I came across a jewel of a quote in a biography of Matthew Henry that I was recently reading — Matthew Henry: His Life and Influence by Allan Harman (Christian Focus, 2012). Henry’s dad Philip, also a minister, kept a detailed diary and numerous papers. In them, Philip Henry preserved some words from a Rev. Thomas Porter on preaching, that he sought to emulate.
Let your preaching be plain. Painted glass is most curious; plain glass is most perspicuous. Be a good crucifix to your people. Preach a crucified Saviour in a crucified style. Paul taught so plainly, that the Corinthians thought him a dunce. Let your matter be substantial; wholesome food; God and Christ, and the gospel, faith, repentance, regeneration. Aim purely at god’s glory and the salvation of souls. Study, as if there were no Christ; preach, as if there had been no study. Preach plainly, yet with novelty; preach powerfully, as Micah; — as Paul, in intension of spirit, not extension of voice. To this end get your sermons into your own souls. It is best, from the heart, to the heart. Preach prudentially, — as stewards, to give each their portion….
~ Originally posted at Fundamentally Reformed