“Be sure to speak plainly” by Charles Spurgeon

“Be sure to speak plainly because, however excellent your matter, if a man does not comprehend it, it can be of no use to him.

You might as well have spoken to him in the language of Kamskatka as in your own tongue if you use phrases that are quite out of his line and modes of expression which are not suitable to his mind.

Go up to his level if he is a poor man; go down to his understanding if he is an educated person. You smile at my contorting the terms in that manner, but I think there is more going up in being plain to the illiterate than there is in being refined for the polite.

At any rate, it is the more difficult of the two, and most like the Saviour’s mode of speech. It is wise to walk in a path where your auditors can accompany you, and not to mount the high horse and ride over their heads.

Our Lord and Master was the King of preachers, and yet He never was above anybody’s comprehension, except so far as the grandeur and glory of His matter were concerned; His words and utterances were such that He spake like ‘the holy child Jesus.’

Let your hearts indite a good matter, clearly arranged and plainly put, and you are pretty sure to gain the ear, and so the heart.”

–Charles H. Spurgeon, Lectures to My Students: A Selection from Addresses Delivered to the Students of the Pastors’ College, Metropolitan Tabernacle(Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1875/2008), 1: 141.

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Filed under Charles Spurgeon, Christian Theology, Jesus Christ, Preaching, Puritanical, Quotable Quotes, The Gospel

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