This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated.1920 Excerpt: ... THE PREACHER As a preacher you have for the material of your sermons a choice of the greatest subjects which can engage the minds of men. This is a special advantage to you, since presumably you will command an audience of interested and attentive hearers. VITAL IMPORTANCE OF A CENTRAL IDEA The first thing of importance is to set before your mind a single subject and definite aim, and as far as possible make everything contribute to that purpose. A good sermon can be summed up in a single great idea. The tendency of the inexperienced speaker is to attempt to cover too large a field at one time. The counsel of Cardinal Newman may be followed with advantage: "I would go the length of recommending the preacher to place a distinct categorical proposition before him, such as he can write down in the form of words, and to guide and limit his preparation by it, and to aim in all he says to bring it out, and nothing else." The better you can assemble your ideas, arguments, and illustrations, around one great central truth, the better will be your discourse. Definiteness of aim is always essential to hitting the target. HOW BEECHER LEARNED TO PREACH Henry Ward Beecher once gave this illuminating account of his personal experience: "I had preached two years at Lawrenceburg, Indiana, when I went to Indianapolis. While there I was much discontented. I had been discouraged for two years. I had expected that there would be a general interest, and especially in the week before the communion season. In the West we had protracted meetings, and the people would come up to a high point of feeling, but I could never get them beyond that. They would come down again and there would be no conversions. I said there was a reason why, when the apostles preached, they succeeded, and ...

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