Have you protected your copyright yet? Copyright piracy is estimated to cost millions every year. Before letting anyone see your work, make sure you've registered your work for copyright protection. For more information, click here
264. The words are these, 'Ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.' Through this blessed sentence the Lord led me over and over, first to this word, and then to that, and showed me wonderful glory in every one of them. These words also have oft since this time been great refreshment to my spirit. Blessed be God in having mercy on me.
265. And now I am speaking my experience, I will in this place thrust in a word or two concerning my preaching the Word, and of God's dealing with me in that particular also. For after I had been about five or six years awakened, and helped myself to see both the want and worth of Jesus Christ our Lord, and also enabled to venture my soul upon Him, some of the most able among the saints with us, I say the most able for judgment and holiness of life, as they conceived, did perceive that God had counted me worthy to understand something of His will in His holy and blessed Word, and had given me utterance, in some measure, to express what I saw to others for edification; therefore they desired me, and that with much earnestness, that I would be willing, at sometimes, to take in hand, in one of the meetings, to speak a word of exhortation unto them.
266. The which, though at the first it did much dash and abash my spirit, yet being still by them desired and intreated, I consented to their request, and did twice at two several assemblies, but in private, though with much weakness and infirmity, discover my gift amongst them; at which they not only seemed to be, but did solemnly protest, as in the sight of the great God, they were both affected and comforted, and gave thanks to the Father of mercies for the grace bestowed on me.
267. After this, sometimes when some of them did go into the country to teach, they would also that I should go with them; where, though as yet I did not, nor durst not, make use of my gift in an open way, yet more privately still as I came amongst the good people in those places, I did sometimes speak a word of admonition unto them also; the which, they as the other received, with rejoicing at the mercy of God to meward, professing their souls were edified thereby.
268. Wherefore, to be brief, at last, being still desired by the church, after some solemn prayer to the Lord, with fasting, I was more particularly called forth, and appointed to a more ordinary and public preaching of the Word, not only to, and amongst them that believed, but also to offer the gospel to those who had not yet received the faith thereof; about which time I did evidently find in my mind a secret pricking forward thereto; though I bless God, not for desire of vain glory, for at that time I was most sorely afflicted with the fiery darts of the devil concerning my eternal state.
269. But yet could not be content, unless I was found in the exercise of my gift, unto which I was greatly animated, not only by the continual desires of the godly, but also by that saying of Paul to the Corinthians, 'I beseech you, brethren (ye know the household of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints), that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth' (1 Corinthians 16:15,16) .
1 Corinthians 16:15-16
15 Now, brethren, you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts and our firstfruits in Achaia (most of Greece), and how they have consecrated and devoted themselves to the service of the saints (God's people).
16 I urge you to pay all deference to such leaders and to enlist under them and be subject to them, as well as to everyone who joins and cooperates [with you] and labors earnestly. AMP
270. By this text I was made to see that the Holy Ghost never intended that men who have gifts and abilities should bury them in the earth, but rather did command and stir up such to the exercise of their gift, and also did commend those that were apt and ready so to do, 'They have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints.' This scripture, in these days, did continually run in my mind, to encourage me and strengthen me in this work for God; I have also been encouraged from several other scriptures and examples of the godly, both specified in the Word and other ancient histories (Acts 8:4; 18:24,25; 1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:6; Foxe's Acts and Mounments).
4 Now those who were scattered abroad went about [through the land from place to place] preaching the glad tidings, the Word [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God]. AMP
24 Meanwhile, there was a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, who came to Ephesus. He was a cultured and eloquent man, well versed and mighty in the Scriptures. AMP