The Greatest Work for Preachers is that which Lies Within

Preaching is an exercise of which many are ambitious, and none more so than those that are least qualified for it; but it is not so easy a matter to perform this task aright.  To stand in the presence of God, and speak to his people in his name, with that seriousness, gravity and simplicity, that zeal and concern which the business requires; to accommodate ourselves to the capacity of the common people, without disgusting the more knowing ones; to awaken drowsy souls, without terrifying tender consciences; to carry home the charge of sin, without the appearance of personal reflection; in a word, to approve ourselves unto God as workmen that need not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

You see, sirs, to what a dreadful and important charge you aspire.  Consider, I beseech you, what great pains are necessary to fit you for it.  It is not a knowledge of controversy, or the gift of eloquence; much less, a strong voice and bold confidence, that will prepare you for it.  Your greatest work lies within, in purifying yourselves, and learning that wisdom which is necessary to win souls.  Begin, I pray you, and preach to your passions, and try what good you can do to your friends and neighbors.  Be not forward in rushing into public; it is better to be drawn than to run.

The Life of God in the Soul of Man, by Henry Scougal, pp. 33-34.

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