Asa Dodge Martin on directness in preaching

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Reformed Covenanter

Puritanboard Commissioner
This extract is very powerful (and who could resist reading something by a guy with Dodge as his middle name):

Another leading characteristic of our Saviour’s preaching was its directness. It is possible that pulpit discourse should fail in this point, even when in some good degree spiritual and simple. We mean by directness, such a manner of exhibiting truth, as makes the audience feel that they themselves are concerned in it.

It is quite possible so to present human depravity, that even the attentive hearer shall hardly be reminded that he is depraved; so to insist on penitence, that he shall hardly once think of it as a duty which he should perform. You may so speak of “the sinner,” or of “sinners,” that you shall scarcely be suspected of the slightest reference to the persons present. ...

In all this he exhibited great fearlessness. For he knew full well it would give offence to many, and provoke, at times, the most violent opposition. And such, doubtless, to some extent, will be the result of a similar strain of preaching at the present day. It will be unhesitatingly adopted, however, by the wise and faithful minister. He can hope, otherwise, for but little success. A general statement of truth—a statement of it as relating to the world at large—the deceitful and self-flattering heart will be likely to disregard. It is only as “thou art the man,” rings in the perishing sinner’s ear, that preaching does its perfect work.

For more, see Asa Dodge Martin on directness in preaching.
 
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