Hugh Latimer on Preaching

Hugh_LatimerOne of the martyrs of the English Reformation was Hugh Latimer, burned by Queen Mary for his Protestant convictions and activity. Formerly bishop of Worchester, Latimer “made considerable efforts to preach in a style that could appeal to ordinary people who were not expert theologians…He tried hard to offer them lively images to entertain and draw them with him, in a self-deprecatory manner” (Evans, The Roots of the Reformation, 435). He explains that he finds repetition helpful in teaching:

 I have a manner of teaching, which is very tedious to them that be learned. I am wont ever to repeat those things which I have said before, which repetitions are nothing pleasant to the learned: but it is no matter, I care not for them; I seek more the profit of those which be ignorant, than to please learned men. Therefore I oftentimes repeat such things which be needful for them to know; for I would speak so that they might be edified withal (in Evans, 436).

I remember a minister many years ago saying, “Good preaching is not in the pulpit, but in the pew.”

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