Pretty Preaching

I am tormented with the desire to preach better than I can.  But I have no wish to make fine, pretty sermons. Prettiness is well enough, when prettiness is in its place.  I like to see a pretty child, and a pretty flower, but in a sermon prettiness is out of place. To my ear it would be anything but commendation should it be said to me.  "You have given us a pretty sermon."  If I were upon trial for my life, and an advocate should amuse the jury with his tropes and figures, burying his argument beneath a profusion of the flowers of rhetoric, I would say to him:

"Tut, man; you care more for your vanity than my hanging.  Put yourself in my place, speak in view of the gallows, and you will tell your story plainly and earnestly." - Robert Hall.