Lectures on Preaching Delivered to the Students of Yale College

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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1879 edition. Excerpt: ...of any person in his congregation either annoy or confuse him. He has nothing to do but simply to read what he has written. He is confident of the accuracy of his language and the strength of his logic. He had time to revise and change while the pen was in his hand. Some ministers labour under the apprehension that if they speak extemporaneously they may forget the intended points of their sermon, or, in the excitement of speaking, may omit some necessary link in the argument. To others language comes slowly, and, under the hesitancy, utterance becomes difficult. So some men of fine culture and mental strength feel themselves inadequate to the task of preaching without manuscript. Others prepare written sermons that definition may be more precise, and for purposes of controversy. There the preparation of the manuscript is undoubtedly of valuable service. But, while admitting the force of these statements, yet it seems to me that the advantages arc not so great as the 'disadvantages. In reading closely, little of the preacher's personal power, except his voice, is added to the written words. Even that is restrained, as the reading voice is not so full as the speaking one. The power of the eye, the play of the features, the light of the countenance, and the freedom of movement, are either lost to the audience, or greatly restricted. This personal power being the great factor in preaching, whatever impairs it inevitably weakens the impression of the sermon. It is said that the minister ought not to read closely; that the eye need not follow the manuscript, except now and then; that the preacher can remember much of his sermon, and that he can commit it without much labour. This is true. But if so, it indicates that the free delivery is...

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