The Company of Preachers: Wisdom on Preaching, Augustine to the Present

Lischer, Richard, ed.

Eerdmans, 2002

p. 313

from John Broadus, A Treatise on the Preparation and Delivery of Sermons (1889 edition): Broadus speaks of the young preacher’s penchant for imitating older, more experienced preachers, and of the resident perils. All are aware that there is a both a conscious and an unconscious imitation. That which is unconscious is, of course, not so blameworthy, but it cannot fail to be injurious, and it is a subtle evil which should be guarded against with the sharpest self-inspection. Everyone observes, too, that imitators are apt to imitate a preacher’s faults. The reason is easily seen. The excellences of a good speaker are apt to be symmetrical, while his faults are salient, prominent . . . Besides, it is easier to ape the single, salient fault than the symmetrical combination of many excellences.”