Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who Is Sufficient for These Things?

A selection from a letter by John Elias to Rev. Ebenezer Richard, a friend in the ministry of the Gospel. Like most of his letters, Elias wrote to encourage others. He addressed the wonder of God using weak men for the great work of the ministry, and not only encouraged a brother, but surely cheered himself. The letter was written September 16, 1808.

Dear Brother, I wish you much of the Lord’s gracious presence in the great work of the ministry everywhere. I perceive much of my own corruption and unfitness for the Lord’s work. I find my spirit rather far from him and too unconcerned for man’s salvation. I am constrained to exclaim, by considering the magnitude of the work, ‘Who is sufficient for these things?’ But as the Lord hath been pleased to take such humble instruments into his hands, and to put the Gospel treasure in earthen vessels ‘that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us,’ there is no reason to be discouraged on account of our great infirmities and unsuitableness. But we should endeavour to surrender ourselves to him; and though weakness itself, yet that weakness, in his hands, shall be ‘stronger than men.’

John Elias: Life, Letters and Essays, by Edward Morgan, first published in 1844, published by the Banner of Truth in 1973, p. 314.

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