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FINNEY'S UNPUBLISHED LECTURES ON PASTORAL THEOLOGY.
By Charles G. Finney, Professor of Pastoral Theology and Lecturer
on Revivals, Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio, from his manuscript notes
of 1872, 1874, and 1875.
(Edited and provided by Rick Friedrich in August of 1998.)
II. RECIPROCAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PASTOR AND FLOCK.
III. LEGITIMATE FIELD OF PASTORAL INFLUENCE.
IV. PASTORAL HABITS OF STUDY.
V. PASTORAL HABITS OF DEVOTION.
VI. PASTORAL HABITS OF BUSINESS.
VII. PAROCHIAL DUTIES (OF OR PERTAINING TO A PARISH).
VIII. PASTORAL MANNERS.
IX. VISITING THE SICK.
XIII. MARRIAGE OF MINISTERS.
XIV. ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD WIFE. (ESPECIALLY A MINISTER'S).
XV. PAPISTICAL REASONS FOR PRIESTLY CELIBACY.
XVI. EVILS OF CLERICAL CELIBACY.
XVII. PREMATURE MARRIAGES.
XVIII. PREPARATION FOR THE PULPIT.
XIX. PULPIT EXERCISES.
THE PASTORAL THEOLOGY OF CHARLES G. FINNEY by Robert S. Fletcher.
1. Definition - A pastor is a shepherd of God's flock.
2. Authority for the office, Eph. 4:13.
3. Difference between pastors and evangelists.
(1) Evangelists bring good news, pioneers in the gospel.
(2) Evangelists win souls to Christ, and gather a flock.
(3) Pastors feed, lead, superintend, and watch over it.
4. Of what Pastoral Theology treats.
(1) Theology treats of God, his attributes and relations.
(2) Pastoral theology treats of all that concerns the flock.
(3) It embraces the whole field of pastoral relation and duty.
(4) By consequence, the reciprocal duties of pastor and flock.
5. How the office and relation is constituted.
(1) He is chosen and called to the office by the church.
(2) If he accepts, the office and relation are constituted.
(3) Also, the reciprocal duties of pastor and flock.
(4) Installation not essential.
(5) Expedient to secure fellowship and prevent ignorance and heresy.
6. Essential qualifications for a useful pastor.
(1) Sound, earnest piety; aggressive; steady; consistent; special anointing for the work; ripe Christian experience; not a novice, for how can such lead the flock?
(2) Constant growth in grace and in the knowledge of Christ.
(3) A constant disciple of Christ, and a pupil of the Holy Ghost.
(4) A special divine call to the work of pastor (1872).
7. What is satisfactory evidence of a divine call to this work?
(1) All men and women should have and obey a divine call.
(2) If they do not, they are not servants of God.
(3) If in this they are not conscientious, they will not amount to much.
(4) Yearning for the salvation of souls.
(5) Intense interest in the flock of Christ.
(6) Not inconsistent with providential circumstances.
(7) Or with other manifest calls of providence.
(8) Or with other manifest duties and relations.
(9) Natural possibility to fulfill its obligations.
(10) That is, health, physical and mental ability.
(11) Favoring providential circumstances.
(12) Natural gifts: Love of study; logical mind; gift of language; aptness to teach; sound education, or the means of obtaining one.
(13) Weanedness from worldly-mindedness.
(14) Strong and steady inclination to devote the life to this special work.
(15) Willingness to endure its trials and privations.
(16) The spirit and temper of Christ in this respect.
(17) Readiness to accept all its incidentals.
(18) Satisfactory inward apprehension of the will of God in regard to the path of duty.
(19) Trial of gifts that shall prove that God is with you in laboring for souls.
(20) It is generally agreed, that these are essential to satisfactory evidence of a divine call.
(21) In the same way, all persons are to have their special call evinced.
(22) In extending a call, the church certify their belief that the candidate is called of God.
(23) That having experience of his usefulness, etc.
(24) A divine call to any course of life, cannot safely be resisted or trifled with.
(25) This is true in all the callings and relations of life.
(26) If Christ calls to this work, he will be with and bless.
(27) Strong worldly inducements often overrule a divine call.
(28) Unbelief in regard to success often discourages.
(29) Counter inclinations often prevail.
(30) Stripes sure to follow, or be given up to the world.
8. Other important qualifications of a good pastor.
(1) Sound common sense.
(5) Moral courage.
(6) Good manners.
(7) Well-governed temper.
(8) Physical comeliness - not deformed bodily.
(9) Not given to money-making.
(15) Attributes of a leader.
(16) Good habits in all respects, see future lecture.
(17) Firmness, but not obstinacy.
(19) Not given to strong prejudices.
(20) Love of peace.
(21) Naturally kind and genial.
(22) A reformer.
(23) Natural affability and frankness that will encourage frankness and transparency in his flock.
(24) Ability to keep a secret, and faithfulness in this respect.
II. RECIPROCAL RIGHTS AND DUTIES OF PASTOR AND FLOCK.
1. It is their duty to aid him in his work to the extent of their ability - tithes.
2. Of course, he has a right to this aid.
3. They owe him a competent support.
4. This is his right.
5. A competent salary is one which will meet the wants of himself and family.
6. The principle of tithes is the true one.
7. It is the pastor's duty to give himself wholly to his proper work, and not spend his time and means in idleness or pleasure, (Porter).
8. The flock have a right to expect him to be at his proper work with earnest diligence.
9. It is his duty to be, and keep himself well informed.
10. It is their duty to furnish him with the means.
11. It is his duty to study and give them well-digested instruction.
12. It is their duty to so help him in every way, as to give him time, opportunity, and means.
13. He is bound to be the teacher and leader of the church.
14. They ought to regard and treat him as such.
15. A pastor is not merely one of the flock, but the shepherd.
16. He must exercise such discretion in his appointments for teaching, as will meet his own and their convenience and wants.
17. He has a right to their sympathy and support, if he is persecuted for his faithfulness.
18. It is their duty to encourage faithfulness, and to stand by him, and not fear for the salary and counsel a worldly prudence.
19. It is their duty to treat him with such respect and confidence, as to give him the greatest influence. This for their good.
20. It is his duty to deserve their confidence and respect.
21. They ought to place him above temptation to servility, especially to avoid his mendicancy (living on alms).
22. They are bound to abhor servility in themselves, to secure the world's support.
23. His salary is his due, and not to be regarded as a gift.
24. To be paid punctually.
25. The last debt to be repudiated, it is his bread.
26. Pastor and flock should understand their rights and duties.
27. As occasions arise, the pastor should wisely instruct them on these points.
28. He should be punctual himself, and train them to punctuality.
29. If they fail to meet their engagements, he should reprove them. Baptist minister at covenant meeting at Syracuse.
III. LEGITIMATE FIELD OF PASTORAL INFLUENCE.
1. His commission is from Christ, an ambassador.
2. If sent of God, he is His representative.
3. To assert His claims and secure universal obedience.
4. His field extends as far as the claims of God.
5. To all moral conduct of the flock.
6. He should teach, advise, reprove, warn, rebuke, persuade, and command, in God's name on all moral questions.
7. In public, social, private, domestic questions.
8. Should allow no limitation of his legitimate sphere, short of the claims of God.
9. He has the right, for it is his duty to teach, reprove, rebuke, persuade, and interfere, whenever and wherever it is necessary to prevent sin and secure obedience.
10. Also, on all questions public, social, private, domestic, that involve questions of duty to God or man.
11. All questions of public or private weal come within the true intent and meaning of his commission.
12. He is commissioned to all individuals, hence to the whole.
13. He can influence the masses only as he influences the individuals that compose the masses.
14. His aim is to mold private, individual character.
15. And thus secure the highest usefulness and final salvation of everyone.
16. Pastors should never admit that they are out of their appropriate sphere, when urging any claim of God. All are amenable to God.
17. The time, place, manner and circumstances of his teaching and interference should be guided by prayerful and well-considered discretion.
18. He should aim to form and control public opinion on all moral subjects. All Christians should co-operate.
19. To keep out all antichristian opinion and influences.
20. To promote the right kind and extent of education.
21. To secure public libraries of the best books.
22. To discourage the reading of injurious ones.
23. To rightly form the political opinions of all classes.
24. To regulate their pursuits and amusements.
25. To lead the way in all that concerns the well-being of the flock and community.
26. He is the appointed overseer. He has the oversight.
27. This idea will define the limits of his commission.
(1) A pastor must be a laborious man.
(2) He needs to be more than an ordinary man.
(3) Also a considerate and cautious man.
(4) A wise man, apt to forecast results.
(5) An unselfish man.
(6) To have a single eye to the good of the flock.
(7) A patient man, slow to anger.
(8) A meek man - if resentful, he will lose influence.
(9) A man of great faith.
(10) A man of large hope.
(11) A persevering man.
(12) Shun donation parties.
(13) Should not too much fear to be called eccentric.
(14) Nor to be an imitator, if the model be good.
IV. PASTORAL HABITS OF STUDY.
1. Have regular hours, and let your people know it.
2. Systematically, i.e., topically, settle every question, for example, take up one doctrine and learn all about it:
(1) Its history.
(2) Exact statement.
(4) Consistency with sound philosophy.
(5) With other doctrines.
(6) Whether above reason.
(7) By what method proven.
(8) When all settled, write and make a record of your conclusions, with your reasons, and all that you may need to refer to. This will save future time - will make you a good theologian, a safe teacher.
3. Test your conclusions by syllogisms, if necessary.
4. Reading is not study.
(1) Don't confound reading with study.
(2) Don't read to avoid study, i.e., to dispense with it.
5. Cultivate thinking.
(1) Be original and independent in investigation, and not a mere retailer of other men's thoughts.
(2) Don't lean on commentators. Read, but judge for yourself.
(3) Think consecutively.
(6) So master your subject, as to feel that you are right and that what you say cannot be gainsaid.
6. Utility - study what belongs to your calling. (George Candee, steam engine; Dr. Nott, stoves.)
7. Study law and government.
(1) Law and governmental principles important.
(2) Philosophy in all its departments.
8. Study history, church and secular. Study and not merely read.
9. Bible study - search and deeply ponder and digest the word of God.
10. General reading.
(1) Impossible to read everything.
(2) Select more important.
(3) Read as a help in study - to stimulate thought, to modify and correct thought, to strengthen conclusions.
(4) Examine the more generally read books, and periodicals.
11. Light reading.
(1) These books excite the sensibility too much.
