Oratorical Preaching

    My friends, we have too many orators in the pulpit. I am tired and sick of your "silver-tongued orators." I used to mourn because I couldn't be an orator. I thought, Oh, if I could only have the gift of speech like some men! I have heard men with a smooth flow of language take the audience captive; but they came and they went. Their voice was like the air—there wasn't any power back of it; they trusted in their eloquence and their fine speeches. That is what Paul was thinking of when he wrote to the Corinthians: "My speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God."

    Take a witness in court and let him try his oratorical powers in the witness-box, and see how quickly the judge will rule him out. It is the man who tells the plain, simple truth that has the most influence with the jury.

    Suppose that Moses had prepared a speech for Pharaoh, and had got his hair all smoothly brushed, and had stood before the looking-glass, or had gone to an elocutionist to be taught how to make an oratorical speech and how to make gestures. Suppose that he had buttoned his coat, put one hand in his chest, had struck an attitude, and begun:

    "The God of our fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, has commanded me to come into the presence of the noble King of Egypt."

    I think they would have taken his head right off! They had Egyptians who could be as eloquent as Moses. It was not eloquence they wanted.