Charaters of Preachers
FOUR GOOD WORKERS.
“ Borne of four” (Mark 2:3).
Four men bringing one no Christ. We are not told who these men were, nor where they came from, but their action is recorded in the imperishable Word of God. These four men man may be taken as an illustration of four things that are essential in seeking to bring others in contact with Christ: namely, faith, sympathy, and perseverance.
Ⅰ. Prayer. Prayer is the hand that opens the door of heaven, and lets out the power of God. The prayer of faith, and the Spirit of God, are linked together like the yoked oxen that are ploughing in the field. “When they had prayed the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost” (Acts 4:3). There is so little power in the Church, because there is so little prayer.
Ⅱ. Faith. “ When Christ saw their faith He said unto the sick,” ＆c.(verse 5). If prayer is the hand that opens the door of blessing, faith is the hand that receives the blessing, and not for itself merely, but for others. This is not the only instance in the gospels where Christ blessed others for the faith’s sake of the one pleading on their behalf. The Syro-Phenecian woman’s daughter was healed for her mother’s faith’s sake (Matt.15:28), and the centurion and his servant is another case in point (Matt.8:10).
Ⅲ. Sympathy. If the wind of declamation is blown upon any soul, it but makes that one draw the cloak of indifference around him, but if the sun of Christian sympathy, the compassion of Christ, beams upon the unsaved one, he will soon throw off the cloak of indifference, and open up his mind to you (see Aesop’s fable of the wind and the sun).
Ⅳ. Perseverance. I saw a fishing-boat recently sailing up Loch Strivven in Scotland, but it had to tack as the wind was against it. So often in Christian work the unsaved will raise a wind of objections, let us not give up in consequence, but use the objections as helps, and thus perseveringly use our opponents to attain our desired end.
── F.E. Marsh《Five Hundred Bible Readings》