(2) Also render it irresponsive to facts in real life.
(3) They are to the feelings what powerful stimulants are to the organs of tastes - render reality insipid.
(4) They are wearing upon the brain and nervous system.
(5) They are anything but light reading.
(6) They do not exhaust the logical power, but they do use up brain power rapidly.
(7) Not wholly to be avoided, but read sparingly.
12. Weariness in study.
(1) Avoid studying to exhaustion, apoplexy or dyspepsia.
(2) Make it rather a recreation.
(3) If growing weary, get into the open air.
(1) Beware of ill ventilation.
(2) Or of extreme temperatures.
(3) Of too dry an atmosphere, catarrh and bronchitis.
(4) Of a full stomach, stupidity or indigestion.
(5) Of cold extremities.
(6) Of excitants of the brain.
(7) Be steady and punctual in study hours.
(8) When your hours are over, dismiss them and go out to walk or visit, divert your mind.
(9) Don't expect to gain, in the long run, by studying too many hours per day.
(10) You can study more hours eating lightly.
(11) Eat scientifically.
V. PASTORAL HABITS OF DEVOTION.
1. Definition - It is the offering of self and all to God.
(1) This must be the condition of usefulness.
(2) It must be the habitual attitude of the soul.
2. Hints for devotion.
(1) Like other habits, devotion should be cultivated and established, rendered second nature.
(2) I here speak of ordinary occasions, daily; extraordinary are exceptional, of course, seasons of prayer.
(3) Begin with prayer: Thanksgiving, confession, supplication, praise and adoration - persist until conscious communion is secured.
(4) Then read the Bible, on your knees.
(5) If it opens to you, note the teachings, if new.
(6) Students' Bible, or a skeleton.
(7) If it does not open, pray and worship again.
(8) If still sealed, search, in confession, for the reason.
(9) If time fails, renew the exercise as soon as possible.
(10) Remember you have no power if communion is lost.
(11) This is your argument and strong reason.
(12) "Go, and make all men disciples, and lo, I am with you."
(13) Again, "Men do not go to war at their own charges."
(14) Keep your eye single, and the promise is sure.
(15) Communion must be maintained at any cost.
(16) Never rest short of this any day of your life.
(17) You have no strength, except as you hold on to this.
(18) Your comfort and usefulness depend on communion.
(19) No learning, no study avails without this.
(20) You must maintain a prevailing spirit of prayer.
(21) To do this, you must spend much time in direct communion with God. This is never lost time.
(22) You can accomplish available study ten times faster, if you maintain communion.
(23) But don't pray too exclusively for yourself, nor principally.
(24) By turning from self, you will find access.
(25) Commune with God, about your flock.
(26) Let consultation with Him about individuals occupy you.
(27) Beware of selfishness in your approaches to God.
(28) You will find comfort in preparation as you do not seek it. Lose and you will find.
(29) Let your request be for wisdom and strength to do your work.
(30) Your communion will be more unbroken as the habit becomes established - like study.
(31) Your communion will be deeper as you progress.
3. Conditions of maintaining the spirit of devotion.
(5) The right use of time.
(7) Implicit faith.
(8) Also obedience.
(9) Control of appetites and passions.
(10) Often fasting and much detailed confession.
(11) Confession and restitution to the injured.
(12) A conscience void of offense.
(13) Whole hearted and entire consecration.
(14) Allow no unforgiving spirit.
(15) No uncharitableness.
(16) A bridled tongue.
(17) Avoid evil speaking.
(18) Also evil suspicions.
(19) Levity in conversation.
(20) The spirit of distrust.
