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of this excellent work, that I counted myself more blessed and honoured of God by this than if He had made me the emperor of the Christian world, or the lord of all the glory of the earth without it! O these words, 'He which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death' (James 5:20). 'The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise' (Proverbs 11:30). 'They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever' (Daniel 12:3). 'For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? For ye are our glory and joy' (1 Thessalonians 2:19,20). These, I say, with many others of a like nature, have been great refreshments to me.
20 Let the [latter] one be sure that whoever turns a sinner from his evil course will save [that one's] soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins [procure the pardon of the many sins committed by the convert]. AMP
30 The fruit of the [uncompromisingly] righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise captures human lives [for God, as a fisher of men — he gathers and receives them for eternity]. [Matthew 4:19; 1 Corinthians 9:19; James 5:20.] AMP
3 And the teachers and those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness (to uprightness and right standing with God) [shall give forth light] like the stars forever and ever. [Matthew 13:43.]
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20
19 For what is our hope or happiness or our victor's wreath of exultant triumph when we stand in the presence of our Lord Jesus at His coming? Is it not you?
20 For you are [indeed] our glory and our joy!
287. I have observed, that where I have had a work to do for God, I have had first, as it were, the going of God upon my spirit to desire I might preach there. I have also observed that such and such souls in particular have been strongly set upon my heart, and I stirred up to wish for their salvation; and that these very souls have, after this, been given in as the fruits of my ministry. I have also observed, that a word cast in by the by hath done more execution in a sermon than all that was spoken besides; sometimes also when I have thought I did no good, then I did the most of all; and at other times when I thought I should catch them I have fished for nothing.
288. I have also observed, that where there hath been a work to do upon sinners, there the devil hath begun to roar in the hearts, and by the mouths of his servants. Yea, oftentimes when the wicked world hath raged most, there hath been souls awaked by the word. I could instance particulars, but I forbear.
289. My great desire in fulfilling my ministry was to get into the darkest places of the country, even amongst those people that were farthest off of profession; yet not because I could not endure the light, for I feared not to show my gospel to any, but because I found my spirit leaned most after awakening and converting work, and the Word that I carried did lead itself most that way also; 'yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man's foundation' (Romans 15:20).
20 Thus my ambition has been to preach the Gospel, not where Christ's name has already been known, lest I build on another man's foundation; AMP
290. In my preaching I have really been in pain, and have, as it were, travailed to bring forth children to God; neither could I be satisfied unless some fruits did appear in my work. If I were fruitless it mattered not who commended me; but if I were fruitful, I cared not who did condemn. I have thought of that, 'He that winneth souls is wise' (Proverbs 11:30); and again, 'Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath filled his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate' (Psalms 127:3-5).
30 The godly are like trees that bear life-giving fruit, and those who save lives are wise. NLT
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. [Deuteronomy 28:4.]
4 As arrows are in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.