperament, culture, experiences of life, have given to each one of his people a standpoint for discerning truth. Now, the minister of Christ is sent to be the suggester of truth. How shall he be able to so hold it up that every one may get a grasp upon it, unless he understands the principles and something of the methods upon which the various activities of life are carried forward? To gain such a power as this and have it all sanctified, so that he shall neither materialise nor idealise, but rather stamp everything with God's own seal and illumine everything with God's own light, is a work before which the stoutest may tremble. "Who is sufficient unto these things?"

(E. R. Ingersoll, D. D.)

The habit of perpetually mentioning the theories of unbelievers when preaching the gospel, gives a man the appearance of great learning, but it also proves his want of common sense. In order to show the value of wholesome food it is not needful to proffer your guest a dose of poison, nor would he think the better of your hospitality if you did so. Certain sermons are more calculated to weaken faith than to render men believers; they resemble the process through which a poor unhappy dog is frequently passed at the Grotto del Cane at Naples. He is thrown into the gas which reaches up to the spectators' knees, not with the view of killing him, but merely as an exhibition. Lifted out of his vapoury bath, he is thrown into a pool of water, and revives in time for another operation. Such a dog is not likely to be a very efficient watch-dog or pursuer of game; and when hearers Sun day after Sunday are plunged into a bath of sceptical thought, they may survive the experiment, but they will never become spiritually strong or practically useful. It is never worth while to make rents in a garment for the sake of mending them, nor to create doubts in order to show how cleverly we can quiet them. Should a man set fire to his house because he has a patent extincteur which would put it out in no time he would stand a chance of one day creating a conflagration which all the patents under heaven could not easily extinguish. Thousands of unbelievers have been born into the family of scepticism by professed preachers of the gospel, who supposed that they were helping them to faith: the fire fed upon the heaps of leaves which the foolish well-intentioned speaker cast upon it in the hope of smothering it. Young men in many instances have obtained their first notions of infidelity from their ministers; they have sucked in the poison, but refused the antidote.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Be instant in season, out of season
Not that the Word is ever out of season in itself, for it is the bread of life; all other meats have their times and seasons, but bread is the staff of nature, and is never out of season. There is no season unseasonable for so seasonable, for so necessary a duty in the opinion of a natural man, and in the eye of carnal reason it seems sometimes to be out of season, as when it is preached on the week-day, when pastor and people have profits and pleasures and worldly employments to draw them off. Now a sermon seems like snow in harvest to such earthly souls, it is out of season with them, yet even these seasons which the world judgeth unseasonable must a minister redeem for preaching.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

We must not be strawberry-preachers (as Bishop Latimer calleth them), which come but once a year and are quickly gone again.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

You cannot give God's children too much of their Father's bread.

(Old Puritan.)

Who has not reproached himself for suffering opportunities of usefulness to pass unimproved seasons when "a word fitly spoken" might have turned a sinner from the error of his way to the wisdom of the just? Why are we so reluctant to fill this department of usefulness? Who can tell the power of a word? Is it not often more effectual than a sermon? I once spent an afternoon in a family where a young woman had been employed for the day. I ought to have learned her spiritual state, but did not. At the tea-table she remarked that she had done her work. I replied, "If your work is done for time, you must work for eternity." She sat a moment speech less; then, bursting into tears, she hastened from the room. Surprised and startled at such an effect from a word, I sought to learn from her the cause of this sudden distress. Her heart was overladen with the burden of sin. She had struggled to conceal her sorrow from the family. The cup was full. One drop made it run over, and led to a discovery of her deep conviction. This season of usefulness would have been lost by a few moments' delay, and that anguish of spirit have been to me unknown.

(American Messenger.)

