The Preacher’s Motivation
One of the most important—if not the most important—qualities of a gospel preacher is the humility to apply every sermon to himself. Until he has first seen his own sin as the object of God’s righteous judgment, he is not fit to preach to others. And when he has, he will, as Philip Doddridge writes, be rightly motivated.
And shall this sentence stand upon record in vain, Shall the law speak it, and the Gospel speak it? and shall it never be pronounced more audibly? and will God never require and execute the punishment? He will O sinner, require it; and he will execute it, though he may seem for a while to delay. For well dost thou know that “he hath appointed a day in which he will judge the” whole “world in righteousness, by that Man whom he hath ordained, of which he hath given assurance in having raised him from the dead, Acts xvii. 31.” And when God judgeth the world, O reader, whoever thou art, he will judge thee. And while I remind thee of it, I would also remember that he will judge me. And “knowing the terror of the Lord, 2 Cor. v. 11.” that I may “deliver my own soul, Ezek. xxxiii. 9.” I would, with all plainness and sincerity, labor to deliver thine.
—Philip Doddridge, The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul (Robert Porter, 1810), 59.
What It Means to Be a Christian
What I Believe