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to see why they should not be gratified. Their imprisonment

necessarily of the closest kind-is a prolonged torture to themselves, their escape or release is a frightful danger to society. The necessarian cannot regard their death as an injustice, for they are to him nothing but most pernicious elements in society that should, if it is in any way expedient, be eliminated. The believer in free-will need not look on them as human be. ings at all – for they have no free-will. They have the form and semblance of men, but they are not men, for the essential quality, the power of choice, bas disappeared. They are as irresponsible as the mad-dog or the rattle-snake, for they can not and never will reason: and they are far more dangerous. Their deeds are so frightful that popular feeling illogically refuses to admit their insanity, so that the obstacle spoken of above as preventing the capital punishment of the insane does not in their case exist. Their death can, it is true, have no deterrent effect, for similar unfortunates would take no warning from their fate, and sane men would feel no temptation to their crimes. But on the other hand the respect for the laws would not suffer, for the vast majority would look on their death with relief and satisfaction. No other punishment but death can prevent their repetition of their cruelties.

These remarks are not intended to urge the punishment of these wretched mortals; their object is simply to show that such punishment is not necessarily unjust. We need not be disquieted by the outcries of the scientists; when they have convinced mankind that mind is a function of matter, we may cheerfully admit their other proposition that all criminals are insane; for then punishment will become by the extinction of free-will nothing but a matter of the prevention of crime, and if crime will be prevented by the imprisonment of criminals more effectively than by their death then let the death-penalty be abolished. Meanwhile let us say to these gentlemen“Reason consistently. Either admit free-will and its corollary that men are to be punished because they are bad; or if you deny free-will and make the mind only a function of the brain, then admit that all human acts are necessary, and all punishment depends on the sole criterion of fitness to check crime. Until you decide on your course do not interfere with the course of the law ?"


Übservations Pratiques sur la Predication, par Athanase Coquerel,

un des pasteurs de l'Eglise reformée de Paris. Paris, 1860.

Thoughts on Preaching, being contributions to Homiletics. By

JAMES W. ALEXANDER, D.D. New York: Scribner, 1864.

The Duty and Discipline of Extemporaneous Preaching. By F.

BARHAM ZINCKE, Vicar of Wherstead, and Chaplain in ordinary to the Queen. London, 1866.

Homiletics and Pastoral Theology. By WILLIAM G. T. SHEDD,

D.D., Baldwin Professor in Union Theological Seminary. New York: Scribner, 1867.

A System of Christian Rhetoric, for the use of Preachers and other

speakers. By GEORGE WINFRED HERVEY, M.A. New York. Harper & Brothers, 1373.

Yale Lectures on Preaching. By HENRY WARD BEECHER. Three

series, 1872, 1873, 1874. J. B. Ford & Co. New York.

God's Word through Preaching. The Lyman Beecher Lectures be-,

fore the Theological Department of Yale College. By JOHN HALL, D.D. New York. Dodd & Mead. 1875.

Conditions of success in Preaching without Notes. Three lectures

delivered before the students of the Union Theological Seminary, New York, by RICHARD S. STORRS, D.D., LL.D. Dodd & Mead. New York. 1875.

PREACHING has always been recognized, since the days of the apostles, as a power in the spiritual world, which creates the movement of new life and produces change in the relations of rational existence; so that if it become unspiritual, dead, without energy, without causative force that is productive of actual results in life and character, it is worse than useless. It is a profanation of the noblest gift of power God ever vouchsafed to man. Instead of being a fire and a hammer” to break in pieces the flinty rock, it is piping on a reed to promote the sleep of drowsy souls. An occupation that embrowns the hands by hardy toil, and makes two blades of grass grow where one grew before, is, we dare say, more acceptable in the eye of God than a preacher who does not know how to preach, and seeks not earnestly to learn. Men are restless under preaching which is devoid of life and of proof of its right to be, and they will banish the preacher who no longer works miracles of goodness and healing. What authority has a man to stand up in a pulpit' and dictate to others in religious matters, to declare what is right and what is wrong, to charge his fellow-men with sin, and lay down the conditions of their salvation-unless God commissions him so to do, unless God gives him unanswerable tokens of approval, unless he speaks out from the center of God's authority, revelation and power! As old traditions pass away, as the prescriptive and artificial sacredness of the preacher's office disappears, as the leveling process is brought to bear upon it, the question becomes one of increasing interest—what is true preaching?

