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     This is the first of a series of lectures that was prepared at the request of the Faculty of the Hamilton Theological Seminary, NY; they were delivered before that institution in February, 1880. On the invitation of the respective faculties of The Rochester Theological Seminary, NY; and the Crozer Theological Seminary, Upland, PA, their delivery was repeated before these bodies. - [From the Preface]

The Origin of Preaching
By Thomas Armitage, 1880

"Teaching in their Synagogues and Preaching." – Matthew 4:23

      BELOVED YOUNG BRETHREN: - You have deliberated upon the value of your lives in this world, a world through which you can pass but once; and as the result, you come to devote fresh brain, strong hands, and stout hearts to the ministry of the Young Nazarene; and in your consecration to him, you throw aside all other hopes and ambition. Can any thought be more delightful? From age to age he has raised new warriors to fill the ranks as older veterans fall, and to uplift the standard as it drops from their failing hands, with a courage and palpitation which make it flutter with new life. The Peasant Conqueror has a right to such valiant sons of God. May his Galilean quiver be ever full of them. His ministry is worthy of every mental and moral faculty, every endowment of the soul and power of the body; hence it is unpardonable to enter it

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without offering him all these in full consecration. With this in view, you ask your guides to make such suggestions as may help you in that work, and you deserve a much abler one than the abilities of your present speaker allow him to be.

      The surest way to determine the true spirit and meaning of a public instrument, such as a Bill of Rights, or a Constitution, like that of the United States, is, to go back to its origin, find the necessities which gave it existence, the spirit and designs of its framers, and the manner in which it was first applied. So, with the institution of preaching, we must determine its real nature and value by tracing out its ancestry, the necessities which called it into being, and its first uses; and then, we shall be the more likely to understand its present purposes, and elements of efficiency. Preaching formed no part of the original provision made for the salvation of man, either in the anti-Sinaitic or the Sinaitic dispensations. In these ages, the altar, the sacrifice, and the priest formed the prime channel between God and man, in all that related to sin and its remission; and not the Pulpit, the Book, and the Preacher. Some one has drawn a broad line between the gorgeous sacerdotalism

and ritualism of the Old Testament system of worship, and the Evangelical plan, as set forth in the New Testament, by the observation, that: "In the Temple there was no pulpit; in the Synagogue there was no altar." These words convey the germinal thought, that the Temple and the Synagogue wonderfully prepared the way for the gospel; whilst they both declined as preaching reached its fulness.

      The daily service of the Temple was made up of the sterner rites set forth by the knife, the flow of blood from struggling victims, the fierce flame, and the rising incense; while the milder and freer service of the Synagogue called for congregational worship in prayer and praise, in the reading and exposition of the Sacred Books, or in preaching therefrom. Hence, the foundation thought of gospel atonement is an outcome of the Temple; while gospel preaching is an outcome of the Synagogue. Nay; it is very clear, that Christianity adopted and retained an order of offices and office-bearers, together with an order of sanctity and service, from the Synagogue, and not from the Temple; the worship of the Temple being typical and ceremonial, and that of the Synagogue being moral and spiritual.

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     We assume this as true, because it is capable of abundant proof; and so we may examine more fully this fountain of gospel preaching. Look, first of all, at the contrast between the common Jewish priest who waited at the altar, and the Christian preacher. It is so wide that you cannot compare the two orders of men. For particular reasons Jesus is called "The High Priest of our profession;" but his ministers are never spoken of in the New Testament as priests of a lower rank under him. No man can be a priest but he who offers sacrifices; and it is a matter of congratulation, that the slaughter of animals as burnt-offerings has never yet been engrafted into the most vitiated forms of Christianity. It is, indeed, remarkable that God has maintained absolute silence concerning the hereditary sons of Aaron, in association with the founding of the Christian ministry. We are told that "a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith;" but not a lisp is added to indicate that one of them ever became a minister of the gospel. Jesus himself, his Apostles, and all the penmen of the New Testament were Jews, excepting, perhaps, Luke; yet we have no evidence that one man was taken from the Jewish priesthood into the gospel ministry.
One glance discovers an aptitude in a fisherman for a preacher, marked as he is by patience, skill, and perseverance; but a trained Jewish priest was amongst the least promising of all materials from which to make a Christian preacher.

