Hercules Collins on “Why Study?”

The following excerpt is from Hercules Collins, The Temple Repair’d:  or, An Essay to Revive the Long-Neglected Ordinances, of Exercising the Spiritual Gift of Prophecy for the Edification of the Churches; and of Ordaining Ministers Duly Qualified (London:  1702), 22-23.  This selection is due to be published along with approximately 40 others in July in a volume on the piety of Hercules Collins by Reformation Heritage Books.

1.  We should study to be good workmen, because our work is of the highest nature.  Men that work among jewels and precious stones, ought to be very knowing of their business.  A minister’s work is a great work, a holy work, a heavenly work.  Hence the apostle saith, “Who is sufficient for these things?”[1]  O how great work is this!  What man, what angel is sufficient to preach the gospel as they ought to preach it!  You work for the highest end, the glory of God, and the good of immortal souls.  You are the beating down of the kingdom of the Devil, and enlarging and exalting Christ’s kingdom. And “he that winneth souls” (saith Solomon) “is wise.”[2]  That is, he that draweth them to God, and to the love of him, sweetly gaineth and maketh a holy conquest of them to Jehovah.[3]

2.  We should study to be good workmen, because you will be the better able to give a good account to your master, an account “with joy and not with grief,”[4] having been faithful watchmen over your flocks.  Paul boldly declares it, that he was clear from the blood of all men, and had not shunned to declare the whole counsel of God; and it is his counsel to the elders at Ephesus, To take heed to themselves, and to all the flock over which the Holy Ghost had made them overseers.[5]  And in so doing there may be expected an approving of God, and a “Well done good and faithful servant,” enter into the joy of thy Lord,[6] that is, into everlasting happiness.


 [1] 2 Corinthians 2:16

 [2] Proverbs 11:30

 [3] Diodate.  A reference to Giovanni Diodati (1576-1649). Diodati was the successor of Theodore Beza (Calvin’s successor) as both professor of theology and pastor in
Geneva.  His Annotationes in Biblia (1607) was translated into English in 1643 as Pious and Learned Annotations upon the Holy Bible.  A new edition (the fourth in English) of this work was published in 1684 in
London and is the most probable source used by Collins.  
The sentence above is almost an exact quote from Diodati’s annotation on Proverbs 11:30 in his massive commentary on the entire Bible.

 [4] Hebrews 13:17

 [5] Acts 20:27-28

 [6] Matthew 25:23

4 comments

  1. If I were not a nice guy, I’d call you a “copy cat.”

    Since I am a nice guy, I’ll just say “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.”

    So thanks for flattering me and the other 816, 695 WordPress bloggers (as of 9:46 Eastern Standard Time on March 28, 2007).

    NAF

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