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PREACHING
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[ Also see Advice Churches Eloquence Installation Service Instruction Ministers Occupations Oratory Prayer Religion Sermon Teaching Theology Worship ]

In England we see people lulled sleep with solid and elaborate discourses of piety, who would be warmed and transported out of themselves by the bellowings and distortions of enthusiasm.
      - Joseph Addison

Of right and wrong he taught
  Truths as refined as ever Athens heard;
    And (strange to tell) he practis'd what he preach'd.
      - John Armstrong, Art of Preserving Health
         (bk. IV, l. 301)

I met a preacher there I knew, and said,
  Ill and overworked, how fare you in this scene?
    Bravely! said he; for I of late have been
      Much cheered with thoughts of Christ, the living bread.
      - Matthew Arnold, East London

It is a glorious occupation, vivifying and self-sustaining in its nature, to struggle with ignorance, and discover to the inquiring minds of the masses the clear cerulean blue of heavenly truth.
      - Hosea Ballou

Some clergymen make a motto, instead of a theme, of their texts.
      - Hosea Ballou

Style is the gossamer on which the seeds of truth float through the world.
      - George Bancroft

Many preachers shine in the pulpit who lose their brilliancy in common conversation. They require the stimulus and magnetism of an audience to render them forcible and eloquent.
      - James Lendall Basford

I preached as never sure to preach again,
  And as a dying man to dying men.
      - Richard Baxter,
        Love Breathing Thanks and Praise
         (pt. 2, st. 29)

Embellish truth only with a view to gain it the more full and free admission into your hearers' minds; and your ornaments will, in that case, be simple, masculine, natural.
      - Hugh Blair

Do as we say, and not as we do.
  [Lat., Faites ce que nous disons, et ne faites pas ce que nous faisons.]
      - Giovanni Boccaccio, Decameron,
        from the French of Sabatier de Castres "Troisieme Journee", novelle VII

Every sermon must have a solid rest in Scripture, and the pointedness which comes of a clear subject, and the conviction which belongs to well-thought argument, and the warmth that proceeds from earnest appeal.
      - Phillips Brooks

Jesus chose this method of extending the knowledge of Himself throughout the world; He taught His truth to a few men, and then He said, "Now go and tell that truth to other men."
      - Phillips Brooks

For the preacher's merit or demerit,
  It were to be wished that the flaws were fewer
    In the earthen vessel, holding treasure,
      But the main thing is, does it hold good measure
        Heaven soon sets right all other matters!
      - Robert Browning, Christmas Eve
         (canto XXII)

Hear how he clears the points o' Faith
  Wi' rattling an' thumpin'!
    Now meekly calm, now wild in wrath,
      He's stampin', and he's jumpin'!
      - Robert Burns, Holy Fair (st. 13)

And pulpit, drum ecclesiastic,
  Was beat with fist instead of a stick.
      - Samuel Butler (1), Hudibras
         (pt. I, canto I, l. 11)

Take time enough: all other graces
  Will soon fill up their proper places.
      - John Byrom, Advice to Preach Slow

Oh, for a forty-parson power to chant
  Thy praise, Hypocrisy! Oh, for a hymn
    Loud as the virtues thou dost loudly vaunt,
      Not practise!
      - Lord Byron (George Gordon Noel Byron),
        Don Juan (canto X, st. 34)

It requires as much reflection and wisdom to know what is not to be put into a sermon as what is.
      - Lord David Cecil (Edward Christian David Cecil)

The world looks at ministers out of the pulpit to know what they mean when in it.
      - Lord David Cecil (Edward Christian David Cecil)

The grand aim of a minister must be the exhibition of gospel truth. Statesmen may make the greatest blunders in the world, but that is not his affair. Like a king's messenger, he must not stop to take care of a person fallen down: if he can render any kindness consistently with his duty, he will do it; if not, he will prefer his office.
      - Richard Cecil

The meanness of the earthen vessel, which conveys to others the gospel treasure, takes nothing from the value of the treasure. A dying hand may sign a deed of gift of incalculable value. A shepherd's boy may point out the way to a philosopher. A beggar may be the bearer of an invaluable present.
      - Richard Cecil

Oh, the unspeakable littleness of a soul which, intrusted with Christianity, speaking in God's name to immortal beings, with infinite excitements to the most enlarged, fervent love, sinks down into narrow self-regard, and is chiefly solicitous of his own honor.
      - William Ellery Channing

The greatest thoughts are wronged, if not linked to beauty; and they win their way most surely and deeply into the soul when arranged in this their natural and fit attire.
      - William Ellery Channing

When I compare the clamorous preaching and passionate declamation too common in the Christian world with the composed dignity, the deliberate wisdom, the freedom from all extravagance, which characterized Jesus, I can imagine no greater contrast; and I am sure that the fiery zealot is no representative of Christianity.
      - William Ellery Channing

I should not like to preach to a congregation who all believed as I believe. I would as lief preach to a basket of eggs in their smooth compactness and oval formality.
      - Edwin Hubbell Chapin


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