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Sheep

By H. M. S. RICHARDS
AUTHOR OF: Have Faith in God, The indispensable Man Day After Tomorrow, Hard Nuts Cracked The Promises of God, Radio Sermons What Jerrir Satd

Scanned and Prepared By Maranatha Media www.maranathamedia.com

REVIEW and HERALD


PUBLISHING ASSOCIATION
W A S H I N G T O N . D.C.

T h e H . M . S . Richards Lectr~reship on Preaching

Copyrigh~ @ 1958 by he
Kei iew and Herald Publishing Association

Washingtolz 12, D.C.

PRINTED IN U . S . A

This book comprises the lecturcs given by the author .at Takoma Park, Maryland, in 1957 as the first of a projected series of lectures on preaching for the inspiration and edification of the ordained ministers of the greater Washington area, as well as the theological students of Washington Missionary College and of the Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary. Launched under the sponsorship of Washington Missionary College and the Columbia Union Conference, this project begins a new departure in ministerial training for our theological students. For many years our college and Seminary students have been obliged to depend on such popular training aids as the Yale Lectureship on Preaching, but the success of this first denominational venture exceeded the initial hopes of its founders, with the result that the Lectureship will be an annual affair. Men of wide experience in pastoral and evangelistic preaching will be invited to present the accrued wisdom in method and procedure of their long years of service. Much credit is due H . M. S. Richards for the enthusiasm stirred by his initial series of lectures. His worldwide reputation as evangelist on the Voice of Prophecy radio broadcast along with his long years of pastoral and evangelistic preaching make his counsel and observations invaluable. This book, therefore, is significant evidence that there exists within the growing ranks of the Adventist ministry a wealth of experience that will justify its being drawn upon in the extension of this lectureship. The lectures in published form will bc a means of sharing their counsel with all the workers throughout the world. T H E PUBLISHERS

LECTURE

NO.

What Is Preaching?
"Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God."-Mark 1:14.

ELLOW PREACHERS, I salute you! I am not here because I think I know anything more about preaching than you do, or because I claim to be an authority on preaching. In fact, I am quite sure that before we have finished this series some of you will wholly disagree with some of the things I say; but that will be good. If we can get people to think enough to disagree with us, that will be a good thing in the long run. If I can't convince you that I am right, then you try to convince me that you are right. Ever since I received the invitation to deliver these lectures several months ago, I have been thinking more seriously than ever before in my life about the work of preaching, especially Seventh-day Adventist preaching. I have looked into my own experience and have tried to put into words what little I know about this great subject. I have read with greater care than ever all that the Ho!y Scriptures say on the subject of preaching. I have read a number of books on preaching by some of the world's greatest preachers and teachers. Finally, I wrote to about five hundred active preachers, asking their advice, and received two hundred personal replies. As a result of these activities three great conclusions have been deeply

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WHA?' IS P K E A C H I N G ?
I was asleep, but when I awoke in the morning I found that they were all wrong! Since receiving this call I have read everything in the Bible about preaching, as far as I know, and I believe that I have read everything on the subject available in the published books of the Spirit of prophecy. I have read as many of these books of the Yale Lectures as I could get hold of or had time to read, a selection that Brother Osborn sent to me, and other books which I secured. As a result of all this, and of looking into my own experience and seeking God in prayer about the matter, I have been impressed with two things. The first is that everything that could be said about preaching has already been said, and said better than I could say it. The second is that I know very little about the subject and feel that I have failed in almost every point to be a real preacher and a strong preacher, much less a great preacher. Because of the importance of the subject, I ask the blessing of God upon my efforts. Now, in the first chapter and the fourteenth verse of the shortest Gospel, the Gospel of Mark, we find these words: "Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God." That's our introduction to Him. Our Saviour's first appearance in this world after He began His public ministry was as a preacher. He came preaching. The word for "preaching" in this passage means "to proclaim," "to herald; in fact, it's the word used for heraJd in its other form-to cry aloud. The very heart of Jesus' message as given here in this passage is: "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15 ) . Now notice these facts about His preaching: It was based upori the fulfillment of prophecy, upon the inspiration of the Scriptures of the Old Testament. It was a call to repentance 11

impressed upon me: First, the vastness of the subject. Second, that authorities have already covered the field thoroughly and have said everything that needs to be said or perhaps could be said on the subject. Third, that my own knowledge of preaching is surprisingly small. It would be absolutely impossible for any one man, even in a hundred lectures, to cover the whole field of preaching. Tllerefore, I shall just make some remarks upon this important subject and ask the blessing of God upon my cfforts, that others may find help in what is said. T o me it is a very encouraging sign that a lectureship on preaching has been contenlplated and inaugurated. This very fact shows that our leaders are thinking more and more about preaching. In my contacts with Brother Osborn, my spiritual adviser when he was pastor of my home church in Glendale, I learned that he was much concerned about this, and I was deeply interested in his collection of books on the Yale Lectures. He is approaching a complete list, though I suppose a complete list is almost impossible now. But that has been one of his life ambitions. Little did I dream, when I was a student at Washington Missionary College and pastor of the old Capitol Hill church, that the active little boy who used to sit on the front row would someday be my pastor and be associated with me here today on this rostrum-Brother Osborn. The subject tonight for my first talk is "What Is Preaching?" and our text is Mark 1:14-just a part of it-the very words used by Dr. Buttrick in his Yale Lectures, "Jesus came . . . preaching." When Jesus came to this world He came preaching. From the moment that I received the invitation to deliver this series of lectures I have been living with the subject of preaching. I have been thinking about it, dreaming about it. In fact, I worked out several lectures at night when

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IVHAT IS P R E A C H I N G ?
The preaching of Jesus was a proclalnation of fact; we cannot emphasize that too much. It was also an appeal for action. "Repent," H e demanded. "Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." It was also a command from God. For "God . . . commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:iO). Sometimes in our preaching we plead with people to repent, and that's right. W e nsk them to repent. \Ve saggest that they repent. W e try to indace them to repent. W e do everything but command them to repent. God commands all men everywhere to repent. Remember that. W e must have in our preaching a note of command from God, a note of authority, a command to repent. Now we come to the second main point: The preaching of Jesus was from personality to personality; it was from man to men. It is this communication of truth from man to men that Phillips Brooks speaks of in his Y a l e Lectares on Preaching, which many people think is the greatest volunle so far in the Yale series. Preaching per se is the communication of truth by man to men. It involves both truth and personality. God might have written His message in letters of fire upon the sky, but that wouldn't have been preaching. Man had to come and speak words to other men. There are speakers today who interest people, who dazzle people with their oratorical fireworks; there are those who philosophize and propound speculations. But that is not preaching, because it is not a presentation of the truth. It's merely the twistings and turnings and effervescence of the human mind. True preaching must have a true Inan behind it. True preaching always involves a personality and truth. And the third element is never lacking: It must be scr@l'uraZ truth. True preaching, then, must be definite, personal, truthful, and scriptural.

and a call to faith. These four things are clearly discerned in that text. The time prophecy of Daniel 9-the great 70-week prophecy that we all know-had met its fulfillment in the anointing of Jesus with the Holy Ghost at the Jordan River. In Acts 10:38 m7e read that Jesus was anointed by the Holy Ghost and went about healing the sick and all who were oppressed of the devil, "for God was with him." H e was anointed there at the Jordan with the Holy Ghost and became the Anointed One-specifically the Christ-in fulfillment of that prophecy. And immediately He began to preach, "The time is fulfi!led . . . : repent ye, and believe the gospel." He came preaching that message. As He began His short but mighty ministry His first preaching was an announcement of the fulfillment of prophecy. It n7as an official proclamation to the world that the prophecy was fulfilled and was being fulfilled, and that H e was here to fulfill it. Next, notice that His preaching was definite, very definite. Just look at that text again: "The time is fulfilled." It is definite, and it is scriptural. Jesus based His whole preaching on the Scriptures of the Old Testament; and it was prophetic. Now I believe that these three points, if we could remember them 2nd follow them in our preaching, would be enough to help us all in our preaching-Christ's preaching was definite, scriptural, and prophetic. It wasn't based on some finespun theory or philosophical argument. It was based upon fact, the fact of His presence. "I am here. Here I am. Repent therefore. Believe this message. The prophecy is fulfilled. I am here in fulfillment of the prophecy." His preaching was based on the fact of His presence, the fact of the prophecy that had been made long ago, and the fact that it was time for great things to take place. It was effective. True preaching is always effective -there is either an outward effect or an inward change.

FEED MY SHEEP When Jesus came He was the real Man, He was the real Truth. He was the Son of man and the Son of God. He says, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:G). He was the truth incarnate. In His testimony before Pilate, the Roman governor, Jesus said: "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." Pilate answered, "What is truth?" (John 18:37, 3 8 ) . In those days the Roman Empire was filled with philosophers seeking after truth. There were the Platonists, the Aristotelians, the Epicureans, the Stoics, the Cynics. There were many paths that men were walking on the way to truth; at least, they thought they were seeking truth. Many thoughtful men had come to the place where they thought truth was unattainable. And it was this despair of ever finding truth that led to the school of the Cynics. "What is truth?" asked Pilate. W e do not know what language he spoke, but if it was Latin-and he was a Roman diplomat-he must have said, @id est zleritas? Someone has pointed out that if we turn the letters around, we have the words, Est uir qui adest, "It is the Man who stands before you." And so He was the very truth incarnate, the truth in a man, the truth in the God-man. He was truth itself. "I am the way, the truth, and the life." The world has never seen such preaching because it has never seen such a man. And it is only as we approach Him as a man that we grow as preachers on the personality side. He began His preaching by quoting the Old Testament Scriptures and referring to the fulfillment of divine prophecy. If there is a lessening of interest in Christian preaching today, it would be well for us to look first of all at our personality. Who are we? What kind of men are we? Do we live and believe the truth we preach? Is it in our hearts?

WHAT IS PREACHING? Are we the en~bodimentof the truth? If we are not having success in our preaching, we ought to look inside and take a good long look at ourselves. Second, we ought to consider the truth we are preachingwhat we are preaching. Have lve watered down the truth? Have we covered it up with our own ideas or human philosophy? Preaching, my young friends, will never die. You see, I have sort of aimed this particularly at you younger men who are preparing for the ministry. Don't think that preaching is going to die. It never will-not as long as there are sinners in this world, not as long as the work of God isn't finished. Preaching will never be superseded as long as true men with a true message are guided by the Holy Ghost. Such preachers will always have someone to listen to them. When God's man comes with God's message in God's time, there will always be men with hearts ready to burn within them when he opens to them the Scriptures (Luke 2 4 : 3 2 ) . God's message from God's Boolc by God's man in God's house on God's day-that's preaching! Truth and personality cannot be separated. Truth has always been tied up with a person, always proclaimed by a person, always witnessed by a person. The truth of God is a message, but when God sends a message He always sends it by a man. We read in the Bible: "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John" (John 1: 6 ) . God always sends His message incarnate in a man-always! As we Adventists speak of the messnge-"Does he believe the message?" "Has he heard the message?" "Has he given up the message?"-truth and personality are always there, witnessed by a person. The truth of God is called a message, and the man who has it is a messenger. "This . . . is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto

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yo^^," says John ( 1 John 1:5 ) . There it is, a message that we hear and in turn declare. The messenger bears the message, and we are to be God's messengers. The apostle Peter, speaking before the general council in Jerusalem, said, "We are his witnesses of these things" (Acts 5:32). He was only quoting the words of Jesus, for you will remember that He had said to His disciples, as a part of His final con~missionto them, "Ye are witnesses of these things" (Luke 2 4 : 4 8 ) . And His promise was: "Ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8 ) . Now, there is a lot of difference between a witness and a lawyer. Jesus didn't say, "You will be my lawyers." You know, there are just lots of preachers who would like to be God's lawyers. I have heard some of them that can argue. Yes sir, they can really argue! But one of the sure signs of the true preacher is that he ceases to be so much of a lawyer and becomes more of a witness. When I was a student here in school I witnessed something that shouldn't have happened. It was an illegal act. As I was coming home from preaching in my little church one day, the streetcar stopped at a certain corner in the city, and something happened. There was a little boy with his skates thrown over his shoulder, and they struck against a man who was waiting to board the car. He became very angry. The man's wife gave him a push, and he entered the streetcar ahead of her, a very strange thing for a polite Southern gentleman to do. When he got inside he was still so angry that he reached out the window with his umbrella and jabbed it into the

W H A T IS PREACHING?
little boy's eye. The matter finally came to a court trial. One morning about six o'clock, as I was still asleep in my room up there on Carroll Avenue, a policeman walked right into my bedroom with a subpoena for me to appear as a witness. I was really scared, for I thought I was going to be put in jail. But all I had to do was to go down and bear witness; and I learned something in that court. When I was called to the witness stand I told them what had happened as I saw it, and the first thing I knew I was telling them what I thought about that man. The judge stopped me and said: "Listen, young man, we don't care what you think. All we want to know is what you saw. That's all we want to know." Now that's what a witness is supposed to de-he is supposed to tell what he has seen, what he knows, what he has experienced-not what he thinks. The witness who followed me was a schoolteacher. She became very excited and said: "Why, judge, when that man looked out the car window he looked just like a demon. He wasThe judge said: "How do you know what a demon looks like? Did you ever see one?" You see, she couldn't bear witness. She had never seen a demon. She was using her imagination, which is perfectly proper sonletin~es, but not when you are bearing witness. And so we are not to be Christ's lawyers; we are to be His witnesses. You know people can't deny what is witnessed. When we say, "Jesus did this for me, and He will do it for you," they can't successfully oppose that. The greatest infidel on earth can't get around a witness and his testimony. In Hyde Park, London, anyone is allowed to go and spout his infidelity or his faith. You can see hundreds of men

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there on boxes or just standing on the ground, expounding whatever is on their hearts or minds. One night a man was preaching the gospel there in Hyde Park, and around him were several believers. Among the listeners was a sort of "argufyingn skeptic or infidel who tried to interrupt all he could and make trouble for the speaker. One of the believers who had come with the preacher had only recently found Christ. He had been a confirmed drunkard and his family had been destitute because of his drinking. But now Christ had changed everything in his life. When the infidel couldn't get the preacher tied up in an argument, he went to this man and said, "What do you know about Christianity, anyway?" He answered, "Not very much, sir. I am not an educated man." Then the skeptic asked, "When was Christ born?" "I don't know when He was born." "When did He die?" "I don't know just when He died." "Where was He born?" "I don't know exactly." "You don't know much about it, do you?" taunted the infidel. "No," he said, "I don't know much about those things, but I know Jesus did something for me. I know that. A few months ago my home was a bedlam, a hell on earth. My children ran and hid when I came home. My poor wife was in rags, weeping all the time. I beat her. I beat the children. I cursed and I swore. I took all the money and drank it up. Life was a hell on earth for them and for me. But Jesus got into my heart. I heard this man's preaching, and it changed all my life. Now there is plenty to eat at our house. My wife

WHAT IS PREACHING?
is happy and sings all the day, and she has good clothes to wear. When I come home, the children run to meet me and throw their arms around me. 'Daddy has come home!' they say. Jesus did that for me. I know that!" What could anyone say to a witness like that? What argument is there against it? "Ye are my witnesses" (Isa. 43: 10). And, my friends, that's the first part of preaching. You and I will never be preachers until we are witnesses, until Christ has done something for us. W e need to say, "I have seen, I know, I have experienced, I have tasted and it's good!" Preaching is not primarily arguing about something, commenting about something, philosophizing about something, or weaving speech into a beautiful tapestry of sound. Preaching is bearing witness, telling something that we know to people who want to know or who ought to know, or both. That's why preaching is bound up with personality. There never can be preaching without a person, without a preacher. There can never be witnessing without witnesses. Our message is given to us by God, but we cannot give it, we cannot preach it, until it enters into our own lives. W e must bear it as our personal testimony with spiritual power. As we stand before the people, as we prepare the sermon-and even before, as we pray to God to give us a sermon-we must keep in mind those two facts: we are His messengers; we are His witnesses. Then we can go before the people with authority and proclaim the message with such power that it will break the rock in pieces, convince, warn, win, woo, convert, the sinful heart of man, and comfort the saints of God. To be true preachers, then, we must be the sons of God; we must speak the family language. You know, people

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W H A T IS P R E A C H l N G ?

can tell right away whether we belong to the family of God. They can catch the family intonations in our voice, as it were. W e are not to stand before the people as lecturers, but as preachers. W e are messengers of God-but first of all, Christians, sons of God in the midst of a wicked generation. That's the first mark of a true preacher. He's God's man. W e may have recognition by the highest schools of earth and ordination at the hands of the church, but unless we have something else, unless we have been born again-and here you may disagree with me, because I am an old-fashioned Methodist on this-unless we have the witness of the Spirit in our hearts, we can never be true preachers or bring a message that will reach men's hearts with the power of God. I have just secured more than three hundred statements from the Spirit of prophecy on this "know-so" religion. Believe it or not, it is there just as plain as can be, and in the Bible too. You are to know that you are a child of God. It must not be a mere theory. W e must know it. Every time we stand in the sacred desk we must bring a message that will reach men's hearts with power. Now, when we take the Holy Scriptures as our guide we find that preaching was ordained by God and used by the Holy Spirit; and it will continue to be so used until the end of time. The great gospel commission is proof of it: "Go ye into all the world, and" do what? "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations ["make disciples, or Christians, of all nations"], baptizing them in the name [not the names] of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you [how long?] alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. 28: 19, 20). How long are we to do this? Right to the end of the world. W e are to teach

and make disciples; we are to preach the gospel to the end of the world. So I claim that preaching is not going to stop until the end of the age. Notice, the promise here is to those who obey God's Word, who go to all the world and teach all nations. Now this is not a limited commission. It was not limited to the Jews, it was not limited to the apostles in their day alone, or to any one time, but it is to go on to the end of the age. Therefore, preaching will not cease. It's here to stay. Someone will do it. God will never lack His man. He never has. Sometimes when things have been the darkest, preaching has gone to a very low ebb, with spirituality in an eclipse, but God has always raised up His preachers. All down through the so-called Christian centuries to our time, God's method of reviving the church has always been through the preaching of the Word by fearless, consecrated, able men. In his book T h e Preacher and His Preaching, I. H. Evans reminds us that there is no substitute offered, either in the Word of God or in human experience, for the preaching of the gospel. Many good things have been put in its place, but none of them has ever worked. All of man's plannings and devisings-games, athletics, clubs, social organizations, and Christian work of whatever kind-never have taken and never will take the place of the preaching of the gospel, which was ordained and commanded and blessed by Jesus Christ Himself. Friends, there is a hunger in the human heart that only the preached Word will satisfy. True preaching is witnessing for Christ. "Ye are my witnesses." And we are to preach what He taught and commanded to be taught. "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). That was His command.

FEED MY SHEEP
The lifting up of Jesus Christ is the central theme in all preaching. "And I, if I be lifted up . . . , will draw all men unto me." That's His promise in John 12:j 2 . That's the magnetism of the cross. W e must know from experience as well as from the Holy Scriptures that Jesus Christ is a personal Saviour; that He is the Son of man and the Son of God; that H e gave Himself for us and died in our place; that He was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as He deserved; that His blood is an atoning sacrifice for our sins; that He was raised from the dead according to the Scriptures and ascended into heaven; that He is now our high priest in the heavenly places, ministering His blood in our behalf; that He will come the second time, the Lord Himself, to raise the dead and translate the living, and take us to be with Him forever; that He has promised to give us immortality; that this blessed gospel hope of ours is to be shared with all the world and preached to all nations. This is the only hope of a lost and sinful world, but a gloriousIy sufficient hope. That is the gospel, and that's what we have to preach. W e must believe these things, and believing them, proclaim them with a mighty urge as the apostle of old-"Woe is . . . me, if I preach not the gospel!" ( 1 Cor. 9: 16). And that woe means something; it's not merely a word. If, my friends, I don't have that woe in my heart, then I never will be a preacher. There is only one remedy known for sin, and that's the blood of Jesus, shed on the cross of Calvary. We must preach Christ crucified; His death is our life. His death is the death of death. Think about that. Isn't it a fact? He is our only substitute, our only Redeemer. When the shadow of a cross arose on Calvary's lonely hill, it brought the only hope this world ever knew or ever will know-the

WHAT IS PREACHING?
power to live right here, and forever with Him over there. Now look at the great ethnic religions of the world. In China we see Confucianism, based upon great teachings of morality from a man who didn't know whether there was a God and yet who is worshiped as a god by hundreds of millions today. India, of course, is the birthplace of Buddhism, with its eightfold way, and its great wheel of existence with its hundreds of thousands, even millions, of transmigrations. These religions in their original forms contain many high and noble principles, but in their supremest reach heavenward they show us the mind of man reaching out after God, dissatisfied with his own life, recognizing his own sin, seeking final obliteration in some nirvana where he will be free from suffering, and through thousands of transmigrations find rest at last. I spent several days in Rangoon once, and had a talk with a leading Buddhist lawyer. He tried to convert me to Buddhism. He had written many books on it. He had a large library, and I had to admit that there were many wonderful ideals there-be perfect, be virtuous, be holy in your lifewonderful aims! But in all of it, my friends, there wasn't one bit of help from God-not a bit! But we come to the gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed in the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, and here we find God seeking man, not man reaching out after God. In every one of these ethnic religions man is reaching up to God, thinking about God, talking about God, philosophizing, trying to visualize God, trying to get off the wheel of existence into something like nirvana, to get away from suffering and pain. But in the gospel we find God reaching out after man. Christianity is radically different. It is not a comparable religion at all. It's God seeking man; God revealed in the

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Holy Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation; God seeking man, not man reasoning about God, but God pleading with man, opening His arms to man, giving a welcome! That's what Jesus did. He came among us, lived among us, and men could hear His voice as He preached the gospel of hope. He was the supreme embodiment of preaching, the holy, harmless, sinless Son of God; the most supreme personality who ever appeared on earth. And His truth was the holy, undefiled, blessed Word of God. What preaching it was! We'll never equal that-never! And we shall be great preachers only if we emulate it; only if we begin to approach it, move toward it. W e can never preach as He did, but we can make Him our ideal. W e can study His ways, His methods, and above all, the content of His message. It was not merely truth, it was God's truth. It was divine wisdom, redeeming grace. W e are Christian preachers only as we preach Him and preach as He preached, as far as our limited abilities will permit. There is no other hope, my friends, in any other place, in any other message, in any other being. "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4 : 1 2 ) . W e must believe that, my friends, or we had better quit preaching. W e must believe it with all of our heart. And we must believe that men are lost, too. Until we get to the place where we believe that every human being is a hell-deserving sinner, we shall never preach with fire. Unless I believe that I and every other human being are pictured in the third chapter of the book of Romans-our eyes, our mouth, our tongue, our throat, our feet, every part of us condemned, and justly condemned before God, and deserving the fires of hell-how can I ever preach?

W H A T IS PREACHING?
It follows from this that true gospel preaching is never present where man talks about anything except the Holy Scripture, the Word of God. There is no true preaching if a man talks about anything except the Word of God. He may be a good lecturer, but he is not a preacher unless he preaches the Word of God. He must unfold the Scripture, he must make it understandable, he must proclaim it, he must bring it forth as a comfort to the saints and as a call to sinners to become saints of God. He takes the Word of God and proclaims it in power and in love, with a holy fire in his soul and a zeal for the cause of God, without regard to consequences. When his message is greater than the man, he is the mouthpiece of God. That's preaching. Not only did Jesus commission His disciples to preach but He outlined their work to the end of the world, and gave them their message as well. They were commanded to teach the people whatsoever things He had taught. They were to teach what Christ had taught. Now I am quoting from T h e Desire of Ages, page 826: "The disciples were to teach what Christ had taught. That which He had spoken, not only in person, but through all the prophets and teachers of the Old Testament, is here included. Human teaching is shut out. [The quicker we learn that, the sooner we will be good preachers.) There is no place for tradition, for man's theories and conclusions, or for church legislation. [We are not to preach that.) N o laws ordained by ecclesiastical authority are included in the commission. [You are not preaching when you are talking about those things.) None of these are Christ's servants to teach. . . . The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life." That's pretty strong, isn't it? I wouldn't dare to make it that strong. They'd throw me out!

FEED M Y SHEEP
Preaching is a solemn, high, holy, and important business. Let us remember that all the t i m e i t ' s a high and holy work. If we expect people to come and listen to us, then we should have something to say for their eternal benefit. When we undertake to preach a sermon, we set ourselves to the task of convincing the judgment, kindling the imagination, moving the feelings, and giving such a powerful impulse to the will as to change the very quality of life-yes, even the destiny of that life. Sometimes we hear people say in a lighthearted way, "Well, we don't want our preachers to give us theology; we want the simple gospel." My friends, the simple gospel is just full of tremendous theology, the deepest truths of which the human mind is capable-the existence of God, the sin of man, the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, the necessity of conversion, the miracle of the new birth-all these mighty truths and many others are in the simple gospel. The greatest theological concepts are there. They challenge our profoundest thought. It is not merely the uncomfortable situation of a young man feeding the hogs. That wasn't what made the prodigal go home. The fact that he was uncomfortable and cold, his clothes all torn and worn out, the stench of the hogpens in his nostrils, his stomach sick with a terrible hunger-that wasn't all. There was something else that made that young man go back home. What was it? Oh, he remembered that he had a father. He remembered about someone away off whom he could no longer see or touch or hear. He remembered he had a father, and he remembered that his father had riches in houses and lands. He held the wealth of the world in his hands. He remembered that there was food in his father's house and love in his father's heart. He knew that he had but to decide and act upon his decision to come

W H A T IS PREACHING?
again to his father's housc, with an opportunity of support and a position at least as good as that of a hired servant. Why, that man had a lot of doctrine, my friends. It was solid, theological doctrine that took him away from the hogpens, not just distaste for the things with which he was surrounded. And every man who goes away from the hogpens of this earth will be drawn by some great theological doctrines and concepts. He will realize that he has a Father in a far-off land, that that Father has love in His heart, that the Father will receive him if he goes back, that the Father has food to satisfy his starving soul, that the Father has plans for his future. Yes sir! These great truths were far removed from the immediate situation of the prodigal, but he acted upon them, and we know the result. They became a reality. H e was saved from st~rvation,not by loathing the things that surrounded him but by certain great truths in which he had to have faith. He had to have faith in some certain great truths before he ever turned home. It is written in the Book: "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (John 8: 3 2 ) . That's a promise, a command, a privilege, a duty. Men are to see the truth. They are to see things far beyond the present situation, and the preacher is to make them see the truth. They are to see what may be, what can be, what is to be. And they are to act on this truth by faith. So the great promises, commands, and truths of the deepest theology lead them to move toward God. It is the office of the sermon to bring these mighty truths to bear upon the human life, to aid in the creation of that new life. So we might say that it is the business of preachers not to lecture on botany, but to produce flowers. The knowledge

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of botany may help in doing it. Certainly the flowers cannot be brought to the full measure of their beauty without a knowledge of botany, but the eyes of the wise gardener will always be upon the results to be achieved, upon the flowers that are to bloom. The preacher's duty is not merely to produce a good sermon according to all the rules of homiletics which as a student he has learned from his excellent teachers and the fine books he has read-that's not his object in preaching, not his primary object. His big job is to produce flowers for the garden of God, to have a harvest to present to the King. His knowledge of Scripture, of history, of human nature-all these things-are simply tools to use. He will be saying to his hearers, "This do, and thou shalt live" (Luke 10:28). Think for a moment, not of the time you spend in preparing a sermon-thinking about it, praying about it-but of the time others will spend listening to it. Suppose you have only two hundred people in your congregation, and you preach to them for half an hour once a week. You have taken one hundred hours of their time. That is as much as twelve whole days of eight hours each for one individual. Think of the heartbeats in a hundred hours of a man's life. Think of the quantity of human life that you have demanded from people to stop and listen to you. "Dost thou love life?" asked Benjamin Franklin. "Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Is there enough material in that sermon of enough importance to warrant your going to any one man or woman in the congregation and saying, "I would like to have two whole weeks of your time to bring you certain truths and blessings which I have here in my heart"? What I have to say ought to be pretty important if I make a request like that. Think of the responsibility that

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a preacher carries if he has five hundred or a thousand people in his congregation! Yet, in spite of all this, some of usand I am with you, fellow preachers-some of us sometimes fill up a half hour with a lot of pious twaddle. You know we do. And that's the word for it. A lot of unimportant pleasantries, a lot of thin, tasteless, powerless, hopeless, human inventions. Certainly, when a man has given me part of his life I should use it to bring him the great things of God's law, the mighty revelations of His Word, the eternal promises of the holy gospel. Let's put it this way: Would you go to a man and say, "Let me have two weeks of your life," and then just joke and laugh and fool around all that time? Are the things said to the congregation important enough to take to each individual and buttonhole him and say, "Sir, I have something to say to you"? A sermon should be a flowering forth, a bringing to maturity with tremendous earnestness, all that is best and greatest in the man who preaches it. W e should be able to say, "This is my ripest judgment, my best thought, my supreme aspiration; and I believe it with all my heart." How clear it is from Scripture that the sermon should be the highest output of the preacher. Of Jesus it is written: "Seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain: . . . and he opened his mouth, and taught them" (Matt. 5: 1, 2 ) . And that supreme sermon of the ages, the Sermon on the Mount, came forth from the mouth of Jesus because it was in His heart. It was called forth by the need of the people-"and seeing the multitudes, . . . he opened his mouth, and taught them." And so today the need of man is the occasion of the sermon, the reason for the sermon, the reason for all our

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preaching. If by some sort of spiritual X-ray you and I could look into the heart of every person in our audience when we rise to speak, would it not change our preaching? Would it not give us more enthusiasm, more earnestness, more carefulness, more sympathy? Wouldn't it shame us out of our listlessness, our dullness, our perfunctory officialism? Suppose you could see that tomorrow, next week, someone in your audience is going to die, and he is hearing his last sermon today but doesn't know it. Suppose there is someone there whom the shadow of a great sorrow is just about to grip, and he doesn't know it. There is a man who is going to lose his wife before the week rolls around. There is a child who is going to be motherless before next Sabbath. There is a woman who may discover the infidelity of her husband before you have a chance to speak to her again, and all her life will come tumbling down around her like a house of cards; the future will be desolate. What do you have to say to these people? In 1953 Mrs. Richards and I spent Christmas Eve in the State Hotel in Christchurch, New Zealand. W e were very hungry and went to the dining room for dinner. I will never forget the wild hilarity of the party that was going on there. Someone tried to put a dunce cap on me. Everybody was drunk or wanted to be, and all were really having a great time. The Queen had just landed in New Zealand, and of course you know that New Zealand is more British than Britain itself, and the people were surely glad to see her. They were happy, the whole country was happy. And so they were celebrating in this way. Of course we were happy to be there too, for it is a wonderful and beautiful land. My wife said that if we were to live anywhere outside the United States, it would be in New

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Zealand. I believe it's about the most beautiful country in the world, though of course one says that almost every time he sees some beautiful place. There we were that night. Everything was pleasant as a Christmas Eve should be. Of course, it was midsummer down there, and a beautiful clear night it was. The moon was bright, and there wasn't a storm from one end of New Zealand to the other. That night a railroad train was speeding northward from Wellington, filled with Christmas merrymakers hurrying home for the holiday. On it were several of our own Seventh-day Adventist young people going to the camp meeting at Haskell Park, near Auckland. There were few highway crossings; there was no danger-r was there? About halfway up to Auckland, just to the west, is a high volcano, supposed to be inactive. In its ancient crater is a lake covering about fourteen acres, which is frozen over most of the time, summer and winter. The outlet of this lake was blocked with a great wall of ice which, as far as anyone knew, had been there for centuries. This very night, for some unknown reason, that wall of ice gave way and the water from that lake rushed down the mountainside carrying mud, ashes, stones, and great rocks weighing many tons. When the water and debris came to the railroad bridge, it carried the bridge away. It took out the highway bridge also as it rushed on to the sea. Just then the train drew near. A truck driver who had discovered the destruction just in time tried to flag down the train with his flashlight, but it was too late. On the train rushed with its merrymakers into the bridgeless river, where all of that great trainload except those in a few cars at the end were hurled to death amid the grinding boulders and carried on into the sea. In just twenty

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seconds more than 140 people lost their lives that Christmas Eve, among them two of our own young men. The tragedy threw the whole nation into mourning. The joy of Christmas and the Queen's arrival was changed into a great sadness, and well it might be. It was a terrible, terrible blow. Do you know the first thing that came to my mind when I heard the awful news in the morning? I wondered whether anyone I had preached to during the previous three days was on that train. What had I said that would help him to meet eternity? That was what I was thinking about. Had any of those people been in my meetings? What had I said? Dr. Charles Reynolds Brown, dean of the Divinity Sch001 of Yale University, was among the other preachers who were delivering their messages in the cities of the San Francisco Bay area on Easter Sunday in 1906. All the churches were crowded. On the next Wednesday, at five-fifteen in the morning, a severe earthquake reduced much of San Francisco to a burning ruin. Many of the people whom Dr. Brown and other ministers had addressed that Easter Sunday went to bed wealthy and happy on the night of April 17. The next morning they awoke-if they awoke at all-penniless and amid ruins. Many of them found themselves surrounded by devouring flames that couldn't be stopped. In his very fine book T h e Art of Preaching, which I hope you will read sometime, Dr. Brown says that he asked himself, "What kind of sermon did I give my congregation last Sunday to fit them for facing that ordeal, the destruction of San Francisco?" That was the first thought that came to him. This same minister tells of one of his own experiences in preaching one Sunday night on the subject of "The Everlasting Mercyo-and that's a wonderful subject too. At the close of the service a young man, a cashier in a big financial

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institution, came up to him and confessed that he had taken $2,800 from the company's till and that they were just about to discover the theft. The day of reckoning was just ahead; maybe in a few hours, maybe in a day or two, his dishonesty would be exposed. He was considering changing his identity, fleeing in an attempt to get away from himself and his crime, or committing suicide, rather than to face the disgrace that was sure to come. Thinking to find some help in making a decision, he had dropped into this church and heard Dr. Brown preach on "The Everlasting Mercy." After the service he went to the minister, and they discussed the situation until after midnight. Out of that long conference a plan was devised and carried out, in which the young man confessed his sin and crime and made restitution of the stolen money through several years of selfsacrifice. The oficials of the company were very kind to him, and he made a complete recovery not only of his financial position but of his manhood. Dr. Brown says, "Suppose the preacher had been trifling that night with some fringe of truth! " 0 my friends, preach the great themes of the Scripture. Don't fool around on the fringes, away on the circumference of things. Preach the great truths. You don't have time in this world for anything else. You don't know who might be in your audience. Suppose, through lack of preparation or lack of genuine feeling and earnestness, Dr. Brown had been unable to make the mercy of God and of man real to that cashier so that he had gone out into the darkness and committed suicide. I tell you, preacher friends, it is a serious thing to preach. Many eternal decisions for right or wrong, for life or death, are in our hands. There may be in our congregation some soul

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crying out for the best we can give, and then through laziness, or fear, or lightness, or an unconverted heart, we leave him in the darkness forever. Whether some of us believe it or not, preaching is the most important function of the Christian church and of the Advent message. Read your church history, Read not only what the lines say, but read between the lines, and you will see that in every age the fortunes of the church of God on earth have risen or fallen with the fortunes of preaching. Wherever preaching came up, the welfare of the church came up; wherever preaching has gone down, the church has gone down. Now listen to this-I am going to read what I have written in my notes so that I won't be misquoted: There have been countries on earth where the ministers of religion have been able to use the greatest in architecture. They have had all the support, financial and political and moral, of the state behind them. Their cathedrals have risen to the sky, and even today are marvels of beauty. Their forms of liturgy have appealed to all that is aesthetic in the human nature. They have been privileged to use the highest expressions of art and beauty. Their altarpieces are collectors' items. Their paintings and statues are still the wonder of the world. They have been able to levy the best that music could produce, or that human voices could render, for the enjoyment of their listening congregations, and yet there was one thing lacking-the living voice of a living man with a living message from a living God. There came a decline in religion in spite of the beautiful churches, and the beautiful music, and the beautiful liturgy, and the beautiful art. As religion declined, the church became cold. It became empty. Then, as always, out of the darkness came the light-some man riding on horseback five or six

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thousand miles a year carrying the gospel, some man preaching out of doors to black-faced coal miners, some man standing on his father's tombstone and preaching in a churchyard when the authorities wouldn't let him preach from his father's pulpit. God always had a man on fire with a message from heaven. And a revival came. Revival always comes through preaching. On the other hand, there were some countries where public worship and all its appointments were of the plainest and simplest; where they didn't even call the meeting place a church, but a meetinghouse; where the windows were not emblazoned with the beauty of stained glass, but where God's bright sunshine came in through the clear glass; a little church painted white, with green shutters, on a bleak hill, where in the face of every aesthetic disadvantage the religious life of that land rose in splendor and devotion through the vitalizing power of great preaching. That is what happened. And let us forever remember that the sermons preached in those churches were not an end in themselves, but the men who preached them had a message from God. Every sermon should be a message from God, a message to change men's hearts and lives. It should bring truth from God's storehouse for man's enrichment. It should be the medicine of heaven for the ills of earth. It should be the bread from God's great ovens for the support of spiritual life. What is the first question of the Westminster Catechism? You know what it is. It is this: "What is the chief end of man?" And you know the answer: "The chief end of man is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever." And our chief end as ministers is not to preach a great sermon or two every week, but in our preaching to glorify God, and in the results of our preaching to enjoy Him forever. Our preaching is not to

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show off a great sermon or our ability to preach. We are not especially endowed by Heaven to produce great sermons or even become great preachers, but we are commissioned to work faithfully and by our work to produce some great Christians. Preaching is indeed, as Phillips Brooks put it, "the communication of truth through personality"; or as Andrew W. Blackwood says, "It means divine truth through personality or the truth of God voiced by a chosen personality to meet human needs; or, from another point of view, it calls for the interpretation of life today in light that comes from God today, largely through the Scriptures." John Bunyan expressed the great truth that preaching is man speaking for God, speaking the things of God to the hearts of other men. By leading us to think of the minister as dwelling in the house of the interpreter, the true preacher strives to interpret the will of God for those who look to him for guidance. He takes the eternal truths of Scripture, God's whole counsel to men, and applies them today for the needs of men today. It is not my place to usurp the authority of the competent teachers in Washington Missionary College as they open to you students the science and art of preaching. You have men here who can give you the very best instruction in homiletics. Your library and the library at the Seminary contain books that give the very finest and best on the subject of preaching from the early ages until now. My appeal to you is to look at some of the larger meanings and the larger influences of true preaching. Sermons are often classified as expository, topical, factual, practical, and so on. Most of our preachers preach topical sermons, without a doubt, but I agree with Phillips Brooks when he says that these classifications mean little to a man who is a real preacher.

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Every sermon is really a unit. It must solidly rest upon Scripture as its foundation. It must bear with it a conviction that goes along with a well-thought-out line of argument, clearly stated facts. It must be warm, from the heart, with an earnest appeal. This was Phillips Brooks' idea of preaching, and his volume on preaching in the Yale series is considered by many to be the very best of all. If you look at the ten volumes of his sermons that have been preserved, you will find that he emphasizes many things which, like the stars, vary in their glory. But you can put all of his sermons into two sections: One, preaching to the saints to confirm and to build them up, to feed them; the other, to the godless and the sinners, to win them to Christ. And Spurgeon's numerous volumes of sermons can be divided in the same way-half to the men who know not God, the other half to those who do. And so it seems to me that we ought to include in every sermon material to build up the saints and also to convict and convert sinners, because in almost every congregation there are people who will never find God unless they find Him then and there. Fulton J. Sheen claims that in the United States alone 10 million adults walk our streets groping after God. How many of them will be in your congregation next week or this week? As I understand it, these lectures are to be related largely to the regular weekly preaching of Seventh-day Adventist preachers, rather than to preaching in large, evangelistic meetings. It seems to me that real preaching, real Seventh-day Adventist preaching, will be aimed at people in our regular Sabbath services; that to a large extent many of us are missing the opportunity which is God-given, and for which we must give an account to God. What are we doing for the souls of the lost who attend our regular services?

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My paternal grandfather was a Methodist preacher, and so was his father, and his fathcr, and his father, on back to John Wesley. I have been in my grandfather's church, heard him preach, and have taken part in his services. He was a godly man. I tell you, my friends, he was a Christian. He was a man who knew the dear Lord. My father was healed instantly when my grandfather prayed for him. The doctors had given him up, but his father got down on his knees and prayed for him, and he was healed. Through the prayer of my dear old Methodist grandfather, God saved him to become a Seventhday Adventist minister. My grandfather wasn't a great oratorhe was just a godly man who talked out of his heart to the people. But every Sunday when he was finished with his sermon he would step to a little altar-you know in the Methodist church at that time there was an altar where those who were impressed to do so could come up and kneel, a mourners' bench, or whatever you want to call it-and he would step down there and "open the doors of the church," as he called it. He always did this if there was someone in the audience whom he didn't know, or if there was someone that he did know who was not converted. He didn't make any big emotional appeal, he just stepped down and said: "Now I am opening the doors of the church to anyone here who might desire to be a Christian. Isn't there someone here who wishes to respond to the gospel call and give his heart to Jesus? The church invites you. Please come forward and take my hand and become a member of the church." He would do this Sunday after Sunday, and nobody would come. Then once in a while somebody would come. But grandfather opened the doors of the church every week. I told this story to my son who is now preaching in Wichita Falls, Texas, and a few weeks ago he began to use

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a system something like this. He began to preach so that in every sermon not only was there information and truth but there was an appeal, there was passion, there was labor for the lost. At the close of every service he made an appeal-not necessarily a strong emotional appeal, but a simple opening of the doors of the church, and extending an invitation to those who wished to make a definite commitment to the Lord. After the first six weeks he wrote to me that he had an average of one a week make such a decision. People he thought never would, took their stand for Christ. He had been preaching there for many months without any such action, leaving decisions for some special series of meetings. But many people never attend such meetings. Perhaps they will be at church just that one day. Why not give them the opportunity to come to Christ? One week one of the conference secretaries visited the church and brought his message regarding the program that he was pushing for that season of the year. My son reminded him that every effort was made at his church to have a spiritual appeal in every sermon. The brother cooperated, and at the close my son made his usual appeal, opening the doors of the church, quietly, calmly inviting decision and commitment to Christ. To everybody's surprise, a man and his wife came forward. They evidently were not members of any church. This was clear from their attire and attitude, but they were deeply convicted. Tears ran freely, and they explained that they had promised some relatives to visit a Seventh-day Adventist church someday. As they drove by that particular day, they saw the name of the church and decided to go in to fulfill that promise. This was their first attendance at one of our churches. The Holy Spirit took hold of them as the good man preached and brought some real gospel into his promotion

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program, and when my boy opened the doors of the church at the close of the service, they came forward. They were thoroughly converted and are now preparing for baptism. Now, suppose my son hadn't opened the doors of the church. Those people would have gone on their way, and that would have been the last of it. I want to tell you, fellow believers, I think that we are missing a tremendous opportunity if we don't capitalize in some way on our regular Sabbath services every week. A man can do it in his own way, but there is some way to do it. It will make the people know that you are preaching for a decision when you extend some kind of invitation to them. You may not get anyone for weeks; then again you might. But one soul is worth six months' invitations. And let's remember that in our audience there is always somebody who needs help. And in any audience of two or three hundred there is bound to be somebody making a big decision right there that day. Surely real Seventh-day Adventist preaching will win people to Christ Sabbath after Sabbath throughout the year, and prepare them for a place in God's service here and for a place in His kingdom of glory hereafter. Now, all true preaching must be doctrinal, not merely ethical; it must appeal to the head as well as to the heart. Again referring to Phillips Brooks, preaching in Bostonthen a strong Unitarian city, of course, but Catholic today -Phillips Brooks often preached on the great doctrines, such as the Trinity and the incarnation, subjects like that right there in that city. Things he believed, he preached; and such preaching didn't diminish his crowds a bit. On the basis of his experience in that city, which certainly was highly successful, he wrote a passage delivered in his Yale Lectures, which every minister ought to commit to memory. It is this: "No preaching

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ever had any strong power which was not preaching doctrine. . . . Preach all the doctrine that you know, and learn forever more and more, but preach it always, not that men might believe it, but that men may be saved by believing it." That's the way to preach doctrine. And that's the way Jesus preached it. N o wonder the bronze statue of Phillips Brooks in front of Trinity Church in Boston shows him standing as a minister of Christ, with Jesus just behind him, with His hand on the shoulder of the man of God, directing, guiding, and encouraging him. True preaching in the Scripture is spoken of as preaching the gospel, preaching the kingdom of God, preaching Christ. Now, what is the real work of our preaching-the preaching of the gospel minister? Here is the answer in the words of one greatly beloved. It is by Ellen G. White in the Review and Herald of September 11,1888. It [the work of the minister of the gospel] is to rightly divide the word of truth; not to invent a new gospel, but to rightly divide the gospel already committed to them. They cannot rely upon old sermons to present to their congregations; for these set discourses may not be appropriate to meet the occasion, or the wants of the people. There are subjects that are sadly neglected, that should be largely dwelt upon. The burden of our message should be the mission and life of Jesus Christ. [That's the burden of our message--the life and work of Jesus Christ. You will preach more and more from the New Testament, my friends, when you follow the Spirit of prophecy in preaching-the life and work, the mission and work, of Jesus.) Let there be a dwelling upon the humiliation, self-denial, meekness, and lowliness of Christ, that proud and selfish hearts may see the difference between themselves and the Pattern, and may be humbled. Show to your hearers Jesus and His condescension to save fallen man. Show them that He who was their surety had to take human nature, and carry it through the darkness and the fearfulness of the malediction of His Father, because of

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man's transgression of His law; for the Saviour was found in fashion as a man. Describe, if human language can, the humiliation of the Son of God, and think not that you have reached the climax, when you see Him exchanging the throne of light and glory which He had with the Father, for humanity. He came forth from heaven to earth; and while on earth, He bore the curse of God as surety for the fallen race. He was not obliged to do this. He chose to bear the wrath of God, which man had incurred through disobedience to the divine law. He chose to endure the cruel mockings, the deridings, the scourging, and the crucifixion. "And being made in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and become obedient unto death;" but the manner of His death was an astonishment to the universe; for it was even the death of the cross. Christ was not insensible to ignominy and disgrace. He felt it almost bitterly. He felt it as much more deeply and acutely than we can feel suffering, as His nature was more exalted, and pure, and holy than the sinful race for whom He suffered. He was the majesty of heaven, He was equal with the Father, He was the commander of the hosts of angels, yet He died for man the death that was, above all others, clothed with ignominy and reproach. 0 that the haughty hearts of men might realize this! 0 that they might enter into the meaning of redemption, and seek to learn the meekness and lowliness of Jesus! If we could preach the doctrine and life of Jesus in words like these, that would be great preaching. Then we would know something about what it means to preach Christ as the apostles preached Him. In his study T h e Ministry a Living Sacrifice, M . K. Eckenroth recounts the experience that came to a young preacher who was to be examined by Henry Ward Beecher as an applicant for the ministry. Beecher was seated informally on the edge of the platform as the young applicant presented himself. Beecher looked at him for a moment in silence and then asked, "Why do you want to be ;I preacher?" This surprised the young man, for he had expected some deep theological question. "Because I love Jesus," he replied. h utter simplicAnd that, in turn, surprised Beechcr ~ i t its ity. "Are you a slave to that love?" \ \ C I S the counter question. The young man did not answer. He didn't need to. Beecher could see that he was. The records show that the young man caught the message and went out and distinguished himself in the service of God and man. So the question coming to you and to me now is, "Do you love Christ and are you a slave to that love?" That's the real question. Every book on physical science twenty-five years old is hopelessly out of date. Even studies in biology, zoology, and physics are progressing so fast that a degree in these subjects, taken a few years ago, does not today comprehend great masses of material considered absolutely essential to our modern knowledge. But, my friends, the Book of your message is not out of date. Of course, there will be new things to learn about the Bible. W e should be studying it. W e should know more than our ancestors in the ministry knew about itthe wonderful discoveries being made in archeology and other lines. The great truths of the Holy Scriptures are eternal. The facts of salvation and the redemption of men are unchanging. True enough, we learn more and more about them. They glow with increasing brightness, with more wonder; and they are to be proclaimed in language and manner appropriate to the thinking of the people of every age. But the doctrines of salvation are always up to date. There are many quacks today, but they are not all in the field of medicine. Some of them are in religion. Every kind of nostrum and palliative has been suggested to cure church ills and diseases. They tell us that we must have finer machinery, more beautiful buildings, softer music, and more up-to-date programs. There may be value in some of these things, but

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they will never make a sick church well or a weak church strong. What a church needs is doctrine and not doctoring. Efficiency seems to be the magic word for this age. W e have efficiency experts galore in the church and out of it. W e have built up the most efficient machinery for mission enterprises ever known in the history of the world, but efficiency is not synonymous with life. Doctors of modern religion tell us that the church needs bigger budgets and programs, and no doubt this is true; but far more does the church need bigger and better men-not necessarily with more push, but with more power. Again we say, not more doctoring but more doctrine. The Seventh-day Adventist Church and its world message will not thrive and do its work, overthrow its opposition, and win its way to earth's millions by liturgies and creeds and programs and magnificent architecture, lovely as they all are. It will go forward on its witness for Christ and the proclamation of the great doctrines of the Christian faith in the light of the second coming of Christ and the signs of the times. That's the only way to prepare ourselves and the world for the coming of the Lord. Great preaching only breaks out of the deep, rich soil of a great theology. The age of great preachers has always been the age of great religious beliefs. Preaching, to be robust, trenchant, down-reaching,soul-searching, will-compelling, life-molding, must be theological, dogmatic, authoritative. The great preaching has always and only been done by the theological athletes, by men who believed something, by men who were saturated and steeped with the spiritual certitudes, by men who could think God's thoughts after Him, and thread their way through that ordered plan by which God saves the world to the glory of His grace. We notice, if we have read any history, that the notable spiritual world movements and upheavals have all been inspired by great convictions of truth. From the apostolic age to the
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WHAT IS PREACHING?
Augustinian, from the Reformation to the Puritan, they have been theological ages. The great epochs have been theological; the great revivals have been doctrinal; the notable revolutions have been driven under the lash of great moral and doctrinal convictions. It is a fatal mistake to suppose that a minister or church can get on without a theology. An individual, it has been said, may get on with religion, but "a church must have its dogma." Its vitality will ebb if you devitalize its creed, or cut it down to the vanishing point. . . . It is not from too much theology the church suffers, but from far too little. It is not from too much dogmatism and authority the pulpit is weak, but from the lack of the positive note and the authoritative accent born of great convictions of larger truth.-JOHN R. MoTT, Claims and Opportz~nitiesof t h e Christian Ministry, pp. 70, 71. The preaching on these great truths is not always easy, my friends. Doctrinal preaching is almost always difficult. It takes more thought, more time, more earnestness, more prayer, more conviction-especially more conviction. Remember this: "Opinions are like the leaves of the forest, but convictions are the blooms of the century plant." Real Seventh-day Adventist doctrinal preaching-the preaching that made the movement, the preaching that built the church, the preaching that started it on its way-is the sort of preaching that will bring the message to victory in the end. It's true enough that many people do not like that kind of preaching, and applaud the other kind. Some men have been known to give sermons made up largely of moving stories, even funny stories; discussions of world events, of which the people usually know as much as the preacher; or other things, of which no one knows anything. There are sermons on themes from flying saucers to electronic fission, and texts are sometimes used as pretexts. One reason for this is that many people like it, but they

44

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sometimes need things that they don't like. Why, if we should give our children just the things they like, and never anything that they do not like, I don't know what would happen. One thing is sure, they would grow up to be physically and mentally undernourished. W e need to remember that sermonets sometimes make Christianets. You can't make Sequoia gigantea character with tabloid reviews. There will never be great conviction of the sinner unless there is a great conviction of truth in the heart of the preacher. You cannot follow the man-pleasing vicar who, when he saw the lord of the manor in his audience, softened up his final appeal by saying: "Except ye repent, as it were, and be converted after a fashion, ye shall be damned to a certain extent." Great fruitage comes from great sowing; great results from great preaching; and great preaching from great conviction and great prayer and great labor. Great preaching will be personal preaching, a preaching that points the finger of conviction, but not of the preacher's hand, and says, "Thou art the man!" That's it, "Thou art the man!" Great preaching calls for action. It says in substance: "This is true. This is God's truth; therefore we should do this or that." That was the sort of preaching that awakened sinners at the day of Pentecost when they came surging about the .preacher, saying, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" (Acts 2:37). When the second President of the United States attended church in New York one day, the minister preached one of his most flowery sermons. When, at the close, the President did not comment on the sermon, the preacher finally said, "Well, what did you think of the sermon, Your Excellency?" "Didn't like it!"

WHAT IS P R E A C H I N G ?
"Didn't like it? Why, what was the matter with it? What kind of preaching do you like?" "I don't like that kind of preaching." "What kind do you like?" "Oh," he said, "I want to hear a man preach in such a way that he will make a fellow get up in the corner of the pew and think the devil is after him." My friends, some of the biggest minds in the world want preaching that will bring conviction to their souls. When you preach, you preach for action. After the people hear you, you want them to go home and live the Christian life and do the Christian deed. A criminal lawyer or prosecuting attorney would starve to death unless he went before the jury and talked for a verdict. If every preacher in every sermon talked for some kind of verdict, think how the church would be awakened, how souls would be redeemed! If you were in court for your life and the advocate stood up, how would you want him to talk to the jury? For action or for a mere aesthetic thrill? You would want him to talk to that jury for a decision, not speak in a haphazard way, for your life would depend upon it. What about the eternal life of that man in your audience? In ancient Athens when Aeschines, the great orator, spoke, the people said, "What a magnificent oration"; but when Demosthenes spoke, they said, "Let us march against Philip!" That's real speaking. Demosthenes knew how to speak for action, and that's the test of an effective speaker today as it was in the days of ancient Greece. Ry God's grace we need to set the people marching against Macedonia! Let us seek God in humility and get right with Him. Let us change our ways. Let us go out in missionary work. Let us march against Philip!

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"Except a man's ministry is momentous, he himself is trivial," Bishop Quayle said. The real question for a pastor to put to his own soul is not "Am I great?" but "Is the gospel I preach great?" I heard Bishop Quayle when I was fourteen years old, and I can remember his sermon yet. If a preacher can interest a boy of fourteen, he is a great preacher. Bishop Quayle had the right idea. H e said that most books, speeches, and human activities deal with world relations and temporalities. But a sermon, to be a great sermon from God, must deal with sempiternities-a word not often used, but one that reverberates like a terrific sea. "If I left this sermon unsaid, what loss would ensue?" asks Bishop Quayle. "Put that sharp sword at every sermon's throat you are about to preach and see how the sermon fares." If it can't pass that test, don't preach it. Put the sword to its throat. If the sermon is not on a great subject, for a great issue and a great cause, then don't preach it. "I am the voice!" cried sunburned John. "Hear the word of the Lord!" spoke predestined Jeremiah. That is real preaching. The renowned Charles Haddon Spurgeon said:
I have no sympathy with the preaching which degrades God's truth into a hobbyhorse for its own thought and only looks upon Scripture as a kind of pulpit upon which it may thunder out its own opinions. If I have gone beyond what that Book has taught, may God blot out everything that I have said! I beseech you, never believe if I go an atom beyond what is plainly taught there. I am content to live and to die as the mean repeater of Scriptural teaching; as a person who has thought out nothing, invented nothing; as one who never thought that to be any part of his calling; but who concluded that he was to take the message from the lips of God to the best of his ability and simply to be a mouth for God to the people, mourning much that anything of his own should come between, but never thinking that he was somehow to refine that message, to adapt it to the brilliance of this wonderful century, and then to hand it out as

WHAT IS PREACHING?
being so much his own that he might take some share of the glory of it. Nay, nay; we have aimed at nothing of the kind. "I have declared thy faithfulness and thy salvation: I have not concealed thy lovingkindness and thy truth from the great congregation." Psalm 40:lO.Nothing that we preach is our own. If there has been anything of our own, we do bitterly take back those words and eat them, and repent that ever we should have been guilty of such sin and folly. The things which we have learned of God, our Father, and of His Son, Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, we have sought to speak to you.-Moody Monthly, January, 1945. W e have three great model sermons in the New Testament: the apostle Peter's at Pentecost, and Paul's at Antioch and on Mars' Hill. In each case they were largely doctrinal. They went back to the beginnings of things and traced the history of mankind and the revelation of God, drawing their conclusions with irresistible logic. In each case Christ is the very center of the sermon. H e is the subject of the sermon. There can be n o true doctrine without Christ. Christ Himself is the doctrine. The Scriptures speak of "the doctrine of Christ" ( 2 John 9 ) . All the principles of good preaching apply to Seventhday Adventist preaching. W e believe that there is a reason for this Seventh-day Adventist Church and for Seventh-day Adventist preaching. If there is no reason, then why be different? If there is a reason, we ought to have some things which others do not have with the same force and with the same power. Why are we called Seventh-day Adventists? Because we emphasize the long-neglected truth of the Sabbath, which we believe was to be revived in the latter days, and has been revived, and is to be a sign and symbol of God's remnant church. W e are called Adventists because we emphasize the second coming of Christ, which all true Christians look for, in which they believe. But we emphasize it, and we

FEED MY SHEEP believe that it is imminent, and we proclaim the signs of the times that show it to be near. Are we to cease emphasizing these things? No, a thousand times no! Listen to the words of one of the strongest preachers we ever had, L. H. Christian ( T h e Review a n d Herald, Jan. 21, 1926). Christ's words to us are, "Hold that fast which thou hast." God has committed to us a sacred treasury in this message. W e are to stand on the old platform from which the Lord has said that not a pin is to be removed. Now do not misunderstand me, and think that I believe that that means you must not study, or that research is not to be encouraged, or that intelligent, careful, logical thinking is not to be desired. The more we study, the more we shall believe the great fundamentals of this message. Some evangelists get people into this message, as they think of it, by giving new things and in some respects another message; but they fail, without exception. The preachers who preach the old message have the power, and they have the success. If you wish to know what are the great basic doctrines of this great message of which we speak so often, you will find them plainly stated in our books, especially the older books. May I ask you younger workers, if you have not done so, to read the early books of this denomination? W e have had a few men whose works stand out by themselves. J. N. Andrews, I chink, was the most logical writer we ever had; Uriah Smith and others were not far behind. All our books are good, yet in the early bringing out of the message, there was a very simple presentation of the principles which are the basis of the advent faith. Get these old books (they are not difficult to find; many of them have been republished), and go through them. Many people go astray because they accept wrong premises, or because they reason crookedly, or because they reason crookedly on right premises, and do not follow the Scriptures. The nearer we get to the end, the closer will we follow the old message. Our power is there, the word of God is there, and the success is there. The Lord has given us this message through the spirit of Revelation. The pioneers of this movement were earnest Bible students. They knew how to study, and often studied all night. When they could get no farther, Sister White wo111d have a

W H A T IS PREACHING? vision, and the Lord would reveal the truth to her in vision, and then she would tell it to the brethren, though she herself sometimes did not understand the scriptures they were studying. This was the way the message came, by study and by the Spirit of prophecy; and that sacred treasure is to be guarded by God's people and workers. So we are to preach God's message, my friends, not our own. This was a good message for preachers in 1926, and I think it is a good message for us now. Real Seventh-day Adventist preaching should be the preaching of the gospel in the setting of Seventh-day Adventist beliefs. I am sure that all who listen just now will recognize the authority of the following words: "The Lord desires His servants today to preach the old gospel doctrine, sorrow for sin, repentance, and confession. W e want old-fashioned sermons, old-fashioned customs, old-fashioned fathers and mothers in Israel. The sinner must be labored for, perseveringly, earnestly, wisely, until he shall see that he is the transgressor of God's law, and shall exercise repentance toward God and faith toward the Lord Jesus Christ."-Euangelism, pp. 179, 180. You know who wrote that. Only one person could write it. And here is a prophecy and a promise from the same writer: "The old truths, given us at the beginning, are to be heralded far and near. The lapse of time has not lessened their value. I t is the constant effort of the enemy to remove these truths from their setting, and to put in their place spurious theories. But the Lord will raise u p men of keen perception, who with clear vision will discern the intrigues of Satan, and will give these truths their proper place in the Rezjiew nnd Herald, Aug. 20, 1903. plan of God."-The Isn't that wonderful? Let me say to you, young men preparing for the ministry,

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Proclaim the everlasting gospel. This is no time to relax our preaching of the doctrines of Christ. This is no time to put the soft pedal on the distinctive present-day doctrines of Seventh-day Adventists. They become increasingly urgent as time goes on. The judgment-hour message is not out of date. It is more urgent now than at its beginning. The sacrificial atoning offering of Christ upon the cross is not out of date. It is more and more important and should be preached more and more as the modernistic tendencies in the popular churches repudiate the atonement. The priestly work of our Saviour in heaven is not out of date. It becomes more and more important as that work draws near its completion. The downtrodden law of God is not out of date. It should be lifted up as a standard of righteousness. The Sabbath, "preached more fully," is not out of date. The warning against the beast and his image and his mark is not out of date. It should be proclaimed more fully as apostasy deepens. The message that says, "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues" (Rev. 18:4), certainly is not out of date, because it hasn't gone forth in its fullness yet. The word came to us long ago that "the Lord calls for a renewal of the straight testimony borne in years past." The printed page will do its work. Our believers will sow the seed and preach the message by word of mouth in the homes of the people. Radio and television will do their work, but this Advent message will be finished in a blaze of light in the mightiest preaching this world has ever known. Let us never, never forget that. Real Seventh-day Adventist preaching today must be not only the proclamation of the fulfillment of prophecy in the great Advent Movement, not only the great Sabbath reform message, health reform, finan-

W H A T IS P R E A C H I N G ?
cial reform, dress reform, and all the other reforms which we believe are due the world-not only these but the everlasting gospel is our message, in the setting of fulfilled prophecy. Revelation 14 pictures such a worldwide message. It's everlasting. It's the gospel that was preached from the beginning. It is the gospel, the only hope of man in an otherwise hopeless world, but a gloriously sufficient hope. W e are not merely to convert people from keeping Sunday to keeping the seventh day of the week, from believing and holding wrong views on the state of the dead to holding right views, from believing that Jesus is coming in some far-off, immensely distant future to believing that His coming is near. All these things are important, but they are not the gospel. As one of our leading ministers has written me: "So many of our men feel that their sole responsibility lies in giving a set of doctrinal lectures and prophetic expositions, and driving as rapidly as possible toward the Sabbath and its acceptance, and then to the baptismal pool. But poor, sin-blighted lives, seeking for salvation from the guilt and power of sin, need all the aids that are possible to understand the power of the Christian life and the high privileges of Christian living through grace from our Saviour. I feel that we violate the very clear principle that we should show others that we are Christians before we bring out the peculiar points of our doctrinal beliefs from which the popular churches have departed. W e are to call men back to these principles. It's a glorious privilege, but there is a tragic neglect in the uplifting of Christ in every presentation. "I heard a discourse on the two covenants lately that gave the thing as entirely objective, with a distinct legalistic slant and no appeal. Oh, what a wonderful opportunity that was to help men and women who live under the old-covenant

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relationship actually to discern somcthi~lgtarigiblc and at the same time change from the old over to the rieu rel,~tionship." If we do not truly preach Christ, we are not really preachers; we are mere lecturers. If we do not have a gospel of hope and salvation, we are simply making the greatest mistake in this world. W e are getting a lot of Saturdaykeepers and unsaved "doctrinaires," instead of redeemed believers in Christ, follo\ving God's truth for this day. The everlasting gospel has been preached by all God's servants from the beginning-by Noah, Abraham, and all the prophets, also by Paul and Peter and all the apostles. It was preached in a setting appropriate for their day. W e cannot preach this gospel message as Noah preached it, or as Luther gave it. W e must preach it in a setting of our own day, the setting of Revelation 14. Martin Luther preached righteousness by faith in a setting of the gospel message for the sixteenth century at the time of the great Protestant Reformation. W e must preach righteousness by faith in the setting of God's message for our day. W e are told by God's messenger: "Several have written to me, inquiring if the messdge of justification by faith is the third angel's message, and I have answered, 'It is the third angel's message in verity.' "-The Review and Herald, April 1, 1890. The apostle Paul preached righteousness by faith, and temperance, and a judgment to come. W e are to preach these things in the setting of "the hour of his judgment is come." W e need not worry about the integrity of our message. "The waymarks which have made us what we are, are to be preserved, and they will be preserved, as God has signified through His word and the tcstimony of His Spirit. H e calls

WHAT IS PREACHING? upon us to hold firmly, with the grip of faith, to the fundamental principles that are based upon unquestionable authority."-Special Testimonies, Series B, No. 2, p. 59. That's from God's servant, as you know. As a people, we are to stand firm on the platform of eternal truth that has withstood test and trial; we are to hold to the sure pillars of our faith. The principles of truth that God has revealed to us are our only true foundation. They have made us what we arc. The lapse of time has not lessened their value.-Ibid., p. 51. No line of truth that has made the Seventh-day Adventist people what they are is to be weakened. We have the old landmarks of truth, experience, and duty, and we are to stand firmly in defense of our principles, in full view of the world.Testimonies, vol. 6, p. 17. As the foundation of our message we must take our stand on Calvary, where the shadow of a cross rose upon a lonely hill. W e must point sinners to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sin of the world. W e must tell them how to become Christians-that they must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and then they shall be saved; that they must repent, or they shall all likewise perish; th?t they must confess Him before men, so that H e may confess them before our Father which is in heaven; that they must be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, so that they may receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. In short, preaching is the proclamation of the gospel. Preaching is not mere lecturing. It is not mere talking. It's gospel preaching or it's not Christian preaching. Real preaching must come from a heart surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. There is an ancient legend which says that when the hunter dipped his arrow in the blood of his own heart, it sped unerringly to its mark. And so, my friends, any man who would aim unerringly at the souls of other men must dip his arrows in the blood of his own heart's convictions.

