Monday, 29 November 2010

"Do your utmost for the preaching of the Gospel in Ireland"

The English Puritan John Owen had a great concern that the gospel be spread and be adorned with holiness. This was a concern he held, not just for his own nation of England, but for the work of the gospel abroad also. In 1650 he returned from a trip to Ireland, where he had seen Cromwell's forces decimate the Irish. Upon his return he preached to the English parliament and pleaded with them for a different sort of warfare. This is what he said:
How is it that Jesus Christ is in Ireland only as a lion staining all his garments with the blood of his enemies; and none to hold him out as a Lamb sprinkled with his own blood to his friends? ... Is this to deal fairly with the Lord Jesus?—call him out to do battle and then keep away his crown? God hath been faithful in doing great things for you; be faithful in this one—do your utmost for the preaching of the Gospel in Ireland.