Dr. Chalmers once lodged in the house of a nobleman near Peebles. He was the life and soul of the discourse in the circle of friends at the nobleman's fireside. The subject was pauperism — its causes and cure. Among the gentlemen present there was a venerable old Highland chieftain, who kept his eyes fastened on Dr. C., and listened with intense interest to his communications. The conversation was kept up to a late hour. When the company broke up they were shown upstairs to their apartments. There was a lobby of a considerable length, and the doors of the bed chambers opened on the right and left. The apartment of Dr. C. was directly opposite to that of the old chieftain, who had already retired. As the doctor was undressing himself, he heard an unusual noise in the chieftain's room. The noise was succeeded by a heavy groan! He hastened into the apartment, which was in a few minutes filled with the company, who all rushed in to the relief of the old man. It was a melancholy sight which met their eyes. The venerable white-headed chief had fallen in the arms of his attendant. It was evidently an apoplexy. He breathed for a few moments and expired! Dr. C. stood in silence, with both hands stretched out, and bending over the deceased. He was the very picture of distress. He was the first to break silence. "Never in my life," said he in a tremulous voice, "did I see, or did I feel, before this moment, the meaning of that text, 'Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season,' etc. Had I known that my venerable old friend was within a few minutes' reach of eternity, I would not have dwelt on that subject which formed the topic of this evening's conversation. I would have addressed myself earnestly to him. I would have preached unto him and unto you Christ Jesus, and Him crucified. I would have urged him and you, with all the earnestness befitting the subject, to prepare for eternity. You would have thought it, you would have pronounced it, out of season. But ah! it would have been in season — both as it respected him, and as it respects you."

A poor blacksmith, bending with age and weakness, was passing through a country village; he stopped at a good woman's cottage, and rested himself on the railing before the door. The pious dame came out, and the weary traveller remarked that his time here would be short; he was often ailing; he added, "Ah, Nanny! I sha'n't be long for this world, I reckon!" She thought of his words, and replied, "Well, John, then I hope you'll prepare for your journey!" The blacksmith passed on, and his call was soon forgotten by Nanny; but that simple sentence was impressed on his memory by the Spirit of God, never to be erased. He pondered it while walking home, and soon consumption laid him on a bed of pain. Again and again did he think about "the journey," and about being "prepared" for it. He began to pray, and all around him were continually hearing the old woman's advice. No pious friends were near to converse with him, hut it is confidently believed that the aged sinner was led to look to the Saviour through the simple incident related above. Almost his last breath was spent in thanking God that the good old woman ever warned him "Be instant in season, out of season": sow beside all waters, that thou mayest reap a glorious harvest at the coming of the Son of Man.

(Christian Miscellany.)

My good and kind friend, Dr. Sale, the late vicar of Sheffield, once gave me an affecting account of a conversation he had in a railway carriage with one of his parishioners, a manufacturer, who was returning from Epsom the day after the Derby, with considerable winnings. The faithful vicar struck home, and soon dis. covered that the man, with all his seeming elation, was consciously guilty; and showed it, not only by the changes of his countenance, but by his desperate attempts to "change the subject." It was in vain, however, that he strove to get out of the Christian preacher's power. The vicar pressed the charge of guilt, till the sweat started to the gambler's brow, and he cried, "For God's sake, say no more! I know it is wrong.! dare not reflect upon it!" Yet the vicar did not shrink from his duty; but still urged his reproof, till he thought he had reason to believe that the man would give up his sin.

(Thos. Cooper.)

The Mogul is a dirty little beer-shop, entirely supported by low and depraved persons. The tap-room was built in the yard beside a skittle ground, and was approached through a long passage. Upon entering it one evening the city missionary, John M. Weylland, found a crowd of at least forty juvenile thieves, vagrants, and bullies. As the noise was great, the only hope of doing good was an effort to enter into conversation with one or two individuals. This, however, was prevented, as many of them knew the visitor, and hit upon a device to get rid of him. A song was started by one of the men, and the chorus was taken up by the full company, who repeated with deafening effect the words, "He's a jolly good fellow." As the song proceeded the repetition became so boisterous that the visitor divined their intention to sing him out. He at once saw the difficulty of his position, as, if they had succeeded, the same practice would have been adopted in other tap-rooms to the hindrance of his usefulness. He, therefore, instead of leaving, took a seat in their midst inn most unconcerned manner. The chorus was kept up until many of the vocalists had bawled themselves hoarse; and as the yelling became feeble the visitor sprang to his feet, and said vehemently, "And they were good fellows, but the magistrates commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailer to keep them safely; who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks." These words changed the current of feeling. Nearly all in the room had been in prison, and those who had not had a deep sympathy with such. "Who were they?" "Where was it?" and "What a shame I "were the general exclamations. After a pause, which produced absolute silence, the speaker continued: "And at midnight they sang praises unto God." And then, opening his Bible, he, in a solemn, earnest tone, read the narrative of the imprisonment of Paul and Silas. When he came to the words, "He set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house," the reader closed the Book, and in a few telling sentences explained the nature of saving faith in Christ, and the result of that faith — being made "new creatures." After this visit the work was easy in that tap-room, and in the family of the landlord.