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But no man can do this until by experience he knows the cross and his own heart has been surrendered to Jesus. The secret wouldst thou know, To touch the heart or fire the blood at will? Let thine own eyes o'erflow, Let thy lips quiver with the passionate thrill. Some years ago the word was flashed from Birmingham, Alabama, that her sister city, Montgomery, a hundred miles away, was on fire. The whole city was threatened. Motorcycle officers went out along the paved highway between those two cities and closed every crossroad. They stopped all traffic and got it off on the side so the fleet of fire trucks could speed that hundred miles from Birmingham to fight the flames. Pleasure cars were put off the road, business cars were stopped and compelled to give way to the supremely important mission. A great city was on fire, houses were being destroyed, lives were in peril, fortunes going up in smoke. It was no time for mere business or pleasure. And so today, fellow preachers of this holy gospel, the world is on fire. Everything that is of value is in peril. Souls with the possibilities of immortality are at stake. Should we not clear the road of our lives? Should we not make supremely first things first? Anything that does not serve the cause of Christ, anything that inhibits our work for Him, anything that blunts the edge of our spiritual experience, tones down our sermons, ruins the power of our testimony, should be sidetracked. Let us open the way for God's fire wagons. Clear the road, "make straight in the desert a highway for our God." Yes, brother-friend, make ye ready the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Friends, there are a thousand things we could say about preaching, but who can tell any man how to preach! I can't.

W H A T IS PREACHING?
We all have different personalities. But when God calls us and puts His Spirit upon us and we open our hearts to Him, and we know He has called us, then we can preach. Remember this, before we had one church building, we had preachers. Before we had one school building, we had preachers. Before we had one hospital, we had preachers. Before we had one printing press, we had preachers. And, my friends, if preachers ever cease in this movement, soon the institutions will come to an end also. There are many things that need to be done and are being done, but they cannot take the place of preaching. Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16: 15 ) . W e organize conferences and churches, and that's a good thing, but it's not preaching. W e may supervise them, and initiate new plans and ideas, unite, divide, finance, but that is not preaching. W e may raise money and put on many worthy campaigns and programs, hold institutes, councils, rallies, but that is not preaching. W e may build up a worldwide system of public relations and favorable publicity, circulate books, papers, tracts, by the millions-this ought to be done, must be done, will be donebut it's not preaching. Preaching goes first, it continues, and will wind up the scene. Some of us are inclined to make a packhorse of the great commission. Jesus didn't say, "Go into all the world and build sanitariums, organize and build conference offices, union conference offices, build publishing houses, build schools, set up stores, commercial institutions, and so forth." He didn't say that. These things are the legitimate fruits that spring from Christian activity, I suppose, but they are not the foundation. The Scripture says, "Go ye into all the world, and preach." Sometimes we forget the commission and do the other things first.

FEED M Y SHEEP There is nothing in all the world that brings such selfsacrifice as preaching if it's done right. There is nothing that the devil hates as much as preaching and preachers-true preaching, godly preaching, powerful preaching. How he hates it! H e is perfectly willing that some men who have been called of God and are powerful before the multitude and who wield the "sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6: 17), with mighty power and effect, should do anything but preach-any good thing. He will bring some special temptation to such a man, get him to fall, get him out of the work, or he will get him into some other good workanything to stop him from preaching-if he is a powerful preacher. He is willing for him to be busy at any good work, even, but not the work that God has called him to. Isn't it about time that preachers should really preach? 13ut you say, "I am not a great evangelist." That may be true, but if God has called you to preach, preach! You may say, "But I can't get a crowd where I am." Preach anyway, if it is only to one or two. Keep preaching, and there will be results. Some time ago a Methodist minister who was not a great orator, but just a common preacher with a small parish, had one overpowering conviction-that he had been called to preach. Every ycar when he attcnded the conference session he had about as many converts to report as some of the great evangelists who held a campaign now and then. One day the superintendent called him in and asked him to explain it, for although he had been an obscure preacher, he was getting results all the time. He just said quietly, "Well, I hold a meeting every Sunday night in my church and preach the gospel." "You don't mean to say that you preach all summer?"

W H A T IS PREACHING? "Why, sure, I preach all summer, every Sunday night. Fifty-two Sunday nights a year my church is lighted up and I preach." "Well, don't your crowds go down in the summer?" "Certainly-sometimes I don't have more than ten or fifteen people present. But my people know I'll be there, preaching the Word every Sunday night. And when I put my converts all together at the end of the year, I've got my fifty, sixty, or seventy-five souls." Well, maybe we shouldn't do it in just that way, but I want to tell you, friends, if God has called us to preach, and we preach, and just keep doing it, we will always get results. Yes, many times preaching is a thankless task, looked upon by many as lower in esteem and honor than administrative posts. I know a preacher, and he's not a thousand miles away from here, and the incident of which I speak wasn't a hundred years ago. Someone came to see him, and saw his big church and the wonderful success he was having. "Now what's your objective? What are you working for?" he was asked. H e replied: "Look at this great church, nearly two thousand members. I am busy day and night ministering to the needs of these people, feeding this mighty flock, building up the cause of God, winning souls for Him." "Oh, 1 know, that's great. But what's your real objective?" asked his friend. "Can't you see that my real objective is here? Can't you imagine a man who has no other goal than this highest of all goals, to win souls for Christ?" "Oh, yes, I understand all that. That's true, of course, in one sense of the word. But what's your ultimate objective?" This inquisitor could not imagine anyone who did not

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want to be an administrator of some kind-a secretary, a president of a conference, of a union conference, or a General Conference official. True, all these are honorable positions, but in the sight of God is any position higher than that of the soul winner? Isn't that the greatest vocation on earth? Should we not rather sympathize with men who must turn aside from full-time soul winning to give part of their time to administer the rest of us? Someday, preacher-friend, the reward will come. All true preachers will be gathered to meet that great Preacher who sent them forth, He of the pierced hands. There will be among them that day a few great preachers, a few great orators, a few men of renown from all the generations, but most of the preachers that day will be just common preachers-preachers like you and me, just common folks. Many of the shepherds who will come that day will be from God's back pastures, just as we are. Some will have large flocks gathered into the fold. Some will have just two or three, but how happy they will all be to see those sheep inside the fold at last! And when they are all gathered together, they will look at the Master of all true preachers, and they will see the marks upon His forehead, the marks of the thorns. There will be a great silence, and then they will hear words which they themselves have read so many times, and just hearing those words will pay them for all their wounds and heartaches and lonely, unnoticed labors in far-off places with a life and death that seemed to make little impression on a neglectful world. And then from the lips of the Master they will hear these words-and the words will pay them for everything: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant: . . . enter thou into the joy of thy lord" (Matt. 25 :2 1) .

LECTURE

NO. 2

The Preacher Himself


"How shall they believe in him o f whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"-Romans 10:14.

O W SHALL they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10: 14). The darkness of this world needs light. And it is written of Jesus Himself that He is the "true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (John 1:9). In real darkness men gather about the light. In the spiritual darkness of this world they will gather about the smallest, faintest, glittering candle. If there is a little light there, they will huddle about it. It is because God made them for light. That is why there will always be room for the preacher in the world of today and every day. He is the light bearer who comes not only with a candle but with a mighty torch that shines brighter and brighter until the final day shall break in glory. Jesus was the light of the world. He came preaching, and He sent His disciples forth to preach, to be lights. In different ages of this world the darkness has come down, like that of Egypt, which could be felt, and attempted to smother the light. First it was paganism, then the great apostasy, then rationalism, then materialism, now secularism and humanism; but the light always breaks out. It shines through men; it shines through true preaching. Now these

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men do not originate the light; the light is in them, and shines forth from them. They are incandescent men, as it were, "for God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" ( 2 Cor. 4 : 6 ) . That's a great preacher's text. God is to shine in us, but we are to shine for others. Like Gideon's warriors, "we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us" (verse 7 ) . It is only when the vessels are broken that the light shines out; it is when we are submerged that Christ emerges; it is only when we fall back behind the cross that the glory can shine from the face of Jesus Christ to all the world. When the light reflected from the face of Jesus shines through the life of the preacher, then he is the sort of preacher he ought to be. Then surprising things happen. Those who have never turned to God, those who profess animosity to all things righteous and holy, those who have been blase, worldlyminded, philosophically confused, even antireligious and antiChristian, are often changed and changed entirely, suddenly. Just when they think they are the most secure in their skepticism and infidelity and doubting and secular satisfactions, then something happens. Just when we're safest, There's a sunset-touch, A fancy from a flower-beIl, Someone's death, A chorus-ending from Euripides,And that's enough for fifty hopes and fears. But more than that-just then there's a whisper from the Spirit of God, an arrow from His quiver, a word from His great Book, the voice of the preacher on the air, which comes

T H E P R E A C H E R HIMSELF
like a sword in the heart, and back conlcs the heart to the first image of the light for \vhich the eyes of inan are longing. It is the testimoily of the preclcher's life that speaks louder than his voice. The preacher himself is to be the light. Ralph Connor writes of a simple preacher who was doing his earnest work for God on a great Western ranch when one of the cowboys in the audience began to quibble with him. "Of course that's in the Bible, ain't it?" someone ~ s k e d him. "Yes," said the sky pilot. "Well, how do you know it's true?" Before he could answer, a ranchman interrupted: "Look here, young fellow; look here, cowboy, how do you know anything's true? How do you lcnow the pilot here is true when he speaks? Can't you tell it by the feel? Can't you tell it by the sound of his voice?" My dear friends, that's what will coilvict most peoplethe feel of the man himself, the voice of the man himself. And so God's truth is not a philosophy, not merely a theory or a formula that some men might discover by mental effort alone-it's a life. It came from the Life. Jesus said, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1: 4 ) . And so, there is something about every one of us by which men can tell by the feel, for the witness of the Spirit bears witness in us and through us that we are the sons of God. The mind of this age is a skeptical mind. There is no doubt about that. It is an age that glorifies doubt and sometimes looks upon a confession of faith as the evidence of dull

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thinking. It's a time of disillusion, of blank misgivings, when multiplied millions-even many who call themselves Christians-look upon the future life, and even the very existence of God Himself, as "The Great Perhaps." It is not for us to waste our time in condemning the skepticism of today, but rather, we should bring it something wonderful to believe. W e can do that only when there is true belief and faith in our own hearts. True preaching will win the heart of the doubter and skeptic. It may not clarify his mind at once, but it will win his mind if the preaching comes out of the heart of the preacher with warmth and faith, from the very soul of one who does not make light of doubt and unbelief, but who may say: "I know the force of that sickness. I, too, have prayed, 'Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief'" (Mark 9:24). W e have to know something about skepticism and doubt and wonder. Don't condemn the skeptic and the unbeliever. Tell him you know something about that sickness yourself. The man's heart will begin to believe before his mind does. Never get the idea that it is a sign of weakness to appeal to the feelings and emotions. That is a part of man as much as his reason. And the fact of the case is that the man who makes so much of the idea that the only appeal that ought to be made is the appeal to reason, is himself made just like other men. The will to believe will cause him to believe what he wants to believe. H e will be as likely as others to rationalize it that way. Again and again and again Jesus spoke of appealing to the heart of man. "Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries . . . : these are the things which defile a man" (Matt. 15: 19, 20). W e split up the man and make him a sort of schizophrenic, but Jesus speaks of man as a man, and appeals to him in every way possible.

T H E P R E A C H E R HIMSELF
I think it would do us preachers good to read more of John Bunyan-not only his Pilgrim's Progress but T h e Holy W a r , his famous book on the spiritual conflict of life, in which he describes the siege of the city of Mansoul with its Eye Gate, Ear Gate, Feel Gate, et cetera. The peculiarity of that city was that it could never be taken except by the consent of its citizens. Bunyan was a man who knew more about human nature than some of our modern psychologists. He knew how the enemy approaches these various gates of man's soul. By the way, it is said that Spurgeon read Pilgrim's Progress seventy-five times. That's one reason why he could write some books the way he did-john Ploughman's Talks, for instance. H e never could have written that if he hadn't read Pilgrim's Progress a lot and learned how to use words of one syllable. Remember, when you began to study Greek, you started with John, didn't you? Why? Because loue, God, hope, are all one-syllable words; and that's the sort of preaching we should give to the world. It's not so easy, I'll admit. Now, there are two things for us as preachers always to remember. First, that Jesus Christ is alive and that H e has promised to be with us to the end of the world. Every age has found Him alive, giving strength to His true preachers. That's one thing to remember. The other is this: In every human soul the preacher has an ally. Here is something we often forget-I know that I have often forgotten it-but it is a tremendous encouragement. When you start to preach to a man or talk to him, you not only have the promise that Jesus Christ is with you but you have the promise that in that man's soul you have an ally-the conscience-and no matter what clothes he wears, or what degrees he holds, or what doubts he promulgates, he has inside him a conscience to awaken him. The moment you begin to proclaim the Word of God to a
5

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man, you have an ally, that man's conscience trying to unbolt tlie gate from the inside. While your battering-ram is on the outside, the conscicnce within is on your side, your fifth column, if you please, inside. It is there in evcry man. And whenever the true Word of God is trumpeted, challenging the city of man's soul to surrender, the conscience inside begins to work with the lock, trying to open the door for you. The message of the Lord has its appeal to every heart, even before that heart yields to Him. As someone has said, "It is beauty for the poet, truth for the scientist, righteousness for the moralist, commonwealth of man for the social idealist; yea, it is honesty of mind for the skeptic, and it is God for all of us." The skeptic then will say: I fled Him, down the nights and down the days; I fled Him, down the arches of the years; I fled Him, down the labyrinthine ways Of my own mind; and in the midst of tears I hid from Him, and under running laughter. From those strong Feet that followed, followed after, But with unhurrying chase, And unperturbed pace, Deliberate speed, majestic instancy, They beat-and a Voice beat More instant than the Feet"All things betray thee, who betrayest Me." Yes, Jesus Christ is seeking the human soul as Francis Thompson said here in "The Hound of Heaven," a great poem for every preacher to learn. Christ is out pursuing the soul; inside is the conscience. So "we as preachers must practice the presence of God," as someone put it. The presence of the Lord must be in us, as well as in the man we are attempting to reach and who may be trying to escape from the Lord. The preacher must still hear

T H E PREACHER HIMSELF
the words of his Master echoing in his heart, "Go ye into all the world, and preach." That's the sort of man he must be, believing in the simple words of Jesus and willing to obey them. He has the old-fashioned idea and, as Carlyle B. Haynes reminds us, he holds it as a "conviction, that the chief work of the preacher is to preach-not to gather funds, to raise goals, to lead drives, to spark campaigns, to promote projects, to be an entertainer, to show pictures and films, to curry favor with his leaders, or to seek promotion for himself, but to preach! " Yes, preaching is to be his chief business, his great work, his chief work, his life work. Other lesser things may follow, will follow; but preaching is his big work. "Go . . . preachothat's the command of Jesus. And he is to preach the gospel. That's the sort of man he is-a gospel preacher, not primarily a counselor, qualified to apply the true principles of psychology and psychiatry to men's problems. I said not priman'ly a counselor. He is not to be a two-by-four psychologist or a minor-league psychiatrist attempting to imitate some men who have specialized in these lines and may have aptitude for them. I am not condemning these things, but simply saying that they are not the preacher's business. In his dealings with human souls, of course, the preacher learns to know many of the principles on which the human mind works. But primarily he is a man who wields a mighty sword, and that sword is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Eph. 6: 17). He is a proclaimer of truth, God's truth. Other things are put in their place, but not in the place of supreme importance. To take the position and maintain it that the preacher's chief work is preaching will take courage and faith, I'll tell you that. Why? Because in some conferences it is the man who

FEED MY SHEEP
does these other things who is wanted more than a preacher. Some committees or administrators will hire him because he is a good financier, builds churches, makes his goals, et cetera, ad infinitum. Now please don't misunderstand me. I think it is fine for a man to be able to do all these things, but certainly he can never do them all and still preach the way God wants him to preach. It is beyond the ability of any one man. If he can do these things, or train others to do them after he has done his supreme job, well and good; but if not, it is bad and the results will be only bad. A young preacher came to me one day, ready to quit working for the conference, or rather, I should say he was under conference pay. W e should never say that we work for the conference. If any man merely works for the conference, he is already out of the ministry. W e work for the Lord Jesus Christ. The conference is simply an organization of Christians to make available the funds which God's people have given. Never get the idea that we are employees of some conference. It just grates on my ear to hear that expression-"a conference employee." Why, the minister serves under God. The tithe belongs to him just as much as it does to anyone else. When any conference committee get the idea that the money belongs to them; they are simply off beat. It doesn't belong to them; it is God's money from God's people. Isn't that right? Then let's act that way and live that way. But back to this young man-he was about ready to cease receiving pay from the conference. He is very closely related to me, so I know just how he felt. H e said, "How much longer am I going to have to build churches? I want to preach." H e had helped build three of them, and that's all he had done-raised money and built churches. H e said: "I want to hold Bible studies. I want to preach to people. I am

T H E PREACHER HIMSELF
going to take dentistry so I can earn some money-then I can preach and hold Bible studies." Well, he went through quite a crisis in his life, but the Lord helped him through it. It took a lot of prayer, I'll tell you. He'll be ordained soon and is going on in the work of the ministry. I believe we need to take ourselves in hand and say, "I want to preach"; but when we do, we're going to have some trouble. It is written in the Book that when the apostles found the church to be growing so fast and its administrative burdens so heavy that their main energies were being expended on purely organizational affairs to the detriment of the great object of their existence as apostles, preachers, and teachers of the Word, they did something about it. What did they do? They called for a reorganization, and other men were appointed to do this secondary work. When I was asked to give these lectures, I wrote to five hundred of our ministers, asking them to help me by sending in their evaluation of and suggestions for Seventh-day Adventist preaching. One of those who replied rang the bell, I believe. After he and several others had talked this over, he wrote: "We believe that this experience of Acts ought to be repeated among us today. If we are going on with the tremendous administrative organizational setup that we have today, we believe men ought to be appointed. Call them deacons or whatever you want to, pay them regular salaries as you do other ministers, but ordain them or appoint them as they were back there for that job and let them do it, and let the rest of us preach for a change." Well, why not? They did it back there. "Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason [it's unreasonable) that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. [Serve these poor people in the church,

FEED M Y S H E E P for they had a lot of folks that had to be looked after.] Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven Inen of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word" (Acts He took him as he was-from a sheepfold, from a king's palace, from a priestly family-wherever He found him. He took him, revealed Himself to him, filled him with His Spirit, and sent him forth, as much as to say to him: "Take this revelation of Mine, and go out and preach it. Tell men what God has done for you and what He will do for them." This is to be done, not in some technical way, but in a large way. It is to be done in our own way, with our own abilities, consecrated to Him; our own talents, our own emotions and affections, our own soul filled with the power of the Holy Ghost. There is a place for the man of knowledge and for the man of few parts and little training. God called you. W e are told that at the very end of things men will be taken from the plow and from the shop and from all sorts of homely duties, and be used gloriously and greatly in the finishing of the work of God. Remember this, too, in spite of all we study and all we pray and all we try and all we do, we will still be only partial preachers, imperfect preachers. Henry Ward Beecher used to say, "There -are no perfect preachers in the world." He also observed: "The only perfect men in the world are the doctors of divinity who teach systematic theology. They know everything, all of it, and I envy them; but men who preach take only as much of the truth as they can hold, and generally speaking, preachers don't hold a great deal." That's as true as it can be. So we put ourselves there with them, not with the doctors of divinity. The apostle Paul said that we are only fragmentary creatures-we see a little here, a little there. You remember he said, "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as

6:2-4).
Notice in verse 1, the complaint that started all this was that certain people were neglected in the daily ministration. That's what brings us down to the ground. That's what cuts the wire and shuts off the power of the ministry-"the daily ministration," or, as the apostles called it, "this business." Business, ministration-whatever you want to call it-this is what they gave to others able to bear it, and the apostles gave themselves "continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word." Think of what a revolution, what a revival, what a glorious outburst of soulsaving, would sweep the world if something like that should be done in our day. Well now, that's rather revolutionary, isn't it? But it's good to have a revolution once in a while. Far be it from me to try to tell you just how to be a minister. When God made you, H e broke the mold. As we describe the preacher and what he ought to be, we must keep in mind that every man is different. Every leaf on every tree is a little different from every other leaf. Every blade of grass is a little different from every other blade of grass. W e can only speak of certain general principles and suggest ideas. God chose us as we are, and He uses us in our own particular way and in His own particular way. So don't feel discouraged if you do things differently from other men, because you are different. God called you just as you are. According to the records in the New Testament, and in the Old as well, when God took a man to make him a preacher,

FEED MY SHEEP also I am known" ( 1 Cor. 13:12 ) . Just in part. We're all just a part. Even Paul felt how empty he was and how little he knew. But we are to take what we have and give it all to Jesus. Then we can preach for Him. William Booth had had very little education, and when someone asked him the secret of his success as the founder of the Salvation Army, he said, "Well, I have not many great talents, and the only secret I know is that whatever I was, Jesus had all there was of me." That's the secret of it, because it's the secret of great living. The Lord wants us to forget ourselves in the effort to save souls. If we are all the time thinking about our salary, how much mileage we get, when we're going to get a new car, who gets the credit for this and the credit for that, we'll never do much as soul winners. It may be true that certain records have to be kept if certain things are to be known and the progress of the message is to be recorded, but after all, isn't it more important that it should go forward? I sometimes feel that this business of credit here, and credit there, is more likely to be the work of the devil than the work of God. It ministers so easily to the selfish whims and pride of the human heart. It is directly contrary to the command of Jesus not to let our left hand know what our right hand does. It is so much after the order of the Pharisee's prayer: "Lord, I do this and that. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all I possess," and so forth and so on, as compared with the poor publican who smote his breast and wasn't willing even to look up to heaven, but said, "Lord, be merciful to me a sinner." I know that's a strong position to take, but that's what I feel. I expect some violent disagreement. The more violent it is, the more sure I am that I have touched a vital truth.

THE PREACHER HIMSELF Should not the preacher be a man of humble faith before the Lord, fearless in the cause of God, but bowing low and humble, never afraid of the face of man, because he has looked by faith into the face of God? Listen to this: "Keep the eye fixed on Christ. D o not fix your attention on some favorite minister, copying his example and imitating his gestures; in short, becoming his shadow. Let no man put his mold upon you. . . . "Praise no man; flatter no man; and permit no man to praise or flatter you. Satan will do enough of this work. Lose sight of the instrument, and think of Jesus. Praise the Lord. Give glory to God. Make melody to God in your hearts. Talk of the truth. Talk of the Christian's hope, the Christian's heaven."-Evangelism, p. 630. I think that's wonderful! At the close of a mighty sermon someone rushed up to one of God's servants and said, "That was the greatest sermon I ever heard." "Yes," he said, "I know it. The devil told me that before I stepped out of the pulpit." If the preacher wishes to be a man of power, if he wishes to be God's man, with God's blessing upon him, he must be free of professional jealousy. When he hears of the success of a brother minister, he must not "damn him with faint praise." "Yes, yes, he is wonderful, isn't he? But you know . . . " Some man is doing a wonderful work and another minister hears about it and says, "Yes, brethren, but you know . . . " He must pray until he can actually be filled with thankfulness to the Lord when he hears of another man's success, even greater than his own. Only the grace of God in Christ can do this. Only the Holy Spirit can make that change in our hearts. If a man who can paint beautiful pictures comes to my town, I can praise him from the bottom of my heart, because

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FEED ME' SHEEP I don't know a thing about painting. When a man puts up a garage and fixes automobiles and does those magical things that will make them run, it doesn't make me jealous, because I don't know a thing about automobiles-I don't even drive one. I used to, but my wife does it now. A man can come to my town and design a beautiful building, and I can really admire him, because I don't know anything about architecture. Oh, I know the difference between a Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian column and a few things like that, but I couldn't design a house. A man comes to my town who can sing like an angel, and I would be thrilled to hear him, because I don't sing. When I was young I belonged to a quartet called the Scrap Iron Four, and when we broke up it was a blessing to the world. But if a man comes to my town who can preach a better sermon than I can and do better on the radio than I can and beat me at my own job, then it takes the grace of God for me to really love him and praise him from the bottom of my heart. But that's what we ought to do. That's the kind of preacher I want to be-the kind of preacher I must be if I am to have the blessing of God in its fullness upon my work and if I am a real soul winner and if my sermons are to be truly great-great with power from heaven. I tell you, fellow preachers, we are a small crowd in this world. W e are a little army, and every one of us needs to back up every other one of us. And I've found that you never lose by backing the other fellow. If there is anything that makes the angels weep, it is professional jealousy among preachers. Oh, let's get away from that thing, by the grace of God-and that's the only way we can get away from it. I could talk a long time on this subject, for I've had experience with it; but I've seen how God blesses us when we put away

T H E P R E A C H E R HIMSELF
jealousy and talk up the other man. Talk up the other man. Build him up. The first thing you know, you will be built LIP yourself; others will help you. George Whitefield and John Wesley sort of grew up together in Christian faith. They both went to Oxford University, were members of the Holy Club, were in the early Methodist movement, and both were great preachers. Wesley probably emphasized truth more, while Whitefield emphasized the great feelings and emotions of preaching. They loved each other very much, but theological differences grew up between them. Wesley was an uncompromising Arminian in his theology, and on the other hand George Whitefield became a strong Calvinist. That sort of separated them, not so much from their own standpoint as that of their friends and enemies who tried to pry them apart and make trouble. Well, anyway, those two men sort of drifted apart. A little feeling came between them because of their difference in theology. Now I believe that you and I ought to be able to differ on some doctrines and still love each other. I just don't see this idea of condemning a man if he doesn't agree with me in every point of my interpretation of prophecy. Personally, I am old-fashioned in my interpretation. I am an old conservative of the conservatives, but I love a lot of men who aren't. I think we ought to be able to disagree on some things and still love one another. Well, eventually these things ceased to separate Whitefield and Wesley and they came back to their love for each other, which stayed right on till the end of their lives. They were both Christian, godly men and did not permit even theological disagreement to break their fellowship. Whitefield traveled all over the civilized world of that time-back

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FEED MY SHEEP and forth across the Atlantic in those old sailing ships. Finally, on his last trip to America, he was taken ill and died at Newburyport, Massachusetts. He had preached a sermon that night, although barely able to stand in the pulpit. He went to his inn all worn out, but the people followed him. What a preacher he was! He couldn't get away from his audience, for scores of people followed him to the inn. He started up the stairs to his room with a candle in his hand, but he turned around and preached to the people until the candle burned down. Then he went on up to bed and died in his sleep that night. When the news reached England, a great memorial service was held at Wesley's headquarters at the Foundry. Thousands of people gathered there and wept. Wesley preached a really wonderful memorial sermon in honor of his friend, George Whitefield. At the close of that sermon a woman came up to him, one of those who had tried to stir up trouble between the two preachers. Oh, she was a good church member, an earnest church member. But she was right on the job to make trouble between these two men. And so she said, "Mr. Wesley, do you think you will see George Whitefield in heaven? " He dropped his head and said, "No, I don't think I will." "I knew it, I just knew it; in spite of all the things you said, I just knew it. I knew you didn't think he was saved. I knew you thought he wouldn't ever go to heaven." Then Wesley said words to this effect: "Wait a minute. Do not put words in my mouth which I have not said. I did say that I do not expect to see George Whitefield in heaven, and here is why: When I get to heaven I expect that George Whitefield will be so close to the throne in all its blaze of glory that I will not get near enough even to see him."

THE PREACHER HIMSELF That was the response of one great preacher to the success and reputation of another-both really great men, great in God, great in His cause, and great in their love for souls. I think, friends, that we need more of that spirit among us. W e need to recognize our brother's earnestness and holiness of heart though we may not agree with his Arminianism or Calvinism. He's a child of God, a son of God. It is good to remember that "the cause of God is best advanced by those p. 631. who are meek and lowly in heart."-Ibid., Next, the true preacher cannot be insincere. He must believe what he teaches. You, of course, being all students, know where the word sincere came from. You've all studied a little Latin, I hope. I t c i k every preacher ought to have a year or two of Latin. Otherwise, how does he know what he is talking about in the English language? Sine cera, "without waxw-that's what the word means. There in Rome some of the great furniture makers in the days of Christ and in the days of Paul found that there were a lot of fly-by-night organizations making furniture out of cheap wood. The makers would fill up the cracks and knotholes and rotten places with wax and just paint them over. One never knew that it was cheap until he sat in a chair or lay down in a bed and it collapsed with him. So, when the straight-line companies put out their furniture made of solid oak, or whatever they used, they put a tag on it, sine cera, without wax. . So I say that a preacher must be without wax, have no place in his character that is filled up with the wax of his profession and painted over. He must be sine cera-sincere. He must believe what he preaches. If he doesn't, the only honest thing for him to do is to admit it and leave the ministry. W e can at least admire him then as an honest man, one who does not make a profession of something he does not

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hold in his heart. "There must be no duplicity, no crookedness, in the life of the worker. While error, even when held in sincerity, is dangerous to anyone, insincerity in the truth is fatal."-lbid., p. 632. D o you know what the cure for insincerity is?-Hardship, persecution, suffering, criticism, tough going. That's what cures us of insincerity. It puts us out of the ministry or really puu us into it. That's one reason that God permits these things to come to His children. The insincere man does not march up to the fire. H e is not fed to the lions. Long before that, he has melted into the crowd of unbelievers. As a man, the preacher must be a man of faith. H e must talk faith. H e must never show a shadow of a doubt. It is written in Hebrews 1 l:6 that "he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is [what?] a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." That being true, a preacher will never win souls unless he preaches faith. It is through faith that we understand and accept the truth, that we follow the way of Christ, that we repent, confess Jesus as our Saviour, become His witnesses, are baptized, and obey Him. The preacher must be a great believer in the Scriptures. Then his preaching will be powerful. It is only powerful scriptural preaching that will help people today. Dr. A. T. Pierson took part in the ordination of Dr. Thomas C. Horton-you of a past generation will remember both those men. And by the way, speaking of Dr. Pierson, anything he wrote is worth buying. You can pick up some of his books in a secondhand bookstore. Many Infallible W i t nesses is an exceptional little book. You can pick that up for 50 cents, and it will be worth a thousand dollars to you sometime. Well, here is what Dr. Pierson said when he took part in the ordination of Dr. Horton, who himself became a
,

T H E P R E A C H E R IllMSELF
famous preacher and writer. Now notice these unusual words: "You are a nli~listcr of the Word, and your grcdt work is to study and unfold that Word. You are a minister of Jesus Christ. ?he Word is mainly prccious as the caskct which enshrines this precious jewel. 'In the volume of the book it is written of me.' You are a minister of the Holy Spirit. The application of the Word of God and the blood of Christ is wholly committed to Him. (That's the Holy Spirit). My brother, you are to be a Bible man, a Christ man, a Holy Spirit man." Dr. Horton did become that kind of man-a great preacher and writer of the Christian faith. I think Pierson's portrayal is a beautiful picture of what a true minister should be. And so we ask every one of you who are preparing for the ministry, Are you, according to your light and faith, a Bible man, a Christ man, a Holy Spirit man? Very seldom will the people rise higher than their ministers. If our eyes are not open to the Word, believing the Holy Scriptures from cover to cover as the divine and inspired Word of God, and if we are living in known sin and insincerity, we are merely as the blind trying to lead the blind. Such, says that great preacher who wrote Second Corinthians I I, "are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works" (verses 13-15 ). Think of it! The apostle Paul speaks here of some as being the ministers of Satan. In these latter days many are following just such false leaders. W e should pray that God will deliver His people from false ministers. And let us be sure, as our own salvation depends upon it, that we

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are not among them; that we are sincere, preaching the Word and upholding the truth to the best of our ability. N o one can preach a warm, Spirit-indited message unless he has the Holy Spirit in his heart. He may be a good actor, but he can never win souls and continue to carry on work for Christ. He may pretend to do it for a time, but he will not last long. The believers themselves will soon find him out. Often dead formality takes the place of piety in our churches. And, sad to say, the ministry is to blame for this. And why? Their sermons are tame. Why are they tame? Because the ministers themselves do not have faith in the things they preach. I t is a fact that if a man preaches the Word of God there will be some fruitage for his preaching, even though he himself may be cast away and may not be in a saved condition. This is seen in what the Pharisees did. Jesus once told the people to do as the Pharisees told them to do, but not to do as they did, because they sat in Moses' seat. They were preaching the Word of God, and whatever of the Word of God they preached of course was true and would have its effect, but the example of the preachers was liable to hurt their preaching to a great extent. Listen to this from Testimonies, volume 8, page 36: "The sermons preached by some of our ministers will have to be much more powerful than they are now, or many backsliders [she's talking about the preacher himself] will carry a tame, pointless message, which lulls people to sleep." Spurgeon once said, "If you see anyone asleep in the audience, go and wake up the preacher." Now, it is true that people sometimes sleep in church because of sickness or physical amction; they can't help it. But the servant of the Lord is speaking here of spiritual sleep. N o wonder some of

THE PREACHER HIMSELF


the people are spiritually asleep, when some of us preachers are asleep. Our sermons are "tame, pointless." N o man who looks around the world today and who believes the Word of God with all his heart can preach a tame sermon, unless he is sick or in some way incapacitated. While holding meetings every night in an old dance hall overlooking a lake up on the side of Pikes Peak, I was asked to preach in the tiny community church. There was an old man with a long white beard who would come and sit on the front seat within four feet of me-I can see him now. He had the loudest snore of any man I have ever known. As soon as I began to speak he would go right to sleep. Now I'm sure he worked out of doors all through the week, and the poor fellow was too tired to stay awake, but really, he almost ruined my meetings. So one night I worked over until I got right in front of him. I don't remember what I was preaching about, but I finally came to the place where I said that the church is asleep and needs to "WAKE UP!" He was so startled that he jumped right out of that seat and never went to sleep again in my meetings. The next day- he brought me a dozen eggs and some butter. Then I was ashamed of myself. But that was an emergency! So it's true that people often sleep in church and it's not the preacher's fault. Sometimes, however, it is the preacher's fault. Did you ever hear of a man's falling asleep in the pulpit? I read from the Testimonies, volume 2, page 337: "Men and women are in the last hours of probation, and yet are careless and stupid, and ministers have no power to arouse them; they are asleep themselves." Think of itpreachers asleep themselves! I heard of a Seventh-day Adventist preacher who actually fell asleep while he was preaching in the pulpit. I am sure that
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he was ill and had a physical condition he could not overcome. He had been preaching to about a dozen dear old sisters for about twelve years, and there wasn't much change in them. They were already saints of the Lord, living up to the faith as best they could, and they knew the Bible as well as he did. They'd all been converted. He'd get up to preach to them and get so tired that he would lean on the desk and speak slower and slower. One day he put his head in his hands and went to sleep, sound asleep, right there in the pulpit. The poor man is asleep in Christ now. He was a good man, but he actually went to sleep preaching! I do not condemn this man too much, for I know he had a physical affliction; he died soon after this. But it is a terrible thing for a man to be spiritually asleep, and no matter how he talks, shouts, or roars, if he is asleep at heart, the people will go to sleep. There are a few more words to this quotation: "Sleeping preachers . preaching to a sleeping people!" Remember, that was written by someone who knew what she was talking about. I do not wish to have this placard nailed on my pulpit by some angel hand. If any of us are spiritually asleep the word comes to us, "Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light" (Eph. 5 : 1 4 ) . How terrible to be asleep in spiritual death in an age like this, in a day like today, in an hour like this hour! Now, to be a true minister of God a man must believe that he has been called to the ministry. The ministry is a calling, not a mere profession. It is a vocation, not an avocation. It is a call, a summons, a commitment of life. The Bible makes it plain that it is God who calls and that this call is so vital that without the sense of compulsion that goes with it no minister has a right to labor.

It is plainly stated in 1 Corinthians 12:28 that God sets in the church apostles, prophets, and others who have their special callings. And it is written that "no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron" (Heb. 5:4). W e will never build up the strong ministry that we need in this movement until we realize that God must select and choose His own workers. And a minister must absolutely believe that he has been called by God. It must be emphasized that a minister should know that he is in the sacred work of the ministry, as Paul did, through the will of God. It is possible for a man to have this conviction-not through his own will, or his parents', or his friends'. The inward voice of God's Spirit, the providential events and circumstances that have surrounded him, will lead him. The guidance of God is often manifested in the outward life, as well as in the inward life of a man. The providence of God often guides him at such times in a special way. From the Gospel Minister section of the Review and Herald (Aug. 10, 1939, p. 8 ) I quote the following: In the Life of Matthew Henry, page 34, I find an account of his own self-analysis upon considering his motive for entering the ministry. He put six questions to himself, as follows: "1. What am I? Have I been convinced of my condition, and been humbled for my sin? Have I heartily given myself to Christ? Have I a real hatred for sin, and a love of holiness? "2. W h a t have I done? Time trifled! opportunities lost! engagements broken! conversation unprofitable! forgetfulness of God and of duty! "3. From what principles do 1 andertake this work? I trust from a persuasion of the divine institution of the ministry, of the necessity of a divine call, and of my call to the work; from zeal to God, and love to precious souls.

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"4. Whut are my ends in this work? Not taking it as a trade to live by; not to get myself a name, or to maintain a party; but aiming at the glory of God, and the good of souls. "5. W h a t do I ,wunt? That God would fix my heart in dedication to the work; that He would be with me in my ordination; that He would fit me for my work with the gifts of knowledge, utterance, and prudence; and with all ministerial graces, especially sincerity and humility; and that He would open a door of opportunity for me. "6. W h a t are my r e ~ ~ J ~ $ j o n To s ? have nothing to do with sin; to abound in gospel obedience; to consider my ordination vow in the employment of my talents, the maintenance of the truth, the charge of my family, the superintendence of my flock, and the endurance of opposition."
Now, what I will say here may be contradicted by others, but here is what I believe-there is danger that our present system of internship will make it easier for men to work in the ministry who have had no real call. There was a day when only those who had a burning zeal and unbreakable desire and conviction that they should be preachers finally got through the waters of difficulty, climbed over the obstacles, and forced their way through the gates into service. There are no doubt advantages in the internship plan, but our young applicants should seriously ask themselves the question, "Have I been called by the Lord to do this work?" The assurance of support and comparative ease while in training can be a snare. Remember this: The average preacher in the Presbyterian or Methodist or Baptist Church has a harder row to hoe to get into the ministry than our young men do, and thus he may be likely to develop a more outstanding personality. H e has to make good or he doesn't eat. He has to work, he has to learn how to preach, or he is through. D o you think the preachers in these big Presbyterian churches aren't able men? They

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wouldn't be kept for thirty-five years in one church if they weren't. There is no committee backing them up or shoving them off on some unwilling church or conference. No, sir! Those men have to produce, they have to grow. Some of them are greater preachers after they have been there thirtyfive years-and so are their sons. They write great books that you and I read. They study, they grow. Of course, their energies are not so dissipated as some of ours are with too many things. They focus -, - on their ministry. In considering the call to the ministry we must remember that God never sends a message merely-he sends a man. His message is always incarnate in a man. "There was a man sent from God, whose name was John" (John 1:6). Notice, it was a man. God called him and God sent him. Of course, the man must have some ability to preach, or God wouldn't call him. He must have the ability to talk, because preaching is talking. God is not going to take a dumb man who cannot speak, or one who has had his tongue cut out, and call him to the ministry. He will take a man who at least can make a sound that people can understand. He must have some help. When God calls a man, He sends him. John, that great preacher, said himself, "A man can receive ["take unto himself," margin) nothing, except it be given him from heaven" (John 3: 27 ). The apostle Paul calls himself "an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead) " (Gal. 1 : 1 ) . He had a call, a definite call, a divine call. The prophet Jeremiah was called of God but he was not willing to go, yet because God called him, at last he went (Jer. 1:5-9). Even before he was born God had appointed him to be a prophet to the nations. Remember this, preacherman, God foresees you, He foreordains you. Sometimes we go

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to the other extreme. W e don't believe in foreordination or predestination. we never predch about it. W e go away over to Arminianism, and away beyond it, and Icave God out of the picture entirely. But predestination is in the Bible-that is, God's kind of predestination. The Bible tells a lot about it. There is a Bible predestination, and it pays to study it out and believe it. Just read the first chapter of Jeremiah. If you are a true preacher, God has foreordained you, He foresaw you, H e has appointed you, H e has called you. In vision Isaiah heard a voice saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then in consecration he replied, "Here am I; send me" (Isa. 6:8). Jesus Himself was sent by the Father. He said this over and over again (John 14:24; 17:3). If Jesus was truly sent of God, so must those be who follow Him as His preachers. It was Martin Luther who said: "Await God's call. In the meantime, be satisfied. Yea, though thou art wiser than Solomon and Daniel, lest thou art called, avoid preaching as thou wouldst hell." That's pretty strong, but that's the way Luther put it. If our ministry is to be exercised in the name of God and for the glory of God, it certainly must come from Him. God calls and God chooses. Jesus chose twelve and ordained them. Paul was called a chosen vessel to bring the gospel to Jew and Gentile alike. God's men are still chosen, selected, called. That isn't all. If a man is not called, and finally comes to realize it, he should leave that field of work and do something else. Elder I. H. Evans said many years ago that the fact that a man gets on the payroll is no reason why he should stay there the rest of his life. If he doesn't produce fruitage (souls), if it is evident to himself and to others that he is not called to be a preacher, why should he stay on the payroll and take the tithe which should be used

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by somebody else who is called? I have known men who thought this thing over and left the work-good men, too, but they went into some other line of work. Sometimes it is a blessing when certain men leave the ministry. I'm not talking about men who have committed some great sin that has brought opprobrium upon themselves and the cause, but those who find out that they were not called. Listen to the words of Jeremiah about some men who claimed to be prophets or preachers in those days: "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied" (Jer. 23:21). The very next verse declares that if they had stood in God's counsel and had caused the people to hear God's words, it would have turned them from their evil way. There would have been fruitage, you see, from their preaching. Why? Because God is there to back up His Word and bless His Word. "Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?" (verse 2 3 ) . Wouldn't He bring fruitage to these men if they preached His Word? W e may be sure that if we have not been called and are trying to exercise God's ministry, He knows about it. "Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith the Lord. D o not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (verse 2 4 ) . Read the rest of the chapter. It is a terrific chapter for preachers and should be a warning to those who have not been called to the ministry to get out of it before it is too late, and for those whom God has called to be in it, to be in it with all their soul and all their mind and strength. Then read Ezekiel the thirteenth chapter: "Son of man, prophesy against the prophets of Israel that prophesy, and say thou unto them that prophesy out of their own hearts,

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Hear ye the word of the Lord; thus saith the Lord God; Woe unto the foolish prophets, that follow their own spirit, and have seen nothing! . . . They have seen vanity and lying divination, saying, The Lord saith: and the Lord hath not sent them" (verses 2-6). Although applied particularly to the prophets back there, the principle certainly applies now. Then there are some men who have been called of God, but who have not.accepted the call. They have rejected it; they have refused it; they thought it was too difficult. There was not enough honor, not enough glory, not enough salary, not enough of this or that; or they have been timid and afraid to step out. Let's not be in that class either. If God has called us, let nothing keep us from following that call. A few years ago three well-known preachers in the Presbyterian Church were called to the bedside of their brother, a famous surgeon, who was dying. He had had an honored career and had worked up to the top of his profession. He had secured a good financial return, and had a happy home. He was a Christian and an elder in the church, but on his deathbed he confessed to his three preacher brothers that when they were called to the ministry he was also called, but had rejected it-did not have the courage or the faith, or for some other reason did not step out in it. He said, "God has blessed me in spite of my dereliction of duty, but I know that my full happiness could have come only had I accepted the divine call that came to me as it came to you." Young friend, if God has called you, go forward in faith. Don't let anything keep you out of the ministry-no sneer, no fear, no timidity. Nothing on earth, neither man nor devil, should keep you from it. Then there are some who have not been called or chosen by God to be preachers of His Word, but who think they

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have been called. This is soon evident to others, if not to themselves. Someone asks, "How can I tell whether I have been called?" Well, I will say this-You will know if God calls you. He has a thousand ways to make His call known to a man-through direct impressions, through the words of friends or enemies, through reading, through the Holy Scriptures-many ways. As I understand it, the call to the ministry is threefold: First, the man comes to believe that God has chosen him and that He wants him to do that work. Second, he begins to have fruitage in his life; that is, the results become apparent. "By their fruits ye shall know themm-the old orchard test-is a sure sign. He begins to hold Bible studies. He talks to people about their needs, their sins, and he prays with them. First thing you know, somebody is converted. He has someone ready for baptism. He begins to bring people to Christ. Third, the church recognizes his call and he is set apart to preach. Sometimes young men come to me and say, "God has called me to the ministry, but nobody will hire me; therefore I cannot be a minister. I cannot preach." My friend, I do not see how this can possibly be true. If God wants me to be a minister, if God has chosen me, if God has called me and I am willing to accept His call and through prayer and meditation finally surrender my will to His to be a preacher for Christ, that doesn't mean that I am to go on a salary immediately or be appointed by some organization to preach. But if God has truly called me, I will begin to preach, I will begin to teach the Word in some way-holding Bible studies, proclaiming Bible truth, and winning souls. There will be fruitage. God will take care of me. He always pays His workers. Don't ever forget that.
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The messenger of the Lord declares: "I saw that God had laid upon His chosen ministers the duty of deciding who was fit for the holy work [of the ministry]; and in union with the church and the manifest tokens of the Holy Spirit, they were to decide who should go, and who were unfit to go. I saw that if it should be left to a few individuals here and there to decide who was sufficient for this great work, confusion and distraction everywhere would be the fruit."Testimonies, vol. 1, p. 209. Out in California when I was holding meetings in a tabernacle I needed a young man to act as caretaker. There was a young fellow there who was running a filling station, but he had very little education, and oh, how he murdered the king's English on the public highway! I thought he would be a good man for the job,'so I went to the president of the conference to see about getting him. The president knew him and said that this young man had been after him for a long time, seeking an opportunity to preach. And the president said to me, "Whatever you do, don't encourage that young fellow to preach. He'll never make a preacher." Well, I don't know; I'm not Omniscience. If God calls a man, you don't want to stop him. This young man was hired to look after my tabernacle. One day he confided to me the fact that God had called him to preach. It stretched my faith to believe it, I'll admit. But I said: "Well, I'll tell you. If you really believe that, tomorrow morning after you have cleaned things up I want you to lock the doors of this tabernacle so no one can get in. Then get up in the pulpit and take the book of Job and read it out loud so that old Mrs. Murphy sitting in the back row can hear every word you say. And if you don't understand a word, look it up in the dictionary. Read it clearly, distinctly,

THE PREACHER HIMSELF


tlioughtfully, nnd slouly. Get so you cdn redd it witliout making a mistake; then coine and tell me." It took him a week or so to read the book of Job. Then I had him read the book of Jereiniah and the book of Isaiah in the same way. The greatest literature in all the world is the book of Job and the book of Isaiah. I'll tell you, friends, to make a long story short, that fellow is an ordained minister now and his name is in the SDA Yearbook. He made it by reading the Bible aloud in that tabernacle until he got to the place where he could talk clearly, distinctly, and simply. Half of us preachers can't read -not in pubIic anyway. W e don't know how to read the Bible. W e are too careless and fuzzy and all the rest of it, and I'm right along with you. If you can read the Bible distinctly, you have a great start toward being a preacher. A:: right, what is the call to the ministry? I must hurry now, as my -time is Almost gone and I'm onIy half through. It is composed of three parts, as I understand it. First is the conviction in the heart of the man himself; second, fruitage; third, recognition by the church. If a man has the conviction that God has called him to the ministry, he will get the recognition of the church in some way. God has a thousand ways to give it to him. And he believes it through thick and thin. N o matter what people may say or do, he just knows that he has been called. He knows it through God's Word, with the distinct message of the Holy Spirit to him, and in various ways. Then he begins to work, holding Bible studies, praying with people, and somebody is converted. This young man is getting people converted, bringing them to Christ. Maybe you have a chance to go out in a tent effort or somewhere else. Every chance you get to preach Jesus Christ,

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do it. Teach a Sabbath school class, do anything you are asked to do, and God will give you fruitage. The church will recognize that call and your convictions when they see the fruitage. Then they will send you forth and give you recognition. But there must be fruitage first. The first thing a young man must do is to know that he has been called. The proof of that call is not his education; it's not the hardships he endures; it's not the sacrifices he makes. It is the fruitage of his labor in souls. The apostle Paul said that the people whom he had brought to Christ were the proof of his apostleship ( 1 Cor. 9: 1, 2 ) . Now don't expect that you will be put in some big church right away with a good salary. You may have to go out to some hard place and prove your ministry, hold Bible studies, preach in homes, as the apostles did, even on street corners. Have you ever preached on a street corner? Do you know how to preach and hold the attention of a passing crowd? It would be a good thing, it seems to me, if every one of our young preachers had to go through that experience and learn how to preach out of doors before a crowd. Try it sometime. It is one of the finest educations in the world, isn't it, Brother Anderson? I've done it. I'll tell you, friends, one thing you won't do. You won't do as I am doing-talking from a manuscript. You won't even talk from notes. No, sir. You won't memorize something and recite it. No, sir. You'll have a redhot message right out of your heart. You'll look your listeners straight in the eye or you won't hold their attention for a minute. They'll just move along. You really learn something about preaching when you do it on a street corner. It's good for you; every preacher ought to have to do it a few times. So, if you think you have been called and the church has not yet recognized your call, go out and prove your ministry by your holy life and the winning of souls to Christ. New members are the chief test. Many lay members are doing better then some preachers are in winning souls. It seems to me that every one of us preachers should give careful thought to this, and look into our lives, and either change our ways or change our work. If the conference doesn't have money enough to hire the young man who has felt called to the ministry, why couldn't they say: "Here's a county, a dark county; you go out there and preach. We'll encourage and help you all we can, but we can't pay you a salary. If God wants you to preach, all right-go out and preach there; get people into the truth. Get them to send in their tithes to the conference, and in three years' time you can raise enough tithe to pay your salary. Then we'll take you on." Why couldn't we do that? We'd start real preachers that way. A lot of these men would go out and get people to pay their tithes and send them to the conference, and the conference would send the young men back a check. I think any young man who could build his salary up through tithe in two or three years of labor would be worthy of being taken on as a worker. Something like that is going to be done sometime, I think. All right, there is one thing sure, God would never call you to the ministry if you couldn't preach. I have heard preachers who were anything but eloquent, as far as words were concerned, but who could win souls, who had an eloquence of faith, an eloquence of intensity and love that nothing could withstand. You can't become a good minister simply by becoming an expert in theology, a master in homiletics, a great theologian. You must bring yourself up by the grace of God to be an honest Christian man, the only New Testament standard.

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Remember, your manhood is a part of your call to the ministry. You must have some ability to speak, or God would never choose you to speak forth His Word. The call is, "Go forth, preach," but you go and preach with what you are. You preach yourself, for the man is the sermon, more than we realize. Jesus said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father" (Matt. 5: 16). Your light must shine. Jesus shines through you. It must be in you and through you that God works. Vanity, ambition, and pride sometimes clothe themselves in the garments of oratory and palm themselves off as angels of light on many a preacher. The personal character of the preacher is important. Now Beecher warns us, "A part of your preparation for Christian ministry consists of such a ripening of your disposition that you yourselves shall be exemplars of what you preach." You must be a "pattern man." Your call to the ministry will consist in part in your having those qualities which would make a good minister: good nature, certainly good health, and moral earnestness. Be sure that it's God who calls you and not some loving mother who wants her boy to be a preacher, or your father, or professor, or somebody else beloved. Be sure it is God. I'm quoting again from the Yale Lectures-they are really wonderful. "When God calls very loud at the time you were born," continues Beecher, "standing at the door of life, and says, 'Quarter of a man, come forth,' that man is not for the ministry; 'Half a man, come forth,'-No, that will not do for a preacher; 'Whole man, come forth,'-that's you." He who is going to be a true Christian minister must be a full man. Besides all the spiritual and moral qualifications, a man who enters the ministry should have good sense, common

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sense. I can't explain what good sense is, but I use the expression in the way we usually use it. You may be a brilliant and good speaker, but if you don't have good sense, keep out of the ministry. There is a story of a young man who was just about to leave his home in one of the glens of Scotland to go down to Edinburgh and study to be a minister in the new kirk. You remember, of course, the split in the old state church in Scotland-they call it the kirk in Scotland. The people who didn't like the coldness of the old established church went off and built themselves some plain little places of worship and called themselves the Free Kirk. The people of the old kirk said of the new, or free, kirk, "The Free Kirk, the wee kirk, the kirk without any steeple." "Yes," the Free Kirk folks replied, "The owld kirk, the cowld kirk, the kirk without any people." Well, this young man was going to be a preacher in the new kirk. Before he left for Edinburgh, his grandfather called him off to one side and said: "Jamie, you are going to be a minister, and there are three things that you will need to be a minister. Your first need of all is the grace of God; second, you will need learning; and third, you will need common sense. Now, if you need the grace of God you can pray for that. If you need learning, you can study for that. But if you don't have common sense, go home, Jamie, and stay home; because neither God nor man can give it to you." That advice is better than we may realize. There is a great need in the ministry for what we call common sense. The work of a minister is not an easy job. Sometimes he assumes the care of a large church. Sometimes even a small one keeps him busier than we can imagine. The church has its departments, possibly a church school. This demands a

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great deal of wisdom and ability and patience in social relations and administration, so the preacher also becomes an executive to a certain extent. In the pulpit he must be more or less an orator. He is also a teacher, but he is more than a teacher. A teacher gives facts, and insists upon facts, and makes facts clear. A teacher is there to see that men know. But it's not enough merely to know. A preacher must not only know and teach facts, but he must be; and he must teach truth and proclaim truth in such a way that other men may not only know, but become. That's the difference between teaching and preaching. It was said of the chisel of Michelangelo that every stroke brought the angel out of the marble. So with the preacherevery one of his sermons must be a stroke, bringing out the hidden figure of Christ and the image of His life to live in the hearts of those who hear him. His work is not some longdrawn-out evolutionary process, but every message he brings from the Book of God to the ears of men must ring with "Now, now, today; this is the time to be like Christ; this is the time to make decisions; this is the day of decision." The preacher must remember that the Word of God in a book is a dead letter. It must live in the preacher so that it may live in the hearer. Truth must be a part of us to gain a force which it would not have merely if read from a text. It needs to be read-yes, for the apostle Paul reasoned "out of the sc&ptures" (Acts 17 :2 ) . Remember always that what is in the well of our thoughts will come up in the bucket of our speech. What we really are will come out finally. If I'm going to be a real preacher, I must not only be able to proclaim God's message in the pulpit but I must live it in my home. My wife and my boys and girl must know that I believe and live the message I

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preach. When I stand in the pulpit and see my wife sitting down in the pew, and she looks at me, I want to be able to look back at her and know that she is thinking deep down in her heart: "He believes every word he says. I know it. I live with him. I know him. He prays with me and talks with me at home and I know how he lives." My friends, if my wife doesn't believe that I'm a sincere, honest man of God, then I'm no Christian. I want my boys to be able to say: "Well, dad has a lot of faults; he does this and he does that. But there is one thing sure, he is sincere. And if I can be a Christian like dad, then I want to be a Christian." That's what I want them to say. There is no greater reward in this world to the preacher than to have his own sons and daughters, when they hear him preach or see his life at home, rise up and call him blessed. Your wife knows all about your faults, too, but she overlooks them. God bless these wives, living with us faulty fellows, even preachers, taking all they have to take from us, and sitting quietly in the audience when they could ruin every sermon by getting up and telling all our faults. But they don't. Your wife knows whether you are sincere. To be God's man, with God's message from God's Book, to preach to God's people on God's day-that's the ideal, that's what we all must be, and what we want to be, that those who know us best may be able to say, when they hear our preaching: "That touches my heart. I know he believes it, for he lives it." Our hearers can tell it, whether or not they live in our house. If a man is not living the message he preaches, the day will come when it will be revealed to the world. It will be as it was that day when the seven sons of Sceva, in an attempt to cast out evil spirits, used the name of the Lord Jesus, say7

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ing, "We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth." Then the dramatic event occurred. Thc evil spirit answered and said, "Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (Acts 19:13-17). As a boy I spent many days in the home of my maternal grandparents. My grandmother was a great reader of the Bible. She could read it and make it live before your eyes. More than once I have heard her read this text and been led to laughter as she read it. She would describe the situation and I could see it, and I can see it now. These pompous exorcists held a very high position in society-proud, egotistical men, they were, who held the people in the palms of their hands. But suddenly everything is changed. One man puts seven of them to rout. The whole thing is exposed, as it should have been. W e may use the name of the Lord Jesus, even as these men used it, as a talisman, an exorcism, a magic formula, but the day will come when our powerlessness, the barrenness of our lives, our unsupported claims to spiritual leadership, will all be swept away, and the demons of our pride and foolishness will laugh us to scorn. O fellow preachers, let us look upon our ministry as a high and holy calling. Let us see to it that in our lives the Lord Jesus is glorified. The story is told of a North Carolina preacher who lived back in the days when traveling preachers were entertained in hotels free of charge. This particular preacher put up at a small hotel in a little town in the backwoods and enjoyed

T H E PREACHER HI2KYEL.F
the hospitality there for several days. H e was surprised when, upon leaving, the host presented him with a bill. "Why," he said, "I thought preachers were entertained free." "Well, yes, they are," the innkeeper said. "But you came and ate your meals without asking the blessing. N o one has seen you with a Bible. You smoked the biggest cigars in the place. You talked about everything but religion. How do we know you are a preacher? y o u live like a sinner, and now you will have to pay with the sinners." W e may smile at that, but doll't you think that's what is going to happen to us if we don't watch out? God forbid that the Great Judge will have to say to any of US,"You lived like the sinners, and now you'll have to be with them." This is something for us to think about, isn't it? W e have to have a sense of mission, a supreme mission. W e have to have courage to say No. When Dr. Jowett, one of t h e master preachers of the past century, came over from England and labored in New York for nearly ten years, he f e l t that especially here in America preachers were flitting amray their energies and their time on unimportant things. H e said that they needed a sense of mission, one supreme mission. D r . Jowett himself had this. It was not easy for anyone to divert his attention. He saw clearly that there was one main highway for him to travel, and he persistently refused to be sidetracked or drawn off into other lanes. H e had the ccurage, which many of us do not have, to say N o to many visiting committees and to all invitations and temptations which rhreatened to dissipate his energies. His work was not extensive, but i t was impressive, and by his ministry he made it clezr that t h e impression of any man's ministry is usually in r:verse to the breadth of his activities.

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He repeatedly warned us ministers here in America against the danger which he thought was our besetting sin, and it truly may be, of giving ourselves to too many extraneous activities. W e try to do a little of everything that everyone else does; therefore we do nothing very well. "I am profoundly convinced," he said, addressing a group of pastors, "that one of the greatest perils which besets the ministry of this country is a restless scattering of energies over an amazing multiplicity of interests which leaves no margin of time or strength for a receptive and absorbing communion with God." He added that the sane and profitable thing to be done, at least for many of us, is to unbuckle ourselves from a lot of things for which we have no direct responsibility. They have no permanent value, serve no necessary purpose, and only tend to dissipate energies that ought to be consecrated to the task to which we have been called and for which we are ordained. Here are Wesley's twelve rules for Methodist preachers. It might be well at least for us to look them over carefully:
1. Be diligent. Never be unemployed. Never be triflingly employed. Never "while" away time, nor spend more time at any place than is strictly necessary. 2. Be serious. Let your motto be, "Holiness to the Lord." Avoid all lightness, jesting, and foolish talking. 3. Converse sparingly and cautiously with women, particularly with young women. 4. Take no step toward marriage without solemn prayer to God and consulting your brethren. 5. Believe evil of no one unless fully proved; take heed how you credit it. Put the best construction you can on everything. You know the judge is always supposed to be on the prisoner's side. 6. Speak evil of no one, else your word especially would eat as doth a canker; keep your thoughts within your own breast till you come to the person concerned.

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7. Tell everything that you think wrong in him, lovingly and plainly, and as soon as may be, else it will fester in your own heart. Make all haste to cast the fire out of your bosom. 8. Do not affect the gentleman. A preacher of the gospel is the servant of all. 9. Be ashamed of nothing but sin; no, not of cleansing your own shoes when necessary. 10. Be punctual. Do everything exactly at the time. And do not mend our rules, but keep them, and that for conscience' sake. 11. You have nothing to do but to save souls. Therefore spend and be spent in this work. And go always, not only to those who want you, but to those who want you most. 12. Act in a11 things, not according to your own will, but as a son in the gospel, and in union with your brethren. As such, o employ your time as our rules direct; partly it is your part L in preaching and visiting from house to house, partly in reading, meditation, and prayer. Above all, if you labor with us in our Lord's vineyard, it is needful you should do that part of the work which the conference shall advise, at those times and places which they shall judge most for His glory. Observe, it is not your business to preach so many times, and to take care merely of this or that society, but to save as many souls as you can, to bring as many sinners as you possibly can to repentance, and, with all your power, to build them up in that holiness without which they can not see the Lord. And, remember, a Methodist preacher is to mind every point, great or small, in the Methodist discipline. Therefore, you will need all the grace and sense you have, and to have all your wits about you.

W e hear a great deal these days about the common man-this and that must be done for the common man. But God is calling for a lot of uncommon men. If you get sick you want an uncommonly good doctor. If your car breaks down you want an uncommonly good mechanic. If we get into war we want an uncommon admiral, an uncommon general. Herbert Hoover once said, "I have never met a father or mother who did not want their children to grow up to be

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uncommon men and won~en." M'ly i l alw1'1ys bc so. N c continued to say that the future of the country rests not in mediocrity but in the constant renewal of Ic'~dership in every phase of our national life. So it is with the Christian ministry. God is looking for uncommon men, uncommon in their consecration, uncommon in their surrender to the power of the Holy Spirit, uncommon in hope and faith, uncommon in their grasp of the Holy Scriptures. Someone has written regarding the minister and his work as follows-and I'm quoting this from T h e Reviezu and Herald (Aug. 2, 1956) : If he is young, he lacks experience. If his hair is gray, he is too old. If he has five or six children, he has too many; if he has none, he is setting a bad example. If he speaks from notes, he has canned sermons and is dry; if he is extemporaneous, he is not deep. If he is attentive to the poor, he is playing to the grandstand; if to the rich, he is trying to be an aristocrat. If he uses many illustrations, he neglects the Bible; if not enough, he is not clear. If he condemns wrong, he is cranky; if he does not, he is a compromiser. If he preaches an hour, he is windy; if less, he is lazy. If he preaches the truth, he is offensive; if not, he is a hypocrite. If he fails to please everybody, he is hurting the church; if he does please everybody, he has no convictions. If he preaches on tithing, he is a money grabber; if he does not, he is failing to develop the people. If he receives a large salary, he is mercenary; if a small salary, it proves he is not worth more. If he preaches all the time, the people get tired of hearing one man; if he invites guest preachers, he is shirking responsibiliry. Yet they say that the preacher has an easy time. This seems amusing when you read it, but it is not amusing when you experience it. Anybody can criticize, and almost everybody does at one time or another. The devil was the accuser of the brethren, but some of the brethren will always be accusing. W e will never be able to satisfy every-

T l i E PREACHER HIMSELI;
body, and sometimes not anybody, apparently. But, fellow ministers, we should be very earnest every dgy and always trying to satisfy our Lord, the One who has called us to preach. Think of the great responsibility we bear, as I find in this poem copied in my mother's handwriting, which I carry in my Bible: W e are the only Bible a careless world will read; W e are the sinner's gospel, we are the scoffer's creed; W e are the Lord's last message, given in deed and word. What if the type is crooked; what if the print is blurred? What if our hands are busy with other work than His; What if our feet are walking where sin's allurement is; What if our tongues are speaking of things His lips would spurn; How can we hope to help Him and hasten His return? I do not know the author of this poem, but I wish I could have written it myself. Whoever he was, he wrote a message for my heart. How can we help the Lord Jesus and His work here? How can are hasten His return? By being true preachers of His gospel; by being as we ought to be, so that we can preach as we ought to preach. The preacher must be continually receiving strength from God. Don't wait t o preach the gospel till you have enough power from the Holy Spirit to take you through to the end. W h e n I was a boy, we took a trip on the old D & R G Railroad, which was built from Denver to Salt Lake by Irish workmen. I t was then that I learned my first poem: Patty on the railroad, Patty on the sea, Patty'l go to heaven On the D & KG. As we pulled out of the railway station in Denver, we saw the towering Rockies ahead of us. Did the engineer wait in that station until he had enough steam to take the train over the Rockies to Salt Lake City and on to San Francisco? No,

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When he pulled out of the station, the safety valve was letting off steam pressure. The engineer kept enough steam to pull the train. First, he had steam enough to start; then steam enough to keep going, and there was new steam being generated all the way over the mountains. If there had been steam enough in that boiler to take the train all the way over the mountains when we started, it would have blown up the engine, train, and passengers. God doesn't give us grace and power on the first day of our ministry to take us all the way to the kingdom of glory. Day by day we receive strength from Him. My young friends here today, pray to God that you will have steam enough to start. Then every day you will receive power from Him and strength to go on through that day, and every day till the last day. It is reported that the late John Robertson of Glasgow, one of God's mighty preachers for forty years, was a backslider for twenty years of that time. In the pulpit he was a backslider. He says he was. The glow of his first ministry had gone. He decided to resign, and one morning he prayed: "0 God, Thou didst commission me twenty years ago, but I have blundered and failed and now I want to resign." Many a preacher has wanted to pray like that. He broke down as he prayed, and in between his sobs he seemed to hear the voice of the Lord saying: "John Robertson, it is true that I commissioned you twenty years ago. It is true that you have blundered and failed, but, John Robertson, I am not here for you to resign your commission, but to re-sign your commission." And that re-signing, we are told, was for greater and newer things for that preacher. He did his greatest work after that. Friend, if there has been a crisis in your life and you want to resign, let God re-sign your commission.

