After a lengthy sermon on the beauty of Christ, John Flavel provides an exhortation to ministers to proclaim this message that is of first importance without reservation or flinching.
it is our calling, as the Bridegroom’s friends, to woo and win souls to Christ, to set him forth to the people as crucified among them, Gal. 3:1, to present him in all his attractive excellencies, that all hearts may be ravished with his beauty, and charmed into his arms by love: we must also be able to defend the truths of Christ against undermining heretics, to instil his knowledge into the ignorant, to answer the cases and scruples of poor doubting Christians.
How many intricate knots have we to untie? What pains, what skill is requisite for such as are employed about our work? And shall we spend our precious time in frivolous controversies, philosophical niceties, dry and barren scholastic notions?
Shall we study everything but Christ? Revolve all volumes but the sacred ones? What is observed even of Bellarmine, that he turned with loathing from school divinity, because it wanted the sweet juice of piety, may be convictive to many among us, who are often too much in love with worse employment than what he is said to loathe. O let the knowledge of Christ dwell richly in us.
John Flavel, Works, Volume 1, p. 40