An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy!
(Thomas Brooks, "The Crown and Glory of Christianity, or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness", 1662)
"Be an example to all believers . . .
in what you teach,
in the way you live,
in your love, your faith, and your purity." 1 Timothy 4:12
A preacher's life should be a commentary upon his doctrine;
his practice should be the counterpart of his sermons.
Heavenly doctrines should always be adorned with a heavenly life.
An ignorant, profane, and soul-flattering clergy, are the greatest pest, plague, affliction and judgment, which can befall a people! There is no rank nor order of men on earth, who have so enriched Hell, who have been such benefactors to Hell — as the ignorant and profane clergy! How many are there in these days, who are more ready and willing to make a sacrifice of the gospel . . .
for profit sake,
and preferment sake,
and prestige sake,
and lust's sake!
Where there is no serious, sincere, faithful, and powerful preaching — there the people grow abominably wicked, and will certainly perish and go tumbling to Hell.
Pastors! Either preach as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to preach . . .
and live as the ministers of Jesus Christ ought to live . . .
— or else lay down your names of being the ministers of Jesus Christ. Do not any longer put a cheat upon yourselves, nor upon the people — by making them believe that you are ministers of Jesus Christ, when you have . . .
nothing of the spirit of Christ,
nor of the anointings of Christ,
nor of the grace of Christ,
nor of the life of Christ in you.
"Watch your life and doctrine closely." 1 Timothy 4:16