The English reformer Hugh Latimer (1487-1555) was once called to preach before Henry VIII. He started his sermon like this this:
‘Latimer! Latimer! Do you remember that you are speaking before the high and mighty King Henry VIII; before him who has power to command you to be sent to prison; before him who can have your head struck off, if he chooses to do so? Are you not going to take care not to say nothing that will offend royal ears?'
Then after a pause, he went on:
'Latimer! Latimer! Do you not remember that you are speaking before the King of kings and Lord of lords; before Him, at whose court Henry VIII will stand; before Him, to whom one day you will have to give account for yourself? Latimer! Latimer! be faithful to your Master, and declare all God’s Word. (Source: A Warning to the Churches, J C Ryle)
This should be the attitude all preachers must have. We should not care whether people pleased or displeased, or whether people say we were eloquent or feeble. Our focus must be speak with a clear conscience before God. We should aim to speak as in the sight of God.
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