The quote below is a consistent theme in the Andrew Fuller corpus. Ministry can become hollow and empty. We can speak of the power of the Gospel and not be trusting in the Gospel ourselves. Below Fuller gives this warning to the churches in his Baptist association. We would do well to heed his warning in our day.
[Andrew Fuller, “State of the Baptist churches in Northamptonshire (1814),” in Complete Works, vol. 3, 483.]
We are apt to think, that if we have but made up our minds on the leading points of controversy afloat in the world, and taken the side of truth, we are safe; but it is not so.
- If we walk not with God, we shall almost be certain in some way to get aside from the gospel, and then the work of God will not prosper in our hands.
- Ingenious discourses may be delivered, and nothing advanced inconsistent with the gospel, while yet the gospel itself is not preached.
- We may preach about Christ himself, and yet not “preach Christ.”
- We may pride ourselves in our orthodoxy, and yet be far from the doctrine of the New Testament; may hold with exhortations and invitations to the unconverted, and yet not “persuade men;” may plead for sound doctrine, and yet overlook the things that “become sound doctrine.”
- Finally, we may advocate the cause of holiness, while we ourselves are unholy.