VI. PASTORAL HABITS OF BUSINESS.
1. Have no more than is essential to convenience.
2. Be exemplary - in what you have, do it right.
3. Have a garden, and work it yourself, if possible.
4. You will need a barn, a carriage and horse.
5. Keep your garden, barn, horse, carriage, neatly.
6. Don't trade in horses.
7. Don't speculate in anything.
8. Make contracts in writing, duplicates.
9. Keep your accounts straight, and in a book.
10. Take receipts in matters of importance.
11. Preserve important letters.
12. Copies of same which you write.
13. Preserve and file receipts and important papers.
14. Don't let your papers get into confusion.
15. Transact no business loosely with parishioners.
16. Commit all important matters to writing.
17. Don't let unsettled accounts accumulate.
18. See them adjusted and paid, or note given annually.
19. Do everything so that it will bear scrutiny.
20. Keep out of debt, if possible; live within your income.
21. Be punctual in payment or get extension.
22. Don't let a debt be overdue, without agreement.
23. Don't let your gate be off the hinges.
24. Nor your harness tied with strings.
25. Keep all things in order.
26. Be economical, not parsimonious.
27. Avoid the office of an almoner. (Paul.)
28. Be not the bearer of money for others.
29. Be not arbitrator in business matters.
30. Build not, if you can avoid it.
31. Don't engage in agencies, while a pastor.
32. If not an accountant, beware how you undertake to disburse funds.
33. Undertake no business for yourself or others, that will divert your mind or energies.
34. Also, for which you are not competent.
35. Acquaint yourself with the laws of marriage.
36. Also, with all the laws regulating your relations.
37. Also, the rights, duties, and responsibilities of the church.
38. Guard against the appearance of selfishness.
39. Especially avoid lending on exorbitant interest.
40. Don't be made a business omnibus if avoidable.
41. Don't be executors or administrators.
42. Avoid money-making arrangements.
43. Be sure to cultivate a business conscience.
44. Also, to know how to do business, so as to gain respect and confidence.
45. Be thoroughly just and honorable in all business.
46. Keep yourself acquainted with the business principles and practice of the business men of your congregation.
47. So that you can adapt instruction to their wants.
48. In business, as in everything else, be a good example.
VII. PAROCHIAL DUTIES (OF OR PERTAINING TO A PARISH).
1. These pleasant and highly important.
2. Power of the pulpit will depend on these.
3. These will apprise you of their wants.
4. If rightly performed, will secure confidence in your pulpit honesty and give weight to your preaching.
5. Be in serious earnest about their souls in visiting.
6. Avoid all evil speaking in parochial visits.
7. Also, all worldly-mindedness, worldly gossip.
8. All that reveals levity of character.
9. Visit in the P.M., and don't stay too long.
10. Your motive should be to make their acquaintance.
11. To ascertain their number.
12. Health, circumstances, ages, spiritual state.
13. All about them that you need to know.
14. Make inquiries delicately, and give no offense.
15. Learn their spiritual wants, opinions, etc.
16. Survey your field by visitation often as possible.
17. Be specially attentive to the poor and ignorant.
18. Avoid all appearance of courting the rich.
19. Be attentive and sympathetic to the afflicted.
20. Remember that God is searching them providentially.
21. Be guarded in your treatment of females.
22. Encourage frankness and transparency.
23. Keep confidential conversations inviolate.
24. Keep all parochial conversations to yourself.
25. Use them wisely, in giving instruction.
26. Avoid controversy in parochial labors.
27. Secure respect and confidence in such labors.
28. Secure the confidence of parents.
29. Also, that of the youth and children.
30. So far that your advice will be sought, in all important family matters.
31. So that all will regard you as a friend and wise counselor.
32. Indulge no enmities. Be everybody's friend in a benevolent and true sense.
33. Converse with each separately, if possible.
34. Make calls upon them separately, and let this be understood. Enquire for the individuals.
35. Don't interfere with washing and busy days.
36. Also, with business hours or pressing seasons.
37. Be considerate, and not hinder laborers or anyone necessarily employed - cooks, servants, etc.
38. Don't be a bore, so that they will dread your visits. See that you make them glad to see you.
39. Beware of an intimacy that will create jealousy in a family.
40. Also, out of the family, no favoritism.
41. Never have a quarrel with anyone - sooner suffer wrong.
42. If any persecute you, be especially kind.
43. Avoid all appearance of resentment.
44. Prove your faithfulness, sincerity, honesty, and earnest regard for their souls, in all ways.
45. Search out the walks of the devil amongst them.
46. Also, the leading of the Holy Spirit.
47. Search for impressions made by preaching.
48. Follow up good impressions diligently.
49. Be faithful to backsliders.
50. Also to the self-deceived. Don't be deceived by them.
51. Break off the dangerous habits of all classes.
52. Be watchful for the beginnings of declension.
53. Warn professors against whatever will grieve the Holy Spirit.
54. Reprove self-indulgent habits.
55. Don't delay to interfere until too late.
56. Inquire what they read - recommend.
57. Also, whether they neglect their Bible, closet.
58. Or any known duty. (My church in New York.)
59. Inquire into business habits and transactions.
60. Also into companionships.
61. Places of resort.
62. Views and practices regarding the Sabbath.
63. Aim at present results in visiting.
64. Take time, when needed.
65. Pray with them, and get them to pray with you.
66. Labor for their consecration, and stop not short.
67. Insist continually, that nothing short is true religion.
68. Commit them to every duty.
69. See that there is no neglect.
70. Remember, the greatest danger is of neglect.
71. Inquire about the relations and the duties growing out of them.
72. Look after servants and laborers.
73. Get your subjects for preaching in this way.
74. So you will never want a subject, and will never preach at random and in vain.
VIII. PASTORAL MANNERS.
1. Be a true gentleman, an example of true politeness.
2. Good manners are good morals.
3. Benevolence exemplified in all relations.
4. Be tidy indoors.
5. Keep your books clean.
6. Your person, so as to have no offensive odors.
7. Don't overeat, so as to give off an offensive odor.
8. Keep your hands, face, nails, teeth clean; nose.
9. Indulge in no slovenly ways.
10. Don't spit about the house.
11. Nor blow your nose with your fingers.
12. Nor carry a filthy handkerchief.
13. Nor enter a house with muddy feet, or feet that smell of the stable.
14. Keep your feet off the furniture.
15. Never lean back in your chair.
16. Never shove your chair on the carpet.
17. Nor on the floor, where there is no carpet.
18. Make no extra labor, from carelessness.
19. Keep your hands out of side pockets.
20. Never wear your hat in the house.
21. Nor enter any house or room without knocking.
22. If you occupy a room, be tidy in all things.
23. Don't need too much waiting on.
24. Beware of fault finding.
25. Of being unreasonably particular.
26. Be benevolent and considerate always.
27. Be respectful to all servants.
28. Be quietly dignified.
30. Avoid all assumption of superiority.
31. Also, every appearance of want of respect.
32. Especially in your intercourse with the lowly.
33. Also, every appearance of ill-temper.
34. Of every contempt or disregard.
35. Be condescending, not polarizing.
36. Don't talk too loud.
37. Don't use learned phrases.
38. Nor Latin, French, or any others liable to be misunderstood.
39. Encourage a home feeling in your presence.
40. Don't be nervous and tiresome in your conversation.
41. Use pure, but plain and familiar language.
42. Avoid embarrassing topics in company.
43. Show a proper regard for the feelings of all.
44. Don't say that which will offend good taste.
45. Avoid all bad manners at the table, such as criticizing anything.
46. Or helping yourself or others out of a common dish, with your own knife or fork.
47. Or passing bread with your fingers.
48. Or appropriating the best to yourself.
49. Or using butter, sugar, sweetmeats, cakes, and such like, extravagantly.
50. Avoid all appearance of Epicureanism.
51. Also of gluttony and self-indulgence. (Burchard).
52. Make no one any unnecessary trouble.
53. Be considerate and universally obliging.
54. Don't shut or open a door with your foot.
55. Don't spit in company.
IX. VISITING THE SICK.
1. If very ill, go about 10 A.M.
2. Be calm, and speak in a low voice.
3. Sit quietly down and be compassionate.
4. Observe the pulse to see if the mind is agitated.
5. Inquire what treatment they are under.
6. Speak slowly, and don't fatigue them with many words.
7. Dispense with their talking as far as you can.
8. Ascertain, if you can, the location of disease.
9. Whether they suffer much and what organs.
10. Their state of mind will be modified by the location, intensity, and treatment of the disease.
11. Satisfy yourself of their entire sanity, or the contrary.
12. Beware of being deceived by anodynes, stimulants.
13. Inquire into the Holy Spirit's showing.
14. Be careful not to oppose His teaching.
15. Remember it is God that is working in and by disease.
16. And His inward working corresponds with providence.
17. Be short.
18. Don't conceal danger, if it is great.
19. If death is inevitable, carefully reveal it.
20. Aim to secure committal to Christ, and trust in Him.
21. If their strength will admit, search them.
22. Say all in love and compassion, they are sore.
23. If you find them blind and self-righteous, search.
24. Don't be deceived by their willingness to die.
25. If despairing, ask if their sins are greater than God's mercy in Christ. Lead to trust.
26. Leave no sin covered or concealed.
27. See that they are at peace with all men.
28. That they freely and fully forgive all men.
29. That they are thoroughly honest with all men.
30. Are willing to confess and make restitution.
31. That they do this if possible at once.
32. If not very sick you can take more time, but the same result should be secured.
33. Leave them under no delusion.
34. See whether they have true peace with God.
35. Don't encourage false peace. (Sears of New York).
36. If not true peace, search for the reason.
37. If not given up of God, you will find them anxious.
38. If Christians, they may be greatly searched.
39. But you will find the sins they most deplore, their unprofitable lives.
40. Their convictions will show whether they have been truly converted or not.
41. See whether they have ever known Jesus.
42. Consider whether their anxiety is the natural result of their danger, or of conviction of sin.
43. Sometimes it is better to remain with them as long as you can, and speak as they can bear it.
44. See that the room is well ventilated. (Uncle Starr).
45. Also, that the nursing is right, cleanly.
46. Call as often as necessary, follow up impressions.
47. Be sure that all disease is more or less contagious.
48. When you leave, inhale and expel by deep breathings.
49. If need be, change and air your apparel.
50. Disease and treatment will often deceive you and the patient.
51. After recovery, they may remember nothing. (Dodridge and Neil, M.D.).
52. If dying, don't say too much, let them think. (Comstock).
53. See whether the disease accounts for their state of mind.
54. Consumptives manifest an insane hope of life.
55. Diseases located below the diaphragm are apt to beget despondency.
56. You will encounter despondency owing to the nature of the disease.
57. Also elevation and hope inspired by drugs.
58. You will often meet Satan at the death bed.
59. D. Nelson's experience. See his "Cause and cure of infidelity."
1. Often trying occasions.
2. Beware of encouraging the wicked to procrastinate.
3. Make an honest use of the occasion. (Whittlesey).
4. Be kind, but faithful, to surviving friends.
5. Avail yourself of anything peculiar in the case.
6. Visit mourners, and comfort or admonish as necessary.
7. Be sure to remark upon the sickness as well as danger of delay. Such dispensations searching.
8. Also upon difficulty, danger, and uncertainty of a deathbed repentance.
9. Urge the guilt and danger of misimproved afflictions.
10. Secure a belief in a universal providence.
11. If they have much preaching, don't encourage funeral sermons. Everyone will want it.
12. If they have not much, encourage them, i.e., sermons.
13. Also, in neighborhoods where they don't attend meetings.
14. Send the word home to skeptics, errorists, and non-attendants at other times.
15. Call often on the bereaved, and secure a sanctified result.
16. Lead mourners to inquire after the lesson.
17. Assure them that God has a lesson for them.
18. Secure their cordial acceptance of His will.
19. Lead them to consider those texts that relate to afflictions.
(1) Afflictions promised: II Sam. 7:14; Ps. 89:30; 119:75; Prov. 3:12.
(2) Advice to the afflicted: Deut. 8:5; Job 5:17; 34:31-32; Prov. 3:11; Heb. 12:5-8.
(3) Complaints under: Job 10:17; Ps. 46:10-12; 88:9; Lam 1:12-14; 3:1-3.
(4) Disappointments: Job 17:11; 3:26; Isa. 21:4; Jer. 8:15; Amos 8:10; Hag. 1:16.
(5) Support: II Sam. 22:19; Ps. 129:1-2; 140:12; 145:14.
(6) Fainting: Job 4:5-6; Prov. 24:10; Job 15:11; II Chron. 28:22.
(7) Unimproved: II Chron. 28:22; Isa. 9:13-14; Jer. 2:30; Zeph. 3:2.
(8) Deliverance: Job 36:8-10, 21; II Chron. 33:12-13; Ps. 55:19; 78:34-35; 34:12, 13; 119:67, 71; Isa. 26:8-9; 48: 10; Lam. 3:19-21, 27-29; Hos. 5:15; Heb. 12:11.
20. In afflictions of every kind, be sympathetic and manifest a Christian sympathy.
21. Avail yourself of all providential aids to secure their repentance.
22. Always insist upon a universal providence.
23. Also, that all events have a design.
24. That they are wisely and benevolently ordered.
25. That they are needed as a means of our instruction.
1. Treat them as a divine institution.
2. Sympathize with the occasion.
3. Avoid unbecoming levity.
4. Be short.
5. Watch against saying or doing anything unministerial.
6. It is better not to mingle in their festivities, except on some special occasions.
7. Don't violate your temperance principles.
8. A few words of warning and advice may be useful.
9. Warn them against ever deceiving each other.
10. Also against reserve and secretiveness.
11. Also against self-will.
12. And hard words.
13. Exhort to forbearance.
14. Not to reply to hasty or harsh words.
15. To be always respectful to each other.
16. To have a sacred regard for each other's feelings.
17. To treat each other's opinions with respect.
18. Never dispute, especially before children.
19. Cultivate each other's affections persistently.
20. Be affectionately demonstrative, at home.
21. Remind them of their new relation to society.
22. Also of their new responsibilities and duties.
23. Exhort them to household religion.
24. Also as the condition of the highest happiness.
25. But don't spin out, words few and impressively uttered.
26. Soon leave them to their festivities.
27. Don't fail to comply with the law in making certificates, returns to the clerk, or as the law requires.
28. Warn husbands not to neglect their wives, and turn them over to the gallantry of other men.
29. Also, wives not to flirt with other men.
30. Not to go here and there with them when husband can't go.
31. Keep some record of the marriages you solemnize.
1. Prudence not moral cowardice.
2. Nor worldly expediency, or policy. Beware of this.
3. Prudence is practical wisdom, sagacity in adapting means to ends and
in foreseeing consequences.
4. It is imprudent to settle when a considerable minority are against it.
5. Also, to remain under such circumstances.
6. Also, to marry an unspiritual wife.
7. Also to marry whilst in debt, especially if wife is poor.
8. Or to run in debt at any time.
9. Or to have no definite agreement about salary.
10. Or to take the temporalities of the church upon your hands.
11. Or to disburse the poor funds of the church.
12. Or to be the secretary of the church.
13. Or the treasurer.
14. Or to be a voluntary party in a case of discipline.
15. Or to be an advocate of either party.
16. Or to moderate a meeting when you are personally interested in the result. Dishonorable.
17. Or to take a partisan attitude in a case when you can conscientiously avoid it. Be candid.
18. If party questions arise, either anticipate them, or reserve your fire for the right time.
19. Don't practice that which may need reproof.
20. Nor suffer your family to do it. (Dr. Spring).
21. Keep your eyes open to probable results. Prov. 22:3.
22. Keep out of suspicious company, or temptation.
23. Avoid places that may beget suspicion.
24. Don't encourage worldly professors in getting up fairs, parties and worldly projects.
25. Don't favor donation parties. Hindrances.
26. Don't give your example in favor of misspending time or money.
27. Always ask, "What will result if such practices become general? If all should copy?"
28. Never use tobacco or opium, or other narcotics.
29. Nor alcohol as a beverage. Drugs.
30. Never belong to any secret society.
31. Look to all teachers within your parish.
32. Don't get mixed up with any strife.
33. Watch against neighborhood quarrels, or church or family quarrels.
34. Especially the suspicion that you have contention in your own family.
35. Preserve the position in which you can instruct, reprove, rebuke all parties.
36. Don't commit yourself, and pretend to instruct, when you are not well informed.
37. Be known as a thorough reformer, so that you can guide and control reforms.
38. Never fear to be faithful. Fear is a snare.
39. Never let anyone think you fear to do your duty to all classes.
40. Don't try to please everyone, this will shake confidence and bring you into bondage.
41. Aim to please God in all things. This is true prudence.
42. This will in the end secure confidence.
43. Expose and rebuke sin in high and low places.
44. Rebuke popular sins, tricks of trade.
45. Also political fraud and slanders.
46. Insist much on confession to the injured.
47. Also on restitution. Powerful restraints.
48. Also on the punctual payment of debts.
49. This may secure the punctual payment of salary.
50. Insist on the discharge of domestic and social duties.
51. Don't inculcate extravagant doctrines.
(1) That the Bible forbids all social distinctions. It recognizes distinction of office, of culture, of "honor to whom honor is due."
