Thursday, April 07, 2005

The voice & preaching

“Exceedingly precious truths may be greatly marred by being delivered in monotonous tones. . . . What a pity that a man who from his heart delivered doctrines of undoubted value, in language the most appropriate, should commit ministerial suicide by harping on one string, when the Lord had given him an instrument of many strings to play on! . . . God has mercy upon us and arranges all things to meet our cravings for variety; let us have mercy upon our fellow creatures, and not persecute them with the tedium of sameness . . .

“Scarcely one man in a dozen in the pulpit talks like a man. . . . I maintain that the best notes a man’s voice is capable of should be given to the proclamation of the gospel, and these are such as nature teaches him to use in earnest conversation.

“To speak too slowly is miserable work, and subjects active-minded hearers to the disease called ‘the horrors.’ It is impossible to hear a man that crawls along at a mile an hour. One word today and one tomorrow is a kind of slow-fire which only martyrs could enjoy. Excessively rapid speaking, tearing and raving into utter rant, is quite as inexcusable; it is not, and never can be powerful, except with idiots . . .

“Never do anything for effect, but scorn the stratagems of little minds, hunting after the approval of connoisseurs in preaching, who are a race as obnoxious to a true minister as locusts to the Eastern husbandman . . .” (Charles Spurgeon in Helmut Thielicke’s book Encounter With Spurgeon, pp.136,138-139,141-142)