      The vessels, vestments, altars, sacrifices, candlesticks, tables, censer, and ark of the Tabernacle and Temple, were seized upon as antitypes in some special sphere of the gospel: yea, the High Priest, the cherubim, and these Structures themselves were so used. Still, as if of set purpose, no specific officer in Christianity answers to the common order of priests in the Levitical economy; for the whole body of believers indiscriminately is designated by Peter, "a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." And it requires no acute perception to see the natural unfitness of a Jewish priest for a Christian preacher. His office was a birth-right; he himself was a member of a caste; and he entered on his official work by right of blood, as the eldest son of his father's house. Then his functions related almost entirely to the ceremonial and the sacrificial. His chief duty was to inspect and slay bullocks, goats, and sheep; to

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bind, skin, disjoint them, and lay them on the fire. He fed the flame of the altar, sprinkled their blood, compounded the precious oils, and prepared the shew-bread. You see, therefore, that his chief qualifications centered in the perfection of his physical manhood. The Book of Leviticus gives a list of physical blemishes from which he must be free; for these would render him contemptible in the sight of men, or be impediments in the discharge of his duties. He must not be a dwarf, nor blind, nor broken-handed, nor crooked-backed, nor broken-footed, nor blemished in any way, so as to weaken him in bodily strength. He could not enter upon the active duties of the priesthood under twenty-five years of age; that is, till his body had become mature and had reached its full stature; nor remain in it after he was fifty, when decay might set in and unfit him for his stalwart work. He must be a man of muscle and frame. What a marvellous sight it would have been, to have seen one of our puny brethren, with a narrow chest, a pale face, and a long neck, carefully enwrapped in an immaculate cloth, trying to bind a young bullock to the horns of the altar for slaughter!

      Then again, outside of the demands which

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the priest's work made upon his bodily strength, his labor was stereotyped, calling for very little mental vigor; while, so far as appears, personal regeneration was not an indispensable prerequisite for the priesthood. He had many ceremonial examinations to make, and many legal questions to settle; as in the case of the leper, and those otherwise defiled. It is said that, "The priest's lips shall keep knowledge;" but the knowledge which he dispensed was chiefly in the interpretation of the law in its political and ceremonial bearings. He was not a preacher, nor an expounder of God's word publicly. He delivered none of that form of public address which extorts from the breast of the most perfect man the cry: "Who is sufficient for these things?" Regenerating grace was not the tie which held him to his office; nor did he tax all the powers of body, soul, and spirit, as a Christian preacher must, in studying the way of salvation, the winning of a lost world to God by the ministry of reconciliation, and in feeding a redeemed flock with the bread of life everlasting. From this it follows, that when the priestly class became not only careless, more anxious for the fleece than the flock, but also corrupt,
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then certain moral necessities arose, which were not provided for in them nor in their office-work. Nor were these needs met in the prophetic office, although the prophet was quite as much a teacher as a predictor of future events; but both his foretelling and teaching differed widely from preaching. His teaching related principally to the imparting of knowledge by some form of direct revelation, rather than of that gained by reasoning, reflection, or observation. When it was not strictly predictive, it still made known the will of God on some matter which had been hidden before; such a knowledge or disposition of human events as can become known only by direct inspiration from God. Mr. Hare says of prophetic teaching, that it " Denotes the communication of all manner of knowledge which has not been acquired in a natural way, by tradition, or by the perceptions of the senses, or by reflexion, but by immediate revelation." Hence, study and training for the prophetic office were never enjoined, but the prophetic message was delivered as a "burden," a "Thus saith the Lord;" and its work was done when that message was delivered, without the prophet's adding any enforcing remarks of his own. So much seems
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clear; and yet the whole subject is surrounded with difficulty, because the Old Testament is so nearly silent concerning any prophetic function, excepting that of prediction.

      It is true that seminaries, or "houses of doctrine," existed as early as the times of Samuel and Elisha. Over these they presided as tutors; and their pupils, or disciples, were called their "sons." From I Samuel ix. it appears as if the house under Samuel's presidency was not in any proper sense a school; but a community of prophets, acting under the immediate inspiration of God. We have no definite knowledge as to who were students at Bethel and at Jericho, two hundred years afterwards, nor of their studies. Jewish literature at that time was confined to the writings of Moses; and if these were the divine law which they studied, we have no indication that afterwards they became teachers of that law. Hence we are without scriptural evidence that they subsequently devoted their lives to any form of religious work, analogous to that known amongst us as preaching. Nor have we a hint that this form of religious instruction was known at that time at all. A passing word here may be desirable. Peter, indeed, calls Noah "a herald of righteousness;"

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and Matthew speaks of John the Baptist "preaching in the wilderness of Judea." But in both cases their message announced a coming event: the flood, against which Noah prepared the ark; and "the kingdom of heaven at hand," with the repentance which it demanded. Hence, in the sense of foretelling, "the multitude held John as a prophet," and Jesus himself pronounced that "Among those born of woman, no one is a greater prophet than John." And so, when both the priestly and prophetic offices fell short of supplying the moral needs of the people, the Synagogue sprang into existence to do this.

