(John Angell James, "Christian Love" 1828)
"We were as gentle among you as a mother feeding
and caring for her own children." 1 Thessalonians 2:7
Oh! what churches we would have, if Christian
love had its full scope!
The pastor would labor with the most earnest,
indefatigable, and unselfish zeal for the eternal
welfare of the flock; and make it evident that
compassion for souls, and not filthy lucre--was
the impulse of all his conduct. Affection would
beam in his eyes, and breathe in his spirit, while
"the law of kindness" would dwell on his lips.
He would preside over the people in the meekness
of wisdom; and, instead of proudly lording it over
God's heritage, he would rule them in love.
Over all his talents, however brilliant, he would put
the 'garment of humility'. And, with respect to all his
success, however great, he would speak in the language
of modesty. He would neither envy his more gifted or
successful brethren, nor proudly vaunt over his inferiors.
To all under his pastoral care, even the most illiterate
and poor, he would conduct himself with the humility
and love of true benevolence. He would labor to correct
their errors, whether doctrinal or practical; and have
no greater joy than to see them walking in the truth!
"Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the
way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."
1 Timothy 4:12