Benjamin Keach was one of the leading Baptist pastors in England in the 17th century. In the memoir included in a 19th century reprint of his book, The Travels of True Godliness, the following assessment of his ministry is included (it is an excerpt from Crosby’s History of English Baptists). This is an excellent summary of ministry including his personal care of individual souls and faithful preaching- preaching which was not flowery or “showy” but solid and straightforward.
He discharged the duties of his pastoral office with unwearied diligence, by preaching in season and out of season, visiting those under his charge, encouraging the serious, defending the great truths of the gospel, and setting them in the clearest light. He was not addicted to utter hard censures of such as differed from him in lesser matters, but had a love for all saints, and constantly exercised himself in this, to keep a conscience void of offences towards God and towards man. He showed an unwearied endeavor to recover the decayed power of religion, for he lived what he preached; and it pleased God so to succeed his endeavors, that I doubt not but some yet living may call him their father, whom he hath begotten through the gospel. He affected no unusual tones, nor indecent gestures in his preaching…his style was strong and masculine. …if his sermons had not the embellishments of language, which some boast of, they had this peculiar advantage, to be full of solid divinity; which is a much better character for pulpit discourses, than to say they are full of pompous eloquence, and flights of wit. It was none of the least of his excellent qualifications for the ministerial work, that he knew how to behave himself in the house of God, in regard of the exercise of that discipline which is so necessary to a Christian society.