No Trifling With the Text

“Only, as one rule that has no exceptions, let your use of texts be real. Never make them mean what they do not mean. In the name of taste and reverence alike, let there be no twists and puns, no dealing with the Word of God as it would be insulting to deal with the word of any friend”

Phillips Brooks, The Joy of Preaching, p. 124

Undigested Quotations

“Constant quotations in sermons are, I think, a sign of the same crudeness. They show an undigested knowledge . . . Learn to study for the sake of truth, learn to think for the profit and joy of thinking. Then your sermons shall be like the leaping of a fountain, and not like the pumping of a pump.”

Phillips Brooks, The Joy of Preaching, p. 123

Aim With the Gun, Not at It

“Care not for your sermon, but for your truth, and for your people; and subjects will spring up on every side of you and the chances to preach upon them will be all too few . . . If you have anything to say, and say it bravely and simply, men will come to hear you.”

Phillips Brooks, The Joy of Preaching, p. 119

Empty Man or False Notion

“I can conceive of but two things which should cause the preacher any difficulty in regard to the abundance of subjects for his preaching. The first is the sterility of his own mind, the second is a stilted and unnatural idea of what the sermon he is going to write must be.”

Phillips Brooks, The Joy of Preaching, p. 117