“My own experience convinces me that the oftener and the more diligently you peruse the Scriptures, the more beautiful will they appear and the less relish you will have for light and superficial reading. There is in an intimate, in a daily, conversation with the Scriptures something sanctifying, something ennobling. A satisfaction is felt in perusing them which no human composition can excite. You feel as if you were conversing with God and angels. You breathe a heavenly atmosphere. The soul is bathed in celestial waters. It imbibes a sweetness and composure which shed over it unearthly attractions.”
Archibald Alexander, Princeton and Preaching
A few things are certain. We live in a universe created by a Shepherd God. The Lord is our Shepherd. Our world is redeemed by a Shepherd Savior. Our Elder Brother is a Shepherd. The man whom humanity needs most is a shepherd. Every messenger of Christ is sent to do a shepherd’s work. We are to stand at last before a Shepherd Judge. God is going to separate the good shepherds from the shepherds who are bad. The questions which every pastor must meet and answer are three: ‘Did you feed My lambs? Did you tend My sheep? Did you feed My sheep?’
Charles Jefferson, The Minister as Shepherd, pg 31
“I know the vanity of your heart, and that you will feel mortified that your congregation is very small, in comparison with those of your brethren around you; but assure yourself on the word of an old man, that when you come to give an account of them to the Lord Christ, at His judgment-seat, you will think you have had enough.”
–John Brown, in a letter of counsel written to one of his pupils newly ordained over a small congregation, cited by Alexander Grossart in The Complete Works of Richard Sibbes, Vol. 1, Ed. Alexander Grossart (1862-1864; reprint, Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1979), 294.