Learning From Charles Simeon the Preacher

I recently read through Hopkins’ biography on Charles Simeon. Simeon was a pioneer of expository preaching and lived had a faithful preaching ministry of over 50 years in Cambridge, England in the late 1700’s to early 1800’s. Here’s some quotes from the biography about Simeon’s approach to preaching:

“Simeon believed that his task was to let the Bible speak, and in doing so he was to act as an interpreter. The deep things of God which he discovered in his long hours of personal Bible study were to be expounded in such a way that his hearers, who may not often have read and seldom understood the passages concerned, would be left in no doubt of their meaning and application. Hence his reiterated advice about giving a text ‘it’s just meaning, it’s natural bearing and it’s legitimate use,’ and the need for a preacher ‘to ascertain from the original and from the context the true, faithful and primary meaning of every text. Let the point of a passage…come out naturally” (57)

When asked ‘Can you give me any hints for making my sermon?’ The reply reads: “‘Yes: reduce your text to a simple proposition, and lay that down as the warp; and then make use of the text itself as the woof; illustrating the main idea by the various terms in which it is contained. Screw the words into the minds of your hearers. A screw is the strongest of all mechanical powers… when it has been turned a few times scarcely any power can pull it out.’” (59)

The standard by which Simeon wanted all of his sermons to be judged and his main aim:
TO HUMBLE THE SINNER
TO EXALT THE SAVIOR
TO PROMOTE HOLINESS

(62-63)

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