We [pastors] depend entirely upon the Spirit of God to produce actual effect from the gospel, and at this effect we must always aim. We do not stand up in our pulpits to display our skill in spiritual sword play, but We come to actual fighting: our object is to drive the sword of the Spirit through men’s hearts. If preaching can ever in any sense be viewed as a public exhibition, it should be like the exhibition of a ploughing match, which consists in actual ploughing. The competition does not lie in the appearance of the ploughs, but in the work done; so let ministers be judged by the way in which they drive the gospel plough, and cut the furrow from end to end of the field.
Lectures to My Students (Edinburgh, Scotland; The Banner of Truth Trust; 2008) Vol. 3. Lecture 1: The Holy Spirit in Connection With Our Ministry.