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Thomas DeWitt Talmage
"The most spectacular pulpit orator of his time."
"Just as sometimes a child is so sick that it cannot any longer lie in the cradle, and the mother has to take it up, so sometimes God's children are so troubled that they cannot lie easy anywhere but in God's lap."
If Charles Spurgeon was the "Prince of Preachers," then T. DeWitt Talmage must be considered as one of the princes of the American pulpit. In fact, Spurgeon stated of Talmage's ministry: "His sermons take hold of my inmost soul. The Lord is with the mighty man. I am astonished when God blesses me but not surprised when He blesses him." He was probably the most spectacular pulpit orator of his time-and one of the most widely read.
Like Spurgeon, Talmage's ministry was multiplied not only from the pulpit to immense congregations, but in the printed pages of newspaper and in the making of many books. His sermons appeared in 3,000 newspapers and magazines a week, and he is said to have had 25 million readers.
And for 25 years, Talmage - a Presbyterian - filled the 4,000 to 5,000 seat auditorium of his Brooklyn church, as well as auditoriums across America and the British Isles. He counted converts to Christ in the thousands annually.
He was the founding editor of Christian Herald, and continued as editor of this widely circulated Protestant religious journal from 1877 until his death in 1902.
He had the face of a frontiersman and the voice of a gold bell; sonorous, dramatic, fluent, he was, first of all, an orator for God; few other evangelists had his speech. He poured forth torrents, deluges of words, flinging glory and singing phrases like a spendthrift; there was glow and warmth and color in every syllable.
He played upon the heartstrings like an artist. One writer described him as the cultured Billy Sunday of his time. Many of his critics found fault with his methods; buy they could not deny his mastery, nor could they successfully cloud his dynamic loyalty to his Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ.
Man's Morality Not Sufficient When God Weighs You
by T. DeWitt Talmage
God lifts the balances tonight. The judgment day is coming. Every day is a day of judgment. We are this moment being canvassed, inspected, weighed.
But do not let us all get on the scales at once. We will take one at a time. Who will get on first? Here is a volunteer. He is a moralist-as upright a man as there is in Brooklyn. Get in, Brother.
What is it that you have with you in that bundle? He says, "It is my reputation for morality and uprightness and integrity." Leave that behind. It is not fair that you carry a bundle with you. We just want to measure you.
Have you slandered your neighbors? You say, "Never have I slandered them." What outrages have you committed against society? You say, "None." So far, so good.
Have your thoughts always been right? You answer, "No." I put down one mark against you.
Have you served God as you ought? "No." Another mark against you.
Have you loved the Lord Jesus Christ with all your soul? "No." Another mark against you.
Come now, be frank. Have you not, in ten thousand things, come short of your duty? "Yes." Then I put down ten thousand marks against you.
Bring me a larger book in which I may make record of your deficits and neglects. Do not jump out of the scales until I have examined them.
You stand on one side, with all your kindnesses and charities and conciliations of behavior. On the other side I put this one weight, "By the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified." Down goes the weight; up go your good works. Weighed in the balance, and found wanting!