A PASTOR'S SKETCHES: Conversation's with Anxious Souls Concerning the Way of Salvation: Two Volumes in One
WE BEGAN SOLID GROUND CHRISTIAN BOOKS IN THE WINTER OF 2001 AND OUR FIRST MAJOR ACCOMPLISHMENT WAS REPRINTING 'A PASTOR'S SKETCHES' BY ICHABOD SPENCER. WE ARE OFFERING THIS HARDCOVER SMYTH-SEWN DOUBLE VOLUME FOR $22.00 AT THIS TIME.
SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - Solid Ground has joined hands with Granted Ministries to produce a smyth-sewn cloth-bound, shrink-wrapped 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 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
6 LIFE-CHANGING SOLID GROUND TITLES
*A Pastor's Sketches (Double Volume) by Ichabod Spencer
Stepping Heavenward by Elizabeth Prentiss
*Counsels and Thoughts on the Spiritual Life of Believers by Thomas Moor
The Person and Work of the Holy Spirit by Benjamin B. Warfield
The Divine Purpose Displayed in the Works of Providence and Grace by John Matthews
Thoughts for Young Men by J.C. Ryle
(* means it is a hardcover volume)
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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
|Sample A Pastor's Sketches 1
The Arrow Driven Deeper
Finding it impossible, on account of the number, to have much conversation with each individual at the inquiry meeting, I at one time abandoned the practice of conversation for a few weeks, and addressed them all together. I found this was unacceptable, and concluded, therefore, to return to the former custom. It was on one of those evenings, when about seventy persons were present, and I was passing rapidly from one to another, that I came to an individual who had never been there before. Said I: "What is the state of your feelings on the subject of your salvation?" "I feel," said he, "that I have a very wicked heart." "It is a great deal more wicked than you think it," said I; and immediately left him, and addressed myself to the next person.
I thought no more of it till a few days afterwards, when he came to me with a new song in his mouth. He had found peace with God, as he thought, through faith in Jesus Christ. Said he: "I want to tell you how much good you did me. When I told you that I had a very wicked heart, and you answered that it was a great deal more wicked than I thought, and then said nothing more to me, I thought it a most cruel thing. I expected something different. I thought you would say more, and my soul was wonderfully cast down. Idid not believe you. I was angry at your treatment. I thought you did not care whether I was ever saved or not; and I did not believe you knew anything about my feelings. But the words rung in my ears, "A great deal more wicked than you think." I could not get rid of them. They were in my mind the last thing when I went to sleep, and the first when I woke. And then I would be vexed at you for not saying something else. But that was the thing which drove me to Christ. I now know it was just what I needed. I thought, when I went to that meeting, my convictions were very deep. But I have found out they were very slight. You hit my case exactly. If you had talked to me, my burden would have been diminished. But you fastened one idea on my mind. You drove the arrow deeper, when I expected you to do just the contrary; and I could find no relief till I gave up all into the hands of Christ. I know you read my heart exactly."
After some few minutes' conversation with him, he said to me, "I want to ask you a question. I have been thinking of it a great deal, and I cannot conceive how you know what to say to each one, where there are so many. We have been talking about it some of us, and we cannot understand how it is that you can know our thoughts and feelings, when nobody has told you. How can you know what to say to one after another, when there are so many, and some of them you have never seen before, and they say so little to you?"
"I have only one rule on that subject," said I. "I aim to conspire with the Holy Spirit. If I perceive any one truth has impressed the mind, I aim to make its impression deeper; because the Holy Spirit has already made that impression, and I would not diminish it by leading the mind off to something else. If I perceive any error in the individual's mind, I aim to remove it; for I know that the error is of sin, and not of the Holy Spirit."
"But," said he, "our impressions are so different."
"No matter. They are of the Holy Spirit if truth has made them; and he can choose the kind of truth which is appropriate to any sinner, better than I can. I just aim to conspire with the Holy Spirit."
Said he, "I am confident if you had said much to me, or anything, to turn my mind away from that one thing, it would have done me hurt. You have no idea how much you increased my trouble that night. I somehow wanted you to lighten my burden, - you made it heavier. Then I was soon led to see that none but God could help me. I had partly begun to think my heart was improving. I found out the contrary, and turned to God in despair. He gave me peace, through Jesus Christ."