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these and the sermons usually preached, may suggest a means of re-awakening an interest now almost dormant in the minds of listeners. In this view, a volume will shortly be issued, and if it be found successful another will be put to press.
The Editor appends a portion of a letter from a friend on the subject of preaching, because it serves to show that the indifference he has adverted to springs from other causes than mere irreligiousness.
MY DEAR -I think one great need in our pulpit ministrations is naturalness; by which I mean an exact recognition of the facts of our daily life. The phrase, "the dignity of the pulpit," has given a fatally artificial character to the mass of sermons. Mr. Spurgeon and his vulgar slang is a violent reaction from the cold unfelt conventionalities with which men have grown so familiar; and his success is due to the fact that he recognizes the men and women before him as flesh and blood-sinning, suffering, tempted, failing, struggling, rising. Like all extreme reactions, it shocks a great many by its levity, its irreverence, and its vulgarity.
But it is in this direction must come our pulpit reform. We come day after day to God's house, and the most careless one of us there, is still one who, if he could really hear a word from God to his own soul, would listen to itay, and be thankful for it. No heart can tell out to another what waves of temptation have been struggled through during the week past-with what doubtful success. How, after the soul has been beaten down and defiled, with what bitter anguish of spirit it has awoke to a knowledge of its backslidings and its bondage to sin :-not to this or that sin merely, but to a general sense of sinfulness pervading the whole man, so that Redemption would be indeed a joyful sound.
Many are miserable in their inmost hearts, who are light-hearted and gay before the world. They feel that no heart understands theirs, or can help them. Now, suppose the preacher goes down into the depths of his own being, and has the courage and fidelity to carry all he finds there, first to God in confession and prayer, and then to his flock as some part of the general experience of Humanity, do you not feel that he must be touching close upon some brother-man's sorrows and wants? "Be ye as I am, for I am as ye are." Many a weary and heavy-laden soul has taken his burden to the Saviour, because he has found some man of "like passions with himself," who has suffered as he has, and found relief. I think a bold faithful experimental preaching rarely fails to hit some mark, and oftentimes God's Spirit witnesses to the truth of what is said, by rousing this and that man to the feeling,
"Why I, too, have been agonizing, and falling, and crying for just such help as this. Ah, this man has indeed something to say to me.
I may be wrong in my opinion, but it is one of deep conviction, gained long ago, that no amount of external evidence in the way of proof of the truth of Christianity is worth any thing in the way of saving a human soul.
There is always as much to be said on one side as the other, because, just as Archimedes could not move the earth without a fulcrum, so there must be something taken for granted in all external evidence, which a rigid logician might fairly demur to granting. But when, as with the Spirit of God, the voice of a man reaches his fellow-man, telling him of his inner aspirations and failures, his temptations, his sins, his weakness-not in generals, but in details-of light that has come and has been extinguished; of hopes born, yet not nourished; of fears which have grown stronger and stronger, and which refuse altogether to be silent, even in the midst of the engagements or pleasures of life-does not the man feel that here is a revelation of God's truth as real and fresh as if he had stood in the streets of Jerusalem, and heard the Saviour's very voice? The man feels that, in this word, which has, so to speak, "told him all that ever he did," there must be a divine life. "One touch of nature makes the whole word kin."
I think that a ministry which should work mightily amongst a people would be one in which very rarely is heard any development of the modus operandi or "plan of salvation;" in which proof of the divine mission of Christ, or of God's revelation, was never attempted, but in which the great facts themselves were set forth as the alone solution of the wants, sorrows, and sins of the hearers; in which the fact of Adam's fall, and any consequences it had on the human race, were only touched upon incidentally; but in which the individual man's fall was pressed home upon him from his own certain convictions. Not because Adam fell, and the race fell in him, but because you have fållen—therefore you need a Saviour, and divine life and light are indispensable.
The man who quietly slumbers under Adam's sin and its tremendous consequences-his relation to which consequences how is it possible for a poor uneducated person to comprehend?—may be aroused to a sense of his connection with the fact of a fall in himself, and a need of such a restorer as Christ. I am sure I don't know whether this is orthodox or not; but I doubt whether orthodox creeds and confessions of doctrine have ever turned one soul from the error of his ways, or brought him in real earnest to Christ.
