God's Providence in the Midst of Suffering

8 Jan

I recently received this quote via email from my professor of Church History as an encouragement to me (and anyone else who may be engaged in a similar battle). Apart from meditation on Scripture, reading about and listening to other saints’ struggles have been a most timely and necessary word of encouragement to continue the fight.

This particular quote is from Joseph Kinghorn, an English Baptist pastor, who in 1814, wrote the following “Advice and Encouragement to Young Ministers.” May it bring you as much encouragement as it did me.

“If you are designed to contend for the faith once delivered to the saints, and to confirm those that are wavering, you may have your own mind severely tried respecting the truth you have believed; and do not be surprised, if you have to examine your whole system; to dissect it joint by joint; to scrutinize the evidence of every part–perhaps to call in question the truth of Revelation;–or to doubt the being of your God!  You may be rendered painfully familiar with the reasonings and objections of men, who would subvert the whole foundation of your hope and joy; you may be compelled to pursue an extensive course of inquiry, which otherwise you would have deemed quite unnecessary; and all this may be a discipline needful to fit you for your future warfare.

Thus you will be enabled to benefit others.  You will obviate those difficulties, which they dared not to mention: without giving their objections a formidable shape, you will apply principles which will establish their faith: and time will probably discover, that some who come to the house of prayer, returned thankful for the relief, which your previous difficulties enabled you to afford them.”

– Joseph Kinghorn, Advice and Encouragement to Young Ministers: Two Sermons. . . . Norwich, 1814. II 38.

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