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Believers Need to Be Speakers

Believers Need to Be Speakers

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Published by glennpease
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


2 CORINTHIANS iv. 13.

We having the same spirit of faith, (according as it is written,
I believed, and therefore have I spoken ;) we. also believe,
and therefore speak.
BY THOMAS ARNOLD, D.D.


2 CORINTHIANS iv. 13.

We having the same spirit of faith, (according as it is written,
I believed, and therefore have I spoken ;) we. also believe,
and therefore speak.

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Published by: glennpease on Oct 16, 2013
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BELIEVERS EED TO BE SPEAKERSBY THOMAS AROLD, D.D.2 CORITHIAS iv. 13.We having the same spirit of faith, (according as it is written,I believed, and therefore have I spoken ;) we. also believe,and therefore speak.I these words is contained a short and simpleaccount of the feelings which urged the Apostlesto go about from one country to another, spreading the knowledge of Christ. We believe, saysSt. Paul, and therefore we speak. We are menwho have heard tidings wonderful and most interesting to us, and to all mankind ; we knowtoo that they are not more wonderful than true ;and, therefore, our hearts are hot within us, tillwe have repeated them to others, that they alsomay rejoice as we do. The secret or the mysteryof God s mercy through Christ is too great to beconfined within our own bosoms : we should invain strive to hide it ; it would force its way toour lips, because it is always in our hearts ; andout of the abundance of the heart the mouthspcaketh. Our words, therefore, arc not forced,268 SERMO XXIII.nor do we set ourselves to speak to Christ as atask or a business ; it is the most natural subjecton which our tongues can be employed : we believe, and we cannot help speaking of it. Suchspeaking, as was natural, did not fail to findmany listeners. The people amongst whom theApostles came, saw plainly that they were in
 
earnest about the matter; that the tidings whichthey brought had really got possession of theirminds, and that they only wished to make knownto others what had been, and was every hour, sogreat a source of comfort to themselves. Thisimpression of sincerity was all that was wanted;for the Apostles had themselves eaten and drunkenwith our Lord after that he was raised fromthe dead, and therefore did not speak uponguess or uncertainty. They knew in whom theyhad believed, and thus their belief was as sure asit was earnest, and they might well speak according to it.In a higher strain, yet somewhat to the samepurpose, are the words of Christ himself. " Thesheep hear the voice of the good shepherd, andhe calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeththem out; and when he putteth forth his ownsheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep followhim, for they know his voice ; and a strangerwill they not follow, but will flee from him,for they know not the voice of strangers."SERMO XXI1T. 209" I am the good Shepherd, and know my sheep, andam known of mine. As the Father knoweth me,even so know I the Father, and I lay down mylife for the sheep." The good shepherd is listenedto and followed, because he loves his sheep, andis even ready to lay down his life for them ;but a stranger is not followed, because he is anhireling, and careth not for the sheep ; and, therefore, when he seeth the wolf coming, he leaveththe sheep and fleeth. If we are spoken to forour own sakes, we are certainly more disposed tolisten to the speaker ; but, if we think that he is
 
but speaking for some ends of his own, and doesnot greatly care about what he is saying, we areapt to turn away from him with suspicion andin difference.Undoubtedly what has been here said, appliesto Christian ministers in a particular manner;and offers the best explanation why so much of their preaching has remained without effect. Few,it is to be hoped, have been so wicked as topreach to others what they themselves believedto be a lie ; but many thousands have spokenof that in which they have no lively or strongbelief, and have spoken therefore tamely and un-profitably. They have spoken because it wastheir business to speak, just as a lawyer repeatswhat he finds put down in his brief, and arguesupon it to the best of his skill, in order to acquire270 SERMO XXI 11.a reputation in his profession. And such speak ing may indeed persuade, when the persuasioncosts us nothing : it may move a juryman to givehis verdict, because he himself is not personallyaffected by the nature of that verdict : but whenthe business is to persuade a man to make greatsacrifices, to give up his favourite passions, todeny himself, and to change his nature from badto holy; then it is needful that the speakershould be himself thoroughly in earnest ; thathe should himself be deeply convinced of the importance of what he is recommending; that heis inviting others to take his medicine, becausehe has tried it and found it of service to himself.A stranger, indeed, may produce great effect byhis preaching, although he be not thus entirelysincere, because we may in charity, as we know

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