The Puritan, John
Owen, argued that preachers must have “experience of the power of the
truth which they preach in and upon their own souls.... A man
preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in
his own soul.”
So his resolution was: “I hold myself bound in conscience and in
honour, not even to imagine that I have attained a proper knowledge of
any one article of truth, much less to publish it, unless through the
Holy Spirit I have had such a taste of it, in its spiritual sense,
that I may be able, from the heart, to say with the psalmist, ‘I have
believed, and therefore I have spoken.’”
Would that the Holy
Spirit raise up more preachers who would resolve never to preach a
text unless they have already tasted its majestic sweetness and
 Owen, Works, XVI: 76.
 Ibid., X: 488.