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Monday, October 12, 2009

Deep enough: advice for young preachers

John Taylor (1752--1836), a pioneer Baptist preacher (mostly in Kentucky) was reputed to be warm and encouraging to young preachers, but could also be severe when he thought it warranted.

A young preacher at an associational meeting took his text from Ezekiel 47:3-5, the vision of the waters from the temple becoming a river. He divided his subject into four parts -- ankle-deep, knee-deep, loin-deep, deep enough for swimming. For about an hour he developed his first two points. Ankle-deep was repentance from sin. Knee-deep was assurance of salvation.

Taylor and other preachers, as was common in that day, were sitting behind him on the stand. Finishing his second division, the young preacher said, "Thirdly, we go a little deeper -— where the waters reached the loins."

At this point John Taylor straightened up, pointed his finger, and spoke up, "Young man, come ashore. You are deep enough, deep enough."

-- From S. H. Ford's The Christian Repository, June, 1859

Thoughts on Missions by John Taylor, 1820
A History of Ten Baptist Churches by John Taylor, 1823
A History of Clear Creek Church and Campbellism Exposed by John Taylor, 1830
John Taylor: Frontier Baptist Preacher by James R. Duvall

4 comments:

Jim1927 said...

There is the story about the preacher who started out convincing the congregation to tithe. He went on and on and on and eventually convinced that same congregation to give their money to other efforts.

It was Luther who admonished preachers to:
(1) Stand up cheerfully
(2) Speak outmanfully
(3) Leave off speedily.

Cheers,

Jim

JamesCharles said...

Concerning the "tithe" comment, it reminds me of a sermon outline I once heard.

Three things that happens when you don't tithe.

1. God is disappointed.
2. Satan wins a victory.
3. I don't get paid.

Have a Happy Hallelujah Month!

R. L. Vaughn said...

Jim, in line with your first post, I posted some more about Taylor.

Jim1927 said...

I once preached in a German Baptist Church in Alberta, Canada. I started in the morning service at the usual time and preached for about 25 minutes. Some ladies got up and left te sanctuary. Apprently they went downstairs to prepare lunch. Everyone went down to eat and then I was told I could continue my sermon upstairs until about 3:pm. They believed in going to church to hear the word and then go home to milk the cows!!! Talk about stretching out a sermon..

Cheers,

Jim