A PASTOR'S SKETCHES
Conversation's with Anxious Souls Concerning the Way of Salvation
Two Volumes in One
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Solid Ground has joined hands with Granted Ministries to produce a smyth-sewn clothbound, shrinkwrapped edition of the Double Volume of A Pastor's Sketches. In addition to all that is found in the present paperback edition there will be two important additions:
(1) The first added appendix is a short and concise summary of every sketch, allowing readers to quickly find a case that is similar to the one with which they are wrestling.
(2) The second added appendix is a short subject index based upon those summaries, directing readers to places where the various subjects are specifically addressed and dealt with more fully. NOW AVAILABLE TO SHIP!!
These sketches were first published in 1850 and 1853 toward the end of the remarkable ministry of the man known as "The Bunyan of Brooklyn." These books consist of 77 "sketches" or "case studies" drawn from the ministry of one of America's greatest pastors. It is required reading in three Seminaries in the USA with more to come. It is changing lives in over 25 countries and all 50 States and has drawn high praise from dozens of evangelical and reformed leaders throughout the world, like: Jerry Bridges, Maurice Roberts, Ernie Reisinger, James White, Gordon Keddie, Tom Nettles, Joel Beeke, Conrad Mbewe, Geoff Thomas and Peter Jeffery.
"I have never read anything quite like A Pastor's Sketches and I really think that if God is pleased to bring days of great revival again, no Christian book could be more helpful at such a time to pastors than Spencer's book. A book of great relevance to pastors, it will be cherished just as much by all those spiritual minded men and women in our churches who do the bulk of the work of bringing the gospel lovingly, courageously and wisely to those around them. I really believe its impact could be revolutionary." - David Vaughn, missionary in France
"A Pastor's Sketches is a sobering and challenging reminder that the Holy Spirit is the true agent of conversion. This book is urgently needed today when so much of our evangelism is patterned after current marketing methods. It has deeply convicted me to always seek to be in tune with the Holy Spirit as I minister to others." - Jerry Bridges, author of numerous books
"We live in a day when it is rare for people to speak about their souls. But in times of revival such as that in which Ichabod Spencer lived, there was so much of the Holy Spirit's work in evidence in men's lives that ministers needed to address the most searching questions to their hearers. Few did this so well as Dr. Spencer, whose Sketches, which are here reprinted after a lapse of many years, are a veritable treasury of pastoral wisdom. They will amply repay careful reading by pastors and serious Christians in our day." - Maurice Roberts, former editor of Banner of Truth Magazine
"The Spencer extracts are superb and will be of great benefit when printed. This is very sobering but enlightening material. It is quite contrary to much of today's practice and all pastors need to read it." - Peter Jeffery, author of over 40 books
"Spiritual casuistry, or 'cases of conscience,' as it used to be called, is nearly a lost art today. Few seminaries train ministerial students how to dialogue with seeking souls, even though counseling a seeking sinner can be more challenging than preaching to a large congregation. That's part of what makes Spencer's book of dialogues with inquiring sinners so unique. Spencer is a master at flushing sinners out of hiding and directing them to Jesus Christ for salvation through Spirit-worked, simple faith.
