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Observer, Mar. 1, 71,

THE MODEL PREACHER. A SERIES OF LETTERS ON THE BEST MODE

OF PREACHING THE GOSPEL. By W. TAYLOR. London: H. J. Tresulder.

This is not a new book, but the recent edition is reduced in price, and the book cannot be read without advantage. Who is the “ Model Preacher ?The Author finds his Model Preacher in the one and only perfect Model Man-Jesus the Christ of God. We cannot say that everything presented by Mr. Taylor, who is a Methodist, is acceptable, but the book abounds with good thoughts. How much better it would be if some preachers were to realize the following lesson :

“To preach the Gospel effectively, you must first arrest the attention of your hearers. The mind of every man, woman, or child you meet is pre-occupied, either revolving some theme, or, more probably, indulging a reverie.

The same is true also of every person who comes to hear you preach. Every memory and imagination constitute the scene of a vast panoramic display of images and associations as wide as the world. If, like the prophet Ezekiel in the ancient temple of Israel, you could dig a hole through the wall, and look into the secret chambers of the souls of your hearers, you would see, right there in the Lord's house, farms and farming implements ; horses, hogs, and cattle ; lumber yards and merchandise of every kind ; railroads and canals ; bank stocks, commercial contracts ; deeds and bonds ; houses of every style of architecture, household furniture, and instruments of music; an association of old friends and new ones, engaged in public discussions and private confabs on all the exciting subjects of the times. In many minds you would see a train of gloomy associations -mistakes, forgets, mishaps, and wrongs unredressed. All these images, and a thousand more, pre-occupy the minds of your hearers, and hold their pre-occupancy, passing in and out in almost endless succession and variety.

Now it avails nothing for you to arise before such an assembly and say, 'Please to give me your attention. They can't do it. Not one in a thousand has sufficient mental discipline to give you undivided attention, till you arrest it by some power stronger than the sparkling reverie tide which bears him along so gently as scarcely to awake his consciousness of the fact. High intellectual development and piety on the part of your hearers, do not enable them to give you their attention unless you arrest it.

Your friend selects a good position in the chapel, from which he can see every gesture and catch every flash of your eye, determining, to give you undivided attention. Just as he gets himself well fixed for receiving and digesting every word of truth you may dispense, his attention is arrested by the opening of the door behind him ; he involuntary turns his head towards the fellow worshipper, as he walks up the aisle, looking for a seat, and says to himself, “That man looks very much like an old friend of mine—my old friend. He went to Chicago and bought land—increased in value-sold it for one thousand dollars per acre--went to California --wrought in the mines-made a pile-went to trading and lost it-made another raise and went to Oregon—was in the Indian wars there-came very near losing his life—went to Australia, was shipwrecked on his voyage, and came very near going under. I wish I could hear what has become of him. Fudge! what am I thinking about? I've lost a part of the sermon.'

He then tries to gather up and connect the loose ends of the chain of your discourse, riven and cast out of his mind by the image of his old friend, and now he is intent on hearing you through without interruption. Eyes and ears open to receive some stirring truth that will wake the sympathies of his soul. Following along in the path you have marked out for his thoughts, he hears you say, 'Some fastidious persons are like the old Pharisees, of whom our blessed Saviour said, 'Ye strain at a goat and swallow a camel.''

Yes,' says he to himself, the boys at school used to read it, 'Strain at a gate and swallow a sawmill.' A great set of boys! Bill Moore married his cousin. Bart got drowned, poor fellow! Andy Snider went to Shenandoah and learned the blacksmith's trade Bob M'Crown is a poor old bachelor, &c.' He chases those boys nearly all over creation before he wakes up, arrests his reverie, and comes back to the subject of discourse. Now he's your friend, and doing his best to give you his attention.

Around him are others who don't care much whether they hear you or not. There sits the architect, criticising, not your sermon, but the style of your church.

In the next seat is the physiognomist, scanning the faces of his neighbours, and by his side the phrenologist, counting the bumps on their heads. Farther back is the young lover, casting his glances towards the other side of the church.

