On Lay-Preachers

A faithful man . . . being furnished with the knowledge of God and the requisite Spiritual gifts for the edification of others (graciously bestowed upon him by God), and also having the time and other things necessary for the right performance of this duty granted him by providence, then I certainly would allow him to interpret the Scriptures and to meet with others for their edification, even though he does not intend ever to holy orders — providing only that he makes no interruption of an established ministry. . . . Where Christ has provided the gifts there must be a vocation.

— John Owen, quoted in Barret and Harkin’s OWEN ON THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, pp. 46-47

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Why I Rarely Preach Nowadays

If we will acknowledge the ministry a particular office in the church of Christ … then we must also confess it is not anyone’s work, though never so able, except called to the office….

Those that are not sent and commissionated by God’s call for ministerial work, they may speak truths as well as they that are, yet of him that acts by virtue of his calling, we may say that he preacheth with authority, and not like those that can show no commission, but what the opinion themselves have of their own abilities give them.

– William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, p. 285