The deaconship: a treatise, with suggestions for its revival in the Church of Scotland

Our blessed Lord does not, like some of his professed followers, make light of temporal wants.

He feels, that amid all his own difficulties and discouragements, he is not standing alone—that other are alive to his circumstances, and sympathise with him, and are forward to aid him—and that he can have their advice and cooperation in many matters, which are otherwise fitted to distract and to burden.

“Animated by the spirit of his office, and acting out the character which the counsels of the Word imply, [a deacon] will not be haughty, or harsh, or suspicions, he will not be cold, and formal, and repulsive, discharging his work as if it were a burden; he will be frank and easy in his intercourse with the poor and take an interest in their avocations, their health, and welfare; kind, and tender, and sympathising, especially when in sickness; but withal firm, and not easily persuaded to what his judgment does not approve. He will also have a deep conviction of the insufficiency of all his efforts to benefit the poor of his charge without the blessing of God, and hence he will not fail to seek the blessing in the exercise of diligent and persevering prayer for the Holy Spirit.”

A deacon, to be relieved from the annoyances sometimes connected with the discharge of his duties, is tempted to put the poor off with insincere words—to say one thing to one man, and an opposite to another. He is in danger also, perhaps, of promising to the pastor, and not fulfilling. This is justly fatal to character and to usefulness. It prevents confidence and creates contempt. The deacon, then, must be sincere.

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