William Cunningham on Satan’s efforts to promote an unconverted ministry

Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
... Satan is continually exerting his utmost skill and activity to introduce into the ministry of the professing church men who will be in reality his servants and not the servants of Christ. He knows well that nothing tends so much to the advancement of his cause as an unconverted ministry. He will not fail to direct his efforts in this respect against the Free Church of Scotland, and we can scarcely cherish the hope that he will be altogether unsuccessful. There are some obvious advantages of which he will not fail to avail himself. ...

Although, then, your preferring the Free Church may prove that you have triumphed over selfishness in some of its lower and grosser forms, and have subordinated them to some of the higher and nobler principles of our nature, it is still quite a possible thing that you may be deceiving yourselves as to your motives in entering upon the study of theology with a view to the office of the ministry, and in doing so in the circumstances in which you have placed yourselves.

And I have adverted to this subject for the purpose of warning you that you should not trust to mere presumptions and probabilities in judging of the state of your hearts, and the motives by which you are animated, but that, fully alive to the dangers of self-deceit, you search and try your ways, see that you have really devoted yourselves to Christ’s service, and are now ready and willing to do whatever may be best fitted to prepare you for usefulness in his vineyard; to exert yourselves and to deny yourselves, that you may acquire all that knowledge, and form all those habits, which may prepare you for usefulness and respectability in the ministry; animated and encouraged amid all your studies and all your labours by a growing regard to the glory of God, by increasing love to the Lord Jesus Christ, and to the souls of perishing men. ...

For more, see William Cunningham on Satan’s efforts to promote an unconverted ministry.