We would consider the whole subject of Preaching-upon which there is awakened discussion among earnest men, as if it were undergoing a new sifting process—in three aspects, viz: the object and scope of preaching, the proper treatment of divine truth in forms of sermonizing, and the best methods of pulpit delivery.

I. In discussing the true object and scope of preaching, we need not stop to show that this term "Preaching,” as employed in our English Bible, or as used to translate several familiar New Testament Greek words, of nearly similar import, (such as « κηρύσσων,«διαλεγόμενος,» « ευαγγελίζεσθαι,) is a generic term denoting the various modes of publishing the message of the Gospel, no matter bow, whether by open speech or private conversation ; by word, precept, or example. Preaching is the making known to men, in all possible ways, of the lifegiving truth of Christ. The missionary may do this as truly, if not as successfully, through the family, the school, the talk at eve in some rude kraal with one or two dusky hearers, as if he



his voice to a crowd at the corner of the street, or in his accustomed place of worship to a regular congregation. But for the present purpose we use the term “preaching" in its commonly accepted sense of oral address, of speaking to men gathered in some organized assembly for religious worship, and as a general rule, on the Lord's day. This, undoubtedly, was an apostolic custom derived from the form of the ancient Jewish synagogue worship, although the apostles did not confine their preaching to this method or to this day ;—a strange thing in fact would be our modern Sunday “sermon” in its peculiar conception and formal type to the original apostles of the Lord Jesus !

In regard to the object of preaching, it might be said summarily that, Christian preachers are not set in the community to teach theology and metaphysics; to cultivate eloquence and literature; to conduct a splendid ritual; to build up, financially, strong and paying churches; but the preacher has another sphere and work, which, though it may not be considered real by some, yet, whatever it is, it is separable from every other. While it is a work in the realm of spirit; while it takes hold of everlasting interests; it is a definite work. It is not the work of the scholar, or the philosopher, or the historian, or the scientist, or the advocate, or the soldier, or the business man, or the man of affairs in the state, though it partakes somewhat of all thesewitness, for example, some of the preachers of the Reformed church of France, in the seventeenth century, who were genuine statesmen of the first order. It has no place, properly, among the common occupations of men (though classified as one of the three learned professions), yet it is, and men still recognize it to be, the “divine office."

The Gospel, or God's message of grace and life, being a gift divinely suited to its object, which comprehends the whole being, and is fitted to secure the complete restoration of humanity, is addressed to man in relations strikingly corresponding to the great divisions of his rational, moral, and spiritual nature, or, in other words, as a doctrine, as a motive, and as a life ; and these relations, in turn, correspond markedly to the three essential properties of Christian preaching, which three-fold design we proceed to notice. All indeed might be expressed in the familiar phrase, “ to save souls." There can be no truer and


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nobler answer than this to the question, "What is the object of preaching." The object of Christ is the object of bis preachers. But such a phrase is easily spoken and becomes stereotyped. The preacher's responsibility is great, but let us endeavor to see just what it is. He is not to do things beyond his power. He is one in a series of agencies prepared by divine wisdom for the accomplishment of an infinite end, and he should know bis work. He is not the head-spring of salvation : he is but a means to an end. Christ is the life: he is to proclaim this life. Christ is the light of men: he is to diffuse this light.

The first object of preaching, which goes also to determine its scope, is: (1) Illumination. It has reference to truth, which makes its primary appeal to the intellect, or knowing faculty; and, above all, that absolute truth which is the knowledge of God, and which forms the basis of all other truth and being. This knowledge of God has relation to the manifestation of himself in nature and revelation. It lies in its elemental relations, in nature, and the moral universe; but in its more perfect manifestation in the Scriptures. In this light we see light, and this light penetrating the world of corrupt mind, awakens new moral life. It is the duty of his church on earth to diffuse this light of the knowledge of God. The Church is divinely endowed, not only with the charisma of faith to receive the truth, but the charisma of preaching to give the truth to others. It is to light up a blaze of truth in the world. Its messengers are to make known the truth to all men and to all the successive generations of men, in its length, breadth, and fulness; in the fulness of the love of God in Christ; of the last, and largest, and most perfect manifestation of God as a Saviour, sending his Son into the world to redeem the world, so that there can be no possible misapprehension about it. “Preach the Gospel to every creature." Let all men see in clear light what are the facts and contents of God's revealed truth, in order that they may understand and believe.

This, historically, was the first object of the early preachers: they were “beralds," to announce the things belonging to the kingdom of God, whether men would hear or forbear. The apostles were sent everywhere, to manifest "the truth as it is in Jesus,” to indoctrinate men in the knowledge of God as made

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