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strength is not necessarily soul strength, nor denominational religion necessarily the religion of humanity, it is the aim of the “ Homilist” to minister that which universal man requires. It is for man as a citizen of the universe, and not for him as the limb of a sect.
Thirdly : The book has no polemical Theology. The Editor-holding, as he does, with a tenacious grasp, the cardinal doctrines which constitute what is called the “orthodox creed”—has, nevertheless, the deep and ever-deepening conviction, first, thatsuch creed is but a very small portion of the truth that God has revealed, or that man requires ; and that no theological system can fully represent all the contents and suggestions of the great book of God; and, secondly, that systematic theology is but means to an end. Spiritual morality is that end. Consequently to the heart and life every Biblical thought and idea should be directed. Your system of divinity the author will not disparage ; but his impression is, that they can no more answer the purpose of the Gospel, than pneumatics can answer the purpose of the atmosphere. In the case of Christianity, as well as the air, the world can live without its scientific truths; but it must have the free flowings of their vital elements. Coleridge has well said, “Too soon did the doctors of the Church forget that the heart—the moral nature—was the beginning and the end, and that truth, knowledge, and insight were comprehended in its expansion.”
The Editor would record his grateful acknowledgments to those free spirits of all churches, who have so earnestly rallied round him, to the many who have encouraged him by their letters, and to those, especially, who have aided him by their valuable contributions. May the “last day” prove that the help rendered has been worthily bestowed; and that the “Homilist" did something towards the spiritual education of humanity, in its endeavors to bring the Bible, through the instrumentality of the pulpit, into a more immediate and practical contact with the every-day life of man !
All the articles in the Volume are written by the Editor, with the exception
of those which have their Authors' names attached.
The Three Great Valuables,—the World, the Soul, and
Paul's Shipwreck. (By S. A. Browning)