The minister is a fisherman, and the fisherman must fit himself to his employment. If some fish will bite only by day, he must fish by day; if others will bite only by moonlight, he must fish for them by moonlight.

(R. Cecil.)

A gentleman one day observed a man in the dress of a clown surrounded by a crowd of some two hundred persons, who were amused at his foolish antics and pitiful jokes. After looking on for some moments with feelings of compassion towards the poor creature who befooled himself to make a living, he drew a tract from a parcel which he carried, and, pressing through the crowd, offered it to the clown. The latter took it, and at once began to read it aloud in mockery, for the further entertainment of the bystanders. It was short, and he read it through to the last words, which were: "Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee." Overcome with sudden and evident emotion, he left the crowd and hastened away. The giver of the tract followed him, and tried to converse with him; but all the response he could get for some time was, "I'm lost! I'm lost!" However, the gospel was lovingly explained to him, and it entered into his heart. He became an earnest believer, and was soon among the regular labourers for Christ in the East End of London, in 1874.

(J. F. B. Tinling. B. A.)

He that minds his patient's health will not toy or trifle or play with his mortal diseases; the flesh must feel the plaster, or it will never eat up the corruption in it. Shouldest thou apply a healing plaster to skin the wound aloft, when there is need of a corrosive to take away the dead flesh, thou wouldest be false and unfaithful to thy friend. Reproof, like salt, must have in it both sharpness and savouriness. Admonition without serious application is like an arrow with too many feathers, which, though we level at the mark, is taken by the wind and carried quite away from it. Some men shoot their reprehensions, like pellets through a trunk, with no more strength than will kill a sparrow. Those make sinners believe that sin is no such dreadful evil, and the wrath of God no such frightful end. He that would hit the mark and recover the sinner, must draw his arrow of reproof home. Reproof must be powerful; the hammer of the Word breaks not the heart, if it be lightly laid on. It must also be so particular, that the offender may think himself concerned. Some in reproof will seem to aim at the sinner, but so order it that their arrows shall be sure to miss him; as Domitian, when a boy held for a mark afar off his hand spread, with the fingers severed he shot his arrows so that all hit the empty spaces between his fingers. Be the reproof never so gracious, the plaster so good, it will be ineffectual if not applied to the patient.

(G. Swinnock.)

God never made ministers as false glasses to make bad faces look fair; such make themselves guilty of other men's sins.

(T. Watson.)

A sailor just off a whaling expedition asked where he would hear good preaching. On his return from church his friend said to him, "You do not seem to have liked the sermon?" "Not much; it was like a ship leaving for the whale fishing — everything ship-shape, anchors, cordage, sails all right — but there were no harpoons on board."

The Rev. Dr. John H. Vincent once reproved a swearer so powerfully and yet so tenderly that he not only subdued him, but melted him in tears. It was in a railway station; the room was full of passengers waiting for a late train. A man in the room was shocking everybody with his impiety, especially in profaning the name of the Lord Jesus. Suddenly Dr. Vincent began to sing —

"Jesus, lover of my soul,

Let me to Thy bosom fly."— The song ceased; perfect silence followed. The swearer was reproved. After a time he came to Dr. Vincent and said, "Could I see you for a moment outside?" They went out together. "How came you," said he, "to sing that hymn just now? "The Doctor replied

Men need to be reminded of their own sins much more than they do of Adam's sin. The soldier has a deeper sense of danger when the rifle ball rings close by his ears, than by the general roar of the battle; and so a sinner will have a much deeper sense of God's displeasure, when his own sin is brought home to him, than by listening to general remarks on the sinfulness of the race.

(M. Miller.)

