Baptist theologian Edward Hiscox writes the following concerning sermon preparation and devices in his Manual:

The pulpit will constitute the stronghold of his power on his congregation and the community. For though a pastor, he must still be a preacher, a Gospel herald to his flock. The minister is, perhaps, first of all, a teacher. Therefore he must not neglect his preparations for the pulpit. If he cannot hold the people by his preaching, he cannot in any other way. Many devices may be resorted to, to draw and hold an audience, some of which deserve no better name than tricks, which if they serve their purpose at all, are short-lived, and fail utterly to command the confidence of thoughtful people. For, while some men have not, and cannot have the same attractive power in the pulpit as others, yet sound Gospel sermons, ably prepared, and earnestly delivered, constitute the only kind of pulpit service which can long commend itself to the consciences of the people. He who neglects his pulpit preparations for any cause whatever, will find frequent pastoral changes to be imperative— and possibly, not always in the most pleasant way. The same will be true of him who relies on a facility for extemporaneous discourse, under the inspiration of a present audience, to the neglect of previous careful preparation.*

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* Edward T. Hiscox, Principles and Practices for Baptist Churches (Judson Press, 1894; repr., Grand Rapids: Kregel, 1980), 95-96.

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