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 2
Fasting and Prayer
The sixteenth day of March, in the year 1831, was observed, by the church, in which I was pastor, as a day of fasting and prayer. This appointment was made with special reference to the outpouring of the Holy Spirit; to seek, by united prayer, the revival of God's work in the midst of the congregation. The meetings for prayer were held in the church building, and a large portion of the members were present.
The next week, as I was returning home from a religious meeting late in the evening, and had turned into an unfrequented crossroad, in order to shorten the distance I had to walk; I was startled at the sudden sound of footsteps behind me, which seemed to be those of a man rapidly approaching me in the dark. I did not know but some evil- minded person might intend to do me harm in that obscure place, and under cover of the impenetrable darkness of one of the darkest nights that I ever saw. I did not choose to run, for, in that case, I should never know why I was so hotly pursued. I felt glad, that I had some corporeal strength; and though I cannot say that my courage very specially forsook me, yet I had no particular liking for a hostile attack and a tussle in the dark.
As the footsteps so rapidly approaching me appeared to be directly in my rear, like a lover of peace I crossed to the other side of the road; and not preferring an attack in the rear, I stopped and faced about. My pursuer espied me, and, without slackening his pace, ran directly towards me across the street, till, coming within ten feet of me, much out of breath, he called my name. "That is my name, sir," said I. He came close up to me, panting for breath, and stopped in silence. After a few heavy and rapid breathings, he spoke. He told me who he was, and why he had run after me. He was a young man of my congregation, to whom I had never before spoken. I did not know him personally. He had just come from the schoolhouse where I had been preaching; and, not willing to be seen by his companions speaking to me, he had waited till they were out of the way, and then run after me, through the obscure street into which he had seen me turn. He wanted to see me, for he felt that he was "a sinner unreconciled to God, and in danger of hell." "What shall I do?" said he; "I can't live so another week. Is there any way that such a one as I am can be saved?"
I had a long conversation with him standing there in the dark, (for he did not choose to go home with me,) and I found, that his first impressions of any particular seriousness had commenced in the church, on the Fast-day, the week before. He was an apprentice in a mechanic's shop, where there were more than a dozen other irreligious young men. The master of the shop (not a professor of religion), told the whole of them, that if they wished to attend church on the Fast-day, they need not work.
They accepted his proposal. And as he himself afterwards told me, that was the reason why he went to church that day himself. He said, he "did not expect the boys would take his offer, but would prefer to stay at home and work;" and if they had done so, he would have done so too; "but when they were all going to church," says he, "I was ashamed to stay at home."
That young man, his employer, and almost the entire number of those young men in the shop, became communicants in the church before the close of that year. Thirteen persons were received into the church, whose seriousness commenced that day, in the church, while the people of God were praying for that very thing. 'The Lord is with you while ye be with Him.' 'Before they call I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.'