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STATIONERS' HALL COURT.
Peri 13206, 2:17
THE MISSION OF THE HOMILIST IS NOT TO SUPPLY SERMONS FOR INDOLENT OR INCOMPETENT PREACHERS, BUT STIMULUS AND TONIC FOR THE TRUE-HEARTED, HARD-WORKING, AND GENUINE TEACHER. IT DOES NOT DEAL IN THE READYMADE," BUT IN THE RAW MATERIAL. IT ONLY ADMITS CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE MOST CONDENSED AND SUGGESTIVE CHARACTER. IT REQUIRES THINGS, NOT WORDS—HEALTHY SAPLINGS, JUST RISING INTO SIGHT AND STRUGGLING INTO SHAPE, NOT LIFELESS TIMBER, HOWEVER EXQUISITELY CARVED OR BRILLIANTLY POLISHED. THE FORMER MAY GROW, THE LATTER MUST ROT. IT PREFERS ONE LIFE-GERM TO A CART-LOAD OF MANUFACTURED SERMONS.
COURSES, BUT AS BREAD-CORN FOR HUNGRY SOULS.
Although THE HOMILIST has passed through five Serial forms, numbering in all thirty-seven volumes, of which about ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY THOUSAND have been sold, another Series has been called for, and that by clergymen of all denominations, not only in this country and the colonies, but throughout Europe and America. The larger portion of the volumes that have appeared are out of print, and but few remain unsold; still the circulation continues as great as ever.
This Volume, the FORTIETH of THE HOMILIST, is the THIRD of the New and Enlarged Series. It has, as will be seen, an additional Editor, many new Contributors, and some new branches of thought and intelligence for pulpit service.
As the old key-note will still rule the melodies of TAF HOMILIST, and no new specific description is requisite, the former Preface may be again transcribed.
“First: The book has no finish. The Editor has not only not the time to give an artistic finish to his productions, but not even the design, Their incompleteness is intentional. He has drawn some marble slabs together, and hewn them roughly, but has left other hands to delineate minute features, and 80 polish them into beauty. He has dug up from the Biblical mine some precious ore, smelted a little, but left all the smithing to others. He has presented germs, which, if sown in good soil, under a free air and an open sky, will produce fruit that may draw many famishing spirits into the vineyard of the Church.
Secondly : The book has no denominationalism. It has no special reference to 'our Body' or to our Church. As denominational 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, that such 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 systems 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 endeavours to bring the Bible, through the instrumentality of the pulpit, into a more immediate and practical contact with the every-day life of man."
DAVID THOMAS. Erewyn, Upper Tulse Hill,
All the Articles in this Volume are written by the Editor, with the exception of
those which have their Authors' names attached.
A Universal New Year's Prayer
CVII. God as He appears in Material Nature
CIX. The Eternal Ruler of the Universe
LXXI. Ibid. 2. His Remonstrance and its Reasons