(2) A community of goods.
(3) That it is wrong to lay up any property.
(4) Extravagant notions of dress, over or under dressing.
52. Be wise and charitable in treatment of other denominations.
53. Avoid a complaining spirit.
54. Encourage people to do and give, and do not scold them for not doing and giving.
55. Lead, but don't attempt to drive.
56. Avoid any appearance of self-will.
57. Avoid a controversial spirit, or preaching. Be candid.
58. Also a dictatorial spirit, it provokes resistance.
59. Check if possible all controversy in the bud.
60. Don't listen to tale-bearers, but rebuke them.
61. Beware of prejudice against any.
62. Discourage news-mongers, busy-bodies.
63. Honor rulers, teach their duty.
64. Hold fast constitutional remedies to bad laws.
65. Avoid all that needs explanation and apology.
66. Beware of the influence of anonymous letters.
67. Also, of all communications when the authors wish their names withheld.
XIII. MARRIAGE OF MINISTERS.
1. Marriage a divine institution.
2. The rule, and celibacy the exception with all.
3. Also, the duty and the privilege of the human race.
4. Ministers are no exception. See objections to minister's celibacy.
5. They eminently need wives.
6. They need a wife to protect them against temptation.
7. Also, against being a snare to women.
8. To secure them against suspicion and jealousy.
9. They need the sympathy and the prayers of a wife.
10. They need the knowledge of woman which they get by having a wife.
11. Also, the counsel of a wife.
12. Also, the help of a wife, to understand the wants, trials, and infirmities of women, and their sins.
13. Also, to view things through a wife's eyes, and from a woman's standpoint.
14. To be an example as a husband.
15. Also, as the head of a family.
16. To give one the experience of a husband.
17. It makes him seem more like one of the people.
18. It allies him more closely to society.
19. Creates a bond of family sympathy between him and other families.
20. It gives him a higher conception of God's wisdom and care for human happiness.
21. Makes him better acquainted with human nature, human wants, excellencies, defects.
22. A single man is not a whole man.
23. Not generally a happy or a safe man, as pastor.
24. Apt to be selfish, prejudiced against women.
25. Also incompetent as a teacher of women.
26. As the church is composed mostly of females, celibacy, if prolonged, is a serious drawback.
27. Ministers should honor marriage by example.
28. They should, in every way, discourage celibacy.
29. To decline marriage, is to indirectly encourage licentiousness.
30. Also, to wrong woman, dishonor God.
31. Celibacy justifiable only for peculiar reasons.
32. Priestly or ministerial office no justification of celibacy.
XIV. ATTRIBUTES OF A GOOD WIFE. (Especially a minister's).
1. Devoted piety and sympathy with her husband's calling.
2. Discretion in the use of her tongue.
3. A sound education, school and domestic.
4. A self-denying and self-sacrificing spirit.
5. An unworldly and unambiguous state of mind.
6. Frugal habits.
7. Faith that can trust for support.
8. Uncomplaining temper.
9. A good housekeeper.
10. Economical, tidy.
11. Interested in the lowly.
12. Patient temper.
14. Confiding disposition.
15. Moral courage.
16. Ability to lead meetings.
17. Also, all benevolent female enterprises.
18. Zeal and efficiency in every good cause.
19. Sound health, sense, and judgment.
20. General cultivation and good manners.
21. A good example and pattern for others.
22. A judicious mother and neighbor.
23. An eminently praying woman.
24. A woman that will deserve and secure public confidence.
25. One to whom the women can and will open their hearts.
26. Not given to gossip.
27. Not the depository of all scandal.
28. Not a news-monger, no talebearer.
29. No busy-body, but a sober-minded keeper at home.
30. Not given to strong drink, tea or coffee.
31. Not given to dress, or ornaments.
32. A good example in these and in all things.
33. Faithful in keeping her husband's counsel.
34. Also, whatever is committed to her in confidence.
35. Discretion in regard to what should be kept, whether secrecy is enjoined, or not.
36. Not too exacting of her husband. (Mrs. H. Norton).
37. Not ambitious and jealous for his popularity.
38. Not afraid to have him be faithful. (Mrs. Wells).
39. Not given to complaining of poverty or neglect.
40. Not self-seeking, or disposed to court the rich.
41. Given to hospitality.
42. Spiritual and not worldly, in her tastes.
43. Not disposed to conform to the world.
44. Will not practice what her husband should reprove.
45. Punctual habits, so as not to be late at meeting.
46. Careful not to try her husband when he is going to meeting - by not being ready; children or servants not ready; pocket handkerchief not ready; going in wet, without overshoes, or umbrella.
47. A model of modesty, chastity, sobriety - as wife, mother, and in all her relations - a true help-meet.
XV. PAPISTICAL REASONS FOR PRIESTLY CELIBACY.
1. Marriage embarrassing to the spiritual life. Answer:
(1) It is a help, as it prevents temptation.
(2) It cultivates many forms of virtue.
(3) It is in accordance with our nature.
(4) It is a necessity of the race, and its continuance.
2. Inconsistent with the example of Christ and Paul.
Their example justified by peculiar reasons.
3. Paul wished that all men were unmarried. Answer:
(1) This, if it proves anything, proves too much.
(2) The wish was the result of the peculiar circumstances of the church at the time.
4. Paul's teaching and example imply a disapproval of marriage. Answer:
(1) Not more so of priests, than of all.
(2) Paul guarded against this inference by expressly declaring marriage honorable in all, ministers and people.
5. Revelation represents those "who have not defiled themselves with women" as being more highly honored in heaven. Answer:
(1) Whatever this means, it is not peculiar to ministers.
(2) The intercourse of the married is not defiling.
(3) The passage has reference to fornication and adultery.
(4) Paul considered marriage, with its duties and privileges as not defiling the bed.
(5) Paul denounced "forbidding to marry."
6. It is better for the spirit to deny and crush the flesh.
(1) Then our animal nature is a mistake.
(2) Then we are justified in not propagating the race.
(3) Restraint within divinely appointed limits, and not the utter denial and annihilation of our constitutional appetites, is our law.
(4) Enoch walked with God 400 years and begat sons and daughters.
7. A family is a hindrance to a minister in his work. Ans.:
(1) This is exceptional. The reverse is the rule.
(2) If this were a necessary result, it should have prohibited the marriage of apostles and ministers.
(3) Paul asserts that he and Barnabas were at liberty to marry.
(4) A well-ordered family a constant help to a minister in many ways.
(5) The help more than counterbalances the hindrance.
8. A single man is less expensive to the church. Answer:
(1) No minister at all would cost less still, in dollars.
(2) But to do without a minister would be too expensive.
(3) Churches can't afford to be without a whole pastor.
(4) A pastor's wife more than pays for her support.
(5) It is a shame for the church to take this view.
(6) This is seriously urged by the ritualists of England today.
(7) Especially as it respects curates and the lower clergy.
(8) They plead for an expensive clergy for the upper classes.
(9) And hence, for celibacy of the lower clergy, because they will be less expensive to the people.
(10) A minister can often keep house as cheaply as he can board - his garden, fruit, washing, and mending.
(11) Most congregations can pay him easier in the products of their industry.
(12) It is generally dangerous for a minister to board. It creates jealousy of the family in which he boards.
(13) Also, the woman where he boards.
(14) He needs the sacred enclosure and confidence of his own family.
XVI. EVILS OF CLERICAL CELIBACY.
1. It is a war with nature.
2. It is a bad example, and encourages it in laymen.
3. It tends to licentiousness. This is a notorious fact.
4. Celibates cannot rebuke celibacy in laymen.
5. It is unjust to women.
6. Reproaches God, and implies a denial of his wisdom.
7. It is a constant temptation to unchastity.
8. It makes chaste women afraid of them.
9. It makes them a temptation to many women.
10. Makes them the terror of husbands.
11. Creates much jealousy in families.
12. Many do have and will have mistresses notorious (??).
13. Make the clergy generally odious.
14. Also, objects of suspicion.
15. Expose them to endless female intrigues.
16. Makes them selfish and unsocial.
17. Begets a contempt for women.
18. Corrupts society. This is a fact, see Catholic Europe.
19. It embarrasses them in their work in many ways.
20. Renders them incompetent to be a spiritual guide to females.
21. It embarrasses their spiritual development.
22. It is an error of the same class as nunneries and monasteries. It grew out of the idea that sin has its root in matter, and that the body is essentially impure, that its appetites must be annihilated.
23. Trial has demonstrated that the celibacy of the clergy is only evil continually.
24. Never justifiable except for the most cogent reasons.
25. As the reasons can't be generally made public, it falls under the rule, "do nothing that needs explanation when such explanation is impracticable."
XVII. PREMATURE MARRIAGES. It is premature to marry:
1. Before he really needs a wife - to gratify himself.
2. Before his calling is settled.
3. Till then he cannot tell but God intends that he shall not marry.
4. Also, he does not know what qualifications he needs in a wife.
5. If he pleases himself first in suiting his fancy, he may not be able to fill the place to which he should have been called.
