Vol.VI No.V Pg.6
July 1969

Advice To Preachers, From 1844

Robert F. Turner

Last month we quoted a portion of the last article written for publication by the pioneer Barton W. Stone. We conclude that article this month, urging you to read and appreciate the spirit and wisdom of this advice given to a young would-be-preacher, in the year 1844.

The first three articles of advice were: (1) Read carefully the Old and New Testament, comparing the English with recommended Greek tests, consulting the Greek Concordance for comparison readings, and the Lexicons for careful word studies. Re-read, making notes. Mingle all study with prayer.

(2) Read church history: Moshiems, D Aubigne, Neander, etc.; taking note of vital information. Pray.

(3) Now, re-read the Bible, making reference to Commentaries such as Henry, McKnight, etc., on difficult passages. Remember that commentators make the scriptures bend to their peculiar systems and speak the language of Ashdod. Learn to think for yourself. Continue in prayer.

(4.) During your studies, let your seat be always filled in the house of God every Lords day, and other days appointed for divine worship. Pray and exhort publicly among the brethren. This will prepare you for future operations. Many fill their heads with studied divinity, and when they go forth to preach, know not how to speak, and have to supply the lack by reading a discourse written, or committed to memory. Remember, my son, reading is not preaching. (5.) Keep yourself, as much as practicable, from too much company and irrelevant conversation. These too often intrude upon your studies and devotions.

(6.) When you are by your brethren sent forth to preach, confine your ministration to practical subjects. Young preachers are too fond of polemic divinity, and abstruse subjects. Vanity is at the bottom, and will ruin them, if not checked by an humble spirit.

(7.) Let the glory of God and the salvation of souls be your polar star; then will your labors be blest in the world; and a crown of righteousness be given you at the coming of the Lord.

(8) You are blessed with a wealthy, pious father, who is able and willing to support you without the aid of the churches. Go then to the destitute, and build on no mans foundation, taking nothing for your services. Many poor preachers have to confine themselves to the churches, or get no help. You will not be under this necessity. May the Lord go with you, and be to you a father and a helper in every time of trouble. Be humble. B. W. Stone

At the risk of being boresome, we re-emphasize this century-old advice to would-be preachers: FIRST: Study Gods word, letting word-studies be the key to understanding. NEXT: Know the history of the church, falling away, etc. THEN, use other helps; and dedicate yourself fully to Gods work.