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chief characteristics of all permanently popular and preeminently effective preachers. Whitfield possessed this power. A writer in the Homilist says of the late Williams of Wern, that "he was distinguished for the quickness with which he detected the analogies existing between human and spiritual operations. If there was one thing more than another in which he excelled as a preacher, it was in the novelty and pertinence of his illustrations. Never, perhaps, since the days of the Great Teacher, did any preacher lay the objects of nature and the pursuits of men under greater contribution for the exposition and enforcement of religious truth. 'How,' he once inquired in a sermon preached at Bala, where the humbler classes are engaged in knitting stockings-'How is character formed? Gradually-just as you Bala women knit stockings-a stitch at a time."""The true measure of a preacher's greatness is his power of illustration," says the writer of an interesting article on "Henry Ward Beecher," in a recent No. of the "Christian Spectator." "He has to explain and enforce truths that lie beyond the region of the senses before an audience almost entirely engrossed with the material world. And it is folly to preach abstract truth before a popular audience." "The mass of hearers are people made up of imagination, conscience, and feeling, far more than of intellect. And if preachers are to lay hold of them and lift them into a better sphere of life, they must do it principally by means of the imagination and the feelings, and not by logic and intellect. They must take the Gospel for granted; they must take the atonement and prayer for granted; and not be everlastingly proving what ninety-nine out of every hundred have admitted all their lives. What the people want is, that you should move their hearts, prick their consciences, and convert abstract truth into pictures. The preacher that will do this will be best able to teach them to think, and lead them to Jesus Christ. It is for this
APHORISMS ON PREACHING.
power we so highly value Mr. Beecher. He apprehends the true functions of the pulpit clearly. He can think, and he teaches his hearers to think; but he beguiles them into it by the manner in which he turns every thought into a portrait. Sometimes the painting is homely, sometimes beautiful, and sometimes magnificent."
Here is a string of passages relative to preaching.
"In the composition of sermons let the object be well defined, go to it in the most direct way, and all will be easy and natural. Suppose the subject should be 'Death,' let the composition be prompted by this reflection: I wish to impress this congregation with a sense of their mortality, and to make them feel the momentous importance of preparation for death, judgment, and eternity."
"Some students have an unnatural craving for the splendid in composition, and disdainfully turn away from every thing else as common-place. This is very mischievous, especially as it regards the composition of sermons. One great business of the preacher is to stir up the minds of his hearers by way of remembrance-to present familiar ideas under new forms, or in new relations. The most useful thoughts are those with which the people are most familiar. A devoted heart will always clothe them with freshness and force. Besides, persons of good taste will always relish plain truth best.”
"The preacher must have a clear view of the way of salvation by faith in Jesus Christ. There must be no cloudiness in his representations on this subject. He must shine with a clear and steady light, so that his hearers may wonder they had not previously seen how simple is God's method of saving sinners. Obscurity on this point will hinder the exercise of faith."
"In proportion as I experience redeeming-love shall I set
it forth with clearness and power. It is a great evil when ministers speak coldly or equivocally. If the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself for the battle? Nothing can make a good preacher without a strong conviction-a vivid and permanent impression of the truth of the gospel."
"There is nothing more powerful in advancing religion than moral sympathy. Argument may be useful, but unaccompanied with the fervour which love creates, its benefits will be small. When the sinner sees that we have deep and agonizing concern for him, he will begin to feel concern for himself. We must feel for the souls of others if we would be the means of their salvation."
"If we are not determined by the grace of God to do the truth, we shall not be able to speak it. I fear this is the reason why many are the advocates of error."
"I more than ever feel the importance of single-eyed honesty in all I think, or say, or do. May God help me to exemplify this quality both in public and private. I hope to avoid all got-up excitement in the pulpit. I wish to speak simply what I think and feel. The energy which springs from any other source than the calm and steady view of truth is spurious."
"To be perfectly at home in the pulpit one must live at its intellectual and moral elevation. If I take care of the week, God will take care of the Sabbath. If I put myself under a good discipline-physical, intellectual, and moralI cannot but be in a state adapted for usefulness on the Lord's-day. It is by neglecting study and prayer that we fail in preaching. Prayer and labour combined are all but omnipotent."
"Let me bear in mind that the wisdom of words' will make the cross of Christ of none The moment I
APHORISMS ON PREACHING.
depart from an artless declaration of the 'truth as it is in Jesus,' I lose my power. Men may admire my preaching, but they will not be converted and sanctified by it."
"In preaching, the intellectual process should be gone through some time before entering the pulpit. The truths to be uttered should be prayerfully pondered, that their importance may be adequately realized."
"The power of thought depends much upon the clear and natural order in which it is presented. Let me never therefore enter the pulpit without having the discourse fully thought out. It is not the province of the Spirit to arrange thought."
"My sermons have presented too many objects to the mental eye, so that none of them produce the desired impression. Unity is one of the essentials of good preaching. The best sermons have but one idea, one tone, one end. Concentration of attention and energy is the great condition of success in almost every thing."
"The results of eloquence are the best test of its value." "A sermon should exactly meet the wants of the hearer."
“Persuasion, friend, comes not by toil or art;
"Tis the live fountain in the speaker's heart,
Sends forth the streams that melt the ravished hearer.
Then work away for life; heap book on book,
Line upon line, and precept on example :
The stupid multitude may gaze and look,
And fools may think your stock of wisdom ample :
But all remain unmoved to touch the heart
To make men feel, requires a different art.
For touching hearts, the only secret known,
My worthy friend, is this:-to have one of your own."
A time of trial - Todd's Student's Guide-Rev. Richard Watson-Contemplates Missionary life in India-The feeling with which the weaknesses of our fellow-men should be regarded-The spirit we should evince toward those hostile to us-Harris's Great Teacher-Mill's History of British India-John Howe-One chief cause of wonder to the glorified spirit—An argument with a sceptic-Reflections on select portions of Holy Writ.
ONE of the severest trials permitted to assail humanity is experienced by those who are denied scope for their benevolent impulses. A heavy burden presses upon the heart of that man, who, feeling the grandeur of his mission, and realizing the brevity of the period allotted for it, is doomed to inaction. The pent-up energy expends itself in exploring the reason for these unwelcome circumstances, devising means of emancipation, or, it may be, gloomily brooding over them. Mr. Hessel was now in this position. He had capability for some degree of exertion, but no adequate scope. He longed for some sphere where no large demand being made upon his strength, the mind would have congenial and full employment. The Bible reveals to us the wisdom of our being sometimes placed in such painful circumstances. Resignation, patience, and faith in God, are necessary to completeness of character, and to some kinds of usefulness. But how could these virtues be exercised, and therefore matured, were not such circumstances permitted? Mr. Hessel cherished these views, and reaped the benefit they are fitted to yield. Ere long, however, a peculiarly suitable sphere was presented.
It has been seen that early in his Collegiate course he