While skimming through Bridges' Christian Ministry again, several quotes jumped out at me. Some are quotes Bridges lifts from other saints. I hope they're an encouragement and challenge to you this Monday!
"The most effectual hindrances, therefore, to our work are those which impede our personal communion with the Lord. When the great enemy thus successfully intercepts our spiritual supplies, the work of God in our hearts, and connected with it, the work of God in our hands, languishes fromt eh want of its accustomed and needful support. We have great need to watch, lest public activity should be considered to atone for neglect of privated intercourse with God; and thus our profession should become a snare to ourselves, and divested of all spiritual savour to our flock" (Bridges, p. 150).
"Men frequently admire me, and I am pleased; but I abhor the pleasure that I feel" (Henry Martyn in Bridges, p. 153).
"They are not our best friends, that stir the pride of our hearts by the flattery of their lips. The graces of God in others (I confess) are thankfully to be owned, and under discouragements and temptations to be wisely and modestly spoken of; but the strongest Christians do scarcely show their own weakness in any one thing more than they do in hearing their own praises. Christian! thou knowest thou carriest gunpowder about thee.--Desire those that carry fire, to keep at a distance from thee. It is a dangerous crisis, when a proud heart meets with flattering lips. Faithful, seasonable, and discreet reproofs are much more safe for us, and advantageous to the mortification of sin in our souls" (p. 153, footnote 1).
"Verily, it is the common danger and calamity of the Church, to have unregenerate and unexperienced Pastors, and to have so many men become preachers, before they are Christians; to be sanctified by dedication to the altar as God's Priests, before they are sanctified by hearty dedication to Christ as his disciples; and so to worship an unknown God, and to preach an unknown Christ, an unknown Spirit, an unknown state of holiness and communion with God, and a glory that is unknown for ever. He is like to be but a heartless preacher, that hath not the Christ and grace that he preacheth in his heart" (Richard Baxter, p. 155-156).
"Like John the Baptist, we should point out the Saviour to our people from our own perception of his glory and love" (Bridges, p. 158).
"We cannot live by feeding others; or heal ourselves by the mere employment of healing our people; and therefore by this course of official service, our familiarity with the awful realities of death and eternity may be rather like that of the grave-digger, the physician, and the soldier, than the man of God, viewing eternity with deep seriousness and concern, and bringing to his people the profitable fruit of his contemplations" (Bridges, p. 163).
"The leaven of Antinomianism is indeed most congenial wiht the corruption of the heart; and its deadly influence is but too apparent in the inconsistent lives of its professors" (Bridges, 227).
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