(Taken from American Preachers of To-Day by Edgar DeWitt Jones, 1933)
“The question is sometimes asked, How do you make your sermons? Do you ever find a man who can tell you? It is a difficult question. I can only give some very general statements as to my methods. Two things are vital: first, personal first-hand work on the text; and then, all scholarly aids obtainable. I never take down a commentary until I have done personal, first-hand work, and have made my outline. Sometimes after consulting scholarly aids I have to alter the outline; but at any rate I have had the benefit of first-hand work. We make a mistake when we have a text that has gripped us, or better, that has found us; and turn to commentaries first. To do that is to create a second-hand mentality. The first thing is to work on the text itself.
“Then sometimes I am asked about methods of delivery. Well, all I can say is, as a rule, I have a brief. I never prepare sentences. I do not know when I rise to preach what my first sentence will be as to form. I know what the thing I want to say is. I speak from a brief most carefully prepared, and give myself freedom of utterance.
“The last thing I want to say is this. There is a sense in which preaching is a conflict, a conflict with your hearers. I do not like the word conflict, but I do not know a better. The preacher is not merely asking a congregation to discuss a situation, and consider a proposition, or give attention to atehroy. We are out to storm the citadel of the will, and capture it for Jesus Christ. Whether evangelizing or teaching does not matter. The appeal is the final thing. The sermon powerful in its matter and delivery up to a certain point demands application. So many preachers fail in that they say to their congregations, ‘But, beloved, I am persuaded better things of you.’ Then the people co home comfortable in their self-satisfaction, when they ought to be groveling in the dust, as they have been brought back to the point, ‘Thou art the man.’ ‘Thus saith the Lord.’
“Thus I have tried to talk out of my experiences through the years. I have always felt, and never more so than today that the work of preaching is not that of debating difficulties, or speculating, or considering philosophies; but that of proclaiming the Word of God.”
Dr. Morgan has written many books, running expositions for the most part, of the Scriptures. He is the author of a good solid work on preaching, The Ministry of the Word. He holds many Bible conferences and preaching services. He is a theologian of the conservative school and, while dogmatic, gives the impression of breadth of view and tolerance of spirit. He has traveled much, read prodigiously, is a man of mark, a celebrity to whom preaching is a passion. His hair is white now, his face furrowed, the years are telling on him. His career is crowded with honors, and as the gloaming begins to steal upon him I love to think of that noble phrase, “A good minister of Jesus Christ.” One other thing desrves mention, and may properly stand at the end of this sketch. Dr. Morgan has four sons in the ministry and occupying influential pulpits. Only a preacher father who exalted his vocation could achieve so enviable a distinction as this.
In his seventieth year, the snows of many winters on his head, this mentally youthful preacher has gone back to his former charge in the heart of old London town, Westminster Church. There he shares the ministry with the Rev. Hubert Simpson, a much younger many, and also marvelously gifted. Dr. Morgan’s work at this notable preaching center has begun with record-breaking crowds, a packed church in foggy and rainy weather. In truth, weather conditions have little effect on any audiences in England when this veteran is announced to preach. Thus he continues at the very eventide of life, unveiling the Scriptures, original, powerful, flashing his wit and genius of exegesis upon the Scriptures, always the Scriptures–a commanding and unique preacher of the Word!
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