The art of preaching

(Letters of J. C. Philpot)

We are overrun with a shallow, superficial ministry,
which is destitute of all life, savor, and power. A dry,
dead-letter scheme of doctrine, as mathematically
correct as the squares of a chess-board, prevails,
where what is called "truth" is preached. And to
move Bible texts on the squares as pawns, is called
"the art of preaching".

How simple is truth!

Man's misery--God's mercy.

The aboundings of sin--the super-aboundings of grace.

The depths of the fall--the heights of the recovery.

The old man--the new man.

The diseases of the soul--the balm of a Savior's blood.

These lessons learned are in the furnace of inward
experience. How different from . . .
  the monkish austerity of the Ritualist,
  the lip service of the Pharisee, and
  the dry Calvinistic formulary!

What a dreadful lack is there of true preaching now!
I look round and see so few men qualified to feed the
church of God. We are overrun with parsons, but, oh
dear! what are they? I cannot but attribute much
of the low state of the churches to the ministers!

Ezekiel 34 is a true picture of the false shepherds.