Cotton Mather on Sermon Preparation

Wise observations from the great early New England pastor:

If they [i.e. God’s people] hear preachers boasting that they have been in their studies but a few hours, on a Saturday or so, they reckon that such persons rather glory in their shame. Sudden sermons they may sometimes admire from their accomplished ministers, when the suddenness has not been a chosen circumstance…. The best ministers in New England ordinarily would blush to address their flocks without preparation.


Nothing is more fulsome and nauseous than for a preacher to value himself on such a crime as his not spending much time in study.