Preaching

“Preach the word.”

2 Tim. 4:2

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

1 Cor. 1:21

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Sub-Sections 

Open-Air Preaching

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Order of Contents

Articles
Books
The Best Advice on Preaching
How to Include the Children in your Preaching
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Articles

Dabnney, Robert

Lay Preaching  1876  19 pp.

Lay persons are those who are not ordained ministers.  This article is largely a critique of the popular Dwight L. Moody’s advocation of, and arguments for, lay-preaching, with its attendant man-centered methods

The Public Preaching of Women  1879, from the The Southern Presbyterian Review for October 

The argument against women preaching

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Books

Dabney, Robert – Sacred Rhetoric: A Course of Lectures on Preaching  Buy  1870  361 pp.

A classic textbook on preaching, specifically on how to prepare, build and deliver sermons.

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The Best Advice on Preaching

John Livingstone  1603-1672

Remarks on Preaching and Praying in Public by John Livingstone’, in Scottish Puritans: Select Biographies, vol. 1

p. 287.

It is most probable that no gift, no pains a man takes to fit himself for preaching, shall ever do good to the people or himself, except a man labor to have and keep his heart in a spiritual condition before God, depending on Him always for furniture and the blessing Earnest faith and prayer, a single aim at the glory of God, and good of people, a sanctified heart and carriage, shall avail much for right preachingThere is sometime somewhat in preaching that cannot be ascribed either to the matter or expression, and cannot be described what it is, or from whence it comes, but with a sweet violence, it pierces into the heart and affections, and comes immediately from the Lord.  But if there be any way to attain to any such thing, it is by a heavenly disposition of the speaker.

p. 288

The light of nature, which is a spark of the will of God, has taught many useful rules even to pagans, anent the right way of making solemn speeches before others, the most of which are to be applied to preaching with due discretion; so that what is thought unseemly in the one is to be avoided in the other.  But the best rules are taken from the preachings of Christ, of the apostles and prophets.

 

Alexander Whyte  †1921

Bunyan Characters (Third Series), Chap. 19, Mr. Wet-Eyes, pp. 157-158, compiled by Andrew Myers

Spiritual preaching; real face to face, inward, verifiable, experimental, spiritual preaching; preaching to a heart in the agony of its sanctification; preaching to men whose whole life is given over to making them a new heart — that kind of preaching is scarcely ever heard in our day.

There is great intellectual ability in the pulpit of our day, great scholarship, great eloquence, and great earnestness, but spiritual preaching, preaching to the spirit — ‘wet-eyed’ preaching — is a lost art.

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How to Include the Children in Your Preaching

Preface to The Child’s Preacher: a Series of Addresses to the Young  1857

“One important object of the present volume is to furnish practical hints, which may serve to encourage young ministers, and others who imagine it a difficult thing to preach to children, to make the attempt more frequently.  It will be found that the variety of texts and subjects which may be adapted to children’s capacities is almost endless.

The great requisites, in order to interest children, are [1] plainness of speech and [2] fertility of illustration.  

When these are employed, low and silly expressions are worse than useless, and trifling thoughts and foolish imaginations are a positive offense.  It is perfectly practicable to adapt every essential, or strictly important religious topic, not only to the capacity, but even to the tastes of children; yea, to interest them deeply in such subjects, and at the same time to preserve dignity of expression and purity of thought.  

How vastly important, therefore, is it for every minister to qualify himself for, and to habituate himself to, preaching the Gospel to children.”

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L. Barrington, Preface to The Child’s Preacher, or the Gospel Taught to Children in Very Simple Language  1850

“To speak to them [the young] in language that requires a strained attention soon wearies; to excite attention, and give them an interest in what they already know, is not difficult, when we adapt our language to their capacity.  To do this was the author’s object, that they might enter the house of God with joy and quit it with regret, rather than run from it as from a prison.

…the elementary truths of the Gospel are within the grasp of very young minds; the histories of the Bible are full of interest to them: why should we fail of arresting their attention?…”

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Against Lay Preaching

Samuel Rutherford  1642

Ch. 20, Whether or not the government of the Church of Scotland can be proved by God’s Word to be lawful?

Article 13, Private Worship

None may preach the word with us but pastors and the sons of the prophets, and such of their sort who aim at the holy ministry, and that authority Ecclesiastical must warrant them is clear by our Law and practice, as it was in the Jewish Church1 Sam. 10:5; 2 Kings 2:7; 2 Kings 4:1; 1 Kings 20:35.

Our Assembly also commands godly conference at all occasional meetings, or as God’s providence shall dispose, as the word of God commands, Heb. 3:13; 1 Thess. 5:11,12; Lev. 19:17; Zech. 8:21; Mal. 3:16; Col. 3:16, providing none invade the pastor’s office to preach the word who are not called thereunto by God and his ChurchHeb. 5:4,5; Rom. 10:14-15; 1 Cor. 12:28,29.

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 “But an inch of time remains, and then eternal ages roll on for ever — but an inch on which we can stand and preach the way of salvation to a perishing world.”

Robert M. M’Cheyne

“You think we are too earnest with you to leave your sins and accept of Christ; but when you come to die you will see the meaning of it. We see death at your backs.”

Matthew Henry

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