A portion of a letter from Andrew Fuller (1754-1815) to a young minister about preaching. Fuller wrote several letters to this person under the title, "Thoughts on Preaching." The emphasis in this paragraph is the need for searching the Scriptures for one's own benefit, not just to find sermons.
To understand the Scriptures in such a manner as profitably to expound them, it is necessary to be conversant with them in private; and to mix, not only faith, but the prayer of faith, with what we read. There is a great difference between reading the Scriptures as a student, in order to find something to say to the people, and reading them as a Christian, with a view to get good from them to one’s own soul. That which is gained in the latter of these ways is, beyond all comparison, of the greatest use, both to ourselves and others. That which we communicate will freeze upon our lips, unless we have first applied it to ourselves; or, to use the language of Scripture, "tasted, felt, and handled the word of life."
The Works of Andrew Fuller, "Thoughts on Preaching," volume 1, letter 1, p. 713.