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Once while listening to a man reproach, disparage and scold an assembly of Christians with whom he was only slightly acquainted and whose personal lives he had no way of appraising, I asked myself some questions, the answers to which up to this point I have not received. Since they bear directly on the matter here being discussed I want to list them. Perhaps some reader can answer them for me. Here they are:
Why do some preachers--
1. To take us on in the Christian life, begin by trying to prove that we have not started yet?
2. To emphasize a truth, assume or assert that everyone but them is ignorant of it?
3. To stir us to more praying, assume that we never pray at all?
4. To make us feel penitent, imply that we had a fierce family quarrel just before we left for church?
5. To bring conviction of sin on an audience, act wise and mysterious and subtly suggest that there is deep and grave hidden evil present somewhere?
6. Create invidious comparisons, as for example: "You can preach about the deeper life all you will; I believe in foreign missions"; or "You may run to and fro over the earth engaged in foreign missions; I believe in love as the only way to please God." This is dishonest and confusing, but it does disturb the tenderhearted saints and bring them to the altar. I wonder if that is not the real purpose of it after all.