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A PASTOR'S SKETCHES: Conversation's with Anxious Souls Concerning the Way of Salvation: Two Volumes in One
Ichabod Spencer

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 are 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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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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Additional Information
Author's Original Preface — A Pastor's Sketches 1
Author's Original Preface — A Pastor's Sketches 2
Biographical Introduction
Sample — A Pastor's Sketches 1
Sample — A Pastor's Sketches 2
Tributes from the Present
Tributes from the Past

Tributes from the Present

"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, 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 30 books

"With the decline of biblical Christianity in the 19th century God raised up Asahel Nettleton to be the evangelist who displayed the power of the old ways of bringing the gospel effectively to men and women. In the pastoral ministry it was the skill of Ichabod Spencer who patiently and wisely helped bring many to find rest and maturity in Jesus Christ. He was a pastor's pastor and the fruit of a lifetime's care for God's people was given to the church in this invaluable book."

—Geoff Thomas, pastor, author

"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 souls...Anyone 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

"Sketches is a splendid and unique volume. I would make it compulsory reading for seminarians in a pastoral theology course. Bring on volume 2 whenever you can."

—Gordon Keddie, pastor and author of many books

"Spencer's Sketches are much more than 'sketches.' His book is pregnant with instruction and examples of personal evangelism. The reader will appreciate how his personal evangelism was not some canned five minute sales pitch ending with the so-called 'sinners prayer.' The reader will learn that Spencer did not believe in decisional regeneration and did not believe in the Preacheror personal worker giving the sinner assurance of his salvation (study his dealing with a woman seeker in Chapter XIX, 'Ashamed of Christ'). The book is packed with instructive examples and is worth the price just to study his methods and motives for personal evangelism.

Every preacher should study his example of visitation. Spencer did what Richard Baxter did at Kidderminster (see Reformed Pastor). Spencer was convinced that sound doctrine, though essential, was only the foundation upon which to build true Christian experience. In this he followed John Bunyan even being referred to as 'The Bunyan of Brooklyn' which alone should be enough for every minister to read this book and encourage others to do likewise. What more could I say in endorsing A Pastor's Sketches?"

—Ernest C. Reisinger, author, key figure in starting Founder's Movement in SBC

"In our day of the soft sell, calculated to avoid offending anyone, this book is an encouragement to speak the truth in love and leave the consequences with God."

—Richard Denham, veteran missionary to Brazil for 50 years

"The republication of Spencer's sketches gives a rare opportunity for contemporary pastors, who have few if any models of pastors who understand the 'work of evangelism.' These sketches show a doctrinal depth and an experiential savvy perfectly meshed in one who had the cure of souls as his passion. He dare not intrude on God's work and he dare not omit anything that was his to do. Knowing when to stop is almost as important as knowing what to say. Spencer takes us to school on this eternally important issue."

—Tom J. Nettles, Professor, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

"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

"This volume is a sobering alternative to many of the 'how to' ministry volumes stockpiled in the local Christian bookstore. Behind each of these sketches lies the heartbeat of one who knew he would give an account for the souls of those entrusted to his care (Heb 13:17). Each account reflects both the gravity and the exhilaration of Christian ministry."

—Russell D. Moore, Instructor of Christian Theology, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY

"'A Pastor's Sketches' is a must for anyone who finds the important work of bringing lost souls to the Savior important. It is interesting and intriguing. You will need this if you have any interest in reading how a master of the ministry functioned before the contamination of Charles G. Finney affected so many."

—Dr. John Waldrip, pastor