Dluxe's World

Friday, May 25

Whitefield for the Weekend [28]

This week's Whitefield post comes via Charles Spurgeon...

There is, nowadays, much preaching; but how is it often done? The preacher says, “O Lord, help thy servant to preach, and teach him by thy Spirit what to say!” Then out comes the manuscript, and he reads it! We have other preaching of this order; it is speaking very beautifully and very finely, possibly eloquently, in a sense; but where is there now such preaching as Whitefield’s? Have you ever read one of his sermons? You will not think him eloquent; you cannot think so. His expressions were rough, frequently unconnected; there was very much declamation about him, it was a great part indeed of his speech; but wherein lay his eloquence? Not in the words he uttered, but in the tones in which he delivered them, in the earnestness with which he spoke them, in the tears which ran down his cheeks, and in the pouring out of his very soul.

The reason why he was eloquent was just what the word means, he was eloquent because he spoke right out from his heart; he caused truth to flow out of the innermost depths of his soul. When he spoke, you could see that he meant what he said; be did not speak like a mere machine, but he preached what he felt to be the truth, and what he could not help preaching. If you had heard him preach, you could not be helped feeling that he was a man who would die if he could not preach, and that with all his might he called to men, “Come to Jesus Christ, and believe on him.”

That kind of preaching is just the lack of these times; where is earnestness now? It is neither in the pulpit nor yet in the pew, in such a measure as we desire it; and it is a sad, sad age when earnestness is scoffed at, and when that very zeal which ought to be the prominent characteristic of the pulpit is regarded as enthusiasm and fanaticism. I pray God to make us all such fanatics as most men laugh at, such enthusiasts as many despise. To my mind, it is the greatest fanaticism in the world to go to hell, and the worst folly upon earth to love sin better than righteousness; and I think that they are anything but fanatics who seek to obey God rather than man, and to follow Christ in all his ways. To me, one sad proof that the Church needs revival is the absence of that solemn earnestness which was once seen in Christian pulpits.

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