A word of encouragement I received tonight from an old, dead guy as I prepare to preach Sunday morning. May it set my fellow preaching brethern on fire as they prepare to proclaim!
We have a fixed faith to preach, my brethern, and we are sent forth with a definite message from God. We are not left to fabricate the message as we go along. We are not sent forth by our Master with a general commission arranged on this fashion - 'As you shall think in your heart and invent in your head, so preach. Keep abreast of the times. Whatever the people want to hear, tell them that, and they shall be saved.'
Verily, we read not so.
There is something definite in the Bible. It is not quite a lump of wax to be shaped at our will, or a roll of cloth to be cut according to the prevailing fashion...
There is something told me in the Bible - told me for certain - not put before me with a 'but' and a 'perhaps', and an 'if', and a 'may be', and fifty thousand suspicions behind it, so that the really long and short of if is, that it may not be so at all; [no! there is something told me in the Bible,] revealed to me as infallible fact, which must be believed...
[Preach the truth, dear brothers!] God grant us the grace to do it. We must have a strong hand, and have our steam well up, and defy the current; and so by God's grace we shall save this age and the generations to come.
- from "The Need of Decision for the Truth," in Lectures to my Students (pgs. 265; 279).