Observer, Mar. 1, 71

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are rare cases.

Up in the amen corner sit the good old fathers, looking up at you with longing eyes and thirsty souls, thinking about the good times they had long ago under old Father Miller.

The good sisters, on the other side, are as variously and fully engaged, some examining bonnets and ribbons, some taking patterns of the new style of dress, some pricing goods.

The mother imagines she sees her boys in neighbour Jones' orchard stealing apples, which excites her holy horror. Another just remembers that she forgot to return the clothes-line she borrowed last week, and regrets it. Another wonders if poor little Jimmy mightn't get into the well before she gets back Another is wondering who did up your linen, saying to herself, 'It's a pity our preacher can't find somebody who can do up a bosom for him.'

Others are praying and trying to get their spiritual strength renewed ; but in spite of their efforts to gather in the wanderings of their minds, and to have their souls watered under the droppings of the sanctuary, their roving thoughts will run to and fro in the earth, while you are proclaiming the tidings of mercy to guilty souls.

They are there to hear the tidings, and waiting to be arrested and interested. Some, to be sure, care not for you nor your message, but you have them within range

of your Gospel gun, and ought to draw a bead on them and fetch them down.

Frank Dodge once said in my hearing, 'The best time I can get for maturing a commercial scheme, or planning a sea voyage, is at Church while the preacher is preaching, Away from the care and bustle of business, under the soothing sounds of the Gospel, I have nothing to disturb my meditations.' Now, my brother, don't suppose that these cases of inattention I have enumerated

I have only given you a glimpse at the mental workings, or, rather, wanderings, of every congregation you address, and of every congregation that assemble anywhere, till their attention is arrested. Not all indulging in vain thoughts, to be sure, for many are thinking of God, and in His law do they meditate day and uight. All occupied with their own favourite themes and thoughts, but none closely following the train of your thoughts, till you take them captive, and draw them after you, by the power of truth and sympathy.

You have no right to complain of their inattention, and it will do no good to scold them about it. It is your business to arrest them; knock their thoughts and reveries into pye; and, sweeping them away, insert your theme in their minds and hearts. To do this, you must wake them up, stir the sympathies of their souls, and thrill them, by all sorts of unanticipated means, with the joyful tidings of sovereign mercy, or the thunder: ing peals of coming retribution.”

We have said that our author takes the Saviour for his model : a few lines will give an idea of the leading traits in the preaching of our Lord which receive special attention :

"Sermonizing is but a means to that end, and not the end itself. It is but the scaffolding, and not the building. If the end of preaching may, in any instance, be more directly attained without formal sermonizing, do not lose your time, nor encumber your message with needless formality; if necessary, let the necessity determine the extent of its use. But the practice of sacrificing nearly everything necessary to the success of gospel preaching for the mere idea of being a systematic sermonizer is a humbug, nay, a sin against the souls of perishing men and women.

I opened a book of sermons a few days since, and the first one I glanced at contained forty-two divisions all numbered. Whát time has such a preacher left for the illustration and application of truth? The great teacher's model for gospel preaching en braces five essential characteristics :

I. CLEARNESS.—Clearness of perception, and hence clearness of statement, illustration, and application.

II. EARNESTNESS.—Earnestness of thought and feeling, burdening and thrilling the soul of the preacher. III. NATURALNESS.— Naturalness of delivery, embracing gesture, tones of voice

, everything pertaining to the act of proclaiming the tidings of mercy to the souls of the people.

IV. LITERALNESS.—Literal facts demonstrating the truth and power of the gospel, and literal figures, from real life, illustrating the great principles of the gospel.

V. APPROPRIATENESS.-A wise selection and adaptation of truth to the varied condition of thehearers.

I will take up these characteristics or essential elements of power in the order in which I have stated them, and, to some extent, illustrate them separately, and

then bring them

Observer, Mar. 1,71.

out in their harmonious, symmetrical combination, as the model of Jesus, for efficient gospel preaching, and then, by a careful test, show its conformity to the examples furnished by Christ and His Apostles.”

