And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. . .4 and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God (1 Corinthians 2:1, 4-5). John Angell James writes:
But when the Christian public is so enamoured of talent, as to admire it more than the message, which it is employed to set forth; when no preacher can be heard with pleasure or even endurance, however sound his doctrine, clear his statements, impressive his manner, or earnest his address, unless his discourse is radiant with the light of genius, and gay with the flowers of rhetoric; when truth itself is unpalatable unless it is sweetened with the honey of human eloquence, and even error so sweetened is swallowed for the sake of its luscious accompaniment; when the hearer of a sermon turns from it with disgust, because it fails to regale his fancy by the brilliancy of its images, or to lull his ear by the smoothness and harmony of its periods; when this is the state of the public taste, and it is to be feared that to a great extent it is the state of it now, surely it is time to call the attention of our congregations to something higher and better. -John Angell James (1785-1859) An Earnest Ministry.
Thanks to Ray Van Neste from Oversight of Souls blog for this quotation.