Today's Expositor's Quote comes from a letter John Wesley wrote to a pastor. Wesley is disappointed in his preaching:
What has exceedingly hurt you in time past, nay, and I fear to this day, is want of reading. I scarce ever knew a preacher read so little. And perhaps by neglecting it you have lost the taste for it. Hence your talent in preaching does not increase. It is just the same as it was seven years ago. It is lively, but not deep; there is little variety; there is no compass of thought. Reading only can supply this, with meditation and daily prayer. You wrong yourself greatly by omitting this. You can never be a deep preacher without it any more than a thorough Christian. O begin! Fix some part of every day for private exercises. You may acquire the taste which you have not; what is tedious at first will afterwards be pleasant. Whether you like it or no, read and pray daily. It is for your life; there is no other way: else you will be a trifler all your days, and a pretty, superficial preacher. Do justice to your own soul; give it time and means to grow. Do not starve yourself any longer. Take up your cross, and be a Christian altogether. Then will all the children of God rejoice (not grieve) over you
John Wesley, Letter to John Trembath, August 17, 1760; in The Letters of John Wesley, Volume 4, edited by John Telford (Epworth Press, 1931). Available on the web. Quoted in John Piper, The Pleasures of God, Revised and Expanded Edition, p. 295.
[We say we are busy, and thus can only occasionally squeeze in some reading; yet the author of this quote preached 40,000 sermons, wrote voluminously, and set up schools and clinics. If he found the time to read, so can we. May we all become deep preachers, with wide compass of thought -- and may all the children of God rejoice over us! -- Coty]
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