What is this babbler trying to say?

(Letters of John Newton)

"What is this babbler trying to say?" Acts 17:18

The Apostles were accounted as foolish babblers. We are no better than the Apostles; nor have we reason to expect much better treatment—so far as we walk in their steps.

On the other hand, there is a way of speaking of God, and goodness, and benevolence, and morality—which the world will bear well enough. But if we preach Christ as the only way of salvation, lay open the horrid evils of the human heart, tell our hearers that they are dead in trespasses and sins, and have no better ground of hope in themselves than the vilest malefactors; if we tell the virtuous and moral, as well as the profligate—that unless they are born again, and made partakers of living faith, and count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ—that they cannot be saved—this is the message they cannot bear!

We shall be called knaves or fools, uncharitable bigots, and twenty harsh names! If you have met with no treatment like this—you should suspect whether you have yet received the gospel; for, depend upon it—the offense of the cross is not ceased!

"You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane!" Acts 26:24