Park’s Discourses Considered Homiletically And Theologically -- By: A. H. Currier

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 044:173 (Jan 1887)
Article: Park’s Discourses Considered Homiletically And Theologically
Author: A. H. Currier

Park’s Discourses Considered Homiletically And Theologically1

Professors A. H. Currier

G. Frederick Wright

I.—Homiletical Characteristics

This volume has brought and will yet bring great delight to many people. The fourteen sermons which compose it are remarkable for their richness of thought, their learning, and the ability with which they handle the great themes discussed. The graduates of Andover Theological Seminary who were pupils of Professor Park will recognize among them some of the grand sermons to which they listened with such wonder and gratification in the old chapel during their student days. To them it will be a double satisfaction to possess a volume like this, which is both a treasury of wisdom and a memento of happy days. In the Preface it is remarked that these “discourses were preached during the years when the author was delivering his theological lectures. They were connected with his lectures, as they were designed to exhibit certain practical relations of certain theological doctrines, to show that the doctrines were to be revered for their use in religious experience as well as for their harmony with sound reason and divine inspiration.” No better description of their real scope and character could be given than these words afford.

From the author’s account of them it will be correctly inferred that the discourses possess a double value,—that which belongs to them as sermons, and that which they possess as brief discussions, in popular, untechnical language, of theological doctrines. In our notice of the volume, we would dwell upon these two aspects of it. It is interesting as showing the sort of preaching and theological teaching enjoyed at Andover thirty years ago. Considered as sermons, the discourses also possess great homiletic merit. They are indeed remarkable specimens of pulpit eloquence. The style of composition is that of a consummate rhetorician. We have not discovered an obscure or weak sentence in the volume; while we have found in it many passages of great pith and power. The notes and citations with which the discourses are enriched add much to their interest and value. They make the volume a garden of spices. The author has conformed to the best homiletic rules in the construction of the discourses. They are well worth being studied as models of orderly arrangement. They all have good plans.

A good plan is essential to a good sermon. It makes it easier to listen to the sermon, easier to follow it with attention and pleasure, and, consequently, easier to remember it. Without a plan the sermon has no handles by which to grasp it, no progress of thought, no symmetrical devel...

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