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Billy Sunday Speaks
On Plain Preaching
Follow the Book & Flag

Too much of the preaching of today is too nice; too pretty; too dainty; it does not kill.

Too many sermons are just given for literary excellence of the production. They get a nice adjective, or noun, or pronoun - you cannot be saved by grammar.

A little bit of grammar is alright, but don’t be a big fool and sit around and criticize because the preacher gets a word wrong - if you do that your head is filled with buck oysters and sawdust, if that is all you can use it for...I repeat that everybody who is decent or wants to be decent, will admire you when you preach the truth, although you riddle them when you do it.

One of the prolific sources of unbelief and backsliding today is a bottle-fed church, where the whole membership lets the preacher do the studying of the Bible for them. He will go to the pulpit with his mind full of his sermon and they will come to church with their minds filled with society and last night’s card-playing, beer-and-wine-drinking and novel-reading party and will sit there half asleep.

Many a preacher reminds me of a great big nursing bottle, and there are two hundred or three hundred rubber tubes, with nipples on the end, running into the mouths of two hundred or three hundred or four hundred great big old babies with whiskers and breeches on...sitting there, and they suck and draw from the preacher.

Some old sister gets the AMUSEMENT nipple in her mouth and it sours her stomach, and up go her heels and she yells. Then the preacher has to go around and sing psalms to that big two-hundred and fifty pound baby and get her good-natured so she will go back to church some day.

Your preachers would fight for Christ if some of you fossilated, antiquated old hypocrites didn’t snort and snarl and whine. --- From Billy Sunday, "A Plain Speech".