We can recommend careful reading of this book, feeling no doubt but every preacher must be the better for going through its pages.

Intelligence of Churches, &e.

&

me,

LETTER FROM J. AdaM.- According to of preparation for the work of evangelizaagreement with the General Evangelist tion, and having some conception of its Committee I left Birmingham on February nature and difficulties, I would enter upon 11th, to be engaged under their auspices for it “ in the strength of the Lord.” To all the ensuing six months. Because of special who have the cause of Christ at heart I would, and hopeful prospects Leicester has been therefore, appeal for still further kindness, chosen as a suitable locality for my first few and say Brethren, pray

for

" that I weeks' labour ; after which the desirability may have all needful wisdom, love, and power of visiting the smaller churches spread given me to do the work which may come throughout the kingdom (expressed at last before me either in edifving the saints or in Annual Meeting) will receive special aliun- preaching the gospel to unsaved sinners. tion, as the Committee may point out to And to all the brethren whose love to me. Having left my alma mater, a short Christ constrains them to support the outline of my reasons for going, and of present Training scheme, either by contriwhat has been done while there, may not butions of time or money, I now, as the be out of place. Being earnestly desirous immediate recipient of their grace, beg to of preaching the word and to be useful in return my heartfelt thanks.

I shall en the churches, and being deemed by the deavour, by Divine help, to show that their church in Dundee (my native town) and bestowments have not been in vain. May other brethren to have a fair measure of the Lord reward you and stimulate others qualification for the work, which might be also to increased devotion in such good largely increased by requisite leisure and works. Thus by the enlargement of means study, application was made accordingly for the scheme of training may be placed upon the advantages afforded by the Training a yet more advantageous footing, and the Fund, and a course of study under Bro. | disciples of Christ enabled to compete with King. The result was that I left my car- the learning and enterprise of the religious penter's bench in Dundee, and came to world by the establishment of a regular Birmingham to enter upon the work. I Training Institution similar to those of our began on Jan. 1, 1869, so that up to the brethren in America, &c., not to mention present date, Feb. 11, 1871, embraces a those of our friends the Baptists and Inde. period of rather more than twenty-five pendents of England and Scotland, &c., to months. Of that time fully twenty-two be under the guidance of Bro. King and have been spent in Birmingham, three of others. In this way, in my opinion, as a which (from Nov.9, 1870 to Feb. 11, 1871) people professing primitive Christianity, we were devoted to work in the Birmingham might be able to respond more effectively District, and under the direction and sup

to the Macedonian cries of “ Come over port of the District Committee. During and help us," now heard all over the land, the two years some ten weeks were devoted and at the same time to improve our to visiting Liverpool, Mollington, Wigan, position and influence as a religious comManchester, Dundee, Glasgow, North munity. May the Lord guide us all to Shields, Bedlington, Ratcliffe, and Leicester. nobler views of the missionary work of His Of the time spent in each place, the Har: Church, and to a deeper sense of personal binger for 1869-70 and the Observer for responsibility thereto, and then, with clear 1871 give an idea. It will of course be minds, warm hearts, and liberal offerings, understood that, with the exception of the we shall be prepared to advance with the time above accounted for, I was supported times to larger efficiency, to more earnest from the Training Fund, of which Bro. and loving service in the cause of our King is Treasurer. To him specially and Redeemer.

JOSEPH ADAM. to the Birmingham brethren generally, for ® Let no one suppose that we have their social kindness as well as their prac any desire to develope the present training tical help in my studies, &c., I cannot be arrangements into a college ; like unto too grateful. And now,

with this measure I those of “our friends, the Baptists and

Observer, Mar. 1, '71.