T H E P R E A C H E R HIMSELF
Dwight L. Moody came to a crisis in his life one day in a hotel room in New York. As he fasted and prayed, the power of God came upon him till he had to ask God to stay His hand. There was John Wesley, thirty-four years old, and a failure in the ministry, unconverted. Oh, he had plenty of education to graduate from Oxford University. He had authority. He was already ordained by the Church of England, but he was a complete failure and he knew it. Then one night he went down to the tiny little church on AIdersgate Street, and a layman, mind you, got up and read from the introduction to Luther's commentary on Galatians. And as he read, Wesley said, "I felt a strange warmth in my heart. Then I realized that I, even I, could find the forgiveness of my sinsH-and that when a layman read from the words of Martin Luther in that little meeting. John Wesley was born again and went forth to do a mighty work for God. Moments like these, in the high altitude of experience, may be sufficient to drive away forever the ghost of any sense of professionalism from our lives and keep us close to Jesus every day. Remember this, preacher-friend, if you belong to Christ, and God has called you to preach His gospel, nothing on earth can hurt you. When someone came to Jesus, and warned Him, saying: "Get out of this town quickly! Herod is going to kill you!" Jesus replied, "Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected" (Luke 13:32 ) . What did Jesus mean by this? He meant that He had a job to do, that God had given it to Him; and until He did that job, Herod could not hurt Him, Pilate could not hurt Him, Caesar could not hurt Him, no man on earth could hurt Him; not even the devils could hurt Him. He was God's Man about God's work. And that's the way it is with you and me. There is no release

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from this war, preacher! We didn't enlist for so many days or years; we enlisted for the duration. Not long ago T i m e magazine carried an article entitled "Why Ministers Are Breaking Down," by Dr. Wesley Shrader of Yale Divinity School. He declares that large numbers of our parish ministers are cracking up, that the minister's role is becoming impossible, that the number-one problem of the clergyman today is mental health. Ministers are breaking down. But I want to tell you, friends, that if you do the work that God calls you to do, you won't break down from it. He never calls you to do the things that make you break down. But ministers do break down. They get nervous "pesteration," as one fellow down in Arkansas put it. I think that pictures it better than the proper word. N o minister can do his work today on the eight-hour-day or the forty-hour-a-week basis. Many men spend up to seventy-four hours a week at their work, as a late survey has indicated. The demands upon ministers are often impossible. But the real work that God has called us to do is not impossible. He never calls for the impossible. Men often do, but not God. Of course, there will always be more to do than we possibly can do. People want us to do more, and do things which we have no right to be doing, since we cannot do those things and make God's great work supreme. But none of us needs to be destroyed or deluged or cracked up by these things. W e cannot compete with radio or TV voices, nor with the tremendous clamor and confusion of this time; but, as an has pointed out, we editorial writer in thc Christian Ceg~t//ry have one great advantage-we can proclaim the glorious Christian gospel, we can point out its meaning to life today, and we can meet the need of human hearts at the deepest

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level. In preachin,o the gospel in our churches \\.e 11;1veno competition. W e llnve a message that is cternal, thi~t'salways timely, and that fits the heart of man because it \\,;IS made for man. the heart of man by the God who ~natle When I was nineteen years old I was sitting at my grandfather's bedside on the last night of his life. He was a godly man, a godly Christian, blacksmith, and farmer. He'd been to Alaska during the gold rush. I nras alone with him. Suddenly he told me he wanted to get out of bed. I tried to keep him from it, for he was a very sick man. He was also a very strong man, and he got out of bed and I couldn't prevent him. He went over to the shelf in the room and took up his well-worn Bible. I had already begun studying for the ministry, and to do what I could in saving souls. My grandfather had often prayed that the Lord svould put His hand upon me and lead me into the Christian ministry. He sat on the edge of the bed and said to me: "Son, you are going to be a minister, a preacher for Christ. God has called you to His ministry and I want to read you something that you need to know, and never forget." He turned to the second chapter of First Corinthians and read most of the chapter, emphasizing verses 13 to 16. He insisted that the preacher must be able to compare spiritual things with spiritual. "But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him." Spiritual things are "spiritually discerned." Then he closed the Book and said: "Son, remember, you can never be a minister of Christ unless you are a spiritual man. Only a spiritual man can understand the Scriptures, for they were written by the Spirit of God. You can't preach the Scriptures unless you are a spiritual man, for you can't understand them."

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He immediately went back to bed. A few hours later, with my arm under his shoulder, he died with the words of Scripture on his lips, "0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!" (Rom. 11: 33). I had that verse put on his tombstone there under the Colorado sun. That was the first time I had ever seen death, which I have seen a11 too often since; but I can say of his death, "Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his! " (Num. 23: 1 0 ) . Those words of admonition of his have rung in my heart ever since-"To be a minister you must be a spiritual man." When I was ordained to the ministry I took as my vow the words of 1 Corinthians 2: 1, 2, and that has been my text in the ministry ever since. I want to tell you friends and fellow workers, a true minister must be a spiritual man. He must have the Word of God ringing in his heart. I could say much more about what the man himself, the preacher, ought to be. It has been said over and over again, and much better than I could say it. It is easy to say these things but much harder to live them-impossible to live them in our own strength. And when we have said it all, it can really be summed up in just one sentence-To be a minister of Christ, to receive His call, to serve Him acceptably, we must be spiritual men. And if the Holy Spirit is guiding us, leading us, not only into all truth but into all service, sustaining us, teaching us, showing the things of Christ to us, we will be good ministers of Christ. Let me tell you, young men, you will never regret that you have walked in the call of God. The ministry of Christ is the only eternal occupation. There is the agile athlete whose name is written high in the world of sports. He eclipses all comers, he

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leads the field in everything, right up to the decathlon itself. But a few years pass and he becomes as frail and helpless as a child, and all that remains is a few silver cups which he has won. There is the great humorist whose name is spread across continents and who becomes rich by making folks laugh-thousands of people chuckle every night as they see him on television. But we are told that he often weeps himself to sleep. Finally he drops into obscurity without Christ, without hope, and without God in this world-or in the world to come. There is the great statesman, the man of affairs whose name is on every tongue and in the headlines of the newspapers around the earth. His plans and oratory have drawn the multitudes for years, but now his reputation winks out in obscurity. The empire which he envisioned and organized has fallen into warring pieces. Now he is merely a name in history. Even the eloquent preacher who is in great demand, the man with the silver tongue, the magnetic personalitythe years pass and he is gone, and all that remains is a memory like a lovely song or a fleeting cloud on a summer day. The gifted singer, whose voice has thrilled millions and held them in breathless ecstasy, is now silent, his voice is heard no more. But here is the faithful minister of Christ, who lived God's Word that he might preach it, and preached God's Word that men might live it. He was sincere, honest, faithful, a student of the Word, a man of prayer, a man of urgency, a man of love. The years have passed and he is with us no more, but his life is hid with Christ in God, and when He who is his life shall appear, then shall he also appear with Him in glory (Col. 3:3, 4 ) . While all earthly professions have ceased-the Christian physician will no more minister to the sick, the nurse will not have to stay up weary nights and care

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for the dying, and the great administrator, the warrior, the financier, all of these professions are gone forever-this preacher of God will proclaim throughout the ages the story of redemption, and to far star cities glowing bright will describe that day when the shadow of a cross arose upon a lonely hill. He will tell the story of redemption to wondering worlds. Yes, the great earth will pass into eternal eclipse, but the soul winner, the true preacher who was sent of God, who preached for God and lived for God, not only lives his life many times over in the lives of those whom he has led to Christ but will live on forever in the presence of Him who has called him to be a preacher, for it is written, "He that winneth souls is wise"; "and they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever" (Prov. 11:30; Dan. 12:3).

LECTURE

NO.

"Whereunto I nm ordained a preacher."-1 Timothy 2 3 .

UR CONTENTION in this lecture is that ordination in the Christian church is ordination to preach. In our text the apostle Paul declared, "I am ordained a preacher." The preceding verses declare the message that he was ordained to preach, namely, that Christ "gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time," that God desires the salvation of all men, that they should come to a knowledge of the truth, and that "there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus." In another passage the apostle uses almost the same words: "Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles" ( 2 Tim. 1 : 11 ) . The preceding verse in this case calls the message that he was appointed to preach "the gospel," and the word "appointed" in this text is identical with the word "ordained" in 1 Timothy 2:7. They are the same; ordination is appointment. In both of these passages the apostle declares that he was appointed or ordained to preach, and the preaching was to be a proclamation of the gospel. Paul had no doubt about his call to preach the gospel, or that this call was an ordinatior?, nn appointment, by

FEED MY SHEEP God, which came directly from God to him-not from any human organization. W e read that, of course, in Galatians 1: 1-"not of men," or from men, but from God direct. His gospel also was given to him by revelation. After his retirement to Arabia, where he communed with God and studied in preparation for his great world missionary work, his call was publicly recognized by the church and he was ordained to preach the gospel to the heathen. So you see, Paul's call included the direct call from God, the fruitage of his labors, because he was a veteran before he was recognized by the church. He was a missionary before he was chosen, along with Barnabas, to go out and carry on this great missionary journey. The Lord had previously declared of Paul, "He is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel" (Acts 9: 15). It seems to me that this amplifies things a little, ringing back, kicking back, as it were. At the time of his conversion the word came that he was to be made a minister to the Gentiles, "to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me" (Acts 26: 18). Those are the words of Christ. Later, as he was praying in the Temple, the word of the Lord came to him: "Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles" (Acts 22:21). So the Lord had directly given him his commission and his ordination for gospel preaching. Still it was to be recognized by the church. His public ordination took place at Antioch, as we read in Acts 13:2: "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." God had already called

ORDAINED TO PREACH them. Now the church was to make the separation official. The choosing of God was to be recognized by His people on earth. This was their ordination. The choosing of God was to be recognized by His people on earth, and so it is now. "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So they, being sent forth by the Holy Ghost, departed" (Acts 13:3, 4). Now you see, friends, they were called by the Holy Ghost, sent forth by the Holy Ghost, throclgh the medium of the church. Now I am reading this from The Acts of the Apostles, page 161: "Before being sent forth as missionaries to the heathen world, these apostles were solemnly dedicated to God by fasting and prayer and the laying on of hands. Thus they were authorized by the church, not only to teach the truth, but to perform the rite of baptism, and to organize churches, being invested with full ecclesiastical authority." This official ordination was to protect them from any dangers that would beset them. It was performed in order that their work should be above challenge, to show that they were not merely wandering teachers with no authority or recognition. "Their ordination was a public recognition of their divine appointment to bear to the Gentiles the glad tidings of the gospel."-lbid. Paul and Barnabas received their commission from God Himself. The ceremony of the laying on of hands added no new grace or power to them. The ordination was an acknowledgment that they were appointed to this work of God, which was the preaching of the gospel. The seal of the church was set upon the work of God and the call of God. In this act the church asked God to bestow His blessing upon these preachers in the work to which they were appointed.

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This ordination of Paul and Barnabas was really the first step in the organization of churches in the Gentile world. As these men went out and preached, their preaching would bring conversion and salvation to their hearers, and then churches would be organized. When we go back to the ministry of Jesus Himself, we find that He called twelve men to be with Him and to preach the gospel. Of this we find a record in Mark 3: 13, 14: "And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." The Acts of the Apostles, page 18, says, "It was at the ordination of the twelve that the first step was taken in the organization of the church." This ordination, then, was the first step in founding the Christian church on earth. The church is founded by the preaching of the gospel, and only by the preaching of the gospel. Therefore, in Christ's call to these men, we read, He called them and He ordained them to be with Him that H e might send them forth to preach. Now, here comes my revolutionary contention, that there is no other reason for ordination under heaven than that. It is revealed here in Christ's act of ordaining the twelve apostles in the plain statement that He ordained them to be with Him, and that He might send them forth "to preach." There isn't one word in this record, or in the record of the ordination of Paul and Barnabas, or any other place in the New Testament, that men were ever ordained for any other purpose than to preach the gospel and proclaim the message of salvation to men. To me, this is a very serious truth and a very revolutionary thought. I wish we believed it with all our hearts and

ORDAINED T O PREACH
followed it. I don't believe that men should be ordained merely as a reward for faithful service. There ought to be something else that we could do for them. A man who has been a faithful worker in some line other than preaching the gospel should certainly be recognized, and should have his full due in reference to payment and sustentation and all that. But he ought not to receive ordination which he does not deserve and should not have, and should refuse to have, if he believes the teaching of the Bible on this subject. W e must all admit that after the time of Christ this rite of ordination by the laying on of hands was greatly abused and misunderstood. It developed into the churchly doctrine of apostolic succession and ecclesiastical prerogative, by which the great papal hierarchy was built up during the Middle Ages, and even down to our own time. Some of this spirit has seeped into the Protestant world, and even sometimes into our own movement. I am contending for just one thing: Ordination is for the preaching of the gospel. It is not for anything else. Some men seem to feel that ordination is the reward given to a faithful worker, a recognition that he has been true to God and to God's church; and that, therefore, he should be ordained as sort of payment for this faithfulness. This idea is, in my mind, completely out of harmony with the plain teaching of the Scripture. I am not saying that we should not have some sort of recognition for faithful service, but ordination was not intended as a reward. A man who has been a faithful treasurer, or who has worked in any part of our organization, ought in some way to be recognized and rewarded for his faithfulness. But to use ordination for any other purpose than is plainly indicated in the Holy Scripture, is to prostitute holy things, to bring confusion in the church and heartache and discouragement 115

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to men. Not only so, but it lowers ordination to the place where it means practically nothing. Ordination as a Christian minister is the highest honor that any human being can receive on this earth, and it should be so recognized, understood, and protected by every Christian attitude, custom, habit, and doctrine. Jesus did not ordain His disciples until He had taught them and tried them for some time. Paul and Barnabas were veterans in gospel work before they were ordained. The apostle Paul himself warned against too quick and unconsidered ordination, for he said, "Lay hands suddenly on no man" ( 1 Tim. 5 :22). As a young man I remember a godly, consecrated treasurer who surely was a man of God, and a great help to the work, but he couldn't preach; yet he had been ordained, and he himself worried about it. He said: "Why did the brethren ordain me? Why did I let them do it? I cannot preach. I don't want to preach. I have no burden to preach. I couldn't preach if I tried to, but people think I should. I've been ordained, and the Bible says, 'ordained . . . to preach.' Here I am. Why did they do it?" Echo answers, "Why? Why did they do it?" Preaching must be the chief work of a man's life, or ordination is out of place. I realize that there may be men here who are disagreeing with me in this position, but I am not afraid that they will be able to find any plain Bible statement to the contrary. Whether they disagree or not, the words of Scripture still stand that they are ordained that "he might send them forth to preach." Now, how does this doctrine affect us? It affects you young students of the ministry very seriously, very tremendously, and very wonderfully. Seriously, because many modern preachers are expected to be everything from church

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plumber to messenger boy for the Dorcas or Ladies' Aid Society. In some places the preacher is the general servant and flunky who does all the odd jobs, drives the car, does everything that nobody else wants to do. If you are very kind and meek and gentle, you will be taken advantage of many times. First thing you know, you will be doing very little preaching, and what you do will be little in itself because you will have very little time for preparation. You will not make preaching the big, central job of your life. In the second place, this fact that you are ordained "to preach" will affect you tremendously, because it will change your whole life one way or the other, for good or for evil. If you accept the doctrine of the Bible that preaching is your great work, your chief work, your lifework, you will set your face like a flint to make it so, and by the grace of God succeed. It will mean tremendous things to you and to the church and to the world. It will change everything. You will be a different man. The church will be a different church. In the third place, this fact of the supremacy of preaching for every ordained man is very wonderful. W e would begin to get back to apostolic conditions, apostolic power, apostolic revival, apostolic persecution, apostolic victory, if we would accept this fact with all our hearts, and receive it as it is indeed, the truth of God. Remember, Christ's positive and definite command is "Go ye . . . and preach." And when He said that, He said some other things about cutting loose from other responsibilities and concerns-important things, no doubt, but things that could not be done by the one who fulfills His command. Why can we not take the great commission as it is and keep it great? Why does the work of God move with a snail's pace in so many places today? Is it not because we, like the

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snail, have a low view of things? Why not take the oldfashioned view of the I-loly Scripture in bvhat we rcad about ordination and preaching? Why not say: "Christ said it! W e believe it! That settles it!" Isn't that it? Why not? But what do we mean by preaching? Well, plainly, I mean p r e ~ c h i ~ ~ How g . often have I heard people say: "I preach by putting out literature. I preach by living a good life. I preach by giving an offering. I preach by paying my tithe. I preach by meeting all my goals. I preach by book sales, taking subscriptions to periodicals and magazines. I preach by promoting solicitation of funds, appeals for church expense-church school expense, janitor, heat-Ingathering, Week of Sacrifice, foreign missions. That's all preaching." But it positively is not preaching, according to the Bible record which I am reading to you. These things are all good. They have their place, but their place is not in the place of preaching. But they will be in the place of it if we do not watch out. Every one of you young men must do your best to learn while you are in college, if possible, how to carry on a strong church program; but, above all things, how to prevent it from taking charge of you and running you. I suppose you probably have it here in your curriculum. A college seminary ought to be training men to do all these things that they have to do. But why train them to preach if they are not going to preach? Why train them in homiletics if they are going to wind up the work in some other way? If preaching is to be restored to its rightful place, we will, as Carlyle B. Haynes reminds us, have to give a great deal more attention and time to the construction of sermons than is often given today ( T h e M i n i s t r y , July, 1956). Our preaching has often fallen to a sorry level, and it is putting it mildly to

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say that we need something better. Now I am quoting-I didn't write it, brlt I believe every word of it: "It has come to the place that a compilation of quotations from the Spirit of prophecy, with very few connecting remarks to link them together, is looked upon as a sermon. It is not a sermon. It is only deplorable evidence of the speaker's inability to do any thinking of his own. Now do not misunderstand me," Brother Haynes says-and I say it, too, "I have a wholehearted belief in the Spirit of prophecy, and most certainly believe in its proper use. But I do not believe it is properly used when selections typed out on cards are read one after another in lieu of a sermon, in order to save the worker from doing any brain work of his own."-Zbid., p. 9. The writings of the Spirit of prophecy are so inspiring, and Sister White has said things in such a wonderful way, and our people have such faith in them and enjoy them so much, that any man can run in at the last minute, put some quotations together, and get by with it. And so the Spirit of prophecy, which ought to be a great blessing to a man, becomes a crutch for a lazy thinker. It's not to be that. The Lord's servant never wanted her works to be used in that way, and the man who does so is prostituting a good thing and hurting himself. That's not preaching. Why not let the people read the books themselves? If that's good enough, then why not let them read the Bible themselves? Why have any preaching at all? The man who uses the Spirit of prophecy in this way doesn't really get by with it, for sooner or later he is found out. Things change. H e begins to shrink intellectually, and as a preacher. Then after a while he is moved from one conference to another because he doesn't have much food for the people. H e runs out of steam every little while.

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When I began to preach, Kenneth Gant was with me. I remember that we held Bible studies with a woman in Loveland, Colorado. I would talk for about four minutes, and run out of steam. Then Kenneth would come right in, and when he ran out, I came in. I would gather up enough while he was talking. That's the way we did it. Well, I suppose you can do it that way if you have to. Maybe that's the reason the Lord sent the early workers out two and two-they could help each other. But we ought to be growing all the time. W e didn't know very much, and that woman just walked right over us into the church. W e were dumfounded when we saw her in the church. She came in, in spite of us. Now, there is something supernatural about true preaching. It was ordained of God, commanded of Jesus Christ, practiced by the apostles and the apostolic church. Down through the ages God's true people have preached. Preaching has always gone up when spirituality went up. The Reformation was built on preaching. The Advent Movement was built on preaching, and its final victory will be built on preaching-preaching in which the preacher is filled with the Word of God, is empowered by the Holy Spirit, and speaks forth from a heart on fire with the Word of Christ to hungry souls. This is preaching! And it pleases God by preaching to save the lost. Now I have from the mouth of Sister White herself that preaching is not merely reading long sections of the Testimonies to the people. This isn't something that I am going to read to you out of a book. I am going to tell you an experience of my own father, who fell asleep in Christ just a year ago the twenty-fifth of this month. It was a great privilege for me to have my father's help through the years. It meant a great deal to me. His letters have helped me, and

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now I am going through his library, taking care of the vast amount of material he left. He didn't have it organized very well. When mother would say, "Father, you must have your things in order and put in place," he would say, "I do; I have a place for everything, and everything in one place." H e knew where to find it, but nobody else did, and finally it got so vast that even he couldn't find anything. As I go through it now, I am impressed with his great loyalty to this message, his loyalty to the church, and his loyalty to his fellow ministers. Now my father was what you would call the old-fashioned, conservative, dyed-in-the-wool Seventh-day Adventist minister who believed the old-fashioned doctrine one hundred per cent. Many times he would hear things that other men believed and did that were contrary to his views, but he would always come to the defense of any Adventist minister if anyone should attack him. I like that spirit. I tell you, friends, I may disagree with a man violently in some things, and think he is entirely wrong in some of his views, but I hope that God will give me grace to come to his defense against the enemy. W e ought to stand like one phalanx against the world, and love one another so much that we will not tear one another down. That's what impressed me with father. But I am not here to honor my father, although I could give you a whole lecture on him, and it might be interesting too. Now back to my story that shows you how Sister White considered the honor of the ministry, and the importance of it. Father was a young pastor in Denver, Colorado, and just a few minutes before the time for him to preach one Sabbath morning, the door opened and in came Sister White with her son, Brother Willie White, and her companion, Miss

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McInterfer. Father didn't know she was in the country, but of course he immediately asked her to speak to the people. She asked my father, "Didn't you plan to preach today?" "Yes," said father. "Didn't you pray that God would give you a message?" "Yes, I did." "Did He give you a message?" "Well, I thought He did." "Did you study it?" "Yes." "You prayed about it?" "Yes." "Well then," she said, "I wouldn't think of taking your place and speaking when God has given you a message. W e are here to hear the message. You go ahead and preach, by all means." So she sat there on the platform and made him preachand when he had finished, she took him off to one side and, like the dear mother in Israel that she was, she gave him some words of encouragement. She wasn't one of those who believed it was wrong to tell a young preacher that he did well, that his sermon had helped her soul. She told father, "Your sermon helped me spiritually; it blessed me." Wasn't it wonderful for her to say that to a young preacher-a woman who had been used of God as she was, and had written all those great books? She gave him words of encouragement-told him that his sermon had helped her. Then she said, "If you keep on preaching as you do, with your voice so high and strained, you'll die in a few years." Then in about fifteen minutes she told him more about hosv to speak and how to breathe than he had learned in all his classes in elocution and speaking in Battle Creek College.

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He followed those principles of breathing from his diaphragm and speaking with the proper muscles the rest of his life, and even up to a few months before his death his voice was sweet and resonant. You who have heard him know that that is true. People used to love to hear him pray on radio. Then father asked Sister White a question, and that is what concerns us tonight. He said: "Sister White, I'd like to ask you how to use your writings in my public work. I hear one man say this, another that. Some men bring in a pile of those red books this high. Some men read quotations. Some men do this, some men do that." Then he asked: "What should we do? How should we use your writings in our public work?" And here's what she said to him-I'm putting it in my own words. She said: "When you decide to preach on a subject, go to the Bible and study that subject thoroughly. Read everything the Bible says on the subject and anything in connection with it. Study it thoroughly and exhaustively from the Bible. Then go to these writings that the Lord has given to me and read everything on that subject and see if there are not some rays of light focused on those scriptures. Then-and here's the important part of it-go to the people and preach the message to them out of the Bible." That's what she said. And that's what my father and I have always tried to do. That has been our family tradition-Sister White's statement of how to preach, of how to use her writings. And I believe it is right, sensible, scriptural, and "Spirit-of-prophetical," if there is such a word. I am not saying that you should not read a good sentence or paragraph now and then from the Spirit of prophecy, but it's positively wrong, I think, to take these long quotations

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and pile them on the people. The sermon is not the place for that. If you are giving a series of studies on the Spirit of prophecy, I suppose that's different; but I am talking about your regular preaching. The writings of the Spirit of prophecy are not to take the place of the Bible, but they will throw light upon it, and keep us from making mistakes as we study it. But we are to study the Scriptures first. W e are not even to permit the Spirit of prophecy to divert us from our first study. It is so easy to read the good things in the Spirit of prophecy and not do any thinking ourselves. But every text, every passage, ought to be thoroughly thought out by the preacher before he looks at anything else-the Spirit of prophecy, the commentary, or anything else. Then the preacher knows what is in that text. He has a real vision of it when he rises to preach; his heart is full of it. It is like a fire in his bones, and he must have deliverance from it. As he preaches, God gives him great grace and peace of heart. That is real preaching, and we are ordained to do that kind of preaching. So let's stick to the great things of God's Word in our preaching. Now, young men, when you are ordained you will be ordained to peach the gospel, not merely to read it. Without a doubt, some men have been able to read their sermons and win souls by so doing. I would hate to give many talks the way I am having to give these, reading some things out of my notes. But I have had to prepare for these lectures while keeping four secretaries busy with correspondence, and writing radio talks, and finishing the manuscript for a book, so I really didn't have time to memorize the main heads of these. You will have to endure my reading some of this. Of course, I know that when we read in the pulpit we all get that famous preacher's disease called "chicken drinking."

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You know what I mean-your head goes up and down as you look from your paper to the people. Now I'm sorry for that, so please pardon me this time! It was John M'Neill, that great Scottish preacher, who said: "I don't mind your reading from a paper if you can put it across, but many a preacher is like a young preacher I heard of, who was supplied a certain pulpit and preached from a paper. At the conclusion of the sermon he was talking to an old lady and sort of fishing for a compliment, and he thought he had caught the fish. 'How did you like my sermon?' he asked. 'I didn't like it at all,' she replied. 'In the first place, ye read it. In the second place, ye didn't read it well, and in the third place, it wasn't worth reading.' " Well, now, that's putting it pretty strong. We'll probably have something to say later on in this series about the manner of pulpit delivery. I say again, one might be able to read a sermon into which he had put the very lifeblood of his heart, and win some souls by it; but certainly it must be preuching, not just picking up somebody else's book and reading it. When we prepare to preach, it is well for us to remember that we want to convert souls with our message, and we should construct the sermon with that in mind. If we expect God to honor our message, it must be rock-rooted in conviction and a sound conversion in the man who preaches, so the same thing can happen to the man who hears the preaching. Also, we should respect the audience to whom we speak. If we do, we will respect the pulpit in which we stand. Remember, the pulpit is where God stands and where He speaks. Imagine Jesus standing by your side with His hand on your shoulder. W e should enter the pulpit reverently, and with no ostentatious devotion or spiritual pride. The pulpit is no

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place for an actor or even an entertainer. It is a place for the ambassador of the most high God. Sarcasm has no place in preaching and winning souls. N o matter how worthy the cause may be, any bitterness or sarcasm will hurt your cause. Many people will be estranged by personal thrusts or even suggestions along that line. Many a lawyer has lost his case by alienating the jury with his sarcasm. Disagreeable epithets carry the same danger that sarcasm does. People are likely to sympathize with the person who is being branded. It is said that John Clifford, soon after he began preaching-and he was a great English preacher, too-delivered a sermon just full of denunciation of the faults and foibles of Christian people. The next day he met a godly church school teacher who said, "I would advise you, Mr. Clifford, to throw away your pepperbox and take a pot of honey around with you." And I quote my father again-he used to say, "Remember, son, you always catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar." It is good to remember that. Let's just leave out the sarcasm and the bitterness and the excessive use of humorous anecdotes-or any sort of anecdotes, if they are too frequently used. Personally, I get tired of a constant string of stories. I believe there should be illustrations-yes. They are like windows, but we don't want to make a house all windows. The excessive use of humorous anecdotes or any sort of anecdotes is liable to weaken the spiritual message. Never use humor for itself. A little break-through from time to time may illuminate some passage and bring in a kindly feeling. But the anecdote must be clean and wholesome, and never, never used merely for itself. Now here are some hints to young preachers. I know they have been helpful t s me, and I wish I had paid more atten-

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rion to them. W . T. Stead, who was a gifted speaker as well as a notcd writer and editor, said: "First, ncver speak without having something to say. Ddinitcly, dclinitc-ly, have something to say. Second, always sit down \\,hen you've said it. Third, remember that speech is a dumb show when it is not audible. Fourth, think definitely, pronounce clearly, stand naturally, do not speak too fast. Fifth, welco~nearticulate interruptions, no matter how hostile." One thing I like about preaching in British countries, you are likely to get reactions from the audience. If they like it, they'll say, "Hear, hear!" If they don't, they'll say something else. It is good for a speaker to be able to handle the situation and take care of himself. Lloyd George was a nlan who could handle himself in public-and, by the way, he was a Baptist preacher as well as a member of the Liberal party. When he was in one of his greatest political contests, and things were really hot, right in the middle of one of his very earnest political speeches, away in the back a man shouted: "Lloyd George, Lloyd George, where's your old grandpaw now? And where's the old donkey? And where's the old cart that you used to haul coal in?" Lloyd George, you see, was born of old Welsh yeoman stock, common people. His grandfather hauled coal up in Criccieth, Wales, and this man just wanted to throw in something that would get the people's mind off what Lloyd George was saying, so he threw this in about his grandfather for no reason at all except to make trouble. Lloyd George stopped and very courteously said: "Well, my friend, I am just back from Criccieth. I have been up there for a little vacation and there in the shed I sa\v the old cart that grandpaw used. It's still there." Then he added, "Grandpaw's dead and I hope he's in heaven; but I see the

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donkey's got in here!" You see, he was able to throw things right back to his heckler. He was quick. From that time on, of course, he had the audience in his hand. When Henry Ward Beecher went over to England to help Abraham Lincoln hold Britain on the side of the North, the situation was serious. If England had declared war against the North and joined with the South, without a doubt we would have had no United States of America today. The British people were suffering; all of central England was almost in famine because they couldn't get the cotton from the South for their cotton mills. W e had a blockade on in the South, and so President Lincoln sent Henry Ward Beecher, that great preacher who was quoted so often throughout England, to speak to the common people and explain that their suffering was a part of the great battle to win freedom for the slaves. That is why he appeared before those great hostile audiences. One night when he was preaching in Manchester, right in the middle of his eloquent address a man up in the balcony began to crow like a rooster. Beecher immediately stopped and took out his watch, looked at it, listened to it, shook it, and then said: "I don't understand it. This watch has never failed me before. But it must be wrong, for the instincts of the lower creatures never fail. It must be morn." The crowd began to laugh, and from that time on he had them in the hollow of his hand. It broke the tension. Ellen Cicely Wilkinson once had a similar experience. She was a member of the Labor party in England, and was on the hustings once, and was talking, and somebody shouted out in the crowd to bother her. H e said, "0 Miss Wilkinson, what do you know anyway?" She said, "I don't know very much."

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"All right," he said, "how many ribs has a pig got?" She replied: "I don't know. I really don't know, but if you will come up here I will count them." She was ready with something right there. Sometimes you may have responses from your congregation that are not helpful. Now, of course, you couldn't reply to them as these people did in political meetings, but you can be on your toes, you can be thinking and be ready. So Mr. Stead says, "Welcome articulate interruptions, no matter how hostile." The sixth point he makes is this: "Two things should never be lost-your temper and the thread of your discourse. Seventh, remember that the eye is as eloquent as the tongue. Eighth, never hesitate to let yourself go at the right time. Throw yourself into it. Don't hold back. Ninth, never read your speech, but always have heads of discourse handy in case you should forget; but, of course, you ought to have these heads in your head. Tenth, never forget Cardinal Manning's words of wisdom, 'Be full of your subject and forget yourself.' " N o doubt you have long lists of don'ts and do's already about preaching and public speaking; and I find that in preparing these lectures, my problem is not to get enough material, but to have the courage to throw a lot of it away. There are so many good things that could be said and have been said, that it is very difficult to know what to include and what to exclude. But above all things, remember to tell your message plainly. Make it plain. Make it so plain that children can understand it. To me, one of the greatest compliments I can have is to have the children crowd up and want to listen to me, and keep quiet while they are doing it; and then to have them say, "I can understand him." Chil-

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dren will never listen to you or be eager to come to your meeting unless you make your message plain. That is why it is so important that all the children, boys and girls and at the preaching service toyoung people+verybody-be gether and not have separate services. You have no idea how much of your sermon the children will remember and how much even the feeling of a great meeting makes its impress upon them. Some time ago I had a wonderful experience in Eugene, Oregon, where I was invited to speak for eight nights. By the way, we have a beautiful church there, one of the finest churches that Adventists have ever built in America, and it was erected for little money. It seats about 700 people and is a credit to our cause. Of course, the three front rows were vacant, as they usually are. I told the people that for the time I was speaking there, I was going to depend on what I call my "four-rowers," for the first four rows of an audience mean more to me than anything else in the building. So I said, "Tomorrow night, and every night while I preach here, I want those who believe in God and who are going to pray for me to sit in those seats. I am asking for volunteers to fill those first four rows." And you know, they came up right then. Children from six to thirteen years of age filled the first two rows. They were there every night, and there wasn't one bit of whispering; there wasn't any laughing. Those little folks were with me, and I praised them every night and thanked them for their prayers. W e had a real revival there in Eugene, and it was those "first-four-rowers" who set the thing going. So, make your preaching so plain that the little children will want to come and hear you, and will understand you. The children ought to be in our meetings. They ought to be

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with their parents to hear the preaching, not in some other meeting just for children. I can remember hearing K. C. Russell, G. B. Thompson, J. 0 . Corliss, J. N. Loughborough, and other leading men preach when I was a little boy sitting with father and mother. It is amazing how much of what they said I can still remember. If the preacher tells it plainly, if he makes it so plain that the children seven or eight or nine years old can understand most of it, he is a real preacher. Make it plain, make it earnest. It was Robert Hall who said: "If I were on trial for my life, and my advocate should amuse the jury with his tropes and figures, burying his arguments beneath a profusion of flowers of rhetoric, I would say to him, 'Man, put yourself in my place, speak in view of the gallows, and you will tell your story plainly and earnestly.' " And wouldn't you say the same? I would. If my life was at stake, I would want the lawyer to make my defense plain, and make it earnest and clear. When we stop to think of it, that lost sinner sitting there in the pew before us is in a serious condition, his life is at stake. Something worse than the gallows is before him. Everything depends upon his decision-and your eternal destiny, my friend, depends upon what you say and the way you preach. So be careful what you say and how you say it. Speak with all the earnestness of a faith that not only believes what you say to be true but believes that et~rna!i!e-tiny hanzc upon ir-and if it dctsn't hang upon it, then don't preach it. If that sermon isn't a matter of life and death, you never were ordained to preach it. If you want to be clear as a preacher, don't try to be exhaustive. Make a few points stand out, and clinch those points with clearness in each sermon. As my father used to tell me, "Take a few strong texts, like long nails, and drive

FEED MY SHEEP them clear through the board and clinch them on the other side." Save some of your ammunition. Don't try to tell the people everything you know in one sermon, or you might succeed, and you wouldn't have anything else to tell them later. When the interest is the highest, sit down. He who is saying something will always say it best in the fewest words. When the nail is driven home, all after-hammering is superfluous. Don't wander in your preaching. Have a definite aim and concentrate on that. Have an objective in every sermon. That's best done by thematic preaching, reducing the meaning of the text or the topic to a sentence of a very few words as the very first foundation of the sermon. Put into that sentence the main thought that you will support all through your sermon. I believe that's the first foundation, reducing the meaning of your text or your topic to a simple sentence of from seven to fifteen words at the most. It may take half of your time of preparation to get that sentence. Start writing sentences, thoughts that come to you from your text. You may write a hundred sentences, but they are not wasted, for you can use them throughout your sermon. When you finally get the sentence that rings the bell, as we say, start off with that. Give your text and then, in a few words, your introduction. After that, give your theme sentence and say, "That is what I see in this text." Then follow that right down through your sermon. When you have this sentence-preferably of seven or eight words, or even up to fifteen, the shorter the better-the sermon is half made. It holds you to a definite theme, a definite idea, and will make the sermon much more easily understood. Don't talk too fast or too slowly. I am not going to say more in regard to that. You will find it in your homiletics.

ORDAINED TO PREACH There is some very fine material on the use of the voice in the Testi~?zonies, volume 1, pages 645, 647, 649; volume 2, pages 615, 672; volume 3, page 3 11; volume 4, pages 404406, 559, 604, 605; volume 6, page 380; and in Educatio~z, page 199; Christ's Object Lessons, page 335; and in other books available to all of you. Then I would urge that you not talk too loudly. W e have passed the day of hallooing and hollering. There was a man in a certain State in the middle of this country who used to say: "Whenever I forget what I have to say, I just holler louder. That gets people so mixed up and confused that they think I have something to say." And that's the way he gets by. There is too much hollering done sometimes, but we won't want to be guilty of it. The conversational tone is the secret of good preaching. Remember that preaching is glorified conversation. Sister White says, "As far as possible the speaker should preserve the natural tones of the voice."-Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 672. And 0 preacher-man, I beg of you, don't make announcements at the end of your sermon, and don't let other people make them. Send the people home with the impressions of the sermon fresh in their minds. How often I have been at a General Conference or a camp meeting or some other meeting where a stirring sermon went right to the heart like an arrow. Everybody was under a deep feeling of the presence of God. Then, immediately, without any word of transition somebody would get up and make some announcement that had nothing whatever to do with spiritual things. He would announce that a car must be moved, or that the committee on so-and-so would meet in room number so-and-so. An announcement like that is just like a dash of cold water over the whole meeting. It really suggests that the

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sermon doesn't amount to anything. Never be guilty of such an act. If the announcements must be made, be sure that there is some transition, some word of devotional attitude, of personal testimony, of appreciation of the message, before the irrelevant item is introduced. Otherwise it jolts the audience. In effect at least such announcements leave the impression, "Now this is something important. The sermon is over-you don't need to think about it any more." When men realize that we are ordained to preach, and that it is our big business and we are doing it, these other subsidiary things will take their proper place, which certainly is not first place. A man who recognizes the high calling of preaching will be careful about all the little things. He will not make apologies before he begins to preach. He is God's spokesman. Either he has a message or he has none. When the moment comes to begin, begin. Often I have heard my father say: "Be like a strong swimmer. Jump, plunge in, and start for the shore." That's the way you want to begin a sermon. Plunge in! Now years ago you could begin slowly and fool along for thirty minutes getting started, but not todaynot if you are in the swing of American life! You want to hit it in your first paragraph. Remember, "you've only got thirty minutes to wake the dead," as Lamb said. Then our posture in the pulpit should not take away from the holiness of our message. I realize that men are different. They have physical conditions to contend with, but we should try to sit up, maintain a proper and dignified poise. Remember, the audience can see us. And now I'd like to suggest that all our young preachers learn how to whisper. I know that there is no use to tell you not to whisper in the pulpit-we all do it, some df it. When a man, seated in full view of the audience, holds an animated

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conversation with his neighbor, or even from time to time laughs at something that was said to him, it is very distracting, to say the least, and shows very poor pulpit etiquette. If something really has to be said to the man seated next to you, whisper it right into his ear-but really whisper rather than mumble in an undertone. Let's not grumble and growl and express our personal opinions behind the speaker's back. It bothers people out in front, and it bothers the preacher if he is at all high-strung or has his antenna out as a good preacher ought to have. A nervous man will be the very best kind of a preacher, if he has his nervousness under control. As Gladstone said, "I never preach but I have a scientiiic vacuum behind the waistcoat." So, let's be kind to these nervous preachers and not whisper or make any sound at all. And of course, if you have to look at your watch, don't let other people see you do it-especially don't shake it to see if it's running! There was a man who used to do that when I was preaching with John Turner in a little schoolhouse out in Colorado. He had one of those big turnip watches that ticked almost like a clock, and every night when I was about half through my sermon he would get it out and look at it right in front of everybody. Many a time I was tempted to stop and say to him what Dr. Parker, one of the great preachers in London, said to a man who did that-he stopped right in the middle of his sermon, and said: "Young man, put up that watch! W e are talking about eternity, not time." But the Lord gave me grace not to do it, and I didn't. It is best not to be continually clearing your throat, or hustling from place to place during the singing, or during the preaching, attending to odds and ends of business when you ought to be listening to the music or to the speaker.

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FEED MY SHEEP Do not fidget or look bored when another man is preaching. All these things show a lack of thoughtfulness, a lack of refinement, and a lack of appreciation of the holy importance of the Word of God. I learned one thing from Amy MacPherson. Now we don't follow her in her theology and all, but she was a master of assemblies, just the same, and she taught a school of young preachers. She had five hundred preacher-students there in her school, and she told them: "When you sit on the platform with another preacher, for the privilege of sitting up there you ought to act interested. If he is as dry as dust, look as if you're interested. Take out your pencil, and act as though you're taking notes. Maybe you are just making marks to keep from blowing up, but," she said "show an active interest. Then the people say, 'I don't see much to it, but that fellow's taking notes; it must be good.' So they begin to listen. You owe that much to your fellow minister if you are with him on the platform." I have been on the platform many a time when I have found it hard to become interested in what the man was trying to say, but I tried to listen anyway, and I found out that he was saying some good things in spite of himself. It's pretty hard for any man to talk a half hour or forty-five minutes without saying something good-every time he reads the Bible, that's good. And it's good for us to have tests for our patience, and sometimes we are helped that way. Even if the speaker is not interesting, try to act interested. He at least is reading from the Word of God. H e at least stands as a messenger of God. If he is making a complete failure, let us do our best to uphold the honor of the Word and of the place of the ministry. So if you are on the platform, act interested in your brother preacher's preaching and listen

ORDAINED TO PREACH to him in an interested way. If you have a Bible, turn to the texts. In that way someone is going to get blessing out of the meeting who otherwise couldn't get it-and it might be you! Don't do all your praying in public. Do it in private so that the public prayer may be brief and to the point. "Praying to great length, as some do, is all out of place. . . . Long praying wearies, and is not in accordance with the gospel of Christ."-Testimonies, vol. 2, p. 617. Mr. Moody knew how to handle an audience. When he went to London to hold a series of great revival meetings, he knew that much depended upon the first feeling of the people toward him. He was from another land, and knew that he must have the sympathy and support of all the Christian people who heard him if he was to be successfuI. At his very first meeting, which was a sort of preparatory meeting for the evangelistic gatherings to come, he announced a season of prayer. Several people were to take part. Finally a man began to pray who was noted for the prodigious length of his petitions. In a few minutes Moody realized what sort of man he had on his hands and knew if he was permitted to dominate the whole prayer service, the meeting would be ruined-the real purpose of the meeting would be defeated, and his influence would be destroyed. So, as the man continued praying, he quietly said, "While Brother So-and-so is finishing his prayer, we will sing number so-and-so." Needless to say, the prayer soon ended, and from that moment on, the other Christian workers realized they had in this Mr. Moody a man who would take charge of things in the right way. They got right behind him, and the meetings were a success. This was a drastic cure, but sometime you may have to take charge of some of these long-winded prayers.

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Also, when you pray before your own sermon, or before the sermon of another, do not pray the sermon in the prayer. I have often had this done to me, and when the prayer was over there was really little use for me to preach because the people had been told everything in the prayer. There is one prayer book in the Bible, and that is the book of Psalms. Read the psalms aloud, and you will see how God desires to be addressed in prayer. The book of Psalms is the great prayer book for the Christian. Next to the book of Psalms-now I'm no heretic in what I am going to say-go down to the secondhand book store and buy a copy of the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England, or the Episcopal Church, and read those wonderful prayers written by Latimer, the martyr. You will learn from them how to pray in public and how to use words that are dignified. You will learn to include in your prayers, first adoration of God, then thanksgiving, then confession, then your pleading with Him for the things you need. You will learn how to approach God in the proper way in public. Many of our public prayers are disorganized and vague. They may be earnest and sincere, and they should be. Now, please do not misunderstand me-God understands every pleading heart, and He answers the true prayer no matter what words we use. But often I hear even ministers start out to pray, addressing God the Father, and when they come to the end of their prayer, they say, "Save us when Thou comest; in Thy name we pray." Now who are they talking t v G o d or Jesus? Well, of course, we know that they are one-that's true-but don't you think we ought to be a little more specific in our prayers? I suppose it is not our place to criticize the words of prayer, because God understands the meaning of the heart,

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whether we put the words right or not, but isn't it better to be a little clearer in these things? If we begin to pray to the heavenly Father, shouldn't uJe continue to pray to Him, and then at the end of our prayer, ask whatever we want Him to do when Jeszls comesisn't that it? Doesn't the Bible keep emphasizing that it is Christ who is coming, rather than God the Father? I believe that is true. And didn't Jesus distinctly command us to pray the Father and ask things in His name, that is, in Jesus' name? I am not saying that it is wrong to pray the other way, but it certainly is a fuzzy way of thinking. And surely, when we pray that way we just fall into forms and ruts of prayer. Wouldn't it be well for us to study the prayers in the Biblethe prayers of Jesus, the prayers of the apostles, and the prayers of the prophets, and the wonderful prayers in the psalms, especially. It might be well for some of these things to be considered, and no doubt they are in the college classes in homiletics. If they are not, they should be. Now a word about conviction in preaching. W e have to have conviction, or our preaching won't amount to anything. When a man has been ordained to preach, that surely should put upon him a great conviction that he is the mouthpiece of God. Jesus said of the apostle Paul, "I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness" (Acts 26: 1 6 ) . The minister who is uncertain of his own power and his own message is certainly a travesty and a tragedy. True ministers are first of all men, but they must be men of God ( 1 Tim. 6 : 11 ). They may be deficient in spiritual light and life, as was Apollos (Acts 18:24-26), or they may be like Thomas Chalmers of Scotland in his early experience, with "a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" ( 2 Tim. 3: 5 ) . That is the very spirit of the age in

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which we live, and it may creep in upon us as ministers. Or we may be like John Wesley, waiting for that experience of the warmed heart, which he found at Aldersgate Street, London, and which changed his whole life. W e may have all that those men had and still not have the deep conviction that we are God's servants with a message from heaven. Unless we have earnestness, we will be very unhappy men in the ministry, I am telling you. Our work will become a mere routine, a mere turning of wheels and pulling of levers. If we do not, with the apostle, know that "to live is Christ," the routine will get us at last. It will be a "destruction that wasteth at noonday." When we come to middle age and physical enthusiasm begins to ebb, anything that is based upon mere physical exuberance is bound to fail as the gray hairs come on and the youthful life begins to flee. You know, sometimes I hear a man-a graybeard like myself-say, "Oh, I feel better than I did at twenty-one." What a story that is! He has just forgotten what it is like to be twenty-one, that's all. There is nothing like youth, but don't base your speaking power on youth. Your preaching power can increase, and increase, and increase right up to the end, if it's based on faith in God, consecration, and earnestness-earnest study of books and people, especially people. Who could ever be much of a preacher if he didn't visit among the people? There's where your sermons are-out in the homes of the people. W e must have an earnestness that comes from conviction of the truth and of our call from God, and of the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, that will take us through springtime, summer and winter, the morning, noon, and evening of life. W e must have a sense of vocation. W e must be dedicated men, committed men. Listen to the solemn

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words of God in Jeremiah: "I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied" (Jer. 23:21). The apostle Paul speaks of being separated and called by the grace of God, who revealed His son in him (Gal. 1: 15, 16). Now, in Scotland in the old days, there was a question put to the probationers for the ministry. It was this: "Are not zeal for the honor of God, love to Jesus Christ, and desire to save souls your great motives and chief inducement to enter the function of the holy ministry?" And they were not permitted to answer with a bow of the head, either. Could you answer, "Yes, by God's grace," to that question? The true preacher will stick by his preaching. Someone has said that the true fisherman will never discard his rods. And so the true preacher, no matter how old he becomes, remains always a preacher of the everlasting gospel. "Despise not the ministry," said Thomas Goodwin, "for God had but one Son, and He was a minister." Sometimes I think it would be good if each one of us were challenged as to our divine credentials. When you see small returns for your effort, when you are criticized, and have a hard time with some of the brethren, or someone makes sport of your work, or you become physically afflicted and sick, the temptation is to feel that maybe you were not called of God, or that your preaching is not the voice of God. One fastidious preacher was challenged by a layman, who said, "Without your gown ye dare not preach, without your book ye could not preach, without your fee ye would not preach." D o those severe words apply to us? Suppose that you wouldn't get any more money, any more pay, would you keep on preaching? Would you still feel called to preach? Oh, you might have to get a job to earn your living-I realize

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that-but would you keep on preaching if you didn't get any wages? Would you? William Carey said: "My business is to preach the gospel. I cobble shoes to pay expenses." When John Wesley was thirty-four years old he was a failure as a minister, not because he had no education, for he was a graduate of Oxford University; not because he was not recognized by the church, for he was already ordained. It was because he did not know God's will for his life. But when the holy experience came to him, a mighty earnestness took hold of him, and he carried it in his heart, and set the fire burning through England, Ireland, and Scotland, and finally over all the world. Is there any conviction in our hearts that says, "Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel" (1 Cor. 9 : 1 6 ) ? I shall never forget the day that Brother Roy Anderson, who is here with us tonight, and I stood in John Wesley's pulpit in his chapel out on City Road, London. There we bowed our heads and rededicated our lives to the Christian ministry. The same day we visited his house and saw the room in which he died with his young preachers all around him. After being unconscious for two or three days, he suddenly opened his eyes, and with a smile said, "The best of all is, God is with us." That was the secret of his life. He believed that God was with him. H e was earnest because he believed his message, he believed his call. T o me, John Wesley is the greatest character outside the Bible. H e had the warmest heart and coolest head of any man of God whose biography I have read. 0 my friends, if we can just keep that sense of God's presence, that will be the best of all. That's the kind of preacher I want to be. There just off Wesley's bedroom is his little prayer room, really a tiny room not more than 5 feet wide and about 7 feet

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long, with a tiny fireplace, but a place of meditation indeed. The window looks out against a brick nrall. 'l'here is no view whatever, just the blue of heavcn. That was the powerhouse of the great Methodist revival, where that earnest man would kneel alone and talk with God. Think of the things he had against him-the coldness and the opposition of the established church, of which he was a member to the day of his death. They forbade him to preach in his own church, in which he had been associate pastor with his father. He had to g o out and stand on his father's tombstone to preach the gospel when he returned to the neighborhood. He had the opposition of furious mobs that we know little about today. And he had the opposition of determined, and sometimes unscrupulous, theologians. He had the opposition of the human heart, which is desperately wicked, and which no man fully knows, not even today with all our psychiatry and psychology. H e was very unhappily married for many years, and this great burden rested upon him without one word of complaint. One of his young ministers arrived at Wesley's home unexpectedly one day, walked in, and found Wesley's wife dragging his revered leader over the floor by his long white locks. The young preacher wrote later, "I was never so much tempted to commit murder in all my life." One day while preaching, Wesley said, "I have been accused by my enemies of breaking every one of the Ten Commandments except the commandment against stealing." Immediately his wife stood up in the audience and said, "John Wesley, you know you stole sixpence from my pocketbook last night." Wesley quietly remarked, "Now, brethren, that completes the list." I say he had all these things against him-things that would have broken the heart and ruined the ministry of 143

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many a man, but not of John Wesley. Why? Because he was in dead earnest. He believed that God had called him, and that God had given him a message, and God had. He went forth giving that message faithfully to the end of his days, and the Methodist Church is his monument. W e owe much to the Methodist Church. More of our leaders came from that great church than from any other. Sister White herself was a Methodist. Never run down the Methodist Church; it's our spiritual mother. And back of the Methodist Church was the Church of England. Never say anything against either of these great churches. W e thank God for the good that was in them. Let us see to it that we have as much. My young friends, when you are ordained to preach, you are brought into a wonderful fellowship. In the sight of all the people, the ordination prayer is offered, a prayer of dedication, a prayer in which the church sets you aside for a lifetime of gospel service, and God puts a mark on you. I believe the Catholic Church is right when it speaks of the indelible mark put upon the priest at ordination. God puts a mark upon you. He calls you. During the ordination a charge is given you to preach the Word of God, to be a watchman on the walls of Zion, a soldier of Christ, a shepherd of the flock. The charge usually includes the words of 2 Timothy 4: 1-8, part of which reads as follows: "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word. . . . Watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." Then you are welcomed into the Christian ministry. There was a time when this welcome was accompanied with a handshake and a brotherly kiss. The other ministers

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present would also extend their greeting and welcome. Why this holy kiss of welcon~eis omitted now in many places, I don't know. Possibly it is because it has been discovered that it is not sanitary. In apostolic days they did it. Probably its omission is due partly to the spirit of the age. It would be well to review the experience of our ordination from time to time, and the pledges that we ourselves took in our hearts when hands of ordination were laid upon us. When one is ordained to preach, certainly he does pledge to God his life and all as a preacher, if not by words, at least by action. At the death of Dr. George Pentecost, pastor of Bethany church, Philadelphia, the following was found in his study Bible: "I take God the Father to be my God ( 1 Thessalonians 1:9), Jesus Christ to be my Saviour (Acts 5 : 3 1 ) , the Holy Ghost to be my sanctifier ( 1 Peter 1 : 2 ) , the Word of God to be my ruler (2 Timothy 3: 16, 1 7 ) , the people of God to be my people (Ruth 1:1 6 ) . I give myself-all that I am, and all that I have-to the Lord (Romans 12: 1 , 2 ) . And I do this deliberately (Joshua 24: 15 ) , sincerely ( 2 Corinthians 1: 12), freely (Psalm 110:3 ) , and forever (Romans 8:35-39)." That consecration, you will notice, is all based on the Word of God, which the preacher is to proclaim. It was Billy Sunday, well-known evangelist of the past generation, who said: "The Word of God was vitiated and neutralized by the traditions of men when Jesus first came. That is very largely the trouble in present times. Instead of going to the Bible to find out what God said, the preacher is too liable to go to his books to see what the great men of the church have to say about it. And a11 their preaching and teaching takes its color from the glasses the rabbis wear, just as was the case in the time of Jesus. The fact that Jesus was

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not recognized by the high-up authorities, but was rejected and crucificd as an impostor, shows what a dangerous and deadly thing it is to accept the traditions of men rather than what God says about things. Too many who are now masters in Israel are as much in the dark as Nicodemus was. It is not what Dr. This or Professor That has to say about it that settles the question, and settles it right, but how reads the Word? What does the Bible say about it? And what we need to do is teach the Bible as it reads, not as some big man says it means. Big men have been mistaken about vital things just as often as little ones." In preaching the Word of God to men we are dutybound to preach the everlasting gospel, the entire gospel: the existence and personality of God the Creator, the deity and atoning sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ, the inspiration of the Holy Scriptures, salvation alone through the vicarious sacrifice of our Lord Jesus, repentance, regeneration, the gift of righteousness by faith, the work of the Holy Spirit, the immutability of the law of God, the Bible Sabbath reform for the last days, the ministry of Christ our Saviour in the heavenly sanctuary, the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven to take His people home, the doctrine of spiritual gifts, life only in Christ, Christian temperance, and other important Bible doctrines. Seventh-day Adventists long to hear the truths preached that made them Seventh-day Adventists. Out in California i n i s t r y someone wrote this, and it was published in the M of March, 1957: "Six years ago I joined the Adventist Church, coming from another church. There we heard doctrines; but good though the sermons have been in the Adventist Church, they have been no different from sermons I could hear on Sundays in other Protestant churches. I feel

starved for the Adventist sermons that brought me into the 21. I believe we ought to preach Adventist Church."-Page all the message in our churches. Not long ago I myself went to a large Presbyterian church in Los Angeles and heard one of America's greatest preachers, whose name you know well, Dr. Barnhouse. I heard him preach there for about eight nights. That church was packed with young people-high school and college students. And what do you suppose he preached about? Special young people's topics? No. He preached a special series on T-U-L-I-P. You doctrinal theologians know what that is. It's the acrostic that stands for the doctrines of the Reformed Faith-T-U-L-I-P: T-Total Depravity; U-Unconditional Election; L-Limited Atonement; I-Irresistible Grace; PPerseverance of the Saints. These are the great doctrines of a Reformed preacher, Calvin's great doctrines; and those young people were there every night to hear them. Don't tell me that the people don't want to hear the great doctrines of the Bible. Is not this a suggestion that from time to time our people need to hear not only the great doctrines which are accepted by all evangelical Christians but also the doctrines which we believe are due the world now, which make us particularly Seventh-day Adventists? Certainly in the church on the Sabbath day is a good place and a good time to preach the everlasting gospel in all its fullness. It is good for the people, and it is good for us too. I believe the greater the themes upon which we preach the greater interest we will have. And now a word about some of the perils of preaching. The sermon itself is not a saving act, but we may be tempted to a false sense of security by believing that it is. Remember, in the final windup of history there are going to be a lot of

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preachers who say, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? Preached in Thy name?" And He will say, "I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity" (see Matt. 7:22, 2 3 ) . Just think of it! Preaching might be wicked! Preaching that is not from the Word of God, preaching that smooths over the sins of the world and of men, preaching that stays away up in the air and never gets down to where we live, preaching that condemns something away off somewhere else, but not here and now, preaching that is merely talk, preaching, my friends, without a word of sympathy, without a word of helpfulness, without a word of conviction, preaching that does not point the finger to the conscience, and say, "Thou art the man." Such preaching must be sinful. In March, 1952, the Pulpit magazine carried an article by Karl H. A. Rest entitled "Can a Preacher Also Be Saved?" It is really, as claimed to be, a searching analysis of the sins that can beset the preacher. He says that one great preacher of modern times wrote in his diary, "I marvel that any preacher should be saved." Then he mentions some of the temptations that face the preacher. The temptation of pride dogs his footsteps. He stands at the door of the sanctuary after the sermon and meets his people personally. If he hears his goodness extolled from week to week, as many do, he is liable to assume that the words are all true, and a desire for praise grows through the years, and he gets so that he can hardly live without it. There was a man running a home for old preachers down in Florida, and he said he never saw anything like the petty jealousies among them, of one another. He believed it was because they missed the honor and praise they used to receive in their active service, and now they were ready to fight for any little bit of recognition. Of course, many claimed not to

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be bothered in this way. They seemed to be proud that they weren't proud. Did you ever see folks like that? As Harry Emerson Fosdick put it, "Imagine a conceited boy trying to discover that he is conceited, when his conceit makes him sure that he is not conceited!" Pride is the great danger of the ministry. Samuel Coleridge said, "The devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility." Pride can throw a minister off the road to the kingdom and ruin his hope of salvation. Then there is just pure busyness. A man gets too busy to prepare his sermon properly, too busy to read the Word of God, too busy to pray, too busy to visit the people, where he gets much of his material for his sern~ons-through personal contacts and knowing the people. When a minister is too busy to do these things, he is just too busy, period. It is possible that in being so busy doing God's work we may lose contact with Him. In our hurry to serve Him we may easily lose the joy of His presence. And then there is the danger of becoming a promoter instead of a preacher. In this he can lose his spiritual integrity. He may look upon the people as good material in organizing for promotion, rather than as the children of God who need to have the image of God developed in them. The preacher himself may be under such pressure that he pushes this pressure on to the people, pushes them into service as so many wheels within wheels to keep the ecclesiastical machine going and to build up a great church. His mailbox is stuffed with promotion material from one secretary after another, from one department after another-everything has to be funneled through the poor minister, who is supposed to focus it on the people. First thing he knows, he is almost hustled out of his spirituality.

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It has been said that every few ye'lrs-now I didn't say this, but I am adding my sdy to it-it 11'1s been said that every few years every administrator or secretary should go back to the grass roots in a pastorate for at least two years. What a blessing that would be to many people, to many churches, bringing the great gifts of some of these men into the churches and also firing them again with a soul-winning endeavor and enabling them, when they go back into organizational work, to do it with an eye to the souls of men rather than on digits in a statistical report. Another danger today is that the minister himself may become infected with modern psychological studies to the extent that he will attempt, before he knows it, to by-pass the great and solemn and terrible fact of sin. This is true in some places, where the old mourners' bench becomes the couch of the psychoanalyst. Sin, salvation, sacrifice, selfdenial, have been changed into frustration, integration, selfexpression, sublimation, and so on and on into the night. The great object of this school of thought is to get people to relax and so bring peace of mind. Peace of mind seems to be the supreme objective of this strange new gospel. Instead of the call, "0 come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the Lord our maker" (Ps. 9 5 : 6 ) , the tendency in some quarters is to say, "0 come, let us relax!" By the way, that was the word of the rich fool to his own heart, "Take thine ease1'-relax. Of course, there is no doubt good in certain relaxation, but the Christian must never be relaxed in the presence of evil. If a man loses the need for the gospel, he will lose the salvation the gospel offers. Another danger is that we don't preach the Word of God in season and out of season. Sometimes we are tempted

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not to preach it. It seems to be entirely out of season. As a young man I was holding meetings in a little town up on the side of Pikes Peak with my associate, Kenneth L. Gant. W e were just boys. Neither of us was ordained at that time. Neither of us was married. W e were keeping bachelor's hall in a large empty house, and trying to cook for ourselves. W e discovered that we couldn't boil beans up in that elevation, but we ate them anyway. It almost ruined our digestive apparatus. W e were preaching every night in an old dance pavilion, the walls of which were canvas we had brought from Denver and tacked up around the sides. The end of the old dance floor projected out over a small lake. There were only a hundred people in the town, and most of them were attending our meetings, among them a woman who seemed to be deeply interested. She brought several children with her each night. She lived in the nicest home in town, and her husband was probably the most well-to-do man there. On Sundays we would go out visiting, and this particular day, among other places, we visited this home, because we thought the woman was especially interested in God's message. When we arrived, we found the family together entertaining a visitor, a man we had never seen before. Seeing this, we did not stay to bear our message, or even to pray with the people, but passed on to another place, thinking we would come back at a more convenient season. So we just bowed our way out to come back some other time. But you know, the Bible says, "Be instant in season, out of season." That night this \yoman was not at the meeting. W e were surprised at this. The next morning about live o'clock my preaching companion aroused me, and I could tell by the tone of his voice that something terrible had happened. "Get up! " he said, "get up quickly. Get up! "

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"What's the matter?" I asked. "Oh," he said, "Mrs. So-and-so has committed suicide. They are just now dragging her out of the lake." The first thought, and a terrible one, that came to me was this: "You didn't speak to her yesterday about God, you didn't pray with her. You went on by, and now it's too late." Kenneth and I hurried over to our preaching place, and there, lying on our little platform, behind the pulpit, covered with a sheet, was the pitiful body of this woman who had taken her life. Then on the desk I saw a note. I could hardly believe my eyes, for it was addressed to me. It said, "Mr. Richards, will you please preach my funeral sermon?" and it was signed by this woman. Her tracks that were discovered later showed that she had tried to walk into the water where it was shallow, but had lost her nerve. Then she climbed up on the end of our pavilion and jumped in where it was deep. She had left her husband and three or four little children, and a nice homeeverything-and had taken her own life. W e learned later that this visitor who had been present Sunday afternoon and had caused us to pass on without doing our duty as preachers was an old sweetheart. In some way his presence had caused her to forget everything-her duty to her God and to her family and to herself-and to commit this terrible act. Of course, she must be left in the hands of the just Judge. Nobody knows the condition of her mind at the time, whether she was or was not fully responsible for her act. But the fact remained that she was beyond our preaching, beyond our message forever. And so I was to preach her funeral sermon! I had never had a funeral service of any kind in my life before. This u7as to be my first-and that of a woman who had committed

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suicide! That was bad enough, hard enough for any man; but there was the added agony for me that here was a person whom I had failed in the hour of need. And every time I saw her husband and her motherless children, the thought was almost too much to bear. I tell you, friends, there were two young preachers around that place who did a lot of heart searching for the next few days and who promised God that, by His grace, they never would be guilty again of not proclaiming His message out of season as well as in season. For two terrible days I worked on that sermon. What to say? What could I say? In one way I felt almost to blame for this tragedy. Maybe if we had at least prayed with her, it might have been different. But we hadn't done a thing. When the third day came, the woman's mother came up from Colorado Springs and brought a preacher of another church with her. She said she wouldn't have any old so-and-so Adventist preaching her daughter's funeral sermon. And was I glad! H e took as his text those words in Revelation 21: 1: "And there was no more sea." H e developed the idea that the sea is the symbol of separation-and the day will come when there will be no more separation. When he got through he came down to me and said, "Brother Richards, I know that text didn't particularly mean that, but what's a fellow going to do at a time like this?" Then he added: "You Adventists know more about the book of Revelation than I have ever known and forgotten. Come on out to the cemetery and help me there." I said, "No, you are doing fine. Keep right on." Thus I was saved from the pressing duty, but it was a good lesson for me to learn early in life. Let us do our duty, preach the gospel in season and out of season, with Christian grace, with gentlemanly care, with Christian love. Let

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us never fail our Saviour or some soul who is walking in the darkness and about to go out into the night. Let us give them a helping hand, if we can. Let us learn our lesson. The preaching of the true gospel will not always be popular and we will not always have big crowds. People want comfort. They do not want to be disturbed. Many are like the old shipbuilder who protested to his wife that he did not like the new preacher. "Why?" she asked. "Well," he said, "the old preacher was all right. I could go to church and lay down a ship from the keel to the topmast and have it all completed by the time he had finished his sermon. But this new preacher disturbs me. I can't even get the keel laid. He is always bringing in ideas that I never thought of before, and speaking in such an interesting way that I have to listen to him. I want to be able to lay a ship while attending church and not be disturbed." Lots of people would like to do something like that, but true preaching will not let them. It is dynamic. It is full of the power of the Holy Ghost. It has the force and cutting power of the two-edged sword, the Word of God, which liveth and abideth forever. Dean Inge of St. Paul's Cathedral, London, once said, "The way to be a success is to give the public exactly what it wants, and about ten per cent more of it than it expects." The dean was being sarcastic when he said this. He meant "success" in the sense of always having the church full. Now, of course, sometimes a mighty preacher of the Word will keep the church full, but sometimes he will not. W e are told that in the last days the people will have itching ears and will want to have them tickled with pleasing fables of all sorts. Every age has its own kind of fable, and ours is no exception. In every single case the fable makes man

ORDAINED T O PREACH
his own savior, his own efforts meritorious, his own imaginings equal to the Word of God, or superior thereto. There may be no traffic jam around your church, but you can be sure that if you preach the truth in its fullness, the angels of God will be there with you and that His Spirit will uphold you. "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:s) is the question of Jesus. That question invites a negative answer. The hour may even come, as it is right now in some places, when "whosoever killeth you will think that he d w t h God service" (John 16: 2 ) . "Woe unto you," said Jesus, "when all men shall speak well of you!" (Luke 6:26). Surely we should not go out of our way to stir up antagonism, or preach in such a way as to bring on ourselves unneeded persecution. All of these things that we have mentioned-pride, dull, un-Biblical preaching, the wrong use of the psychological sciences, personal ambitions, impurity of life, failure in the time of crisis-all these and other things can draw a preacher away from the narrow path and into the road "that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat" (Matt. 7:13). But grace abounding is promised for every one of us preachers. The apostle says there are two things for us to do: "Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee" (1 Tim. 4:16). And so we can do that; we must do that. W e are ordained to preach. The first of these things to take heed unto is ourselves. I don't suppose there is much use for me to mention the danger of a diverted ministry, in one sense of the word. Of course, we know there is danger when a minister goes into some business and becomes more interested in selling auto-

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mobiles or property than he is in preaching the gospel. blind you, I am not saying t h ~ these t things are wrong in the right place, at the right time, and to the right extent; but there is danger when business, or any other line of activity, holds the supreme place in a man's heart. I am speaking now of something that has become perhaps too commonplace among us. I was reading a copy of T h e Review and Herald published in 1925, and in it I found an article with this heading, "Danger of a Diverted Ministry." The editor expressed his convictions that we have gotten away from the simplicity of the gospel plan, and spend so much time planning that we have little time left for the execution of our plans. Then he went on to write about something which I suppose is hard for some of us today to understand and feel about as he did. He mentioned what he called "the unfortunate growing tendency in our denomination toward settled pastorates." The time of too many of our preachers, instead of being occupied with carrying the message into new fields, is taken up in settling church difficulties and laboring for men and women who should be towers of strength instead of subjects for labor. When I was baptized, and later became a young preacher, we looked upon churches that had to have settled pastors over every flock as being decadent. Most of our preachers were out on the firing line, holding meetings, winning men to Christ, and raising up new churches. Then every few months they would come around and visit the churches that had already been established. This seemed to be, according to our view of it, the plan of the apostolic church. In our little church in Loveland, Colorado, years would go by in which we wouldn't see a preacher more than two

ORDAINED T O PREACH
or three times during the entire year. W e had a godly elder, dear old Brother Ragan. I can see him now. He wouldn't think of getting up on the platform. That was too holy a place for him. It was occupied only by a minister when he would come around twice or three times a year. He would stand down in front and hold his Bible. I can see him there now, his Bible in his hand and the tears coursing down his dear old bronzed cheeks. He was an old cattleman from out on the plains. W e boys would listen to him and I tell you, he preached Christ to us. He was the one who preached out of a great heart of love to us bad boys. W e loved him in return. He made Jesus real to us, because the Saviour was real to him. He was the man who brought us to Jesus. He was the man who saved us for the cause of God. W e loved him. I remember how we once went on a Sabbath school picnic up in Loveland Canyon. He took us boys away up the canyon and stopped beside the stump of a big pine tree. Trembling as he stood there, he began to talk to us boys who were seated around him. He said: "Boys, I once killed an Indian back of that tree. He was drawing a bead on me, and I got him first. Some other Indians took him away, but I went back later and found his silver bridle. When I became a Christian, the killing of that man became a terrible burden on my soul. But I have prayed for God to forgive me, and I know He has." W e loved that dear old plainsman. He was a man's man. With local elders like that, the ordained ministers could give more time to aggressive work for Christ. The church would become self-supporting, self-reliant, self-helping. Someday it may have to be again, whether we want it so or not. W e don't have many elders like that today. I suppose most of our churches need ministers over them, but in those

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days we didn't have them, so we developed strong elders and strong leaders. Maybe someday we will not have preachers over our churches. Many of us will be in jail. You know, if half of our preachers went to jail, we'd really have a revival in our denomination-that is, if they went to jail for principle. I was over in Czechoslovakia just before the iron curtain came down. Seated right in front of me, on the front row of seats, were the president of the conference and the treasurer. When I heard about those men I thought, "Why, they ought to be up here talking, not I." Those two men had been in jail fourteen times for this message. There is a town over there in Czechoslovakia which had been the center of evangelistic activity in the days of the Bohemian religious wars. It had been the headquarters of the opposition to the Papacy, but was taken over by the papal power. Well, while these two m e n - o u r conference president and treasurer-were corning through that town, they were thrown into prison for their faith. While they were in jail, they sang and prayed and read the Bible. During the night the keeper of the jail came in and wanted to know who they were. He said: "I have had Communists in here, and Nazis, and murderers, and all sorts of people. They curse and swear and shout; but I have never had anyone who prayed and sang songs. Who are you?" They told him that they were ministers of God. "Oh," he said, "my wife would like to hear that singing. Would you mind to come out in the kitchen and sing?" So he took them out, and because it was night the other prisoners didn't know a thing about it. When they got to the kitchen, he asked them, "Aren't you hungry?" They said, "Yes, we are." So the jailer's wife made them a fine supper there. Then they sang, read the Bible, and prayed. This took place every

ORDAlNED T O PREACH
night until the jailer and his wife were converted to God and finally to this great message. Now we have a church in that city, and that jail warden is the elder. God had to send the conference president and the treasurer to jail to establish a church. So I say that if a lot of our conference presidents would go to jail, we would start a lot of new churches. If treasurers should go to jail, preachers go to jail for God, it would really start something-wouldn't it? W e would all be praying for them, and God would do mighty things, as H e did for Paul and Silas. May it never be said truly of any of us: "He can talk fluently and make things plain, but his preaching lacks spirituality. His appeals don't touch our hearts. There has been an array of words, but the hearts of his hearers have not been quickened and melted with the sense of the Saviour's love. Sinners have not been convicted and brought to Christ by a sense that 'Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.' " But may it be said, and said truly, "When he preaches, Jesus seems near to us. Sinners have a clear impression given them of the nearness and willingness of Christ to give them present salvation. The very tone of his voice, his look, his words, seem to possess an irresistible power to move our hearts and control our minds. It must be that Jesus has found a place in his heart, because He is in the words and the tone of his voice, which are mellow with the tender love of God." The very tones of our voice preach Christ. After all our labors, and all our studies, and the hearing of many lectures, and the reading of many books on the science and art and ministry of preaching, still we know little of it. I am sure I know little of it. W e are unable to do things as we should. W e still fall far below our ideals. But there is one thing we can always do, fellow workers; we can come

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back to the great Book of God in the silence of the secret place. When we opcn it and kneel before it there with confession and with adoration, with supp1ic:ition-yes, even with tears-wc may seek the power we need. 'There we find His forgiveness and His presence and His love. And from that communion we may go forth and hold up the lamp of truth in the darkness, we may offer the water of life to thirsting men, we may sound the trumpet for the battle of life. And at last, in due time, and by His grace alone, we shall enter into His greater presence forevermore. I have a little poem here by Professor Enslie, often quoted by my father, who to me was always a great example of the faithful minister of Christ. This poem was among the treasures in his Bible, and means much to me:

ORDAlNED TO PREACH
But when the Captain says, "Well done, Thou good and faithful servant, come! Lay down the pitcher and the lamp, Lay down the trumpet, leave the camp," The hand that held them will then be seen Clasped in those pierced ones-naught between! And may that be our experience!