Though I suppose few pastors would approve of every response Spencer makes to inquirers, in the main his spiritual counsel is biblical, doctrinal, practical, and experiential. His perceptive counsel certainly has produced much fruit. A Pastor's Sketches is a compelling read for pastors and Christian workers; its pages contain the nuts and bolts of biblical evangelism, taught via authentic dialogues." - Joel R. Beeke, president and professor at Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
"Dr. Spencer's book should certainly take a well-deserved place among the tools of any physician of soulsŕAnyone with the cause of Christ at heart will bemoan the fact that we have too many miscarriages in our evangelistic labor-wards. These sketches found in Spencer's book, together with the concluding lessons, will go a long way to bring back the biblical balance that we so desperately need if the preachers of the new millennium are to prove themselves to be able and true spiritual midwives. I have no doubt that its reprinting is long overdue." - Conrad Mbewe, pastor from Zambia
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6 LIFE-CHANGING BOOKS
A Pastor's Sketches (Double Volume) by Ichabod Spencer
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by Benjamin B. Warfield
The Divine Purpose by John Matthews
Precious Seed: The Greatest Sermons by the Greatest Scottish Preachers
Religion in Shoes: The Christ-like Life and Ministry of "Brother Bryan" of Brmingham
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Author's Original Preface A Pastor's Sketches 1
Author's Original Preface A Pastor's Sketches 2
Sample A Pastor's Sketches 1
Sample A Pastor's Sketches 2
Tributes from the Present
Tributes from the Past
|Author's Original Preface A Pastor's Sketches 1
This is a book of truth. These Sketches are taken from real life. They are facts, not fancies. They are the experiences of some whom the Author has known in the course of his ministry. He has not given to them an item of coloring. The only thing about them, from which any erroneous impression can possibly arise, is to be found in the fact, that they are only sketches, not containing all that could be given, in respect to the individuals here mentioned. But they are believed to contain a fair and sufficiently full representation of each case.
The Author has made this selection from the materials in his possession, on the principle of avoiding useless repetitions as much as possible, and on the principle of meeting some of the strange difficulties, which sometimes trouble inquirers after salvation.
If this humble volume shall fall into the hands of any, who recognize their own portrait among the sketches here drawn; the Author would affectionately suggest to them the propriety of permitting that fact to remain unknown. He solicits this as a special favor to himself; while he assures them, he would deem it an injustice and a breach of confidence, to disclose to other people the particular feelings of individuals, made known to him in the sacredness of religious intimacy. He has been careful not to write anything here, which can injure the feelings of any living person. It must be by the person's own act, not the Author's, if any one of the portraits here sketched is ever known to the public, as that of any particular individual.
The most of the instances here mentioned occurred in revivals of religion; but the Author would be sorry to have it thought, that he has any preference for the piety commencing at such a time, before that which commences at other seasons. He would also be sorry to be at all instrumental in leading any soul to think, that salvation is not as certainly and as easily attainable at any other time, as during a revival, if the soul will as diligently seek it. It would still more grieve him, to do anything towards fostering those spurious excitements, so often called revivals, which have done so much to distract the churches and corrupt the religion of this country. He has no fear of any excitements, which divine truth will produce; and he believes, that, if the truth has produced them, they will be ready and willing to be controlled by the truth, come from what lips it may; and will not, therefore, induce the people to rely upon some particular men, "Revival Preachers," as they are sometimes called. He would not undervalue revivals of religion, because abuses have sometimes crept into the churches under that name; nor would he dare to think of choosing the mode, in which the Holy Spirit shall do his own blessed work.
The particular religious experiences of individuals are not guides for other people. They are only illustrations of divine truth, by its application. The Sacred Scriptures are the only just guide. Still, religious history and religious biography, though often abused, by an over-trusting, and by a misguided taste, have some distinct advantages, and, fitly used, may be of peculiar benefit. It should be carefully remembered, that such biographies are written for the very reason, that they are supposed to contain something uncommon; and therefore cannot be applicable, as examples, to believers, or inquirers in every case. Nobody would ever think of publishing the religious experience of every believer in a church or city.
But the Author has hoped, that these Sketches might be useful, not on the ground of their marvelousness, so much as on the ground of their applicability, as they refer to common experiences and common difficulties, which have occurred under the ordinary ministration of a very humble individual; and are, therefore, likely to occur again. He has hoped, that they might be instructive, by showing the application of divine truth to human hearts - by leading some anxious inquirers after salvation to see what it is that hinders them from peace with God - and by leading private Christians and young Ministers of the gospel to study more carefully what they shall say to those, who inquire what they shall do to be saved. Twenty years ago, he would have valued a book like this, above all price. And if this, by the divine blessing, shall be of any assistance to young Ministers, on a very delicate and important part of their duty, or of any assistance to inquirers after salvation, its purpose will be accomplished.
Dr. Ichabod S. Spencer