      No part of Old Testament history shows a more marked interposition of Jehovah for meeting human necessity, than the upspringing of the Synagogue; which was not to supplant the Temple, but in the first place to supply its absence, and in the next to supplement its privileges. Whether the Synagogue sprang up before the Babylonish Exile is not clear; but during and after that Dispersion, it exerted an astonishing influence upon the religious life of the Jews, amounting to a revolution. Dr. Plumptre thinks that its ascendency became greater than the sway of the Temple itself.

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Far back, in the days of the Tabernacle, "the book of the law of the Lord," was to be read at the feast of Tabernacles once in seven years; but this had been neglected. In Babylon, where the Jews were deprived of the Temple itself, they lost all the privileges of Temple-worship, and were compelled to find other places for worship till the Return. Several passages from Ezra, Nehemiah, and Ezekiel show that they preserved the public worship of Jehovah during these seventy years; so that if the Synagogue had not existed before, its germ came into being at that time.

      This religious necessity gave prominence to that order of religious men who differed so much from priest, Levite, and prophet, and which was known so influentially as Scribes. The scribal office, through which the law was copied, arranged, and classified with the greatest exactness, possibly existed before the Captivity. But if so, that event lifted the scribes to all their after prominence. In Babylon the Jews, becoming most anxious for the fate of their Sacred Books, set about to preserve them in their purity; and in that work, "Ezra, the Scribe," became the most illustrious of his class. He began publicly to expound the Law of the Lord to the

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captive people, and as he expresses it, "to teach in Israel statutes and judgments." He also translated "the law of the God of heaven," out of the pure Hebrew, which was then becoming obsolete, and much intermixed with the Aramaic, or language of the Syrian and Chaldean people.

      From that time onward the scribes came to outrank the priests religiously in the esteem of the people, because they were the authorized expounders of the law; and in process of time they came to be known as the "masters of assemblies," namely, of the rabbinical schools, or informal religious assemblies, and possibly of synagogues.

      After the captivity the Jews became a commercial people, and settlements of them were found in all parts of the earth, removed so far from Palestine that they could not visit the temple at the great feasts as often as the law required; and hence they built synagogues in which they could assemble for all the forms of worship except sacrifice, and especially for the instruction of their children in their own faith. With this enlargement of residence there came a corresponding increase of religious adaptation. But the system of erecting synagogues

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was then adopted in Palestine as well as in foreign countries; for the Captivity had taught them that the culture of true piety called for something more than three great pilgrimages made yearly at the three great feasts. So that nearly every city, town, and village came to have its synagogue, where the people met every Sabbath for religious instruction as well as worship; and in time they came to depend more on these services than on those of the Temple, and more on the scribes than on the priests.

      The building itself, called the Synagogue, was not constructed on an architectural plan drawn by Jehovah, as were the Tabernacle and the Temple; but, like the dispensation for which it was preparing the nation, it was adapted to the immediate wants of the people, and one part of the building was not more holy than another. Generally, it was erected on high ground, so that it was conspicuous and easily found, and was paid for by the people of the town or city. In each synagogue was a reading-desk or raised platform, placed in the middle of the building, and copies of the Sacred Books were kept in a chest. The office of imparting religious instruction on the Sabbath was not confined to any particular class in the assembly, much less

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was it restricted to the sons of Aaron, the hereditary priesthood; but the common people stood as readers upon the platform and read Moses and the Prophets aloud, and the teachers sat to teach at the same point. The officiating minister delivered the discourse or exposition after the reading of the law and the prophets; and as these were taken in course, all the prophecies concerning the Messiah must, from time to time, have awakened the hopes of the people universally.

