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

I would have every minister of the gospel address his audience with the zeal of a friend, with the generous energy of a father, and with the exuberant affection of a mother.
      - Francois de Salignac Fenelon

It is easier to declaim like an orator against a thousand sins in others than to mortify one sin in ourselves; to be more industrious in our pulpits than in our closets; to preach twenty sermons to our people than one to our own hearts.
      - Rev. John Flavel (2)

Remember, there are only a few model preachers. We have read of only one perfect Model, and He was crucified many centuries ago.
      - Charles Henry Fowler

Grant that I may never rack a Scripture simile beyond the true intent thereof, lest, instead of sucking milk, I squeeze blood out of it.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

It was said of one who preached very well and lived very ill, "that when he was out of the pulpit it was pity he should ever go into it; and when he was in the pulpit, it was pity he should ever come out of it.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

This I quarreled at, that he went far from his text to come close to me, and so was faulty himself in telling me of my faults.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

When men come with nets in their ears, it is good for the preacher to have neither fish nor fowl in his tongue. But blessed be God, now we need not lie at so close a guard.
      - Thomas Fuller (1)

The theater has often been at variance with the pulpit; they ought not to quarrel. How much is it to be wished that in both the celebration of nature and of God were intrusted to none but men of noble minds.
      - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
  To tempt its new-fledg'd offspring to the skies,
    He tried each art, reprov'd each dull delay,
      Allur'd to brighter worlds, and led the way.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

There are but few talents requisite to become a popular preacher; for the people are easily pleased if they perceive any endeavors in the orator to please them. The meanest qualifications will work this effect if the preacher sincerely sets about it.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
      - Oliver Goldsmith

But in his duty prompt at every call,
  He watch'd and wept, he pray'd and felt for all.
      - Oliver Goldsmith, The Deserted Village
         (l. 165)

There are three things to aim at in public speaking: first, to get into your subject; then to get your subject into yourself; and, lastly, to get your subject into your hearers.
      - Alexander Gregg

A minister, without boldness, is like a smooth file, a knife without an edge, a sentinel that is afraid to let off his gun. If men will be bold in sin, ministers must be bold to reprove.
      - William Gurnall

Settle in your mind, that no sermon is worth much in which the Lord is not the principal speaker. There may be poetry, refinement, historic truth, moral truth, pathos, and all the charms of rhetoric; but all will be lost, for the purposes of preaching, if the word of the Lord is not the staple of the discourse.
      - John Hall

To get, then, the mind of Christ, and to declare it, is the primary end of the teaching offices of the church. The living body of sympathetic men, saturated with the truth and feeling of the Book, must bring it into contact with other men, through that marvelous organ, the human voice, and with such aid as comes from the subtle sympathy that pervades assemblies of human beings.
      - John Hall

Gospel ministers should not only be like dials on watches, or mile-stones upon the road, but like clocks and larums, to sound the alarm to sinners. Aaron wore bells as well as pomegranates, and the prophets were commanded to lift up their voice like a trumpet. A sleeping sentinel may be the loss of the city.
      - Joseph Hall

A hard and unfeeling manner of denouncing the threatenings of the Word of God is not only barbarous and inhuman, but calculated, by inspiring disgust, to rob them of all their efficacy.
      - Robert Hall

They shall knaw a file, and flee unto the mountains of Hepsidam whar the lion roareth and the Wang Doodle mourneth for its first born--ah!
      - attributed to Rev. Andrew Harper,
        Burlesque Sermon,
        in "Cole's Fun Doctor", as travesty on sermons by itinerant Mississippi River preachers

His words had power because they accorded with his thoughts; and his thoughts had reality and depth because they harmonized with the life he had always lived. It was not mere breath that this preacher uttered; they were the words of life, because a life of good deeds and holy love was melted into them. Pearls, pure and rich, had been dissolved into the precious draught.
      - Nathaniel Hawthorne

Jest not at preacher's language or expression:
  How know'st thou but thy sins made him miscarry?
      - George Herbert

Judge not the preacher; for he is thy judge:
  If thou mislike him, thou conceiv'st him not.
    God calleth preaching folly. Do not grudge
      To pick out treasures from an earthen pot.
        The worst speak something good. If all want sense,
          God takes a text, and preaches patience.
      - George Herbert,
        The Temple--The Church Porch (st. 72)

To know whether a minister, young or still in flower, is in safe or dangerous paths, there are two psychometers, a comparison between which will give as infallible a return as the dry and wet bulks of the ingenious "Hygrodeik." The first is the black broadcloth forming the knees of his pantaloons; the second the patch of carpet before his mirror. If the first is unworn and the second is frayed and threadbare, pray for him; if the first is worn and shiny, while the second keeps its pattern and texture, get him to pray for you.
      - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Even ministers of good things are like torches, a light to others, waste and destruction to themselves.
      - Richard Hooker,
        quoted by Gladstone, 1880, see Morley's "Life of Gladstone", bk. VIII, ch. I

Evil ministers of good things are as torches,--a light to others, a waste to none but themselves only.
      - Richard Hooker

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