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Independents of England and Scotland.” | charged for admission, and gained his end-
If that be done the others," without pocketing the cash. - To Mr. King's lectures
Bro. King," will have the entire doing of the admission was free, followed by a
it. We hold those institutions, generally, collection, the residue, after paying rent of
as failures, completely so, so far as their theatre and printing, was given to the local
training of evangelists or preachers and institution for the indigent poor.
pastors are concerned. Students devote BURY.-Sir,-Secularism is now at a very
some five years to the college course, and low ebb in Bury. The bold lying and
generally come out largely unfit for the immorality exhibited during the debate
work before them. In scholarship they have covered the Secularists with infamy,
acquire considerable advantages; but in The Sermons by W. R. Sunman have
our large towns, in the same time and at crushed them lower than the ground.
less cost, superior results, in the same

J. BARRETT. direction, could be realized.

ED. AMERICA.-Fayette City-We have just BIRMINGHAM.—During the last month closed a most glorious meeting of twenty-two additions have been made to the Churches days, resulting in forty accessions to the in Charles Henry Street and Summer Lane, Church of Christ, at the above place. by immersion. The Church in Summer Thirty-five of this number were immersed. Lane held a tea and special meeting for the This congregation now numbers about one purpose of presenting a gift of books to hundred communicants, strong in the faith, Joseph Adam, upon his leaving Birming and working with commendable zeal. ham, and in token of esteem for him and They have lately completed their beautirecognition of help rendered during tho ful house of worship, which is a model of latter part of his sojourn here. A similar neatness and simplicity, attractive to the meeting was also held by the Church in worshipper on account of its charming simIcknield Port Road.

D. K. plicity. These brethren have been amply The United Young Men's Mutual Im- rewarded for their outlay and the commuprovement Society, consisting of members nity is greatly benefited by the efforts made in connection with the Churches of Christ, at this meeting in their behalf. Most of meeting in Charles Henry Street, Summer these converts are heads of families, and Lane, and Icknield Port Road, Birmingham, just in the prime of life, intelligent,

energetic, (having for its object the fitting of its and ready for every good work. The whole members for usefulness in the Churches,) country was roused up by the meetings. on Saturday evening, February 4, had the Never before, have we witnessed such an pleasure of presenting our beloved Bro. J. eager inquiry as to what the Bible teaches in Adam with a writing desk, fitted complete, respect to Christ and His gospel. All bearing an inscription, as a small testimo- denominations were largely represented. nial upon his leaving to enter upon the It was fortunate for the cause of Christ, as work of an evangelist. A number of well as for the salvation of the people, that brethren addressed the meeting expressing no sectarian preachers live in this town, their desires in reference to his future who, for reasons best known to themselves, labours, testifying the love and esteem prefer to abide in the rural districts. The which he has won for himself whilst house was so densely packed at times that it labouring in our midst, commending him to was with difficulty the writer could find the brotherhood generally not only as a room for his feet, the vestibule being filled useful but in every sense a Christian and a crowd surging around the entrance. Brother. Thus ended a happy and we While immersing in the romantic Monontrust a profitable meeting long to be re- gahela River, a crowd of five hundred gamembered.

G. WALTERS. thered along the banks to witness, at various WEDNESBƯRY.-On Sunday, February 5, | times, the solemn and impressive scene; Mr. Bradlaugh broke new ground for the some standing on the opposite side of the Infidel cause by delivering lectures in river, while many in skiffs would scud out this place. On the following Lord's day in the stream, and in a moment, form D. King lectured afternoon and evening in a semicircle about us while in the act the theatre, which is a commodious building, of administering the sacred ordinance. holding, perhaps, some 900 people. The While the stillness of death pervaded the place was crowded. The afternoon lecture large concourse of people, young men and was an exposure of Secularism and Brad. maidens would strike up the most tranlaugh ; and that of the evening was devoted sporting songs, among which was the song to the effects of Christianity. Questions -“Shall we gather at the river ?”—the were permitted. In the afternoon a Secu- beautiful strains of which could be heard larist from Birmingham made the audience across the river, while at the same time the indignant by his folly. In the evening he melting and plaintive power of these sacred was prudent enough to be silent, and no songs subdued every heart within hearing. questions were presented. Mr. Bradlaugh | A deep religious feeling pervaded the entire

a

community, and nothing was talked of for Hindmarsh.—With gratitude to God wo twenty days but the subject of salvation. have to report seven additions to the Church Meantime Bro. L. Southmayd had just in this place during the past month, six by opened å very encouraging meeting at Belle faith and baptism, and one by commendaVernon, three miles further down the tion.

