William Bradford Institute
for Study of the
Early Settlement of America

Thomas Shepard's Account of His Preaching

Mr. Shepard, when on his death-bed, was visited by many of his friends and
brethren in the ministry. Several young ministers having called to see him, he
addressed them as follows: "Your work," said he, "is great, and requires great
seriousness. For my own part, I never preached a sermon which, in the composing,
did not cost me prayers, with strong cries and tears. I never preached a sermon
from which I had not first got some good to my own soul. I never went up into
the pulpit but as if I were going to give an account of myself to God." Before
his departure, addressing his friends, he said, "Oh I love the Lord Jesus very
dearly. That little part which I have in him is no small comfort to me now." He
died of a quinsey, August 25, 1649, aged forty-three years. He was a person of
great learning, a hard student, an admirable preacher, and an excellent writer.
(From "Lives of the Puritans" by Benjamin Brook, recently reprinted by Soli Deo


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