Edward Reynolds (1599–1676) on preaching boldly, but compassionately

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“Shall any man be so bold as to do what God forbids? And shall a minister be so timorous as not to speak what God commands? Shall I be afraid to offend him by doing my duty, who is not afraid to offend God by neglecting his? Shall I be afraid to save him who is not afraid to destroy himself? Or shall I be dismayed at the face and frown of a man, and neglect the wrath of God who can tear me in pieces? ‘Be not dismayed at their face,’ saith the Lord, ‘lest I confound thee before them’ (Jer. 1:17). Yet this boldness must be in a way of conviction and persuasion, without indiscretion and exasperation; that when we show our zeal against men’s sins, we may withal manifest our love to their persons, and that honor and reverend esteem which we owe to their dignities and conditions.”

– Edward Reynolds (1599–1676), Works, 5:349

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