This duty is necessary for the glory of God. As every Christian liveth to the glory of God as his end, so will he gladly take that course which will most effectually promote it. For what man would not attain his ends? O brethren, if we could set this work on foot in all the parishes of England and get our people to submit to it and, then, prosecute it skilfully and zealously ourselves, what a glory it would put upon the face of the nation and what glory would, by means of it, redound to God. If our common ignorance were thus banished and our vanity and idleness turned into the study of the way of life, and every shop and every house were busied in learning the Scriptures and catechisms and speaking of the Word and works of God, what pleasure would God take in our cities and country! He would even dwell in our habitations and make them His delight.
It is the glory of Christ that shineth in His saints, and all their glory is His glory. That, therefore, which honoreth them, in number or excellency, honoreth Him. Will not the glory of Christ be wonderfully displayed in the New Jerusalem, when it shall descend from heaven in all that splendor and magnificence with which it is described in the Book of Revelation? If, therefore, we can increase the number or strength of the saints, we shall, thereby, increase the glory of the King of saints, for He will have service and praise where, before He had disobedience and dishonor. Christ will also be honored in the fruits of His death, and the Spirit of grace in the fruit of His operations.
And do not such important ends as these require that we use the means with diligence? – Richard Baxter (1615-1691), from The Reformed Pastor (1656).