JC Ryle (cited by CH Spurgeon, My Sermon Notes, p259)
“The cross is the strength of a minister. I, for one, would not be without it for the world. I should feel like a soldier without weapons, like an artist without his pencil, like a pilot without his compass, like a labourer without his tools. Let others, if they will, preach the law and morality. Let others hold forth the terrors of hell and the joys of heaven. Let others drench their congregations with teachings about the sacraments and the church. Give me the cross of Christ. This is the only lever which has ever turned the world upside down hitherto, and made men forsake their sins. And if this will not do it, nothing will.
A man may begin preaching with a perfect knowledge of Latin, Greek and Hebrew; but he will do little or no good among his hearers unless he knows something of the cross. Never was there a minister who did much for the conversion of souls who did not dwell much on Christ crucified. Luther, Rutherford, Whitefield, M’Cheyne, were all most eminent preachers of the cross. This the preaching that the Holy Ghost delights to bless. He loves to honour those who honour the cross.“
(HT: Symphony of Scripture)