Admitted a quaint phrase. The language is a bit 19th century; I can’t imagine actually saying “living afflatus of inspiration”. But, Shedd’s point is well taken. The power of a sermon comes wholly from the exhibition of the text of Scripture. The preacher must understand that the Scripture has been encoded with maximum density; the job of the preacher is to unfold the information which has been packed into text. It is a light which, when exhibited, transforms our understanding of everything it shines upon.
Originality and authority issue from this source [from the exegesis of Scripture] as from no other. If Sacred Eloquence is to maintain its past commanding position in human history, and is to exert a paramount influence upon human destiny, it must breathe in, and breathe out from every pore and particle, the living afflatus of inspiration. By this breath of life it must live. If the utterances of the pulpit are to be fresh, spiritual, and commanding, the sacred orator must be an exegete. Every discourse must be but the elongation of a text.
William Greenough Thayer Shedd. “Homiletics and Pastoral Theology.”