Monday, July 26, 2010

Let us preach everywhere

All over England, in our cities, towns, villages, and hamlets, there are tens of thousands who never will hear the gospel while open-air preaching is neglected. I believe that God allows us to preach in churches and chapels, but I do not believe that we have any apostolical precedent for it, certainly none for confining our ministry to such places. I believe that we are allowed, if it promote order and edification, to set apart buildings for our worship; but there is no warrant for calling these places sanctuaries and houses of God, for all places are alike holy where holy men assemble.

It is altogether a mischievous thing that we should confine our preaching within walls. Our Lord, it is true, preached in the synagogues, but he often spake on the mountain’s side, or from a boat, or in the court of a house, or in the public thoroughfares. To him an audience was the only necessity. He was a fisher of souls of the true sort, and not of the modern order, who sit in their houses and expect the fish to come to them to be caught.... The minister who does his duty, goes out into the highways and hedges; he goes into all the world; he preaches whether men will hear or whether they will forbear, and delights to make hills and woods ring with the message of peace.

From a sermon entitled "The Model Home Mission And The Model Home Missionary," delivered April 14, 1870. Image by Richard Outram under Creative Commons License.

No comments: