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Hezekiah Harvey on Care of Souls

Here is another quote I used in my paper calling for a renewed emphasis on oversight of souls. This one is from the book on pastoral ministry by Hezekiah Harvey, prominent Baptist pastor and theologian in the 19th century Northeast US.

The care of souls is the radical idea of the pastor’s office. he is a shepherd to whom a flock has been committed to guide, to fee, to defend; and the divine command enjoins: “Take heed to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers” (Acts 20:28). he is to be the personal religious guide, the confidential Christian friend, of his charge. Our Lord, in his description of the Good Shepherd, said, “The sheep hear his voice; and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before the, and the sheep follow him; for they know his voice” (John 10: 3-4). Each member of his flock is a soul entrusted to his care by the Lord; and if true to his trust, he is one of those who “watch for souls as they must give account.” Paul, when in Ephesus, taught not only publicly, but “from house to house;” and in his farewell charge to the elders of that city he said, “Watch, and remember that, by the space of three years, I ceased not to warn every man night and day with tears” (Acts 20:31).
- Hezekiah Harvey, The Pastor: His Qualifications and Duties (Philadelphia, PA: American Baptist Publication Society, 1879), 78.

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