John Bunyan McCure

The Duty Of A Gospel Preacher

On December 13, 1875, St. John’s Green Chapel, Colchester, held special services for the induction of their new pastor, Mr. Brown. Several local pastors formed the ordination council, among which was Mr. John Bunyan McCure. He was appointed to bring the “charge” to Mr. Brown, in preparation for his pastoral duties at the chapel.

“I speak a word of exhortation for your patience. Here are we with Mr. Brown just recognized; and it is now my duty to deliver the charge with only a few minutes to do so. In days gone by there was plenty of time allowed for this, but we are living in days when we have to do everything in a hurry; coming to my subject—Mr dear Brother, I speak to you from 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and doctrine.” Paul could well charge another, he having been drawn to preach Christ in a very special manner, and having experienced much. Preach the Word, Jesus Christ, the eternal word, Christ, Divine and human. He should be the subject matter of your preaching. Be careful about this, you cannot be too particular or give too much prominence to Jesus. Preach Him as the only priest absolving sin. Preach Him as God’s only means whereby banished sinners may not be lost. Lift Him up high. You may preach sin too much, but Jesus you cannot.

Preach Him in relation to fallen man, as the Bond of the covenant. Let your sermons be full of the Word of God, of Jesus, of the Holy Ghost. Truly we are living in days when it may be said we do not so much as hear there is a Holy Ghost. Preach Jesus as the Substitute, and in doing so you will provide cordials for the fainting. Then there are the Institutions to be preached: Baptism, and the Lord’s Supper.

You are not responsible for the result of the Gospel if you preach it fully, but you are responsible if you keep back any part of the Word of God.

Preach Christ with earnestness, not carelessly; with discrimination, and preach Him to characters, so that those who hear you may see where they are. Deliver the Word faithfully; that man can never be clear in conscience who preaches unfaithfully. Preach Christ faithfully to the professor and to the unconverted. Preach Christ in love. Be careful about this. Do, I pray you, preach Him as lovely and lovingly as ever you can. Be always ready; let no opportunity pass by. Reprove both sinner, and, when needed, the professor. Rebuke sin, Satan, and the world—this trinity of evils. Exhort with all longsuffering, give exhortation to all men. Let not the sinner say, after having heard you, ‘he never preaches to me, but only to the saved.’ Be careful to speak words of exhortation as to moral obligations, and mark the distinction between moral and spiritual obligations. Exhort men to consider the theory of the word. God is thus honored. Exhort them to repent naturally, it is their duty. Exhort saints to spirituality. Natural men can perform natural acts; and spiritual men spiritual acts. Do this with all longsuffering. The Lord help you to exercise longsuffering in all things; my sympathies are with you, and my prayers for you. I wish you God speed, and much of God’s presence.”—Earthen Vessel 1876

John Bunyan McCure (1822-1883) was an English Strict and Particular Baptist preacher. In 1840, he preached his first sermon and tied the knot in marriage. In 1848, he was ordained pastor at Hadlow, Kent, with John Foreman bringing the charge. In 1852, he and his family removed to Australia, where they served in gospel ministry for sixteen years. This came to a sudden end with the unexpected death of Mrs. McCure, whose last wish was for her children to be raised in England. Mr. McCure was the first Evangelist (Missionary) to be sent from the English Strict and Particular Baptists to Australia. In 1872, after returning to England, he was appointed pastor of Eden Chapel, Cambridge.