The Pastor's Calling

Travailing in Birth for Souls John Newton What contradictions meet In minister’s employ! It is a bitter sweet, A sorrow full of joy. No other post affords a place For equal honour or disgrace! Who can describe the pain Which faithful preachers feel, Constrained to speak in vain, To hearts as hard as steel! Or who can tell the pleasures felt, When stubborn hearts begin to melt![1] The call to ministry has been described as one of the most enriching, yet difficult, vocations that one can enter. John Newton acknowledged that paradoxical reality in his Olney hymn—Travailing in Birth For Souls. This hymn portrays the minister as moving back and forth from the depths of pastoral discouragement to

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