Hints on Extemporaneous Preaching (Google eBook)

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Cummings, Hilliard, 1824 - Extemporaneous preaching - 93 pages
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Page 59 - ... of it. Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that every one must be content to remain just what he may happen to be.
Page 60 - If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, what hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, and attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution...
Page 81 - ... true eloquence I find to be none but the serious and hearty love of truth; and that whose mind soever is fully possessed with a fervent desire to know good things, and with the dearest charity to infuse the knowledge of them into others, when such a man would speak, his words...
Page 23 - The degree in which, after the most careful preparation for the pulpit, new thoughts, new arguments, animated addresses, often flow into my mind, while speaking to a congregation, even on very common subjects, makes me feel as if I was quite another man, than when poring over them in my study. There will be inaccuracies, but, generally, the most striking things in my sermons are unpremeditated.
Page 62 - Alas, they come ruined and worthless from such a man as this. They lose that holy energy by which they are to convert the soul and purify man for heaven, and sink, in interest and efficacy, below the level of those principles which govern the ordinary affairs of this lower world.
Page 62 - With such encouragement, how inexcusable is the negligence, which suffers the most interesting and important truths to seem heavy and dull, and fall ineffectual to the ground, through mere sluggishness in the delivery! How Unworthy of one, who performs the high function of a religious instructer, upon whom depend, in a great measure, the religious knowledge, and devotional sentiment, and final character...
Page 55 - He exiled nimself from home; and during his absence, in various lands, passed not a day without a rhetorical exercise, seeking the masters who were most severe in criticism, as the surest means of leading him to the perfection, at which he aimed. Such, too, was the education of their other great men. They were all, according to their ability and station, orators; orators, not by nature or accident, but by education, formed in a strict process of rhetorical training ; admired and...
Page 40 - ... merit of being elaborate; and affords a new instance how wide a departure may be made from nature with very little care, and how apt easy writing is to prove hard reading. Among the sources of this corruption may clearly be distinguished as the most fruitful, the habit of extempore speaking, acquired rapidly by persons who frequent popular assemblies, and, beginning at the wrong end, attempt to speak before they have studied the art of oratory, or even duly stored their minds with the treasures...
Page 62 - What encouragement is thus given to the industrious ! With such encouragement, how inexcusable is the negligence which suffers the most interesting and important truths to seem heavy and dull, and fall ineffectual to the ground, through mere sluggishness in...
Page 32 - This is a far better preparation than the bare writing of sermons, for it exercises the powers more, and keeps them bright. The great master of Roman eloquence thought it essential to the true orator that he should be familiar with all sciences, and have his mind filled with every variety of knowledge. He, therefore, much as he studied his favorite art, yet occupied more time in literature, philosophy, and politics, than in the composition of his speeches. His preparation was less particular than...

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