Preaching

Illustrations in Preaching, Part 2

Third Series of Lectures to My Students

The Art of Illustration: Being Addresses Delivered ot the students of The Pastor’s College, Metropolitan Tabernacle

By C. H. Spurgeon, 1905

Lecture 1: Illustrations in Preaching [Continued. Read the series.]

Windows greatly add to the pleasure and agreeableness of a habitation, and so do illustrations make a sermon pleasurable and interesting. A building without windows would be a prison rather than a house, for it would be quite dark, and no one would care to take it upon lease; and, in the same way, a discourse without a parable is prosy and dull, and involves a grievous weariness of the flesh.

The preacher in Solomon’s Ecclesiastes “sought to find out acceptable words,” or, as the Hebrew has it, “words of delight”: surely, figures and comparisons are delectable to our hearers. Let us not deny them the salt of parable with the meat of doctrine. Our congregations hear us with pleasure when we give them a fair measure of imagery: when an anecdote is being told they rest, take breath, and give play to their imaginations, and thus prepare themselves for the sterner work which lies before them in listening to our profounder expositions.

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Illustrations in Preaching, Part 1

Third Series of Lectures to My Students

The Art of Illustration: Being Addresses Delivered ot the students of The Pastor’s College, Metropolitan Tabernacle

By C. H. Spurgeon, 1905*

Lecture 1: Illustrations in Preaching

The topic now before us is the use of illustrations in our sermons. Perhaps we shall best subserve our purpose by working out an illustration in the present address; for there is no better way of teaching the art of pottery than by making a pot. Quaint ‘Thomas Fuller says, “reasons are the pillars of the fabric of a sermon; but similitudes are the windows which give the best lights.” The comparison is happy and suggestive, and we will build up our discourse under its direction.

The chief reason for the construction of windows in a house is, as Fuller says, to let in light. Parables, similes, and metaphors have that effect; and hence we use them to illustrate our subject, or, in other words, to “brighten it with light,” for that is Dr. Johnson’s literal, rendering of the word illustrate.

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Book Review – The Glory of the Ministry: Paul’s Exultation in Preaching

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Reprinted with permission from As I See It, which is available free by writing to the editor at dkutilek@gmail.com.

Reviewed Edition – Grand Rapids: Baker, 1977 reprint of 1911 edition. 243 pp., paperback.

This volume by A. T. Robertson (1863-1934), the greatest of American New Testament Greek scholars, is a running exposition of 2 Corinthians 2:12-6:10. Why this section of this book? Because in this section Paul lays bare his heart and experience as a preacher and apostle with all of its struggles, trials, failures, successes, glories and privileges. In this exposition Paul, and Robertson, speak to the heart and circumstances of the preacher of the Gospel. Here we find a sympathetic ear which knows the pressure and trials of the ministry, and successfully navigated them all. Every preacher can find much of value personally in these pages.

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