Times have changed since George Herbert... but the principle and spirit in which he ministered as a priest remains an inspiration and model for all priests.
More Quotes from Arthur Middleton:There is a kind of thinking in the Church that wants to reduce the priest to a mere functionary, a managing director, where administration rather than doctrine and worship are to determine the form of the Church.
In Herbert's time, many people were disillusioned with priests and questioned the theological foundations of priesthood. Herbert thought like Hooker, Andrewes and Laud, among whom were many fine priests, whose ministries resisted the replacement of the catholic priesthood in the Church of England by a Presbyterian model.
The priest is Christ's slave, and Christ himself took the form of a slave and became obedient to death. So the priest in serving human needs lives a Godward life, possessed by God and witnessing that only when lives are utterly possessed by God do they find their true freedom.
Priesthood is not a convenient, historically conditioned form of Church organisation, but is rooted in the Incarnation, in the priesthood and mission of Christ himself.
Many people experience Gethsemane moments.
As priests uphold their people in prayer, so their people are to uphold them with prayer and love, for he cannot work without his people.
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