      All through the childhood and youth of our Lord, as well as in his manhood, he worshipped within these walls; and during his ministry he uttered many of his most memorable words from the desk of the Synagogue, notably amongst them his great sermon on the Manna of the Desert (John vi.), and on the Acceptable Year of the Lord (Luke iv.)

      This last occasion is so interwoven with the origin of Christian preaching, that it challenges special attention. Luke says that "Jesus came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And, as his custom was, he went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered to him the book

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of the prophet Isaiah. And unrolling the book he found the place where it was written:
'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me;
Because he hath anointed me to publish good tidings to the poor,
He has sent me to proclaim deliverance to the captives,
And recovering of sight to the blind;
To send the oppressed away free,
To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord!'"
How significant of the gospel age that he stopped the quotation there, omitting the words, "and the day of vengeance of our God."

      Luke continues, "And rolling up the book he gave it again to the servant, and sat down. And the eyes of all in the Synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say to them: To-day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears. And all bore witness to him, and wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said: Is not this Joseph's son?" Matthew adds that their astonishment was followed by the fuller demand: "Whence has this man this wisdom and miracles? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary, and his brothers James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then has this man all these things?"

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      We know that Jesus of Nazareth was neither priest, Levite, scribe, nor ruler of the synagogue; and yet as an obscure plebeian Jew, a mechanic, a carpenter, and religiously a layman, he was not only allowed to read the Scriptures in the public congregation, but to read them in the sublime diction of the seraphic Isaiah. When he rolled up the parchment, gave it to the servant of the Synagogue and sat down, an act preparatory to preaching, he opened the grandest era that has ever opened upon human destiny. In the sentence, "To-day is this Scripture fulfilled in your ears," the Evangelical preaching Age was born; and as the everlasting Master of Elocution poured out the words, "the eyes of all that were in the Synagogue were fastened on him:" and they have been bound to his person ever since. Such majesty and grace filled his manner and words, such energy of utterance and profundity of wisdom, that the people "Wondered at the words of grace which proceeded out of his mouth;" and that wonder has held the world spell-bound ever since. Only two chapters in advance of the place where he read, the prophet had propounded these fearful words, "Who is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is
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glorious in his apparel, mighty to save?" And possibly his remembrance of them stirred every thought and emotion in his breast; for he knew the way in which the captives must be set free, and the price which he must pay for that day's preaching of "the acceptable year of the Lord."

      Lightfoot tells us that when the Minister of the Synagogue called a layman to the desk to read, "he stood by him that read, with great care observing that he spoke nothing either falsely or improperly, and calling him back and correcting him if he had failed in anything." But the astonishment of the people not only arose from the accuracy with which the young carpenter read the Sacred Roll, but at the wisdom which made the hidden sense of the parchment luminous; as if a living fire had been kindled in his soul, bringing home an unnoticed revelation. For while he "spake with authority, and not as the scribes," they demanded, "Whence has this man this wisdom?" We see, then, that the Synagogue was the cradle of gospel preaching. We have already seen that preaching, in the proper sense, began in the Synagogue before Christ's day; but really this is the first record of a gospel sermon, or as we may the better express it, in the words of the

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Evangelist Matthew, "Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news of the kingdom."

      At this point it may be desirable to notice the two distinct oral methods chosen by our Lord himself for the propagation of his gospel, namely, by Preaching and Teaching. Christ appeared, not as a politician, a philosopher, nor a statesman, but as a preacher. While he was neither an author nor a translator of other authors, neither was he merely a school-teacher, but a preacher of gospel tidings. Preaching, in its primitive and biblical sense, was a different thing from what it is commonly understood to be now. With us, it is a discourse on religion. It may be the critical defence of a doctrine - of a point in theological science or evangelical ethics - a didactic or exegetical essay - or a dissertation on sin or holiness - for now its range is almost boundless. But the generic idea of the New Testament narrows it down to a more distinct and rigid prominence. The two original words which express the whole act of preaching cover its subject matter and general manner. The matter must be good news - the manner its oral proclamation, as by a herald. A preacher, therefore, is a messenger, and his

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message is good tidings. The word rendered "teach" has a sense more in common with our use of the English word "preach;" but our Lord did not use these words so nearly as synonyms as we do. Yet he combined in his ministry the joint work of teaching and preaching. His preaching seems to have consisted principally in the publication of great facts, and his teaching in showing the relations of one fact to another, and in applying their outcoming principles.

