Do Not Aim at Sensation and Effect

“Do not aim at sensation and ‘effect’ [when preaching]. Flowing tears and streaming eyes, sobs and outcries, crowded after-meetings and all kinds of confusions may occur, and may be borne with as concomitants of genuine feeling; but pray do not plan their production.

“It very often happens that the converts that are born in excitement die when the excitement is over. They are like certain insects that are the product of an exceedingly warm day, and die when the sun goes down. Certain converts are like salamanders, in the fire; but they expire at a reasonable temperature. I delight not in religion which needs or creates a hot head. Give me the godliness which flourishes upon Calvary rather than upon Vesuvius . The utmost zeal for Christ is consistent common-sense and reason: raving, ranting, and fanaticism are products of another zeal which is not according to knowledge. We would prepare men for the chamber of communion, and not for the padded room at Bedlam. No one is more sorry than I that such a caution as this should be needful; but remembering the vagaries of certain revivalists, I cannot say less, and I might say a great deal more.”

(Charles Spurgeon, The Soul Winner, pp. 20-21)

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