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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

SERMON MANSCRIPTS

A COPY I HAVE OF SPURGEON'S ORIGINAL SERMONS 1858
Twenty-seven sermons 445 pages
SERMON MANUSCRIPTS BY CHARLES E. WHISNANT 1983-1996

SHOULD A PREACHER USE A MANUSCRIPT IN PREACHING/TEACHING

Charles Haddon Spurgeon's original manuscript sermons:

The story behind Spurgeon's sermons


The first of Spurgeon's sermons to be published was one preached at New Park Street Chapel on August 20, 1854: "Is it not wheat harvest today?" This sermon sold well [in the Penny Pulpit] and others were published both in that series and in the Baptist Messenger. Joseph Passmore, a member of New Park Street Chapel, with whom Spurgeon formed a friendship the first day he preached in London, suggested that his publishing firm undertake the weekly publication of Spurgeon's sermons. The first to be published was that of January 7, 1855 and his sermons were published weekly not only through the rest of his ministry, but many years beyond his death. The weekly sermons were first printed in small type in eight pages, but the abolition of the duty on paper enabled the publishers to expand the format to 12 pages. Yearly volumes followed; first the New Park Street Pulpit and then, after its construction, the Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit.


As Spurgeon did not write out his sermons, but rather preached from very brief notes [a facsimile of notes for a sermons on Luke II. 10-12 is found on page 69 of volume IV of his Autobiography (London: Passmore & Alabaster, 1900)], there was a need for a professional shorthand writer's to take down the sermon as preached if anything was to be published. This was done, through most of his ministry not only for the Sunday morning sermons, but for those he preached both Sunday and Thursday evenings as well. These latter two were held in reserve and the sermon preached Sunday morning was the one regularly printed week by week.


In order to accomplish this weekly publication, the 'reporter' who had taken down the sermon transcribed it into manuscript form and the result (usually some 40 to 50 pages) was delivered to Spurgeon the same day. Very occasionally when he was to be away on Monday he was compelled to revise the sermon before going to bed, but ordinarily this was his first work on Monday morning. This was no mere correction of minor detail, but involved extensive amendment. Thus not only words are replaced, but sentences, paragraphs and even pages. His wife characterizes it as "always a labour of love, yet...a labour...." The weekly sermon had to be ready in the hands of his publishers and printed by Thursday morning and he was not willing that it should represent anything less than his best ["up to the highest mark", as his wife phrases it]. The task was greater if he had to lengthen or reduce it, as each sermon had to fill 12 pages. When the revisions were completed (usually the sermons went, by messenger, to Passmore & Alabaster in 2 or even 3 segments), galleys were produced and returned for further correction.
These were more extensive when the sermon needed to be lengthened or shortened, but there were always further corrections and at least minor amendments made. Sometimes a second set of galleys was required and occasionally a third. When the work was finally completed the sermon went to press and distribution was begun Thursday morning. This process was repeated weekly through Spurgeon's ministry.


THE METHOD OF CHARLES E. WHISNANT

Okay, the only commonality that I have with Charles Spurgeon, we share the first name. Well we love books, we love study, and we love to preach.
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I have read a few books on preaching. Methods of preaching, methods of delivering a sermon, methods of writing a sermon will vary from book to book, preacher to preacher.
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Having been a fundamentalist (WBF) and telling your people you use notes or even studied for a message would not have been the correct idea. The idea was, if people saw you using notes, they might receive the idea that the message didn't come from the Holy Spirit.
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  • "Volumes have been written laying down the mechanics and taste of sermon-making, until we have become possessed with the idea that this scaffolding is the building. The young preacher has been taught to lay out all his strength on the form, taste, and beauty of his sermon as a mechanical and intellectual product. We have thereby cultivated a vicious taste among the people and raised the clamor for talent instead of grace, eloquence instead of piety, rhetoric instead of revelation, reputation and brilliancy instead of holiness. By it we have lost the true idea of preaching, lost preaching power, lost pungent conviction for sin, lost the rich experience and elevated Christian character, lost the authority over consciences and lives which always results from genuine preaching."
I RECEIVED THIS KIND OF INFORMATION FOR PREACHING IN SEMINARY
  • The idea was to tell the people, "I received this message from the Lord, and as I am preaching, the Holy Spirit will give me the words that I am to say this morning." I have heard that a few times over my life time. Sounded good.
  • When I first started out preaching I had no idea how to receive the message from the Holy Spirit. I remember in Seminary I asked a professor, "Pastor that was a wonderful message, can you tell me how you came up with that sermon?" Good question, I thought, from a seminary student that wanted to know how to preach." Here is what he said, "Go to your dorm and open your Bible, and ask the Lord to give you a sermon." Now how was that for the correct way of learning how to preach?
In my humble opinion, any green horn boy age 19 trying to preach the Word of God from I Thessalonians without study and using notes is dumb, not spiritual.
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Some believe those who God calls to preach (in the fundamentalist groups) should go to Seminary and learn the Bible, and then in sermon preparation, allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your preaching. You might use a few notes of course, you should study of course, but don't tell anybody. And when you deliver your sermon on Sunday, make sure it looks like you are not using notes, but it's all coming from the Holy Spirit. Again a fundamentalist viewpoint.
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And in my opinion when you hear this kind of preaching, you are generally well aware that they haven't studied that much, but they are delivering the message from the hip, and what they are saying is not coming from the text they have asked the people to turn to.
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WHY I STUDY AND WRITE A MANUSCRIPT

My Dad had been preaching for more than forty years when I was old enough to know what he was doing, preaching. As a youth I never really saw my dad study, I don't remember a church office, or a Pastor's study office. All I remember was Dad getting up and preaching.

At some point in this process, as a young person, I thought, I want to study the Bible. I want to learn what God is saying in the Bible. And I knew I needed to study from those who I believed knew the Bible. And since I loved to write what I was learning, I would write down what I was reading.
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This was the day before Internet, and I didn't have a typewriter to type on. So I just had a pen and wrote what I was reading. And I hadn't developed the ability to memorize what I had read, (Spurgeon was a master of memorizing what he had read, and could auto recall a whole page at a time).
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I wanted to be correct in teaching the Word, I didn't want just my opinion to be heard. I wanted to know what the text said. And I wanted to be sure that when I delivered the message I was going to be correct, thus I took notes.
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Secondly, I wanted to stay fresh; that is, I wanted to continue to learn from the Word. I didn't want to preach or teach the same sermons over and over. Therefore I started early in this ministry to study for every sermon I preached.

THIS IS ALREADY TOO LONG, AS ARE MY SERMONS, SO I WILL CONTINUE LATER.
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