This is good advice for the preacher and most of the things equally apply to layman.
"Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Tim. 4:16).
I am not going to preach to preachers, but to suggest certain conditions upon which the by
love to preach the gospel, as Christ was to provide a gospel.
See that you have the special enduement of power from on high, by being filled with the Holy Spirit. See that you have a heart, and not merely a head-call to undertake the preaching of
the gospel. By this I mean, be heartily and most intensely inclined to seek the salvation of
souls as the great work of life, and do not undertake what you have no heart to do. Constantly
maintain a close walk with God. Make the Bible your Book of books. Study it much, upon your
knees, waiting for divine light.
Beware of leaning on commentaries. Consult them when convenient, but judge for yourself
in the light of the Holy Ghost. Keep yourself pure in will, in thought, in feeling, in word and
action. Contemplate much the guilt and danger of sinners, that your zeal for their salvation may
Also deeply ponder and dwell much upon the boundless love and compassion of Christ for them.
So love them yourself as to be willing to die for them.
Give your most intense thought to the study of ways and means by which you may save them. Make this the great and intense study of your life. Refuse to be diverted from this work. Guard against every temptation that would abate your interest in it. Believe the assertion of Christ that He is with you in this work always and everywhere, to give you all the help you need.
"He that winneth souls is wise," and "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him." "But let him ask in faith."
Remember, therefore, that you are bound to have the wisdom that shall win souls to Christ.
Bridle your tongue, and be not given to idle and unprofitable conversation. Always let
your people see that you are in solemn earnest with them, both in the pulpit and out of it; and let not your daily intercourse with them nullify your serious teaching on the Sabbath.
Resolve to "know nothing" among your people "save Jesus Christ and him crucified," and let them understand that as an ambassador of Christ, your business with them relates wholly to the salvation of their souls.
Be sure to teach them as well by example as by precept. Practice, yourself, what you preach.
Be especially guarded in your conversation with women, to raise no thought or suspicion of the
least impurity in yourself.
Guard your weak points. If naturally tending to gayety and trifling, watch against occasions of failure in this direction. If naturally sombre and unsocial, guard against moroseness and unsociability.