[After deducing the question from the text to be preached upon,] I proceed to study authorities, as time allows: first the Holy Scriptures, and then the soundest treatises, such as those of Turrettin and Owen. As I read I keep pencil and paper by me, and jot down everything which strikes me as possibly a point for the argument. I read on until I find from the recurrence of ideas already gathered, that I have apparently explored the whole field of discussion, at least in all its important outlines.
R. L. Dabney, Sacred Rhetoric, p. 226 (source)
Dabney's advice to young preachers may surprise some of our opponents on Atonement-related issues. Of course, the fact that Dabney thinks Turretin and Owen to be the soundest of the treatises, does not mean that agrees with them 100% on every point, and no one should draw such an improper inference. In fact, on the Atonement, Dabney does not seem to find all of Turretin's argument persuasive, as we hope to explore in another post at a later date.