6. If he will first please himself, he may never please God.
7. He has no right to chose a wife until called to take this step.
8. Also, to shut God up to the necessity of calling him to a field suited to his wife.
9. He has no right to dictate his calling by first taking a wife.
10. He should chose a wife adapted to his calling and field, not vice versa.
11. Otherwise, he first ties his own hands, and then applies to God for employment.
12. Until his calling is known, the woman cannot tell whether she can heartily engage in it.
13. Love of her husband cannot make her sympathize with him in whatever he may be called to do.
14. Parties may be and often are deceived in this respect.
15. A missionary needs a missionary wife.
16. A pastor need a woman of peculiar qualifications.
17. So does an evangelist.
18. So do farmers.
19. Also, all classes.
20. Marriage is generally a mere matter of self-pleasing.
21. Premature marriage has often proved the ruin of the place and usefulness of the parties.
22. Union in taste and sympathy essential to happiness and usefulness.
23. If the husband's calling or field does not suit his wife, she will not help but hinder.
24. Also, if not suited to his constitution.
25. Or, to his education and qualifications.
26. The woman should be equally responsible for a premature marriage, or engagement.
27. Until she knows the calling of one who proposes marriage, how can she conscientiously consent?
28. Premature engagements should be abandoned if found to interfere with a divine call.
29. Cases may arise where duty would call a man to leave a wife who could not go with him.
30. Also, to send home a wife who could not remain in the field with him.
31. Or, who would not.
32. Also, he might be called to preach after marriage and his wife refuse to consent.
33. If the call is clear, he should go without her.
34. This holds true if she refuses to go to the field to which he is called.
35. It should not be assumed that such a call cannot be from God.
36. We must not expect God to be shut up to gratify us when we have chosen and acted without his consent.
37. Premature engagements are a great mistake.
38. The parties often outgrow each other.
39. If the mistake is discovered in time, be frank and let it be mutually abandoned.
40. But a capricious change of feeling not a good reason.
41. Providential developments may call for it.
XVIII. PREPARATION FOR THE PULPIT.
1. The object is to win souls to Christ by instruction.
2. The condition of preparation is a single eye to this end.
3. This should be made a constant subject of prayer.
4. Also of thought and study. Study the wants of the people.
5. Settle it in your mind what your people most need.
6. Also, what class you most need to instruct now.
7. Constantly seek to know the wants of all classes.
8. Visit for this purpose. Mark what is revealed in prayer, conference meetings, and conversation.
9. Also, in every development.
10. Mark the leadings of the Holy Spirit. Pray for divine illumination.
11. Get a suitable text from God by prayer.
12. Pray until some subject opens up by the Spirit. But don't be mistaken by Satan, nor by anyone.
13. Pray, and think, on you knees.
14. Have a definite aim in regard to impression.
15. Plan your sermon accordingly.
16. Aim at unity.
17. Accustom your people to method, and yourself.
18. Consider and settle the order of your propositions.
19. Aim always at perspicuity. This is indispensable.
20. Consider the capacity of your hearers.
21. Do not assume that they know more than they do.
22. You seldom need to fear that you shall simplify too much.
23. State your propositions most intelligently and briefly.
24. See that they are logically arranged.
25. Also, thoroughly explained and understood.
26. To what class they belong. Intuition first admitted.
27. If they need proof, how to be proved.
28. Don't fail to prove the very proposition stated.
29. Don't rest short of rational proof.
30. Don't attempt to prove what needs no proof.
31. Also, what cannot from its nature be proved.
32. Don't claim to demonstrate when the nature of the subject precludes demonstration.
33. Consider and state what kind of proof is demanded, if need be, the best in existence.
34. Don't take stronger ground than you can sustain.
35. On the contrary, don't be weak and appear dissatisfied with your proof, as if you had not convinced yourself.
36. Don't say "perhaps" and "probably" and the like, when you have a right to be positive.
37. Don't be dogmatical and assertive, when you have no right to be.
38. Make a fair and legitimate use of your text.
39. Let all your sermons be heart sermons.
40. Don't spread your sermons over more ground than you can sufficiently discuss; or continue it.
41. Appeal to experience, consciousness, facts.
42. Illustrate in familiar way, beware of deception.
43. See that your illustrations are in point.
44. Leave no place for the escape of cavilers.
45. Nothing to stumble or embarrass honest enquirers.
46. Make all as plain and conclusive, or forcible, as possible.
47. Make skeleton, whenever a train of thought is sprung.
48. Make skeletons first, even if you write your sermons.
49. Be sure to use intelligible terms in your propositions.
50. State your propositions in the fewest words.
51. Be sure that your propositions are mutually consistent.
52. Also, that they are not ambiguous.
53. That they are not involved and intricate.
54. See that your subject and propositions have a practical bearing.
55. When your propositions are established, what follows?
56. This is the great practical question.
57. Your propositions should furnish the needed conclusion.
58. Use your advantage wisely, kindly, thoroughly.
59. Having obtained assent to the doctrine, insist upon obedience.
60. Don't insist upon a doubtful inference.
61. Nor fail to perceive and claim what is your due.
62. Beware of appearing rather ingenius than earnest.
63. Be in solemn earnest, and you will appear so.
64. Remember, men are converted through instruction.
65. Then don't be sparing of thought. (Beman, others).
66. Be so earnest as to interest people to hear you through.
67. If the subject is well chosen and handled, they won't think the sermon too long.
68. Sermons must be short that are not suited to the present wants of the people who hear.
69. Let all your sermons be occasional. (Prof. Dewey).
70. There are great advantages of orderly propositions, else the people can't take it home with them. (Margin).
XIX. PULPIT EXERCISES.
1. General remarks.
(1) Remember, from the moment you enter, all eyes are fixed upon you.
(2) Be quiet and reverential on entering the pulpit.
(1) Raise your voice until you feel that you fill the house.
(2) Be short, solemn, earnest.
(1) Read slowly, and so loud that you can see that all understand you. Read well, feel it.
(2) Read the Bible as the Word of God, with correct emphasis. Make an impression.
(1) Name the place with a firm, full voice.
(2) Look and read to those farthest off.
(3) Observe whether they hear you. Name the place until they all turn to their books, then read well and slowly, especially if the congregation is large.
(4) Always read slowly in public worship.
(5) Make an impression in reading hymns.
(1) Let your heart out. Pray the people not to sleep, but into the Spirit.
(2) Secure the Spirit of prayer, before you go on.
(3) Pour your heart out to God.
(4) Pray so as to carry the people with you.
(5) If you do so, you will feel their sympathy and help.
(6) Let the Spirit lead you, as to matter and manner.
(7) Be filled with the Spirit yourself and you will interest and carry the people with you.
(8) If you get hold of God in prayer, you will preach and the people hear, in the Spirit.
(9) Much will depend on this.
(10) Don't pray long, unless pressed by the Spirit.
(11) Pray for what the congregation most needs now.
(12) Also for all classes: Praying, wrestling ones, church officers, backsliders, the self-deceived, formalists, legalists, worldly-minded professors, converts, inquirers, procrastinationists, pharisees, skeptics, heretics, Sabbath-breakers, profane, covetous, intemperate, thieves, scoffers, careless, prayerless, old, young, tempted, bereaved, afflicted, poor, rich, sick, dying, friendly, outpouring of the Spirit, minister, missionaries, Sabbath Schools, Common Schools - give yourself up to the teaching of the Spirit.
(13) In so doing, you will often find your prayer answered, and some of these classes touched by the Spirit while you are yet specking.
(14) Pray for yourself and the people now.
(15) Of course you cannot name all classes in one prayer.
(16) Pray intelligently - try to understand what classes attend, and accustom yourself to pray both in secret and in public for all those classes.
(17) This will help you to consider their wants.
(18) And to meet their wants in preaching.
(19) It tends to convict each class of their wants.
(20) To lead the church to consider the wants of these classes, and to pray and labor for them.
(21) You will naturally do this, if you are in real prayerful earnestness with your people.
(22) Do not preach nor exhort, but confess and supplicate.
(23) Don't omit thanksgiving, praise, worship.
(24) Enter into all the devotional exercises with your whole heart, else you will quench the Spirit.
(25) Also, so effectually as to take the people with you.
(26) Or so as to secure the felt presence of God in the whole congregation.
(27) If you fail in this, your preaching will be a failure.
(28) To secure this, you must come filled with the Spirit.
(29) Spiritless opening exercises will let down your influence by destroying confidence in you earnestness.
(30) The people will judge more by the tone of your devotional exercises, than by your preaching.
(31) They will be more touched with your preaching as they are affected by your praying.
(32) If the pulse of your spiritual life does not throb strongly in prayer, you need not expect your preaching to take saving effect.
(33) If you backslide in heart, you can't conceal it from your praying people. Your words will be light.
(34) They will be affected by your preaching more or less, as they are more or less by your praying.
(35) A minister must have and retain the Spirit of prayer.
(36) If he has not this, he will not have power with God or man.
(37) If you don't prevail in prayer before a sermon, you will not have unction in preaching it.
(38) If not unction in preaching, however learned, no success.
(39) The want of unction a fatal defect in the ministry.
(40) Also, the most common of all defects.
(41) Ministers and churches are too apt to depend on learning.
(42) Also, more on his learning than on his prayers.
(43) Also, more on his learning than on their own prayers.
(44) Thus both minister and people tempt God.
(45) Don't think, nor let them think, that they truly depend on God unless you and they are in the spirit of prayer.
(46) Too much stress can't be laid on prayer.
(47) A minister will lose nothing in study by taking time to pray.
(48) You may refuse to preach without the unction. (Whitefield).
(49) But you must watch unto prayer.
(1) Before preaching and not after to divert attention.
(2) Not at close of the service, as the people will not wait to hear.
(3) Arise and wait until the people are still and listening.
(4) Read or speak aloud, distinctly, to the most remote.
(5) Repeat, if they appear not to understand you.
(6) Beware what kind of notices you give from the pulpit on Sabbath.
(7) It is often well to give an important notice twice, repeat it distinctly.
(8) If the people move and some don't hear, raise your hand and remain silent until they listen, and then speak loud and distinctly.
["Take many things for granted; assume they believe some things... remind them of what they assume and contrast it... (page 59. The Guilt of Sin.)]
1. Reading an essay is not preaching.
2. Reading a sermon is not preaching.
3. The Bible meaning is that of oral instruction, as distinguished from written. ("Kerusso").
4. At present I pass over this, and remark upon pulpit instruction, whether by reading or extempore.
(1) Be quite distinct in announcing your text.
(2) Name and read it twice, and speak to the most remote.
(3) Speak so loud as to be sure that you fill the house.
(4) Watch your articulation, and see that it is quite distinct.
(5) Beware of nasal speaking and avoid it.
(6) Mark, and well adjust the pitch or key of your voice.
(7) Be careful to start right in these respects, and avoid embarrassment in yourself and hearers.
(8) Be sure that you read your text aright.
(9) Also, that you understand it.
(10) Read it deliberately, solemnly, emphatically.
(11) Beware of unnecessary criticism. (Dr. Cox).
(12) Also of all pedantry in preaching.
(13) Be entirely self-possessed, but not careless in manner.
(14) Be full of your subject and empty of yourself.
(15) If full of your subject, you can't conceal it.
(16) If empty of self, you will be unembarrassed.
(17) If empty of self, you will and can attend to your subject.
(18) If full of self, you cannot extemporize.
(20) Also, you cannot read well.
(21) Your devotional exercises will be a failure.
(22) So also will be your preaching. (Smith of Cleveland).
(23) Stand up straight, but do not strut.
(24) Beware of every appearance of vanity: Of your person, looks, learning, writing, speaking, attitude, gestures, voice, language, pronunciation.