Let us look at this boldly. Seventeen thousand pulpits echo in our land every Sunday, to what each preacher considers the soundest form of Christ's Gospel. Is it God's word that is preached? Has He changed His purpose? Has He ceased to care for man?—and does He no longer intend that "His word shall not return to him void?" Yet where is the divine evidence that it is His word which is preached, as shown in hearts quickened and aroused "about their Father's business ?"
Preached June 10, 1849.
GEN. xxxii. 28, 29. "And he said, Thy
Preached August 12, 1849.
CHRISTIAN PROGRESS BY OBLIVION
PHIL. iii. 13, 14.-"Brethren, I count not
MATT. xiii. 1-9.-"The same day went Je-
sus out of the house, and sat by the sea-
side. And great multitudes were gath-
ered together unto him, so that he went
into a ship, and sat; and the whole mul-
titude stood on the shore. And he spake
many things unto them in parables, say-
ing, Behold, a sower went forth to sow;
and when he sowed, some seeds fell by
the wayside, and the fowls came and de-
voured them up: Some fell upon stony
places, where they had not much earth:
and forthwith they sprung up, because
they had no deepness of earth: And
when the sun was up, they were scorch-
ed; and because they had no root, they
withered away. And some fell among
thorns; and the thorns sprung up, and
choked them: But others fell into good THE SHADOW AND SUBSTANCE OF
ground, and brought forth fruit, some a
hundred-fold, some sixty-fold, some thir-
ty-fold. Who hath ears to hear, let him
Preached October 21, 1849.
LUKE XIX. 8.-"And Zaccheus stood, and
said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the
half of my goods I give to the poor; and
if I have taken any thing from any man
by false accusation, I restore him four-
Preached October 28, 1849.
COL. ii. 16, 17.-"Let no man therefore
judge you in meat, or in drink, or in re-
spect of a holyday, or of the new moon,
or of the sabbath-days: Which are a
shadow of things to come; but the body
Preached November 4, 1849.
HEB. iv. 15, 16.-" For we have not a high-
priest which can not be touched with
JOHN xi. 49-53.-" And one of them, named
Caiaphas, being the high-priest that same
year, said unto them, Ye know nothing
at all, nor consider that it is expedient
for us, that one man should die for the
people, and that the whole nation perish
not. And this spake he not of himself:
but being high-priest that year, he proph-
esied that Jesus should die for that na-
tion; and not for that nation only, but
that also he should gather together in
one the children of God that were scat-
tered abroad. Then from that day forth
they took counsel together for to put him
JOB Xix. 25-27.-" For I know that my Re-
deemer liveth, and that he shall stand
at the latter day upon the earth: And
though after my skin worms destroy this
body, yet in my flesh shall I see God:
Whom I shall see for myself, and mine
eyes shall behold, and not another;
though my reins be consumed within
Preached December 6, 1849.
ROM. i. 14-17.-"I am debtor both to the
Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to
the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much
as in me is, I am ready to preach the
gospel to you that are at Rome also.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel
Acrs xxviii. 1-7.-"And when they were
escaped, then they knew that the island
was called Melita. And the barbarous
people showed us no little kindness: for
they kindled a fire, and received us every
one, because of the present rain, and be-
cause of the cold. And when Paul had
gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them
on the fire, there came a viper out of the
heat, and fastened on his hand. And
when the barbarians saw the venomous
beast hang on his hand, they said among
themselves, No doubt this man is a mur-
derer, whom, though he hath escaped the
sea, yet vengeance suffereth not to live.
And he shook off the beast into the fire,
and felt no harm. Howbeit they looked
when he should have swollen, or fallen
down dead suddenly: but after they had
looked a great while, and saw no harm
come to him, they changed their minds,
and said that he was a god. In the same
quarters were possessions of the chief
man of the island, whose name was Pub-
lius; who received us, and lodged us
Preached December 15, 1849.
THE PRINCIPLE OF THE SPIRITUAL
GAL. vi. 7, 8.-"Be not deceived; God is
not mocked: for whatsoever a man sow-
eth, that shall he also reap. For he that
soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap
corruption; but he that soweth to the
Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life ever-