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pursue that subject a little further, and trust to the candour of our friends to find an apology for our so doing ; since, when the subject is properly considered, what we have to say cannot be deemed out of place.
It is our wish to render the “British Pulpit” something like what the thermometer is in relation to the weather-a faithful Index of the style of preaching in the present day. We wish it to exhibit a fair standard of the learning, the theology, the eloquence, and pulpit talents of the age in which we live, so that future generations may, by looking back to our volumes, and comparing the Sermons which they contain with those of their own day, form a correct estimate how far the style of preaching has improved or deteriorated.
It is well remarked by the ingenious Robert Robinson, in his Dissertation on Public Preaching, that “the history of the pulpit is curious and entertaining. It has spoken all languages, and in all sorts of style. It has partaken of all the customs of the schools, the theatres, and the courts of all the countries, where it has been erected. It has been a seat of wisdom and a sink of nonsense. It has been filled by the best and the worst of men. It has proved in some hands a trumpet of sedition, and in others a source of peace and consolation : but on a fair balance, collected from authentic history, there would be no proportion between the benefits and the mischief which mankind have derived from it-so much do the advantages of it preponderate! In a word, evangelical preaching has been, and yet continues to be, reputed foolishness : but real wisdom, a wisdom and a power, by which it pleaseth God to save the souls of men." *
Every sincere Christian will admit this to be true: but some may be tempted to ask where they shall find the standard by which the Ministers of the Gospel, in every age, ought to regulate their style of sermonizing. Let us hear what the writer just quoted has to say on this subject.
Here, in the doctrine of Christ, is all the message, and in the example of Christ, the only rignt manner of delivering it. Passion may think the system wants heat-pride may imagine it wants ornaments-blind zeal
• Preface to Claude's Easay, vol. II, p. iv,
may suppose it wants power—the voluptuous may say it is not pleasure
- black robes may declare it is not learned—long robes may vow it is not law-there may be found coxcombs or lunatics who may deny it even common sense-yea, knaves or idiots may take heat and call it a cheat But what says the cool, consistent Christian? What have thousands of such men said? Why they have surveyed the Christian Religion neat as it came out of the hands of its divine Creator, Christ the Lord of this new world, and proclaimed, “ Behold! it is very good !"'*
Without the least disposition to find fault, or presuming to dictate to the Ministers of religion of the present day, we hope to be excused in submitting these remarks to their serious consideration, and begging their candid attention to them. If they be well founded, it must follow of necessary consequence, that a Sermon approaches to excellence, or departs from it, just in proportion as it embodies the doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, and partakes of their manner of address, but no further. We content ourselves with these few hints on the present occasion, purposing, should they be received in the spirit in which they are dictated, to resume the subject and expatiate more largely upon it in our next volume.
We cannot dismiss this Preface without repeating our thanks to those Ministers who have kindly favoured us with correct copies of their own Sermons, or who have been at the trouble of revising our manuscripts before they were put into the hands of the printer, and we beg to repeat the notice which we gave in the Preface to our first Volume," that we shall at all times be most happy to transmit the Reporters' copy to the Preacher for revision, on receiving an intimation to that effect, addressed to the British Pulpit Office, No. 2, Angel-court, Skinner-street."
As we find that mistakes still exist among some of our correspondents who have transmitted to us Sermons that they themselves have taken down, we deem it necessary to repeat the notice formerly given : that no Serion can be inserted in the British Pulpit, unless furnished by the regular Short-hand Writers connected with our establishment, or such as have been revised by the preacher, and come so authenticated to us.
* Preface to Claude's Essay, vol. II. p. xxxvii.
The present Volume is embellished with a Portrait of the Rev. H. Melvill, A.M. of Camden Chapel, Camberwell; and is also accompanied with the usual Table of Contents and two Indexes.
Confidently trusting that we have fulfilled all our pledges to the Public and our friends in particular, we now leave the Volume to speak for itself in what relates to its quality and quantity, relying upon an increasing sale and circulation to remunerate us for the increased expense attendant on its publication.
British Pulpit Office,
N. B.—The BkITISH PULPIT is issued in weekly Numbers, with a Wrapper, on which are inserted Notices of Sermons, Lectures, &c. &c.; also, in monthly Parts, to accompany the Magazines.
Communion with God
Lam, üi. 57
The Character of Cornelius .
Acts, x. 148
J. MARSHALL, A.M..... 261
Evidences of Possession of the Spirit of
... Romans, viii. 9
C. MALAN, D.D.
The Christian's Fellowship in the Death of
2 Cor. iv. 10...... J. MITCHELL, D.D. ... 277
R. S. CANDLISH, A.M... 301
Coming to Jesus a Motive for bringing
others to Him......
John, i. 42.....
J. FLETCHER, D.D. 311
The Inheritance of the Saints
Colossians, i. 12
The Foundation of the Believer's Hope and
the Compass of his Privileges ..... Acts, xx. 32 ......
S. ROBINS, A.M.
The Christian Hope an Anchor to the Soul
T. N. TOLLER
Confidence in the Prospect of Death Psalm xxiii. 4
J. E. BEAUMONT
The Woman of Canaan......
Matthew, xv. 22 J. Wilcox, A.M. 349
The Conversion of the World
Psalm lxvii. 1-3.. J. A. JAMES
Perseverance in attaining the Knowledge of
... Hosea, vi. 3 ...... H. STOWELL, A.M. 371
Eternal Wisdom rejoicing in the Events to
be revealed ....
Prov. viii. 30, 31 R. S. M'ALL, LL.D..... 377
The Analogy between Circumcision and
... Rom. ii. 28 to iii. 4 H. M'Neile, A.M. 394
Right Apprehensions of the Character of
Christ essential to Salvation
Matt. xvi. 15
T. Raffles, LL.D..... 405
Christianity adapted to the Converting In-
dividuals and Civilizing Nations... 2 Cor. x. 4
H. MELVILL, A.M. 412
The Bible the Guide to Heaven
Psalm cxix. 9
The Fallibility of Human Judgment. 1 Samuel, xvi. 7
E. CRAIG, A.M..
The Blessedness of Blessing...
Proverbs, xi. 25
W. DODSWORTH, A.M. 445
The Glory of the Gospel .
1 Timothy, i. 11
The Death of Christ the Life of his People Matt. xxvii. 42... J. CUMMING, A.M. 465
A Life of Pleasure a Life of Death, 1 Timothy, v. 6
J. HAMBLETON, A.M. 472
The Eternity of God....
Isaiah, lvii. 15 .... J. M. RODWELL, A.M... 481
The Philippian Jailer
Acts, xvi. 25—31.. T. Snow, A.M.
The Reasonableness of the Gospel
1 Peter, ii. 2...... G. LEGGE, A.M.
The Omniscience of the Deity..... Proverbs, xv. 11
T. DALE, A.M.
he Cau and Design of Affliction Jer. xxxi. 18-20.. J. LEIFCHILD.......... 513
The Conflict and the Conquest of Faith.... 1 Sam. xvii. 45. ... T. J. HOLLOWAY, D.D. 525
The Widow's Son raised
Luke, vii. 11-15 E. IRVING, A.M.
The Moral Influence we exert after Death Hebrews, xi.4.... J. CUMMING, A.M.. 541
The Christian a new Creation..... 2 Cor. v. 17
H. M'NEILE, A.M... 549