(25) Beware of all affectation in the pulpit.
(26) Hide self behind your subject.
(27) This you will naturally do if your heart is right.
(28) Don't begin upon a key that you can't sustain.
(29) Don't bluster, vociferate, or rave. Begin calmly.
(30) State and explain your positions calmly, but not carelessly; earnestly, but not vociferously.
(31) Sustain them with energy, so as to sustain attention.
(32) Don't drop your voice too low to be heard at any time. This is a common, serious fault.
(33) Watch to see whether you are understood.
(34) If not, repeat more distinctly and emphatically.
(35) Use plain language, short words, words in common use, short sentences.
(36) Be conversational in style and manner.
(37) Don't divert attention by manner from matter.
(38) Nor by flowers of rhetorical ornament.
(39) Nor by far-fetched, or ornamental illustrations.
(40) Avoid any appearance of a want of candor.
(41) Be fair-minded in argument.
(42) Be not dogmatical or assertatory.
(43) Be sure to have and manifest a good spirit.
(44) Be direct. Preach to and not about people.
(45) Make the impression that you mean them.
(46) Be kind but plain, direct, pungent.
(47) Be earnest and you will gesture naturally.
(48) Also enough - not too much, in the right place.
(49) Be earnest, and your looks, tones, attitudes, gestures, tears, and every muscle, will teach.
(50) Illustrate thoroughly and beware of the fallacy that "illustration is not argument."
(51) Illustrate from the employments and habits of your hearers as far as possible.
(52) Don't mouth your sermon, and preach in lofty tones such as would be ridiculous and disgusting in conversation. (White of Philadelphia).
(53) Aim at entire perspicuity.
(54) Understand its conditions and fulfill them.
(55) Don't use a word unintelligible to them.
(56) Study the greatest simplicity of language.
(57) Speak so that your language will not be thought of.
(58) Also, your gestures, attitudes, tones, etc.
(59) If all is natural, your thought will stand revealed, and the medium will not be thought of.
(60) The most persuasive oratory leaves no impression but that of the thoughts presented.
(61) Everything noticed and remembered in respect to language, manner, voice, attitude, gesture, illustration, delivery, abates the effect of your sermon.
(62) What keeps you instead of your subject in the thoughts of the people is a fault in preaching.
(63) Remember always whom you represent in preaching, and so speak as to keep this fact in the minds of the people.
(64) This constantly pursued thought will much modify your manner of preaching and theirs of hearing.
(65) Don't preach longer than you can hold attention.
(66) Keep the thought prominent that you are teaching to secure present and prompt action.
(67) Endeavor to secure decision on the spot.
(68) Stop in the right place, and don't run emptyings.
5. Arguments in favor of reading sermons as a manner of preaching - manner is of great importance.
(1) Few can preach extemporaneously. Answer: This is due to habit.
(2) Reading avoids embarrassment. Ans.: Be crucified to reputation, and full of the Holy Spirit and of your subject and the love of God and of souls and you will not be embarrassed.
(3) Written sermons have more thought. Ans.:
a. Whose sermons?
b. Many of them have but little thought.
c. This will depend on habits of study.
d. If you get the habit of studying only when you write, this will be true.
e. If you study and think on your feet, and let your voice stimulate thought, the reverse will be true.
(4) Written sermons more condensed and less repetitious.
a. For the average mind, this is often a fault.
b. This depends on study.
(5) Can write in a better style. Ans.:
a. What is intended? The end is to instruct and secure obedience to God; not secured by a written style.
b. Conditions of impressing by instruction are:
(d) A colloquial style best suited to these ends.
(e) Familiar illustrations.
(g) Simplicity of language.
(i) Freshness of thought.
(j) Sense of dependence on divine illumination.
(l) Prayerful state of mind.
(m) With this state of mind, you will speak to a present audience more effectual, than you will write in you study, if not spoiled by habit.
(6) Dare not trust myself. Ans.:
a. This you should never do, but this you will do if you write.
b. You may always have divine help.
(7) Can better interest and instruct the cultivated. Ans.:
This is a mistake, as I have had perpetual proof.
(8) Writers of sermons wear better than others. Ans.:
Then it must be because they study and think more.
(9) That is just what they are obliged to do.
a. But writing is not studying.
b. Writing really interferes with close study.
c. The best thinkers think and dictate to amanuenses.
d. Those who have tried it testify that they think and compose better, not writing.
e. Spelling, writing, capitalizing, dipping the pen, punctuation, adjusting leaves, and the whole process of writing, necessarily occupies a part of the attention, and distracts from the force, logic, power, consistency, and efficiency of thought and of style.
(10) Writers of sermons can preserve their labors. Ans.:
a. Yes, but they preach over their old sermons without rewriting. They stultify themselves.
b. A full skeleton will preserve all that is worth preserving, and skeletons are easily rewritten or altered, and improved.
(11) The educated classes demand written sermons. Ans.:
a. Not of men who are thinkers.
b. The more cultivated, the less are they pleased with literary sermons.
(12) Writing sermons cultivates a good style of writing.
a. This is not a pastor's business.
b. Write, but not for the pulpit.
(13) None but written sermons would take well in cities.
Ans.: This is contrary to all experience.
(14) My education has not prepared me to preach without writing. Ans.:
a. This is a great error.
b. You may still overcome this defect.
c. Decide that you will.
d. Practice in conference.
e. Preach in school houses and by-places without notes. (As Matson, and Father Nash after he was 55 I think).
(15) Can repeat written sermons frequently. Ans.: True, but this proves that they make less impression.
(16) Can use written sermons in case of removal. Ans.:
a. But will they be suited to your people?
b. This ought not to be done to much extent.
c. Skeletons are better, because easily changed.
6. Objections to written sermons.
(1) Few can write in a good style for reading.
(2) There are few who read a sermon will.
(3) The best writing is writing, not speaking.
(4) The reading is reading still.
(5) Written sermons are often too condensed.
(6) Their language is often too elevated.
(7) Not so intelligible as talk.
(8) To short to be effective.
(9) Not repetitious enough.
(10) Not illustrated by facts.
(11) Not generally so interesting.
(12) Churches prefer the unwritten talks of ministers.
(13) Writers learn to think with pen in hand only.
(14) It cultivates an essay or book style.
(15) It limits study to a confined apartment.
(16) It is too confining.
(17) Too laborious.
(18) Necessitates either lack of excitement, and consequent dullness, or excitement too long continued.
(19) Also, either poor sermons, or little parochial labor.
(20) Or, a pastor's health must soon fail.
(21) The masses cannot be attracted by even the best written sermons.
7. Preaching memoriter.
(1) Writing and committing to memory nearly universal in England.
(2) It requires great labor.
(3) It overloads and confines the memory.
(4) Begets a school-boy delivery.
(5) Prevents attention to the audience.
(6) If anything interrupts, it confuses the speaker and may break him down.
(7) It prevents appreciation of, and adaptation to, any change in the state of the audience.
(8) It is a snare, and renders it necessary to have everything committed to memory.
(9) The delivery and gesticulation is stiff and studied.
(10) It is declamation.
(11) It is often a hypocritical attempt to make the audience believe it to be extempore.
(12) It has all the faults of a written sermon.
(13) The delivery not more telling.
(14) The people demand preaching, not reading or reciting.
(15) The ministers treat them to declamation.
8. Partly written sermons.
(1) This save labor in writing.
(2) Leaves you room to fill up, at discretion.
(3) Gives play to your own thinking under excitement of speaking, the inspiration of the occasion, and of the Holy Spirit.
(4) The writing may be only a full skeleton, simply noting the propositions to be established, and the consequent inferences and remarks.
(5) Or, it may fill out the argument more or less fully.
(6) This is a good way to preach, if you leave room enough for extemporizing.
(7) If enough is left to be filled out to render you very dependent upon the light and teaching of the Holy Spirit.
(8) Or, you may leave a wide margin, on which you may write a full skeleton, and write out your sermon in full.
(9) In preaching, use more or less of your writing.
(10) This doesn't leave you dependent enough.
(11) It cost too much time and labor.
(12) It does not give time enough for prayer.
(13) It does not necessitate dependence on divine teaching at the time.
(14) I don't like any method consistent with a cold, backslidden heart.
(15) Men filled with the Spirit seldom need to write sermons.
9. Extempore preaching, without premeditation or study.
(1) This is a kind of inspiration, and may be partly the inspiration of genius, partly of the occasion and audience, partly of one's own feelings, partly of the Holy Spirit, or all of these; or also, the inspiration of Satan or fanaticism.
(2) One may depend on this if he is obliged to do so. I have often been shut up to this.
(3) I have never failed on such occasions.
(4) Have often preached in this way with the greatest power and success.
(5) When preaching thus, your whole being preaches. Everything is most natural and forcible.
(6) In this sense, you cannot extemporize without inspiration of some kind.
(7) If you neglect study when you might have studied, you may not expect divine inspiration. But inspiration is not obsolete.
(8) I suppose all true ministers may have the inspiration suited to their necessities.
(9) Of course, in strictly extempore preaching, the thoughts and language and gestures and all are unpremeditated.
(10) Ability to preach in this way will depend on the soul's walk with God, and the fullness of the Spirit's teaching.
(11) This again will depend on faith and obedience.
10. Extempore preaching with premeditation or study.
(1) This is extempore as respects language only.
(2) Words or characters may be used to suggest the heads or points to be discussed.
(3) The language and manner are left to the inspiration of the moment.
(4) This is the method of the forum.
(5) This method gives occasion for the best display of real talent.
(6) Think and pray until you thoroughly understand you subject, and then talk it off until you see that you are understood and your thoughts are appreciated.
(7) This method gives most room for study.
(8) It cultivates the best habits of study.
(9) Creates a necessity for a thorough mastery of you subject.
(10) Is more instructive.
(11) More uniformly interesting.
(12) Also successful.
(13) It leaves all that is desirable to inspiration.
(14) Gives a man the greatest scope to bring his whole being into requisition.
(15) Saved the time and labor of writing.
(16) Cultivates a habit of clothing thought in words naturally and extemporaneously.
(17) Makes us free and powerful in conversation.
(18) In this respect, invaluable for a pastor.
(19) Habitual writing of sermons have the opposite effect. Such men lack power in conversation.
11. Suggestions in regard to personal behavior.
(1) Be self-possessed, stand up straight.
(2) Avoid awkward behavior.
(3) Keep your hands out of your pockets.
