Thomas Murphy, pastor of the Frankford Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia from 1849 to 1895, wrote in his classic on Pastoral Theology: The Pastor in the Various Duties of His Office (Philadelphia: Presbyterian Board of Publication, 1877), about what the Bible should mean to a pastor:
Look at the Bible. The pastor has to do with it at every point of his work. He must come to it in everything he undertakes. He is nothing without it.
It is all in all to him in his office.
It is more to him than any—than all—other books that were ever penned.
The Bible contains his credentials as an ambassador of Jesus Christ.
It is the message which he is appointed to reiterate with all fervor to his fellow-men.
It is the treasury from which he can ever draw the riches of divine truth.
It is the Urim and Thummim to which he has constant access, and from which he can learn the mind of Jehovah with all clearness.
It is the audience-chamber where he will be received into the presence of the Lord and hear words of more than earthly wisdom.
It is the armory from which he can be clothed with the panoply of salvation.
It is the sword of the Spirit before which no enemy can possibly stand.
It is his book of instructions where the great duties of his office are clearly defined.
Murphy then quotes W. E. Schenck to the effect that the Bible alone contains the warrant of the sacred office he bears:
In it alone is found the record of his great commission as an ambassador of God.
It alone authoritatively exhibits and defines the official duties he must perform.
It alone tells him of the glorious rewards he may expect if he be found faithful.
Nay, more, it contains the subject-matter for all his preaching and his other professional labors.
It is a shame for a preacher not to be a master in the knowledge of the Book of books, which is everything to him.