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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection

Preacher: to Avoid a Lofty Style

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In the town of Goslar, in the Hartz mountains, there is in the principal square a fountain evidently of medieval date, but the peculiarity of its construction is that no one can reach the water so as to fill a bucket or even get a drink to quench his thirst. Both the jets, and the basin into which they fall, are above the reach of any man of ordinary stature; yet the fountain was intended to supply the public with water, and it fulfils its design by a method which we never saw in use before; every person brings a spout or trough with him long enough to reach the top of the fountain and bring the water down into his pitcher. We are afraid that all our reverence for antiquity did not prevent the full exercise of our risible faculties; sixpennyworth of mason's work with a chisel would have made the crystal stream available to all; but no, every one must bring a trough or go away unsupplied.


When preachers of the gospel talk in so lofty a style that each hearer needs to bring a dictionary, they remind us of the absurd fountain of Goslar. The use of six-syllabled jawbreaking words is simply a most ludicrous vanity. A little labour on the part of such pedants would save a world of profitless toil to their hearers, and enable those uneducated persons who have no means of reaching the preacher's altitude to derive some measure of instruction from his ministry.



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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Preacher: to Avoid a Lofty Style'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/fff/p/preacher-to-avoid-a-lofty-style.html. 1870.

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