Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Sunday, April 23, 2006

So This Is Boreham: Part Eight

Boreham preached in numerous pulpits, to a variety of crowds, over the course of six decades. Nuggets for the preacher are buried just below surface level throughout his writings.

One fine day, while on a bush walk in New Zealand with a very eminent preacher, young Boreham was asking advice from the seasoned preacher regarding the art and calling of preaching. His walking partner turned to him, looked him squarely in the eye, and remarked,

"Keep up your surprise power, my dear fellow; the pulpit must never, never lose its power of startling people!"

Let's have Boreham mine the ore and extract the gold: "Is it enough for a preacher to preach the truth? In a place where I was quite unknown, I turned into a church one day and enjoyed the rare luxury of hearing another man preach. But, much as I appreciated the experience, I found, when I came out, that the preacher had started a rather curious line of thought. He was a very gracious man; it was a genuine pleasure to have seen and heard him. And yet there seemed to be a something lacking. The sermon was absolutely without surprise. Every sentence was splendidly true, and yet not a single sentence startled me. There was no sting in it. I seem to have heard it all over and over and over again; I could even see what was coming."

"Surely it is the preacher's duty to give the truth such a setting, and present it in such a way that the oldest truths will appear newer than the latest sensations. He must arouse me from my torpor; he must compel me to open my eyes and pull myself together; he must make me sit up and think. 'Keep your surprise power, my dear fellow,' said my companion that evening in the bush, speaking out of his long and rich experience. 'The pulpit,' he said, 'must never, never lose its power of startling people!' The preacher, that is to say, must keep up his stock of explosives. The Bishop of London declared the other day that the Church is suffering from too much 'dearly beloved brethren.' She would be better judiciously to mix it with a few bombshells."

Jeff Cranston

Image: Boreham, the church planter. Laying the foundation for the Moonah Baptist Church in Hobart, I think from memory, 1908. FWB is in the front (GP).