But again, may I not presume that I commend myself to you when I say that the essential part of your pastors power to teach and guide must be derived from your consent and desire to submit to His guidance?
The minister of Christ, and all who are associated with him, should make diligent use of all legitimate means to bring to the gospel feast those who are perishing through lack of the bread of life and the water of life.
Be tender, sympathetic, with nothing of arrogance or assumption in your manner or matter; only that earnestness which comes from a hearty faith in the great truths you utter. Contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, but in a kind spirit and with a mild temper, with entire candor, avoiding all that tends to provoke and irritate, seeking at all times to preserve the bond of peace.
As such, salute no man by the way. Esteem no man your superior, or rather, esteem no one as having a superior work to do. Yours is the highest office God has committed to earthen vessels. It is the most important as related to this world or the next; important, because you bear the message of the King of kings and herald the gospel that saves souls.
Speak boldly, with the courage of one whose inspiration and authority come from heaven. Fear no man; be under the dominion of no man or clique of men, for that bringeth a snare. Take counsel with God; and then come into this pulpit unshamed to preach His truth, and His truth only, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear.
Appropriate a due portion of your time to pastoral work, and cultivate such a personal acquaintance with every member of your chargethe lowliest and the youngest as well as the more prominentthat in their afflictions and temptations, which sooner or later come to all, they will feel that they have in you a sympathizing friend to whom they may tell the heart bitterness with which a stranger intermeddleth not, assured of your interest, your friendly counsel, and your prayers.
Study the Word. Know it, believe it, and preach it with your whole heart. It is not only the sword that can pierce all adversaries, it is the power that can draw all men. You are to stand in this pulpit not to preach philosophy and teach history, but to tell the everlasting gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The age is intensely practical, and little influenced by formalism or cant or dead orthodoxy or the perfunctory performance of ministerial duty. It appreciates preaching that is direct, unaffected, solemn, sincere; that is adapted to the spiritual wants of men; that presents the profound yet precious truths of our holy religion not in the terminology of the schools, but in the language of familiar speech, and presents them with an earnestness due to a conviction of their vital importance, and an anxious solicitude for the salvation of those addressed.