Friday, February 8, 2008

"Better to break his neck"

"The preacher must show by his life that he also is obedient to the Word he preaches; his life must ratify his doctrine. In fact, the first obedience must come from himself, for he has no right to command the people anything which he is, at the least, not trying to obey himself. Calvin shows by his continual use of the pronoun 'we' in his sermons that his words are addressed as much to himself as to the congregation. Woe to the preacher if he does not set an example of holy obedience and reverence towards the Word of God that he proclaims. 'It were better,' Calvin declares passionately, 'for him to break his neck going up into the pulpit, if he does not take pains to be the first to follow God.'"

T. H. L. Parker, The Oracles of God: An Introduction to the Preaching of John Calvin, pages 59-60.