He held the lamp of truth that day So low that none could miss the way; And yet so high to bring in sight That picture fair-the world's Great Light: That, gazing up-the lamp betweenThe hand that held it scarce was seen. He held the pitcher, stooping low, To lips of little ones below; Then raised it to the weary saint, And bade him drink, when sick and faint! They drank-the pitcher thus betweenThe hand that held it scarce was seen. He blew the trumpet soft and clear, That trembling sinners need not fear; And then with louder note and bold, To raze the walls of Satan's hold!The trumpet coming thus betweenThe hand that held it scarce was seen.

LECTURE

NO.

"WE PKEACH CHRIST ClZUCIFIED" me say to you that He will make you blessed, and deliver you from your misery. For this purpose He became a man and shed His blood." "As soon as he had done speaking," said the chieftain, "he lay down quietly by my bow and tomahawk and slept as peacefully as a child. Oh, I thought, what a man is this! I could strike him dead, but he is not afraid. I could not forget his words. I dreamed in my sleep of the blood of Christ shed for me." It was in this way, through grace, that the awakening began among those primitive people. Therefore, I say, preach Christ our Saviour and His birth in Bethlehem and His death on Calvary and His redeeming grace, if you would find an entrance among the heathen. And by the heathen we can include all those who are unredeemed. Everywhere on earth today, wherever there is a man whose heart cry after God remains unsatisfied, there is a heathen who needs to hear this simple message, which in itself is simply wonderful. When the church bell rings, it ought to say: "Come and hear what the minister has to say about the great truths of the spiritual world. Come and hear what he has to say about God and His love for man. Come and hear what the Holy Scriptures say about the great problems of eternity. Come and hear how to be saved from shame and sin and unrest and evil and death. Come and hear what God has said through His Son, who became man and died for us, was treated as we deserve that we might be treated as He deserved. Come and hear! Come and hear!" And when the heathen, or anyone else, enters the church, what does he hear? Does he hear what he needs to hear, what he has a right to hear? Does he hear the gospel? Does he hear about Christ? Is the preaching Christian preaching?

"We Preach Christ Crucifea?"


"But we preach Christ crucified."-1 thians 1:23.
Corin-

ONCE HEARD of a man who might have been a good preacher had it not been for two faults. First, he had no delivery. Second, he had nothing to deliver. T o be a preacher, a man certainly must have not only some sort of delivery but a real message to deliver. And that message, if he is a Christian preacher, must be a Christian gospel, which the apostle tells us is the only gospel. And that gospel is about Jesus. You sometimes hear people speak of the gospel of this and the gospel of that. That's using the word in a very loose way, for there is only one gospel. An Indian chieftain told of a preacher who visited his tribe, wishing to show them that there is a God. The chief replied: "Do you think we don't know that? Go back where you came from." Then another preacher came and told them, "You must not steal; you must not get drunk; you must not lie; you must not cheat." The chieftain answered: "Do you think we don't know that? Go back and teach that first to your own people. They need it." After that, Christian Henry Ranch, missionary to the American Indians, came and said, "The Lord of heaven bids

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Bishop Chandler of the Southern Methodist Church told of a distinguished minister who once spent a Sunday in New York and heard three noted men preach in three great churches there. Not one of them spoke a single syllable about the gospel. Not one of them preached the "good news" as revealed in Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer. As he expressed it, he heard only "philosophic trash and twaddle and pulpit trifling." Suppose a visitor from another planet had come down to earth to report on what he had heard that day as a basis of Christianity. Would he have been able to give any clear account of it after having heard these three celebrated preachers? Would they know anything about the gospel? Not a syllable. Suppose we turned the time machine back, and century after century rushed backward nineteen hundred years or more, to the first week after the resurrection, and these three men were sent forth by Jesus to preach the message of salvation and to establish Christianity in a hostile world. Is it conceivable by the wildest stretch of the imagination that there would ever have been a Christian church? Of course not. That question is not hard to answer. The next question that presents itself is, How long will Christianity endure with such preaching? How long will it remain in a world which is just as hostile today as it was then, only in a more subtle, damning way? How long would Seventh-day Adventist Christianity endure if we preached that way? Much preaching is like some church architecture. It is so contemporary that within ten years it would be out of date and nobody would care to listen to it or read it in a book. The man who preaches the great truths of the Christian faith will always be up to date. The only way to be contemporary is

" W E PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


to preach eternal truth. As Dr. Jowett once said about John Wesley: "You never will find John Wesley on some remote circumference of human need. He did not dwell in the outer suburbs of men's lives, where real necessity shades off into something a man does not really want. He dealt with needs which were urgent, present, fundamental." Then Dr. Jowett asked the question, "What was John Wesley's preaching about?" He answered his own question by giving some of Wesley's texts. Here they are-I'll not give the references: "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son . . . If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink . . . God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ . . . And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both . . . The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin." "Are those great needs outworn?" asked Dr. Jowett. "Is the message out-and-out obsolete? Are we to leave it for something better? Have we found another secret? I am speaking my own convictions at any rate when I say that compared with the rich, nutritious truth of these themes, a lot of modern substitutes are like so much miserable skilly." Congregations, after all, are interested in the fundamental, permanent truths of religion. People have no real use for the church except as it points the way to the kingdom of God, or helps them forward on that way. The cross still draws better than anything else. Certainly our Master was right when He said, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me" (John 12:32). W e must never forget the magnetism of the cross. Jesus crucified is the great magnet, the great drawing power. "All power is given unto me," He said (Matt. 28: 1 8 ) . And preachers are magnetic only as they preach Christ and Him crucified, the magnetism of the cross.

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Dr. James Burrell said to preachers: In all the world these is nothing greater tI1a11 to bc a preacher of the unsearchable riches of Christ. To preach science is to preach something which the hearer can get better and cheaper in any nearby lecture hall [or book, radio, or TV]. To preach politics is to preach something which the hearer can find every morning in his newspaper. To offer music or moving pictures is to enter into hopeless competition with places of amusement. But to preach the gospel! Oh, here is our coign of vantage! Why should we turn to adventitious attractions when we have such a monopoly? Our ministry is the greatest of syndicates. It drives all competitors to the wall. It furnishes a life-giving gospel in such divinely generous terms that nobody could compete with it. The men who have been outstanding in drawing the masses in the great cities to hear their preaching have always been men who have preached the gospel. There was Mr. Spurgeon. For thirty years he packed that great tabernacle in London both morning and evening every Sunday and also had an overflow crowd on Thursday evenings. With very few exceptions the place was filled, even to the top gallery. When somebody asked him how he got his congregation, he replied: "I never got it at all. I did not think it was my duty to do so. I only had to preach the gospel. My congregation got my congregation. They went out and told others, 'Come and hear a man preach who can preach the gospel.' " There wasn't a thing about Spurgeon that you or I couldn't have, as far as his message was concerned. It was the simple preaching of the Word of God, always the gospel. Someone once wrote up Spurgeon in a London newspaper and criticized him for always, always preaching about Christ and the cross. Spurgeon heard of it and replied: "That's the truth, that's a fact. Anywhere you put me down in the Bible, I start cross-country toward the cross." And that's why the

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"

people wanted to hear him. That's what we all ought to do in our preaching. Wherever we come down in the Word of God, let's start toward Calvary from there. The preaching of the apostolic church was the preaching of Christ, and Christ crucified. Over and over in the New Testament we find such phrases as "preach Christ," "preaching of Jesus Christ," "they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ," "this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ," "whom we preach, warning every man." And their preaching of Christ was not merely a story of a man who lived and did good deeds, who was morally pure, who left us a wonderful example. A man could preach that and be a modernist. But the preaching of Christ in the apostolic church was the preaching of "Christ crucified." So the apostle said, "But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness; but unto them which are called, . . . the power of God, and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1: 2 3 , 2 4 ) . At that time it was the same as preaching Christ on the gallows, Christ in the electric chair, Christ dying as a criminal; but that's preaching Christ crucified. To the Jews it was a stumbling block. They looked for the great Messiah-King to come in glory and power to overthrow their enemies. In this, of course, they mixed up those two lines of prophecy: the suffering Messiah, the suffering servant of God; and the KingMessiah. They mixed them up in s~lch a way that they could not, and would not, accept a crucified, executed Messiah. To the Jews it was a stumbling block, and to the Greeks foolishness. Their philosophy was the ruling passion of their lives, and springing as it did from the sinful mind of man, there was nothing in it to lead them to surrender their hearts to the love of God revealed in Calvary's cross. The gospel preached by the apostles cuts across the very grain of human life, but

FEED MY SHEEP it alone can save that human life and glorify it with divine power. It did then, and it does today. When the apostle Paul, the greatest preacher of them all, came to Athens, the center of learning, philosophy, and culture, do you know what he did? He preached to leaders of thought on Mars' Hill, meeting philosophy with philosophy, arguments with arguments, mental gymnastics with mental gymnastics. He adapted his style to the character of his audience, and "met logic with logic, science with science, philosophy with philosophy."-The Acts of the Apostles, p. 244. But his work there was productive of very little fruit. When he went on to Corinth, that great commercial metropolis of immorality and sin, he decided to follow another plan in his efforts to arrest the attention of the careless and indifferent. He would preach in Corinth, also a Greek city, "not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power" ( 1 Cor. 2 : 4 ) . God blessed his labors there, for he upheld Jesus dying for a lost world, and many were drawn in love and repentance to the foot of the cross. Both Jews and Greeks surrendered to Christ, and of them the apostle wrote: "But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord" ( 1 Cor. 1:30,31). In Christ the orthodox Jew saw the fulfillment of all his hopes, and of all that the prophets had written. In Christ the learned Greek saw the true wisdom of God as revealed in Christ. And the apostle, writing back to those beloved Corinthian believers, reminded them of those days, saying: "And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED" of God" ( 1 Cor. 2 : 1 ). This great preacher did not try to win them by brilliant rhetoric, called here "excellency of speech." He did not rely on the wisdom of their philosophy to prove the truth of the gospel. These Corinthians were won by the plain, simple proclamation of the various foundations of the gospel. And this gospel contains the account of what God has done to rescue men from sin and bring them back into harmony with Himself. It reveals the great truth that God is in Christ, "reconciling the world unto himself," and "not imputing their trespasses unto them" ( 2 Cor. 5 : 19). The apostle declared, "I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." The word "determined" shows the conscious act of his will, a strong resolve to make a definite decision. In one place Paul used scholarly argumentation and philosophy to combat heathen idolatry. Now he changed his methods and used the proclamation of the gospel, declaring the truth without so much argument and involved reasoning-a simple statement of divine truth as revealed in Scripture, fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He preached the simple story of Jesus and His atoning death. He did it with much trembling and in weakness ( 1 Cor. 2 : 3 ) . He was conscious of his shortcomings, as every true minister is when he stands before the people. This leads us to lean heavily upon God, to trust Him for strength and wisdom, to seek in prayer our message before we go into the pulpit. "Our greatest strength is realized when we feel and acknowledge our weakness."-Testimonies, vol. 5 , p. 70. There was no cool complacency in Paul's preaching. It was not a matter of enticing words or of human wisdom; but with demonstration, a showing forth, an evidence, a proof of the Spirit and of power. The Holy Spirit alnrays indites the preaching of Christ crucified.

FEEL) MY SHEEP

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


guided tl~csc mcn when they preached them, klncl it \\ill be the same with you and with me. Just t l ~ i ~ of l l ~th;~t!'l'lle same I-lo!y Spirit who wrote the Scriptures \\ill p i d e your preaching of them. It will be irrcsistiblc in the lleart of a sinner. Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit when He should come, said, "He shall glorify me." The Holy Spirit said more about Jesus than about Himself. The Holy Spirit doesn't say much about Himself. In the few texts in which He does, it is just so we can learn about the personality of the Holy Spirit. He talks about Jesus. The Holy Spirit was sent to glorify Christ, "for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you" (John

There is a great lesson for us here, I believe. Of course, there may be the possibility of a strong, rock-bound argument in our proclamation, but we'd better keep it out of sight usually if we expect the crowds to listen to us. Make simple statements of the truth without too much proof, yet speak with authority. You must be able to prove a point if you have to in your proclamation of the message, but the human mind today can't follow too much long involved argument. The people won't follow you-they might if they would, but they won't. The Holy Spirit indites the preaching of Christ crucified. Do we not find it written in 1 Peter, the first chapter, that the Holy Spirit will do this very thing? Verse 9 and onward: "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of a,hich salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into." It was the Holy Ghost who really wrote the Scriptures, and in these prophetic books testified beforehand of the suffering of Christ; the Holy Spirit pictured the crucifixion and Christ's atoning sacrifice for the sins of the ~vorld.According to Peter, the very things th,~t were preached by these early preachers of the gospel were preached with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. That's the way I want to preach. The same Holy Ghost ~ v h owrote the Scriptures

16: 14).
It is perfectly clear that if we would have the power of the Holy Spirit in our preaching, we must preach the things concerning Jesus Christ. "He shall glorify me." So, if we are glorifying Christ in all of our sermons, and striving to sacrifice all our selfish vainglory, m7e will have the power of the Spirit. "When a sinner once beholds the love of the Father, as seen in the sacrifice of His Son, and yields to the divine influence, a change of heart takes place, and henceforth Christ is all and in all."-The A r t s of the Apostles, pp. 245, 246. The apostle Paul knew this in his own experience. T o him "the cross was the one object of supreme interest. Ever since he had been arrested in his career of persecution against the follo~versof the crucified Nazarene, he had never ceased to glory in the cross. At that time there had been given him a revelation of the infinite love of God, as revealed in the death of Christ; and a marvelous transformation had been wrought in his life, bringing all his plans and purposes into harmony with heaven. From that hour he had been a new man in Christ."-Ibid., p. 245.

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In all Paul's teachings Christ was the central figure. "I live," he declared; "yet not I, but Christ liveth in me" (Gal. 2 : 2 0 ) . From the time of his experience on the Damascus road, his life was wholly given to the preaching of the love and power of the Crucified One. H e also said, "I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise" (Rom. 1 : 1 4 ) . It was this revelation of Christ that changed his life, and near the close of his life he could say, "I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision" (Acts 26:19). Christ! I am Christ's and let the name suffice you; Aye, for me, too, He greatly hath sufficed. Lo, with no winning words I would entice you, Paul has no honour and no friend but Christ.
fl

" W E PREACH C H R I S T CRUCIFIED"


The philosophers of Athens listened to Paul as he preached on Mars' Hill until he spoke of Jesus and the resurrection. Read the seventeenth of Acts and you'll find that they listened to Paul until he got to that. With all his history of the past, he was talking about humanity and about God. They follonred him, but when in his address he came to Jesus and the resurrection, "some mocked: and others said, W e will hear thee again of this matter" (Acts 17 :32 ) . It is the preaching of Jesus Christ today that makes some philosophers mock and others put off to another time the hearing of the heartsearching evangel. So even on Mars' Hill the apostle did preach Christ, and some people believed on the basis of that preaching. Several of the leading citizens were converted, among whom were "Dionysius the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris" (Acts 17:34). She may have been an important and popular woman in Athens at that time. It must have thrilled the heart of the apostle to see those prominent people respond to his preaching and accept the Lord Jesus. In his poem Frederic W . H. Myers, speaking of Damaris, puts these words into Paul's mouth: Then I preached Christ; and when she heard the story,Oh, is such triumph possible to men? Hardly, my King, had I beheld Thy glory, Hardly had known Thine excellence till then. And none of us will ever know the true excellence of Christ until we preach Him crucified, the only hope, but the gloriously sufficient hope, of a lost and ruined world. I sometimes wonder whether some men really know what the gospel is. They claim to be preachers of the gospel. They seem to know a good deal of theology and a good deal of history, and a good deal of this and that; but if they know the

Also I ask, but ever from the praying Shrinks my soul backward, eager and afraid, Point me the sum and the shame of my betraying, Show me, 0 Love, Thy wounds which I have made! -FREDERIC W. H. MYERS I suppose you have all read Frederic Myers' poem on Paul. I think it is one of the greatest poems ever written. It took me ten years to get all of it. I just found one verse of it and loved it so much, and kept after it until I finally got all of it. Read it once in a while. It will stir you up as a preacher. I t pictures Paul there in the Mamertine Prison in Rome, with chains on his wrists, contemplating his life's work and looking forward to the day when he would meet in heaven the people he had put to death-those saints you know, whom he had killed. Saint, did you say? With those remembered faces, Dear men and women whom I sought and slew! Ah, when we mingle in the heavenly places, How will I weep to Stephen and to you!

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gospel, they do not often preach it, or preach very little of it. I have heard some of our own men preach, and I have wondered whether they really knew what the gospel was. All they seemed to preach was "touch not; a s t e not; handle not" (Col. 2:21). I've actually heard that text quoted and applied to Christians today. To my mind, there's no more direct application in it to Christians today than to atomic fission. The very next words say, "which all are to perish with the using." Yet we quote things like that. That's not the gospel. I'm sure that some men don't know what the gospel is. It would be well to read it, study it over and over again, and make it the message that we all preach. fi Not all the Bible is gospel, but everything in the Bible is related to it. Even the Old Testament is a background of the gospel, and we see the gospel shining through the words of the prophets and seers of old. W h o would know what the gospel is better than those men who knew the BibIe of the Old Testament and who became the penmen of the New Testament? They certainly should know. Dr. W. W. White once said, "The gospel rests on testimony, not on explanation, not on theory." The apostle Paul was one of these mcn from whose pen a large part of the New Testament came. If you want to know the Pauline formula of the facts of the gospel, you'll find it in 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4. Here is what he said: "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again

"1VE PREACH C H R I S T CRUCIFIED"


the third day according to the scriptures." Tllere it is; everything revolves around that. The apostle then prtxecds to give the evidence of those who had seen Christ nfter His resurrection. He marshals his witnesses to prove that He arose. This is the gospel, Christ crucified for our sins, His resurrection and victory, proving Him "to be the Son of God with power, according to the . . . resurrection from the dead" (Rom. 1:4). Of course, as you know, there are at least ten-if not eleven-postresurrection appearances of Jesus mentioned in the Bible. Paul refers to some of them here and gives the names of the men who saw Him, many of whom were still alive in the apostle's day. With these facts established by testimony, we turn to the epistles, where we find the results of the death and resurrection of Christ viewed from the judicial standpoint of the books of Romans and Galatians. In Ephesians and Colossians and other places we find the results of our Saviour's sacrifice for us from the standpoint of the heavenly places and what Christ is doing for us now, and will do. Then, in the book of Revelation, we find His great plan for the world, His return and glorious kingdom-all based upon His sacrificial, atoning death on the cross. W e are not preaching Christ crucified and the Christian gospel when we preach on the state of the dead and just throw in a little something about the cross at the end, or an appeal to make the people cry. That's not preaching Christ. My friends, I don't care whether people are conscious or unconscious in death, unless that truth is tied up with Jesus. I don't care whether Saturday is the seventh day or not unless Christ is involved in it. I wouldn't want to be bothered with it. To me, the preaching of the state of the dead should be on the affirmative. There's life in Christ. 0 friends, there's

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enough of the negative. It takes all the faith I have to believe that men will live at all after death. I've seen so many people die; I've seen too many piles of human bones; I've seen too many mummies; I've seen ruins of great civilizations. What I want is for some man to come and tell me that we'll live again because Jesus died and rose again; that my life is hid with Christ in God and when He, who is my life, shall appear, then shall I also appear with him in glory (Col. 3:3, 4 ) . I want to live, I want to be immortal; and the only hope is in Christ. T o my mind, the state of the dead should be preached as a wonderful, glorious affirmative in a resurrected Christ. The Sabbath is Christ's Sabbath, proof of His creative power. Jesus is in the Sabbath and the Sabbath is in Christ, or I'm not interested in it. I believe that all of us could improve our preaching on these things-get over onto the affirmative side, get over into the light of the cross and the resurrection. That is the gospel the apostles preached, and the gospel we are to preach, I believe. The very first and most important thing [now I'm quoting from Sister White] is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." John 1:29. Every true doctrine makes Christ the center, every precept receives force from His words. Keep before the people the cross of Calvary. Show what caused the death of Christ-the transgression of the law. Let not sin be cloaked or treated as a matter of little consequence. It is to be presented as guilt against the Son of God. Then point the people to Christ, telling them that immortality comes only through receiving Him as their personal Saviour.-Tertimonies, vol. 6, pp. 5 3 , 54. That is certainly as clear as can be. That's the gospel. That's our preaching. Sad to say, in some places people do not

" W E PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


hear it. Men do not hear it; children do not hear it. Why? Because it is not preached. Duty is preached, labor is preached, activity is preached, diet is preached, wearing apparel is preached-all good things, yes, but secondary. They are all leaves that are to grow upon the tree of Christian life, or fruit that may come forth in response to proper teaching; but they are not the gospel, not the life of the message. Some time ago it was my privilege to bring to Christ, as revealed in the gospel and taught by the true Advent message, a very fine woman and her daughter. They were both wonderful Christian women and knew Christ as their Saviour in the church to which they had formerly belonged. They saw and accepted all the great doctrines of this truth which we call "the message." They kept the Sabbath and joined the church. The daughter became the wife of one of our workers; she is now. For twenty years the mother was a member of our church, and faithful in attendance. But unfortunately in that particular church there was a series of pastors who preached less and less of gospel truth, less and less of Bible truth. Sometimes they did not take one text from Scripture, but composed their whole sermon from quotations from the Spirit of prophecy. Good as that is, it is still not the Scripture. One man preached there for over six months without using one Bible text, according to the testimony of some of his congregation. After nearly twenty years in the truth, this woman shocked the pastor by saying, "I am leaving the Seventh-day Adventist Church and going back to the -Church," which happened to be the church of her girlhood. "Why?" he asked. "Why are you doing this terrible thing?''

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"I'm doing it because I want to hear about Jesus. I'm hungry to hear the gospel, I'm hungrp to hear the Bible preached." "Oh, but don't you know those people don't have the Sabbath, the Spirit of prophecy, and all these other wonderful truths?" "Yes," she said, "I know. I'm not giving up the Sabbath. I'm not giving up these wonderful truths. But they have something you don't have. They have the gospel, and they preach from the Bible. I'm so hungry to hear it, I'm going back." "Oh," the pastor said, "I'll give you some Bible studies." "No, you won't," she said. "You don't know what the Bible is. You have been here now for three or four years and I've never yet heard you give one Bible sermon. All you know is an old-covenant religion of do, do; don't, don't; touch not, taste not, handle not; you shall perish with the using. All you know is what these red books say. You read them to us all the time, but you haven't given us a Bible text for at least six months. You don't understand the Bible. You don't know what the Bible is about. Don't talk to me about the Bible." "Don't you know that this is the truth?" "Sure," she said, "I know. I'm going to keep the Sabbath, but I've got to hear the gospel. Good-by!" Well, she did wrong, of course. It was almost certain that in due time she would give up the Sabbath and the other truths that distinguish us as a people. Possibly she should have waited twenty-five or thirty years until they got another preacher who would preach the gospel. But she wouldn't wait. She went. I saw her. I couldn't do anything with her, either. She had made her decision. She said: "No, they don't know what the gospel is. I've had three of them

" W E P R E A C H CMKIST CKUCIFIED"


now in succession, important men, too, and not one of them knows what it is all about." I was inclined to agree with her. I had never heard one of them preach the gospel myself. Now, my dear brothers and sisters, there is no reason for such a thing to happen, is there? W e know the Bible. W e know the gospel, and we ought to be preaching it. I believe in every part of the Advent message as taught by our people through the years. No one could have been more faithful to this message and more loyal to this truth as we understand it than my father was. He taught it to me as a child. Before I went to college he drilled me in every point of this message as revealed in the Bible, and as supported by the Spirit of prophecy. Since his death I have been going through his papers, and as I read his letters and the documents he saved, I am more and more impressed with the deep faith he had in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy and this message. How loyal he was to the church! And, while he might sometimes have disagreed with some things that some man said or did, whenever there was any criticism of that man which would imply a criticism of the church or the ministry, he immediately flew to their defense. I say this because I believe it is a position we all should take. However, I wish to say something else. It is possible for us to be loyal to the various doctrines of the message in an outward way, and yet not really preach and experience the gospel of the grace of God as revealed in Jesus Christ for the salvation of the world. Again and again the Spirit of prophecy emphasizes this very point, the necessity of the preaching of the gospel. "Everywhere," we read in Gospel Workers, "the light of truth is to shine forth, that hearts may be awakened and converted." Notice, not only awakened but converted.

FEED MY SHEEP "In all countries the gospel is to be proclaimed." Notice, it is the gospel that is to be proclaimed in all countries. How is it to be proclaimed? I read it here in the same paragraph. "Sinners are to be pointed to a Saviour uplifted on the cross, and from many voices is to be heard the invitation, 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' "Pages 25,26. On page 27 of the same book it is written: "The solemn, sacred message of warning must be proclaimed in most difficult fields and in the most sinful cities, in every place where the light of the great threefold gospel message has not yet dawned." But how? Listen! "In the power of the Spirit. . . . As the divine principles . . . are presented in the simplicity of the gospel, the power of the message will make itself felt." Is it an actual fact that the commission given to the disciples of old is given to us today, or do we have some other commission? Here is your answer: "The commission given to the disciples is given also to us. To-day, as then, a crucified and risen Saviour is to be uplifted before those who are without God and without hope in the world. . . . To every nation, kindred, tongue, and people the tidings of pardon through Christ are to be carried. Not with tame, lifeless utterances is the message to be given, but with clear, decided, stirring utterances. Hundreds are waiting for the warning to escape for their lives. The world needs to see in Christians an evidence of the power of Christianity."-Ibid., p. 29. Our commission today is to preach a crucified Saviour, to preach a clear and stirring message; and not only so, but to preach with power, the power of Christianity. Is that power in my life? Is it in yours? If not, why not? How can I preach a crucified Christ if that preaching has not changed my life, if

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED" the power of God in Christ is not revealed in me? If I have preached Christ crucified as I should preach Him, conviction of sin will come into the hearts of those who hear me. Here is an illustration of it: A minister, after preaching a Bible discourse which brought deep conviction to one of his hearers, was accosted with the question, "Do you really believe what you have preached?" "Certainly," he answered. "But is it really so?" asked the anxious questioner. "Certainly," said the minister, as he reached for his Bible. Then the man broke out, "0, if this is the truth, what shall zue do?" "What shall we do?" thought the minister-"we"? What could the man mean? But the question forced its way to his soul. He went away to plead with God to tell him what to do. And as he prayed, there came to him with overwhelming force the thought that he had the solemn realities of eternity to present to a dying world. For three weeks his place in the desk was vacant. He was seeking an answer to the question, "What shall we do?" The minister returned to his charge with an unction from the Holy One. He realized that his past preaching had made little impression on his hearers. Now he felt upon him the terrible weight of souls. As he came to his desk, he was not alone. There was a great work to be done, but he knew that God would not fail him. Before his hearers he exalted the Saviour and His matchless love. There was a revelation of the Son of God, and a revival began that spread through the churches of the surrounding districts. Perhaps you have all heard of this experience and read it 33, 34. It is many times, for it is from Gospel Workers, pages - . so important that I felt it proper to put it in here. It shows exactly what we need. Someone asks, "Are we then not to preach the great prophecies which made us a people?" I have not said that at all. IHere is exactly how we are to preach, and I'm quoting again from Gospel Workers, page 148:

FEED MI' SHEEP Ministers shot~ldpresent the sure word of prophecy as the The prophecies foundation of the faith of Seventh-day Ad\jent~sts. of Daniel and the Revclntion should be carefully studied. and in connection with them the wortls. "13ehold the L ~ m of b God, which taketh away the sin of the world." Why, I'm telling you, my friends, those prophecies rightly preached are tremendous converting sermons. W e should leave out of our discourses unimportant matters and present the great truths that will decide the destiny of souls. Unless these great prophecies are filled with the gospel, or preached in the light of the gospel, and to draw the attention of men to the gospel, they might just as well not be preached. Every Christless sermon is a sin against God and a sin against humanity. Any sermon destitute of the saving blood of Christ resembles the offering of Cain. God rejected his offering because the blood of the slain lamb was not in it, was not represented by it. Christless sermons do not prick the heart and convict of sin, and lead men to ask, "What must I do to be saved?" \Ve should be foremost nmong the preachers of this world in upholding Christ before men. The great threefold message is to be preached. The Sabbath is to be preached, the state of the dead is to be preached, but every one of these truths is to be preached as a doctrine of Christ. "But the great center of attraction, Christ Jesus, must not be left out. It is at the cross of Christ that mercy and truth meet together, and righteousness and peace kiss each other. The sinner must be led to look to Calvary; with the simple faith of a little child he must trust in the merits of the Saviour, accepting His righteousness, believing in His mercy."-lbid., pp. 156, 157. Really, the two books Gospel Wovkeltr and Testimonies to Ministers are all you need for your homiletics. I've read

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED" dozens of books by the great masters, but there isn't a thing, as far as the fundamental principles are concerned, that those men have dug out and found by experience that you won't find in those two books. It's all in there. I am tempted to quote all of this chapter in Gospel Workers on "Preaching Christ," but I must not. Read it for yourself. Read every page of it, every sentence of it, every word of it, and you will never again leave Christ crucified out of your preaching. If this were all we had of the Spirit of prophecy, it would be worth it. Every preacher would do well to memorize this chapter. He would see that theoretical discourses may be essential in order that people may see the chain of truth link after link, "but no discourse should ever be preached," we are told, "without presenting Christ and Him crucified as the foundation of the gospel."-Ibid., p. 158. More people than we think are longing to find the way to Christ, and He must be exalted as the sinner's refuge. In some of our preaching we make simply coldhearted Saturday keepers. People see the truth and accept it from a philosophical standpoint. "It must be the truth," they say, "for it is taught in the Bible." But people need more than that. The minister's work is not done until there is a change of heart in his hearers. That is why he must uplift the cross. "Christ crucified, Christ risen, Christ ascended into the heavens, Christ coming again" (ibid., p. 159)-that's our message, and it's the only message worth preaching. So, "lift up Jesus, you that teach the people, lift Him up in sermon, in song, in prayer. Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to 'the Lamb of God.' "-Ibid., p. 160. And here is another quotation: "Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Bring nothing

FEED M Y SHEEP into your preaching to supplement Christ, thc wisdom and power of God."-Ibid. W e might well take this chapter in the place of my lecture. I am sure it would do more good if we all studied it and followed it with all our hearts. Read it for yourself. You have it right at home. Now here is another true story. It wasn't made up for an illustration, but actually happened, and I was pretty well connected with it. It wasn't my meeting, however, but I knew the man it happened to. Two young fellows, really strong preachers of our doctrine, were holding an evangelistic series, and they had a fine attendance. A man and his wife began to attend, accepting every point of truth as these men went along, week after week. They seemed to be convinced of the fact that there was a message to be given to the world in these last days, and that what they were hearing must be the message, as everything was proved from the Bible in a very logical way. There was no getting around it. Then suddenly they stopped coming. They were gone for several nights. The evangelists were quite concerned, for they thought this couple were about ready for baptism, and here they had stopped coming. They could not find them. After four or five nights they showed up again. Their faces were lighted up with joy, they were so happy. At the close of the service the minister approached them, and said: "We have been worried about you. W e thought you believed all this truth, then suddenly you stopped coming." "Oh, yes, we do believe it all. W e see every bit of it. W e know it's the truth and are sure it must be obeyed. W e are already keeping the Sabbath." "Oh, then, were you sick? Is that why you did not come?"

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED" "No, we were not sick. Indeed, we were very well." "Then why did you not come?" "Well, it was like this: W e heard these wonderful doctrines and these wonderful truths. W e knew this was God's truth, and we wanted to be baptized. But we felt that we weren't ready. W e needed to be converted and become Christians, so we went to the Salvation Army to get converted and be ready for baptism and enjoy this wonderful truth." Nothing had ever been said in that meeting about being converted, about coming to Christ, about a change in the life. They went over there and got converted, and were then ready to be baptized. Well, why don't we get them ready ourselves? Why don't we get them converted? They shouldn't have to go some place else to get ready for baptism. This may sound like a story which someone has concocted to illustrate a point, but it isn't. It is the truth. These people had heard no gospel, no appeal to give their hearts to Christ. There had been no Spirit-filled preaching of the crucified Christ to meet the needs of a broken human heart. It is my belief that from the first night of any series of meetings it should be clear to everybody that the preacher is a Christian preacher, that he is preaching the gospel of Christ. It was only when the apostles lifted up Jesus as the Saviour of men, crucified for their sins, that the Holy Spirit witnessed to their preaching. And it will be the same with our preaching. "When he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will" "reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment" (John 16:13,s). The preaching of the Word of God will be of no avail unless the Holy Spirit drives it home, convicts the heart, wins the heart, woos the heart. Any of us may be able to present the letter of the truth. W e may be real theologians-it's fine if

FEED MY SHEEP we can be, but most of us arc not. W e should have a mastery of the Bible and what it says, be familiar with all its commands and promises. But the sowing of the seed of the Word will not be successful unless it is watered, brought to life by the dew of heaven, the Holy Spirit. Listen to these words: "Without the co-operation of the Spirit of God, no amount of education [you can go to the Seminary and get degrees until they weigh you right down, but "no amount of education"], no advantages, however p. 284. Now great, can make one a channel of light."-lbd., I believe in education, don't misunderstand me; get all you can get; that's my advice. But it is useless without the Spirit of God. Remember this: Before one book of the New Testament was written, and before one gospel sermon had been preached after Christ's ascension, the Holy Spirit came upoil the praying disciples. Then the testimony even of their enemies was, "Ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine" (Acts 5 : 2 8 ) . If we are going to fill New York, London, Shanghai, Rome, and Chicago, and the other great cities of the world with this message, it will be by upholding the Lord Jesus Christ before men in such a way that the Holy Spirit can come upon us and upon our words and into the hearts of our hearers. Then only will we fill any city with our doctrine. Now back a moment to the apostle Paul, the grcat preachers' preacher. That's the way he preached. See him there in Thessalonica, in the synagogue of the Jews. "And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ" (Acts 17:2, 3 ) .

" W E PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


You see, Paul was a Bible preacher. Notice, he opened the Scriptures in their sight. They saw him read his message out of the Bible. He madc his allegations. He reasoned out of the Scriptures. And what was his reasoning? What were his allegations? "Christ must needs have suffered." In other words, that the Messiah must die, that He must be crucified, that He must be high and lifted up above the world for the sins of men, and that He should rise again from the dead. And this proved that Jesus of Nazareth whom Paul preached was Christ, the Fulfiller of the prophecies. Notice, it was a prophetic message. It was a timely message, fulfilled in history. It was due right then. But above all, it was a gospel message, a saving message, for wherever he preached there was usually either a riot or a revival. "Some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas," we read in Acts 17:4. In fact, "a great multitude." But immediately trouble came. There was always opposition. There always will be opposition to true Christian preaching, sooner or later. The devil doesn't like it and his followers will not like it. So the fifth verse tells us about an uproar, a riot, even an assault, some of the Christians being dragged before the magistrates of the city with the charge that "these that have turned the world upside down are come hither also" (verse 6 ) . Remember how Spurgeon, in his school of preachers in London, sent those boys out to preach every weekend. When they'd come back, he'd ask them how things went and would try to encourage them and instruct them. One day he questioned a certain boy before the class. "How did you get along?" "Oh, I had a wonderful time." "Did you have a revival?" "No, we didn't, but we had a wonderful meeting."

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"Well, did anybody get mad?" "Oh, no, no!" "You're a failure then. If you didn't move anybody to get angry or have a revival-one or the other-nothing happened." You see, when you really preach the truth, either somebody is going to be converted and changed by it or someone is going to resent it-very apt to. Wherever Paul went, they had either a revival or a riot. Things really happened. They turned the world upside down. "They've come here also"-that's what the report was. It was prophetic, Christian preaching, holding Jesus up before the world. 0 that we might have more of this turning the world upside down! Less of lifeless, somnolent preaching, more of the preaching from the Scripture, a prophetic preaching, a Christian preaching-all holding Jesus up before the world, Jesus crucified for the sins of men, Jesus risen for our justification and for our joy, and coming again in glory and power. In many churches the attitude seems to be "hush-hush, be quiet, be careful, do not wake the sleepers, do not preach with joy, with zeal, with too much earnestness. It is not proper. It is not fashionable these days," and most devastating of all, "it is just not done." Possibly the time will come when God's true preachers will be more often dragged before magistrates or thrown into jail. Maybe then the time will come when the world will be turned upside down by God's message. I once attended a workers' meeting in Czechoslovakia, in a great castle that had belonged to the Rothchilds, but now to the state. It was surrounded by five thousand acres of forest where the emperor and his followers often came to hunt in the old days. There we met for prayer and study together.

" W E PREACH C H R I S T CRUCIFIED"


Seated before me on the front row were the president of the conference and his secretary-treasurer. When 1 heard of the experiences of these men, I felt that I should be sitting at their feet to learn something about the work of God, something about faith, something about preaching Christ in the face of danger, persecution, and even imprisonment. These two men had been in prison more than a dozen times for preaching Christ. I wonder, my friends, whether it wouldn't put new life into all of us if our conference presidents and secretaries should all be jailed for the gospel for Christ. Wouldn't we all go forth and preach as we never preached before? Wouldn't the world be turned upside down? Why? Because our hearts would have been turned upside down. Let us not look around at the world and say: "Oh, it is impossible. Nobody comes out any more. Nothing happens any more." It was because the apostles "preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead" (Acts 4 : 2 ) that the authorities in Jerusalem were stirred to activity. It was because Stephen preached Christ crucified that he was put to death and became the first Christian martyr. It was when Philip preached Christ that the eunuch was converted. It was when Christ was preached, whether out of love or out of envy, that the apostle rejoiced (Phil. 1: 18). The message that stirred the world and built the Christian church was the message brought to view in 1 Timothy 3: 16: "God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory." There is our message. There is the story that men of every generation need to hear. It must be our dominant theme. Not truth in the abstract, but truth revealed in Christ.

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Dr. Dale, a great theologian and a great preacher and pastor, once confessed that for many years he had been thinking only of the truth he preached, and not of the people to whom he was preaching. When he began to think of his listeners and their need of salvation, then the truth he preached was incarnated in Christ. Christianity is Christ. Never forget that in your preaching. It was the person of Christ who constituted the theme of apostolic preaching. Notice that in Colossians 1:28 it was what, but whom-we preach. It was the the whom-not person of Christ who was crucified ( 1 Cor. 2:2). It was not the cross itself, but Christ crucified thereon. Christ is Lord ( 2 Cor. 4 3 ) . All truth is to be associated with a person-the truth as it is in Jesus (Eph. 4:21). All our ethics, our morals, our doctrines, are to be associated with Him, with His love, His grace, His Spirit. Young men, it is going to take more than orthodoxy to finish God's work on earth. W e must be orthodox, true enough, but we must be more than that. You see, in a sense n2e might say that the devil is orthodox, for he certainly knows what is true doctrine. W e may be as orthodox as the devil and be just as lost as he. There is one thing of which we cannot accuse the devil. W e cannot accuse him of failure to understand the truth. The devil believes that the Bible is true. Oh, yes, he believes every bit of it. He knows there is a God. H e knows that Jesus is the divine Son of God. He knows about the virgin birth and the sinless life. He believes all these things. H e has a perfect knowledge of orthodoxy, but he does not believe on Jesus Christ to salvation. He does not accept Him as his Redeemer. He knows it's all true, but has never made the personal commitment to Him. H e knows the truth, but he's thoroughly devilish and thoroughly lost.

"WE PREACH CH RlST CRUCIFIED" Many n man today claims to be ortl~odox, yet is full of the devil too. I've talked with many of them. hfy, how they coulcl argue the truth! Orthodox? I should say! I could mention one right nou7-n man who breaks every rule of Christian living. Orthodox? Why, he can find fault with all the preachers in the denomination and tell them where they are wrong. Yet he lives in open sin before the world. He goes around preaching the Sabbath and all the other doctrines, but he never preaches any gospel, I can assure you of that-not a bit of it. But if only a knowledge of truth is required, he is orthodox. So our preaching must have a dominant theme and a dominant passion. W e are preaching Christ crucified. W e must preach it with ti passion and love of Christ Himself for the salvation of man. When Ian Maclaren reviewed his lninistry shortly before his resignation from his great Liverpool church, he wrote the following: "I now clearly see that every sentence should suggest Christ, and every sermon, even though His name has not been mentioned nor His words quoted, should leave the hearer at the feet of Christ. In Christ there is an irresistible charm; without Him the sermon may have beauty, but it will not have fragrance. With Christ everyone is satisfied, although men may differ widely about Christian creeds and Christian customs. After Him every human soul is feeling, and in Him alone all human souls meet. . . . As it now appears to me, the chief effort of every sermon should be to unveil Christ, and the chief art of the preacher to conceal himself." By the way, I was quoting from Griffith Thomas' book The Work of the Minijtry. Really, that's one of the finest books ever written for the ministry. It's written particularly for Church of England preachers, but it's just a fine book.

FEED M Y SHEEP
You would enjoy reading and studying it. Griffith Thomas was a member of the Church of England, a godly, earnest man. I heard him preach when I was a young minister. A certain coilgregation found themselves with an earnest, learned preacher who had just come from drinking deeply in a more or less modernistic institution of learning. Although he had pursued theological studies, he was very liberal in his views. This man spoke of principles and theories and philosophy, and also of many great truths. But his congregation longed to hear more about the person of our Lord. One morning the pastor was surprised to find pinned to the pulpit desk a small piece of paper on which these words were written: "Sir, we would see Jesus." (John 12:21.) He was angry at first, but the more he thought about it, the more he realized that it was his duty, his privilege, his high office, to preach Christ, the person of Christ, to the world. He sought God in prayer. His whole attitude changed, and with it his whole life and his preaching. Some time later he was thrilled as he came to his pulpit to find another piece of paper of the same size and shape, with the same handwriting, and these words: "Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." (John 20: 20.) Friends, it will make you glad too when you preach Christ that way. The first disciples of the Christian faith demanded faith in Christ as the Messiah, exalted to God, and faith in the conception of His death as an atonement appointed by God for sins. Christianity was the Christ religion. Their argument before the people was from prophecy and from the miracles and works of our Saviour. Jesus was the fulfillment of all the hopes contained in the ancient revelation of the prophets, and we must look for no other. That was their teaching. "For all

" W E PREACH C H R I S T CRUCIFIED"


the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us" ( 2 Cor. 1:20). Jesus Christ is the Soil of God. "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made" (John 1 : 1-3). He is before all things, and will be forever. He is now the living Christ. To talk of Him as being on the same plane as the other prophets and founders of religions, such as Moses, Isaiah, Confucius, Buddha, or Mohammed, is to surrender everything that an early New Testament Christian would have recognized as early New Testament Christianity. To really preach Christ, we must preach Him as Lord and "only begotten." To preach what Christ preached is not preaching Christ unless it is preached in its essential relation to Him, and what He said He would do. Preaching Christ is preaching not only what He preached but what He did, and what He was, and who He is, and what He is to do. In Jesus Christ God is revealed to men. In Christ's teachings, His works, His intercourse with others, His sufferings, His death and resurrection, He revealed God to men. None of these facts or events can be omitted in preaching Christ. Henry W . Grady, the widely known Georgia editor and orator, used to tell of a certain funeral. He said: "The coffin was made of lumber from Maine, held together with nails from Pittsburgh, and lined with cloth from Baltimore. The dead man was dressed in a suit from New York, and the grave was dug with tools from St. Louis. Georgia produces the materials from which all these things are made, but all Georgia furnished for that funeral was the dead man and a hole in the ground." And that may have been wholly true.

FEED M Y SHEEP
The full gospel of Jesus Christ contains all that the human heart will ever need, or has ever needed, or needs now; but all some preachers furnish is sermonic corpses, and the people furnish the empty pews to put them in. I say "some" preachers. W e thank God not all. Just think of it-dead men preaching to dead men. N o wonder there is no resurrection. I'm no theologian. It is not my place or desire to demand any particular theological statement of the atoning sacrifice of Christ. Seventh-day Adventists have always believed it, always taught it, but many of our preachers need a fuller appreciation of it. They need to preach it more and more. Someone has said, "There are more than a dozen theories of the atonement, and possibly there is truth in every one of them." But it is certainly a fact that all of them together, and even a thousand more, could never bring to any human mind all the wonder and beauty and glory of what Jesus did for us on Calvary and what H e does for us as a living Christ today. It is enough for me to know that Jesus died for my sins according to the Scriptures. That is the message my heart needs to know and that the whole world needs to know. That message is the glory of the Christian minister; as the apostle put it, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world" (Gal. 6 : 1 4 ) . And by the cross he meant what Jesus did upon the cross. The cross stands for what John 3 : 16 says. With Pastor Fordyce Detamore I once visited Macao, that tiny speck of Portuguese territory isolated on the south coast of China. On a noble elevation dominating the city, once stood a great cathedral. Now all that remains is a great stone facade on the very peak of which still appears the ancient cross. Sir John Bowring, governor of Hong Kong,

" W E P R E A C H C H K I S T CRUCIFIED"
passed through Macao years ago just after a great hurricane had destroyed the mighty cathedral, all except this facade. There he saw the ancient iron cross still standing high over the ruins. The torrid sun, many tropical storms, and now the hurricane, had been unable to overthrow it. It gave him inspiration to write his well-known poem which has become one of the great hymns of the church. Though he was a Unitarian, he placed the cross in its proper position. As we saw it there that day the words came ringing in our hearts although it was a century after Sir John had written them. In the cross of Christ I glory, Towering o'er the wrecks of time; All the light of sacred story Gathers round its head sublime. Bane and blessing, pain and pleasl.lre, By the cross are sanctified; Peace is there that knows no measure, Joys that through all time abide. So all the light of sacred story does gather there. Any preacher who preaches the gospel of the cross will never run out of material. He will always have plenty of sermons. He will be filled with the living message every time he rises to speak. As the saintly Richard Baxter put it, "The cross gives much to say." By the way, read Baxter's T h e Reformed Pastor sometime, as well as his T h e Saints' Everlasting Rest and some of his other books. H e was a pastor during the revolutionary civil wars of England, and he kept right on with his pastorate. They put him in jail a few times, and led him around the country, but he kept right on preaching. Into every rope used by the British Navy there is woven a colored strand, showing that it belongs to the United Kingdom and has passed through government tests and has a definite standard of strength. The color of the strand is either red,

FEED M Y SHEEP
yellow, or green, depending on the dockyard of its origin. So through every sermon there must run a thread colored according to the dominating principle and experience of the life of the man behind it and of the message he preaches. In the case of the true Christian preacher of the gospel, the color should be red, the blood of Christ, showing that he belongs to the kingdom of heaven, that within him the strength of the spirit of God reigns supreme. Is that red strand in every one of our sermons? First of all, is it in the very life? Someone may think that such preaching will be dogmatic. Well, it certainly is, and should be. "For if the trumpet give an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?" ( 1 Cor. 1 4 : 8 ) . Of course, we use a whistle today. Back in Paul's day it was a trumpet. It is strange how most people today plead for dogmatism in everything except preaching. Oh, in morals they want dogmatism. Yes, sir! They demand it when it comes to the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments. The commercial world wants thirty-six inches to the yard. They don't want any thirty-five-inch yard. The scientific world wants absolute measurement in the laboratory. Certainly we cannot play fast and loose with saving truth today. Calvary was an emergency. It was a necessity, which God forcsaw and foreknew before the foundation of the world and for which He made provision. W e find the prophecy of the blood in the very first chapters of the Bible. The first sermon that was ever preached was: "The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head." (Gen. 3 : 15.) W e do not want or need milk-and-water preaching today, any adulteration of the standard. N o open-eyed preacher today can miss the need for one great topic-the sin question. That's the big thing-the sin question. The theology that is

" W E PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


appropriate for the hour in which we live must, above all else, be a theology of sin-God's hatrcd of it, God's pity for it, God's salvation from it through Christ on the cross, God's inexorable justice upon it-and all this in the light of the mercy and love and atonement of Jesus Christ our Saviour. "Without shedding of blood is no ren~ission" (Heb. 9: 22). "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12). What we need today is a positive gospel. The world is sick of negations. W e are not to preach of our doubts, but of the truth we have found. The judgments of God are in the earth, and the only protection is the protection that God gives, and God gives everything in Christ. He said of old, "When I see the blood, I will pass over you" (Ex. 12:13). D o you, brother preacher, have the mark of the blood? When you are preaching, is it over your pulpit? Is it over your heart? What a privilege it is to preach Christ! There is nothing more wonderful, no experience more thrilling, no joy more satisfying! I know it. I know the thrill of it, and I would like to share it with you. While living in Montreal, Canada, I was called to visit a little settlement just over the border of Vermont to baptize a man who had found his way to Christ in a very unusual fashion. I arrived at the country home where he was staying, along about evening, and here is the story he told: More than fifty years before, he had built the house in which we were sitting. It was the home to which he brought his bride. She was an earnest Christian girl, but he had never yielded his heart to the Lord. She tried to win him to Jesus by her sweet Christian life. It made a tremendous impression upon him, but he would not yield his stubborn soul. After a

FEED M Y SHEEP few months she was mysteriously taken from llim by death. and his heart was broken not only in the loss of his wife of only a few months but in the great sorronJ that he had broken her heart by refusing her Saviour. He lost all interest in the house and in his work, and wandered over the earth, holding various important positions but spending most of his life in railroad work, and making a good deal of money. Finally, as an old man, broken in health and crippled in body, he came back to the community where he had wooed and won and lost the girl of his dreams. It was evening, and he saw a light shining in the house that had once been his. H e had been refused lodging at other homes-people had no place for a boarder. So he came to the door of what had once been his own home, knocked, and was graciously received by tlie Christian people who lived there. They were Seventh-day Adventists. Of course, they knew nothing of this man. They had never heard of him. The house had been kept in good condition, was repainted, well furnished, warm, and inviting. They took him in and made a home for him. He boarded with them for a number of months. Soon they were talking to hiin about the Lord Jesus Christ, who meant so much to them. By their words and by their kind ministry they really preached Christ and Him crucified to this poor man, who, while he had ceased his wanderings over the earth, was still wandering in darkness as to spiritual things. At last they were made happy when he accepted the gospel offer of salvation and was thoroughly converted and asked for baptism. That was why I was there-to talk with him and baptize him. As we sat there that evening, he said: "Brother Richards, right where you stood tonight in that little alcove as you gave the Bible study is where my wife and I

" W E PREACH CI-IKIST CRUCIFIED"


stood when we were married. It is where her coffin rested after her death. And now I see Jesus there after all these fifty years. Why didn't I come to Him then? Why didn't I give my heart to Christ then? Why didn't I respond to His message as my dear wife preached it to me so kindly, so lovingly? Just think of it, I've missed half a century of her loving presence. But now I'll see her again. I'll be with her. I'll meet her in the presence of the Lord." The next day, as we walked out to the edge of the icy mountain stream for his baptism, he whispered to me: "I want you to hold me down under the water until you count to fifteen. I want to be really baptized. I've seen so many people only partially baptized." I said: "Brother Shepherd, that's not necessary. Baptism is a symbol of the death of Jesus for your sins and mine, of His resurrection from the dead. Here, let me help you into the water." "No," he said. And he stood as erect as he could in his age and affliction. "I've walked in the footsteps of the devil for fifty years, and I want to walk by myself into the waters of baptism and follow the example of my Lord." "I see you have your pocketbook with you. Don't you want to leave it here so it won't get wet?" "No," he said, "I want it to be baptized too." His wallet contained about six hundred dollars, practically all the money he possessed. That tall man hobbled out through the stones into the roaring stream to meet me there. The Spirit of the Lord came down with great power upon him when he was baptized. The first thing he said when he came up was, "You didn't hold me down to the count of fifteen." I said: "No, there was no need of it. You were covered up

198

FEED M Y SHEEP
all right. Baptism is just a symbol of what has happened to you. Your life is hid with Christ in God. The old man is dead, and now you rise to walk in newness of life." And so he was baptized in the icy waters. As he came forth, the whole crowd standing by the water's edge was deeply moved. A young woman dressed in her best white dress turned to her father and said: "Father, I have waited seven years for you. I have been ready for baptism for a long, long time, and you asked me to wait, and to wait, and to wait, and be baptized with you, but you have never made your decision. I'll not wait any longer if this minister will baptize me. I'm going forward now, just as I am." She walked out into that stream, friends, and I baptized her. Oh, the happiness in her face as she came forth from the water! Then the father broke down with tears and said: "What am I holding back for? I know this is God's truth. I'll wait no longer. I must go too. I must follow my Saviour. He died for me." After he had borne his testimony before that audience, he came out into the water and I baptized him. Before I was through I baptized eight people. And they were all ready for it too. They knew the truth, believed the truth as it is in Jesus, and made their public confession of faith. They became strong additions to the church there. Back in the house, while I was helping old Brother Shepherd get dressed, he showed me a locket that hung on a little chain around his neck. He didn't take it off his neck, but he opened it so I could see it. "That's been on my neck for over fifty years," he said. He opened it, and there was a picture of his wife, a beautiful young woman. Then he said, "Now I'll see her again." Tears trickled down his face. Then he handed me five hundred dollars of tithe. He had really found the Lord, and so had those other people who were

" W E PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


baptized with him. The preaching of the cross was to that man, and to the others, "the power of God, and the wisdom of God" ( 1 Cor. 1 :2 4 ) . Hearing it preached, they could say: 0 now I see the crimson wave, The fountain deep and wide; Jesus, my Lord, mighty to save, Points to His wounded side. I see the new creation rise, I hear the speaking blood; It speaks-polluted nature dies, Sinks 'neath the cleansing flood. I rise to walk in heaven's own light, Above the world and sin; With heart made pure and garments white, And Christ enthroned within. Amazing grace! 'tis heaven below To feel the blood applied. And Jesus, only Jesus, know, My Jesus crucified. The cleansing stream I see, I see, I plunge, and 0 it cleanseth me! 0 praise the Lord! it cleanseth me, It cleanseth me, yes, cleanseth me. I know that's old-fashioned gospel, but it is the only gospel that will change the human life. It is the gospel that the world needs now, and the only gospel I ever wish to preach. It is the gospel men long to hear, if they only knew it. In Fortune magazine for December 27, 1944, there appeared this statement: The way out is the sound of a voice. Not our voice, but a voice coming of something not of ourselves, and the existence of which we cannot disbelieve. It is the earthly task of the

FEED MY SHEEP pastors to hear this voice, to cause us to hear it, and to tell us what it says. If they cannot hear it, or if they fail to tell us, we, as laymen, are utterly lost. . . . So the year comes to its end, and in myriads of thoughtful minds there is a sense of need for some better hope . . . than any now being offered to mankind. There is a sense, too, that this hope will not be forthcoming unless quickly some fresh, some braver, some wiser voice begins to speak. . . . Despairing men are listening for that voice. My friends, such a voice will go to the nations. Such a voice will reach the hearts of men. And when it does, it will seem like a new voice, something wonderful and marvelous which they have never heard before. It will be the voice of Jesus speaking through His followers, through His true preachers, bringing the everlasting gospel, the message that has always been appropriate, always healing, always life giving. It will come with no elaborate arguments, but short simple statements. It will come with " 'easy words,' " as Sister White says, so that girls and boys can understand it (Counsels to Parents and Teachers, p. 2 5 4 ) . It will come from the lips of sanctified, earnest, prayerful preachers, who preach out of their own experience the very message of Scripture, empowered by the Holy Spirit. It will lighten the world to prepare the way for the King. It is true that "many will stand in our pulpits with the torch of false prophecy in their hands, kindled from the hellish torch of Satan. . . . God Himself will work for Israel. Every lying tongue will be silenced. Angels' hands will overthrow the deceptive schemes that are being formed. The bulwarks of Satan will never triumph. Victory will attend the third angel's message. . . . When God puts His Spirit upon men, they will work. They will proclaim the word of the Lord; they will lift up their voice like a trumpet."-Testinzolzies to Ministers, pp. 4 0 9 - 4 1 1.

"WE PREACH CHRIST CRUCIFIED"


But who is sufIicient for these things? W h o can preach on this great subject as it ought to be preached? W h o can see it in its fullness and proclain~it with all its power? W h o can tell anyone else how to do it? Surely not I! W e may study and read and pray; but, like the apostles, our view will be only partial, our understanding incomplete. "Now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face" ( 1 Cor. 1 3 : 12 ) . Young workers, do not despair. The fact that the duty and the privilege are so far beyond us ought to bring us courage as we remember that we are in the service of God, that even the ceaseless ages of eternity will not be long enough for us to understand all the science and the song of redemption. W e have before us the possibility of infinite progress, of unimagined heights to scale. It is our privilege to proclaim an everlasting gospel, to preach Him whom to know is life eternal. It is only in a life which measures with the life of God that the redeemed will even begin to understand and appreciate a gospel and a salvation that are everlasting. W e may know something of how Samuel Medley felt when, back in the eighteenth century, he wrote: 0 could I speak the matchless worth, 0 could I sound the glories forth, Which in my Saviour shine! I'd soar and touch the heavenly strings And vie with Gabriel while he sings In notes almost divine. I'd sing the precious blood He spilt, My ransom from the dreadful guilt Of sin and wrath divine! I'd sing His glorious righteousness, In which all perfect heavenly dress My soul shall ever shine.

FEED MY SHEEP
I'd sing the character He bears, And all the forms of love He wears, Exalted on His throne; In loftiest songs of sweetest praise, I would to everlasting days Make all His glories known. Well, the delightful day will come, When my dear Lord will take me home, And I shall see His face; Then, with my Saviour, Brother, Friend, A blest eternity I'll spend, Triumphant in His grace. W e ought to learn that song-its words are a treasure for the heart. That is the end, and the victory, and the consummation of our preaching-Christ, and Him crucified. So with the apostolic preacher, who points the way in this preaching, we join in the great benediction: "Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen" (Rom. 16:25-27).

LECTURE

NO.

"Feed M y Sheep"
"Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep." -John 21:17.

N ONE of the interesting letters received in our survey of Adventist preachers, and from one of the largest conferences in the denomination, come these words: My greatest need is a large infilling of the Holy Spirit, an increasingly vivid sense of the presence of Jesus, and the continual realization that Jesus is coming very soon. For these I pray earnestly. Then the writer expresses this fear: I fear that we are in grave danger of suiting our message more to the ears of the people than to their needs. There is too much concern on our part over advancement and popularity. We need to be more concerned over the matter of faithfulness and the solemn duty of being God's messengers. After receiving your letter I talked with several responsible laymen. Their most common complaint was that they did not hear the message preached enough; the great doctrines that called them into the church seem to be neglected. They want solid, thoroughly prepared sermons on the three angels' messages, not merely good sermons that any Methodist preacher could give. I fear that our young preachers, especially, tend too much toward textual preaching, instead of preaching the great truths of the third angel. This minister goes on to say that he has asked many of our people in various churches, from one end of the country to the other, how long it had been since they had heard a connected,

F E E D MY S H E E P
thorough preaching on the sanctuary question, second and third angels' messages, and other truths that are peculiar to Seventh-day Adventists. He declares that such preaching is practically unknown, and has been for many years in the churches where he has made inquiry. Then he adds: There is no phase of our message that does not reveal Christ; and if Christ is abiding in our hearts as preachers, we will reveal Christ in our preaching of His special message for today. And I must say that this letter of his is filled with earnestness and conviction. The writer says that he believes most of our ministers are men of God-and I agree with him. I want to tell you, fellow preachers and students, that the letters which I have received, and which I hope to tell you more about tomorrow night, have just filled my soul with a lot of joy as well as with a lot of problems. I believe that our men, for the most part, are filled with a great earnestness to do God's will. Yes, our people are hungry to hear the great truths that have made us a special people, and well they might be. Many of them have given up much in the way of family relationships and financial gain in order to become Seventh-day Adventists. They need to be encouraged and built up in this faith, which has cost them something, but the principle is still wider. To be a Christian in this world requires a break with the world, a war with the devil, and a new life that must be constantly sustained or else it will die. So it is that all Christians need to be continually fed with spiritual food. Our text, of course, is from the words of Jesus to the apostle Peter, found in the last chapter of John, where the command is repeated three times: "Feed my lambs. . . . Feed my sheep. . . . Feed my sheep" (verses 15-17) . In this twenty-first chapter of John's Gospel we read the beautiful

" F E E D MY SHEEP"
story of the restoration of the apostle Peter. Three times he denied the Lord; and three ti~nes Jesus asked him to confcss his faith in Him. It is also a confession of love. If we love the I.ord Jesus, we are con~missioned as I-lis representatives to feed His sheep. "Peter, do you love Me?" "Lord, Thou knowest I love Thee." "Are you certain that you love Me?" "Lord, Thou knowest all things; Thou knowest I love Thee." That commission is based on the love of Jesus. Do you love Him? Then you are commissioned to feed His sheep. It is not enough to bring to life a strong faith in Jesus as the world's Redeemer. That faith must be nourished, it must be sustained, it must be fed. This is clearly indicated in the passage that we call the great commission-Matthew 28: 18-20: "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." You teach them before baptism; they are baptized; then you continue to teach them after baptism. That is the teaching and feeding that must go on after they are in the church. The messengers of Christ are to go everywhere, teaching all peoples, making converts of all peoples. Then follows baptism, but this is not the end, though it seems to be in the minds of many today. After baptism, again we read, "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway." Teaching, baptizing, teaching. Teaching before baptism, teaching after baptism.

