Remember and Repent, Part 3

old-farm-house-2096641_640Horatius Bonar continues the 1651 Church of Scotland’s confession of ministerial sins in his Words to Winners of Souls

“Slighting of fellowship with those by whom we might profit. Desiring more to converse with those that might better us by their talents than with such as might edify us by their graces.

“Not studying opportunities of doing good to others. Shifting of prayer and other duties, when called thereto—choosing rather to omit the same than that we should be put to them ourselves. Abusing of time in frequent recreation and pastimes and loving our pleasures more than God. Taking little or no time to Christian discourse with young men trained up for the ministry. Common and ordinary discourse on the Lord’s Day.

“Slighting Christian admonition from any of our flocks or others, as being below us; and ashamed to take light and warning from private Christians. Dislike of, or bitterness against, such as deal freely with us by admonition or reproof, and not dealing faithfully with others who would welcome it off our hands.

“Not making conscience to take pains on the ignorant and profane, for their good. Our not mourning for the ignorance, unbelief and miscarriages of the flocks committed unto us.

“Impatient bearing of the infirmities of others; rashly breaking out against their persons, more than studying to gain them from their sins. Not using freedom with those of our charge; and for most part spending our time with them in common discourses, not tending to edification. Neglecting admonition to friends and others in an evil course.

“Not praying for men of a contrary judgment, but using reservedness and distance from them; being more ready to speak of them than to them or to God for them. Not weighed with the failings and miscarriages of others, but rather taking advantage thereof for justifying ourselves. Talking of and sporting at the faults of others, rather than compassionating of them.

“No due painstaking in religious ordering of our families, nor studying to be patterns to other families in the government of ours. Hasty anger and passion in our families and conversation with others.

“Covetousness, worldly-mindedness, and an inordinate desire after the things of this life, upon which followeth a neglect of the duties of our calling, and our being taken up for the most part with the things of the world.

“Want of hospitality and charity to the members of Christ. Not cherishing godliness in the people; and some being afraid of it and hating the people of God for piety, and studying to bear down and quench the work of the Spirit amongst them (2 Corinthians 1:6-12, 14, 24).”