Monday, April 14, 2008

Trifling With the Souls of Men

A selection from a letter by Thomas Charles, to someone who had written him with questions about preaching the gospel to the lost, written January 18, 1814:

Speaking of the terrors of the Lord to sinners with firmness, and at the same time without feeling compassion for them, shews the want of the fear of God and love to man in the speaker. We ought to weep over them as Jesus did over Jerusalem. The words in 2 Cor. 5:19, 20, are particularly descriptive of the true ambassador of Christ, to whom the ministry of reconciliation is given – is committed… ‘We beseech—we pray you in Christ’s stead… be ye reconciled to God.’ As they represent Christ, they ought to be in that frame and temper of mind, in which Christ would be, if he in his own person were speaking. Knowing the terrors of the Lord, we persuade men. O my dear friend, our trifling with the souls of men about eternal concerns, is shameful—is most exceedingly sinful; it is beyond measure shocking! May God convince us of it, and make us able ministers.

Thomas Charles’ Spiritual Counsels: Selected from his Letters and Papers, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1836, reprinted by the Banner of Truth, 1993, p. 397.

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