Excerpt from Sermon Briefs
These Sermon Briefs are transcriptions of Mr. Beecher's own manuscript notes for discourses preached mostly during the years 1864 - 6 5. 'full stenographic reports of these were made at the time by Mr. Ellinwood in the course of his regular duties at Plymouth Church. Mr. Beecher turned his notes over to Mr. Ellinwood for reference in completing his reports, which, however, were never written out, and have remained unpublished.
So notable a master of pulpit discourse as Phillips Brooks, in speaking of the Plymouth pastor just after his death, characterized him as the great preacher, the greatest preacher in America, and the greatest preacher means the greatest power in the land.
It has seemed worth while, in view of the peculiar freshness and aptness of Mr. Beecher's methods of pre senting truth, to transcribe and publish some of these frameworks of discourse which he used for his preaching. Freshness they will always have, and timeliness, for they deal with the things that abide, the nature of man, the nature of God as manifested through Jesus Christ, and the mutual relations between the Father and his children. To quote Bishop Brooks again: Great services did he render to theology. It is not that we are discovering new truths, but that what lay dead and dry in men's souls has awakened. The Spirit of the Lord has been poured into humanity, and no one more than Mr. Beecher has helped to this, pouring his great insight and sympathy and courage out upon the truths which God gave him to deliver. A great leader in the theological world, believing in the Divine Christ and in eternal hope for mankind.
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