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

He was a shrewd and sound divine
  Of loud Dissent the mortal terror;
    And when, by dint of page and line,
      He 'stablished Truth, or startled Error,
        The Baptist found him far too deep,
          The Deist sighed with saving sorrow,
            And the lean Levite went to sleep,
              And dreamt of eating port to-morrow.
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed, The Vicar

His sermon never said or showed
  That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious,
    Without refreshment on the road
      From Jerome, or from Athanasius.
        And sure a righteous zeal inspired,
          The hand and head that penned and planned them,
            For all who understood, admired--
              And some who did not understand them.
      - Winthrop Mackworth Praed, The Vicar

The pulpit style of Germany has been always rustically negligent, or bristling with pedantry.
      - Thomas De Quincey ("The Opium Eater")

Tell men that God is love; that right is right, and wrong, wrong; let them cease to admire philanthropy, and begin to love men; cease to pant for heaven, and begin to love God; then the spirit of liberty begins.
      - Frederick William Robertson

The lilies say: Behold how we
  Preach without words of purity.
      - Christina Georgina Rossetti,
        Consider the Lilies of the Field

I have taught you, my dear flock, for above thirty years how to live; and I will show you in a very short time how to die.
      - George Sandys, Anglorum Speculum (p. 903)

Elegance of language must give way before simplicity in preaching sound doctrine.
      - Girolamo Savonarola

Formerly it was the fashion to preach the natural; now it is the ideal. People too often forget that these things are profoundly compatible; that in a beautiful work of imagination the natural should be ideal, and the ideal natural.
      - August Wilhelm von Schlegel

Nothing is text but what is spoken of in the Bible and meant there for person and place; the rest is application; which a discreet man may do well; but it is his scripture, not the Holy Ghost's. First, in your sermons use your logic, and then your rhetoric; rhetoric without logic is like a tree with leaves and blossoms, but no root.
      - John Selden

Preachers say, "Do as I say, not as I do." But if a physician had the same disease upon him that I have, and he should bid me do one thing and he do quite another, could I believe him?
      - John Selden

Preaching, in the first sense of the word, ceased as soon as ever the gospel was written.
      - John Selden

Sermons in stones and good in every thing.
      - William Shakespeare

That is not the best sermon which makes the hearers go away talking to one another and praising the speaker, but which makes them go away thoughtful and serious, and hastening to be alone.
      - William Shakespeare

Sweet are the uses of adversity,
  Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous,
    Wears yet a precious jewel in his head;
      And this our life, exempt from human haunt,
        Finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks,
          Sermons in stones, and good in everything.
      - William Shakespeare, As You Like It
         (Duke Senior at II, i)

I shall the effect of this good lesson keep
  As watchman to my heart, but, good my brother,
    Do not as some ungracious pastors do,
      Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven,
        Whiles like a puffed and reckless libertine
          Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads
            And recks not his own rede.
      - William Shakespeare,
        Hamlet Prince of Denmark
         (Ophelia at I, iii)

Peace be with you!
  He who the sword of heaven will bear
    Should be as holy as severe;
      Pattern in himself to know,
        Grace to stand, and virtue go;
          More nor less to other paying
            Than by self-offenses weighing.
      - William Shakespeare, Measure for Measure
         (Vincentio, the Duke at III, ii)

It is a good divine that follows his own instructions; I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done than to be one of the twenty to follow mine own teaching.
      - William Shakespeare,
        The Merchant of Venice (Portia at I, ii)

Perhaps thou wert a priest,--if so, my struggles
  Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles.
      - Horace (Horatio) Smith (a/k/a Paul Chatfield),
        Address to a Mummy (st. 4)

He deserves to be preached to death by wild curates.
      - Sydney Smith

Pulpit discourses have insensibly dwindled from speaking to reading; a practice of itself sufficient to stifle every germ of eloquence.
      - Sydney Smith

The object of preaching is constantly to remind mankind of what mankind are constantly forgetting; not to supply the defects of human intelligence, but to fortify the feebleness of human resolutions.
      - Sydney Smith

He taught them how to live and how to die.
      - William C. Somerville,
        In Memory of the Rev. Mr. Moore (l. 21)

By the language cabalistic.
  By the cymbal, drum, and his stick.
      - Thomas Stanley (1), The Debauchee

Always carry with you into the pulpit a sense of the immense consequences which may depend on your full and faithful presentation of the truth.
      - Richard Salter Storrs

No preacher is listened to but time, which gives us the same train and turn of thought that elder people have in vain tried to put into our heads before.
      - Jonathan Swift

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