Scougal once more

Here is another powerful excerpt from Scougal’s sermon “The Importance and Difficulty of the Ministerial Function”. There is a need to recapture this gravity today. Then, under this weight we must cling steadily to the cross which alone bears us up, empowers us and gives us grace to stand.

“But if the negligence and miscarriage of a minister hazards the souls of others, it certainly ruins his own; which made St. Chrysostom say (words so terrible that I tremble to put them into English), – If a man should speak fire, blood, and smoke; if flames could come out of his mouth instead of words; if he had a voice like thunder and an eye like lightning, he could not sufficiently represent the dreadful account that an unfaithful pastor shall make. What horror and confusion shall it cast them into at the last day to hear the blood of the Son of God plead against them, to hear our great Master say, ‘It was the purchase of My blood which ye did neglect! God died for these souls, of whom ye took so little pains!’ Think not, therefore, to be saved by that blood which ye have despised, or to escape the torments whereunto many others are plunged through your faults!’ By this time I hope it appears that the work of the ministry is of great weight and importance; that much depends on the right discharging of it, and that miscarrying in it is the most dangerous thing in the world.” (p. 235)

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