FEED M Y SHEEP
This teaching, this filling the mind and heart with the Word of God, is to be continued even unto the end of the world. As long as one does this work faithfully, Jesus says, "I am with you." This is a special promise to those who feed hungry hearts with the Word of God. In Holy Scripture the people of God are spoken of as His flock, His sheep. Many texts will come to your mind to prove that, I know. I have jotted some of them down here: Psalm 79: 13: "We [are) thy people and sheep of thy pasture." Psalm 95 :7: "We are . . . the sheep of his hand." In Psalm 119:176 the phrase "gone astray like a lost sheep" is used. In Jeremiah 50:6 we have the plain statement, "My people hath been lost sheep." In Matthew 10: 16 Jesus told His disciples that He sent them forth "as sheep in the midst of wolves." And in 1 Peter 2:25 we have the beautiful picture of sheep that had gone astray being restored by the Shepherd of our souls, even Jesus. So we have this beautiful picture of the shepherd and sheep all through the Scriptures. From earliest childhood we can remember the wonderful words of the twenty-third psalm, "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want." Of course, we know that the word pastor is simply the word shepherd in another language. Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd," the good pastor (John 10: 1 4 ) . And He is the example to all pastors, to all shepherds. What does the Good Shepherd do? The very first declaration of the twenty-third psalm, after the announcement of the identity of the shepherd, is: "He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters." The shepherd feeds the sheep. He leads the sheep to the good pastures, to the easy pastures, the comfortable pastures, the nourishing pastures. He sees to it that the sheep have nourishing food and refreshing drink. Therefore, they shall not want or be in need.

" F E E D M Y SHEEP"
The Word of God is spiritual food, and that's the food iirith which we are to feed the flock. Job said, "Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary food" (Job 23 : 12 ) . God's Word is compared to food. When Israel came out of the land of Egypt, God fed them with the manna. This was to make them know that His Word is indeed spiritual food, for we read: "He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live" (Deut. 8: 3 ) . Jesus referred to this same manna of life when He declared, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God" (Matt. 4 : 4 ) . One reason for the lack of spiritual life in the church today is the lack of Bible food. The Word of God is not liberally given to the people. If man does actually live "by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God," how can he live if he does not have those words? The words of God must come to man largely from the written Word, the Holy Scriptures. It is true that God can and does speak directly to the hearts of men, also through the words of others, and by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. But our part of feeding the flock of God is distinctly to "preach the word; [to) be instant in season, [and) out of season" ( 2 Tim. 4: 2 ) . That is a part of our charge. W e can't have happy, healthy, growing Christians without feeding them the true manna of heaven. I love Jeremiah's statement of this, and many a time I have walked down to the office repeating it. And, by the way, I find a great blessing in walking to work. You know, today

I
,

FEED MY S H E E P
people drive a $3,000 car to get a 10-cent spool of thread. If there is anything to evolution, it is not that our physical makeup is added to, but that different abilities that n r c don't use are talcen away from us. Pretty soon we won't have any legs! So I walk to work, about a mile and a half, usually both ways every day. And that's the time I think. That's when I work out my sermons. I do a good deal of reading, too, on the way and cause some of the drivcr; to have nervous prostration. But that is when you can think-when you walk. This test has been a blessing to me. In fact, I hdve a sermon almost ready on it. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, 0 Lord God of hosts" (Jer. 15 : 1 6 ) . What a text that is! Somebody ought to preach a terrific sermon on it. G o home and preach a good sermon on that text. Preach to your own heart. The best sermons you ever preach will be the ones you preach to yourself. I preach to myself, and the other folks just listen in. Preach to yourself because you know your own heart better than any other person's heart. God made our hearts alike-the Bible says so. So if you preach to your own heart, you will be preaching to the human heart in general. The Christian who is happy, healthy, and spiritually alive will feed upon the words of God. He will search for them, and he will find them. "Thy words were found." You see, you have to search for them. You're looking for the green pastures. That means Bible study, going to the place where the Word of God is proclaimed, learning from some man who is preaching it. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them." You know, when you eat, you do more than just shovel the food into your mouth and swallow it-that is, you do unless you eat like a

"FEED MY SHEEP"
dog. But being a man, you have to chew it, you masticate it, you taste it, you enjoy it. Now, God could have made food tasteless. H e could have made eating a boredom to us, just given us a hole for a mouth and a funnel with which to pour the food in. But if H e had done that, most of us would starve to death-we'd never eat. But He made us so we would enjoy our food. That's why H e put all the wonderful and different flavors into our food. Just think of a nice ripe mango, chilled just right! W e are told that the tree of life has twelve manner of fruits, and I think they will be twelve different kinds of mangoes. That's just my private theology-but I see that someone over there agrees with me. Now when we eat, we taste the food, we masticate it. And when we feed on the Word of God, we do more than read it -w e feed upon it, masticate it, suck the juice out of it, chew up the harder, tougher parts-think it over. This brings us the most wonderful flavors, spiritual vitamins, protein, and all the rest of it. "Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart." That's feeding on the Word of God. There are many today who claim that their faith is weak, but we must encourage the people to know that "faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God" (Rom. 10: 17 ) . The hearing that the apostle is talking about comes by the Word of God. From this fact follows inevitably the supreme importance of preaching the Word of God, of making the Word of God available-eatable, shall we say?-of filling every sermon from beginning to end with the words of the Lord. If the Word of God enters into the human life and becomes faith, just as our physical food becomes a part of us and gives us energy, strength, and physical life, then is not our

FEED M Y SHEEP
feeding upon it, and making it possible for others to feed upon it, of supreme importance? The answer can only be in the affirmative. If it is impossible to please God without faith, think of the responsibility that you and I, as preachers, have in bringing this food to the people. Now the next step in this study is important. It is this: Jesus Himself is the living Word. "The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" (John 1: 1 4 ) . Jesus is the incarnate Word. All the truth, all the life, all the light, that is in the written Word of Holy Scripture was incarnate in Jesus Christ, and is in Christ now. He is called the "Word." "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God" (John 1: 1 ) . In Revelation 19: 13 it is written: "His name is called The Word of God." "In him was life; and the life was the light of men" (John 1 : 4 ) . The apostle John emphasized this great truth. He wrote: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life" ( 1 John 1: 1 ) . Jesus is the incarnate Word. The disciples touched Him with their hands, they saw Him, they heard Him. If Jesus is the incarnate Word, then He is the bread of heaven, just as the Word itself is the bread of God. And did He not declare Himself to be such? Indeed He did, as we read in John 6:35: "And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." W e see here that Jesus is not only the good shepherd, the good pastor, but He is also the very food upon which the sheep must feed. He is the bread of life; H e is the food of life; He is the Word of God revealed in a life; as John says, we have not only heard but seen with our eyes, and our hands have handled.

" F E E D MY SHEEP"
Carrying on this figure of fact, Jesus said, "As the living Father hath sent mc, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever" (John 6: 57, 5 8 ) . Did Jesus mean merely His physical body? This question of course came to the ones who heard Him. What did He mean by saying that those who ate His flesh would never die, that His flesh was given for the life of the world? They tried to make it a literal thing. Theologians today with no more sense than they, try to make into a crass, materialistic idea the things He said. Then He explained a little later in the same chapter: "It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" (verse 63 ) . Here is a statement from a great lover of our Lord Jesus Christ and of Holy Scripture, who can say things in a much better way than can I: The reception of the Word, the bread from heaven, is declared to be the reception of Christ Himself. As the Word of God is received into the soul, we partake of the flesh and blood of the Son of God. As it enlightens the mind, the heart is opened still more to receive the engrafted Word, that we may grow thereby. Man is called upon to eat and masticate the Word; but unless his heart is open to the entrance of that Word, unless he drinks in the Word, unless he is taught of God, there will be a misconception, misapplication, and misinterpretation of that Word. As the blood is formed in the body by the food eaten, so Christ is formed within by the eating of the Word of God, which is His flesh and blood. He who feeds upon that Word has Christ formed within, the hope of gIory. The writren Word introduces to the searcher the flesh and blood of the Son of God; and through obedience to that Word, he becomes a partaker of the divine nature. As the necessity for temporal food cannot be supplied by once partaking of it, so the Word of God must be daily eaten to supply the spiritual necessities. . . .

FEED M Y SHEEP
By rexson of the waste and loss, the body must be renewed with blood, by being si~ppliedwith food daily. So there is need of constantly feeding on thc Word. the knowledge of which is ecernal life. That word must be oi~rmeat and drink. It is in and vitality. this alone that the soul will find its no~lrish~nent We must feast upon its precious instruction, that we may be renewed in the spirit of our mind, and grow up into Christ, our living Head. When His Word is abiding in the living soul, there is oneness with Christ; there is a living communion with Him; there is in the soul an abiding love that is the sure evidence of our unlimited privilege. A soul without Christ is like a body without blood; it is dead. It may have the appearance of spiritual life; it may perform certain ceremonies in religious matters like a machine; but it has no spiritual life. So the hearing of the Word of God is not enough. Unless we are taught of God, we shall not accept the truth to the saving of our souls. It must be brought into the life practice. When a soul receives Christ, he receives His righteousness. He lives the life of Christ. As he trains himself to behold Christ, to study His life and practice His virtues, he eats the flesh and drinks the blood of the Son of God. When this experience is his, he can declare, with the apostle Paul: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me."ELLENG. WHITE in The Review and Herald, Nov. 23, 1897. So we understand that to eat the flesh of the Son of God is to feed upon His words, to hear His words, to believe His words, to obey His words, as one of God's children has said, "He who by faith receives the word is receiving the very life and character of God."-Christ's Object Lessons, p. 38. Of all true Christians it may be said that they "have tasted the good word of God" (Heb. 6 : 5 ) . This is the privilege of all the sheep of God's pasture. Spiritual food is provided for them, and the gracious invitation is extended, "0 taste and see that the Lord is good" (Ps. 34: 8 ) . It is therefore our duty as preachers to make it possible for

" F E E D M Y SHEEP"
all men to taste the good Word of God, to feed upon the manna of heaven, to so preach the Word of God that the Living Word is present, so that men may feed upon Him. This is our banquet, and our daily prayers should be, "Give us this day our daily bread" (Matt. 6: 11 ). Only then may we live, for "he that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life" (1 John 5:12) "but the wrath of God abideth on him" (John 3 : 3 6 ) . It would be well for many of us to preach such sermons that we might have the experience that the famous preacher Dr. Van Osdel once had. At the close of his service a man came up to him and accused him of getting his sermon out of a book, and furthermore, that he had that same book at home. Dr. Van Osdel had sense enough to keep his head and not get angry. He just gave him a very mild reply and wondered what the man meant. Finally the preacher said, "Will you be so good as to bring that book to church with you next week? I'd like to see it." Sure enough, at the next service this member came down the aisle in front of all the people carrying a huge volume on the front of which in gold letters was inscribed its title, "The Holy Bible." It's good to preach out of that Book, isn't it? It is much better than to be like the preacher to whoin Mark Twain said one Sunday, "I have every word of your sermon in a book at home." "I know you certainly haven't," said the minister, "for it is an original sermon." "I can't help it, I have a book at home that has every word of that sermon in it." "Well, I'd like to see it." Mark Twain brought the book the next neek. Its titleWebster's Unabridged Dictionary!

FEED MY SHEEP
Three commands Jesus gave to Peter, "Feed my lambs.

"FEED MY SHEEP"
pretty strong language, isn't it? Now we may say that this doesn't happen often, but are we sure about that? Should it happen even once? Should it? Is it our privilege to do anything like this? W e were ordained to preach the Word in season and out of season. Were we ordained ever to do anything else? If such a course ever becomes general or becomes a denominational policy, we would need to write "Ichabod" over the door of our hopes and of our work. It is our first and chief business to minister the Word of God to hungry souls. Now let me say right here that this subject is not brought up in order to condemn the earnest, loyal, and godly men who bear heavy responsibilities of raising church funds and pushing on the missionary work throughout the world. W e have sent our brothers and sisters, our boys and girls, to far fields. W e have guaranteed to support them at home and abroad. W e are obligated under God, in most solemn vows of Christian stewardship and fellowship, to do this. We've lowered them down into the pit with a long rope, and we must hold that rope. I've traveled in the mission fields, and when I came home I felt like giving everything I had to the mission work. But the flock a t home, as well as abroad, must have food. It must be built up; it must feed upon the Word of God. It's our business to supply them with food. Never should a sermon be preached-yes, the word is "neveruwithout feeding the flock. Every sermon--every promotional sermon, every ethical sermon, every revival sermon-every sermon should be a feast to the hungry who are present. Are we shearing starving sheep or are we feeding them? In the charge that was given to us at our ordination we heard these words: "I charge thee therefore before God, and

. . . Feed my sheep.. . . Feed my sheep." That's the duty of every


true preacher, that's our duty. According to some of our men, there is too much shearing of starving sheep today. W e have a record of a sister who lives in an isolated community. She is a godly woman of long experience in the cause of God, and one who knows the Lord Jesus Christ and loves His gospel. She does not hear a sermon often, sometimes not for months. She must obtain her spiritual food by reading the Word of God, studying the Sabbath school lesson, and communing with the Lord in prayer. Once in a long time she is able to get to the little church that is several miles from her place. She always looks forward with great anticipation for food at that time to help her in her spiritual growth. But she says many times she is disappointed because the speaker, a conference worker-one of the departmental secretaries or even the president himself-doesn't come to that church unless it is with some great program that has to do with raising money for some goal that must be met-Ingathering, Faith for Today, or even The Voice of Prophecy, all good things. The speaker usually stays for just one service, and then hurries on to some other place. She says that she wishes two services could be held so that the speaker could talk about his special program, and then give them a real feast from the Word of God in the second meeting. I think every message could have spiritual food in it. I believe a man could preach the glorious gospel of the blessed God and raise money at the same time. I don't see why he couldn't. Maybe some men can't. B L I ~ at least the people ought to be fed. In this woman's letter she said that she wonders whether it's right to be continually shearing starving sheep. That's

F E E D MI' S H E E P
the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine" ( 2 Tim. 4: 1, 2 ) . These are solemn words. They are words directed to us as preachers. But we do not believe that any of us should take any part in shearing starving sheep. W e must remember that the money which is given by our faithful people everywhere on earth does not belong to us. God gave it to them, and we are merely stewards to use it and send it to the very places where these children of God desire it to be sent and to be used. Listen to the words of the apostle Peter to the elders: "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you" ( 1 Peter 5: 1, 2 ) . Isn't that what he says? "Feed the flock of Godn-feed it. Then he goes on and tells how to do it and that we'll have a crown of glory when Jesus comes if we do. Then there is the charge we have all had, the solemn words "Feed the flock." When we make appeals for money, which must be done again and again-as President Roosevelt used to say, "Again and again and againJ'-that's the way we should do it. We must urge our people to come up to the high privilege of the gospel ministry of giving, but these same people must be fed spiritually. It takes time to do it, and we should take time to do it. You can't feed the people in five minutes. You have to dig nourishment out of the Word and bring it to them. W e should visit the discouraged and downhearted and preach to them in their homes. That's a part of our ministry and a preparation for our preaching. The apostle Paul said he preached the Word, not only publicly

" F E E D M Y SHEEP"
but "from house to house" (Acts 20:20). You can never be a good feeder of the flock unless you visit the sheep and know where they are. Get down in the sheeppen and mingle with the sheep. It is the conviction of many that if the sheep are properly fed there will be a better crop of wool, and it will not be so hard to pluck or to shear. With spiritual grace and energy and vigor, they will be willing to give again and again and again for the gospel cause. It seems that we often reverse the divine order. Instead of preaching the gospel of Christ, and keeping the people well fed on the Holy Word of God and the great doctrines of Holy Scripture and the special message that has made us a people, we seek the production of the fruit by human methods and human plans, by continued strong appeals for more and more iunds, until the people become discouraged and we ourselves become discouraged and have little spiritual energy. I believe with all my heart that if we feed them with meat in due season and show a real interest in their soul's salvation, the raising of funds will be reduced to a minimum of time and effort and energy, and wonderful fruits of spiritual ministry will flow into the treasury of God. There are thousands of men and women among us who should be separated from their love of the world, their love of wealth. Millions and millions of dollars are being spent, squandered today-yes, wasted-for mere luxuries that should be laid upon the altar of sacrifice to finish the work of God. Why? Because you and I haven't fed them, and they are not living spiritual lives. That's why we have to go out and pound and plead and weep to get some money. It's ridiculous. We're going at it backward, the hard way. Why don't we quit all that and feed these sheep? If we would start feeding the

FEED M Y SHEEP
sheep instead of trying to please the goats, we'd be a lot better off. According to the apostle Paul, giving is a grace. He calls it "this grace also" ( 2 Cor. 8:7). He was collecting money, and called it a grace. And grace does not reign in the human heart unless that heart is given to God in consecration, unless a child of God has fed upon the Word of God, and is personally acquainted in spiritual living with the Great Shepherd Himself. Money can be collected in such a way as to be a Christian grace. It isn't that we talk so much about money, but it is the way we talk about it and the basis upon which we put it. Now a shepherd is one employed in tending, feeding, and guarding sheep. He is not a real shepherd unless he loves the sheep and actually leads them to the green pastures and the still waters. Jesus speaks of certain shepherds who are hirelings -that is, they just work for wages and not because they love the sheep or the Great Shepherd, for whom they work. Such a pastor, such a shepherd, flees in time of real trouble. When he sees the wolf coming, he goes away and looks after his own safety. As long as the wages are what he wants, he stays; but when they are not, when there is trouble, when there are hardships, long nights in the frost and days in the heat, with thirst, hunger, trouble, and sickness among the sheep, he leaves them, and many of them are lost. Some time ago I heard a preacher who was really going after some men who were disturbing the flock. Someone got after him for it and said, "Why, you're supposed to be a shepherd. You're not supposed to be around here with blood in your eye like that." "Well," he said, "I'm a shepherd, and I'm out after the wolf."

" F E E D M Y SHEEP"
And he was right too. The shepherd has to protect the sheep as well as to feed them, but in doing so he must be careful that he doesn't destroy any of the sheep. When I was a boy in Colorado, I used to go out behind a big rack where they fed the sheep when the winds were rolling down from the Rocky Mountains. My boy friend and I would lie down behind this rack, protected from the wind, and the sheep would put their heads in between the bars to get the alfalfa, which was piled up high. One day a big gust of wind came and tipped the whole thing over, right on top of the sheep. Fortunately, we weren't there at the time. Some sheep on the other side were hurtled right into the air and their necks were broken so that they died. Underneath the rack was a solid layer of sheep. That big thing, weighing several tons, was lying right on top of the sheep. It took a long time to get it off, but when they did, up came the sheep like so many rubber balls. You see they were well fed, so had plenty of wool. Their wool protected them, and they came through the crisis-that is, all except those that had their necks broken. Now, if those sheep had been skinny, underfed things, they would have been crushed with the weight of that great rack when it fell on them. Jesus is the good shepherd, and as we read His words in the tenth chapter of John we see what a good shepherd ought to be-how he knows the sheep, how he should care for the sheep, how he should put them in the fold, how he should go in and out and find pasture for them, how he even lays down his life for them that they may have more abundant life. What a startling and terrible, wonderful and glorious, privilege it is to be an undershepherd and take part in caring for the sheep. Some shepherds don't feed the sheep at all, but feed on the sheep. "Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter

FEED M Y SHEEP the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord. . . . Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them" (Jer. 23:1, 2 ) . But God will see that His sheep do have the right kind of shepherds. Fourth verse: "And I will set up shepherds over then1 which shall feed them." Now, God is going to feed these people. If you and I don't do it, He's going to send somebody else who will. In the book of Numbers we have a picture of the duties of a true shepherd. "Moses spake unto the Lord, saying, Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, which may go out before them, and which may go in before them, and which may lead them out, and which may bring them in; that the congregation of the Lord be not as sheep which have no shepherd" (Num. 27: 15-17) . One of the greatest sins of the shepherds of ancient Israel was that they did not care for the people, they did not properly feed them. "The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no sheplierd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them" (Eze. 34:4-6). What tenderness, what earnestness, what faithfulness, what prayers, what tears, what divine longings after souls! That is what is needed today-a ministry who will seek the lost, heal the sick and the wounded, feed the people with the Word of God. Sometimes scathing rebukes are administered

"FEED M Y SHEEP" to a whole congregation because of the sin or wandering of just one of tlic shcep. Soinetimes shcep need to be fed in private as well as in public, just as the sick nced to have a good tray taken to them in the sickroom, with food arranged in a way that will encourage them to eat. What a held there is for feeding the sheep! What increasingly improved techniques we can learn. What prayerful attention should be given to the preparing of food for the sick and the well, for the wounded, for the young and for the old, for the weak and for the strong. There is nothing more helpless than a sheep who needs a shepherd. You young men, learn everything you can here in school-how to preach better, more clearly; how to help give the Word of God quickly and effectively and feed the sheep of God. Now if we are really going to feed the flock of God, we must take heed not only of the flock but to ourselves. W e need an educated ministry, educated not only in books but in the Book. I've seen men with college degrees-young men I've had the privilege of working with-and those fellows didn't know anything about the Bible, the English Bible. They were almost illiterate. Yet they were theologians in some things. They certainly knew a lot of things I didn't know about. Of course, they didn't either, but they thought they did! W e need to become really masters of the Bible itself and know what it says. I've known men who have gone out to preach who have never read the Bible through once, never read God's Word clear through. They didn't understand the Old Testament prophecies and how they were related to the New Testament. 0 friends, let's fill up on the Word of God, read it over and over and over, meditdte on it, be educated in the Book as well as in books. Then we must be educated also in our responsibility, our 223

FEED M Y S H E E P
attitude toward God and man. "Take heed," says the apostle, "therefore ~ l n t oyourselves, arid to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath trade you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood" (Acts 2 0 : 2 8 ) . W e will have to give a good deal of heed to ourselves then, if we properly feed the church of God, God's flock, which He has purchased with His own blood. It seems to me that when we think of God's flock in this way, purchased with the blood of Christ, which is the blood of God, we will look upon them in a different way-not with discouragement, no matter how they wander; not with selfishness, but with great love, and great respect, and great responsibility. Therefore, brother preachers, let us take heed unto ourselves. W e shall never be able to feed the flock of God until we do. Then the apostle warned that grievous wolves would "enter in among you, not sparing the flock" (verse 2 9 ) . There would be wolves among the very shepherds. "Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them" (verse 3 0 ) . Pride, false teaching, selfishness, even the wolf spirit itself, would come into the very ministry to destroy the flock. Yes, greater care than ever should be given to the flock, but in giving this care it must first be given to the watchman. He must take heed to himself. The importance of feeding the flock is so great that it is the one thing that Jesus mentions as occupying the time and attention of the faithful servant when He comes the second time-this one thing. Turn to the twelfth chapter of Luke and read it for yourself: "And the Lord said, W h o then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat

"FEED M Y SHEEPJ'
in due season? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he con~ethshall find so doing" (Luke 12 :42, 43 ) . "Meat in due seasonm-that is the order of the Great Shepherd. The message of God must be appropriate to the time. The great gospel truths are always in order and always true and always due, but there are certain settings of the message which fit the times and fulfill the prophecies. "Get ready for the flood!" was meat in due season in the days of Noah. "Prepare for the coming of the Messiah!" was meat in due season in the days of John the Baptist. The Reformers bore meat in due season in their day. Down in the last days God will have a people crying, "Behold, He cometh, and every eye shall see Him! Get ready to meet the King!" Reading the words just before the last text, we find that there are three things that preachers are to be doing in our day. Now listen: "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. . . . Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" (Luke 22:35-40). Now, the preacher in our day is to be on the watch, he is to be ready, and he is to feed the flock-those three things. N o man can give meat in due season unless he is watching. He must see the fulfillment of prophecy. He must see the Word of God and its work in the world. He must see the needs
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of the field and the needs of his church and the needs of his own heart, and he must be ready. There must be a work in his own soul that prepares him for his duties and prepares him for the day of God. Me is to feed the flock of God as he watches and as he is ready, that they, too, may watch and be ready. Are we doing it? W e are doing some of it. Certainly, if are feed the flock of God acceptably, great changes must be wrought in us. W e must have spiritual food to feed the people, and that means more study of the Word of God. There must be more prayer in our lives. Our communion with the Lord must be unbroken. W e must be spiritual men or we will not have a spiritual influence on others. W e must learn everything possible concerning the best ways of communicating the truth to others. W e must become better speakers, better preachers, better talkers, better readers. The apostle says that we must give heed to ourselves, as well as t o the flock. W e must have the witness of the Spirit in our own lives that we are the sons of God (Rom. 8: 1 6 ) . W e must have a "know-so" religion. W e must be born again, not of the will of man, or of the will of the Aesh, but "by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever" ( 1 Peter 1:23). If you don't know whether you are born again, whether you're converted or not, don't ever preach another sermon until you do know. Sister White says that. Don't do it! W e will learn that we cannot use the Holy Spirit, but that the Holy Spirit must use us. If we will submit to be led by the Spirit, we will discover that H e will guide us into all truth. It is then that we shall be able to understand the Word of God in order to preach it to others. "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us

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of God" ( 1 Cor. 2: 12 ) . W e will know then that it is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that our words will become fruitful, that "the love of Christ is the force and power of every message for God that ever fell from human lips."--Gospel Workers, p. 288. There are many things in Gospel Workers right on that. Here's a phrase I like-"that grand charity." If we could only have this in our life! W e study not only the Word of God but the workings of the human mind, that we may adapt our teachings to the intellects of the hearers, and we will learn "that grand charity which is possessed only by those who study closely the nature and needs of men."-Gospel IVorkerr. p. 191. "Thnt grand charityJ'-aren't those wonderful words? 0 my friends, I'll tell you that if we feed the sheep, we're not going to go around complaining about them, talking about them, looking down upon them. W e need "that grand charity." Like Jesus we will know that the true shepherd, the true pastor, will be as was the Good Shepherd Himself, for "the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many" (Matt. 20:28). Though we can never give our lives as a ransom for the world, as did Jesus, we can give them in service for others. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him" (John 13: 1 6 ) . There will be no pride, no bossiness, no wide separation, no great gulf fixed between those invented terms "clergy" and "laity." Where do you find those words in the Bible? The word "laity," of course, comes from the Greek word that just means "peoplew-that's all. Aren't you a person? Clergy and laity! That's why Jesus dressed just as the people did. They were all together. He didn't wear some sacerdotal garment. H e

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dressed like the people; He was one of the people. And in the church of God in these last days there is no clergy. W e are all one in Christ Jesus. True, some of us give our full time to the ministry of the Word, while other believers are not able to do so-that's the only difference. We're a universal priesthood of believers. W e should remember that Christ "made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men" (Phil. 2 : 7 ) , and that "we . . . that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves" (Rom. 15 : 1 ) . To feed the lambs, as well as the sheep, the true preacher will learn to use simple language. Remember that Christ met the people where they were, and we must do the same. He presented the plain truths in the most simple yet forceful language. Now it's much more difficult to use simple, short words than long ones. Leave out the theological terms when you go out to preach. Nobody understands them-not even the theologians, most of the time. Take the Gospel of John as your example. Simple words; that's why, as we mentioned the other night, they start you on that when you begin to study Greek. The words are short and simple-"love," "God," "home," "truth." It would be well if every preacher would read Pitgrim's Progress over and over. It is said that Spurgeon read it eighty-seven times. N o wonder he could write J o h n Ploughman's T a l k s after filling himself with Pilgrim's Progress. N o wonder the crowds packed in to hear him. They could understand what he said. Jesus spoke in the newspaper language of His day, the language of the New Testament. Listen to this from Gospel Workers, page 50: "The humble poor, the most unlearned

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could comprehend, through faith in Him, the most exalted truths. N o one needed to consult the learned doctors as to His meaning. He did not perplex the ignorant with mysterious inferences, or use unaccustomed and learned words, of which they had no knowledge. The greatest Teacher the world has ever known, was the most definite, simple, and practical in His instruction." In the Literary Digest for October 6 , 1923, there is a true story, quoted from the Homiletic Reuiew, as written by President Levi T. Pennington of Pacific College, Newberg, Oregon, who vouches for its authenticity. The story shows how, when some preacher wanders through the paths of higher education he may browse upon the topmost foliage of theological discussion. Unless he is careful, he will find it pretty hard to bring it back to the people in a way they can understand and absorb it. First thing he knows, they will get bored, slide down in their pews, and go to sleep. They are unable to stretch their intellectual necks up to where the Ph.D. feeds with ease. In other words, they prefer to crop the grass of spiritual food within their reach, which is easy for their mental systems to digest. So urges a farmer who, while on a vacation, wandered into a Quaker meeting where two scholarly preachers were called to address the audience. Both were notable men. One was a professor of Greek in a great university, and the other had more degrees attached to his name than any other man in his denomination. Now, it certainly is well to study Greek and also to get the proper degrees from the proper places. Each of these men brought a splendid message, we are told, but the farmer confessed that some of it was over his head, and he suspected that over half of the audience had a harder time to understand it than he had. Here is what he says:

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"On the very front seat sat an elderly lady, ~ ~ 1 1 I 0 ,had already learned, had the courage of her convictions, a keen wit, The second of and a voice far more penetrating than m~uical. these gifted speakers had just takcn his seat when this old lady arose and in the dead stillness which followed and in a voice which cut the air like a knife, made this pronouncement, 'Jesus said, "Feed my lambs," not My giraffes.' " "Well, Parson," the farmer wrote to his minister in telling of this experience, "you have heard about conflicting emotions. Right then was when I had them. The old lady resumed her seat with the sternness and impassiveness of an oracle. The preachers looked as if they would be relieved if the floor would open and drop them through, and I was torn between sympathy for the ministers and a desire to spank the old Iady on the one hand, and on the other, a keen appreciation of the justice of her criticism and a longing to laugh all over a hundred acres." In a sober moment after the meeting it occurred to this farmer-writer that the old lady's suggestion contained a good deal of merit and it might be helpful to Inany preachers who like to munch from the top boughs. Then this man added to his letter to his own minister: "Usually, Parson, you give us 'food convenient for us,' but when you preached that sermon three weeks ago on 'The Elements of the Synoptic Problem,' I couldn't help feeling that you shot clear over the heads of 90 per cent of your congregation. It may have been good for the giraffes, but I am afraid the lambs didn't get a nibble." Then he suggests three points for his pastor to bear in mind. Here they are: First, there are far more sheep than giraffes in any flock of God. Second, giraffes can take food from the ground, perhaps not conveniently, but they can take it; u~hileif a11 the food

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is put in a ten-foot rack, the giraffes will feed and the sheep will starve to death. Third, if it is necessary to feed the giraffes from a high rack, then some special arrangement should be made for feeding the sheep; or, better still, the regular feeding should be on the low racks, and some special feeding place be provided for the giraffes. Then the farmer said: "I wonder, after all, if there are any giraffes in the flock of God. The wisest and greatest and richest of God's children are humble, realizing that in contrast with God their wisdom is but folly, their strength but . . . weakness, their righteousness but filthy rags." Then he congratulated his pastor on the fact that he feeds his flock well, and not many go away hungry. But he added, "It won't hurt even you to remember what the old lady said in her rasping voice." Wouldn't it be n,ell for us all to remember it? If our people are to be fed on the Sabbath day by our preaching, they must understand our preaching. It must strike home to their hearts. This will make for happiness in the church. Every week thousands of people tell their pastors as they leave the service, "I enjoyed your sermon very much," and it is perfectly proper that a sermon should be enjoyed. However, we should remember the words of the Reverend Robert E. Woods, a veteran preacher of Manhattan's St. Patrick's Cathedral, who said: "Sermons are not intended to be enjoyed, but to instruct, to inspire, to make you uneasy about yourself. Any sermon that doesn't do that has misfired." In the eighth chapter of Nehemiah we read of a sermon that lasted from morning till midday. That sermon was an expository sermon t o e a long one. The people felt terribly troubled; they didn't enjoy it; but it made a tremendous impression upon them.

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There was a great deal in that exposition and preaching to make the people uneasy, "for all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law" (verse 9 ) . Then the preacher said: "This day is holy unto the Lord your God; mourn not, nor weep. . . . G o your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the Lord is your strength. . . . And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them" (verses 9-12). That's the way to have a happy church. When the people understand the Word, it brings joy even to those who are condemned by it. Yes, my friends, we are to feed the sheep instead of trying to amuse the goats. The less knowledge of Scripture a church has, the less piety, the less power of the Holy Spirit it has; and the more doings, societies, suppers, and fun it takes to run it, the faster it runs away from God. I wish that we had the time in these lectures to read all that Gospel Workers and Testimonies t o Ministers have to say on this subject. The instruction there is so good, one is tempted to quote it, page after page, paragraph after paragraph, line after line. I have read book after book in preparing for these lectures, but I find in the small compass of Gospel Workers practically every principle that has been laid down by the great preachers who have gathered the cream of their knowledge and instruction from all over the world. Just listen to this: Lift up Christ as the sinner's only hope. . . . The reception of the gospel does not depend on learned testimonies, eloquent speeches, or deep arguments, but upon its simplicity, and its adaptation to those who are hungering for the bread of life.Gospel Workers, p. 155.

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Our ministers are to preach in a way that will help people to grasp vital truth. My brethren, do not soar where the common people cannot follow you, and if they could, would be neither benefited nor blessed. Teach the simple lessons given by Christ. Tell the story of His life of self-denial and sacrifice, His humiliation and death, His resurrection and ascension, His intercession for sinners in the courts above. In every congregation there are souls upon whom the Spirit of the Lord is moving. Help them to understand what is truth; break the bread of life to them; call their attention to vital questions. . . . Let your voice advocate truth. Present subjects that will be as green pastures to the sheep of God's fold. Do not lead your hearers into waste tracts, where they will be no nearer the fountain of living water than they were before hearing you. Present the truth as it is in Jesus, making plain the requirements of the law and the gospel. Present Christ, the way, the truth, and the life, and tell of His power to save all who come to Him.Ibid., p. 154. W h o ever read anything better than that? I am sure I never did. And we could g o on like this, page after page. In feeding the flock of God we need to remember that many people are ignorant of the simplest truths of the Bible and the requirements of God. They need to know in simple words that a child can understand how to become a Christian, how to believe, how to repent, how to confess Christ, how to obey, how to grow by feeding on the Word of God, how to work for others, how to find help in prayer. W e often assume too much. W e assume a knowledge of the gospel. W e must remember that today we are living in a generation of spiritual illiterates, millions of whom know as little about the gospel, the Bible, the story of the Old and New Testaments, the facts of the life of Christ, and the plan of salvation and of the Man of salvation, as did the people of Asia Minor in the days of the apostle Paul. Therefore it is necessary to make the Scripture message plain, and to tell the story over and over and over again.

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I've been to sevcral colleges lately, and many of the students there-members of the church-don't know whether they are redeemed yet or not; they do not know how to go about being a Christian. They don't know the sin~pleststeps. W e ought to be able to explain these things. Certainly you have to know them yourself or you can't explain them to somebody else. You should be able to sit down with a person and show him just what steps to take to become a Christian. Now it is not for me to take the place of your teachers in hon~iletics who are giving you such fine instruction right here in the college and Seminary. They have the ability and the time and the responsibility to lead you in these things. If you feed the sheep properly you will find that rhey need to have great themes. Remember, the people in the pews think as keenly as you do. Many of them understand world affairs as well as do you. Some of them understand their Bible as well as you do. While they need to have the message in clear and simple words, still they need to have the great themes continually brought before them. They need to know that the glorious message of Christ is in the realm of the greatest ideas. There is the enunciation of the great truths-the greatest truths-which goes far to make effective preaching. Keep the hearer steadily informed and confronted with the thought of eternity, God, Christ, salvation by faith, the atonement, the divinity of Christ, the personality and power of the Holy Ghost, the absoluteness of right as revealed in the law of God and our personal responsibility to Him, the freedom of the soul, the powcr of the grace of God and the love of God over environment and sin and human failure, the exaltation of man in the gospel, the final victory of truth in Christ at His

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second coming, the glorious, etcrnul kingclom of God-and ill all of it. the revelati011 of Christ as Creator. Kcdccmcr, and King. Keep thcse great truths ever in the forefront if you expect to have great preaching in your churcl~. Bishop Quayle reminds us that "a great life, telling a great truth, ought to be a definition of a preacher and his message." The sermon, you see, is really the man himself, finding exposition for his soul. The sermon is really the preacher up to date. No man can say bigger than he is. It often seems to me that a true preacher preaches to himself and the people just listen in. That's the only way to preach, I think. The preacher is a man, and his message must be appropriate to his own soul if it is to be appropriate to others, for they also are men. Now here are the three points one must consider in order to be an effective preacher and fulfill the main purpose of preaching, which is to feed the sheep of God. The first consideration is the man himself; the second is his message; the third, his technique. The man must be a born-again, consecrated, convinced, and growing Christian. He must feed upon the Word of God. He must be filled with all the knowledge he can have. The message must be from the Word of God. It must be important, vital, Biblical, a revelation of Christ, a true, everlasting gospel, in all its fullness; and if this message, proclain~edby this earnest man of God, is to have its fullest effect, there must be a lifetime of seeking for better and more effective techniques of presentation. While it is true, as Henry Ward Beecher said in his Yale Lectures, that "no knowledge is really knowledge unless one can use it without knowing it," still one ought to know that he is continually trying to improve.

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Therefore I urge upon you, young men, to do the best you can in every class in your preparation for the Christian ministry. Get all you can in college or in the Seminary, and anywhere else. Hear all the good preaching you possibly can, and do your best to find out what kind of public presentation, what kind of talking, people like to hear today, remembering that they vary in different countries, in different cities in the same country, in different communities, and in different churches in the same city. Make your strong points of truth right at the beginning of your talk. This is a restless age. Bring your listeners face to face with the mighty facts immediately. Show proof after proof, evidence after evidence, text after text, like successive hammer blows. Illustrate, make your points clear, and while the people are still interested, sit down. Keep on the positive. Proclaim the truth, announce the truth, declare the truth, illustrate the truth, illuminate the truth. Never worry for one second about being considered a great theologian by your ministerial friends, but be supremely interested in making things clear and convincing and desirable to those who hear you. What does the Communist agitator have that you and I do not have? What does he have that so many preachers do not have? He is completely convinced of his message. He believes it's the wave of the future. He is ready to spend and be spent for it, fight for it, work for it, sacrifice for it, suffer for it-even die for it. Are we not, as Christian preachers, to be as convinced of our mission and to have as burning a conviction as have these political agitators, and yet deliver our message in a humble, earnest, Christian way? Listen to this challenge of a Communist editor to Christian workers and believers. Under the title "The Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Communist Manifesto," it is translated from an

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editorial in Paix et Liberte, a French Communist paper, and quoted by the Greater Europe Mission, 542 South Dearborn Street, Chicago 5, Illinois. I have not seen the original of this, but it has been quoted in various papers and I have no reason to doubt its authenticity. Listen to these words: "The gospel is a much more powerful weapon for the renewal of society than is our Marxist philosophy." Now, isn't that a strange statement for a Communist to make? "The gospel is a much more powerful weapon for the renewal of society than is our Marxist philosophy. All the same, it is we who will finally beat you. W e are only a handful, and you Christians are numbered by the million. But if you remember the story of Gideon and his three hundred companions, you will understand why I am right. W e Communists do not play with words." 0 my friends, too many of us preachers play with words, make them merely cliches. W e say things over and over that we don't mean at all. W e just make a noise. The Communist article goes on to say: "We are realists, and seeing that we are determined to achieve our object, we know how to obtain the means." Now how do they obtain the means, how do they get their money? My friends, if you get people who are as determined and as enthusiastic as they are, you'll get the money. You won't have to set up goals and these other things, and go out and beg to get it. The Communist continues: "Of our salaries and wages we keep only what is strictly necessary; and we give the rest for propaganda purposes. [How much of our wages do we give?} T o this propaganda we also consecrate all our free time and part of our holidays. [Do we?} You, however, give only a little time and hardly any money for spreading the gospel of Christ. How can anyone believe in the supreme value of this gospel if you do not

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practice it? If you do not spread it? And if you sacrifice neither time nor money for it? Believe me, it is we who will win, for we believe in our Communist message and we are ready to sacrifice everything, even our life, in order that social justice shall triumph. But you people are afraid to soil your hands." Pretty hard talk, this, but all too true. Oh, may God help us to get just as earnest! What do you say? What a challenge that is to all of us! W e sometimes speak of our great organization. I sometimes wonder whether it has been the best for us as preachers. Things are often made too easy for us. What sacrifice do you and I have to make? There may be some here who have sacrificed-please don't misunderstand me-but most of us do not make any great sacrifices. Our pay checks come regularly. Our administrators sit up day and night to keep those things going-and we're not criticizing them. They have a terrific job, but they keep the money coming, and we get it. What do we sacrifice? Many of us do not do much sacrificing. W e have been given a great opportunity to study and to work and to seek God for help. Many of us do not do much of this. W e do not try to better our techniques and make ourselves into better speakers, better students of the Word of God. W e don't study very much. It is true that the Lord can take ignorant men, as Jesus took the fishermen by the Sea of Galilee, and make them into mighty preachers of His Word. But it is also true that the disciples had three and a half years in the school of Christ, the university of experience. There they learned how to preach, how to work for souls. Though one can work for Christ without any formal education, if he does have a good education and is equally consecrated to God, his efforts are likely to be much more far-

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reaching and effective. But God can't do much with a man who isn't interested in improving himself. One can fight with a club, but he can do more executing with a sharp sword, the sharper the better. Some defense could be made with a bow and arrow, but far more with a machine gun. It is clear that when God chose the great leaders He took such men as Paul, Luther, Calvin, and \Vesley--every one a college or university man. It was not the training that made them the great leaders that they were for God, but these great men of God were helped in their work by everything they learned. There is not one technique, one fact, one ability, that you have or can acquire, which will not be found useful to you sometime, if for nothing more than to put you en rdppurt with someone who would not otherwise be attracted to you. It is well to be carefully educated, to be widely read, and if possible, widely traveled. But most of all, you should know the human heart and be sympathetic with mankind in general. You never can feed the people the \Vord of God unless you are sympathetic with them, unless you like the people. N o man can dislike people or be indifferent to their sorrows and be a good preacher. N o one should be a slave to any particular form of preaching-topical, textual, expository, or whatever you want to call it. Today the topical seems to be the most popular method. It does have many advantages, but certainly a young preacher should not give himself entirely to topical preaching. He should preach some textual sermons, which should be thematic. He should know exactly what the text teaches, and then preach what the text teaches. Then, as he grows stronger in preaching power, he should step out into expository preaching, which is certainly more difficult and in some ways more rewarding. Or there may be a union of

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FEED MY SHEEP these forms of preaching. In any case, preaching to feed the sheep should be Biblical, should be Christ-centered. The preacher should reserve the precious morning hours for study and meditation. H e who devotes several hours every morning to his Bible and commentaries, Bible dictionaries, the Spirit of prophecy, prayer and meditation, will become a strong preacher. Without it he will not become a strong preacher. You say, "Where am I going to get the time?" The same place the farmer, or the factory worker, or the office man gets it. There are 24 hours in a day, and they are all yours. This, too, is your work. Why not do your work? What right have you to take the time of a busy man to listen to your preaching unless you have taken as much earnestness and as much time for your work as he has taken for his? Remember, the morning hours are the creative hours. You are fresh from the night's sleep, and are not yet distracted by the things of the day. That's the time to open the great Book and to commune with God, to seek for His meaning and His message for the world, but especially for your own soul and for your flock. I wouldn't try to write a radio talk in the afternoon. I can write letters then, and I can read books. But the morning is the time for creative work. Because of a lack of study and meditation upon the Word, not a little preaching is much more imposition than exposition, as a writer in Christidnity Toddy declares. There are some men who don't study a half hour a day, not even fifteen minutes a day. Every preacher ought to be acquainted with the best literature of his own race. He ought to be able to talk with men on their level. If they quote some great poet, he should know whom they are quoting and whether they are quoting it right or not.

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Some weeks ago I went into a bookstore to buy a book of poetry and said, "I want a book of the poems of the writer who said-"The isles of Greece, the isles of Greece! Where burning Sappho loved and sang." The man in charge of that department said just one word, "sung." "Are you sure?" I asked. And he said, "Sure!" Then he proved it by quoting the rest of the stanza, which I should have been able to doand can now! Byron wrote it "sung" so that it would rhyme with "sprung," as I later learned. Well, what are you going to do about those morning hours? Are you going to study or not? But you say, "Oh, I can't do it." I believe we owe it to God, for we'll never feed the sheep unless we feed ourselves. We're going to have to do it. Now I believe that every forward-looking college president will encourage his men to do this work. He's got to take some time-at least an hour; he's got to do it. I told my son: "You go into your study and have your wife guard the door like a lionness. Tell your little boys who like to be with you all the time and who love their daddy and climb over him every minute-tell them that daddy is in there talking with God. Train them to know that you are in there in holy converse with the Jesus they love. And those boys will soon learn to protect their daddy who is in that room, alone with God, away from his wife, away from his boys." The preacher needs to pray with his wife and children, but he needs to spend an hour every day with God alone. He's got to deal with God alone. Even if he doesn't do another thing but sit on a chair and think for an hour, it will prove beneficial; but better still if he spends the time in prayer and meditation. Some time ago a man died leaving a fortune of millions of dollars to his son, who was a wild boy "sowing his wild
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oats," as we say-he never had a serious thought. The mother had died a long time before, so this boy was the only heir. But that big fortune was left to him on the condition that for one solid year he would go into an empty room, pull down the blinds, and sit there for half an hour each day with no book, no newspaper, not a thing but the chair on which he was to sit. By the time that boy had complied with that condition for three months, he was a changed boy; and he got the money. N o man can sit on a chair for half an hour with no music, no radio, no book, no writing-absolutely nothingwithout beginning to think great thoughts: W h o am I ? What's this all about? What is human life? What am I ? My friends, it's time we declared our independence under God and began to do a little Bible study in the morning. Someday God is going to ask us: "What about it? What about it? You stood before those peoople, but you never studied. You never fed on My Word. You are responsible for their coldness; you are responsible for the sheep that are not here." Someone may answer: "But, Lord, 1 preached. I got some of Bonnell's books and 1 warmed the material over and preached it to them." "But you didn't study My Word for yourself." Well, you had better start taking that time, minister friends who are out in the field. You'll never grow if you don't. You'll just keep on shrinking. Then they'll move you from conference to conference, and keep moving you. "What else can we do with him?" they will say. "He's getting so he can't preach much any more. He's got only a half a dozen good sermons. Move him around; move him somewhere else; move him out of here."

"FEED MY SHEEP"
Stay on the great subjects, and they will help make your preaching great, and you'll become a great preacher. It's a great cause, a great message, a great Master whom we serve. Wasn't it George Bernard Shaw who said in a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, "I rate a man or a church, not by the reasons they give for things, but by the things for which they give reasons"? I think he was about right. If that skeptical mind could write that, there are no doubt many other people who feel the same way. When you preach from a full heart, believing that salvation, that eternal destinies, depend upon your preaching, men will listen to you. Your preaching will be like the ringing of a telephone, or a knock on the door at midnight. What is more insistent than a continued knocking or a persistent ringing of a phone? There is a message there, or someone is there. W h o is it? What is the message? W e must find out. W e must see. W e must listen. That's why the preaching of Luther, of George Whitefield, and of Billy Graham today, had such power. W e may not believe all the doctrines that some of these men taught or are teaching, nor approve of their methods, but there must be some reason for their success. These men all came with a great personal claim to the hearts of their hearers, with a demand for their attention. People want to hear someone who has something to say. The story is told of a well-known skeptic who often went to hear George Whitefield preach. One of his fellow unbelievers reproached him and said: "Why do you go to hear that man preach? You don't believe anything he says, do you? Why do you go to hear him?" The skeptic replied, "No, I don't believe it, but he does." Be sure to use the Bible passages in proper context. One which is often wrongly interpreted is Colossians 2:21:

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"Touch not; taste not; handle not." Temperance speakers sometimes claim that the use of alcohol is forbidden here, and that temperance is commanded. If so, why does the apostle condemn this statement by saying, "Why, as though living in the world, are ye subject to ordinances," and also use the words "which all are to perish with the using" (verses 2 0 , 2 1) ? Let us be honest with ourselves and with facts, and above all, with God and with the people. Let us face the passage of Scripture or the topic which we are concerned with, sustained by Scripture, and proved by Scripture, as someone has said, "by thinking ourselves empty on the subject, writing ourselves clear, praying ourselves full." Then we shall be ready to stand before the people with a message from heaven. Let us not use texts as mere pretexts or even as mottoes. W e do not need catch questions or subjects, but just plain, simple subjects that will portray the preaching of an honest man. One of the most successful preachers in North America today-not one of our own, but one who holds big crowds, including college and university students, with a full church almost every week-Dr. C. Andrew Lawson-advertises such sermon titles as "The King of God," "Foundations in Christ," "Does God Have a Plan?" "The Trinity." There are no catches, or even catchy phrases, in these subjects. What is the result? Hundreds of people attend. He says: "We try to take the biggest things graspable, recognizing that we can gain a hold only of a tiny corner of them. W e try to discuss them in simple terms, as the Gospels do. The hearers seem to prefer this to the exhaustion of some minor point which does not affect the deeper aspects of their religious life and faith. W e assume that if we can't reach the mountaintop, the view still may be inspiring from halfway up the side." Dr. Lawson has found that a broadcast of his regular services every week has

" F E E D MY SHEEP"
built up his congregation. This has continued since 1924 and shows that in large cities a regular broadcast of church services helps in many ways. Some time ago Elder John Osborn and I spent a day at Princeton University. It was thrilling to see the old buildings, especially the main school building, which for a short time was a sort of fortress for the British who had retreated from the battle of Princeton. W e visited the hall where the faculty has its meetings, the very hall in which George Washington resigned his commission to the Continental Congress. It was all interesting, but nothing interested us more than the fact that we were in Whitefield country, in a Whitefield town. It was here at Princeton that Whitefield saw a man sound asleep during one of his sermons. Pausing in the torrent of his words, he said solemnly and slowly: "If I had come to speak in my own name, you might question my right to interrupt your indolent repose, but I have come in the name of the Lord of hosts, and," he thundered in a voice that almost shook the building, "I must be and will be heard!" And so we say, may God give us preachers who must and will be heard-men who believe that they speak in the name of the Lord God of hosts, men with voices like thunder. There are too many of us who whisper and tremble. N o wonder people sleep about us. W e do not disturb them. Give us more Whitefields who cry aloud, "I am here in the name of the Lord of hosts, and I must be and will be heard!" Needless to say the man did hear him. Friends, if we come in the name of Israel's God, whether we have a loud voice or not, we'll speak in a way that will be as thunder in the human heart. "I must be and I will be heard. I have a message from God unto thee." That will be our driving force. Our preaching will be direct, from man to man.

FEED MY SHEEP
"Mother," whispered a little boy in the middle of one of Mr. Spurgeon's scrmolls, "why does that preacher I<eep speaking to me?" That's preaching of the highest order, when even the children think we are preaching to them. Does my preaching meet the needs of my people today? This is a question that should be asked by every one of us. The story is told of a church which needed a new preacher. So they wrote to the bishop, who sent them an elderly man with this message: "Here is a preacher with a glorious past. He has done great things." This man stayed a while and did quite a good deal. But things didn't move in the church as they hoped they would, and so, after a time, they wrote for another preacher. This time the bishop sent them a young preacher with the message: "Here is a preacher with a glorious future. He will do wonderful things in the days to come." This young man stayed about a year and did some good, but after a while he had to move on. The church wrote back to the bishop and said, "Send us a different preacher." The bishop replied: "I have sent you an old preacher and a young preacher. What kind of preacher do you want?" The church committee wrote back and said: "You have sent us a preacher with a glorious past and another with a glorious future. Now please send us what we need, a preacher who can do something nozu." That's the need of the church-preachers who can bring a message today, to this generation, this year, this month, this week, this day, this hour! One day Jesus was surrounded by thousands of hungry people. He commanded them to sit down on the green grass. Then He took the small supply of bread and fish belonging to a little boy who had come to hear Him preach. Looking

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up to heaven, He blessed them and broke them and gave them to His disciples, who in turn gave them to the multitude. Everybody was fed, everybody was satisfied, everybody was strengthened. They all had enough. And when it was all over, what did they do? They took up twelve baskets full of this bread of heaven that remained. When they got through that day they had more left than when they started. When you feed upon the Word of God, when you look up to heaven and break the common bread and the common fish of this old world, when you take that human study of yours and that human meditation and those human prayers, and stand before the people and look up to heaven and break that food in the name of God and feed it to the waiting congregation, when you get through, you'll have more than when you started. You'll find that you have more bread than you had before, you'll have more to preach. You'll never again say, "I can't think of anything to preach about," but, "When will I ever get time to preach all these sermons that come flooding in upon my mind?" As you visit the people and see their needs, as you read the Book of God, as you preach on the Sabbath day, sermon after sermon will come rushing up and whisper in your ear, "Preach me, preach me, preach me!" Then you'll grow in grace and in the knowledge of the Lord. Feed upon the bread of life and you'll be able to feed others. Then we shall pray with Mary Lathbury: Break Thou the bread of life, Dear Lord, to me, As Thou didst break the loaves Beside the sea; Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord; My spirit pants for Thee, 0 living Word!

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Bless Thou the truth revealed This day to me, As Thou didst bless the bread By Galilee; Then shall all bondage cease, All fetters fall; And I shall find in Thee My all in all! Spirit and life arc they, Words Thou dost speak; I hasten to obey, But I am weak; Thou art my only help, Thou art my life; Heeding Thy holy word I win the strife. May God bless every one of you and help you to see His leading.

The Preacher Talks Buck


"The preacher sought to find out acceptable words: and that which ruas written was upright, even zuords of truth."-Ecclesiastes 12:lO.

SEEMS right that at this time we should learn something about the state of preaching, or rather the state of the preacher, among us. Christianity itself began with preaching, and the Seventh-day Adventist movement in particular began as a preaching movement. What is the state of preaching among us today, according to the testimony of preachers, conference leaders, and laymen? This question ought to be answered, and answered fully and conlpletely. W e do not claim to do this in today's talk, but we have learned a little about present conditions, and some of this we will give you now. That preaching is of tremendous importance to all Christians, and especially to Seventh-day Adventist Christians, goes without saying. But the apostle Paul asks the question, "How shall they hear without a preacher?" (Rom. 10:1 4 ) . While it is true that God has preached through creation itself, and directly by His Spirit to the hearts of men, it has pleased Him in His wisdom to appoint men to give their whole lives to the preaching of the heavenly message. Jesus Himself was a preacher (Matt. 4 : 1 7 ) . He ordained His disciples, "that they should be with him, and

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that he might send them forth to preach" (Mark 3:14). They were "to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind" (Luke 4: 1 8 ) . They were to go and preach the kingdom of God. Christian preachers are preachers of the Word, or, as the apostle calls it, "the word of faith, which we preach" (Rom. 10:8). In preaching the Word, they preached the living Word, Jesus Christ, as the Saviour of men, and as the coming King and Lord. "We preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord" ( 2 Cor. 4:s). Since the kingdom of Christ is now present as the kingdom of grace, and will be present eventually as the kingdom of glory, where a11 the redeemed will have an eternal home, anyone who preaches Christ as Redeemer and Lord is also preaching the kingdom of God now here and also soon to come. And since the authority for all Christian preaching is found in the Word of God, Christian preaching is primarily the preaching of the Word of the Lord (Acts 8:25), or the Word of God (Acts 1 3 : s ) . Even in the days of the apostles there were those who began to change the original preaching. Many came into the Christian faith infected with Greek philosophy, which began gradually to be introduced into the church; and it wasn't long before they were preaching another Christ who was not really the Christ of the Bible, but a human, philosophical Christ. The apostle Paul warned against this sort of preaching, and said that those who engaged in it were under a curse (Gal. 1:8; 2 Cor. 11: 4 ) . Since the preaching of the gospel of Christ-the preaching of the Word as initiated, inaugurated, and authorized by Jesus Christ Himself, and carried on by the apostles-was a mighty attack on the kingdom of Satan, the devil has al-

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ways opposed such preaching. In fact, the apostle said, the preaching was geatly opposed ( 2 Tim. 4:15 ) . This has been true through the ages, and is true now. If the devil cannot oppose the preaching of the message by one means, he will by another; if he cannot hinder it by outright suppression, he will by infiltration, by infection, by changing its temperature, its subject, its object, its technique-anything to prevent true preaching from having its disastrous effect upon his kingdom and its glorious effect upon the building up of the kingdom of God. The apostle plainly states that it was the will of God and the plan of God to manifest His Word through preaching (Titus 1 : 3 ) . Practically every worth-while thing said about preaching by the great preachers and teachers of preachers, in time past, I have found condensed in pithy, right-to-the-point style in Testimonies t o Ministers and Gospel Workers, by Ellen G. White. I recommend that you read this book, mark it, study it, pray over it-yes, and if necessary, weep over itand you will see a mighty change and blessing in your personal work as preachers. There is a great deal also in Gospel Workers, and of course in other books by the same author, but especially in these two. As a part of my preparation for this talk today, I sent a letter to a number of our preachers some weeks ago. Because of the cost, I sent out only about five hundred, but I wish I could have sent a letter to every Seventh-day Adventist preacher in the world. This should be done someday. It would give us a still broader picture of the thinking of our men in the field and would help us to work out together plans for building better preachers of the Word for our day. There is no more important group of men on earth than these earnest preachers to whom this letter was sent.

FEED M Y SHEEP I did not give my secretary a prepared list of my friends


in the ministry, but simply said, "Send this letter t o every third pastor in active service in North America, also t o each local president in North America, a few scattered workers overseas, and a few dozen laymen." W e should write t o several thousand laymen, and when the replies come in, we would really have something t o think about! Here is the letter: DEARFRIENDIN CHRIST: This letter is written to you, not officially, but personally. It has fallen my lot to prepare seven or eight talks on Seventh-day Adventist preaching-our regular, week-by-week Sabbath preaching in the churches-to be delivered in April or May at Washington Missionary College. This will be the first series of a Lectureship on Preaching to be established there. I understand that attendance will be confined to ministerial students and ministers, both licensed and ordained. It will not be a meeting for the general public. I need help in preparing these talks in order to make them really worth while. It is not possible for me to write to all our workers, but I am sending this letter to a few selected names, and this is what I hope you will do: Please write to me by the end of February, if possible, expressing yourself freely about Seventh-day Adventist preaching. What is good or bad about it? Is it as good as we can expect under the conditions? What improvements can be made? What changes do you think ought to be adopted? Should the preaching be changed? Should the conditions be changed? How does Seventh-day Adventist preaching stand today in your mind? Is it becoming less important or more important? Should other activities take its place? Please speak your mind freely. Your reply will be kept in strictest confidence, if you so desire. These talks are planned to be a real help to our workers, and I need your help to make them so. They m a y be printed-I am not sure yet. Make your letter just as long as you wish, and I will read and consider each one very carefully, for I expect to make imporcant use of these replies in the preparation of my talks.

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Please help me with your honest convictions, and I will be most appreciatively Your friend and fellow worker in the service of Christ, H. M. S. RICHARDS N.B. All replies marked "confidential" will be treated as such. Of these five hundred or more letters sent out, I expected twenty-five or thirty replies. Brother Gillis, manager of T h e Voice of Prophecy, thought I would not get more then ten or twelve replies, but I a m glad to tell you that I was agreeably surprised t o receive more than two hundred; and I a m sure that if I had not requested answers in so short a time as I did, if I had given them a month or so extra, I would have had that many more replies. But one of the most astounding things about this survey is that the response from the conference presidents was terrific from a census standpoint. Of the fifty o r more presidents, thirty-three answered. N o w that was a wonderful percentage considering the short time that was allowed. H a d I given the men more time, I would have had many more letters, because some of the presidents were away from home and others were occupied with other matters and could not reply at the time. T h e next point is that the presidents are right with the men in the field one hundred per cent on almost every question. All right then, according t o the testimony of the preachers, conference presidents, and laymen, what is the state of preaching among us today? This question ought t o be answered soon, and answered fully and completely. I d o not claim to be able t o d o that in tonight's talk, but it ought t o be answered soon. T h e preparation of this talk has been a great spiritual experience t o me. I think that, as of this minute, I have a

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clearer picture of what Adventist preachers are thinking about from coast to coast than any other person, because I have in my possession hundreds of these letters that have come to me in the past few weeks. It took me several days just to read them. I admit that I haven't been able in the short time I have had-and I don't know that I have the technique -to study these letters as one would to develop a thesis. I do, however, have a view of the cross section of the thinking of our men; and it has been one of the most enlightening experiences and, shall I say, one of the most encouraging experiences that I have ever had. I think 1 am greatly privileged to be a part of such a wonderful ministry. With very few exceptions, our men are men of God, earnest men, men I'm proud to know and be associated with. I have taken the signatures and letterheads off all these letters; so if anyone should find them in future ages, they will never know who wrote them. I shall refer to them only by number. In their replies over half of the pastors deplored the fact that they very seldom heard anyone else preach but themselves. They had to preach every Sabbath, sometimes several times, and never got to hear anyone else, unless it might be at camp meeting. Then it was usually union, division, or general men who did the speaking, so they have not really heard many of their fellow ministers preach. This led me to the conclusion that it would be a good thing if our pastors could hear one another preach more frequently. Is there not some way in which this could be accomplished? In some of the conferences a minister from one district goes into another district and holds a week's meetings in one of the churches, assisted by the local pastor. Then they trade around, and the local pastor of the first district

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goes into the territory of the otlier man and preaches a week. That is one wdy a inan can hear his brother prcachcr preach a little more, and it would be good if we could hear one another preach oftener. W e get away off in some district and stay there for years, and hear only ourselves until we get tired of it. This plan would help also to bring souls to Christ, give the people a change and the preacher a rest, and help each one to hear his brother preach. Another thing these pastors seem to be wistful about is that they do not often get to preach at camp meetings. It seems that if they could, it would give them something to look forward to. Some of the good sermons they have been building up during the year, and which have been blessed of God, might be given at camp meeting and bring blessing to the hearers. The people on the campground would be glad to hear their own ministers preach to the assembled multitudes. I believe it could be arranged so that our pastors could preach oftener at camp meeting in their own conferences. However, this is just a suggestion. But in their letters most of these men say, "I do not get to hear others preach often." Therefore they feel that they cannot report on Adventist preaching in general as they otherwise might. Now here is a sample letter, just the gist of it. I am quoting now, and allnost everything I say from now on will be quotes, so don't blame me! "Among the good things about our preaching," this writer says, "is that it is Bible-based, and probably on the whole our preaching is better than the average preaching of other churches about us." Now of course, we feel that way, I suppose, because we love the message so much, and we naturally look at it with a

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prejudiced eye, even as a mother sees beauty in the ugliest baby ever born. You know, someone who is related to you or of whom you think a great deal looks different to you than other people do. Two women walking through Phoenix Park in Dublin saw an old man playing with a scraggly-looking little dog. One of the women said, "Oh, look at that silly old man there, playing with that dog." The other woman took a good look and said, "0 my dear, that's the bishop of Dublin!" "Oh, isn't he sweet!" the first woman exclaimed. You see, it all depended on who the man was. And so, I suppose, we look upon our own and think that they are pretty good-maybe because they are ours. I find that perhaps four fifths of these letters take the position that Adventist preaching on the whole is as good as or better than the average preaching, if the site of the churches and the men who have charge of them are compared. They also maintain that there is probably more Bible preached by our ministers, and as long as our men stick to the great message that makes us Adventists, and to the extent that they do stick to it, the preaching is superior to that anywhere else in the world. This is quite generally the reaction from the letters I have received from our men. This particular writer says that a bad feature of our preaching is that too often our preachers and guest speakers are promotional men who do not give a Bible message. Now I am quoting him: "I believe that one of our plagues is that too many times we just give various kinds of reports to build up a certain department, and they are not tied to a spiritual message. Some men do a very spiritual job of promoting, which is good." He mentions one of our leading promoters

T H E PREACHER T A L K S B A C K
from the Pacific Press and comincnds him for giving a spiritual forin of pronlotion. Then he continues: "Wc necd to kecp the organization in the background and our message in the fore in all our promotional activities." He speaks of his conference president as a man who does this very thing, and who brings a spiritual message no matter what the promotional project may be. Knowing this president as I do, and that he was an evangelist before he was a conference president, I am sure that that field is greatly blessed in having such a leader among its preachers. The writer continues that he does not think our preaching is as good as it should be. He considers the new policy of requiring a fifth year for ministerial interns a step in the right direction, but that the work would be greatly helped if preachers would go to the Seminary for a quarter or half a year every four to seven years. That would make the training practical. Now comes something very important, and it is really a touchy subject, but it needs to be brought out to the light of day. Remember, I am quoting again: "I think that one fundamental error we make as an organization is to gauge success by giving a man a so-called departmental or executive promotion. The crying need of our organization is good, strong, pastoral, and evangelistic preaching. The trouble is that if a man is successful as a pastor or evangelist, he is often given a promotion. . . . Sometimes others are better qualified than he is for administrative jobs. Pastoring is a gift. Evangelism is a gift. Let's use people where they have a gift. . . . As a denomination let's elevate our gauge of success." That's from pastor No. 1. I thought I would give you the general outline of this letter, as many of the letters follow
17

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much the same line. Some think that \vhilc our sermons are about as good as the average, a great many of our lnen do not have an objective in their sermons. Tlicy see111 to talk all around a good idea witllout going anywhere. There should be a discernible line of thought progress in a sermon. Also, we should have more expository sermons. Now, of course, we all know that expository sermons are among the most difficult of all to preach, but why shouldn't we preach them? Some of our men do a fine job at this. A good exposition of a verse, a chapter, even a whole book of the Bible, will bring blessing to the listeners. This writer says that we need sermons to "shake us up," wake us up, out of our spiritual coma. W e must be challenged, aroused, inspired. W e need the straight testimony, not from a judge, but from one who is heartbroken over the carelessness of God's people. Now we are going on. Here's a letter that stirred my soul: "The good points of our preaching," this man says, "are that it's scripturally sound, its doctrines thoroughly proved and clear, . . . but there are weak points. The preaching is not good enough for the times we are living in. W e tell the people what to do, but in most cases do not tell them how to do it. W e often use the negative point of view. W e try to prove everything . . . too much of a debater's approach. We need to declare the gospel and be God's witnesses. We should be more positive and have more of the Holy Spirit's power. "Many sermons sound like a tape recording-notes pulled out, hastily scanned, then routinely delivered. There is not enough heart and soul stirring in our sermons, because there is so little of the true preaching of Jesus Christ. His cross is not revealed. The Saviour is not uplifted to a dying world. We point to standards of perfection. We preach condemna-

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK
tion, and say, 'Come up hither,' but our sermons do not reach the people with the hand and heart of power to lift them up to Jesus. Much of our preaching is critical of others' beliefs and so forth. . . . It has been more to warn people than to save them." Then the writer gives his personal experience: "A Church of Christ minister once challenged me to a debate. I did not accept, but did agree to a frank discussion of our beliefs one night in his church. There was to be no rebuttal, although a question period was to follow the discussion. Through the rash thinking and talking of one of our church members, I was committed to some indefinite discussion that went on every Friday night for fourteen weeks. During that time I cornered the other minister with doctrines, prophecies, and so forth. "After I had preached eight or ten nights, I went to visit in the home of one of his congregation. The man was very kind, courteous, and painfully truthful. He said, 'Brother , in all these nights you have not told us once how to be saved, and our minister does--every time he preaches.' Elder Richards, this was a blessing, though it floored me at the time. Since then I have prayed and tried to preach a saving message. "Recently I have had the privilege of conducting three Weeks of Prayer in our academy. These youth have been listening to Adventist preaching for most of their lives, but their constant question is, 'What can I do to be saved?' They have made mistakes and lost hope. They need to know how to live after conversion. This is what I mean. "We do not have enough Adventist preaching. Nothing should take its place. Our preaching needs the injection of Pentecost to make it a saving and keeping message. There

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must be more and more positive, Christ-filled, Christ-centered, Holy-Spirit-powered preaching, or we will continue to be here for another thousand years-and that may God forbid." And I agree with him one hundred per cent. Now we come to two of the most heavily documented topics in all these letters. The first is that we should have more preaching of the Seventh-day Adventist message as such. The second is that our preachers are so completely taken up with the mechanics of church organizational work that they have little time for study, meditation, and prayer; as a result their sermons cannot be lifted to a higher level under the present conditions. These are the two contentions that dominate these letters. Here is a sample statement: "It has appeared to me that there is a drift away from proclaiming our distinctive message. . . . I wonder if we are in the time of examining the foundations of the message, when the need is to get back on the platform, from which not a block or a pin is to be moved. W e have a distinctive message committed to our trust. W e must preach out, for time is very, very short." Another: "For some years I have heard the criticism that our sermons lack the old-time Adventist ring. A couple of years ago I heard a leader criticize a young preacher [not present or named] because he used the Scripture so freely, urging that he should develop a text into a sermon. I later listened to a sermon by that leader in which a dozen sentences could present all he said in the entire sermon." Another says: "Let's stay by the method of Christ and the apostles, who quoted freely from Old Testament Scripture for proof of their doctrines of faith. . . . The admonition of Paul to Timothy ( 2 Tim. 4 : 2 ) , 'Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with

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311 longsuffering and doctrine,' is timely for us. In my contact with non-Adventists, even before I was an Adventist myself, I found that about the only thing most people knew about us was that we don't eat pork, smoke, drink coffee or tea, and that we go to church on Saturday." Now that's a fact-that's what a lot of people think; and, unfortunately, it is about all some of our own people know about it. This preacher continues: "As important as these doctrines are, I hope that we can turn the tide and convince the public that we preach Christ first of all as our Redeemer and Saviour, that righteousness by faith is fundamental in our lives, that Christ is the center of our belief, and all other doctrines fit in accordingly. . . . A Christian who has been born again is more willing to obey God's command regarding His Sabbath day and to observe his duties in other lines." One man is convinced that "there has been a growing tendency toward presenting a social gospel, rather than a clear-cut presentation of the distinctive features of the Seventh-day Adventist faith. Therefore, in our church we have been studying at prayer meetings and during the Sabbath services such distinctive features of faith as the sanctuary, the three angels' messages with their related truths, the ministry of Christ in the heavenly sanctuary, and practical and doctrinal truths held more particularly by the remnant church, rather than using the modern psychological approach. It seems to me that the admonition from the Spirit of prophecy regarding the practical presentation of the message in these last days can be truly realized while making the framework of our message those sturdy, immovable pillars of faith entrusted to this people and known and approved during the days when many of our pioneers, including Sister White, were alive."

