HOW TO SINK A SERMON
Let me sink this fortnight’s sermon by starting with a long quotation. (Just kidding: we don’t want it to sink!) W. B. J. Martin: “Last Sunday, I heard a young preacher practically sink his sermon before he launched it. Perhaps because he was a modest young man, he elected to begin his discourse with a long quotation. Were the congregation not kindly disposed toward him, they would have left before he was halfway through the blessed quotation; but they patiently waited until his own voice appeared and were not disappointed. I would lay it down as a general rule that quotations should rarely exceed one line — two at most, if they are pertinent. And they should never be introduced by such patronizing remarks as: ‘As that great playwright Shakespeare once said.’ Shakespeare’s fame is firmly established; it needs no endorsement from us. I shall never forget the revulsion I felt when a clever pulpiteer explained to his congregation,…
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