Welsh Journals

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ty\ k^ Vol. III. New Series. AUGUST, igo; No. 8. The Minister's Prayer. By the REV P. T. FORSYTH, M.A., D,D., of HACKNEY COLLEGE. HE work of the min¬ istry labours under one heavy disadvan¬ tage when we regard it as a profession, and compare it with other professions. In these, experience brings facility, a sense of mastery in the subject, self-satisfaction, self-confidence • but in our subject the more we pursue it, the more we enter into it, so much the more are we cast down with the overwhelming sense, not only of our insufficiency, but of our unworthiness. Of course, in the tech¬ nique of our work we acquire a certain ease. We learn to speak more or less freely and aptly. We learn the knack of handling a text, of conducting Church work, of dealing with men, and the like. If it were only texts or men we had to handle! But we have to handle the Gospel. We have to lift up Christ—a Christ who is the death of natural self-confidence—a humiliating, even a crushing Christ. We have to handle a Gospel that is a new rebuke to us every step we gain in intimacy with it. There is no real intimacy with the Gospel which does not mean a new sense of God's holiness. There is no new insight into the cross which does not bring, whatever else it bring, a deeper sense of the solemn holiness of the love that meets us there. And there is no new sense of the holy God that does not arrest His name upon our unclean lips. If our very repentance is to be repented of, how shall we be proud, or even pleased, with what we may think a success in our preaching? So that we are not surprised to hear preachers who, after what the public calls a most bril¬ liant and impressive discourse, retire to humble themselves before God, to ask for¬ giveness for the poor message, and to call themselves most unprofitable servants—yea, even when they knew that they had " done well." The more we grasp our Gospel, the more it abashes us. Moreover, as we learn more of the ser¬ iousness of the Gospel for human fate, we feel the more that every time we present it we are adding to the judgment of some as