Friday, March 5, 2010

From one heart to another

I counsel you, my dear friends, when you have a choice of the ministry you shall attend, do not select a man merely for his learning, nor according to his standing in society, nor according to the excellence of his speech. Remember, all these may be but as sounding brass, and as a tinkling cymbal; they may just mean nothing, and less than nothing.

But, on the other hand, should the preacher be illiterate, if God’s Spirit evidently rests upon the man, and he speaks from his heart to your heart, and God has blessed his message to you, it will be better for you to frequent the humblest shed where God is present, than to worship in the most respectable edifice where you will have nothing but the words of man, without the living power of the living God. My soul is more and more growingly convinced that the great need of some of us is not to cull the flowers of rhetoric tastefully, and polish our sentences, till they glide daintily into your ears, but to let the speech come forth with unchecked freedom, the outpouring of our hearts in simplicity under the power of the Spirit.

From a sermon entitled "Winnowing-Time," delivered January 17, 1867. Image by Jim Unterscholtz under Creative Commons License.

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