James Waddel Alexander on Earnest Preaching

"The reason why we have so little good preaching is that we have so little piety. To be eloquent one must be in earnest; he must not only act as if he were in earnest, or try to be in earnest, but be in earnest, or he cannot be effective. We have loud and vehement, we have smooth and graceful, we have splendid and elaborate preaching, but very little that is earnest. One man who so feels for the souls of his hearers as to be ready to weep over them, will assuredly make himself felt. This is what makes [preaching] effective; he really feels what he says."

-- Thoughts on Preaching, page 6.