FEED MY SHEEP Letter after letter rings with this conviction-\ye do not preach our distinctive messagc enough ~t the regul'lr Snbbath morning services. They remind us t l ~ l a t generation of young people are growing up who never attended ;I protwctcd series of lectures on the doctrines of this message. W e don't have many tabernacle efforts or tent meetings any more. These young people have never heard the proofs for the doctrines, the great message, the prophetic message. About all they know is that they go to church on Saturday and don't eat certain things. That's about all they know about the distinctive Adventist message. Our youth need to hear the reasons for Seventh-day Adventist preaching, the reason for the existence of the church and of their own convictions. When will they ever get such information if not at the Sabbath morning services? Many of them live far from church and can attend a meeting only once a week, and that only on Sabbath. In the old days our young preachers received their training in evangelistic meetings. Young ministers were never put in charge of churches until they had received much experience in winning non-Adventists. One letter suggests that young ministers should go out, and not be put in charge of established churches where there are members who know far more than they do about the truth and about Christian living. They should be put in places where they must work for people who know nothing about our truth. That's how they will get experience and build themselves up in the message. Later, they may be put in charge of churches, as was done in the old days. They should be trained to preach, first of all, to non-Adventists. T o be given, first of all, churches to care for, to become the assistant to a city pastor, is the wrong training."

T H E PREACHER TALKS BACK Preacher No. 5 3 says: "I believe that our preaching would be improved if we used the so-called evangelistic sermon on the Sabbath. Many of our people do not attend the evangelistic meetings that are held. Recently a sister who is a leader in our church attended an evangelistic meeting. At the close of the service she said to me, 'This is the first evangelistic sermon I have heard on the Sabbath question in twenty-five years.' W e need to preach more of these sermons during the Sabbath worship service." Along with this almost unanimous demand that the truths and doctrines of Scripture be preached on Sabbath morning, including the second coming of Christ, life only through faith in our Redeemer, the Sabbath, the binding claims of the law of God, the writers of these letters say over and over again that we should stress the great fundamental doctrines of salvation. Writer No. 79 declares: "We have been neglecting the basic fundamentals of practical religion-that is, for example, the subjects found in Steps to Christ-the sinner's need of Christ, conversion, repentance, confession, faith, et cetera." H e and many others feel-and I may say that the speaker today feels-that there is too much attention given to the threat of destruction by atom warfare, and not enough encouragement and faith. One man told me: "If I see another handbill with the picture of an atom bomb on it, I am liable to lose my mental equilibrium. This atom-bomb scare is really getting on some people's nerves. W e are tired of thinking about atom bombs and atom destruction. 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that . . . her iniquity is pardoned,' and God has delivered her from all her sins (Isa. 40:1, 2 ) . People need comfort today."

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Not long ago, as you know, there Lvas a poll taken across the United States on the question, "What subject would you prefer to hear your preacher discuss?'' It wasn't atom bombs; it wasn't destruction of this or that variety. It wasn't the sinking of the continent and the rise of Atlantis or some hair-raising thing like that. What do you suppose it was? The subject that took first place was, "How to get answers to prayer." The second was, "How to live happily in home relationships; how to meet the problems of home life." Writer No. 123 reminds us that "many of our people have come into the truth through evangelistic campaigns in which the emphasis is laid on the outstanding doctrines of our message. They have become convinced of the binding obligation of the moral law, and have been convinced by the prophecies of the times in which we are living in the history of the world, but we find a great change when the effort closes. Then the pastor of the church must preach the socalled practical truths of the Bible, such as justification by faith, growing in grace, how to deal with doubt, the covenants, and so forth. Of course, all these subjects should have been dealt with in the evangelistic campaign. "How can one come to the people with the mighty doctrines of this message unless each one is saturated with the grace of God in Christ? Why get a man to keep a different day? What difference does it make whether he kccps Sabbath or Sunday if he is not a converted, born-again Christian? These are great questions for us all." This writer declares: "When the tabernacle was taken down after the evangelistic effort, I found that I had quite a job in more thoroughly instructing the new members. From Sabbath to Sabbath I preached on those subjects that I have referred to above."

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The earnest men who have written these letters do not agree in all details-far from it. But they do agree in the broad, main lines of gospel work, especially that, as No. 67 said: "There is too much fantastic theory preaching, undermining the established faith, confusing our people. At times the members call for the ring of the old Adventist message. I am constantly called upon by church leaders and laymen to preach an old-time Adventist sermon. They complain that they don't hear one very often." Let me remind all who are here today that we are not discussing the organization of the church or the content of our doctrinal message. W e are talking on Adventist preaching. But Adventist preaching, being the foundation of all these other things, naturally brings them to mind. Primarily we are talking about the regular Sabbath preaching. Preacher No. 61 says: "Too many of our Seventh-day Adventist ministers are satisfied with superficial preaching. W e need more real Bible students who, under the leadership of the Holy Spirit, will bring to their congregations powerful messages from the old Book. As one sister said to a new preacher who spoke on 'The Ontological Arguments for the Proof of the Existence of God': 'Son, we don't need all that theology, philosophy, and psychology; we need some peopleology. Talk about something we know. Help us to live.' " This writer strikes the nail right on the head when he says: "Adventist preaching doesn't need to be changed, but the preacher needs to be changed, for he is the preaching. W e should devote more time to personal Bible study. Then it will not be true of us, as someone said about a preacher, 'He spoke of great things, and made them small; of holy things, and made them common; of God, and made Him of no account.' "

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There is much, much more in these lettcrs on this subject of a definite Adventist preaching in Adventist churches to Adventist people. No. 67 declares: "We are a people of prophecy. God has called us to give a message to the world, and our people need to hear those doctrines preached from Sabbath to Sabbath. One of these days some of those people may be called upon to stand before judges, and the keenest minds in the world may be standing there to accuse them and to tear down their faith. They need to be prepared to meet their accusers and to answer their sophistries. The eternal life of the judge, and perhaps of the jury, may be at stake in that trial. I believe that God will hold us preachers responsible for the success or failure of that trial. They may have to answer for their faith without the help of any of our ministers. Now is the time for us to indoctrinate our believers." I quote further from this letter: "But every one of our doctrinal sermons should be Christcentered. I think our young men should learn from the very beginning of their ministry to preach Christ and the way of salvation in every discourse. W e should remember that there may be someone in our audience who may never have another chance to hear how to be saved. If we knew that this was someone's last chance, that his hope of eternal life was depending on our sermon, what would we preach about? "Our young preachers should have their feet planted firmly on the truth and should not be easily led away from that position. It was on the subject of the sanctuary that one of our ministers who went to England as a missionary lost his bearings and came back to the United States to preach against our truth. Our preachers must be thoroughly indoctrinated themselves, and they must see to it that every convert is indoctrinated and then kept that way by hearing

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these important truths preached from the pulpit every Sabbath. If Christ is made the central theme of every discourse, there will be no need for the same sermons to be repeated in any one church." Then the writer goes on to express his fear that there is danger in the attitude of some in questioning various doctrines and making light of certain books that have been considered sound doctrinal books for many years. "It does seem that no man can preach with authority if he has too many questions in his mind. If he is a walking question mark he won't have much effect on others." I might say personally that while I do not hold any of our books on prophecy as divinely inspired word for word, I do believe that in their great lines of approach and general application, time has proved our views to be true. When I held tabernacle or tent meetings, I used to read several of these books through from cover to cover during each campaign, especially Daniel and the Regelation, and I believe that every one of our young ministers would do well to do the same. Anyone who can preach all the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation without notes, just using the prophet; itself, is well on the way to becoming a strong preacher of the message for this hour. Why shouldn't we be able to take the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation, without note or comment, and preach strong sermons on all the prophecies they contain? I believe that we should prepare to do this. Preach those prophecies with all your heart and soul. There might be some little disagreement here and there on some points, but there will not be in the great outlines unless you are clear off your base. I tell you, people will respond to the preaching of these prophecies and God will witness to it. Now I am not reading these letters and demanding that

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you agree with all these writers, nor with me. There are some things in some of the letters that I may not fully agree with myself, but it certainly does seem that if we arc going to be Seventh-day Adventist preachers we ought to preach the Seventh-day Adventist way. Surely every thoughtful person would expect us to do so. Don't you think that's right? If we don't believe the Adventist message, let's get out and make room for somebody who does. If we have advanced so far that we don't keep step with the rest, let's be men-let's say so, and quit. W e could go on reading from these letters, but we are just going to give some particular high lights. The next point, which is reiterated again and again in these letters, is preaching the Word-not our own views or the ideas of somebody else, but the Word of God. No. 111 says: "Unquestionably the marvel of the fact that Scripture could be interpreted through itself and the principle of 'precept upon precept; line upon line . . . ; here a little, and there a little,' was the most thrilling revelation of my life, and still is today. As I remember the time when I first learned the truths of the third angel's message, and since that time, it has not occurred to me to think of it as peculiar Seventh-day Adventist preaching, though in fact that is generally true. But rather I have always considered it a proclamation of the Bible truths that have been lost to many generations, together with the light of prophetic present truth for our day and age. The neglect of pure Scripture interpretation, text explaining text, to show the wonderful harmony of Scripture, is the cause of religious weakness at any time. "Modern Protestant Christianity is waning because of mistaken textual criticism and theologians' attempts to ob-

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tain what they call a true reading of certain texts. In their discussions about correct translations they have produced serious doubts regarding the divine inspiration of Scripture. I am not trying to be an obscurist, as some might say, but I feel that there is a mistake in emphasis which is proving detrimental to religious health. While there is no infallible human guide as to the interpretation of our miraculously preserved Scriptures, the foundation on which the Reformers took their stand was that 'the entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple' (Ps. 119: 130) ." This writer then follows with what to me is a very wonderful statement: "Our Seventh-day Adventist faith should be a faith according to knowledge. The broader the field of personal knowledge, the clearer the vision of the application of the third angel's message, particularly in relation to the forces combining against the truth in our times." The writer of this letter sums it up in the follo\i,ing five points: " ( 1) an intelligent awareness of the times in which we are living; ( 2 ) the authentic evidence of the Holy Spirit; ( 3 ) the question of falling church standards; ( 4 ) spiritual lessons from the life of Christ; ( 5 ) therapeutic value of meditative Bible reading for personal mental hygiene." No. 149 says he is painfully aware that many ministers do not know the Word as they ought to, and consequently present studies in which the burden of proof is shaky or almost nonexistent. "As a whole," he says, "their evangelistic sermons given on the Sabbath follow three or four basic patterns-either Shuler or Vandeman, or some of the others." Well, from what I have heard, some preachers might do well to follow these men of wide experience. This writer thinks that sermons of visiting speakers some-

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times inject disrupting thoughts into a well-planned year of spiritual food. I am glad that Brother John Osborn is going to give us some suggestions on a planned year, because I am speaking of it here and in tomorrow's talk t o e t h e suggestion of a planned year of Bible preaching. Another point which has large emphasis in these letters is that we are living in an age of Bible ignorance. A hundred years ago practically every Christian family read the Bible and had family urorship. But now how many Seventh-day Adventist homes in your church have family worship every day? Only a minority-and you know it. How many American people in general read the Word of God daily? Not many. Therefore, an actual knowledge of the Bible story is almost nonexistent. W e are talking now to an age of spiritual Biblical illiterates. But our men seem to forget that, and they talk as though everyone knew what Abraham did, what Moses did. In preaching the Word we must explain the simplest things. W e must briefly explain almost every Bible story, or many will not know what we are talking about. One minister, in Letter No. 170, says that he was once speaking about the law of Moses, and a woman came to him afterward and asked, "Who was Moses?" Now that's an extreme case, but she didn't know. You had better explain who Moses was, before you talk about the law of Moses. W e need to show people how to be saved, how to believe in Jesus, and how we prove every doctrine we hold. "Not long ago," says this earnest minister, "I was visiting at the bedside of a dying woman. She struggled to say something, and the nurse said to her, 'Tell the minister what you want.' In a lour whisper she said, 'I want Jesus.' " Friends, will we be able to give these people what they need and want, unless ure ourselves have Christ dwelling in

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our hearts? This m'ln thinks that the greatest need is in his ox n ministry. This writer attended Billy Grnhanl's meetings at McGill University, up in Montreal. He said this great evangelist made his studies very simple. Sometimes a meeting lasted only forty-five minutes, and was followed by an aftermeeting of fifteen minutes. W e might summarize his letter as follows: ( 1 ) Make your preaching more simple. ( 2 ) Tell the people how to be saved. ( 3 ) Make it simple and plain. ( 4 ) Dispense with nonessentials. The people are not coming for prizes or entertainment. W e want to save their time and save their souls. According to the letters sent from these men all over the country, it must be true that the world is rapidly becoming just as pagan, as far as any scriptural knowledge is concerned, as it was in the days of the apostle Paul. W e need to learn more and more how to preach to an essentially pagan world. "Now, real Seventh-day Adventist preaching is good," says No. 122. "It is the food that the starved souls of the world need, and the real Seventh-day Adventist sermon is a balanced meal. A year's program of Seventh-day Adventist preaching should then make a balanced spiritual diet." He feels tliat others may have the same trouble; that the churches are suffering from malnutrition at times. He believes that we should have a year's schedule in which all the great truths of the message would be preached every year-all the holy truths of our Christian faith, with the special points of the Advent message. He suggests that the General Conference Ministerial Department supply suggestive lists of topics to give a minister some guidance so that the whole message of the Bible could be given to the churches in one or two years' time.

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This writer does not believe that we need to change the good old Seventh-day Adventist preaching any more than we need to rewrite the Bible, but that we ought to study the Bible more and preach the message more faithfully. He writes: "After my father bought a new Bible a short time ago, I noticed that his old Bible that he had used in his ministry for a number of years was on an out-of-the-way shelf; so, with his permission, I took it for possibly sentimental reasons. Attached to the flyleaf was this clipping from the Revietu, written by E. H. Sockwell: " 'In the preparation of my sermons I have come to ask myself the following questions: Why have I selected the subject that I have in mind? Is this discourse likely to meet the spiritual needs of the listeners who may be present? It is possible that someone may be present who is about to turn away from the Saviour. Will this sermon warm the heart of such a person and help change his mind? Will my sermon be likely to win back any who may be present who are being carried away by the vanities and follies of the world? Am I preparing to say something that God can use in winning any lost one who may be present? Am I preparing to say something that may be a comfort to the sorrowing ones? Is it my earnest desire to relieve and cheer any who may feel themselves deserted of God?' " If we put these questions to ourselves, would it not help us to choose better subjects and preach better sermons? It is my belief that it would, and I am glad that my friend put these challenging questions in his letter. Now, what is a Seventh-day Adventist sermon? Let someone answer who is not only a strong preacher but a very able writer, for he gives a really classical picture of it. I opened his letter, which was personal to me, since he and I almost

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grew up together, and I found these words: "An Adventist sermon is a message built upon the Bible, all the Bible; a message that radiates scriptural truth; that scintillates with Bible gems. It is a message t h ~ proclaims t salv,~tionthrough the blood of our blessed Redeemer. It is a message that points out sin by exalting God's law. It is a message that emphasizes over and over again the soon coming of our Lord. It is a message of hope that brings joy and peace into a troubled heart. It is a message that leads men to cry out, 'What must I do to be saved?' (Acts 16:30). Said the disciples, 'Did not our heart burn within us, . . . while he opened to us the scriptures?' (Luke 24: 3 2 ) . Once in a while our hearts burn within us as we listen to the preaching of the Word, but not often. "Some men, even our leaders, read their sermons-and even their prayers. How can there be power in such preaching? Many times we leave the house of God distressed and discouraged. W e don't need the psychological approach. W e don't need Norman Vincent Peale or Harry Emerson Fosdick in feeble imitation. W e don't want a self-improvement course from the pulpit. W e don't need speculative sermons. W e don't appreciate scolding in the name of the 'straight testimony.' W e can easily detect shallowness or insincerity. W e shun fanaticism, as well as formalism. W e don't like sermonets, the sermon crowded out by much singing or fund raising or campaigns. W e want the old-fashioned gospel message in all its fullness." And we say, "Amen and amen!" "Such sermons," says this writer, "do not come by resolution. The minister himself must be aflame if his message causes the hearts of the people to burn within them. Some of the best sermons we have ever heard have been given by men with faltering tongues. Their burning zeal, their com-

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plete consecration, their dedication to the task, have made up for their lack of speaking ability. The sermon is a reflection of the life. "That which we meditate upon, that which we hear and read, becomes part of us and is reflected in our sermons. The fact is, great sermons were not built in a day or a week or a year. They are a fruition of a life's work. The man who goes about doing good, the man who prays by the bedside of the sick and in the homes of the discouraged, the man who searches deep for the gems of truth in the Word, the man who has no time to delve into the many books that would flood our modern market, but only to read the works of great men, men who believe the Bible; the man who loves people and talks to the people in the church as though he were talking to only one individual; the man who forgets himself and sees only Jesus; the man of the Book-this man will preach great sermons, Adventist sermons! W e have such men. These are the soul winners. Their churches flourish, and their people follow them in the way of loving service. Would that we had more such men! God grant that all of us may see ourselves as the people see us, as God sees us." My young friends, I believe that's the truth. Every word of it! Now I have here a letter that tells of the personal experience of a man who was a member of a large church in a great city. His pastor was a college professor with a long string of degrees after his name, and his preceding pastor was one of the greatest scholars that Protestantism has had. This man and his family-he was a young man at the timesuddenly heard the startling message in the little Adventist tent. "It was different; the sermons were Bible centered," he said, "they exalted the Word of God in its fullness. I

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became a Seventh-day Adventist. Then it was my privilege to attend our camp meetings and thrill to the preaching of such men as Everson, G. B. Thompson, Daniells, Russell, Underwood, Salisbury, Spicer. There were giants in those days." And you who have heard them will say Amen to that, too. Then this good man tells us that he views with apprehension the decided change in the manner of preaching in recent years. "Many of our sermons," he says, "especially by some young ministers, sound very much like the sermons I used to hear in the Church. I was reared on formal sermons, ritual, anthems, and a little bit of Bible. How refreshing were the gospel songs, the gospel preaching, and the simplicity of service in the Adventist Church. These days, our sermons and our singing and our service are so much like what I used to hear. The only difference is that the ones I used to hear were better. . . . Some of our churches have gone so far in their imitation of others that they have a divided pulpit and the cross. If our ministers would only wear robes and our people observe Easter, Good Friday, and Lent, the transition would be complete. "Many of our people are starving for spiritual food. They leave the place of prayer unsatisfied. People in other churches are also hungry for Bible-centered preaching. Several years ago one of our ministers, a brilliant speaker, had become so modernistic in his preaching that he decided to connect with another denomination and join its ministry. A large city church was without a pastor, and u7as trying out various men. One of our workers happened to attend this church one Sunday, and noticed in the previous week's bulletin that this former Adventist had been the speaker. His subject was, 'Crooked Nails.' As our worker left the church he said to

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one of the deacons: 'I notice that you had Mr. So-and-so speak to you last week. How did you like him?' Said the deacon: 'We are looking for a man who preaches the Bible. W e weren't interested in his type of sermon.' " And, my friends, I would like to put in my comment right here before I read another paragraph from this very strong letter, and it is this: Only Adventist preaching will make us Adventists, and only Adventist preaching will keep us Adventists. Let us agree with our friends in other churches in everything we can, but let us proclaim the points of our special message with earnestness and go forward in faith, and God will be with us. Let me read a little more from this letter before m7e go on: "We hear much these days of Christ-centered preaching, and we believe in such preaching. However, the expression is frequently misinterpreted to mean antidoctrinal, or the absence of doctrinal preaching. John Wesley was a Methodist, but no Adventist ever preached stronger sermons on the Ten Commandments than he did. He uplifted Christ while exalting the law. The Lord Jesus Christ is found in all the Scriptures. They are a revelation of Him. T o preach Christ and portray Christ as the Bible pictures Him is the only Christ-centered preaching that is worthy of the name. In other words, a Christ-centered message is a Bible-centered message. Why do we not have more Bible-centered messages in our Sabbath morning sermons? So many great themes await our study and presentation-the gospel in Genesis and in other books of the Old Testament, the fascinating lines of prophecies pointing forward to the Messiah, the kingdom message of our Lord, the prophecies concerning Israel and their recorded fulfillment in the book of Acts and other New Testament books, and the message of salvation that went out

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to the ends of the earth. All thc false theologies of our day have a false teaching in regard to the kingdom." All righl; so much for this m,m, and he is one whom you greatly honor intellectually as well as spiritually. Well, friends, it has been a real experience to read these letters, and one I shall never forget. Almost every letter urges Seventh-day Adventist preachers to preach the Word, to be Bible preachers, to use much of the Bible, to immerse themselves in the Holy Scriptures. I have young men come to me and say: "Oh, if I could only find some more sermons. Where can I get some more sermons?" They go and buy a whole batch of Bonnell's sermons or something like that. I say, "Woe unto them!" Now, here is what one young minister says, and I know it is true, because I know the man, I know his preaching. "I have no trouble finding Bible subjects. I have a whole week in which to visit, to think and to pray and to read the Word of God, and then when Sabbath comes I am just full, and have several sermons but the opportunity to preach only one. Any man who immerses himself in Scripture, who lives with the Bible and with the people, will have lots of sermons, plenty of sermons, plenty of Bible sermons, sermons to meet the needs of the people right where they are." Now one third of these letters that I have received from our ministers speak about the misuse of the Spirit of prophecy in our public preaching; and the Spirit of prophecy is too valuable to misuse. T o save time I am not going to read quotations from individual letters, but rather lump them together on this subject of the use of the Spirit of prophecy in public preaching. One preacher writes: "In meetings where critics may abound, the speaker could very well make his point directly

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from the Bible, thus saving himself, and sonlewhat the det Spirit of prophecy nomination, from the nccusation t l ~ the comes before the Bible. I I<no~l of one instance when the speaker on Sabbath morning read the sermon entirely from the Spirit of prophecy, with no personal comment or Bible reference except as it was included in the quotation of the Spirit of prophecy. And this u7as before a congregation of seven hundred people." The wonderful Spirit of prophecy is made a crutch on which the lazy preacher can lean. He has been very busy this week-very busy, yes, but not busy studying the Word of God-so on Friday night or Sabbath morning he runs into his little library, picks up the various Spirit of prophecy books, looks through them, puts in a few slips of paper here and there-you know how it is, we have all done it-and gives the people a sermon, which is probably a text or two and then a long list of these quotations from the Spirit of prophecy. But that's no sermon. That is not preaching the Word. It is one of the most efficient ways in the world to cause the people to lose interest and to kill their respect for the Spirit of prophecy. It was never meant for any such purpose. The way to prepare for preaching, according to Sister White herself, is to study the Word of God from all its angles, study it prayerfully, faithfully, exhaustively, joyfully, and then read what is said in the Spirit of prophecy on the subject. Then the minister can go to the people and preach to them from the Bible with the power of the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven. That is preaching. A woman complained to a certain pastor about his always reading long passages from the Spirit of prophecy, with little comment. This minister who tells of this says:

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"Now I find nothing wrong with quotations from the Spirit of prophecy, and there may be times when the message could properly be lifted from it, but surely we ought to take time to copy it out and present it with feeling and fervor. There are always people in our congregations, unless in an exceedingly small one, who are not Seventh-day Adventists. Our enemies have already accused us of having two Bibles, of being like the Mormons, the Christian Scientists, the Theosophists, and others. 'You have a woman prophet whose works are exalted above the Bible,' they accuse us; and we deserve that kind of accusation when we do such things. It's wrong; it's contrary to the welfare of the church and to our good name-just that alone ought to keep us from doing it. "We don't believe in having two Bibles; we don't have two Bibles. The Spirit of prophecy was given to lead people to the Bible, and not away from it. I believe that God has spoken through both men and women with the gift of prophecy, but we as a denomination do not put the Spirit of prophecy above the Bible. If individuals do it they are doing it without any authority as Seventh-day Adventist preachers, and contrary to the teaching of the body as a whole." Over and over again these men of God write that we need to feed the flock. One writer says that soon after he was converted he attended one of our denominational schools for nine months. He went to church faithfully every Sabbath, and listened to a battery of reports and promotions. "I can remember only two sermons that really moved my soul," he says. "During that time the pastor spoke only once, and he had become so dried up from listening to departmental reports that his sermon on heaven was as low in humidity as the valley of dry bones and as emotionless as the multiplica-

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tion table." That's pretty strong, isn't it? But evidently the truth. Another kind of sermon that causes spiritual lack is a sermon by comparison. As one writer says: "It is illustrated by a sermon on the signs of the times I heard by one of our men who is now a home missionary secretary. Reading 2 Timothy 3:l-5, he spoke of how bad the world was and how utterly lacking in spiritual power were the other Protestant churches. Never once did he mention the danger of our own people fulfilling this prophecy. Our preaching is not to send people home with the feeling, 'God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are.' M e need not be compared with other men, for we are tempted to do that all too often during the week. As a church, we need to behold Jesus-God's willingness to forgive and Christ's power to save." Then, the third sort of sermon that reveals our spiritual lack is a sermon by definition. M e hear a lot of these today. For instance, a sermon about righteousness by faith. Surely we should hear much on this subject, for there is no other source of power for readying us for translation. In fact, there is no other righteousness but righteousness by faith. It is the only kind we can ever have. But much of our preaching of righteousness by faith is nothing more than an attempt to explain and define. One writer speaks of the effective work of Elder Minchin in the Week of Prayer at a certain institution, where he presented practical godliness without mentioning righteousness by faith as such, but he preached it and demonstrated it with mighty power. And then, in a certain place where instruction was being given, the speaker, in a very critical tone, told how Seventh-

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day Adventists had preached the law until it was as dry as the hills of Gilboa, a fact that in many cases we know to be true. He emphasized that we need to preach righteousness by faith, yet in at least two presentations heard there, it was entirely loveless, joyless, and lifeless. Righteousness by faith is not something to be explained merely, but something to be experienced. It is not merely a definition by a demonstration. N o one can really teach it as a theory. It must be taught as a reality, it must be received from God. The Spirit must testify and witness with our spirit that we are the children of God. What is our need, then, according to this man? Our need is to know Jesus better. He says: "I am not a great scholar or organizer. I am the weakest of the weak. But I have tasted enough of the genuine to want nothing but the real article. I know that every glimpse of Jesus I have caught has helped those with whom I shared it. I know that we need all the help we can get to organize and beautify our sermons, but our greatest need is to present messages freshened from our contact with Heaven. W e need the power of the higher, purer, and nobler life to lead our people to Pentecost. As preachers our need is to pray right, study right, live right, and love right; and then we shall preach right." Really, friends, I think that is a wonderful letter. It brought a message to my heart. Now comes the prevailing cry of almost every letter, not only from the pastors but from the conference presidents. It seems to be a universal recognition of a universal evil. First of all, I want to tell you that as I read these letters nobody is accused. M e can't accuse anybody. W e are all in this thing together. W e are in a system. M e are in a rut, and we are afraid to get out of it lest we will break an axle. M e are in a roadbed that is down between two banks. How are we

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ever going to get out of it? There are some good suggestions here from some good men, suggestions which, I believe, will help us to get out of the rut in the right way. Some of these letters are strongly worded, but they are all in love-every one of them. W e begin now with pastor No. 29: "It appears to me that our two great weaknesses are the result of too little time in the study and too little time in actual soul winning. The best window for my Sabbath morning sermon is the relating of some experience I have had in helping some struggling soul. One personal experience is worth a dozen from a book." If you are out among the people you will have these experiences, and that will make your Sabbath sermons more interesting. Notice, he speaks here of "too little time in the study and too little time in actual soul winning." That is the great cry that is going up everywhere-"no time for preaching the gospel, no time for study." Why do these workers say they have too little time? The mighty behemoth of busyness is swallowing us all up. There it is in plain English. Now, here is another letter, No. 94: "While I was pastor of the church at , I sat down one day to do some thinking about the Sabbath sermon schedule. I was amazed to find out how few openings I really had during the year for general preaching. Assuming that we would follow the program outlined by the conference, it worked out something like this: 4 communions, 1 religious liberty, 1 MV rally, 1 Sabbath school rally, 1 temperance, 1 medical, 6 holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, Father's Day, Mother's Day), 2 MV Weeks of Prayer, 4 Ingathering, 2 camp meeting, 2 vacation. Only twenty-five Sabbaths would be left for the remainder of the year. W e easily have an

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:I\,eragc of twelve visiting ministers a year \i.ho cannot be ignored. +I'llat \vould lcave thirtce~lSabb,~thsin all thc ycar to fccd the Ilock." But letter after letter indicates that many of our ministers have from three to six churches to take care of. So, divide these thirteen Sabbaths by six and see how they come out. How would you like to be in their boots? "I am crowded by so much local conference and union promotional work that to follow it and enjoy it I would have to be a slave, a robot, or an automaton. On the one hand, I desire to excel in preaching, evangelistic visiting, and soul winning; but on the other hand, I would like to follow the well-thought-out suggestions of my departmental brethren. If I did all their letters seem to expect of me, my life would be one round of board meetings and council meetings. You see, I have three churches, so multiply each of these by three: one for Sabbath school, one for Pathlinders, one for young people, Home and School, prayer meeting, Dorcas Welfare, MV social, church-building committee, local ministerial meetings, civil defense, Red Cross first-aid instructors' course, school surplus buyer's meeting, etc., ad infinitum. Then there are special programs and rallies to support, starting with A for alumni, B for baby dedications and building work, C for colporteur rallies, D for Dorcas Federation and disaster relief, etc., on through the alphabet to Z for zealous meetings without knowledge. I have been hooked into some of these. They say, 'Since you have nothing else to do, why, come along.' It is a wonderful opportunity to grow gray graciously. "On top of all this goes general repair and upkeepplumber, electrician, painter, mimeograph operator, architect -until the would-be preacher is Jack-of-all-trades and master of none.

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"In one way, all this activity makes me feel good. It seems as if I am really something, even if only one of the many little cogs in a big wheel. However, it grows into a noisy, tinny sort of monster, a 'sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal,' instead of the powerful, living, and holy body of Christ, as it should be." That's about the classic! Strong words, aren't they? But that isn't the end. Listen: "You asked about Adventist preaching. Of course, that is what we still need-real Adventist preaching; simple, earnest, prophetic, evangelistic sermons. The churches where I have been have reached their goals, even though I promote only Christ and Him crucified. You ask, 'Should other activities take the place of preaching?' Brother, what do you mean? That has happened too much already. Of course, some are teachers, some pastors, some governmental administrators; but the apostle and evangelist still has a burden to preach to a dying world. And, whether anyone else wants to hear him or not, the dying, bleeding sheep still long for his messages. Where is Jethro? Where is someone with a plan to relieve the situation?" So he is waiting for Jethro! Where is Jethro to show Moses how to do it? You will remember that Jethro had him appoint one man in ten. Maybe we will have to do something like that. Now on to the next letter. "Unfortunately," this man says, "I must give you a pessimistic report. In my humble opinion the preaching of this denomination is pathetic. I don't believe, however, that it is entirely the preacher's fault. It is more the fault of the system. The preaching part of the minister's work is almost wholly de-ernchdsized. [There is a word to remember.] W e are constantly urged to be better

T H E P R E A C H E R TALKS B A C K
businessmen, goal raisers, and financiers. Too much of the preacher's time is spent on committees and collecting money, until his study time and sermon preparation are largely neglected. Time and time again we find that the important pulpits in the conferences are filled with ministers strong in promotion and finance." Now another man says: "I have personally been in the ministry for eleven years under four conference presidents, and only once has a conference president ever heard me preach, and I believe that's about the average all around the circle. But when it comes to financial reports, our presidents want one every month out of the year. As numerous preachers have told me, that is why they don't get enthusiastic about preaching. They recognize that under our present deemphasis of preaching, it has become one of the least important jobs of the preacher's program." Now that was written by an Adventist preacher. "I am sorry to be critical about this matter," he continues, "but you asked me to be truthful about it. Our people are getting tired of our poor preaching. W e have a faithful people who are paying the freight and getting almost nothing in return. That, to my mind, is the biggest reason that the work of God lags today-our people are not being stirred by mighty preaching. In my opinion, every minister ought to be first and foremost a mighty, Spirit-filled preacher of the gospel." That's right from the preacher's mouth, isn't it? This preacher talked back! From North America I received two hundred answers to the letter that I sent out, which I believe gives a fair sampling of the opinions of our preachers. Every letter has this emphasis-every one. Maybe the three hundred who didn't reply don't agree with these at all. But when thirty-three

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conference presidents are almost unanimous with the men in the field, I think it is a fair picture of the way our ministers feel. It means something. "I fear the work will never be finished," says No. 47, "until our human attempts and machinery are utterly frustrated. At present we are so closely knit by human direction that little room is left for actual direction by God. I believe there is much truth in the statement that our preaching is as good as can be expected under present conditions. I believe our preaching will be all right, and our efforts blessed, if we can find more time to do that which we have been ordained to do. "Departmentalism is taking over in our work, and has in a sense handicapped our work by giving the impression that the office and the officers are the all-important thing. W e must not forget that the church and the church members are all important. It is our duty to help each member of the body to keep in contact with Heaven. A spiritual revival is the only thing that will do this." Well, that is refreshing! I like to see men talk out and say what they think. This is what they say when they are together, but they don't often say these things in our big public meetings. That is why I am saying them here. The men in the field wrote these letters, and I became their voice. Here's a letter from No. 22: "The pastors and district men that I know personally and intimately are busy about many things, myself included. There are so many sides and facets to our work that we are pushed to become Jack-of-alltrades and master of none. I do not know the answer to the problem, and if I thought I knew, I would be uneasy about bringing it to the attention of my brethren. All the ramifications of our complex program seem to be called for and

THE PREACHER TA1,KS BACK


necessary. W e find ourselves rushing here and there, with little time for our calling, the preaching of the Word in the spirit and power that moves the hearts of our people. Few of us have, or take, time for more than a few short minutes a day in the deep devotional study that we know is required for soul-stirring messages at the pulpit hour. I believe that personal soul winning is a basic part of a man's calling. I recognize the calling, but perhaps a statement from The Story of Redetnetion, pages 260, 261, will make my point best. Listen to these wonderful words from the Spirit of prophecy: " 'Those who are chosen of God to be leaders in the cause of God, having the general oversight of the spiritual interest of the church, should be relieved, as far as possible, from cares and perplexities of a temporal nature. Those whom God has called to minister in word and doctrine should have time for meditation, prayer, and study of the Scriptures. [Notice that -"time for meditation, prayer, and study of the Scriptures.") Their clear spiritual discernment is dimmed by entering into the lesser details of business and dealing with the various temperaments of those who meet together in church capacity.' "My friends, if these words of the Spirit of prophecy are true, why do we not obey them? Why cannot we learn from the apostolic church, in which those who were leading out in the work, those who were preaching the Word, those who ministered in word and doctrine, appointed businessmen to do the business, and said, 'We will give ourselves . . . to prayer, and to the ministry of the word' (Acts 6 : 4 ) ? Then the Word went forward, the message succeeded, and the church grew by leaps and bounds. "We should have a new order of workers in our cause,

~
I

I I

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an order of deacons-men who are full-time employees paid by the conference just as our preachers are-like the deacons in the early church who sometimes preached, it is true, and did personal work, but whose big burden was caring for the business of the church. Let these men look after the business, take care of all the paraphernalia, keep the wheels oiled and running, the pressures up, and the temperature where it should be, and let the preachers preach. Oh, what a day that would be! "There seems to be too much promotion from the pulpit on Sabbath, when the people should be fed. In the past four months, at times when we were trying in the most spiritual manner possible to conduct some phase of a campaign, three different persons-not Seventh-day Adventists-walked out of our Sabbath morning service. One non-Seventh-day Adventist lady said as she passed out of the church at another time, 'I understand quite well that this type of work must be done, but I was very much disappointed that I could not have listened to a good sermon.' Of course I know that some promotion must be done on the Sabbath when the people are all together, and that Christ can be made the ccnter of our promotion. But there is so much to be done as these campaigns and special programs are passed on to us that we sometimes wonder where a man can draw the line. "Activities, of course, are important, to keep our people at their task of preparing others and themselves for the kingdom, but they surely cannot take the place of preaching. Activities, when good, are to my mind those which bear upon practical godlines and simple soul winning." Then he suggests something that may be the answer for some men. He quotes Enoch's experience from Patriarchs a d Prophets, pages 86 and 87:

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In the midst of a life of active labor, EnocI~steadfastly maintained his communion with God. The greater and more pressing his labors, the more constant and earnest were his prayers. Hc continued to exclude himself, at certain periods, from all society. After remaining for a time among the people, laboring to benefit them by instruction and example, he would withdraw, to spend a season in solitude, hungering and thirsting for that divine knowledge which God alone can impart. "I humbly suggest," this minister continues, "that our ministers try Enoch's 'certain periods.' I have tried this spasmodically in recent months, but now plan to set a certain day in each month for exclusion from all society." My comment is, Is one day a month enough? I don't believe it is. Really, it ought to be a day a week, or at least half a day a week alone with God, the Bible, and one's own soul. I know one of our men, a very busy evangelist, who takes every Tuesday afternoon and goes clear away, where no telephone can reach him. Here is one of our very successful pastors (No. 7 3 ) who says that he accepted the truth when he was eighteen years of age, and he was very anxious to get his father into the faith also. With great begging and pleading, he got his father to g o to church with him just twice, and both times there was a big fund-raising ruckus going on-never a sermon. And the father said: "All those fellows in your church want is your money. Don't take me there again." And he never could get him to go again. He died outside the faith. That minister should have presented his program in some way with a message from God in it to reach sinners. "The thing that makes our preaching bad," says No. 53, "is that we do not take time to prepare our sermons in the manner that we should. I believe that this bad habit starts in the early years of our ministry. Instead of taking time to plan

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and work out a good study program, we busy ourselves in carrying the iiumerous promotional campaigns, for they are the things that show up in black aiid lvhite. "Another weakness in our preaching is the demand made upon us of promoting too many programs, when instead we should be preaching the Word of God. N o matter how well a promotional sermon is prepared, it still has an adverse effect on non-Adventists who attend, as well as on our own members who come to hear the Word." Number 67 says: "Recently, while holding a revival, with new prospects there on their first Sabbath, I sat trembling for them as thirty minutes was spent persuading the members to go out caroling, and deciding who would go and when and in what car. Naturally, I shortened my sermon to close on time. A long-drawn-out appeal for money in the Sabbath service is a poor preparation for the sermon. Visitors who run into these things certainly are not attracted to the church." Another writer says: "We are loaded down with campaigns, drives, and departmental material-all worthy, with prepared material for special days by one who has no idea of the needs of the members. So the shepherd of the flock is left to feed his sheep piecemeal on a starvation diet. I hope the day will come when the local pastor can devote his time to those under his care-to feed them, build them up spiritually, and prepare a people to meet their God. Pressure is oftentimes put on us to reach the Ingathering Minute Man goal during the winter months while in the midst of an evangelistic series, when time and energy should be devoted to soul winning. This might seem irrelevant to Adventist preaching, but anything that touches the preacher influences his preaching." And so it goes, letter after letter, preacher after preacher,

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK
witness after witness. And, much to my surprise, almost the same proportion of conference presidents and executives wrote about this matter in the same way. Number 34 says: "Make the Sabbath preaching less campaign-centered and more Christ-centered. Activities must not be substituted for consecration. Much more personal preparation of the sermon is needed. Too many hurried, ill-prepared sermons are given. Spiritual power in preaching can come only as the pastor spends more time in personal study, prayer, and meditation for his Sabbath sermon." Three presidents suggested that a greater effort might be made than is being made by some men in gearing every program into a soul-winning program. The Signs campaign, for example, becomes a follow-up for interested names, or an evangelistic agency to find new interests. Ingathering becomes a soul-finding as well as a money-getting campaign. Thus preaching can be geared to different programs. Some men are doing something along this line, but all admit that we need a change. "My burden," says one of the presidents, "is for the little preacher, the man who must shepherd three or four or five smaller churches; or, if he is favored as is our pastor, for example, in this city, he still must care for at least one smaller group. These men are unable to visit their flocks more than twice a month, and sometimes less. During that one hour they must promote all the campaigns and care for many business items. Thus much of their preaching is colored by this approach. There is not too much Spirit-filled preaching when it must close with an appeal to give for a new furnace or to subscribe to some good paper. This burden rests heavily on our men. They feel the pressure. Some years ago I had our workers fill out a questionnaire on preaching,

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and this was their great concern. They desired less pressure on campaigns and more attention to soulsaving and preaching." One president suggests that some of our men, especially when they have only one large church, make every second Sabbath strictly evangelistic. All promotion is cut out for that day. Of course, this cannot be done where one has more than one church. President No. 40 says: "Oh, how much our dear people need the good solid preaching of the Bible each Sabbath, and how they yearn for it! Some of our ministers resort to philosophy, by-passing the startling messages of John the Baptist, Elijah, Matthew 24, and Revelation 14. Are we preaching the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation with the same degree of zeal and intensity, or have we become silenced on these things by the artful questionings and prophetic application of some Bible teacher?" Another president, No. 50, says he knows a conference where all the workers spend at least three months out of each year in the Ingathering campaign. Surely, with all these requirements, a man does not have the time for deep study which will enable him to step into the pulpit on Sabbath morning with his mind focused on the message to be delivered. Says this president: "We do not have the time for study and meditation which ministers of other denominations have." So we see that the presidents, on the whole, agree with the pastors. One of our men goes so far as to say that if he is wrong, if the preaching of the Word directly to the people every Sabbath is not God's plan for feeding the sheep, to strengthen them, and finish God's work on the earth, he wants to know it. "If our present plan of emphasizing pro-

THE PREACHER TALKS BACK


motional activities, institutional activities, above preaching is the plan, if by this more indirect method the work is to be finished, why do we not recognize it and change the instruction in our colleges and train our young men to be promoters and to do the work they will be required to do?" After all, is this not a pretty good suggestion? If they are going to have to go out and do that, they certainly ought to be trained for it, which they are not today to any extent. They are prepared to preach and hold Bible studies, then they go out into the field and find something entirely different expected of them. So as the preachers talk back, they say: "In order to preach we must pray and study and visit the people. There is where we get our sermons. W e cannot come to the pulpit worn out and tired and weary, with much running and doing and worrying for every waking hour of the week, and still feed the people. The sheep look up and are not fed." Whether we believe it or not, whether we like it or not, that's what these letters say. Page after page, hour after hour, I have read them, and I have sympathized with the writers. My heart has gone out to them as in mind and imagination I have raced back and forth over their districts with them, visiting the sick, fixing the furnace, straightening out the trouble in the church school, raising some more money, putting out some more papers, getting people to go caroling night after night, going from door to door in Ingathering, taking up special offerings and preaching sermons to promote Signs of the Times, These Times, Temperance, Ingathering, Faith for Today, The Voice of Prophecy, and various other worthy causes, Sabbath after Sabbath. This is what they say! I have seen young men up till midnight night after night. I have seen the tears run down their cheeks, I have

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prayed with them, and tried to keep tllem from getting discouraged, and going into some other l ~ n eof work. These young men are very close to me. Thcse young men need encouragement. They need to believe that preaching is the greatest thing in the world. Now, what can we do about it? These men suggest that the thing to do is for each man to realize that he is responsible to God, first of all. You have to begin to try to fit in the right kind of program in spite of your unfriendly environment. You must do your best where you are-in a situation that is difficult, with possible misunderstandings. You must try gradually to fit into a program in which you can serve the Lord more fully, spiritualizing some of these things and preaching more Bible, until more and more of us do the right thing about it. W e are all in it together, and we are all to blame for it because we stay in it. The blame is not to be placed on any one man-we are all in it. I hope you young students for the ministry will look squarely at this one fact and face it: That whatever happens, and whatever burdens come upon you, you will not be efficient preachers, good preachers, satisfactory preachers in the eyes of the Lord unless you study your Bible, unless you read the Spirit of prophecy, and have time to read some other books; but especially to pray and to visit in the homes of the people, and seeing their needs, find your sermons in the realities of life and the conditions of the world-and then proclaim the Word of God. The presidents agree with these other men, almost in parallel lines, on the need of Bible preaching, the preaching of the old message. As one man says: "If this movement runs off after modern preaching and modern thinking, we are finished, and God will have to raise up somebody to do

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK
the work of the remnant church. There seems to be a trend toward psychological preaching and the Norman Vincent Peale approach. W e talk about evangelism being outmoded. There are those who preach flowery sermons with very little reading of the Bible, without perhaps more than one text. "Sometimes people tell us we are living in a new day and should recognize that a change has taken place in the world. In my own thinking, I am thrilled and excited as I think of the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and the predictions of the Spirit of prophecy in my lifetime. When I was a boy in school it was difficult for me to believe that things would come upon us as predicted in the Bible and the Spirit of prophecy, but I have lived to see much more than the preachers of my boyhood ever dared to predict. I believe that if we are to do anything, we should move quickly. The foundation principles of the message were never so solid and secure as today." I received some of my best letters from overseas, and in all cases they are from men high up in administrative work. I quote from one of these: "The greatest single improvement that we as Adventist preachers can make is to preach more of the Bible rather than our own philosophy and stories. I believe in illustrations and am a firm believer in making serlnons interesting, but a non-Christian public speaker can run circles around us as far as making interesting speeches is concerned. Our weapon and our power is preaching the Word of God." My friends, to this I say, "Amen, and amen again!" This wri~er continues: "If Seventh-day Adventist preaching is becoming less important today than it was yesterday, it is because we have left the main road of Bible preaching and have wandered off

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into the weeds and \voods of human philosophy and human interest. As I look back upon my own experience I am positively ashamed of some of the so-called sermons I have given the people. My earnest desire is, by God's grace, to preach more of His marvelous Word and become better acquainted with it constantly." This man says: "We have left the main road of Bible preaching and have wandered off into the weeds and woods of human philosophy and human interest." I think we should begin to move back, don't you? And here is something that interests me very much because I had a good talk with this man before he went overseas: "You will be interested to know," he writes, "that after , I immediately secured the 16-rpm our little talk in Bible records and have a speaker setup in my home that is unique. There is a speaker in the bathroom, in the bedroom, and in the living room. During my shaving time alone, in six months I have listened to the whole New Testament twice, and most of the Old Testament once. I am trying constantly to fill my mind with the Word of God." I would say this man is a growing man. He is bound to be a stronger preacher because he is filling his heart and mind with the holy Word of God. One of our leaders in India says: "It seems to be easy for us all to find time for everything else except preaching. Why is this? Should other activities take its place? Certainly not! Should the preaching be changed? No, the preaching does not need to be changed. Only the preacher needs to be changed, and that inwardly and not outwardly." And I believe he is right. One president says that he feels burdened when he discovers that over the heart of many an earnest worker has

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settled a spirit of futility. "Some of our older brethren are becoming cynical and disheartened," he says. "All the time we have before us the warning of the Master, 'For many shall say to me in that day, Have we not done so-and-so and soand-so?' In spite of all their activity the Master will be compelled to state, 'I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity' (Matt. 7 : 2 3 ) . W e must lead our people to trust in God instead of so many other things." A very fine preacher sends these words from South Africa: "I believe that on the average the preaching among Seventh-day Adventists today has deteriorated as compared with the standard of preaching a few years ago. . . . There were in those days 'giants in the land.'" This man speaks of his travels in the United States and says that some sermons he heard consisted mostly of quotations strung together, and revealed very little original thought. He hopes that we will challenge ourselves to get back to the Biblical, Christ-centered, strongly evangelical preaching, which will have a note of authority that seems so sadly lacking these days. One of our leaders in Europe, who is a real preacher, says that "the occupation of various official positions during the past number of years has distracted his attention from the all-absorbing subject of preaching." This clear thinker says that we need a dedicated preaching ministry as we have never needed it before, that there is now a continual tendency and trend to divert a man from these purposes and objectives. For instance: "With an increasing emphasis upon the need to reach certain goals and an increasing number of church campaigns, with the tendency for conference administrators to place the final responsibility upon the minister of the church, there is a constant temptation for him to divert his preaching to what, after all, are the lesser objectives.

FEED M Y SHEEP The supreme purpose of the Sabbath morning preaching hour is surely to bring the congregation to a greater awareness of God and their responsibility to Him and His will for them." He then reminds us that the apostle Paul said that to us has been given the ministry of reconciliation ( 2 Cor. 5:19). "My point here," he says, "is that a minister cannot afford to be diverted from that Heaven-appointed mission in his preaching, and if he is a specialist in prophetic interpretation, or in what might be called promotional preaching, his specialization should be bent or molded toward his purpose of reconciliation." That is the real work of the ministry, to bring men back to God, whether in preaching prophecy or promoting, or whatever we are doing. The writer continues: "As to whether the conditions should be changed in some respects, the answer undoubtedly would be Yes, but to some extent the preacher himself must change them. After all, his final responsibility is to God, and the true minister holds his allegiance to his own conscience and his duty toward God, who has called him." And then this writer, a very dear friend of mine and an earnest servant of God, an active administrator himself as well as preacher, says, "A man need not necessarily be controlled by conditions." He gives examples of three men, not Adventists, who were not controlled by conditions: G. Campbell Morgan, Dinsdale T. Young, and Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones of England. He referred especially to the latter man, who came into the ministry in a time of cynicism, modernism, and doubt, and when hardly anyone attended church; yet his hall was always full of eager listeners, mostly young people. He continued to teach the fundamental meanings of the Word of God. Dr. Jones was a medical man, ministering to a small provincial congregation in South Wales, but by the

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK p o ~ ~ of e r his pre'iching in '1 country renowned for its powerful preachers, he made such .in i ~ i ~ p t~h~~che tt became one of the most influenti'11 mcn in tlic country. Later he \\!as c'tlled to be an associdte of G. C,~mpbellMorg'ln in London and, strange as it may seem, he even overslladowed liis senior minister, who at that time was fast declining in years. The writer concludes with these comments: "One cannot but feel that with such a message committed to us as ministers, something of its powcr should be felt and seen in our preaching. One sometimes wonders whether our overemphasis upon organization and ability does not cripple our evaluation of the preaching gift. "Finally, I feel that the Sabbath morning preaching hour should be held sacred to the act of worship, and if extraneous matters, such as pron~otionalneeds and announcements of various sorts, are to be given to the church, they should be kept apart from the preaching hour, and the minister should be left free under the guidance of the Holy Spirit to exercise his gift untrammeled by these other things. It seems to me that only in this way can preaching fulfill its rightful office." I will not go further with these letters now. There are many more than I have read which are just as important and urgent as the ones already used. Many of these writers speak about the need of fire in our sermons, that men must know that they are called of God and be better prepared educationally than ever before. The writers say that we are not holding the interest of our people any better than we used to-in fact, not so well in many places. Many fear the danger of leaning too much on gadgets instead of the living Word of God-films, slides, black light, charts, all of which have their places and are useful. But some preachers seem to fall under their weight and never become first-rate men be-

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cause they have depended too much upon these things. They believe that our preachers should preach rather than promote, that hundreds of congregations suffer from malnutrition, that many of our traveling preachers really give travelogues instead of sermons, telling about their airplane trips, and how many times they have crossed the equator or flown over the North Pole. Our president preachers urge us to proclaim God's love for the sinner, to tell men that without Christ the sinner is hopelessly lost, that he needs a Saviour, to tell them of God's love and plan for the sinner and for lost humanity everywhere, that God's plan and purpose for the redeemed is sure and certain, that our message is always up to date when we present Jesus, the help of lost men, for sin is always as modern as the age in which it appears-and so is the gospel which meets it. They tell us that Seventh-day Adventist preaching is always good, as long as it is Seventh-day Adventist preaching, and preaches the Bible and Jesus Christ, the only Saviour of men. They remind us that the hard core of our preaching should be the three angels' messages of Revelation 14, for they contain the reason for our existence as a denomination, that we should know what is theologically implied and involved in the third angel's message, and if we do not, we should permit the brethren at the Seminary to adjust our theological bifocals. They tell us that Adventist preaching is always bad when it is watered down, tinged and inspired by the neoorthodoxy of our day. By "neoorthodoxy" they mean the teaching that the solution of this world's ills will be achieved within history, and that human nature can be salvaged and bettered by sound thinking, good advice, education, and proper environment, apart from the Biblical require-

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK
ments of repentance, confession, regeneration, and sanctification. Some believe that we are overstaffed with departmental secretaries, administrators, officials; and understaffed when it comes to preachers, strong preachers; that we have the message, but are desperately in need of men who can present it in convincing clarity. "This sounds farfetched," says an important official in our denomination, "but talk to conference and union administrators, and you will find that it is so. Another pathetic thing is to see our strong young men endeavoring to emulate the contemporary Protestant pulpiteers whose ministry degenerates into a father-confessor ideal. It almost borders on the ludicrous to watch young men not yet fully acquainted with the facts of life endeavoring to counsel others concerning something they know nothing about, when they should be perfecting the preaching ministry." Lest someone interpret this as a low blow to the counseling aspect of the Christian ministry, let me add that there will always be a need for Christian counseling, but that phase of Christian ministry should be carried on largely by men of tried and proved experience. Old men for counsel, young men for war. That's the Biblical idea. In our colleges, Seminary, and conferences, let us strive to develop pulpit giants, consecrated and godly men, men who will preach the truth. In conclusion, our churches will overlook almost any technical shortcoming of a minister, but they will not overlook poor preaching. "Lord, give us able ministers of the Word" is their plea. W e are reminded that "when we stop sharpening the sword of the Spirit by preaching less and less, and by promot-

FEED M Y SHEEP
ing more and more, wc are neglecting that which will save others' souls as well as our own. 'Woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!' " And so the preachers talk back! And the conference presidents sustain them in it. I have here in my possession hundreds of pages from these earnest men of God. They say the people want plenty of Bible-they are hungry for it. They don't like to be scolded. They don't want always long lists of quotations from the Spirit of prophecy or anything else. They want Bible preaching in harmony with the Spirit of prophecy. They want to hear men who know they have been called by the Holy Spirit and who give their time to the real work. There can be no substitute for the words that come from God. To my mind, all these letters are worth considering and would make a book that would be worth reading. It might cause some of us to shake our heads. W e might grumble as we read parts of it. W e might even resent parts of it, and some parts of it we know would contain a partial picture of the truth. But on the whole it would be a true picture. It would make us think, and I believe it would make us pray. Just reading these letters has made me pray and look into my own life and my own ministry. Reading these letters has made me feel very humble. I wish I could speak for these men. I wish I could really be a voice to say what these men wish to say, and what burns in their hearts. I am proud of the men who have written these letters. They are men of God. Every one of then1 is a faithful man, standing by the stuff, doing all he can in thc system we have. He is faithful. He loves his fellow men. Every day that passes I am more and more proud to belong to the Seventh-day Adventist ministry, which with few ex-

T H E PREACHER T A L K S B A C K
ceptions is composed of sacrificial, consecrated, earnest, godly men. What an army of workcrs they are! W e m a y . lay . down all the rules and lans of pre'lching t11'1t lie can imagine, and we can secure the very fincst technicdl education possible in this world; we can arrange to have conditions perfect from the human standpoint; but if there is that "one thing" lacking, if we are not truly converted, born again, Spirit-filled, witnessing Christians, our ministry will never be a true ministry. Listen to these questions, which come like a piercing sword, through the gift of the Spirit: Has your character been transformed? Has darkness been exchanged for light, the love of sin for the love of purity and holiness? Have you been converted, who are engaged in teaching the truth to others? Has there been in you a thorough, radical change? Have you woven Christ into your character? You need not be in uncertainty in this matter. Has the Sun of Righteousness risen and been shining in your soul? If so, you know it; and if you do not know whether you are converted or not, never preach another discourse from the pulpit until you do. [Sister White speaks of a "know-so" religion.) How can you lead souls to the fountain of life of which you have not drunk yourself? Are you a sham, or are you really a son of God? Are you serving God, or are you serving idols? Are you transformed by the Spirit of God, or are you yet dead in your trespasses and sins? To be sons of God means more than many dream of, because they have not been converted. Men are weighed in the balance and found wanting when they are living in the practice of any known sin. It is the privilege of every son of God to be a true Christian moment by moment; then he has all heaven enlisted on his side. He has Christ abiding in his heart by faith.-Testimonies to Ministers, pp. 440, 441. There it is. There, my friends, is the challenge to every preacher, every student of theology, every intern, every man who sets his face toward Jerusalem. Have you been converted, you who are teaching the people? There need not be

FEED M Y SHEEP
an uncertainty in the matter. My friend, you may have a "know-so" religion. Then all these probleins we have mentioned will never hold a man back who is God's true servant. He takes his stand to follow the Lord Jesus Christ wherever he goes, and to obey Him and the great commission. Does the Spirit witness with your spirit that you are a son of God? If you do not know whether you are converted, don't preach another sermon until you do. That's my real message to you. Dozens and dozens of quotations are lying here before me-page after page of wonderful material. But this is enough. If we are not converted, we can't do anything about it no matter how much time we have, or what system we are under. But we can give our hearts to Christ. It seems to me our prayer ought to be: "Here and now, 0 Lord, send a revival, and let it begin with me-a revival that will give me the strength to face hardships. Give me the grace, the bravery, the courage, the wisdom, the kindness, the sweetness, the love, the consecration, the vision-all the gifts I need-to preach the gospel with power and understanding. Send a revival that will give me a new life in Christ, that I will have a story to tell, a witness to proclaim, that I can say: 'I know that Jesus saves a sinner, because He saved me. I know that He gives power over sin, because He gives me power over it. I know that He breaks the power of canceled sin and sets the prisoner free, because He did it for me. I know He can break any habit that the Christian brings to Him. He did it for me."' That's the kind of prayer and preaching we need. If we could only have a revival break out here today, it could change our lives so that we would preach successfully, even under adverse conditions. It would set fire burning in

T H E PREACHER T A L K S BACK
our churches, in our own hearts, in the whole denomination, so that everything would be changed as it ought to be. And that's the only way it ever will be accomplished-by a fire beginning in the hearts of men. First in our hearts, then outwardly. If we could have a revival like that, it would mean more than all the lectures, all the information we could possibly get. When my father went to a special class that was held for preachers in Battle Creek one winter, the teachers were Elders Jones, Waggoner, Uriah Smith, W . W . Prescott, and Sister White. The only textbook they had was the Bible. They had a class in Romans and another in Galatians. Father said that they would start along in Romans and take two or three verses one day, or perhaps one verse, or only half a verse. Sometimes the Spirit of God would come down in that class and a revival would break out, right in the class, and they wouldn't leave when the bell rang. They would stay all morning, sometimes all afternoon. Students would break down and find Christ as they studied the Word, and they would get up and confess their sins. That's the kind of Bible study we need today. That's the kind of act from heaven that will break the log jam and let the river flow-the study of the W o r d like that for ourselves, until the Spirit comes in and speaks through Romans. Then we will feel that warmth in our hearts. Don't let anyone ever tell you that there is nothing to it. When someone asks, "Have you been converted? Are you a saved man?" if he uses the word "saved in the popular sense, meaning "justified," "redeemed," you can say, "Yes," from the bottom of your heart; "I'm a child of God." Remember, the human heart is a city. John Bunyan spoke of it as the city of Mansoul with Eyegate, Eargate, Feelgate, et

FEED M Y SHEEP
cetera. God speaks to us in many ways-through what we see, what we hear, what we think about; through the intellect, through the emotions. God speaks to people in different ways according to their character and their environment. And when God speaks to us, let us be sure we hear and respond as did Samuel of old, "Speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth" (1 Sam. 3 : 9 ) . Let us answer as did the prophet Isaiah, "Here am I; send me" (Isa. 6 : 8 ) . If I have been a half preacher when I ought to have been a whole preacher, may God forgive me, and may I have a revival in my own heart. "Change my life, 0 Lord, and those who hear me," is my prayer, in Christ's name.

LECTURE

NO.

Reading to Preach
"He shall read all the days of his life."Deuteronomy 17:19.

