Vol.IX No.VIII Pg.6
October 1972

Preparing To Preach

Robert F. Turner

I have recently read Alexander Campbell by Benjamin Lyon Smith; The Bethany Press, St. Louis, Mo., 1930. If one wonders why there are so few Campbells in our day, the following quotes may explain. First, Campbells conception of the necessary qualifications of a minister, written in his journal while yet a student at Glasgow, Scotland. (Age, 20-21 years.)

1. The preacher must be a man of piety, and one who has the instruction and salvation of mankind sincerely at heart.

2. A man of modest and simple manners, and in his public performance and general behavior must conduct himself so as to make his people sensible that he has their temporal and eternal welfare more at heart than anything else.

3. He must be well instructed in morality and religion, and in the original tongues in which the Scriptures are written, for without them he can hardly be qualified to explain Scripture or to teach religion and morality.

4. He must be a proficient in his own language to be able to express every doctrine and precept with the utmost simplicity, and without anything in his diction either finical on the one hand, or vulgar on the other.

5. A sermon should be composed with regularity and unity of design, so that all its parts may have a mutual and natural connection, and it should not consist of many heads, neither should it be very long. 6. A sermon ought to be pronounced with gravity, modesty and meekness, and so as to be distinctly heard by all the audience.

7. Let the preacher, therefore, accustom himself to articulate slowly and deliver the words with a distinct voice, and without artificial attitudes or motions or any other affection.

In 1810, being 22 years old, young Campbell arranged the following STUDY plan for himself,

One hour to read Greek-- from 8 to 9 in the morning.

One hour to read Latin-- from 11 to 12 in the morning.

One-half hour to Hebrew -- between 12 and 1 p. m.

Commit ten verses of the Scripture to memory each day, and read the same in the original languages with Henry and Scotts notes and practical observations. For this exercise I shall allow two hours. These exercises being intended for every day, will not be dispensed with. Other reading and studies as occasion may serve. These studies in all require four and a half hours. Church history and divers other studies are intended to constitute the principle part of my literary pursuits.

(Anyone for preaching??)