(4) Use your pocket handkerchief and not your fingers.
(5) Don't strut and appear to feel important.
(6) In being self-possessed, do not be careless.
(7) Be respectful and avoid all that might seem like a contempt for the audience.
(8) Do not be, nor appear to be, intimidated.
(9) Be modest but not servile or abashed.
(10) Whilst you sit, don't wring.
(11) Also, take care of your feet.
(12) Don't get into any disgusting attitude.
(13) Avoid spitting if possible.
(14) When you stand, let your attitude be natural in a good sense.
(15) Hold up your head and look abroad upon the audience.
(16) Don't get sidewise, but face the audience, so as to be heard.
(17) Also, so as to make the language of your countenance understood and felt.
(18) If you feel deeply, your countenance will often express more than your words.
(19) Let all your looks and attitudes reveal your emotions.
(20) Don't direct attention by any uncouth motions of your hands or feet. Habit.
(21) Avoid everything that will offend the more refined of your audience.
11. Your voice.
(1) If need be, cultivate a good voice.
(2) Especially cultivate articulation.
(3) Avoid a nasal manner of speaking.
(4) Also a deep bass voice.
a. This costs too much breath.
b. It is not pleasant to the ear in speaking.
c. Spoils articulation.
d. Can't be understood but a few yards.
(5) Cultivate speaking in such a key as will give scope to natural variations.
(6) Cultivate a penetrating use of your voice, especially if naturally weak or thick.
(7) If you have any lisping or impediment, overcome it by practice.
(8) Ask judicious friends to criticize your voice, and whatever defects you do not fully appreciate.
(9) The voice needs cultivation for speaking as well as for singing.
(10) If the hearing is good, it can be cultivated for either speaking or singing.
(11) Much pains should be taken to make the most of the voice.
(12) And yet, little or no pains are taken even in educating those whose business is to be public speaking.
(13) A good voice is left to chance.
(14) Whereas it is essential to success.
(15) Opera singers and play actors are thoroughly trained.
(16) A well-cultivated voice is a charm to an audience.
(17) A harsh and uncultivated voice fatigues and repels an audience.
(18) Good voices are rare, but it need not and ought not to be so.
(19) Cultivate articulation on every key of your voice.
(20) Avoid screaming and straining you voice.
(21) Beware of preaching when hoarse.
(22) Avoid a whining and sanctimonious voice.
(23) Also, monotonous tones and manners (?).
(24) Also, harsh, repellent tones.
(25) Cultivate a melodious voice.
(26) Secure sufficient volume.
(27) If need be, support the abdominal parts (?).
(28) Avoid all affectation of voice and speech.
(29) A feeble voice inefficient.
(30) A firm, strong, penetrating voice is powerful in the hands of the Spirit.
(31) Cultivate a searching voice.
(32) There is great want of philosophical teaching upon this subject.
(1) Avoid technical or scientific terms.
(2) Also, long and unusual words.
(3) Use monosyllables as much as possible.
(4) Study to express your ideas in the language of common like and usage.
(5) Avoid ornate language that might naturally divert attention.
(6) Aim to convey your thoughts by words that will attract no attention to themselves.
(7) Let the medium through which you address them be simply transparent - neither cloudy, obscure, flowery or ornate.
(8) Use strong language, as tame language is inappropriate to such a theme.
(9) If you dwell in the light of God, you will naturally do this.
(10) A tame language argues blindness and unbelief.
(11) This is felt and noticed by sinners.
(12) Believe your own preaching, and you will use bold unequivocal language.
(13) Strong bold language, exercise (?) of faith, has great power.
(14) Avoid the use of foreign words.
(15) Don't play Dr. Cox.
(16) Don't appear affected in pronunciation.
(17) If it would change, as it had done since I was at school you will feel embarrassed, as if you will appear affected.
(18) If you do not you may appear unlearned.
(19) Prof. White's (?) manual is convenient.
(20) Use such language as you would in conversation with common people.
(21) Yes, as children would understand.
(22) It is a mistake to suppose that such language will be less acceptable to the cultivated than long, ornate and unusual words.
(23) What is called elevated language is unsuited to pulpit instruction.
(24) Thinking men say of such a style that the preacher either lacks a single eye or good sense.
(25) Let your language and style be earnest and conversational.
(26) ? ? ? Preach to the present congregation.
(1) Greatly important, often better than argument.
(2) Often indispensable - Christ's parables.
(3) Illustrate from the employments of your audiences: Sailors, mechanics, husbandmen, railroad men, fishermen, lawyers, statesmen, relations.
(4) Illustrate by facts and anecdotes.
(5) Avoid illustrations that savor of pedantry (overemphasis on trivial details).
(6) Also, that attract attention from the thought to be illustrated.
(7) Don't get diverted by your own illustration so as to lose your threads of thought.
(8) Beware of an illustration that will mislead yourself or your audience.
(9) If one illustration does not posses them of your meaning, use another.
(10) You may need to multiply illustrations to posses different classes of your meaning.
(11) Spare no pains to be understood.
(12) Also, as a successful advocate does.
(13) There are now books of facts and anecdotes to be used as illustrations.
(14) The most successful preachers illustrate much.
(15) If your mind is analogical (?) and your memory good, you will naturally illustrate by facts and parables.
(16) If not, you must study to illustrate.
14. Jestures. Cicero's reply to the question on what is the most essential of oratory.
(1) Jestures, like words, are signs of ideas, thoughts, emotions, passions, ideas.
(2) They are a language.
(3) Often a most expressive language.
(4) If natural, they are the soul of oratory.
(5) If unnatural, they contradict words and greatly abate or quite destroy the power of speaking.
(6) The mind naturally seeks to convey (?) its thoughts, affections, hatreds, loves, and various states, by using the whole body for that purpose.
(7) More especially, the voice, the hands and arms, the attitudes, the frowns, the smiles, the shaking of the head, the nodding, the menacing, the irritating looks and attitudes.
(8) Natural jesticulation is seldom a matter of consciousness.
(9) It is like the motions of the vocal organs.
(10) Unnatural jesticulation is like the use of words, either of no meaning or of a meaning different from or opposite to that which is expressed in words. Like Blodget's (?) smile and winning manner when threatening the sinner with hell. It is a contradiction in manner of your subject matter.
(11) Shakespeare was right, "Suit the action to the words." Let your words and actions agree to enforce the same sentiment. Also your voice and whole manner.
(12) Your gestures in the pulpit should be as spontaneous and natural as they are in excited conversation.
(13) Cold temperaments content themselves with words and seldom jesticulate the more forcibly to impress their thoughts.
(14) Ardent temperaments almost constantly jesticulate.
(15) This is one of the most striking and infallible revelations of temperament.
(16) One who makes no gestures, as a rule, makes but slight impression. He does not half reveal his thought.
(17) One whose whole body speaks, both in words, attitudes, tones, gestures, groans, tears; when these are all natural and meritable (?), will make a correspondingly deep impression.
(18) The Holy Spirit uses all these as truly as he does words. Consider sympathy.
(19) Without gestures the Holy Spirit is deprived of by far the greater part of the means of conversion.
(20) The lazy, unimpassioned speaker cannot half preach the gospel.
(21) He must fall indefinitely short of representing its true spirit and meaning.
(22) Let no one think he has done his duty, if he has failed either in word or action to represent the truth in the most impressive manner possible to him. If he has not felt it, he has not preached it.
(23) A cold, dry, inactive, unimpressive manner, in one who states such truths, is more repulsive to a thinking sinner. His manner contradicts his words.
(24) Such a manner almost forces a scream from believing souls.
(25) The objection to action in the pulpit is stupid and infidel.
(26) The cry of sensational preaching is often only the excuse of the heartless.
a. The design of jesticulation reveals its law, that is, the design is to reveal truth. Hence, its law is the same as that which pertains to any other language.
b. Make such gestures as would instruct the deaf and dumb.
c. Jesture when and as it will help to enforce the truth. If you feel, you can't help it.
d. Study to use the most clear and forcible words, and add the most natural gestures.
(27) The philosophy of jesticulation demands the most earnest study. Deaf asylum.
(28) Witness the power of action on the stage. See Garrick's rebuke of the Bishop.
(29) The study of jesticulation is of great importance and its neglect is amazing.
(30) Question. Should a preacher be theatrical? Not in the sense of representing fiction as reality. But in the sense of most impressively representing reality, yes!!
(31) Jestures are strictly the language of action. Cicero.
(32) Mark how earnest men do express themselves in action. (White).
(33) Be in earnest and unembarrassed, and you will naturally suit the action to the word.
(34) But never think you can innocently neglect actions.
(35) Study action as you do language, until you speak as naturally by action as by words.
(36) Then your gestures will help, not contradict, your words.
(37) Then also, your gestures will not be, nor appear to be, studied, but will flow spontaneously in harmony with, and give emphasis to your words.
THE PASTORAL THEOLOGY OF CHARLES G. FINNEY,1
ROBERT S. FLETCHER
Though there were several effective teachers in the old Oberlin Theological Department, it was for forty years after its founding essentially a one-man institution. The Lane Rebels came in 1835 on condition that Charles G. Finney should be their teacher, and latter students were attracted mainly by the prospect of studying under him. Professor James H. Fairchild and Henry E. Peck ably substituted for and supplanted him but nobody ever took his place or supplanted him. When Finney was away, as so often happened, the attendance fell off: when he returned, it climbed again.
Finney, as was natural for a self-educated man, believed that most formal education was too theoretical and cold. In his inaugural address as Professor of Theology in 1835 he attacked the usual education of ministers. "Their physical education was defective," he said. "It rendered them soft and effeminate. Their mental education was defective. Their studies, for the most part consisted in efforts of memory, while it (they) should consist in the disciplining of the mind and invigorating of the understanding - in teaching students to reason consecutively, - to think on their legs - to draw illustrations living from nature around them - and understand the law of God. . . . Their moral education was defective. They pursued such studies that the more they studied the more cold their religious affections must become, because their minds were employed upon topics that alienate them from God. 2 In view of Finney's interest in "practical" training for the pastorate, of his dominant position in the seminary, and of his personal eccentricities, it was to be expected that his lectures on Pastoral Theology given in the Senior year would constitute one of the most distinctive and characteristic courses in Oberlin's theological curriculum.
