Puritan Preaching

The Puritans were master preachers.

Primacy of Preaching
Preaching is echoing Scripture with a view to convert and sanctify men, changing their thinking and willing.  Only God's Word may be preached, or man's ideas creep in and the message loses its authority.  The Word must be preached to fan the flame in men's hearts.  It is a high calling to speak God's message to His people.  Preaching must be earnest and fervent to do it justice.

Power in Preaching
The Anglicans thought the Puritans emphasized preaching too much, and preached too intensely.
The Puritans thoughts the Anglicans valued refinement and rhetoric too much with no "Thus saith the Lord" authority in their homilies.
The Puritans sought to address the mind, prick the conscience and woo the heart.

Plainness in Preaching
This means simple and clear, not undignified or ugly speech.
Using "a middle-school vocabulary" to explain and apply a Scripture passage and doctrine.
Dependence on the Spirit and prayer make preaching effective.

The Preaching Program:
Reform preaching to be biblical, practical, of Christ, speaking to believer and unbeliever.
Establish lectureships, "free-lance clergy," to preach outside official church services.
Hold "prophesyings," preaching seminars and critiquing sessions to improve preaching.
Publishing sermons in book form - 140 books in the 1590s alone.
Ministerial training, through colleges mainly (Oxford, Cambridge, Trinity-Dublin, and upstart Harvard-1636), but also by personal mentoring and tutoring.

The Preaching Passion
They loved preaching the Gospel, and the people they preached to.
While Puritan preaching had weaknesses (legalistic, individualistic, overly doctrinal and long), they did burn with desire to glorify God and convert and sanctify sinners.

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