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The Rev. J. T. Pinfold, 8.D., who has been giving a series of lectures on preaching, spoke at the Y.M.C.A. rooms last evening on ‘ How to Hold Attention of Hearers.’ There was a good attendance, Mr G. W. B. Hughes occupied the chair. The lecturer began by indicating that lint subject was of supreme importance, because a preacher would fail in his mif» siou if he did not hold the attention of his congregation. To achieve this end men should put their best into tbe work, so that heirm's might be aroused to res is: sin and maintain a righteous course, of conduct. Preachers should speak about the things iu which men were interested. Self interest quickened attention. This fact was full of justification for taking up in the pulpit current events to learn the lessons Divine Providence would teach. The preacher must not only give something worth listening to, but he must present it in such a way that it would command attention, and further, he must say it as tersely’ as ha could. Sermons should be up to dale, and the nail of truth should not be spoiled by too much hammering. The preacher of to-day must ’be natural. The day of rhetorical fireworks had passed. Men were more anxious now about the results of preaching than about its character as a display of eloquence. Preachers should never assume too much knowledge on the part of hearers, and in order in quicken interest should often present truth by word pictures. Ofttimes a good story vivaciously told would waken up the most drowsy congregation. Illustrations should not Lc withered specimens from tin ■bouquets of other men, however beautifm they might once have been. Simplicity was one of the characteristics of tin-, preaching of the Lord Jesus Christ; and. if His ambassadors to-day would lie successful, they must copy His' example. Sermons should also contain a manly quality and be robust in their nature. What was wanted in the pulpit to-day was more courage. The time spent in discussing present-day controversies could be. more profitably "used in denouncing present-day sins. Direct appeal often proved a potent factor in holding the attention of hearers. Appeals should not I." leii lo the end of a sermon. There, should be a persuasive note sounding all through the discourse, There should be an element of instruction in every discourse. Men wanted light on the deep things of (hsd. Variety was always necessary tc excite and maintain the interest of an audience. In conclusion Mr Pinfold counselled his hearers to get out of ruts, use occasionally unexpected expressions, to cultivate what had been called the supreme power, to read books on homitidies and sermons of successful preachers; hut, above nil “to be filled with the Spirit-." thou most assuredly the attention of the hearers would be retained, for when God spoke men must listen. The lecture was amply illustrated, was listened to with much attention, and at the dose a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the Rev. Mr Pinfold for his able address

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Bibliographic details

LECTURES Off PREACHING, Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914

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LECTURES Off PREACHING Evening Star, Issue 15632, 24 October 1914