Simply Quotes from Simplicity in Preaching by J.C. Ryle

“Simplicity in preaching is of the utmost importance to every minister who wishes to be useful to souls. Unless you are simple in your sermons you will never be understood, and unless you are understood you cannot do good to those who hear you.”

“If you do not wish to be understood, you deserve to be neglected.” – Quintilian

“To make hard things seem hard is within the reach of all, but to make hard things seem easy and intelligible is a height attained by few speakers.” Archbishop Ussher

“If you yourself begin in a fog, you may depend upon it, you will leave your people in darkness.”

“There is no subject needful for the soul’s health which is not to be found plainly taught and set forth in Scripture.”

“If I do not see my way through a text, I cannot preach on it, because I know I cannot be simple; and if I cannot be simple, I know I had better not preach at all.”

“The most powerful and forcible words, as a rule, are very short.”

“Try to be as direct as possible… Never say ‘we’ when you mean ‘I’.”

“You must regard illustrations as windows through which light is let in upon your subject.”

“I am persuaded that, in preaching, little can be done except by trouble and by pains.”

“We must talk to our people when we are out of church, if we would understand how to preach to them in the church.”

“If Christ crucified has not his rightful place in your sermons, and sin is not exposed as it should be, and your people are not plainly told what they ought to believe, and be, and do, your preaching is of no use.”

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