Most incumbents gave just one weekly sermon at matins or evening prayer, but Newton found the energy to preach at both services, delivering sermons that usually lasted for an hour. "I cannot wind up my ends to my own satisfaction in a much shorter time," he explained, "nor am I pleased with myself if I greatly exceed it."
By the standards of his time, his sixty-minute sermons were of average length. He was critical of two-hour and three-hour preachers, saying in down-to-earth language, "Overlong sermons break in upon family concerns and often call off the thoughts from the sermon to the pudding at home that is in danger of being overboiled." In the same letter he changed the metaphor from the kitchen to the farmyard to observe, "Perhaps it is better to feed our people like chickens, a little and often, than to cram them like turkeys till they cannot hold one gobbet more."