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EDITOR'S PREFACE

Many of the admirers of Dr. Girardeau will doubtless be disappointed when they read these sermons. They will remember their emotions under the spell of his eloquence, and will be surprised that they do not experience them again as they read this volume.

Dr. Girardeau had all of the gifts that belong to the orator,—figure, voice, gesture, emotion, imagination and magnetism. When he was on his feet before an audience, the spirit of the orator dominated him. He was also a profound thinker,-analytical, logical, cautious, and clear. When he sat down to write, the spirit of the thinker dominated him. These sermons were written, and, with the exception of the one on "The Last Judgment," are not as eloquent as those that were outlined at his desk and filled out as he spoke. It has often been said that sermons were to be heard, not read. He understood this, and seldom wrote a sermon. He was frequently urged to prepare a volume for publication, and went so far as to write a list of subjects to be treated, but he carried the scheme no further. The editor and the committee concur in the opinion that all of the sermons left by him should be published, even though they do not fully portray his power as a preacher. They show the doctrines that he preached, and his general method of presenting truth; some of them treat timely subjects, and others are connected with important events.

There is another reason for their publication. Our clearest notions of the religious life of any age are gathered from the sermons of the representative men

EDITOR'S PREFACE

of that age. When the future historian of the church shall come to portray the life and experience of our time he will find here the evidence of the existence of that type of religion that has always been the glory of the kingdom of Christ.

GEORGE A. BLACKBURN.

Columbia, S. C.

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