...

his son Henry Ward Beecher, for the story is told of both, was once asked, "How long did it take you to prepare for that sermon this morning?" The answer was, "Forty years." Any sermon is properly made only as the life from which it came is enriched. Some men prepare their sermons; others prepare themselves. Preparation for the sermon is a man's life. The preparation for preaching-intellectually, physically, and spiritually-is the preparation of the man himself. Study and meditation, with earnest prayer, constitute a great part of one's preparation for preaching. No man can really preach unless he has something to say. He must have a message, and that message must come from God. God's revelation to the world has been made, not only through nature and directly to the heart of man but also in a written form. Since written testimony is more effective than mere oral testimony, God has put His testimony to the truth in written form, which we call the Holy Scripture-in short, the Bible. Therefore, to know God's will for the world, and to be able to proclaim His will to men, it is necessary for

T THE close of a powerful message, Lyman Beecher, or

307

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us to be intimately acquainted with this testimony. As n ~ u c h as in us lies, we are to understand it and make it a part of our very lives. In the days of Israel God commanded every king to make himself a copy of the law of the Lord. Just how much of the Holy Scripture that included, I am not saying, but it is called "the law of the Lord." This copy was to be written out in his own hand, in order that he might be strongly impressed with its truth. Now here is the record in Deuteronomy 17 : 19, 20: "And it shall be with him, and he shall read therein all the days of his life: that he may learn to fear the Lord his God, to keep all the words of this law and these statutes, to do them: that his heart be not lifted up above his brethren, and that he turn not aside from the commandment, to the right hand, or to the left: to the end that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he, and his children, in the midst of Israel." Now notice the reasons for making this copy with his own hand and reading in it every day as long as he lived. The record says, "It shall be with himn-he kept his own copy with him wherever he went. He wasn't to forget where it was, to lay it aside on some obscure shelf to be covered with dust and forgotten, but he was to keep it with him. Notice, the reasons for this daily reading are sevenfold: ( 1) "that he may learn to fear the Lord his God"; ( 2 ) that he may "keep all the words of this law"; ( 3 ) that he may "do them"; ( 4 ) "that his heart be not lifted up above his brethrenn-that is, that he may realize his humanity and his need for help; ( 5 ) that he may not turn aside from the commandments of God-that is, become an apostate and fall away from the truth, "to the right hand, or to the left" (he was to stay in the middle of the road); ( 6 ) that he might prolong the days of his kingdom, and his reign might be as

READING T O PREACH
long as God was willing for it to be; and ( 7 ) that his children also might prolong their days-in other words, that the dynasty might be continued. So it was important that the king read the law of the Lord, that he read it continually, that he have the book with him, and that it should be his own personal copy. Now, if this was necessary for a king of Israel, how much more important must it be for the Christian minister who ministers to the eternal destiny of men and who looks out over his congregation and realizes that their spiritual prosperity is largely in his hands. How important must it be for him to have a copy of the law of the Lord, of the entire revelation of Holy Scripture. Like the king, he must have it by him, that it may be with him, to be his copy, and "he shall read therein all the days of his life." And yet, as we mentioned last night, how many men there are among us who have never yet read the entire Bible. Can you imagine it? It doesn't seem possible, but it certainly is, as I personally know, that there are ministers among us-and not a fewwho have never read the entire Scripture through from Genesis to Revelation. Personally I do not believe that any man ought to be ordained who has not read the Bible through from beginning to end, nor should a young man be licensed to preach who has not read it through at least once. I think that ought to be one of the questions to men who are going to be ordained. The reading of the Scripture in its entirety should be just as much a part of our preparation in the theological school as is the study of particular portions of it. One reason so many young men have very unclear views of Bible teaching in any one part of the Scripture is that they do not recognize and understand the references to other parts. How can anyone understand the gospel as it is revealed in the New Testament

PEED AlY S H E E P
unless he knows about its bloodstained foundations in the books of Moses and the prophets, and in the sanctuary and the temple service of ancient Israel? I am pleading not merely for o?ze reading of the Bible but that it be read over and over. I believe that a minister today, like the king of old, should have the Scriptures always with him; that he should "read therein all the days of his life." The other day, while changing planes in Cleveland, I saw a Catholic priest sitting reading his breviary, with all the hubbub around him-people coming and going, and shouting. Yet he was oblivious to it all. A Catholic priest is supposed to read the office of the priest every day, and every good priest does. Should a Seventh-day Adventist minister do less in reference to the Holy Word, which he looks upon as the source of all his messages, and as the very Word of God from heaven? Should we not read therein every day of our life? Some men read fast, others slowly; probably all of us should read both fast and slowly, not only to enjoy the Word but to understand the Word. It is well from time to time to get an airplane view of the Scripture. When one flies across the United States, he sees the country from a different perspective. From high in the air it looks like a mighty map spread out before one-the rivers, the mountains, the forests, the cities. W e get a general view of the country which we could never get in traveling over it, or living in just one spot on it. So I believe that we should get an airplane view of the Bible from time to time. Once or twice a year we should read it through from beginning to end-I mean read it through rather rapidly, in order to get the sense of magnitude, of unity, of power, and also to revive in our minds the great story of redemption, which begins in Genesis and comes to glory in Revelation.

READING T O PREACH
Some years ago I read of the experience of a certain Methodist minister who on January first of every year laid aside all other reading and read only the Bible until he had finished it, beginning with Genesis and going through to Revelation. He laid aside his church paper. He looked at no newspaper. He read absolutely nothing besides the Bible. By reading about an hour and a half every day he could read the entire Scripture in a month. He said that this gave a tremendous lift to his spirit and was a great blessing in his preaching. He was so full of Bible that he could go right through the year on the strength of that inspiration. Of course, after January 31 he read some of the Scripture every day. Like the king of old, he read it "all the days of his life," but he gave himself this massive injection of Bible once every year. I have not always done this, but I have at times, and it is a tremendous experience. Why not try it? Several have told me of their own experience in doing so. W h o can say that reading the Scripture through once a year in this way is too much? Certainly the minister should keep ahead of his people in reading the Bible. Some diseases need massive doses of vitamins or other medicines, and the diseases of secularism and carelessness and the smog of worldliness always enwrap us. Therefore, from time to time we need these big doses of Bible. Try it sometime and see if it doesn't bring you a great blessing, and that you get a new idea of the Word of God. And here is another suggestion: Find the joy of reading one Bible book at one sitting. Get an easy chair somewhere and sit down and read the book of Matthew through, without getting up. Its twenty-eight chapters can be read in about an hour or an hour and a half. It will do something to you when you see the life of Jesus and His work and teachings, and

I
I

FEED MY S H E E P
receive it as a one-capsule message from God. One who reads the book of Matthew, or any of the four Gospels, at one sitting, gets an entirely new idea of Jesus and His work. It makes an impression never to be forgotten, and new sermons are sure to be born of it. Learn to read rapidly. It can be done. You say, "I read slowly." Well then, learn to read rapidly. There are helpful books obtainable that will show you how to read rapidly, or you can take an evening course in some university or school. All of us can be taught to read more rapidly and more efficiently. The fact is, the more rapidly you read, if you read properly, the more you will get out of it. The human mind thinks far faster than we read. In fact, one thing that causes our minds to wander is that we read too slowly. The mind is electronic in its speed, and we say the words and i~lumble along-that's no way to read. T o say the words is a very inefficient way to read. Learn to read without saying the words. Read whole lines at a time with the eye, rather than with the mouth. Now there is a time to read aloud, and I will speak of that a little later. But all of us could accomplish so much more if we could read twice as fast. W e could read twice as much in a lifetime-and remember more, too, if we learn to read properly and rapidly. I wish I had two good eyes to read with, as most of you do. I have only one, so I have to read more slowly; but you fellows who have two eyes-how rich you are! So, let us read the Scriptures in ways that we have never read them before, and we shall be sure to get new visions of them as God speaks to us through His Word, sometimes in ways that will surprise us. There are wonders in its pages that have never been explored. 312

READING TO PREACH
Now, don't laugh at this, but have you ever read one book of the Bible backward? or the whole Bible itself backward? What I mean is, starting with the last verse of Revelation, read that, then the next to the last verse, and so on right up through the chapter. Then read the next chapter the same way. "Well," you say, "what sense is there in that?" Lots of sense, especially to one who is very familiar with the Scripture. The first thing we know, we get so that we can read whole chapters without thinking about it. The mind wanders to other things while the wonderful words slip before the eye and we hardly think of them at all, or the great message that they carry. Because we know the flow of the verses, we know what comes next. Starting to read John 3: 16, "For God so loved the world," we can go right on and say the words while thinking about something else. But when we start reading backward we don't know what's coming next, and each verse has to stand on its own. The texts, thus taken out of the flow of their setting, speak to us as they never have before. I'm telling you right now, you will wake up to hundreds and even thousands of verses you never knew were in the Bible when you read it that way. I know, because I have often tried it. I shall never forget how, in a time of great distress and sickness, I began to read the last chapter of 2 Thessalonians in this way. I had read the last verse, and the next to the last verse, then came to the third verse from the end. Listen to it: "Now the Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means. The Lord be with you all." These words came to me in a new way. "The Lord of peacem-what a wonderful name and how glad I was that He was the Lord of peace! I was in great distress, but my Lord is a Lord of peace. "The Lord of peace himself give you peace," and that's what I needed at that 3 13

FEED MY SHEEP time-comfort, peace, encouragement. "The Lord of peace himself give you peace alwaysJ'-right now, in this time of distress, when I can hardly get my breath; right now, when it seems that I may not be here in this world long. "Always," Lord? Is that the word? Yes, there it is-always. "The Lord of peace himself give you peace always by all means." Think of it: Peace comes to us not only by the beautiful days and the happy friends and the things that encourage us, but by distress, yes, even by despair-by all means. Believe me, preacher-friend, there's a great text there for someone. I'd like to hear a mighty sermon on that text someday, preached by someone who has suffered, someone who knows trouble, someone who has looked into the face of the shadow feared of man. Yes, our Lord of peace Himself-not an angel-give you peace always, by all means. May that be a prophecy as well as a promise to each one of us. So try reading one of the shorter books of the Bible backward sometime. You will find some verses to preach from, I can assure you. Now here is another suggestion: Read the Bible in various ways. Read it from beginning to end. Take it in massive doses. And then there should be a day-by-day study of the Word. Read it by books, study it by subjects, study it by sections, by texts, by words. A constant, faithful, earnest, honest, laborious study of the Word of God will be very rewarding. by the way, you In Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress-and should read that book often-Christian is pictured with "the best of Books in his hand." And certainly the gospel minister ought to be convinced and assured in his inmost soul that the Bible is the best of books. It is best because of whence it comes -it is God's Book. If he is not convinced of this, the Book will do nothing for him and he will do nothing with it, and

READING TO PREACH he should not be a Christian minister. It is the best of books because of whom it reveals. It reveals Christ. He is the begining and the end, "Alpha and Omega," the sum and substance of Holy Scripture. His face looks out upon us from the very first chapter of Genesis, and we see the glory of His diadem in the last chapter of Revelation. Apart from Jesus, the Bible is no different from any other book. The supreme value of the Holy Scriptures comes because "they . . . testify of me," as Jesus said in John 5:39. If the preacher can't see Christ in the Bible and preach Christ from the Bible-from all of it-and make Christ the sum and the substance of his message, then he has nothing to do with Christ, or the Bible, or Christian ministry. The Bible is the best Book because of what it does to us. It changes the life, it brings salvation, it brings redemption, it shows the way to God. It brings us pardon for the past, power for the present, glory for the future-and all with a peace that passes all human explanation right here and now. A preacher must be able to stand before the people, and holding the Book in his hand and in his heart, say: "To you is the word of this salvation sent" (Acts 13:26). The apostles themselves gave themselves to "the ministry of the word" (Acts 6:4). They "went every where preaching the word" (Acts 8 : 4 ) . Their preaching was to make the Gentiles obedient by the Word (Rom. 15: 1 8 ) . It was the word of faith which they preached (Ronl. 10:18). They went, and we should go, "holding forth the word of life" (Phil. 2: 1 6 ) . If we are not able to do this, if we cannot accept the Bible wholeheartedly, we shall never be strong Christian preachers, and we ought not to call ourselves preachers at all. All the giants of the pulpit in Bible times, and from the early church down to John Wesley especially, relied heavily

FEED fMY SHEEP


on Scripture for their authority. The early Adventist preachers were Bible preachers, and this movement was started by men who believed the Scripture and who understood it. Many of them read and studied little else than their Bibles. Billy Graham tells us of his own experience when, in 1949, he came to Los Angeles to hold a series of meetings in a big tent-his first great meeting. He thought he saw contradictions in the Scripture. He had what he called a restricted concept of God, and couldn't reconcile some things he read in the Word of God. As a result he lost the authoritative note in his preaching which is characteristic of all great preachers. In his article published in The Ministry (April, 1957, pp. 4-7) he describes the intellectual battle that was taking place in his mind at that time. In August of that year he went up to Forest Home, a refuge in the mountains of California. There he tramped up and down the trails and through the woods, wrestling with his doubts. Here are his words: "Finally, in desperation, I surrendered my will to the living God revealed in Scripture. I knelt before the open Bible and said: 'Lord, many things in this Book I do not understand. But Thou hast said, "The just shall live by faith." All I have received from Thee, I have taken by faith. Here and now, by faith, I accept the Bible as Thy word. I take it all, I take it without reservations. Where there are things I cannot understand, I will reserve judgment until I receive more light. If this pleases Thee, give me authority as I proclaim Thy word, and through that authority convict me of sin and turn sinners to the Saviour.' " In his preaching he stopped trying to prove that the Bible was true. He settled it in his own mind that it was true. He found himself saying over and over again, "The Bible says, the Bible says, the Bible says." You know that's the way

R E A D I N G TO PREACH
Billy Graham preaches-"The Bible says." And he holds the Bible in his hand, which is the old Scot preacher's customand a mighty good Adventist preacher's custom. Let the people see the Book in your hand, let them hear you say, "The Bible says." Billy Graham's great success began right there. The power of God broke through and he preached with authority. I know, because I heard him. He preached more Bible in one sermon than I have heard many an Adventist preach. It sounded like the old-time Adventist preacher-"The Bible says," and he quoted it. There were hardly any illustrations, except Bible illustrations-"The Bible says." He used the Word of God as a mighty sword, the "twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow" (Heb. 4: 1 2 ) . Back in the old days, when they fought with swords, you know, the sword had to be sharp to go in and just take a man's joints apart. And so, friends, why can't we get back to that kind of preaching? See what it has done for Billy Graham. He doesn't have all the truth that we have, but he has authority in his preaching, the authority of the Word in these main points that he talks on. "Hear ye . . . the word of the Lord," that's what the prophets of old said. God says it; I believe it; that settles it. Later on Graham went to London. It was the same preaching of the Word there that changed everything. The Intelligence Digest, which is printed in London-and which, by the way, is a very fine source of information on world affairs-reported at the close of his meeting at the Harringay Arena that his preaching had astounded the religious leaders of that country. Shortly before he came, a number of them had said: "Billy Graham will not have success here. He is eighty

FEED MY SHEEP years behind the times in his theology. He still thinks the Bible is inspired. He will not do anything here. People today must have the latest views in Biblical criticism, and a philosophical, scientific attitude must be prominent." Well, we all know what happened in those great meetings. The Intelligence Dige.rt went on to report that what Billy Graham preached was just what the people wanted to hear, and what they needed, and what their hearts were hungry for. What did he preach? He preached a plain, simple Bible message. According to that publication it was this: "There is a God. God has a kingdom. That kingdom has a law. That law is the Ten Commandments. Violation of that law is sin. The wages of sin is death. All have sinned; therefore all are subject to the death penalty. But is there no hope? Yes, glorious hope, because 'God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have ever!asting life'-all because Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures." This is Billy Graham's message, and it stirred England, to the surprise of the critical theologians. In the article referred to, the author speaks of a brilliant young Communist, a student at the Royal Academy of Drama and the Arts, a successful actress, who had joined the Young Communist League because the Communists seemed to answer the problems of life. Out of curiosity she and some of her fellow students went to those meetings in Harringay Arena to see the show. Later she testified how startled she was to hear not a lecture on sociology, politics, psychology, or philosophy but the simple story of the cross. That fascinated her and her friends. They came back night after night until the Word of God did its work. Their hearts were broken and they surrendered their lives to Jesus.

READING TO PREACH The great evangelist reminds us that this is not bibliolatry, not worship of the Bible, but \vorship of the God of the Bible, and of the truth revealed in the Bible. It is Biblecentered preaching, which is Christ-centered preaching, a gospel presentation, which says without apology, "The Bible says," "Thus saith the Lord." And after all, isn't that the way Jesus preached? His preaching was so unlike the explanations of Scripture given by the scribes and Pharisees that His teaching arrested the attention of the people. The rabbis dwelt on human tradition, on theories, on speculations. They proclaimed what others said about the Scriptures-"Rabbi So-and-so said that Rabbi So-and-so said that Rabbi So-and-so said so-and-sow-theories and speculations based on the rabbis, the men with the great reputations. Talk about the tradition of the elders-they had it back there, and we have it today! It isn't "What does the Bible say?" but "Who says it? Wtiere did he get his degree?" Jesus preached the Scripture itself. He met all the great questions that trouble the human mind with "It is written," "What saith the Scripture?" "How readest thou?" "At every opportunity, when an interest was awakened by either friend or foe, He presented the Word. With clearness and power He proclaimed the gospel message. His words shed a flood of light on the teachings of patriarchs and prophets, and the Scriptures came to men as a new revelation. Never before had His hearers perceived in the Word of God such depth of meaning."-Go.rpel Worker.r, p. 44. Do we know better than He how preaching should be done? If we are to preach a Christ-centered message, based on Scripture, yes, from Scripture, in the Scripture, and by the Scripture, we will have to know the Scripture; we will have to read the Scripture. It is our definite duty to read the Bible

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regularly, daily. W e must set alone with God and with His Word every day. I am not talking about what you read in family worship, but the rending you do alone. So the Bible becomes of supreme and living importance to every minister of God. All the graces, all the blessings, all the light, all the power of our preaching, will be mediated through the channel of divine revelation. W e must receive strength from the Bible directly and not merely through the writings of others. Thousands and thousands, tens of thousands, of books have been written about the Bible. Why not go to the same source from which these writers found their truths? Go to the great mine of heavenly treasure. Men have been digging in it for thousands of years, yet its riches are undiminished. Why should we ourselves not go to the very source of God's truth? Some have found it useful to keep o w Bible wholly for devotional purposes, and they suggest that this Bible be kept free of all marks and notes, so that we may come to familiar passages unfettered by old ideas and receive fresh daily bread for our requirements and strength for present needs. W e should come to this Word for personal purposes, for practical help. It is our constant temptation to study the Bible with others in view-our flock, or our ministerial friends. In our secret, daily approach to the Word we should ask, "What saith the Lord unto His servant?" The Word of God must criticize us (Heb. 4: 1 2 ) . It is through this daily meditation on the Word for ourselves that we become strong in the Lord, to live the Word and grow in our ministry. In Malachi's description of a true prophet, it is said, "The law of truth was in his mouth, and iniquity was not found in his lips" (Mal. 2 : 6 ) . A preacher's lips must be full of Scripture because his heart is full of it.

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Not long ago one of the leading preachers of New York testified that as a boy he went to church faithfully with his parents and grew up in the communion of a little church down in the country section of New Jersey. The old pastor who ministered there for many years was not an able preacher. He had a very poor memory, and often would forget the train of his thought, and just lose his sermon completely while he was preaching. But the old gentlemen had one very wonderful characteristic. He had memorized great sections of the Scripture, and could repeat chapter after chapter from memory. So whenever he would forget the thread of his sermon, he would begin to quote these great passages-the one hundred fourth psalm, or the ninety-first psalm, or the twenty-third psalm, or Isaiah 53, or Revelation 21. The old man seemed to rise to great heights and n~ouldgo right on and fill up his time repeating the great things of God's Word. Usually these passages had no connection with his sermon. Why should they have? They were greater than his sermon. This boy said that these scriptures impressed him as no other influence in his life. He could not remember the sermons the old man tried to preach, but he could never forget the great words of God's Book. They became a part of him as he heard them repeated over and over. They followed him. Their power convicted him, and by the testimony of these great Scripture passages he was converted and later became n Christian minister. So we all need to fill our minds with Scripture, reading it and rereading it until we know the Scripture from beginning to end. By that I do not mean that we should be able to repeat it all. That would be a tremendous task, though some men have memorized the entire Bible-but some are able to memorize more easily than others. But it ought to be that no

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one could read,very many verses anywhere in the Scripture without our being able to identify them. And whenever any important passage of Scripture is quoted or read incorrectly, we should be able to detect it. I would suggest that you young men, especially, memorize not merely a few texts, but great sections of the Holy Book. And think what these great chapters will mean to you in your preaching, and how they will enrich your life. I suggest the chapters that I mentioned a moment ago. Of course, you will memorize the twenty-third psalm, and the Ten Commandments, and the Beatitudes. What about the fifty-third of Isaiah: "He was wounded for our transgressions, . . . bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed"? By the way, that verse is the center of nine verses. Forget about the chapter headings, and those nine verses are the center of twenty-seven. There are nine chapters that form a great cantata, and this is the central chapter, the central verse of the central section of that theme. It's like the rose window in a majestic cathedral, all centered around it, and the section begins and ends with, "There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked." (Isa. 48:22; 57:21.) And all focuses on that verse. "He was wounded for our transgressions." It's terrific! Learn those great chapters. Then the thirty-seventh psalm: My mother, who is here with us today, taught my brother and me to memorize that psalm, and I can repeat every word of it, though not always in order, because the verses are disjointed-the hardest kind to memorize. I didn't study hard enough to get them in line, but give me the first word and I can go on with it. The eighth psalm: Oh, that is a wonderful psalm-"0 Lord our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!"

READING T O PREACH
That is a good way to begin a prayer-by adoration of God and devotion to Him. The ninetieth psalm, the ninety-first, the one hundred and third, and, of course, a good deal of the first chapter of John and part of the fourteenth, the thirteenth of First Corinthians, the last two chapters of Revelation-all are wonderful passages to memorize. Some of the old-time preachers were more faithful in this than are we. In spite of all that is said about the early Fathers of the church, there is one thing we can say for them that cannot often be said for modern preachers-they knew the Scripture almost by memory. It has been said that, with the exception of a few verses, the entire Scripture could be reproduced from their writings, should all the manuscripts of the Bible be lost. Their quotations are not always accurate, showing that they were taken from memory, but this also shows the almost incredible amount of Scripture they had learned and could repeat. The early Puritan preachers were great memorizers of Scripture also. In the epitaph written by Benjamin Woodbridge on Dr. John Cotton we find these words which are often quoted, but they can stand frequent repetition: A living, breathing Bible; tables where Both Covenants at large engraven were. Gospel and law, in 's heart, had each its column; His head an index to the sacred volume; His very name a title-page; and, next, His life a commentary on the text. 0 what a monument of glorious worth, When, in a new edition, he comes forth! Witho~iterrata may we think he'll be, In leaves and covers of eternity! Isn't that good? The preacher's life ought to be a commentary on the text, oughtn't it? It's an old-fashioned epitaph,

I
I

I I

1 1

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but it pictures a real preacher, who is a living Bible. God grant that such an epitaph may be written of all of us! T h e Holy Scriptures give four names to Christians, taken from the four cardinal graces so essential to man's salvation. Notice what they are: They are called sailzts for their holiness, believers for their faith, brethren for their love, and disciples for their knowledge. But how may we have either holiness, faith, love, or knowledge unless we feed upon the W o r d of G o d ? I have never been able to forget the words of Henry van Dyke that I learned when I was just a lad in college-his beautiful tribute to the Holy Scriptures. I will give it to you now, and I hope you will memorize it someday: Born in the East and clothed in Oriental form and imagery, the Bible walks the ways of all the world with familiar feet and enters land after land to find its own everywhere. It has learned to speak in hundreds of languages to the heart of man. It comes into the palace to tell the monarch that he is a servant of the Most High, and into the cottage to assure the peasant that he is a son of God. Children listen to its stories with wonder and delight, and wise men ponder them as parables of life. It has a word of peace for the time of peril, a word of comfort for the day of calamity, a word of light for the hour of darkness. Its oracles are repeated in the assembly of the people, and its counsels whispered in the ear of the lonely. The wicked and the proud tremble at its warning, but to the wounded and the penitent it has a mother's voice. The wilderness and the solitary place have been made glad by it, and the fire on the hearth has lit the reading of its well-worn page. It has woven itself into our deepest affections and colored our dearest dreams; so that love and friendship, sympathy and devotion, memory and hope, put on the beautiful garments of its treasured speech, breathing of frankincense and myrrh. Above the cradle and beside the grave its great words come to us uncalled. They fill our prayers with power larger than we know, and the beauty of them lingers on our ear long after the

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sermons whicll they adorned have been forgotten. Thcy return t o us swiftly and quietly, like doves ilying trom far away. Thcy surprise us with new meanings, like springs of water breaking forth from the mountain beside a long-trodden path. They grow richer, as pearls do when they are worn near the heart. N o man is poor or desolate who has this treasure for his own. When the landscape darkens and the trembling pilgrim comes to the valley named "of the shadow," he is not afraid to enter: he takes the rod and staff of Scripture in his hand; he says to friend and comrade, "Good-by, we shall meet again"; and comforted by that support, he goes toward the lonely pass as one who walks through darkness into light. I wish that I could write like that, but I can memorize so can you. It's a wonit when another man writes it-and derful tribute t o the Holy Scriptures. Surely there should be a daily feeding upon the W o r d of God. Such a treasure as this must be ours, and it will grow more ~ r e c i o u sto us as the years g o by. I t is only as it does, that our ministry will increase in power and we be better preachers right u p to the end. Listen t o this quotation from volume 4 of the Testimonies, page 412: Ministers should devote time to reading, to study, to meditation and prayer. They should store the mind with useful knowledge, committing to memory portions of Scripture, tracing out the fulfillment of the prophecies, and learning the lessons which Christ gave to His disciples. Take a book with you to read when traveling on the cars or waiting in the depot. Employ every spare moment in doing something. In this way an effectual door will be closed against a thousand temptations. Read this whole chapter, entitled "Ministers of the Gospel." If it doesn't start a storm in your soul, a revolution in your mind, a desire to be an intellectual giant for Christ and to know the Scriptures, then there is something the matter with you. Listen, now I a m quoting again: "Rut some who have been engaged in preaching for years are content t o confine themselves t o a few subjects, being too indolent to search the

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Scriptures diligently and prayerfully that they may become giants in the understanding of Bible doctrines and the practical lessons of Christ."-Ibid., p. 415. There it is-"giants." How? By searching the Scriptures daily, by carrying a book, by memorizing Scripture. Our minds are dwarfed and crippled if we do not continue to enlarge them. I read again from the same page: The minds of all should be stored with a knowledge of the truths of God's word, that they may be prepared, at any moment when required, to present from the storehouse things new and old. Minds have been crippled and dwarfed for want of zeal and of earnest, severe taxation. The time has come when God says: "Go forward, and cultivate the abilities I have given you." -I bid. D o you realize, fellow preacher, that we are responsible for the good we might have done but failed to do because we are too lazy to improve ourselves? Now I am going to come back again and pound on the thing I mentioned last night-time. The morning hours are the time for study. W e should devote time to it-time to study, time to read, time for the Word of God, time for committing to memory portions of Scripture and other good things-poetry, and so on. W e should take a book with us when we travel. "How will I get time to study?" you ask. Just by taking it! You usually get time to eat your breakfast, your dinner, your supper--don't you? You get time to sleep. How?-You take it. You get so tired that no matter what you have to do, no matter how much Ingathering you still have to collect, you go to bed and sleep. You get so hungry you eat, no matter how busy you are. When you become just as determined to study, to memorize Scripture, to meditate and pray, as you are to sleep and eat or make a good impression on people by reaching your

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goals and doing all the things they want you to do, you will find time for these things. When you get as hungry for the Word of God as you are for your breakfast, dinner, and supper, you will feed upon the Word of God. Where will I get time? Exactly where other people get their time for anything else. You must take it. There are just twenty-four hours in a day, and no one has any more time than anyone else. Our progress and success as ministers in the work of God will depend upon how we use that time. Now I am not saying how much time each one should take for study and prayer. I don't know. It is something everyone must settle with himself and God. Some of you smart fellows won't need as much time as some of the rest of us do. Now someone wanted to know the name of the author of that very fine book, T h e Secret of Pulpit Power Through Themutic Christidn Preaching. It is Dr. Simon Blocker. And the book is published by Eerdman's. On page 29 he says: "For a minister to work seven days a week is a sin of presumption. No minister can get away with it. Chickens come home to roost." Then he urges proper rest, but insists on the mornings for Christian study, saying, "No thematic Christian preacher can qualify with less than four hours of study a day." Now I don't know whether that is true or not, but that is what he says. Have you been putting in one hour a day, thirty minutes, fifteen minutes? Dr. Blocker continues: "Any preacher who studies four hours a day is a growing man. Effects are cumulative. . . . Put the precious four hours a morning in on your Bible, commentaries, and Bible dictionaries. Work those four hours on sermons for immediate and future use. How are you to get four hours for study in the

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morning? The same \yay as do farmers, factory workers, and merchants. Keep pace with every man who goes forth to his labor. Get up in good time." You may throw up your hands in horror and say, "Four hours! Where in the world will I ever get four hours?" Your automobile is waiting out in front of your door to go here, to go there. You have a campaign on, you have to do this, and you have to get that. Possibly four hours is too much for the average Seventh-day Adventist preacher today, but what about two hours? What about one hour? What about a half hour? What about fifteen minutes? You know, and I know, that many preachers today are not putting that much time in szlregularly, every day, on their work of preaching-their preme work. Those precious morning hours are frittered away or worked away. Time is spent on the telephone, on this and that and everything, but not on the important thing. The afternoon is the time to visit. You can write letters, talk to people, do things in the afternoon; but the morning is for productive, creative work. Now here is where a minister's wife can help him-and who can be a good minister without a good wife? Make her your secretary, and let her answer the phone. In our house my wife answers the phone although there is an extension out in my library. The phone rings-I pick it up and hear her talking, and I can tell whether it is anyone I want to talk to. If it isn't, I put it down. Sometimes she doesn't like it-she thinks I should take over. Why, if I answered the phone all the time, and talked to everybody, and talked and talked and talked, I would never get any radio talks done-or anything else. I would never have been able to prepare these lectures. If somebody wants to see me, and it is not a matter of life and death, my wife will say: "I'm sorry; he is not available

READING TO PREACH
now. He will be in at such-and-such a time." It is none of their business where I am. I am in God's work. So let your wife answer the phone, and take the messages, unless it's a life-or-death matter, or a long-distance call that you should answer. Good sense will dictate as to when you should be called away from your study and meditation. Common sense, charity, and Christian courtesy can work these things out where there is, by the grace of God, the determination, even at the risk of sometimes being forced to explain to those who have never thought of such a thing, that a minister must study or he will have nothing to say. Then there is the matter of the children. Two little folks who love their daddy can ruin more sermons than one might imagine, but, properly trained, they will soon understand the importance of that sacred hour when daddy is alone with God. Yes, a man must pray in his family circle, with his children, with his wife, morning and night, and probably at other times; but he also must pray alone. I mentioned last night how your wife can help you. Some men's wives fool around and talk and talk with their husbands, when they ought to be making them go to their study. It may be only a corner of your bedroom or a place in your garage; but have a place where you can be alone and "enter into thy closet, and pray to thy Father. . . which seeth in secret [that He may} . . . reward thee openly" (Matt. 6:6). Let your wife guard that door like a lioness, if necessary. Let her say to the children, "Father is talking with God. N o one must disturb him." The preacher must seek God for that divine encounter in which he receives his orders for the day, and for eternity. Let him have this period of growth, this hour with God every morning. Suppose it is only half an hour, it will change his

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life in a few years. People will see him growing, they will see him changing, they will be wanting him to preach here and to preach there. They will be sending for him, a growing man. There would not be so many preachers moved hither and yon every few months. Millions of dollars would thus be saved to this cause. It seems to me that our leaders ought to take these things into consideration. W e have hundreds of churches today that need new preachers. I don't mean different men, but new preachers-the men need to grow, and that will change them. There is nothing the matter with our men, if they would only grow. They ought to be men who are getting bigger and better all the time. Millions of dollars would be saved to the cause if men would grow, if they would use this hour every day, if they would do what common sense tells them to do, and what the Spirit of prophecy tells them to do, and what any man ought to know that he should do. His preaching power would increase, sermons would multiply, he would see them beckoning to him out of every page in the Bible, "Come and preach me! Come and preach me!" Why is it that some Presbyterian preachers and others can stay in one place for thirty-five or forty years and keep growing all the time, and become better preachers all the time, writing books all the time, going on lecture tours all the time, with their congregations getting bigger all the time -why? Because they study; because they are growing. They take proper vacations, they do some traveling, they go to hear others preach, and their ministry becomes stronger. Even fifteen minutes of reading a day can change a life. Dr. William Osler, often called the "Patron Saint of American Medicine," was a busy man. Certainly none of our preachers was ever more busy than Dr. Osler. He had a

READlNG T O PREACH
heavy practice in Dnltimorc. Dcsides this, he was professor
of medicine in Johns Hopkins University, and that's a big

job in itself. Also he was writing medical textbooks, another big job. He was going literally day and night, from early morning until late at night. One day he realized that he had not yet read many of the books he had always hoped to read. Time was fleeing and it seemed that he would never have time to do it, and of course he never would if he waited until the day came when he could say, "Well, now I have the time, I'll read them." That's one of the biggest mistakes men ever make. They never will have the time; it never will come. Life isn't made that way. So Dr. Osler decided to take time. After several days of thinking it over, he decided that the only time he could take was after he got into bed at night, just before he went to sleep. He would take only fifteen minutes-because if he took more, he would become too sleepy; not less than fifteen minutes, because that was the least amount of time in which he could accomplish anything in his reading. So he obtained the books he had always wanted to read and had them at his bedside, and every night after getting into bed he read exactly fifteen minutes by the clock. Dr. Osler kept this up for eight years, until the day of his death; and the long list of books that he read, monumental books, the world's great books, is astonishing-dozens and dozens of them. After a few months he found that he could not sleep until he had had his fifteen minutes of reading. It became a life habit with him. Night is not the best time for meditation and study and creative work, but it is a good time to read some good books that ought to be read. The danger, however, is that one who has put off doing things in the morning, will read too long at night, impair his health, and

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FEED MY SHEEP finally be compelled to stop. But fifteen minutes given to reading great books every night would not be a bad habit. Why not try it? Friends, what is the matter with us? Do we think we can go on with this constant flutter and bustle of activity, of sound and fury, signifying nothing, as Shakespeare said, and get anywhere as preachers of the Word? There is one thing certain-no one is going to read for us and study for us. N o one will do our praying for us. W e must do it for ourselves. Honestly, if we do not take time, time will take us; there's no doubt about it. W e must bring forth from the storehouse of God's Word things new, as well as old. God's watchmen must not study how they shall please the people, nor listen to their words and utter them [and that is what we are liable to do if we do not spend much time with God's Word); but they must listen to hear what saith the Lord, what is His word for the people. If they rely upon discourses prepared years before they may fail to meet the necessities of the occasion. Their hearts should be laid open so that the Lord may impress their minds, and then they will be able to give the people the precious truth warm from heaven. God is not pleased with those narrow-minded ministers who devote their God-given powers to matters of little moment and fail to grow in divine knowledge to the full stature of men in Christ Jesus.-Testimonies, vol. 5 , p. 252.

READING T O PREACH Word. And you will get this only by unremitting toil. Real preaching is based upon real study, real meditation. and real prayer. There are men today who stand in pulpits as shepherds, professing to feed the flock, while the sheep are starving right there in front of them-looking up and they are not fed. These men have never gathered the wheat; they have never ground it; they have never sifted it; they have never properly mixed it; they have never brought it to the oven and baked it; they have never brought it from the oven and broken it for the waiting congregation. "There is cheap, very cheap fodder placed before the people."-Testimonies to Ministers, p. 337. N o one can preach Christ as He ought to be preached without study. If we preach on great themes, great subjects, in a great way, we must dig, we must work. Sister White clearly indicates what these great themes are: These are our themes-Christ crucified for our sins, Christ risen from the dead, Christ our intercessor before God; and closely connected with these is the office work of the Holy Spirit, the representative of Christ.-Evangelisnz, p. 187. His pre-existence, His coming the second time in glory and power, His personal dignity, His holy law uplifted, are the themes that have been dwelt upon with simplicity and power. -I hid. How can we preach on these themes without study? W e must bring an affirmative message, exalting the cross of Christ. W e are to "gather up the strongest affirmative statements regarding the atonement made by Christ for the sins of the world."-lbid. W e are to "gather all the affirmatives and proofs that make the gospel the glad tidings of salvation to all who receive and believe on Christ as a personal Saviour."-Ibid. Let us keep on the affirmative!

I think it was Dr. William Magee who said that there are just three kinds of preachers: The one to whom you cannot listen, the one to whom you can listen, and the one to whom you mast listen. W e must determine, by the grace of God, to be the latter kind-the preacher to whom people mast listen because he has something to say. But to be such a preacher, you must really have something to say. You must speak with the authority of a true knowledge and revelation of God's

FEED A4Y SHEEP To do this we must study. W e must know where these things are. Some men have delivered long-drawn-out discourses made up largely of the relation of anecdotes; but this has demanded no great study, no soul searching, no understanding of the Word. The object of our preaching is not merely to amuse, or to entertain, or to interest; not even to convey information alone, or to convince the intellect alone. "The preaching of the Word should appeal to the intellect and impart knowledge, but it comprises much more than this. The heart of the minister must reach the hearts of the hearers."-Ihid., pp. 209, 210. T o make this soul-stirring appeal to the hearts of men there must be prayer, study, and meditation. W e could talk for hours on the necessity of a study of the Bible, of a reading of the Scripture, but we do not have the hours. I believe that every minister should get all the translations of the Bible he can in his own language, and study them. I have thirty-five or forty of them. He will find in many of these newer translations wonderful light on various texts brought down into our own language today and enriched by the many discoveries in language, archeology, and other things. H e should have all these various translations he can in his study. H e should have the Bible in the original, too, and be able to read it in his devotional study. But when it comes to preaching, I believe he should use that "font of English undefiled," the King James Version of the Bible. For its rich, glorious Anglo-Saxon English, it is unsurpassed. Read what John Ruskin says about it in his Sesame and Lilies; also Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch's comments On the Art of Retiding. If there are some texts in this version that need to be straightened out by some other translation, of course, it can be done.

READING TO PREACH T o read this Book, and to read it aloud, will be a blessing to your style-and style is important. What are the great masters of English expression? Aside from the King James Version of the Bible, the works of Shakespeare, Milton, Tennyson, John Ruskin, Matthew Arnold, James Anthony Froude, John Henry Newman, and others. "Live with them," says Dr. Charles Reynolds Brown, "until a weak, shabby, muddy style would instantly repel you." Just to give you a sample, Moffatt's translation of the twenty-third psalm speaks of "a glen of gloom." Compare that with "the valley of the shadow of death." Ah, friends, be sure that you are at least well acquainted with the great English of that verse. So I say, read the King James Version aloud. Read good poetry aloud. Some of us are ear-minded as well as eye-minded. Dr. Brown, dean of the Theological School in Yale, says: The king's English, like the king's daughter, is meant to be "all-glorious within"; it is meant to clothe your ideas "in wrought gold"; it is meant to "make your arrows sharp in the heart of the king's enemies"; i t is meant to "ride forth in its majesty and to ride prosperously" because of the truth and righteousness it contains. "Grace has been poured into its lips," therefore God blesses it forever upon the high errand to which it is sent. If you will only strive to have it so, your own style will exhibit those elements of clearness, of strength, and of beauty which will add to the power of your spoken word, now thirty-, now sixty-, and at times, even one-hundredfold.-The Art of Preaching (New York: MacMillan), p. 186. Now just a word about a minister's general reading, as contrasted with his professional reading. It seems to me that a preacher ought to attempt to be acquainted with the great literature of the human race. He cannot read everything that is good; he can't even read the extra good; but he can read some of the great books of all time.

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When I was in college here, I wondered how long it would take a person to read everything in the Library of Congress. The librarian informed me that to read the books in just one of the little alcoves surrounding the main rotunda would take eighty years, so I gave up trying to read them all! W e would do well, however, to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of." Now, it would seem a loss to me to miss the thunder of the breakers upon the shores of the Aegean Sea, which one seems to hear in reading the Iliad and the Odyssey, or not to see Bunyan's own journey through life in his immortal Pilgrim's Progress, or not to look through a clear window into the very heart of a Christian man in the letters of Samuel Rutherford. Why not get the revised edition of John D. Snider's guide to good reading, 1 Love Books, and really learn to love books? Why not study the biography of some great man, some preacher-possibly Wesley, Luther, Spurgeon, Calvin, Augustine-and become an authority on his life? It will enrich your life and will help you to enrich others. Or master the writings of some one man. It was Bacon who said, "Reading maketh a full man"; and some of us are pretty empty. A minister should love books and know books. He may not have many of them, but he should have some. Every minister should start to build a small library. There is nothing like owning some books of your own, marking them, reading them, loving them. A Seventh-day Adventist preacher naturally will want all our own books, and I am not going to mention them, because he will get as many of them as he can -especially the writings of the Spirit of prophecy. But I suggest that his special Bible study library be built around

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the Bible. You will find some good suggestions in the book Pyofitablc Bt6Le Study, by Wilbur M. Smith, published by W . A. Wilde Company, Boston, Massachusetts. Here he gives seven simple methods of Bible study and a list of the first one hundred best books, according to his view, for the Bible student's library. There is another good book, T h e Pastor and His Library, by Elgin S. Moyer, published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois. By building your study library around the Bible, I mean this: Get a good commentary on the entire Bible-more than one, if possible-then one or more books on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and so on, through the entire Bible; a good Bible dictionary; a good Bible atlas; either Strong's Exhaustive Concordance or Young's Analytical Concordance, or both. For an easy text finder, I prefer Walker's Concordance, although the revised Cruden's is greatly improved. And then it would be well for you young men to begin to file your material--especially clippings and important notes. You need not buy an expensive file at first. It is possible for one to begin, as many of us did, with just a wooden box of the right size; or a pasteboard carton, which was my choice. It's what you do with what you have that counts. I don't suppose Socrates and Plato and Aristotle had any metal files, but we probably remember them and their works better than those of some of the fellows who have the latest filing equipment. Just a simple alphabetical file, A B C and onward, is helpful as a beginning. Under these letters you can put such subjects as Advent, Baptism, Church, et cetera, so you can find the proper material when you need it. Do not leave our denominational papers and other papers to be thrown into the incinerator without clipping something from them. If you see a good article by Taylor G. Bunch in T h e

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R E A D I N G T O PREACH Reviezu and Herald, cut it out and put in under the proper heading-or something on speech by Dr. C. E. Weniger, put it where it belongs so you can find it when you need it. The trouble so often is that we read all these good things, and then don't know where to find them later. I would suggest a file for comments and expository articles on the Scriptures. I only wish that I had started to use one at the beginning of my ministry. This is a file in which every chapter of the Bible has a separate folder-at least, all the main chapters. In some parts of the Scripture there is no need of a folder for each chapter, but one could put several chapters in one folder. However, in the New Testament you will want a folder for every chapter. And then, whenever you find anything in our papers-maybe in the Questions-andAnswers column-about any important text, clip it out and put it in the folder for that chapter. In this way you will be building a constantly growing commentary on the Word, and a repository of much good material that otherwise would be completely lost when the papers and magazines are disposed of. This is one of the finest things that I have, as far as usefulness is concerned. The filing of illustrations has always been one of the most complicated and difficult jobs for most preachers. I have filed most of mine in my head, but now I have found a good system, thanks to Elder John Osborn. He lent me a book entitled T h e Illustration i n Sermon, Address, Conversation, and Teaching, by Lester B. Mathewson, in which is a chapter on filing illustrations. The method is called "The Real Filing System," and it is the finest system for illustrations as far as I have seen. It is hard to figure out a system for filing illustrations, but that man has done it. It's simple, and it's good. I think it would be well to have that chapter mimeographed
and made available to our workers, because, I think, the book is out of print. Robert J. McCracken says that the caliber of a minister can often be judged by his library, not necessarily by its size, but by the books it contains, whether few or many. He says, "Excepting for his public prayers, nothing about the minister is so self-revealing." Let's remember that. I heard about a member of a pulpit committee who went to hear a candidate preach. The candidate invited him to dinner at' the manse. The visitor was appalled by the location and size of the study, for it was a poky little room. There were less than two hundred books on the shelves, and the religious books were mos~ly books of sermons. Reading can be overdone, of course. A man can know more of literature than of life. He ought to know both. Of some men the question might be asked, "Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of me?" (John 1 S : 3 4 ) . Sermons should not be filled with quotations from other men, but quotations from Holy Scripture. Charles Spurgeon was traveling in the north of England and stopped overnight in one of those little old English inns. You know how it is over there-you get bed and breakfast for the same piece of money. It's a good idea too. When Mr. Spurgeon came down for breakfast he noticed a very ancient book on a shelf above the table, up near the ceiling of the little low room. Always interested in books, he reached up for the book. It was a Bible, all worm-eaten. Bookwormsliteral bookworms-had been eating on it, and one energetic worm had eaten his way right through, so that the light came through the Book. "Ah," said Spurgeon, "that's the sort of bookworms Christians ought to be. They ought to begin at Genesis and digest their way right through to Revelation."

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Surely we ought to do that with the Book of God. W e ought also to be well acquainted with other great books, especially the master literature of our own language. Some preachers read a vast amount of literature that amounts to nothing-lots of nenrspapers and magazines-but don't read one big, fundamental book in a year. Whatever you do, young preachers, don't take the morning hours for newspapers and magazines. Maybe a glance, but no more. W e ought to be reading some book that captures our attention and thinking in the morning. There is nothing more stale than yesterday's newspaper. Did you ever stop to think that if you should quit taking the newspaper, the world would go on just as well as if you read the paper regularly every morning? Surely it would. A good weekly paper or magazine would serve your purpose just as well, and ~vouldcertainly save a lot of time. It is good to read several books at once-books that are different, strong books on Bible topics, books that make you think deeply. Mark your books, and then on the flyleaf make a sort of index of your own. Read books on history, poetry, travel, science, but above all, biography. You will learn more of history in biography than any other m y . It is history personali~ed. You will get the feel of the times. How could you possibly understand eighteenth-century England if you hadn't read Life of Sanjclel John~oiz, by Boswell? That, by the way, was the first great modern biography ever written- a Scotsman writing the biography of an Englishman who hated Scotland! You know Johnson's famous dictionary was the first great English dictionary. D o you know what he wrote u hen he came to the word ont~?"The grain that they feed to horses in England and to men in Scotland." The Scots came back at him, saying, "Yes, that's

READING T O PREACH
true; and where do they have such fine horses as in England, and such men as in Scotland?" Johnson once said, "The most delightful view that ever comes to a Scotsman is the road that leads out of Scotland." Now, can you imagine that? And yet it was a Scotsman, Boswell, who loved Johnson so, and wrote his famous life. Read it; it's full of illustrations. That's where you get some of your best illustrations-from biography. It happened to this man, that man. Names are the most interesting words in the world, and the most interesting word you ever hear in your language is your own name. You know that! So learn to know about names, what happened to people. How could you understand that eighteenth century if you hadn't read Wesley's Journal? I don't mean that emaciated, cut-down, grooved-out journal in one volume. I mean the real, unexpurgated, whole four-volume journal. It is available in a new edition right now in a certain bookstore, and I am just weeping over it, I want it so badly-but it's too expensive. All of John Wesley's letters are available for a certain sum. That's the may you will become-you will want a book so much that the first thing you know, when your wife doesn't know about it, you will slip out and buy it. Then, when it's done, she'll forgive you! Then read Luke Tyerman's Life and Tiiltes of John W e ~ l e yOne . finds his greatest illustrations in biography, but this reading should be general, and going on all the time. When shall I get time to read? Oh, just a little here and t h e r e w h e n other folks are talking or doing something else. I read as I walk to work. At the time of the Long Beach earthquake I was holding a meeting in South Gate, the very epicenter of the quake. The fronts of buildings and the brick veneer were in great piles on

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FEED MY SHEEP the sidewalks, and many of the buildings were shored up u,ith timbers that came out over the sidewalks. As I walked from my home to the tabernacle, I would be reading, of course, but I would step over these braces and around the piles of brickblock after block. It was not difficult, as I could see these things out of the corner of my eye. One day a woman called me on the phone and said: "Is this Mr. Richards? Are you that preacher?" I told her that I was, and then she said: "I see you every day walking down that cluttered sidewalk to your tabernacle, and am just sure that you are going to fall down at the next step. I can't stand it any longer-I'm going crazy! Please don't read while you are walking, but watch where you are going!" I assured her that I could see where I was going all right, and told her not to worry about me. If one has a book with him he will soon get the habit of pulling it out and reading even in little snatches of time-two minutes, three minutes, five minutes, ten minutes. It's amazing how much one can read by using the spare moments that are often wasted every day. Of course, one who drives a car cannot read while he is driving; but if someone else is driving he can usually train himself to read even in a speeding car. Fortunately for me, I don't do any driving. I used to years ago, but I don't now. So I always get to read while the other fellow is dodging traffic. Traveling with the quartet this summer I will get to do a lot of reading. I read seven or eight hours a day when we are on the road. Edwards and I take regular libraries with us, and while the other fellows drive we read, and have a great time doing it. So, if you can get someone else to drive, do it, and then read. Why take a book? "I am a book man," said Lowell. And every preacher ought to be a book man. Bishop William Quayle reminds us that "books are the juices squeezed from

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the cluster of the ages. They represent earth's wisdom and delight and are the footpath across the hills along which the generations have trod. A preacher ought to be at home in the best thought of all times. He owes it to himself. He owes it to his people."-Pastor-Preacher, p. 43. I wish that I could preach like Quayle. I heard him when I was thirteen or fourteen. I remember his sermon very well and could preach it right now. Why shouldn't the preacher put his tongue to school, to noble English from Chaucer to Maurice Hewlett? And why not read a page of the dictionary every once in a while? It might help some of us to say what we mean and mean what we say. Often the untechnical reading of the preacher is his most influential reading. When one begins the actual building of a sermon, he should shut himself up alone where he will not be distracted, then study his text, his passage, his topic. For the time being he should shut out all commentaries, the Bible dictionary, and religious encyclopedias. H e should shut out all books of sermons and illustrations, though he may be tempted to look at them. First of all, he should sit down with his subject before the Father in heaven and prayerfully meditate upon the text and passages of Scripture involved, compelling them to bring forth their riches. Alone and singlehanded, he should seek the full measure of meaning in the Word. It was Richter who said: "Do not read until you have 7 thought yourself hungry; do not write until you have read: yourself full." One should brood over his text. Ideas will begin to come, germs of life. As Dr. Brown says, "Wrestle with your theme, as Jacob wrestled with the angel. Say to it, as you hold it off at arm's length, 'Tell me thy name, show me

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thy nature. I will not let thee go except thou bless me.' "Op. cit, p. 63. This should go on for some time, maybe for some days, and on some subjects even for months. New ideas will continually come from it. One can meditate upon his theme as he walks. And, by the way, preachers ought to walk more. I want to say that again. Leave your car in the garage and walk to work. Or leave it a few blocks from your work and walk the rest of the way. Who could ever think unless he walks some? Then when thoughts come to you, jot them down. Sometimes you will wake up in the night with wonderful thoughts on your sermon topic or sermon text. Keep a note pad beside your bed and jot them down, because nine times out of ten you will not remember them unless you do. When you are ready-but not until you are ready-write down what you saw in the text when you first chose it. Then write down the ideas that came to you afterward. You may not use all of them, but write them down anyway in the order that they come. Jot down any fact of history, any poem, or any other text that illustrates the thought. Sometimes your ideas will come quickly and easily. Other days you will have a drought of ideas, but memory will bring back to you what you have read. The Spirit will bring things from His Word, if you have studied it faithfully. Material will come from all of your experiences-especially from reading, from meeting people, from travel, from observation. After you have winnowed from all this material that has come to you from thinking about the text, around it, and over it, and under it, get it into some form. Have the main theme sentence or idea clear in your mind, then write it down. After this is done-and not before-you may look at other books, commentaries, dictionaries, encyclopedias, books of illustra-

READING T O PREACH
tions and sermons. If you look at some great preacher's sermon beforehand, he is likely to overpower you. You will not be able to think of anything except what he said, and the way he said it. If you do your own thinking first and get your outline in mind, then he will not hurt you, but will help you. He may add new light to the subject and give you greater facility of thought. It is well to write down one's thoughts often, even write entire sermons, in order to get clearness. It is very difficult to write a sermon without having something to say; otherwise it will laugh in your face. But don't depend on reading your sermon. This is the day of free preaching. Now of course, a fully written-out sermon, delivered from manuscript, is apt to be more accurate and also shorter. It will have a more literary style, no doubt, and the preacher can preserve it. He can always go back to such sermons and use them as a jumping-off place for new sermons, but the preacher without manuscript is the preacher for today. Nine out of ten people are prejudiced against manuscript sermons. They do not keep the attention, and there is no other calling in which a man must have the attention and hearts of the people more than in preaching. I am not talking for extemporaneous preaching, something that is just made up on the spur of the moment. I don't believe in that. I don't believe that any real preaching is extemporaneous. Speaking without notes demands far more preparation than speaking from a manuscript or with notes. There is no such thing as a really extemporaneous sermon. Preaching that convicts and converts the sinful heart to a love for God is never extemporaneous. It takes preparation, study, prayer, and faith. Use notes, if you must, but seek for the day when you

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READING T O PREACH

wilLaot need them. Imagine Edwin Booth, the great actor, reading from a manuscript, or even from notes! Or Henry Irving. Imagine the apostle Paul on Mars' Hill, or Peter on the day of Pentecost, with a manuscript or even notes. Don't misunderstand me-a manuscript or notes may enable some man to preach who otherwise could not. Many of us have used notes for years, until we were forced to cease. The first time I tried to preach without notes, I ran out in five minutes; and the next time I didn't try it, for I was forced to speak without notes. I had gone back to my home town, Loveland, Colorado, to preach in the church there-the first time I ever filled the pulpit of the church where I grew up. When they were singing the last verse of the song just before the sermon, I thought I would take a last squint at those notes-you know how it is! I opened my Bible, and there were no notes there. I looked all through it-no notes! I took it up and shook it, but there just weren't any notes there. I'll tell you, I broke out into a sweat, a really cold one. So I had to get up and preach without notes. I was in a sort of daze, with nothing to lean on-no notes! I finally got through some way. When I sat down and opened my Bible, the notes fell out! Dr. Talmage once said that he knew he should preach without notes or a manuscript. God had told him several times that he should quit using them, but he wouldn't do it. He tells of an experience he had one Sunday night while preaching from a full manuscript. Some new gas lights had just been installed in his church. That was really something new in Philadelphia in those days. Oh, but everyone was proud of those new gas lights! Right in the middle of his sermon, out went the lights. He said, "Well, ladies and gentlemen, it is impossible to proceed, so we will close the

meeting." As he was walking home after the meeting, he said to himself: "Do you mean to tell me that the gospel of Jesus Christ is dependent upon gas lights-that a nlan can't preach in the dark? What kind of apostle are you anyway?" Again the Lord told him that he should learn to do without his manuscript. "But still," he says, "I wouldn't surrender." A few weeks later, on a Sunday morning, he was sitting on one of those old-fashioned horsehair sofas that they used to have on the pulpit in those days. The thing weighed about a ton, and a man couldn't possibly lift it alone; and you know how slick that horsehair is. Just before he got up to speak, with a great crowd of fastidious people before him, he laid this manuscript down beside him on that sofa. A little gust of wind came along and blew it through an opening at the back of the sofa and it landed on the floor behind it. He couldn't possibly lift or shove it-it was so heavy-and finally he had to get down on his hands and knees, with his back to his audience, and creep under there to get his manuscript. He later said that while he was there in that undignified position, a voice seemed to say to him, "Talmage, what will I have to do to you next to teach you not to use a manuscript?" H e said, "I never used a manuscript after that-never!" One well-known preacher says that when he started to preach he took a long text or passage of Scripture on purpose, SO that he would be sure to have enough to say to fill up the regular time of his sermon. But he was surprised that he wound up in about eleven minutes, completely out of ideas. So he gave out the hymn and closed the meeting. The people thought he was sick. Well, he was sick at heart, so he went to see the principal man of his congregation, who happened to be a lawyer, and told him the truth about the matter. He says that that lawyer leaned back in his chair and just

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1'~ughedand laughed-almost shook the desk. Then he said: "Keep right on, Preacher. You are doing right. I would rather have eleven minutes of that kind of preaching than a half hour of the other. I never risk my cases in court by taking a carefully prepared manuscript to be read to the jury. You are pleading for a verdict, a much more important verdict, than it was ever my lot to secure. Keep your eyes on the jury and talk right at them." And that's pretty good advice. If a man wishes to hold the attention of the people it is better not to stand behind one of these great wooden barricades they are now building and calling pulpits. If they are made much bigger they will be like counters, behind \vhich clerks offer goods in trade. The smaller the pulpit, and the less it hides of the man, the better. W e should have a lecture in this series on the health of the preacher. I hope someone will give it sometime. The preacher needs to care for his physical as well as his spiritual health. He must be a man's man, full of vigor and energy. He ought to get enough sleep. Cutting down on sleep is one of the sins of this generation, and it is sho~vingitself in the aberrations of our day. A preacher should have at least eight hours of sleep-eight hours in bed, whether he sleeps or not. And then he should have regular exercise, not violent exercise just once in a while. Anyone over forty who engages in a lot of strenuous sports at picnics or elsewhere is very foolish. Only when you are young should you let yourself go in for these violent exercises. There should be regular exercise of some kind every day. There is nothing better than walking. The preacher should not ride in his autonlobile everywhere he goes. Someone has said that we Americans will take a three-thousand-dollar automobile to go a few blocks to buy a five-cent spool of thread. Walking is good exercise. Try it!

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The preacher zhould be careful about his eating habits, never overeating or undereating. Seventh-day Adventist ministers, of course, ought to have all the facts on these things. They should give a talk on healthful living once in a ~vhile. But they ought to look healthy when they give such a talk. I have seen walking skeletons telling us how to be healthythe glories of health reform, et cetera-which as far as I can see is much like an infidel giving a lecture on salvation. Many a sick man has done a wonderful work for God, but certainly a preacher can preach his very best only when his health is at its best. Preachers who take care of themselves have the possibility before them of living longer than others and, according to life-insurance statistics, preachers have a very high life expectancy. If they take care of themselves, throw themselves wholeheartedly into their work, and are happy and full of faith, they have a chance of living as long as anybody else. One may have good health, he may have great natural endowments-good looks, good ability, and so forth-but if he does not continue to feed upon the Word, if he is not a reader of good books and of human character, his ministry will be crippled. He must "seek . . . out of the book of the Lord, and read" (Isa. 34: 1 6 ) . He must be able to read and show the interpretation (Dan. 5 : 7 ) . He must "read in the scriptures," as Jesus put it (Matt. 21:42). He must be able to read the Scriptures intelligently to the congregation. Like his Master, he should stand up and read (Luke 4:16) as he reads "in the audience of the people" (Ex. 24:7). The Gentile believers of old, when they got the good news from Jerusalem, rejoiced when they read it. The true minister of God will be able to run on God's errands when he reads (Hab. 2 : 2 ) . And when he studies the prophecy, he will

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follow the command of Christ, "Whoso readeth, let him understand" (Matt. 24: 1 5 ) . Of a certain student of His day Jesus asked this question: "What is written in the law? how readest thou?" (Luke 10:26). And the first blessing of the book of Revelation is a blessing on readers ( Rev. 1:3 ) . While it is true that "of making many books there is no end; and much study is a weariness of the flesh," as we read in Ecclesiastes 12 :12, we know that by study the spirit is made better. It was the great apostle himself, the mightiest preacher of them all, who told the young ministerial intern, "Give attendance to reading" ( 1 Tim. 4: 1 3 ) , and who wrote in his last letter from the dark Roman prison, when his departure was at hand, and the day of his execution was drawing near: "Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him . . . : for he is profitable to me for the ministry. . . . The cloke that I left at Troas . . . bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments" ( 2 Tim. 4: 11-13 ). He was lonely. He wanted Mark and Timothy with him. H e was cold, and he wanted his heavy "cloke" that he had left behind on one of his journeys. And the books-ah, yes, the books! There in the darkness of that prison the great apostle and preacher, a scholar to the last, wanted his books, "but especially the parchments," which no doubt were the writings of Holy Scripture. He knew those great scriptural prophecies almost by heart, but how he longed to see them again! He wanted to see the columns, he wanted to see the letters. He wanted to see it all written out. He wanted to read the Word of God. And so we, as preachers, study men and books and nature and our own hearts, but the greatest of all is the Book, God's Book. But unless we study it with prayer, we shall have no vision. No sermon will be born to stir and bless the world. No

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man can tell another how to pray. He must learn that in the secret place when, \vith the hand of faith, he lays hold upon the mighty arm of power. Prayer, study, personal contact with people-these are the requisites of preaching. Jesus knew the Word of God; He was the Word. He spent long hours, even nights, in prayer and communion with His heavenly Father. He mingled with people, and so walked onward toward the cross, and the glory that should follow. At old Fort Morgan, at the entrance of Mobile Bay, a visitor today may see a remarkable thing-a large dark-red spot on a stone stairway. It was made during the Civil War by the blood of a Confederate lieutenant who was killed by an explosion of a cannon he was firing when the Federal fleet was besieging the fort. The scorching rays of the sun and the beating rains of almost a century have not been able to obliterate it. That crimson spot is still there, the emblem of the tragedy of a war between brothers. After nineteen hundred years the mark of the blood of Jesus Christ is on every stairway of progress in the Christian ministry, not only the emblem of the tragedy of sin, and of the great controversy between good and evil, but of the redeeming love that led our Saviour to the cross. And He left us not only His example as a preacher but His command, "Go ye into all the world, and preach" (Mark 16: 15 ) . So, by God's grace, let us go.

LECTURE

NO.

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


score our certainties and go to the world with something substantial, a message that will bring comfort and that is ;3 Bible answer to the anxious questions that oppress mankind. We are at the present time under great scrutiny. For instance, there is a sensational book that has been written by a French priest who has examined us very closely and, I must say, rather fairly. His aim is not to criticize or to attack us, but to find out actually how it is possible for a French Catholic ever to become a Seventh-day Adventist. In that book he analyzes "the sects," among whom he lists the Baptists, the Methodists, and the Chrisrian Scientists; but Seventh-day Adventists are at the top of the list. It is significant that in analyzing the "psychology of the sectarian," as he puts it, he said (and I am merely quoting from memory) that when Adventists were a movement-that is, when they had no temples and no institutions-we Catholics feared them; but they have settled down and are organized and talk a great deal about organization and money. In fact, the author says that Adventists resemble the Catholics most of all Protestants, because they talk of money more than anyone else! It is a fact that when a movement ceases to move and settles down, not only in its organization but also in its thinking, it is high time to watch out. If mere members [number of members) are our only goal, if quantity alone is of concern to us, then we have to give in somewhere else. W e have to pay a very heavy price in the quality of the message.

"So Great a C l o d o f Wi't.tzessesU


"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight."-Hebrews 12:1.

EFORE R E A D I N G our text I wish to share with you a portion of a letter from a man whom I revere and honor very much, not only as a preacher but as a scholar and a gentleman. His is a very straight letter: It is nevertheless a fact that, as a denomination, we are not only facing but going through a crisis, and from the investigation that we have made in this country as well as elsewhere, there is to be made a readjustment of our methods and of our outlook. But I definitely believe that, if ever the time should come that we lose the vision of an aggressive evangelism, we will have an indication of having reached a point of saturation, and that we have "settled down" and ceased to be a movement. Of course, as you said, methods have to be adjusted according to our rapidly changing times. . . . I wish we would cease being constantly behind the times, and painstakingly use methods that have been recognized by others long before us. I also trust that we will keep intact the identity and personality of our message. I do not think that in any way we should water down our message or our conceptions. I do not think a Christian has to apologize for the Word of God, for his point of view. But, as a denomination, we have for a long time suffered from an inferiority complex, and we would like to reach the plateau of a well-thought-of, dignified denomination. W e very much resent being considered a "sect," or worse still a "cult." Personally, I am indifferent to the type of label some people tag on us. The thing of greatest moment is that we reaffirm our beliefs and under-

All right, with those words let us begin our message. Our text is Hebrews 1 2 : 1, 2 : "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."

A visitor to London usually does not fail to see Westminsrer Abbey, which might be called the picture gallery o r memorial hall of the English-speaking race. Many great men are entombed in this ancient house of God. They are numbered by name, by statue, or memorial stone. I n the Jerusalem

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chamber, just to the right of the main entrdnce, the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures came to birth. It is here, on this spot, where, as Kipling puts it, the Abbey makes us one, that the great leaders of many centuries are remembered. There is no other race in the world that could have such a great memorial hall as Westminster Abbey. Remember, the building itself belongs to the Church of England and is closely connected with the ruling house of Britain, yet in that church there is a memorial to John Wesley, so greatly persecuted and repudiated during his lifetime by the Church of England. And, more surprising still, in that same building there is a memorial to George Washington, the archrebel in 1776. But that is one of the strange things about our racerecognizing greatness, even in our enemies, and finally absorbing them into the great stream of history. So there in Westminster Abbey we have the memorials of the great of our race. In the Scriptures we have a chapter which is the Westminster Abbey of the Bible. It is the eleventh of Hebrews, and there we have the names and memorials of many of the great servants of God, from the dawn of human history down to the time of Christ. Among them, great preachers find their place. The blood of Abel preached. Enoch was a preacher, and a lonely one, too, because his message certainly was not popular, but, like every true preacher since, he walked with God. What a privilege, what a duty, is ours, to walk closer with the Lord! Noah, we are told, was a preacher of righteousness. He was warned of God and, in turn, warned the world. One of our public relations organizations has as its motto, "You tell us and we tell the world." So it was with Noah.

