A man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul... If the word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us.
Topics: Preaching Source: The True Nature of a Gospel Church
A sermon is not made with an eye upon the sermon, but with both eyes upon the people and all the heart upon God.
Topics: Preaching Source: Quoted by Curtis C. Thomas, Practical Wisdom for Pastors, Crossway Books, 2001, p. 47.
Common experience declares how momentary and how useless are those violent fits and gusts of endeavours which proceed from fear and uncertainty, both in things spiritual and things temporal, or civil. Whilst men are under the power of actual impressions from such fears, they will convert to God, yea, they will turn in a moment, and perfect their holiness in an instant; but so soon as that impression wears off (as it will do on every occasion, and upon none at all) such persons are as dead and cold towards God as the lead or iron, which but now ran in a fiery stream, is now when the heat is departed from it.
God speaks by the Church (the true Church we mean); but He speaks nothing by her but what He speaks in the Scriptures, which she does only ministerially declare to us; and therefore the authority of God and His law is above hers, who, though she publish, yet did not make it, but is herself subject to it.
Topics: Scripture Source: A Puritan Golden Treasury
Only what God has commanded in His word should be regarded as binding; in all else there may be liberty of actions.
Topics: Scripture, Liberty Source: Quoted by Sinclair B. Ferguson, John Owen on the Christian Life, 1987, p. 154.
The Scripture abounds in commands and cautions for our utmost diligence in our search and inquiry as to whether we are made partakers of Christ or not, or whether His Spirit dwells in us or not--which argue both the difficulty of attaining an assured confidence herein, as also the danger of our being mistaken, and yet the certainty of a good issue upon the diligent and regular use of means to that purpose.
Mortification from a self-strength, carried on by ways of self-invention, unto the end of a self-righteousness is the soul and substance of all false religion... The Spirit alone is sufficient for this work. All ways and means without Him are useless. He is the great efficient. He is the One who gives life and strength to our efforts.