Characteristics of the Anointed Preacher

Lately I've had the immeasurable joy of reading the books of Samuel Logan Brengle, in connection with a writing assignment I'm undertaking. His writing has renewed my soul and fed my spirit in countless ways, and I thought I'd share some of that blessing with the readers of the Desperate Pastor blog (I hope before long to share it in another way in book form, but more about that later).

Brengle's chapter on the Apostle Paul as a preacher in his book, When the Holy Ghost is Come, is exceptional. I'll share it in parts, a day at a time, and hope it speaks to you as it has to me:
Since God saves men by “the foolishness of preaching,” the preacher has an infinitely important work, and he must be fitted for it. But what can fit a man for such sacred work? Not education alone, not knowledge of books, not gifts of speech, not winsome manners, nor a magnetic voice, nor a commanding presence, but only God. The preacher must be more than a man—­he must be a man plus the Holy Ghost.

Paul was such a man. He was full of the Holy Spirit, and in studying his life and ministry we get a life-sized portrait of an anointed preacher living, fighting, preaching, praying, suffering, triumphing, and dying in the power and light and glory of the indwelling Spirit.

In the second chapter of the First of Thessalonians he gives us a picture of his character and ministry which were formed and inspired by the Holy Spirit, a sample of His workmanship, and an example for all Gospel preachers.

At Philippi he had been terribly beaten with stripes on his bare back, and roughly thrust into the inner dungeon, and his feet were made fast in the stocks; but that did not break nor quench his spirit. Love burned in his heart, and his joy in the Lord brimmed full and bubbled over, and at midnight, in the damp, dark, loathsome dungeon, he and Silas, his comrade in service and suffering, “prayed and sang praises unto God.” God answered with an earthquake, and the jailer and his household got gloriously converted. Paul was set free and went at once to Thessalonica, where, regardless of the shameful way he had been treated at Philippi, he preached the Gospel boldly, and a blessed revival followed with many converts; but persecution arose, and Paul had again to flee. His heart, however, was continually turning back to these converts, and at last he sat down and wrote them this letter. From this we learn that—­

1. He was a joyful preacher. He was no pessimist, croaking out doleful prophecies and lamentations and bitter criticisms. He was full of the joy of the Lord. It was not the joy that comes from good health, a pleasant home, plenty of money, wholesome food, numerous and smiling friends, and sunny, favouring skies; but a deep, springing fountain of solemn, gladdening joy that abounded and overflowed in pain and weariness, in filthy, noisome surroundings, in loneliness and poverty, and danger and bitter persecutions. No earth-born trial could quench it, for it was Heaven-born; it was “the joy of the Lord” poured into his heart with the Holy Spirit.

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