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


God told him, and he told the world. He took only seven with him into the salvation of the ark, but he gave God's message. He did his duty. He proclaimed the Word of the Lord, and "being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith" (Heb. 11:7). That is a big text for any preacher. It contains everything that refers to a minister: "Warned of God"-he received God's message. "Moved with fearN-he believed the message. "Prepared an ark"-acted upon the message and command of God. The message was effectual negatively-Noah "condemned the world." It was effectual positively, as well as negatively-he "became heir of the righteousness which is by faith." And, by the way, that's the only kind of righteousness there is-righteousness by faith. There's a sermon for you right there. Now, Abraham was a prophet, as the Scripture tells us in Genesis 20:7, and therefore a preacher. Abraham heard the message, "Go west, young man! Go west." Abraham heard that, and acted upon it. He went to the west country, which we call Palestine after the Philistines, and by going, he showed his faith in God's message. He also preached rjgl~teousnessby faith as no other man ever had, as you know. He is held up in the Bible as an example of that. W e pass by many others-patriarchs and prophets-mentioned here, and come to Moses. What a mighty preacher he was! His picture is here in this gallery of faith. Moses was called of God from infancy; God calls preachers from babyhood. He made the supreme choice to suffer affliction with the people of God rather "than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" (Heb. 11:25 ). Don't let anyone tell you that

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there is no pleasure in sin. The Bible says there is, and everybody who has indulged in it knows that there is, but it does not last long-it is temporal. "Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward" (verse 26). A generation or two ago the critics of the Bible, even skeptical theologians, declared that the story of Israel's flight from Egypt and the building of the tabernacle in the wilderness must be merely a pious myth or legend, because there wasn't enough gold in all the world to make the two solid cherubim and to cover the ark and to overlay the boards of the tabernacle and to make the golden vessels. But anyone who visits the great museum in Cairo today and sees the golden room in which the contents of the tomb of Tutankhamen are displayed, gets a little idea of what the Egypt of Moses' time must have been like. The moment you pass the armed guards at the door of that museum you will see more gold than probably you have seen in all your lifetime before-the golden table with golden chairs, the golden bedstead, the golden chariot, golden articles and utensils in profusion, and last of all, the great solid gold coffin, worth six million dollars in gold alone-not gold-plated or even 14-carat, but solid gold-in which the mummy of the young king now rests. He was enamored of gold, but didn't have much time to collect it, for he died when he was about eighteen years old. But there were plenty of treasures in Egypt. Moses forsook all these worldly treasures, and many a preacher has to do the same today. He no doubt forsook the possibility of the throne itself. Why? Because he saw "him who is invisible." N o man can preach until he is willing to forsake the riches and the pleasures and the treasures and

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


the glory and the honor of the world. N o man can be a real preacher until he has a vision of that which is invisible, until he sees with the eye of faith that which is eternal. Like Moses, when he comes to the Red Sea experience of his life he must keep looking up, and g o forward in faith! Nothing before, nothing behind; The steps of faith fall on the seeming void, And find the rock beneath. On the walls of this eleventh chapter of Hebrews, this Westminster Abbey chapter, we see the names and ~nemorials of other great characters, until we come finally to David, who was a preacher. He himself said, "I have preached righteousness in the great congregation" (Ps. 4 0 : 9 ) . What a great preacher he was! Yes, not only was David a king and a prophet and a musician, but he was one of the world's greatest preachers. Some of his greatest sermons are recorded in the Book, and in passing I would suggest that every preacher read over and over, and read aloud, the psalms of David. W e would have better prayers in our public services, and we would have more power in prayer, if we would take some of these prayers of David to heart. Oh, the careless prayers we hear-earnest, no doubt, but greatly lacking in appropriateness. N o adoration of God, no confession, no proper beginning or conclusion. W e often hear prayers in public that should be made in private. As I began my ministry my father urged me to read the psalms aloud, since they represent God's plan of prayer. The book of Psalms is the prayer book of the Bible. And by the way, someday read Rowland Prothero's fine little book T h e Psalms in Human Life. I also believe it would be well for every preacher to obtain a copy of the Book of Common Prayer, used by the Church of England, or the Episcopal

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Church in the United States, and read aloud and carefully those great prayers, many of which \\,ere written by Latimer, who later becatne a martyr to the Christian faith. The book of Psalms and the Book o f Con~nzonPrdycr afford good samples of reverent, scriptural prayer, and that's the sort of prayer we, as ministers, should learn to offer in our public services. In the thirty-second verse of Hebrews 11 we read of Samuel and the prophets. The prophets were the great preachers of Old Testament days. Most of those mentioned in the Scripture were preachers while exercising the prophetic office. They spoke forth the Word of God, they were "forth-tellers," as well as foretellers-they warned, they wooed, they won men to God. Now read the rest of this chapter. It speaks of the faith of these mighty preachers, the great things they did, their sufferings, persecutions, and martyrdoms, their looking forward to a better resurrection, "of whom the world was not worthy. . . These all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect" (verses 38-40). Think of it-the great preachers of the past ages waiting for the preachers of today to finish their work, for the very next verses (Heb. 12: 1, 2 ) , from which we took the title of this lecture, say: "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus." The "cloud of witnesses" referred to here are those just mentioned in the preceding chapter. The picture presented is not so much that they are watching, as the great crowds used to watch the Greek games

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


and applaud the victors, as that they also have witnessed for their faith, as we must witness for ours, many of them even unto death. Now in the classical Greek writings we find this word "cloud" used over and over again, not meaning people around you in the air but employed as a figure for a great company of people-a cloud of archers, a cloud of infantrymen, a cloud of horsemen. These expressions are all found in Homer's ~vritings,which are thought to have received their final shape somewhere between the twelfth and the ninth century B.C. Many of the classical writers use that word "cloud" in the same way it is used here. Of course, this has often been thought of as referring to the Olympic games, with the witnesses watching a conflict, but that's not the thought of this passage at all. The word witness, you know, comes from exactly the same word as inartyr. The ancient martyrs were witnesses to their faith, even unto death. As John Calvin puts it in his commentary on Hebrews: "We are so surrounded by this dense throng, that wherever we turn our eyes many examples of faith immediately meet us. . . . He had said that faith is sufficiently proved by their testimony, so that no doubt ought to be entertained; for the virtues of the saints are so many testimonies to confirm us, that we, relying on them as our guides and associates, ought to go forward to God with more alacrity." These witnesses, those who have given their lives in faithful service to God down through the ages, attest by their experiences to the faithfulness of God to His people. They gave themselves to the same contest in which we are engaged. Therefore, as we read their story and hear of their valor and victory, it ought to increase our earnestness. When we know what they did, we will know what we ought to do.

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By the record of their lives they reassure us that endurance is possible; that though we may endure hardness, it will last only for a day. God's grace will sustain us, faith's rewards are certain and enduring. So, seeing that we "are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses," of martyrs, of men who had given their life for the faith, for the preaching of the Word, let as go forward and follow their example-a memorial to all about us. That's the thought here. W e must witness for our faith as they did for theirs. And that's the thought that comes to you when you walk in some of the spots of great heroism for God-the island of Iona and that secret Vale of Glendalough some miles south of Dublin. G o and spend a few days there among the ruins of those ancient churches of the pre-Catholic Christian world. When you walk in the holy places of the Holy Land, in the footsteps of Jesus and the apostles, think of their witness for Christ. When you go to Rome, visit the Mamertine Prison, where the apostle Paul shook his chains with slow and tedious move. You will be surrounded by the witness, the martyrdom, of these men of God. So "we are surrounded," says John Calvin, "by this dense throng, that wherever we turn our eyes, many examples of faith immediately meet us." That's the idea. Not that they are watching us, but that we are watching what they did and thinking about it. Their faith was sufficiently proved by their testimony. W e are to look upon their record. All these heroes of faith are still speaking to us as does Abel of old (Heb. 1 1 : 4 ) . There is certainly an immense resource of biography in the Bible and outside the Bible, a long list of Christian preachers of whom we ought to know, but whom we too often neglect. Reading of them will encourage us to "lay aside every weight," not merely the negative sins one

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES" might think of at once, but the sin that clings to us so closely, like a cloak that winds around our legs when we are trying to run a race. W e must be freed from this excess baggage if we are to do our greatest work for the Lord, just as the runner in the Olympic games would throw aside his robes and begin to run in earnest. With all the clinging garments gone and all the weights left behind, he ran with all his might, as for life itself, to win the fading crown of victory. In our race everyone can win. There is many a thing that the preacher may have to throw aside, things that are not wicked in themselves but which inhibit him in his race. To win the race of the great preacher, he may have to give up his car agency, or something else. He may have to give up something which is all right for somebody else to do, but which, like a flowing garment, would entangle him as the servant of the Lord. He must free himself from all those things. As we study this list of witnesses we learn one great truth-they bore witness to reality. These true witnesses of God were not seeking personal fame or notoriety or glory, or to get their name at the top of some list in the union paper. These men did it all for the glory of God. In his book The Dark Mile, John Hutton refers to Browning's "Bishop Blougram's Apology." And, by the way, every preacher ought to read Browning's poems from beginning to end, I think. That poem about Bishop Blougram is worth any preacher's fifteen minutes of reading. Blougram tells of Verdi, the great composer and conductor. He wrote some good operas, and some not so good. He was conducting one of his worst operas in Florence before a great audience. Because of his fame as a musician, he carried the crowd with him. They thought, It must be good because Verdi is

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doing it. At the close of this performance the audience rose and applauded him and threw roses to him. They made a great acclamation just as though he had performed a masterpiece. Verdi knew he had failed to do his best, yet he received all this applause. He bowed and bowed and bowed. He stood drinking in the praise, and acknowledging it, until he happened to look around and see the great master Rossini. There he sat in his box just looking at him, as though to say, "0 Verdi, Verdi!" Then Verdi just collapsed and got out of sight as quickly as possible. And so it will be with those who choose the praise of men. Someday, somewhere, they will catch the eye of some sincere worker, or the eye of God Himself, and then how they will shrivel! W e do not serve for praise or for honor or glory. In fact, if we preach as we ought to preach, we will have lots of kicks and knocks, and lots of folks won't like our preaching. W e can learn much from the lives and preaching of these preachers in the Bible and in church history. So again I say, Read biography! Emerson once said, "There is no history, only biography." Why don't we make more use of it? There have been many histories of preaching, but none of thcm very complete, There has never been a complete history of Christian preaching written by one man. The nearest to it was Dargan's, issued in 1912, but he died before his last volume, on American preaching, was finished. He completed only the part referring to Europe. Dr. W. G. Blaikie wrote a fine book on Scottish preaching, entitled T h e Pretichers of Scotlnrzrl From the Sixth to the Nineteelath Celztllry, published in 1888. Of course, Scotland has led the Christian world in preaching. Probably the finest history of preaching ever attempted is that just com-

''50 G R E A T A CLOUD OF lVl'rATE:',YS'EC"


plcted, T h e Njstory of Prcnchilzg iiz Gritciin c i ? ~ r / /ltl~ericn, by F. R. Webber, a three-volume vork. Up until this time no comprehensive history of preaching in the English-speaking world has ever been attempred. lllis writer begins with a period especially neglected, the period of the Celtic Church in England, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, and Scotland. A lot of new material has been brought to view in the past few years on this, and this set-at least the first part of it-is really worth reading, You will especially enjoy it if you have any English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or Cornish blood in your veins, because this part of the history of preaching has never before been recorded, and while it has been said that no man can be a theologian unless he is a Scotsman or a German, there have been some great preachers of Celtic origin. Get hold of Webber's book. It brings you down through Britain and the United States as no other book ever has. Not only is it a history, but it is filled with biographies of great preachcrs, and it would be well for all of us to read it, or at least the most important parts of it. Of course, there are some pages that are dry, as they naturally would be, with long lists of names that we know nothing about; but most of it will be a thrill and an encouragement to you. N o doubt they have it here in the libraries. All right-we have Dargan for the first part, up through Europe; then, taking Webber from there on, we have a cornplete history of preaching. In doing so, we discover the very important fact that we, as Seventh-day Adventist preachers, are not alone in the world. W e are indeed "compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses." W e are at the end of a procession that stretches back into the ages, even to Abel himself, a procession in which there are practically no gaps, a procession of men of God who have heard the Word of Cod, who were

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and are Bible preachers, men who loved God, many of them even unto death, dying as martyrs of Jesus. Some of these men since New Testament times did not have all the truth as we see it, but they loved God, they loved the Lord Jesus Christ, they accepted the inspiration and authority of God's Word, they warned men against sin, and bore witness to Jesus as the only Saviour of sinful men. By the way, if you ever get hold of that old Scottish book, Peden t h e Prophet, be sure to read it. It will tell you about a mighty preacher who had to live much of the time outdoors in the moss hags, and who ran for his life up and down the moors of Scotland to escape the dragoons of Lord Claverhouse. He had the Spirit of prophecy just as surely as Sister White had it, but his biographer tries to slough the thing down and cover it up. "Of course, it couldn't have been," he said, yet he had to record these things in his biography. You see, the man who wrote the book didn't believe in the Spirit of prophecy. Alexander Peden was one of those great Scottish preachers, and the very things happened that the Lord showed him would happen. He showed him that he would not be killed by his persecutors, that he would die in bed. And he did. But after his burial some cruel soldiers went and tore his body out of the family vault and hung it on a gallows on a hill. It is a very interesting story how he prophesied-and it was written down in his own handwriting-that he would be buried in the midst of God's people. But there he was, hanging on a gibbet out on the hill. When a certain countess living nearby saw his body hanging there, she was outraged, although she herself was not favorable to Peden's religious views. She reported it to the governor, who also was an opponent of Peden, religiously,

"SO G R E A T A C L O U D OF W I T N E S S E S "
but he was so angry at what the soldiers had done that he said: "My administration set up this gibbet for thieves and criminals, not for preachers of the gospel. You go and cut him down and bury him where you got him, or else at the foot of the gallows." They buried him at the foot of the gallows, and every faithful believer in all that part of Scotland wanted to be buried beside him, as close as they could to the foot of the gallows. As a result, today there is a great Christian cemetery right around the gallows. These men of God down through the ages all preached Christ crucified, and they all preached justification by grace through faith. They did not have all the points of truth as we hold them; and I suppose, if time should go on a thousand years, the people just before the end would have more truth than we have. W e ought not to go around thumping our chests and thinking we are so wonderful because we have all the truth. W e don't have it all-none of us do. W e simply approximate it. W e are studying, and we ought to grow in grace and in the light of God. W e ought to believe that "the path of the just is as a shining [or morning] light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day [or full day]" (Prov. 4: 18). Certainly men today ought to have more light than those who lived yesterday, especially when the yesterday was five hundred or a thousand years ago. But who is to say whom the great Judge of all preachers will reward in the day of the harvest-the man who has lesser light and follows it more earnestly and faithfully, or the man who has greater light and follows it less closely, less faithfully, with less danger and trouble. Let us be sure that we follow as earnestly and as sacrificially as these men in past ages did. It seems to me that many of them put us to shame.

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About many of these men in this "cloud of witnesses" we know so little, for their lives have been hidden by the smoke screen of their enemies. They were maligned, misunderstood, misrepresented, as we read in the book of Revelation. There are Christians today in many remote parts of the \vorld, and no one knows how they got there. There are rumors and traditions and semihistorical records carved on stone and in manuscripts in those far-off places of Central Asia, China, and India. Someone preached the gospel there. In Southern India there are the Saint Thomas Christians and others. How did they get there? They were there when history opened, as far as we know. The tradition is that the apostle Thomas preached there, and those Indian Christians will show you his grave. Maybe he was there. Somebody preached Christ to those people in the land of the Brahmans. Of course, they have deteriorated through the centuries and do not have the light as we have it. From the Syrian lands missionaries went to the far west, to what we now call France and England, long before the Roman Catholic missionary Augustine landed on the shores of England in A.D. 597. When he arrived there was a strong Christian church in Britain. There evidently were Christian preachers in pagan Ireland before Patrick, that servant of God who did so much to bring the light of Christianity to the Druids of that warlike land. W e read the words of a portion of his Coizfession: I, Patrick, a sinner, the rudest and least of all the faithful, and most contemptible to grex numbers, had Crllpurnius for my father, a deacon, son of tllc late Potitus, the presbyter, who dwelt i n the village of Banavan. Tiberniae, for he hacl a small farm at hand with the place where I was captured. I was then almost 16 years of age. I did not know the true God; and was taken :o Ireland in captivity with many thousand men in accordance

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF IY/lTNETSES"


with o ~ deserts, ~ r because we walked at a distance from God ,~nddid not observe His commandn~ents. That's the confession of Patrick-not a word about the pope in it, or anything like that. As a young inan he was carried away into captivity by a band of pirates who were raiding the coast, and taken over into Ireland. Most of northern Ireland was pagan at that time. During the six years of his slavery he learned the Celtic language in its Irish form. God was training him in obedience through the things that he suffered. Finally he ran away from his servitude and got on a ship carrying a load of hunting dogs to Gaul. There he received a Christian education, but in his heart he seemed to hear voices from the woods of Ireland begging him, "Come over; come over and help us!" Neither the tears of his parents nor the reasoning of his teachers and friends could hold him back. W e find him again in the Emerald Isle among the Druids of the high king Loigaire at Tara and all the little kings of Ireland. He went at once to Antrim and tried to convert the man who had been a slave master over him. He did not succeed in this, but he won many converts. What a preacher he was! Then he went to Tara, the capital of Ireland. "The harp that once through Tara's halls the soul of music shedv-you remember Thomas Moore. There before the chief Druids and the king of Ireland he preached the gospel of Christ long before Roman Catholic missionaries overspread Ireland. Soon Ireland had a great system of Christian education and missionaries going out all over the world. There are some late books written about these things, which are very interesting. The old books spoke of monks, and we had the idea that the Roman Catholics did this work. It wasn't that at

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It is a thrilling experience to meet some of these Inen there as they construct anew these buildings. And you can walk today on the very stones that Columba and his companions walked on in the ancient church over a thousand years old. The interesting thing about it is that the Scottish lord who owns the island permitted them to do this rebuilding on the condition that any Christian denomination could use the buildings. What a wonderful place it would be to have a council for our preachers, there amid those wild scenes to walk upon the stones that once echoed to the feet of these consecrated men preparing to go out for world evangelism. What a place for prayer and meditation. It would really be a wonderful experience. But some 165 years before Columba landed on Iona, Ninian, a British preacher, became the first missionary to the north, the country we now call Scotland. He received his education down in Rome, but was strongly influenced by Martin of Tours. He built a church, which he named Candkic~Casrz, "the White House." Its ruins may still be seen just up from Wigtown Bay on the southern coast of Scotland. W e must mention also Piran, the great apostle of Cornwall. Born in Ireland, he crossed to preach to the pagan Cornishmen, landing near what is now Perranporth, or Piran's Port, in Cornwall. He became a careful student of the Scriptures and met with great success in his preaching. Before his death he called his followers about him and admonished them to search the Scriptures daily and warned them about the coming antichrist, which, he declared, would attempt to overthrow the work of the Celtic Church, which he had founded, and set up a foreign church in its stead.

''SO G R E A T A C L O U D OF IVITNESSES" W e know, of course, that this happened when the papal missionaries arrived later, and finally secured control of the British Isles. I have enough Cornish blood in me to be interested in Piran. You can go to Cornwall today and see the foundations of Piran's tiny church, twelve and one-half by twenty-five and one-half feet, still there, where he went and began to preach to those pagans. W e will not take time to speak of that great preacher, Columbanus of Finbar, Petrock, Gall, Aidan, and others, or of Camgal, who trained hundreds of preachers in those early days. One of the historians of these men says, "These men could preach the gospel with the unmatched eloquence of the Celt, but they did more, they lived the gospel." Then came the invasions of the Angles and the Saxons, the raids of the vikings, the oppressions of Rome through the authority of kings and other rulers; and preaching fell into great darkness. However, there were some faithful men who still proclaimed the Word of God. Many of the most popular preachers of those days thought themselves bound to give not only the literal meaning of the text-now I am talking about the Catholic preachers who came in during the Dark Ages-but the allegorical or parabolic teaching, the typologic, the etymological, the anagogic or analogical, the typical or exemplar, the anaphoric or proportional, the mystical or apocalyptic meaning of every text. N o wonder those poor peasants couldn't understand. N o wonder the people lost interest in the sermons; and if we get too anagogic today, we will experience the same thing. While the preaching in those days was by monks in the monasteries founded by the papal church, and was all in Latin, there were a few monks who went out and preached

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to the people in the vernacular. But it was a dark time for preaching. Early in the thirteenth century came the preaching friars to England-the Franciscans and the Dominicanswho preached in the language of the people. They certainly were not welcomed by the regular village priests. These preaching friars were persecuted just as much as were Wesley and Whitefield centuries later. Without a doubt, they did a great deal of good. But, sad to say, after a hundred years or so, these friars became rich and popular, built big monasteries like the others, and preaching went down again. Human nature being what it is, when their in4uence became considerable, they lost their missionary zeal. The period of five hundred years before the Reformation was the great age of church building, the days "when the cathedrals were white," as one writer has put it. These gigantic cathedrals, "sermons in stone," arose all over Christian Europe. Preaching went down; building went up, and took its place. Beginning about 1050, when Edward the Confessor's Abbey at Westminster was begun, part of which is still there for anyone to see who visits it today, churches were going up all over England-the great abbey churches at St. Albans, Glastonbury, and Exeter. Many of the clergy became architects and master builders, such men as Lanfranc of Canterbury, William of Wykeham, and Bishop Branscombe of Exeter. My father told me that, as a little boy, he used to play on the cobblestone area before the front door of the cathedral at Exeter; that he remembered the fagade of that building covered with images of great men of old. Under the arm of one of them was a cannon ball. When Cromwell was fighting

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF W/ITNESSES"


with Charles I, Exeter held out for the king. When the armies of Cromwell \yere besieging the city, a cannon ball was shot over the \\all and lodged under the arm of this image. Naturally, when I was in England I went to see Exeter Cathedral, and sure enough, there was the cannon ball still under the arm of the image! The front of the building is covered with images of David and the apostles and prophets, standing there life size and larger. These great buildings were erected at a time of depression as far as preaching was concerned. Most of the incidents of the Old and New Testaments were spiritualized. People were fed upon allegory. Preaching was at a low ebb, although here and there were faithful men who did the best they could to let the light shine and preach careful sermons, for no age has been without its witnesses. The local priest couldn't preach any more-he just gave up. So I'll tell you what they did. The bishops of the church got together and they wrote up a lot of sermons and sent them out in a little book called the Book of Homilies, which was read to the people on Sundays. These simple, practical expositions of the Scripture, some of them very well suited to the needs of the congregations, were used in place of original sermons. You can get those old books now, by the way. However, the language is so passe it wouldn't do you much good in your work today. Maybe we ought to get some books of homilies. They might be better than some of the things we do get. If we had a good book of sermons sent out by the General Conference or the Ministerial Association, we could at least read a sermon that was a sermon, and the people would get something. Some of us read homilies anyway. Why not have something good? One of the better preachers, even in that dark day, was

373

FEED hlY S H E E P Stephen Langton. Of course, you are all scholars and know who he was. I-Ie studied at the University of Paris and was finally made Archbishop of Cantcrbury. Not only was he a great preacher in those dark days of preaching but he was one of the very few bishops or archbishops who could preach. Strange to say, in all the history of the church, archbishops and bishops have made very little mark as preachers. I suppose they were so tied up with their administrative work that they couldn't keep up with their Bible study and reading and so forth. But Langton was one of the men who did. Siding with the barons in their conflict with King John, in 121 5 he appended the first signature to the Magna Charta, one of the great foundations of political and religious freedom, as understood by English-speaking peoples. So we can thank a great preacher for helping to give us our liberties as Americans today, because our Constitution goes right back to the Magna Charta, which was forced upon the reluctant king largely through the influence of Stephen Langton, who was a great preacher and a great administrator in the church. Now we come to Wycliffe, the Morning Star of the Reformation, as he has been called. Read about him in T h e Great Controuersy. A strong preacher was Wycliffe-a Roman Catholic priest, yes, but a strong preacher, a man of God. Back in those days about the only preachers there were, were connected with the Catholic Church; but many of them were earnest men of God, according to the light they had, and Wycliffe was one of them. Because Wycliffe preached the Word in the language of the people and translated the Bible into the English language, too, his "conclusions" were condemned by his superiors, and in 1378 he was brought to Lambeth Palace to clear himself before the relates who had summoned him.

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF IBITNESSES"

As he stood before his judges, a noisy mob burst into the room. About the same time there came a message from the queen mother to stay the proceedings. Shortly thereafter Gregory XI died. Thus the Lord saved Wycliffe's life. Talk about our organizational setup now being difficult! I want to tell you, it is nothing compared with what ecclesiastical organization was then. Although it was worth a man's life in those days, Wycliffe went out and organized a group of traveling preachers-"poor preachers," as he called them. They all dressed in the same kind of garment-a simple russet-colored robe. They went out two by two and preached throughout England. These men were chosen on the basis of their character, religious zeal, and education. They lived simply and served without any salary, either earning their own living as they went, or being supported by friends. They were told to preach only the truths of the Scripture. Wycliffe declared that "one simple man, if the grace of Christ be in him, is more profitable to the church than many graduates, since he sows Christ's law humbly and abundantly by work as well as by word." These preachers of Wycliffe were finally called Lollards, and many of them were persecuted and put to death while on extended preaching tours. There is a large tower just across the river from Westminster Abbey called the Lollards' Tower. It is in front of Lambeth Palace, where the Archbishop of Canterbury has his London office. In this tower, and also in Bishop Bohner's Coal Hole, many of these poor men were confined and suffered for their faith. These lowly Inen carried the truth through a hard time for preachers, and we can learn from them. They are a part of this "cloud of witnesses." Someday God will reveal their names; they will be written high in His glorious city.

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Wycliffe died a natural death, but after he was buried the hatred of Rome against him was so great that his remains were dug up and burned, and the ashes were scattered on the river. So great preachers have not always been popular. The years passed, and suddenly on the scene of action came one of the world's greatest preachers, Martin Luther. After him, and getting a lot of their inspiration from him, came Cranmer, Latimer, Ridley, and others over in England. Those men were burned at the stake. Then came John Knox in Scotland. What a preacher he was! When he was an old, old man they had to carry him up into the pulpit, which was a kind of barrel in those days. And when he began to preach he would get so warmed up that the people were afraid he would beat the whole thing to pieces-such a preacher he was. You will want to read about John Knox. W e could talk about him by the hour. Queen Mary tried to charm him with her beauty and personality. She couldn't accomplish that, so she threatened him. She said, "I'm more afraid of John Knox's sermons than of all the armies of England." He gave that queen a real scorching talk one day. W e can learn from all these experiences of John Knox. From time to time laws xvcre issued that suppressed all preaching. There were other laxvs that suppressed the prcaching of certain persons. Preaching was looked upon as one of the main weapons, if not the main one. And consider Calvin in France and Switzerland. These men didn't always preach exactly what you and I preach. Calvin took the position that in the matter of our salvation, God does it all. Some of us have gone to the other extremewe don't believe that God has anything to do in our salvation; we do it all. The truth is between the two viexvs.

" S O G R E A T A CLOUD OF W I T N E S S E S J '


Latimer's preaching in the days of Henry VIII attracted more attention than that of any other man, but he suffered much from religious persecution. When Bloody Mary came to the throne in 1553, one of her first acts was to throw Latimer into prison in the Tower of London, along with Cranmer, Bradford, and Ridley. In 1555 Ridley and Latimer were led out and burned at the stake near Balliol College, Oxford. There is a stone pillar today at the spot where they died as martyrs. Someone has described Latimer on the day of his martyrdom as "an aged man, wearing an old threadbare Bristol frieze gown, girded to his body with a penny leathern girdle, at the which hanged by a long string of leather his Testament [his Greek Testament); and his spectacles, without case, depending about his neck upon his breast." These words, probably written by his servant, described his appearance at his trial and execution. At the stake, Latimer turned to RidIey and said: "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. W e shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." And so they did. Preachers through the ages have paid a great price for the preacher's freedom to preach. Do we appreciate that freedom? Would it not be well for us to think about Latimer once in a while and thank God for that candle he lighted, thank God for the wonderful prayers he wrote in the Book of C o m ~ n o n Prayer? By the way, he was not a stern-faced man of frowning visage, as you sometimes see him pictured. He was a jovial person, noted for his constant wit, his shrewd retorts, his friendliness. He had his faults all right; we can easily find them. N o doubt others could find fault with us, and justly so. He didn't write out his sermons, as many others did in those days, but his servant took them

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down in a sort of shorthand. That's why many of them are preserved for us. Latimer was such a popular preacher that crowds packed into St. Margaret's at Westminster to hear him until the seats were all smashed and trampled to pieces. D o you get crowds like that? I say, let them come. People are worth more than seats. They had to set up a pulpit for him outdoors at St. Paul's Cross, which in those days stood just northeast of the majestic St. Paul's Cathedral. This cross was a sort of gathering place for the people, where they had outdoor preaching every day. One of the charges that he brought against the religious rulers of the land was that they were "unpreaching prelates." Isn't that a phrase?-"Unpreaching prelates, idle ministers." Let us never be "unpreaching prelates." If we are going to be prelates, let us at least preachwhat do you say? Every man upon whom the hands of ordination have been laid should preach, more or less, but mostly more. Sometime get Latimer's great "Sermon of the Plow," and read it. It will do your soul good. Maybe you will want to preach it someday, or one like it. He has been called the father of English preaching. Here is one thing that he said about prcaching: "This is the thing that the devil wrestleth most against: it hath been all his study to decay this office. H e worketh against it as much as he can: he hath prevailed too much, too much in it. He hath set up a state of unpreaching prelacy in this realm this seven hundred year; a stately unpreaching prelacy. He hath made unpreaching prelates; he hath stirred up by heaps to persecute this office in the title of heresy." Strong talk, isn't it? In this "Sermon of the Plow" Latimer's wit is in evidence. He tells the story of the pompous bishop who paid a visit

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


to a parish churc11 and didn't hear the bell ring in his honor. You see, they used to ring a bell when the bishop came to visit. On this account he reproached the poor parish priest. "Why didn't you have the bell rung when I came?" he asked. The priest and his congregation begged his lordship not to be offended, for the clapper of the bell had been broken and there had not been any time to have it replaced. Then Latimer comments, "There was one wiser than the rest, and he went to the bishop: 'Why, my lord,' saith he, 'doth your lordship make so great a matter of the bell that lacketh his clapper? Here is a bell,' said he, and pointed to the pulpit, 'that hath lacked a clapper this twenty years. W e have a parson that fetched out of this benefice fifty pounds every year, but we never see him.' I warrant you," continued Latimer, "the bishop was an unpreaching prelate." A whole constellation of strong preachers now aroseThomas Cranmer, Ridley, Bilney the Roman Catholic, John Hooper, John Rogers, Matthew Parker, and Bradford. W e could name many more, but we haven't time. Many of these men sealed their faith with their blood. When you go down to Smithfield Market in London today, you will see a brass marker on the curb right where the big fire used to be that burned up these preachers. "The fires of Smithfield; the tortures at Goa," remarks Albert Barnes. Bradford used to preach every day, even while he was in prison, and the keepers permitted the people to come to hear him. One of John Bradford's famous sayings was his remark when he saw a criminal led to execution, "There goes, but for the grace of God, John Bradford." That statement has been attributed to dozens of other men, and of course many men have said the same thing; but Bradford originated it.

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There was Bernard Gilpin, known as the Apostle of the North, an earnest Roman Catholic. He engaged in a controversy with Peter Martyr, a Protestant, and in gathering material for this disputation he was converted and himself became a great Protestant preacher. He was commanded finally to appear before Bishop Bonner in London on a charge of heresy. On his way to London he broke his leg, and while he was recovering from his injury, Queen Mary died; so his life was saved. In this case, certainly it is clear that good came out of evil. The Elizabethan period followed-the golden age of English literature, the age of Shakespeare, Spenser, Bacon, and rare Ben Jonson. It was not an age of great preaching. Queen Elizabeth didn't do much to encourage it. There was, however, a long period of gradual improvement that began about her day. Next we come to the Puritan age, a time of great preaching and great persecution-persecution largely by the established Church of England and the Episcopal Church in Scotland, and also to a certain extent in the American colonies. Laws were passed compelling people to attend church on all Sundays and festival days under penalty of fine. Hundreds of preachers who would not take certain oaths of office were expelled from their livings. Would you be willing to give up your salary and everything for your belief in some particular doctrine? These men did. Many pastors of the established church never went near their churches. They lived in London on a good salary and left the people without any preaching. This caused much criticism and helped to stir up the spirit of Puritanism and finally Separatism. Some of these Separatists fled the country and went to Holland, where they stayed for twelve years. 380

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


They sailed to America on the Mayflower in 1620 to seek religious liberty. What sought they thus afar? Bright jewels of the mine? The wealth of seas? the spoils of war? They sought a faith's pure shrine! Ay, call it holy ground, The soil where first they trod! They left unstained what there they foundFreedom to worship God! -FELICIA D. HEMANS And we are the heirs of that freedom. King James I met the Puritan preachers at the Hampton Court Conference of 1604. He tried to compel them to follow the High Church views. Finally he stood up, went out of the room in anger, saying, "I shall make them conform themselves, or I'll harry them out of the land, or else the worse." That was King James I, who authorized the translation of the Bible-"the learned fool," as he has been called. He knew everything, but didn't know how to live right. Then came Charles I to the throne and, with Archbishop Laud, he zealously supported rigid Anglican orthodoxy. One day I was preaching about the persecutions of the covenanters under Charles 1 1 . Claverhouse was one of the commanders in this wicked program of persecution. There was a man sitting right behind me who was a direct descendant of Claverhouse, a Scottish preacher, but I didn't know it. He came to me later and said: "Brother, you told the truth. Claverhouse was my great-great-great-grandfather." In that meeting I had told how one of these preachers was hiding in a cave and the Scottish believers were sending

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food to him by a little boy seven or eight years old, because he wouldn't attract attention as he went out over the moss hags. At last he was detected, and Claverhouse, at the head of his dragoon, caught little Jamie. "We know where ye've been, Jamie. Tell us where he is and take us to him," they demanded. He said, "I canna. I canna." "Come on, now, tell us, or we'll kill you." "I canna." That's old Scottish backbone, I'll tell you! Finally Claverhouse himself grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck, pushed his horse to the edge of the cliff, and held the boy out over the rocks. "Now," he said, "Jamie, tell us where he is, and take us to him, or I'll drop you." The little boy twisted around, looked at him, and said, "I canna." "I'll drop you, and it's one hundred feet down," said Claverhouse. Then the little fellow, still looking at him with a tear in the corner of his eye, said, "I canna, and I willna." His mother had told him not to tell. My friends, that's what we need-backbone like that. "I canna and I willna." Then he finished his sentence by saying, "It's not as deep as hell." One hundred feet down, but not as deep as hell. And that's good Scottish doctrine too. Then came the first Civil War. W e don't have time to go into all that, and what it meant to preaching in the days of Cromwell. Cromwell, who was himself a preacher, led a great army at the Battle of Naseby, which ended all chance for the cause of King Charles I and gave Protestantism a new lease on life. Remember how Cromwell rode up and down in front of those Roundhead soldiers, clerks, and barnyard boys,

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


disciplined into the toughest soldiers in the world at that time. Hc rode along in front of the line and gave them their battle cry for the coming contest. You know what it waswords from the sixty-eighth psalm: "Let God arise, let his enemies be scattered." W h o couldn't fight with words like those in his heart? No wonder the Cavaliers were defeated. Truly great preaching arose out of great sorroLvs and sufferings and trials in such times. The Anglican preaching in those days, we are told, was more often topical than exegetical. It was the same with the Puritans-there was the influence of scholasticism. Structural forms were intricate, with many subdivisions and sub-subdivisions. Introductions were lengthy. There were observations, "uses," or applications. The Puritan preacher attempted to present every possible detail of the subject, whether there was a practical application to the needs of the congregation or not. The sermons, then, were often a number of minor truths, loosely tied together by the text. If, as someone has said, three detached sermonets do not make one sermon, how can thirty or forty separate ideas result in unity? Yet, in spite of all these things, many of these men, through their own greatness, were great preachers. In our day of twenty- to forty-five-minute sermons it is hard for us to imagine a Puritan congregation listening quietly to a forty-five-minute exposition of Scripture, two hours of preaching, two prayers each a full hour long, two prayers each a half hour long, and one prayer fifteen minutes in length-in other words, a six-hour service. Preachers of that time believed that no great scriptural truth could be made plain or presented in less than an hour or two. Even in the days of Chalmers, Wesley, and Whitefield it was believed that it took an hour at least-probably more-to make an impression upon the hearers.

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There may be some truth in the views of these men. How can anyone do justice to a great scriptural truth in fifteen or even twenty minutes? Not many can develop warmth or clearness in that time. It is said that in past days many of the greatest preachers could not develop warmth or enthusiasm or make a powerful impression until after they had preached for twenty minutes or a half hour. Someone has said that "sermonettes often make Christianettes." The sermons of the Puritans had many faults. They were overloaded with Greek and Latin quotations, and with farfetched parallels and finespun symbolisms and, as a whole, were too intricate in organization; but the preaching was vigorous, and it was Biblical. Those old Puritan preachers were really stout and preached long sermons. Some of the old books of record back in New England today say that on a certain Sunday the people gathered at eight o'clock in the morning-remember, there was no heat in those churches, and sometimes it was ten below zero inside as well as outside, but that's what kept them awake, of course! From these old records you can read that Dr. So-and-So prayed most divinely for an hour. Then they sang a psalm; then the Reverend So-and-So prayed most divinely for two hours. Then they sang a psalm and the Reverend So-and-So preached most divinely for four hours. Then So-and-So prayed most divinely for an hour. Then, when it was all over, they went home to contemplate most divinely what they had heard. Now we may laugh, but that was their life, and those Puritan preachers knew the Bible and human nature. The state church in those days had its slothful, careless, poorly educated men, who received the financial support and a good living from some nobleman for just reading a dull

"SO GREAT A CLOUD 01; WITNESSES"


scrmon on Sunday. On the other hand, some of the Puritans were narrow, ranting fanatics, soured on life. Possibly these are the exceptions on both sides. Preachers in those days were not distracted by so many activities. They had time to think, to study, to write out their sermons before they preached them; and the congregation was free from the overorganization that is evident in some places today. Many good books on Bible study, exegesis, and comment, which were written by these preachers of the Puritan age, are being reprinted now, and some of them are very important. W e certainly would not care to follow them in their intricate sermon outlines and organization of homiletic material, but we could learn much from them in the way of earnestness, conviction, and willingness to sacrifice for God and to work hard in order to preach the Word of God acceptably. T o see how the influence of these Puritan preachers comes down to our day, we think of Laurence Chaderton, who went to Cambridge University as a Roman Catholic, and there accepted the teachings of the Reformation. For fifty years he preached at the university, and hundreds of undergraduates and others crowded the chapel to hear him. Not only could he persuade his hearers, he could stir them to action. He had a good command of English and a wide understanding of Scripture, with a fine voice and personality. He was one of the most successful preachers of his time. Under his preaching, more than forty men were convinced of the claims of Protestantism and became preachers. One of these was his brotherin-law, Nathanael Culverwel. In his congregation one of the young men whom he influenced was John Winthrop, who later became governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. Another was William Perkins, who in turn influenced John Cotton,

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finally was brought to God in conversion, and in 1653 was baptized and joined the Baptist Church. It was unpopular to be a Baptist in those days-lots worse than to be an Adventist in these days. Not long after this he began to preach, and though he was not well educated, his language was purified by the reading of the Scriptures and by prayer. Thrown into Bedford jail because he wouldn't stop preaching, he produced there one of the world's immortal books, Pilgrim's Progress, besides his Grace Abounding, T h e Holy Wal; and other writings that are not so well known. In the past two hundred years Pilgrim's Progress has been translated into more languages than any other book except the Bible. Bunyan lived such a good life in prison that the jailer often let him go home to see his family. He was actually allowed to go out and preach and return to jail. Quite a paradox, when he was in jail for preaching. After twelve years in prison he was released, and became pastor of the Bedford church to which he belonged. When he went to London to preach, as many as three thousand people would gather at daybreak to hear him. A historian says that Bunyan was a tall, well-built man of ruddy complexion and reddish hair. His sermons are somewhat lacking in literary polish, yet admirable in their choice of exact language. There are some who class him as one of the two or three greatest masters of clear, direct English of any age. His sermons are lengthy, and with many divisions and subdivisions, which were popular in his time. However, there is a profound appeal and a depth of fervor in these sermons that would have brought him fame aside from his Pilgrim's Progress,

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


W e must let the years roll by and pass over many, many great preachers. There was Matthew Henry, the English Nonconformist preacher \vho, like John Wesley, attended a school that his father had established in his own home. He became pastor of a Presbyterian congregation at Chester, where he preached for twenty-five years. Here is where he wrote his ten-volume Commentary, which is used by many even to this day. It is, of course, devotional rather than critical, but still ought to be read by every preacher at least once, as Spurgeon said. Whitefield read it from cover to cover several times, and at the last reading he declared his admiration was so great that he read it upon his knees. Even today it has a lot of good things for preachers. Many young preachers have ridiculed it during the last two and a half centuries, but in an emergency they often turn to it. W e think of Matthew Henry as a writer, and forget that he was primarily one of the great preachers of his time and one of the most hardworking preachers who ever lived. And there was Isaac Watts, whom we think of as a great hymn writer. Many of his songs are in the hymnal you used last Sabbath; but he was also a preacher. His father was a deacon of the Congregational Church and suffered persecution for his religious views. Someone has described the mother of Isaac Watts as sitting on the steps of the jail in Southampton, holding a sickly baby in her arms, waiting for her husband to be let out of jail. That infant was Isaac Watts. He began to study Latin at the age of four, and Greek at nine, French at ten, and Hebrew at thirteen. At seven he was writing poetry. He refused to accept the free offer of a scholarship from one of the universities, because it would mean affirmation of belief of the teachings of the Church of England. This decision was made at the age of sixteen.

"SO G R E A T A C L O U D OF WITNESSES"
Watts wrote six hundred hymns. Amonp them arc "0 God, Our Help ill Ages Past" and "Wlirn I Survey the Wondrous Cross." To 11~lve vri~terlthis I'itter hymn alone would be enough honor for any man for a whole lifetinle of work. He was a sickly man and slender and died in 1748. A doctor friend who was with him said that he spoke of the promises of salvation and a future life as recorded in the Scriptures, and declared, "I believe them enough to venture an eternity on them." Then a little later he said: "I remember an aged minister used to say that the most learned and ]mowing Christians, when they come to die, have only the same plain promises for their support as do the common and unlearned; and so I find it. 'Tis the plain promises of the gospel that are my support; and I bless God, they are plain promises, which do not require much labor and pains to understand them; for I can do nothing now but look into my Bible for some promise to support me, and live upon that." And that's good advice for any of us. When I visited Isaac Watts' grave in Bunhill Fields across the street from Wesley's church, I bowed my head and quoted some of his great hymns. Bunhill means "bone hill," by the way. It is where they used to throw the bones of the martyrs out in a field. You might say that now it is the sacred burial place of the Protestant world. Then there was William Law, who exercised so much influence on John Wesley, and George Whitefield, Samuel Johnson, and even Edward Gibbon, and Philip Doddridge, and also who wrote Rise and Progress o f Religion in the Sor~l, many fine hymns that we still use. Doddridge was also an expert student of shorthand. He was a sickly man and died at the age of forty-nine. He was a true preacher of Christ and Him crucified, and in his addresses to theological students he always insisted upon the grand design of preaching as revealed in the Scriptures. O n one occasion he said, "I would strictly charge all who are designed for this glorious work that they preach Christ; that they insist upon Him as the only foundation of a hope for glory; that they labour that He may be in all their hearers by a lively faith, and not only by an outward profession." Now upon the world, like a breath from heaven, came a great evangelical awakening. There was a widespread reaction against generations of spiritual exhaustion. W e come to the American colonies and William Tennent, who in 1736 built his famous "log college" at Neshaminy, twenty miles north of Philadelphia, where he trained young preachers for the Presbyterian ministry. From there his four sons-Gilbert, William, Charles, and John-went out as great preachers. Contemporary with Gilbert Tennent was Jonathan Edwards, who began his great work in Northampton, Massachusetts. He was a theologian, philosopher, and mighty preacher, as well as college president. Some time ago, with a friend, I stood by Jonathan Edwards' grave on Presidential Row at Princeton Cemetery, and these words of Whittier, from "The Preacher," a poem dedicated to George Whitefield, came to me : In the church of the wilderness Edwards wrought, Shaping his creed at the forge of thought; And with Thor's own hammer welded and bent The iron links of his argument, Which strove to grasp in its mighty span The piirposc of God and the fate of man! Yet faithful still, in his daily round To the weak, and the poor, and sin-sick found, The schoolman's lore and the casuist's art Drew warmth and life from his fervent heart.

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Jonathan Edwards was not only a thinker, welding the iron links of his argument, but he was a great preacher. Think of him standing there before his church. He had given out his text, "Their foot shall slide in due time" (Deut. 32: 35 ) , and that loving man, that deep scholar, preached a message that made people forget themselves. They were crying out, begging him to cease, for thcy could endure no more. It seemed that the fate of the lox was right there before them. They could hear their cries and their blasphemies. One may not agree with all that Jonathan Edwards taught on the punishment of the wicked, but he was right that there will be a punishment, there will be a judgment day. A great revival was sweeping over the land, carried by preachers who believed in the realities of human responsibility and the holiness of God, as depicted in Whittier's poem, as it continues: Through the ceiled chambers of secret sin Sudden and strong the light shone in; A guilty sense of his neighbor's needs Startled the man of title-deeds; The trembling hand of the worldling shook The dust of years from the Holy Book; And the psalms of David, forgotten long, Took the place of the scoffer's song. While the Great Awakening was sweeping through the forests of North America, a similar revival was shaking England as George Whitefield, John and Charles Wesley, and other members of the Holy Club in Oxford began to preach. In 1739 Whitefield began preaching in the open air at Kingswood Hill, Bristol. He no doubt had the most magnificent voice ever possessed by a human being. Tens of thousands could hear him out of doors, and hear him distinctly. Mighty audiences were swayed like a forest in the wind. Time after

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF IVITNESSES"


time he crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the dangerous, slowmoving sailing ships of that day. He died at Newburyport, Massachusetts, in 1770, shortly after preaching to a great congregation, many of whom followed him to his inn. He stood on the stairway holding a candle in his hand, as he was on his way to retire, when they asked for more preaching. Finally, as the candle burned down and was about to wink out, the great preacher ceased his preaching and went up to bed. The candle of his life burned out before morning. What a way to die! And what a preacher he was! I n his poem "The Preacher," Whittier tells of Whitefield's preaching out of doors, under the open sky, by the Merrimac River. Lo! by the Merrimac Whitefield stands In the temple that never was made by hands,Curtains of azure, and crystal wall, And dome of the sunshine over allA homeless pilgrim, with dubious name Blown about on the winds of fame; Now as an angel of blessing classed, And now as a mad enthusiast. Called in his youth to sound and gauge The moral lapse of his race and age, And, sharp as truth, the contrast draw Of human frailty and perfect law; Possessed by the one dread thought that lent Its goad to his fiery temperament, Up and down the world he went, A John the Baptist crying, Repent! Read this great poem, "The Preacher," for yourself. You will never forget it. See the Wesleys and Whitefield going up and down the land and across the seas-university men, filled with a message from God. During his lifetime John Wesley preached 42,000 sermons, while George Whitefield preached 18,000 in his short career of thirty-four years as a religious leader.

FEED M Y SHEEP
Wesley used a simple method. He entered a town on horseback, often without notice, put on his black robe and white bands, took his stand at the market cross (known in America as the public square), and sang a hymn to attract attention. Then, as the crowd gathered, he began to preach, and continued for an hour or more. George Whitefield often attended carnivals, fairs, and public executions, and there preached for an hour or more. Neither of these men had amplifiers, but they had wonderful voices. Whitefield was dramatic in his presentation, but Wesley was very rarely dramatic, nor did he use many illustrations. Both warned against noisy demonstrations. As they preached the law of God with power, the terror-stricken people often sobbed aloud or fainted. Then they brought the gospel medicine for sick and troubled souls. In short, they preached words of faith with great faith. These men preached a very clear, simple message on the main points of salvation. In the 1720's there was no theological school at Oxford in the present sense of the term. These great preachers had no systematic theology. They believed in Jesus Christ, who, by His perfect keeping of the law, became our substitute, respected the demands of that law, and imputed His righteousness to believers. They believed in Christ's atoning death upon the cross, that it made full and complete satisfaction for the sins of mankind, and that believers are justified by faith alone. One may read the printed sermons of both John Wesley and Whitefield without being greatly stirred, but the personality of the men made a mighty impression upon their age. Their preaching was really the foundation of the Advent Movement. Their sermons were generally topical. They came to close grips with their hearers in their preaching, and presented their message in a personal way to meet personal

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF IVITNESSES"


needs. They rouscd a terrible recognition of the lost condition in the hearts of their hearers. The great Methodist revival is said to have saved England from an explosion like the French Revolution. It also saved the Established Church from fox-hunting parsons and absentee rectors to a great extent. Preaching in the eighteenth century took on a new life. There was a sudden interest in shorthand, that sermons might be taken down verbatim. It was not unusual, especially in Scotland, to see men with a portable inkwell strapped to them and a quill pen over one ear, hurrying to join a great throng to hear Whitefield or Wesley preach. Animation in the pulpit became common. Congregations, as well as preaching, took on a new life. John Wesley himself preached for sixty-six years. While he lived and died a member of the Church of England, soon after his death his followers broke away and founded the Methodist Church. Wesley himself was in prison four times for his religious views. By the way, Wesley had a remarkable mother. She was the twenty-fifth child of the Reverend Samuel Annesley, a Nonconformist clergyman. She began to study theology at the age of thirteen; mastered Greek, Latin, and French as a young girl; and read the Church Fathers for pastime. She was the mother of nineteen children, of whom John Wesley was the fifteenth, and worthy, as George Dawson says in his biographical lectures, to associate with the four other glorious Johns of whom England ought to be proud: John Wycliffe, John Milton, John Bunyan, and John Locke. John Wesley was an ordained minister of the gospel and a foreign missionary for years before he was really converted and found the witness of the Spirit in his own heart that he was a child of God. Then his great preaching days began.

FEED M Y SHEEP
N o man can be a giant in the pulpit unless he is a truly converted man and the Spirit witnesses with his spirit that he is a child of God (Rom. 8: 16). Study Wesley's preaching and notice how he makes the great commonplaces of the gospel not only interesting but tremendously important. He treats common things in an uncommon way and uncommon things in a familiar way. This is always the sign of a great preacher. John Wesley believed everything he preached. He had a message. He had truth in his heart. It was a part of himself. N o man can do great preaching unless he has great faith, great conviction, and a great message. Wesley often preached from three to five times a day and, like Whitefield, found "the best preparation for preaching was preaching every day." God finds His preachers everywhere-John Wesley in an Episcopal parsonage; George Whitefield behind a bar in a tavern; yet both were master preachers. W e see Whitefield's tremendous power over his congregations from the fact that Benjamin Franklin was reluctant to carry any money with him when he went to hear Whitefield preach. He often emptied his pockets before such an occasion, knowing that he could not resist Whitefield's call for money to support his orphanage. At a meeting in New York, Whitefield was describing a ship dismasted and thrown on her beam ends by a storm. He cried out, "What next?" Several sailors in the gallery, rising to their feet, exclaimed with one voice in their excitement, "Take the long boat! Take the long boat!" Lord Chesterfield, who was the epitome of rationalism in that age and didn't believe in anything but himself, once went to hear Whitefield preach. Whitefield pictured a blind beggar going along with a little dog guiding him. The dog leads him right over to a cliff, nearer and nearer to the edge.

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


Finally the dog whirls to one side and pulls the leash out of the blind man's hand, so he is left alone there at the very edge of the cliff. The beggar drops his stick which blind men carry, and thinking it is on the ground, reaches down to pick it up. At that dramatic moment Chesterfield, leaping to his feet as if to avert a catastrophe, shouted: "Great God! He's gone! He's gone!" Now if you can preach like that, you will be a great preacher. I want to leave this point with you-all these great preachers were painters. They could see something, and because they could see it, they could make others see it. We, as preachers, should develop a Christian imagination so that we can describe what we see. That helps others to see it. Whitefield, like Wesley, was a man of prayer. He lived near God. He said, "Prayer, reading, and meditation are the chief preparations for preaching." John Wesley had his little prayer room in his home, in which it was my privilege to spend some time. There was nothing in that room except a chair and a tiny fireplace. There was a window, but it faced a wall a few feet away. My suggestion to you is to get books on the lives of great preachers, and read samples of their preaching. You would by Edgar De Witt Jones, enjoy T h e Roynlty of the P ~ l p i t , published by Harper and Brothers in 1951. It is a book full of thumbnail portraits and interesting facts about preachers who have presented Lyman Beecher Lectures on preaching at Yale University. The book begins with Henry Ward Beecher, whom one must return to again and again when he thinks of preaching, the man who for forty years made Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, a national institution, and who said in one of his lectures to young preachers: "You think that when you preach you must preach so as to touch the top heads in

FEED M Y SHEEP
your congregation. Touch the bottom and you will be sure to touch the top. . . . He that puts a jack screw under the roof is not going to raise the whole building, but he who puts a jack screw under the sills of the building and raises them up, will I think, raise everything that is above them." This book covers the history of American preaching over a period of eighty years, and brings it right up to our day. You will read about such men as Dr. Niebuhr, Dr. Scherer, Drs. Buttrick, Sockman, Sizoo, and many others. The trend in preaching is changing through the years. Today vital preaching is almost always conversational. Remember that preaching is really glorified conversation. Like good music, it needs no defense but its rendition. Be sure to read the life of Bishop Simpson of the Methodist Episcopal Church, the one who stood by the side of Abraham Lincoln and often prayed with him during the darkest days of the Civil War. Bishop Simpson determined to be an extemporaneous speaker in the real sense of the word, and he was, in the sense that he did not use notes or manuscript. He kept a commonplace book in which he jotted down texts that appealed to him, facts and ideas for sermons. He wrote nothing except a bare skeleton, often only a few hours before preaching, but he never took his notes with him into the pulpit. Like Whitefield, Bishop Simpson broke away from the false idea that a sermon should never be repeated. Whitefield said, "I can't preach a sermon really, until I have preached it forty times." Don't be afraid to preach sermons that you have already preached, but improve them all the time. Leave out the weak points. Strengthen them, build them up, make them mighty weapons in the service of the King. Don't be tied by them, but grow with them. W e think also of Phillips Brooks and his famous sermon

"SO GREAT A CLOUD OF IVITNESSES"


"The Spirit of Man Is the Candle of the Lord," which he pre;~ched at \Vestminster Abbey when he visited London. Read that sermon, and read about him. He was one of the greatest preachers the Protestant Episcopal Church ever produced and, like most great preachers, he quoted hardly at all. He was the one who defined preaching as "the communication of truth from man to men." There was T. de Witt Talmage, whose wife died at our Washington Sanitarium. His style was florid and oratorical, which is very seldom heard today. Like great preachers everywhere, he preached to the heart. He said: "A preacher should start with the idea of helping somebody. Everybody wants help except a fool." Most of his texts were from the Old Testament, though he was not a doctrinal preacher. His method was topical rather than textual, but his message was clear. He divided his sermons under simple subheads. For instance, his sermon on "The Laughter of the Bible" has five divisions: ( 1) Sarah's laugh-the laugh of skepticism; ( 2 ) David's laugh-the laugh of spiritual exaltation-"Then was our mouth filled with laughter"; ( 3 ) The fool's laugh-sinful merriment, or "the crackling of thorns under a pot"; ( 4 ) God's laugh, or that of infinite condemnation-"He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh"; ( 5 ) Heaven's laugh, or the laugh of eternal triumph-"Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh." Talmage tells how he used to read his sermons from manuscripts, and of the experience he had that caused him to change-I told you about that yesterday. Then, when he came to die, his son asked him what he believed. I think I told you about that also. Talmage replied that when he was thirty years old, he had fifty beliefs, but now only one-that he nas a great sinner and Jesus was a great Saviour.

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W e will just mention Billy Sunday, whom the Lord picked from a baseball team there on South Michigan Street in Chicago. Two of the best Bible instructors I have ever had were converted by Billy Sunday. When one of them took her stand in his meetings to become a Christian, she went to him and said: "Mr. Sunday, what church should I join? 1 want to follow the Bible." H e replied, "Oh, they are all based on the Bible." She said, "Well, I know; but I want to follow the one that-" "Well," he answered, "they allG o and study them and they'll show you." "No," she said, "you brought me to Jesus, and I know you know. Mr. Sunday, please tell me the one you think comes the nearest to the Bible teachings." "Well," he said, "if you want to follow the Bible just as it was written, go and join the Seventh-day Adventists." And she did. She became a wonderful Bible instructor. These two Billy Sunday converts became Bible instructors and helped me to win many, many hundreds of people-in fact, about two thousand-to the truth. Time fails us to speak of Moody, that man of simplicity, that bush aglow who, when he became discouraged and sort of preached out, would go over to England and visit Spurgeon's tabernacle. He would sit in the gallery with his arms on the railing, with tears running down his cheeks, as he listened to Spurgeon preach. Mrs. Moody and Mrs. Spurgeon were great friends. He would listen to Spurgeon preach for five or six nights, then get on a ship and come back to America, filled with fire and encouragement, and ready to preach like a new man. It is good to hear other men preach now and then. Do go and hear the great preachers.

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


W e must not fail to mention the leader of the preachers of the illovemellt from which we sprang-William Miller, a consccrated farmer and converted skeptic. H e was an earnest Bible speaker, whose simplicity and honesty compelled the attention of the most rebellious in his congregation. Read his sermons-simple and honest and straightforward they are. Then there was John Loughborough-little John Loughborough. When I was just a boy I heard him preach at a General Conference held in a big tent right out here on these grounds. H e had to stand on a table so he could be seen. There was no amplifier, but the people heard him clearly. W e think also of S. N . Haskell, that great Bible student. Brother Haskell said he didn't dare start studying his Bible while waiting for a train, for he would become so engrossed that trains would come and go and he wouldn't know a thing about it. There was K. C. (Kit Carson) Russell, a real mind, a legal mind-and what a preacher! Another of these mighty men of the Word was G. 13. Thompson-I would g o to hear him preach, and would be thrilled all the rest of the year. I would g o back to my work and be a sort of second-rate G. 13. Thompson myself. Thank God for his wonderful influence. W e ulould mention 0. 0 . Bernstein, Charles Everson, and dozens and hundreds of other men of God who have preached in this movement-some in other lands whom we don't know so well-men who carried the gospel to the world. Then there are the men who have built up the church of God in all ages, men whose names we have never heard, and will never know until we stand with them before the great white throne and meet the Master of all preachers face to face.

FEED MY SHEEP
W i t h "so greilt a cloud of witnesses" from t h e days of t h e ancient prophets until our time, let us g o forward i n our work, "1ooki11~ u n t o Jesus," o u r Example, o u r Master, a n d o u r Lord. God's preachers i n t h e Christian dispensation, like t h e prophets of old, have often been misunderstood, mishandled, even persecuted. I n his p o e m entitled "Ezekiel," which is probably o n e of t h e most impressive poems h e ever wrote, W h i t t i e r mentions t h e fact that Jesus suffered m u c h from m a n y of those w h o heard H i m ; and, while a l l true preachers may h a v e t h e same experience, they will have their reward a t last. And thus, 0 Prophet-bard of old, Hast thou thy tale of sorrow told! The same which earth's unwelcomed seers Have felt in all succeeding years. Sport of the changeful multitude, N o r calmly heard nor understood, Their song has seemed a trick of art, Their warnings but the actor's part. W i t h bonds, and scorn, and evil will, The world requites its prophets still. So was it when the Holy One The garments of the flesh put on! Men folIowed where the Highest led For common gifts of daily bread, And gross of ear, of vision dim, Owned not the Godlike power of Him. Vain as a dreamer's words to them His wail above Jerusalem, And meaningless the watch H e kept Through which His weak disciples slept. Yet shrink not thou, whoe'er thou art, For Cod's great purpose set apart, Before whose far-discerning eyes,

"SO G R E A T A CLOUD OF WITNESSES"


T h e Future as the Present lies! Beyond a narrow-bounded age Stretches thy prophet-heritage, Through Heaven's vast spaces angel-trod, And through the eternal years of God! Thy audience, worlds!-all things to be The witness of the Truth in thee!

LECTURE

NO.

T H E T O N G U E OF F I R E
like it. His sermon would be considered dry by many ~ ~ ~ do 110 not like preachers to make them go to the trouble of thinking. They are like the old shipbuilder of Marblehead, xvl~oused to go to church every Sunday and have a good time, but when the new preacher came he didn't like him at all. When his wife asked him why he didn't like the new man, he said: "Well, with that other preacher I could lay down a ship-a fine ship to go around Cape Horn in the China trade-I could lay down the whole thing from the keel to the quarterdeck by the close of the sermon. With this fellow I can't even get the keel laid. He won't let me think about it." Lots of people don't like preachers who make them think about what they are saying. But the day of Pentecost is come. Peter begins to preach. The Holy Spirit is present with mighty power. Peter's sermon is no more than quoting passages from the Word of God and reasoning upon them. Yet as he continues, the tongue of fire by degrees begins to burn its way into the feelings of the great multitude. They are arguing among themselves in various languages as to what is the matter with these men. Some think they are drunk. But, as Peter preaches, the tongue of fire does its work. The murmuring ceases. The mob becomes the congregation. The voice of the fisherman becomes the voice of God to their souls. The words rush on like a stream of fire. First one coating of prejudice is burned through, then another, and another; and at last the fire cuts through the innermost covering of prejudice that lies upon the heart. It burns away and now the message touches the very soul of man. There seems to be one mind in the congregation. That's the way it is in preaching with the Holy Spirit's power-that one mind takes control of the congregation. The onlv time I heard Sister White reach was in 1912

The Tongue of Fire


"And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat u p o n each of thertz."Acts 2 3 .

JR TEXT is Acts 2: 3: "And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them." I begin this talk with a quotation from William Arthur: "If the preaching of the gospel is to exercise a great power over mankind, it must be either by enlisting extraordinary men or by the endowing of ordinary men with extraordinary power." These words are from a little book, T h e Tongue of Fire, that my grandfather gave to my father. Earnest Methodist preacher that he was, he wanted his son to know that God gives the tongue of fire, the true power for preaching. The gift of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost was what made ordinary men do an extraordinary work. Most of us-we might just as well admit it-are ordinary men. Some very nice things have been said about me here, but really they are not true. I am just an ordinary man like you. W e are all ordinary men, but we have an extraordinary message, and in preaching it we must have extraordinary power, the power of the Holy Spirit. Now, a great many people did not like the preaching of Peter on the day of Pentecost. Lots of people today wouldn't

FEED MY SHEEP
a t the Boulder, Colorado, camp meeting, where Varner Johns and I had charge of putting the furniture in the tents and helping to locate the people. He \\.as one of the older big boys, and I was one of the younger big boys. The meeting was held in the Chautauqua building, which had an iron roof and no amplifiers, of course. About 5,000 people were there, most of them non-Adventists who had come to see the "Adventist prophet." Brother Willie White, Sister McInterfer, and Sister White came onto the grounds in a horsedrawn carriage. It was the first time I had seen Sister White, and I remember how impressive it was to me-God's prophet. 1 Willie White led her out to the table where she was to 1 speak-just a little old lady in a black silk dress, with a little j cap on her head. But, oh, when she started to preach, there 'came one Bible text after another-at least a hundred of 1 them quoted right off, just like that--one text after another. She had no notes-no sir! She had her Bible. She never had to look at it, but she would keep turning the pages and i i quoting the texts. I can't remember what her subject was that day, but I know that her voice was like a silver bell as it carried out to the great audience. It started to r i n , but above its din on the iron roof, you could hear that silver voice ringing out clearly through it all. When she had talked about forty-five minutes, her son came out, took her by the arm, and said: "I think you are getting tired, Mother. You have talked long enough now, and .I think you had better zit, down." You see, she died just % h a t h r e e years later, and she was getting feeble. She said: "No, not yet, not yet. I haven't prayed yet." Then she knelt down and began to pray. And when she did, something happened. Before that she was just a dear old lady, tallcing. But when

THE TONGUE OF FlRE


she knelt down, a great change came over that congregation. She was God's prophet then, and God honored her. "0 my Father," she began. I can hear those words yet. You can give me a lot of proof of the Spirit of prophecy, and I accept and believe it. But if I didn't have one of those proofs, I would believe in her because I heard her [ j , , , pray. That, to me, was the greatest proof of her prophetic office. Within thirty seconds after she began to pray, we were all in the presence of God. I was afraid to look up lest I should see God standing there by her side. She was talking with Him, and she was completely oblivious of others around her. Within a minute you could hear sobs all over the building. That great congregation was in tears. There was one mind, one conviction of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Holy Fire, the Spirit of God, as she prayed. I'll tell you, my friends, it made many changes in lives. People were surprised by the power and presence of God. They never expected that. They came to see a prophet, something strange-but God took hold of them. They were weeping and crying out. Talk about your psychology if you want to, there wasn't any of that there. She was quiet until she started to pray, and then, just like that, it was there-a tongue of fire! She had it when she prayed. I was there, and I know. When . she .-- got up, she was just a dear old lady again. So on the day of "Pentecost there was one spirit, one mind-the mind of the preacher. Shame, tears, sobs, overspread the great assembly. Think of those prejudiced people. Think of those hardheaded businessmen, those fanatical religionists, there in Jerusalem that day. All of them under the same spell, the same conviction. At length from the depth of the crowd, like a groan from a troubled heart, came the cry, "Men and brethren,

407

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what shall we do?" (Acts 2 : 3 7 ) . God had fulfilled His promise to His prophet of old, "I will be with thy mouth" (Ex. 4 : 1 2 ) . So when you are troubled and fearful in some great assembly, just remember that promise of God, "I will be with thy mouth." Never before had three thousand men listened to an unwelcome message of a preacher, an unskilled man in public address, no orator, with no training except his time with Jesus, and hardly has such an audience since. But this one gift, the tongue of fire, brought conviction and conversion to three thousand eternity-bound men. Now this speaker had two advantages. He had a truth to carry, and he had the power of the Holy Spirit with which to declare it. Now, my friends, when you have those two things-when you have God's truth and God's Spirit-you don't need to worry about anything or anybody. This gift of divine utterance is placed by Saint Paul above the gift of tongues. "Greater is he that prophesieth than he that speaketh with tongues," he said ( 1 Cor. 14:5 ) . This was proved on the day of Pentecost. This was the first demonstration of prophesying in the New Testament church as distinct from the ancient predictions and prophesyings of the Old Testament-public, I mean-as a gift in proclaiming the gospel. The gift of tongues was a sign to unbelievers that the higher gift of prophecy has two offices that the gift of tongues could never fulfill. One is the edifying of the believers and the other is the effect upon the unlearned unbelievers. You know, 1 Corinthians 14:24, 25 says: "But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all: and thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face, he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth."

T H E T O N G U E OF FIRE
One must hear the gospel in his own tongue, or in a tongue that he understands, before the message can touch his heart and regenerate him. This sort of prophesying is different from prophecy in the ordinary sense in that it conveys no special revelation. Neither does it reveal some truth hitherto unrevealed as to future events. It employs the intellect; it employs the organs of the body according to natural laws, but under the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit. It is a gift in which the whole of man's nature works in cooperation with the Spirit of God. The intellect is illumined, lighted, by divine light. The moral power is quickened; the physical organs speak with divine power. This gift is placed by the apostle as the highest gift, the one in which man stands closest in communion with God, as His intelligent instrument for the hallowed work, the work of calling prodigal sons back to the arms of their mothers, the gift of convicting sinners and transforming them into saints, the gift of condemning the world of the ungodly, the gift of universal application designed to be permanent until the very end of time. It is equally needful for the edifying of the faithful, and for the conviction and conversion of sinners. This is preaching. This is the tongue of fire. Now think of that new church, born there on the day of Pentecost. It faced the world with its new religion, new to the people there. Christ had risen, the resurrected Christ. Of course, the church was based on all the truth of the past. But it was without money, without history, without a priesthood, without a college, without a printing press, without a people, without patrons. All that the early church had were the two sacraments and the tongue of fire, and this latter was the instrument of her aggression, the sword of the Spirit, which was the Word of God, because the Word of God that

FEED M Y S H E E P
came down from heaven was what the apostles preached. I will never forget what a very wonderful man, a good friend of mine, said one time. W e were trying to get The Voice of Prophecy on some more stations, and I said: "I am sure that if we could get on there for six months we would gain enough income to pay our way. Won't you brethren trust us? You have to have faith, and we should go Forward in Faith. That's the motto of The Voice of Prophecy." This man said: "Well, I believe in faith. There is nobody who believes in fa