This is a short address flowing with wisdom from the past. It sets forth the requirement for sincerity, faithfulness, diligence and wisdom in the minister's use of the pulpit over against the "poverty" of slothfulness, laziness, craft and deceit. This is not simply a book for ministers, but it is an arsenal of suggestion for those in the pew who feel cheated by what pretends to be preaching by many who "hold the office". This collection of counsel from of old, speaks against, what the author maintains, is an illegitimate exercise of the awesome privilege entrusted to the minister and is in reality a refusal of the direction of the Spirit of God by His Word. The Scriptures reveal a great principle in the resolution of King David, "Neither will I offer burnt-offerings unto the Lord my God with that which cost me nothing."
This is not a study that seeks to prove the need for earnestness, rather as an assumed fact, it systematically presents commentator support in relation to the Scriptures, specifically the Fifth, Eighth, and Ninth Commandments, and certain Catechetical and Church Governmental Standards. You will find quotations from men such as John Flavel, Thomas Boston, Thomas Vincent, John Calvin, Zacharias Ursinus, Matthew Henry, Matthew Poole, Thomas Ridgeley, William Farel, Henry Ainsworth, John Owen, Charles Spurgeon, the Geneva Bible, Patrick Fairbairn, and Thomas Murphy.