T. PORTER. river.

Langhorne's Bridge.—Since last report We feel assured that the brethren all two have been added to the Church here by through this beautiful Monongahela valley faith, repentance, and immersion.-S. J. are determined to revolutionize that country Milang.-One useful sister has been by a united and aggressive movement. De received into this Church by letter of comnominationalism is at a very low ebb, and mendation.

S. J. the candid and honest-hearted people dis- Hotham, Melbourne, November 22.-It gusted with all sorts of contradictory sys- will no doubt be interesting to your readers tems of belief. Sectarianism quails before to learn that another Church of Christ has this aggressive power, and the clerical force been formed in the neighbourhood of Melwho support creedism are paralyzed with fear | bourne under most favourable circumas they witness the triumphant march of the stances, and with a bright prospect of being primitive gospel. We suppose that if the instrumental under God of winning precious clergy will stand apart from the people and souls to Christ. During the year, which perrait the masses to examine the Scriptures expired on November 8, I have been for themselves, the time is near at hand preaching on the Wednesday evening of when all the professed people of God shall each week in a rented hall in Hotham. work by the same rule, and stand together Having completed my year's engagement on the same Apostolic foundation.

in Melbourne, and there being a chapel The church in Fayette City is composed vacant in Hotham, it was rented, and on largely of working men and women, who Lord’s-day, November 13, was opened stand exclusively for the primitive faith, for worship and the preaching of the Gospel. admitting of no ecclesiastical crotchets, and On that day a company of between seventy approbating no silly measures of sectarian and eighty brethren sat down together at conciliation. For is it not apparent to the the Lord's table, and the right hand of most casual observer that wherever those Christian fellowship was extended to four preachers and churches fritter away our brethren and sisters, who had been baptized distinctive plea for Christian unity, by on the previous Wednesday evening. In coquetting with the Delilah daughters of the evening of the same day the chapel, denominationalism, there is no Christian which will seat 300 persons, was about three progress made in those regions, and both parts full, many of whom were strangers. preachers and churches lose their identity, On Thursday evening a tea meeting was even falling below the level of Protestant held in the chapel, when over 200 persons platforms, and in this way making a grand enjoyed themselves in the old-fashioned but humiliating failure ? This church is style. The public meeting, held after tea, the parent stem of two other churches in was full to overflowing, and many persons the same neighborhood --Maple Creek and went away being unable to obtain seats. Belle Vernon churches—two young and The chair was kindly taken by Wm. Hindle, thrifty swarms that migrated from the old Evangelist, recently arrived from England, hive, both of which are now as busy as who gave a most stirring address, and was bees making honey for the support of the followed by Bro. Green, who narrated the

R. steps which had led to the formation the AUSTRALIA.—

:- The following are reported church. After listening to pointed and in the Pioneer for December. -Adelaide.- earnest addresses from brethren Surber and Since last month twenty-four have been Carr, the first social gatherirg of the Church added to the Church, four by faith and of Christ at Hotham terminated. baptism. We have lately begun a cause in

M. W. GREEN. Norwood-a suburb of Adelaide. Bro. Maryborough, November 21, 1870.Porter and myself have been preaching Dear brethren,-Since my report of the there on Lord's-day afternoon for the past 17th September the good work here has three months. We have now commenced continued to progress, and the result of our to meet there on Lord's-day mornings and Bro. Surber's

recent labours has been furevenings. We have obtained a chapel, ther manifested. During these nine weeks eating about 250. Fifteen of the number eighteen have been added to the Church, eported above were from those worshipping three by reception, having been baptized in n this chapel before we took it. There are connection with the Baptists, and fifteen et more of the number who will join. We by baptism upon a profession of faith in ave a good prospect of success. H.S. Earl Christ.

G. HESKETH. as just returned from America.

Wedderburne, November 17, 1870.T. J. G. After a long interval it is again a pleasure

cause.

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