I finally finished this little 87 page book called The Gospel Ministry. Printed by Soli Deo Gloria Publications, this is a sermon Thomas Foxcroft (1697-1769) preached to his own congregation on the day of his own ordination on November 20, 1717. I found Foxcroft to be in the line of a Bunyan, Baxter and Spurgeon in that every phrase he utters drips with Scripture. He was either a man thoroughly immersed in the Bible, or one that studied for weeks to assemble such a Bible rich sermon as the one contained in this tiny volume. I was encouraged countless times while reading this, by gems like these:
If a man’s name is as precious ointment, it will cast an odor of a sweet smell on his ministry, and give it a grateful savor and an agreeable relish.” p. 23
“The preacher must seek to find acceptable words and suitable method so as to inform the understanding and inflame the affections…so as to charm the ear, reach the mind, and touch the heart.” p. 31
“The excellency and efficacy of preaching does not lie in an accumulation of fine phrases and elegant sentences.
Foxcroft is a bit hard to read at times and the old English sentences sometime run out of gas if you’re not really engaged. I’m sure that’s my problem more than the book’s. Overall, this book was great and I would recommend it as a primer for a larger book by Spurgeon called Lectures to my Students. Foxcroft challenges ministers with much of the same truth in this sermon as Spurgeon did in his Lectures. I need both and if you are attempting to minister to folks in a local church, I would assume you do to.