Saturday, April 2, 2011

Earthshaking Earnestness

From Richard Baxter's poem, Love Breathing Thanks and Praise,

"I preach as never sure to preach again, 
And as a dying man to dying men!"

When considering the radical claims of the Gospel, when facing the realities of death and eternity, when there are people sitting in the congregation who are dead in their sins, how can I preach about trivialities? The puritan Richard Baxter had a profound sense of urgency in his preaching because he understood the weight of the matter. This gave him a deep sincerity and earnestness in his preaching. No matter the cost, he preached as a dying man, to dying men. Check out this quote from his book, The Reformed Pastor,

"I marvel how I can preach slightly and coldly, 
how I can let men alone in their sins, and that I do not go to
them and beseech them for the Lord's sake to repent,
however they take it, and whatever pains or troubles it should cost me. 
Shouldn't thou weep over such a people, 
and should not thy tears interrupt thy words?
Shouldn't not thou cry aloud and show them their transgressions, 
and entreat and beseech them to life?"

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