One day, as Dr. Cutler was returning home, a poor woman, whose husband had been very intemperate, called after him, and holding up a pair of chickens, begged him to accept them. "I told her," said he, "she could not afford to give away such a fine pair of chickens." "Mr. Cutler," said she, with a sad expression, "you will hurt my feelings if you do not take them. I have fatted and picked them on purpose for you. It is the only return I am able to offer for the very great service you have lately done me and my little children." "I am not aware," said Mr. Cutler, "of having done you any service of late." "Sir," said the poor woman, "you have reformed my husband," "There must be some mistake," said Mr. Cutler. "I knew your husband was intemperate; but I have never said a word to him on the subject." "I know you never have," said she; "if you had, his pride is such that it might have made matters worse. It has happened, oddly enough, that often, when you have stepped in to say a few kind words to us, he has been taking his dram, or taking down his jug or putting it back again. About two months ago, just after you went out, he went to the door, and to my astonishment poured nearly a pint of rum out of his jug on to the ground, and said, 'Debby, rinse out that jug with hot water. I've done. I can't stand that man's looks any longer! If Mr. Cutler would look savage, I shouldn't mind it; but he looks so sad, and so benevolent all the while, when he sees me taking a dram, that I know what he means just as well as if he preached it in a sermon; and I take it very kindly of him that he didn't give me a long talk.'"

(Memoir of Dr. Cutler.)

The Rev. John Spurgeon was going to preach at his chapel in Tollesbury, Essex. It was the Sabbath morning, and as he passed a cottage garden he saw a man digging potatoes. He stopped and said, "Am I mistaken, or are you? I have come nine miles to preach to-day, thinking it was the Sabbath-day, As I see you are at work, I suppose I must be wrong, and had better go home." The man coloured, and driving his spade into the ground, he said, "No, sir, you are not wrong, but I am: and I will have no more of it. I will be round this afternoon to hear you preach. Nobody has ever spoken to me before, and you've only done your duty." He was at the chapel, and his wife with him. His wife became a member of the church, and he remained a regular attendant upon the means of grace.

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

There was one particular instance, in which a degree of severity on my part was attended with the happiest effects. Two young men, now blessed servants of the Most High God, came into my church in a most disorderly way; and as usual I fixed my eyes upon them with sternness, indicative of my displeasure. One of them was abashed; but the other, the only one that ever was daring enough to withstand my eye, looked at me again with undaunted, not to say with impious confidence, refusing to be ashamed. I sent for him the next morning, and represented to him the extreme impiety of his conduct, contrasting it with that of those less hardened; and warning him who it was that he thus daringly defied; "He that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me, despiseth Him that sent Me"; and I enjoined him never to come into that church again, unless he came in a very different spirit. To my surprise, I saw him there again the following Sunday, but with a more modest countenance; and from that time he continued to come, till it pleased God to open his eyes, and to lead him into the full knowledge of the gospel of Christ; and in a year or two afterwards he became a preacher of that faith which he once had despised.

(P. B. Power.)

A Faithful Pastor.
The following incident is known only to a few, but is deserving of a wider publicity. "I shall always remember Mr. Moody," said a gentleman, "for he was the means of leading me to Christ. I was in a railway train one day, when a stout, cheery-looking stranger came in, and sat down in the seat beside me. We were passing through a beautiful country, to which he called my attention, saying, "Did you ever think what a good Heavenly Father we have, to give us such a pleasant world to live in? "I made some indifferent answer, upon which he earnestly inquired, "Are you a Christian? "I answered, "No." "Then," said he, "you ought to be one at once. I am to get off at the next station, but if you will kneel down, right here, I will pray to the Lord to make you a Christian." Scarcely knowing what I did, I knelt down beside him there, in the car, filled with passengers, and he prayed for me with all his heart. Just then the train drew up at the station, and he had only time to get off before it started again. Suddenly coming to myself out of what seemed more like a dream than a reality, I rushed out on to the car platform, and shouted after him, "Tell me who you are." He replied, "My name is Moody." I never could shake off the conviction which then took hold upon me, until the prayer of that strange man was answered, and I had become a Christian.

(A Faithful Pastor.)

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