Since there is a Weekly Dose of Spurgeon I am inspired to start a weekly dose of Lloyd-Jones. Both men are two of the greatest preachers the Church has ever known. That and having my soul fed last Sunday leads me to post a weekly dose of Lloyd-Jones. He is known for two things: preaching and preaching the Gospel. Without further ado:
There was a very great preacher in the U.S.A. just over a hundred years ago, James Henry Thornwell. He was, possibly, the greatest theologian the Southern Presbyterian Church has ever produced; but he was also a great preacher and a most eloquent man. There are those who say that next to Samuel Davies he was the most eloquent preacher the American continent has ever produced. This is how his biographer tries to give us some impression of what it was to see and hear Thornwell preaching. Notice that it confirms and illustrates my definition of true preaching as something to look at as well as to hear because the whole man is involved in the action. This is how he puts it:
“What invented symbols could convey that kindling of the eye, those trembling and varied tones, the expressive attitude, the foreshadowing and typical gesture, the whole quivering frame which made up in him the complement of the finished author! The lightning’s flash, the fleecy clouds embroidered on the sky, and the white crest of the ocean wave, surpass the painter’s skill. It was indescribable.”
That was his impression of the preaching of Thornwell. Then consider what Thornwell himself said about preaching, and about himself as a preacher.
“It is a great matter to understand what it is to be a preacher, and how preaching should be done. Effective sermons are the offspring of study, of discipline, and especially of the unction of the Holy Ghost. They are to combine the characteristic excellencies of every other species of composition intended for delivery, and ought to be pronounced not merely with the earnestness of faith but the constraining influence of Heaven-born charity. They should be seen to come from the heart, and from the as filled with the love of Christ and the love of souls. Depend upon it that there is but little preaching in the world, and it is a mystery of grace and of divine power that God’s cause is not ruined in the world when we consider the qualifications of many of its professed ministers to preach it. My own performances in this way fill my hear with disgust. I have never made, much less preached, a sermon in my life, and I am beginning to despair of ever being able to do it. May the Lord give you more knowledge and grace and singleness of purpose.”
There is nothing to add to that. Any man who has had some glimpse of what it is to preach will inevitably feel that he has never preached. But he will go on trying, hoping that by the grace of God one day he may truly preach.*
May the Lord raise up faithful preachers of His Word.
Soli Deo Gloria!
For His Glory,
*Preaching and Preachers (Zondervan, 1971), pp.97-98.