Renascent Christianity: A Forecast of the Twentieth Century in the Light of Higher Criticism of the Bible, Study of Comparative Religion, and of the Universal Prayer for Religious Unity. Clergyman
The American Journal of Theology
and its rhetorical elements, and closes the volume with a suggestive treatment of the delivery and the hearing of sermons. The book has so high a degree of excellence that it seems almost ungracious to offer adverse criticism. But we find some deficiencies. At all events, it occurs to us that either in the discussion of the theme or of the parts of the sermon the proposition should have received special and thorough treatment, and since the use of arguments in sermons is discussed, we cannot
... ussed, we cannot but wish that this important topic had been more perfectly unfolded. Moreover, just why the author should treat the subject of imagination only in connection with the discussion of illustration is not clear to us, since imagination is such a very important factor in relation to every part and every element of the sermon. In his treatment of the delivery of a sermon he has failed to set forth the real philosophy of speaking with ease, clearness, and force without committing the discourse to memory and without the use of the manuscript. This was admirably done, many years ago, by Bautain, in his subtle, yet lucid, treatise on Extempore Speaking, and needs to be understood by those who wish to acquire the incomparable art of speaking with perspicuity, energy, and elegance from neither memory nor manuscript. In several chapters of this volume the element of illustration strikes us as excessive. For example, in the discussion of the text, each principle enunciated is followed by numerous anecdotes, some of which detail the acts of ignorant or eccentric preachers, and a part of which have been so often told that, to say the least, they are far from being fresh. But what we have pointed out in these friendly criticisms are but slight blemishes. The book as a whole is both a thorough and popular exposition of a great theme, and while homiletical treatises are legion, this will take rank among the best.