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Articles in THE INDEPENDENT of NEW YORK
PREACHING SO AS TO CONVERT NOBODY.
BY PRESIDENT CHARLES. G. FINNEY.
NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 7, 1871
The design of this article is to propound several rules by a steady conformity to any one of which a man may preach so as not to convert anybody. It is generally conceded at the present day that the Holy Spirit converts souls to Christ by means of truth adapted to that end. It follows that a selfish preacher will not skillfully adapt means to convert souls to Christ, for this is not his end.
Rule 1st. Let your supreme motive be to secure your own popularity; then, of course, your preaching will be adapted to that end, and not to convert souls to Christ.
2d. Aim at pleasing, rather than at converting your hearers.
3d. Aim at securing for yourself the reputation of a beautiful writer.
4th. Let your sermons be written with a high degree of literary finish.
5th. Let them be short, occupying in the reading not to exceed from twenty to thirty minutes.
6th. Let your style be flowery, ornate, and quite above the comprehension of the common people.