[from pp. 396-397 of The Minister’s Prayer, edited by John Doberstein (Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 1986)]
In preaching, the church does not aim to support the holy Word by human art, but the chief matter is not to hinder its power and operation and not to impose upon the Word any kind or manner of operation which does not befit it….
[A] true preacher will not try to recommend the truth by imparting his faith and experience; that would be only to recommend himself; rather does he seek to bring his people to say with the Samaritans: “Now we believe, not because of thy saying; for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world.” …
[The pastor’s] watchwords are not Awake and the like, but those words of Scripture which refer to the gradual, silent growth of the divine mustard-seed. His insistence and compulsion are not the insistence and compulsion of human impatience, but a patient waiting on the Word. He gladly waits, knowing that precious fruits do not grow in a night. And he waits upon all his sheep, for he knows that the Lord has his own hour, his own haste, but also his own delays.