Hence learn, what kind of ministry is like to do most good, namely, that which works upon the consciences of men. John Baptist did lift up his voice like a trumpet, he preached the doctrine of repentance with power, Matt. 3:2. Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: He came hewing and cutting down men’s sins, and afterwards preached Christ to them.
First, he poured in the vinegar of the law, then the wine of the gospel. This was that preaching which made men studiously seek after Heaven: John did not so much preach to please, as to profit; he chose rather to discover men’s sins, than to shew his own eloquence. That is the best looking-glass, not which is most gilded, but which shews the truest face.—That preaching is to be preferred, which makes the truest discovery of men’s sins, and shews them their hearts. John Baptist was a burning and shining light; he did burn in his doctrine, and shine in his life; and from that time men pressed into Heaven.
Thomas Watson, The Christian Soldier, or Heaven Taken by Storm