Three different sets of students' notes on these lectures survive: One set taken in 1837, one in 1843 and one in 1857. Three of Finney's own manuscript lecture outlines are in the Oberlin library. One is undated, but apparently belongs to the period of the Forties and Fifties. The other two are dated 1872 and 1875 respectively. The outline for 1875 is in script nearly an inch high, legible even to the failing eyes of an old man. Our sources then span most of the forty-one years' history of the course. In 1837 it apparently consisted of only six lecture which were almost entirely devoted to manners and the relations of ministers with the opposite sex. It is understandable that Finney, the gentleman from New York City, should have been troubled by the uncouth manners of the farmer boys who attended Oberlin in that early period. Undoubtedly the talks on etiquette were called for. By 1843 the course had expanded to about twenty lectures and to include study habits, business habits, hints on the preparation and delivery of sermons and suggestions regarding pastoral visits. There appear to have been no major changes in content or treatment after 1843.
At the beginning of the term, Finney told his students that pastoral theology embraced "the whole field of Pastoral Office," and he differentiated sharply between the evangelist and the pastor. It was the province of the former, he declared, to "win souls to Christ & gather a flock" and of the latter to "feed, lead, superintend, & and watch over it." General theology, he defined as treating of "God, His attributes & relations," while pastoral theology was the practical study of the pastor's relations with his flock.
The pastor and his flock had reciprocal duties, according to Finney. The Pastor must "demean himself (so) as to deserve the confidence of the People," "give himself wholly to the work" and "avoid every irrelevant engagement," "feed the flock with truth well digested," "warn them publicly and privately," "pray for & with them," and "bring everything into the light of the law of God." On the other hand, it was the duty of the people of his flock "to relieve him as far as possible from all that . . . is not his proper work," "to receive him as one called and sent of God as an ambassador from the court of heaven," "to attend his appointments," "to receive and obey the truth," "to cordially & boldly cooperate with him in forming & controlling publik sentiment in respect to every branch of morals," and "to illustrate the Gospel in their lives."
He submitted a list of qualifications for the ministry: "A living, ardent piety - not last year's piety - but living now" ("A deeply pious man," he said, "will do good though he have not good talents."), "age and manhood," sound education, "aptness to teach," ordination and "the call." Also he should have "an amiable temper," a "body not deformed," "a spirit of self-sacrifice," a "gift of personal conversation," moral courage, patience and perseverance, independence, "a mellow sensibility," strong faith, "deep spiritual discernment," and "common sense." His education should provide him with an understanding of logic, "a sound mental philosophy," "at least so much knowledge of language as to be accurate & perspicuous," "an outline at least of natural science," and a thorough grounding "in the fundamentals of both natural & revealed theology." He should posses "dignity of character" not as shown in "studied reserve," "anti-social carriage," "affected sanctity," or in officious "airs & Manners," but demonstrated in "such serious purity of conversation as to forbid all trifling in (his) presence," and such a compassionate earnestness of piety as shall force the impression that (he is) a serious & a holy man."
It was very important, he felt that a minister should be married
to a good wife. "Marriage [is] the right of women & no man for
slight cause should defraud them." "An unmarried minister is
a peculiar temptation to the other sex." "Ministers need a wife
more than other men." "When a man is tied up to a bad wife and
cannot be divorced he had better get out of the ministry." In one
lecture he suggested ten "Indispensable or important qualifications
in a [minister's] wife:"
"1. Good health.
"2. A thorough and extensive education.
"3. Prepossessing appearance.
"4. Conversational powers.
"6. She should be a leader of her sex.
"7. Gifted in prayer.
"8. A good house keeper.
"9. A good judgment in the qualities of articles to be bought.
A minister's wife ought to have, said Finney, the "ability to keep a secret," a "spirit opposed to caste and aristocracy," and "unambiguous temper," a body not weakened "by tight lacing," and a "willingness to be poor." She must avoid "getting mixed up with neighborhood scandal," any "indulgence in dress," and "every appearance of fondness for the society of the gentlemen."
He opposed early engagements for various reasons, especially because they distracted the attention from study and from prayer and other religious exercises. As a young man approached his ordination, however, he should look about him for a suitable mate, gauging the available young women by the standard previously submitted. The neophyte was warned that after entering the ministry, whether married or not, he must be particularly careful about his relations with women. Gallantry must be avoided. "Show me a minister that is a Gallant among ladies & I will show you one who is doing little good." "Suffer not yourself to trifle with young ladies in conversation nor in any recognized way." "Beware how you write ladies; what is written is written." Finney recognized, however, that the minister must be at ease in the company of the opposite sex and not live as a recluse. It was on of the arguments in favor of co-education that the prospective pastor was thus prepared to take his place in the mixed society of his parish.
Apparently Mr. Finney did not object to the attendance of young lady visitors at these lectures. In 1840, James H. Fairchild, later President of Oberlin, but then a young "theolog," wrote to his future wife: "Mr. F. [inney] has just closed his pastoral Lectures. He gave us a half dozen or more on the subject of marriage & the qualifications necessary in the wife of a pastor, probably both for the benefit of those young men who have yet a choice to make & for the young ladies who were present at the lectures . . . . He spoke at some length on early engagements etc., said much that is true & some things that are not so true." 4
Finney's advice with regard to manners throws some light on the practices of the time and the region, as well as on his own attitude and on the status of the Oberlin theological students. Minister, he said, should always avoid levity and "all winking and roguishness," should be grave but not morose, dignified but not sanctimonious. "Where ministers hold out the idea that they are the great ones of the earth they create a false impression of religion." A minister should be polite and considerate, should "observe unusual personal kindness." In 1843 he told his students: "True politeness is nothing else than the practice of true benevolence," and, in 1857: "Good manners [are] benevolence acted out, bad manners, selfishness acted out." Ministers, of all people, he insisted, must avoid slovenliness, affection, effeminacy, coarseness and vulgarity, selfishness, impertinence, and a spirit of contradiction. They should beware of "band box manners" and of anything "foppish." They should not wear ruffles, rings, breast pins, beards and whiskers (This was in 1843, before he took to wearing them himself.), and they should not carry "gaudy pocket handkerchiefs." Evidently much more needed and occupying much more time in his talks were warnings against vulgarity and coarseness. They should not blow their noses with their fingers; they should not use a dirty handkerchief; they must not spit on the carpet; they must not put their feet and muddy boots on the sofa or on the door jambs, nor pull off their stockings before a family! He related the story of a young clergyman who "called on some ladies after walking some distance, took off his boots & hung his socks on the andirons the first thing," and told of another ministerial acquaintance who "put his feet up in a window in a ladies parlor to enjoy the cool air!" He advised the embryo preachers to keep their nails cleaned and pared and their teeth clean. It was disgusting, he said, "in anxious meetings to be obliged to smell the breath of a filthy mouth." At table, he reminded them, they were not supposed to cut their meat with their pocket knives nor wipe their mouths on the table cloth!
The minister, declared the teacher, must be the true shepherd of his flock. He ought to be the leader in his community in secular as well as ecclesiastical matters, and "He is not to admit for a moment that he is going out of his sphere" when he takes such leadership. "The legitimate field of Pastoral influence," said Finney, "is as extensive as the field of moral obligations & responsibility." It was desirable, of course, for the minister to be "acquainted with the principles of reform," though he ought not to be an "ultraist" fanatic. "The minister must have a natural adaptation to be a leader - he is to marshal the host of God's elect." He should visit his parishioners often and deal with them directly and frankly. He should not "go to get a dinner" but to transact the business of the Lord and rebuke them for their transgressions. Though the pastor ought to be straightforward, he ought, when possible, also to be tactful. "Be careful to find your people when they are not out of humour," Finney advised. "Never get all the family together when you want to talk to them. The devil often makes children cry, etc." "If possible visit the sick in the morning. Ask what kind of medicine they have been using so that you may not be deceived." "Don't assume that God is visiting them with judgments." "Don't appear unfeeling." "Always have respect for the state of the nervous system. . ." In their business affairs they were recommended to set a good example for others: "Be punctual in all business transactions." "Avoid trading horses." "Do not throw too much business upon your wife." "If you have a garden attend to it. If the weeds grow in it they will grow in your heart."
He gave detailed advice as to the conduct of religious services. The invocation should be solemn and short. The Scriptures should be read slowly, emphatically and "with unction." The Bible should be handled reverently. In announcing the hymns "name the place twice," "notice whether you are understood," and in reading the hymns be careful to "avoid nasal tones." His own prayers were likely to be long and emotional, and he advised the theologs: "Pray in the Spirit"; "If the Lord draws you near to Himself don't be too short"; "Be honest, earnest, childlike," but "Don't be tedious."
He urged careful preparation of all sermons. A minister should not study more than three or four hours a day, preferably in the morning after a light breakfast. The subjects should be timely and suited to the congregation. Illustrations should be drawn "from familiar circumstances and not from ancient history and monarchs." Though sermons need not be written out, an outline or skeleton was suggested. This was Finney's own practice. He opposed the reading of sermons and favored preaching from notes, because he said, it was more easily understood, more interesting, more instructive and more easily remembered. This was the Oberlin style of preaching throughout the early years. In delivery he advised that they be "animated but never vociferous" and "avoid studied gesticulations" and all stiff formality. Finally, they must put their whole soul into it. "Men are not cabbage heads," he told them. "You may [be] the most learned - yet you have God as one of your hearers. Preach so as to please God, for He is taking notes."
In the theological classes as in all classes the meetings were opened by prayer; Finney had introduced the practice in Oberlin. With Finney this was far from a matter of form; often the keynote of the hour's lecture or discussion would be struck in the prayer. Sometimes, even, his deep personal piety lead him on and on until a large part or the whole of the recitation period had been consumed in divine supplication. Undoubtedly the lectures were occasionally interrupted by general discussion. The tone of Finney's classes was always lively though always also fundamentally serious. The course quite clearly was fresh, realistic and stimulating, and must have contributed greatly to the effectiveness of the many young ministers who went out from Oberlin in those early days.
1. Paper read before the Society at Wooster, Ohio, June 25, 1941.
2. The Ohio Observer (Hudson, Ohio), July 9, 1835.
3. One set of student notes is privately owned. The remaining items are all in the Oberlin College Library.
4. James H. Fairchild to Mary Kellogg, August 25, 1840, Fairchild Manuscripts in the possession of James T. Fairchild, Bethlehem, Pa.
5. On the character of Finney's teaching see the comments of his former students in Reminiscences of Rev. Charles G. Finney (Oberlin, 1876), 87-88 et passim.