We live in times which need a searching ministry. But ministers must be searched themselves before they can search others. Searching work is trying work, for it takes away false confidence, and keeps a man from boasting of an untried faith. It makes hypocrites manifest, and separates the poor, tried, and humble souls from the mere professors who profess Christ, but are spiritually dead. But the work is in the Lord’s hands, and if He does not cause the north wind to awake and the south wind to blow, ministers will labour in vain. He has, however, promised that “His word shall not return to Him void.”
Much preparation of heart is needed to receive the Word. Trials, afflictions, and sorrows are required to separate us from the world; and very seldom is it that afflictions are without profit to God’s people. How hard, carnal, and selfish does a man become who has nothing to soften him! We need daily crosses and daily trials to keep us in any way alive to eternal things, and to maintain a spirit of prayer and watchfulness.

— William Tiptaft

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