Interesting topics in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33 - Pastors/visiting Preachers

12th Mar 2015

In the coming days we'll be looking at some of the interesting topics considered in the footnotes in An Exposition of Deuteronomy 33: The Blessings of Moses on the Children of Israel. As presented in a series of sermons by William Parkinson

Pages 40-42: Herein is wise counsel to all ministers in every age about the different blessings bestowed by settled pastors and visiting preachers. Parkinson begins by stating: “Under the gospel, there is a similar difference between the labors of stated pastors and those of visiting ministers. The preaching and conversation of a visiting minister, who comes ‘in the fulness and blessing of the gospel of Christ,’ may be to the members of a church and to their pastor also (like a prophet sent with a special message to Israel, or like the coming of Titus to Paul and other brethren), the transient means of much comfort and encouragement; but the presence and labors of a duly qualified pastor, are, to a church, like those of Moses to Israel, a more constant and lasting blessing.”

Parkinson then goes on to elaborate in a very wise and practical manner on the distinct way in which pastors have the superior office in God’s economy, with such insights as the fact that “while pastors have advantages, they also labor under disadvantages, of which the churches they serve ought to be apprised. All men have their imperfections and faults. Pastors are at home, where theirs are all known; visitors are abroad, where theirs are all unknown. The former having to meet the same people frequently, must sometimes meet them with little or no preparation, or in a dark and uncomfortable frame of mind; the latter may never happen to come among them under such circumstances: the former, bound in the course of their ministry, to aim at illustrating all parts of divine truth, must necessarily, at times, dwell on subjects in which many of the hearers take but little interest; the latter, while on visits, may confine their labors to subjects calculated to excite the most general interest and the most agreeable sensations—nay, may enrich a few sermons with the cream of all they know….That a pastor has preached many animated and refreshing discourses, is forgotten; while one or a few preached by a visitor, may be remembered and extolled.” "Yet the correct course,” Parkinson concludes, is that “the members of a church should receive, with affection and gladness, the person and labors of every minister of Christ, who comes among them: yet, in doing so, they should studiously avoid whatever, in conversation or conduct, might tend to discourage the heart, weaken the hands, or lessen the usefulness of their pastor, whose life and labors are devoted to their service, as those of Moses were to the service of Israel.”