Opening Remarks

If you’ve taken a look at the entry for Tuesday the fifteenth of August, entitled “Indians Enough At Home”, you might remember reading the following suggestion.

May I urge you to turn to Spurgeon’s excellent “Lectures To My Students”, Second Series, Chapter 4: “Open-Air Preaching - A Sketch Of Its History”. You don’t have to buy the big Banner Of Truth edition, though it’s well worth having, because his writings are freely available on the internet.

I thought you might like to see a photograph of my copy of the book, as above. It’s a handsome volume, bought for me as a gift, and I’m glad to have it. Let me once more urge you to read that chapter on open air preaching - and then follow through by looking at chapter 5, entitled “Open-Air Preaching - Remarks Thereon”. It’s even more enlightening. Here is how he begins.

I fear that in some of our less enlightened country churches there are conservative individuals who almost believe that to preach anywhere except in the chapel would be a shocking innovation, a sure token of heretical tendencies, and a mark of zeal without knowledge. Any young brother who studies his comfort among them must not suggest anything so irregular as a sermon outside the walls of their Zion. In the olden times we are told ‘Wisdom crieth without, she uttereth her voice in the streets, she crieth in the chief places of concourse, in the openings of the gates’; but the wise men of orthodoxy would have wisdom gagged except beneath the roof of a licensed building. These people believe in a New Testament which says, ‘Go out into the highways and hedges and compel them to come in’, and yet they dislike a literal obedience to the command.

That’s an excellent opening. I trust that you appreciate Spurgeon’s sense of humour as much as his original students did. Now read on - in one way or another. It will be well worth your while. Spurgeon knew what he was talking about.