The preachers of any period are not to be censured for adapting their style of address and mode of arguing to their hearers. They are as necessarily bound to the preconceived notions, as to the language, of those whom they have to exhort. The pulpit does not so mould the forms into which religious thought in any age runs, it simply accommodates itself to those that exist. For this very reason, because they must follow and cannot lead, sermons are the surest index of the prevailing religious feeling of their age. — Mark Pattison, "Tendencies of Religious Thought in England, 1688-1750," Essays and Reviews (1860).
Preaching had its addictive side. "Nothing would satisfy me", wrote [the Evangelical] Matthias Joyce, "but hearing the people roar under the sermon, from a sense of their misery; and, on the other hand, shouting for joy. through a sense of pardoning love." — John Whale, "Scab on the Story," Times Literary Supplement (17 February 2006): 32.
The sermon as a Literary Form
- Introduction (needed)(needed)
- Rhetoric and Structure of the sermon (needed)(needed)
- The sermon and Orality(needed)
Political and Social Contexts
- Gender Matters(needed)
- Thomas Arnold and the 1832 Cholera Epidemic
- Class and Society (needed)
- The Great Exhibition of 1851 (needed)
- The sermon as Mass Entertainment
- Thomas Arnold (Broad Church Anglican)
- George Clayton (Evangelical)
- John Cumming (National Scottish Church)
- John Keble (High Church)
- Charles Kingsley (Broad Church)
- Frederick Dennison Maurice (Broad Church)
- George MacDonald (originally Congregationalist; later Broad Church layman)
- individual sermons
- Henry Melvill (Evangelical Anglican)
- "The Death of Moses"
- "Simon the Cyrenian" [full text] [discussion]
- "The Difficulties of Scripture" [full text]
- John Henry Newman (High Anglican and Roman Catholic)
- Newman's attitude toward sermons, the role of the clergy, and the limitations of language
- "Moses the Type of Christ"
- Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Baptist)
- From Robert Ellison's The Victorian Pulpit (1998)
Related Web Resources
- Sermon Studies (an open access online journal based at Marshall University)
- Alan Newbe's Scottish preachers Hall of Fame, which thus far contains the works of twenty preachers including
Last modified 11 October 2017