Quiet Hints, Chapter 22–"Thy Speech Betrayeth Thee”

post date: February 12, 2010

Notes taken from Quiet Hints to Growing Preachers by Charles E. Jefferson, Chapter 22, “Thy Speech Betrayeth Thee.”

The greatest danger to which a young man is subjected in the Seminary, is not, as many timid folks imagine, heretical interpretations of the Scriptures but a style of language which the plain people do not understand.

The first essential of effective preaching is that every man shall hear it in the language in which he himself was born.

People care nothing for learning in preachers unless much else goes along with it.

Next to the baptism of the Holy Spirit the most indispensable gift for every American preacher is a mastery of the English tongue.

His words should be clear as crystal and his sentences should shed light. His paragraphs should cut like swords and flash like torches.

His style must be pedestrian. It must fit down close around the skins of things.

A clear and moving style is not to be had for the asking. It is an attainment bought by most men by agony and sweat of blood.

Preachers as a rule are not simple enough.

The great words are nearly all short words, God and man, heaven and home, wife and child, life and love, faith and hope, joy and grief, pain and death, all these and a hundred like them drop easily from the tongue.

A preacher’s style should be full of color and music.

A man must himself be simple and true.


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