I've just finished reading a biography of the great Victorian preacher CH Spurgeon, of which more to follow.
But here are a few quotes from the great man:
Whatever "call" a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry.
Lectures to my students, p.3
Better abolish pulpits than fill them with men who have no experimental knowledge of what they teach... He who presides over a system which aims at nothing higher than formalism, is far more a servant of the devil than a minister of God.
Lectures to my students, p.5
A man who has really within him the inspiration of the Holy Ghost calling him to preach, cannot help it - he must preach. As fire within his bones, so will that influence be, until it blazes forth...
Are churches in a right condition when they have only one meeting for prayer in a week, and that a mere skeleton?The Sword and the Trowel, August 1887
"Do not enter the ministry if you can help it," was the deeply sage advice of a divine to one who sought his judgment. If any student in this room could be content to be a newspaper editor, or a grocer, or a farmer, or a doctor, or a lawyer, or a senator, or a king, in the name of heaven and earth let him go his way...
Lectures to my students, p.23
True preaching is an acceptable adoration of God by the manifestation of his gracious attributes : the testimony of his gospel, which pre-eminently glorifies him, and the obedient hearing of revealed truth, are an acceptable form of worship to the Most High, and perhaps one of the most spiritual in which the human mind can be engaged.
Lectures to my students, p.54