      The Sermon on the Mount is hardly a sermon in the sense of proclaiming great gospel facts, but rather an exhibition of that profound order of teaching which furnishes texts for future sermons. You have more of the true sermon from the Synagogue of Nazareth. The two thoughts are most forcibly expressed in the Great Commission, so that their main idea when blended is: To proclaim the tidings concerning Christ by preaching, and to show men how they may obey all his commandments by teaching. This, and only this, was to preach and teach the gospel, after the pattern of our Lord. He is frequently spoken of as preaching, and yet he is never spoken of as a Preacher; possibly because his death, resurrection, and ascension

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were needful to perfect the facts of that full gospel which should be preached; and so in the evangelical record, he is specifically denominated a "Teacher sent from God." But whatever technical terms characterized his ministry, he so compressed and exhausted the foundation facts of the gospel, that in three brief years he created a system of truth in which no amount of scrutiny has discovered a flaw, and no stress has called for the addition of a syllable to fill a deficiency. A preacher and teacher; he wrote not a single word, except upon the fugitive sand, and yet his words have not only been imperishable, but have created prolific writings which promise to run through all time and tongues. "Never man spake like this man."

      We see, then, that a double authority for gospel preaching springs from the example and command of our Lord. He preached himself, and " He ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach." There were at least two ways now obvious to us by which he could have sent his gospel into the world, namely, by oral proclamation and by writing. Could he not have instructed his disciples to take the pen, prepare manuscripts, translate them into various tongues,

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and distribute them to the ends of the earth, as his chief method of propagating his gospel? This would have condensed Christian thought into the narrowest limits; but it would have imposed upon the world the practice of close study and silent reading. That is to say, it would have assumed a fallacy for a truth, by supposing that the empires of the earth were thinking empires; whereas there has never yet been upon the globe a thinking nation as such; but only a favored few. In that case all the nations must have learned to read before they could have known the way of salvation; and unless this mental capacity had been created by culture, men could not have been saved. This would have been a poor way of spreading the gospel, little short, indeed, of absurd; and the new faith must have perished for all that we can see. Then again, because the books could not speak to meet those objections which start into existence against new habits of thinking, could not solve difficulties, refute cavils, nor silence the hostility of untutored minds, the attempt was not made. An inanimate book is not adapted, unaccompanied and alone, to trace out and expose the subtilties which distinguish a false religion, and individually disenthrall its votaries;
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nor can it take proper advantage of those local incidents which mark particular events in various times and places, by making them topics of address to correct the bent of error. Nor can a book always furnish that test of sincerity which attends vocal appeal from the living advocate, whose wisdom and impassioned benevolence are before us; for, if his character is good, it inspires his words with confidence, gives weight to his influence, and energy to his opportunities. Men judge of gold by its weight and not by its glitter.

      Jesus intended to send the gospel to the Gentiles as well as the Jews, to the barbarian as well as the civilized, to the ignorant as well as the learned. But their empires were sunk in a grossness of immorality which polluted all ranks, from the throne to the beggar; and nothing seemed so well adapted to their first awakening as the living preacher. No nation has ever been stimulated to its own renovation by its own spontaneous impulses; but by the outside influences of a foreign people, who stood higher than itself. All Pagan people are most readily reached through the senses; through tangible objects which have something in common with themselves. Hence, they seek gorgeous ternples

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and pompous ceremonials; but no preacher renders himself illustrious among them by instructing and refining the people. In the days of Christ, few individuals in the most enlightened nations could read; and, therefore, the masses were not fitted for private meditation - and abstract reflection; so that books could not arrest general vice and change the wicked manners of society. Total indifference to God and eternal life is one of the first fruits of apostasy; and this is pre-eminently the case where ignorance abounds. Besides, Christ did not intend to send forth a message made up of naked dogmas, or new opinions; but of a consecutive chain of divine facts. He himself was a fact, and his life, death, resurrection, and works, were facts; therefore they must be presented in the most lucid forms, by living witnesses. So preaching was the most efficient means of establishing his religion, because therein life answers to life, by the thrilling idioms of a living tongue. Preaching brings kindred souls into direct contact through those radical principles which underlie all human conduct. Its ever fresh utterances sway a power over the mind and heart at once; so that by the social laws of human sympathy the constitutional
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depths of man's nature are reached, and the whole realm of his thought and passion controlled. It begins by arousing him from his apathy, by captivating his attention; it stimulates reflection, inquiry, and activity by the attrition of mind with mind. It brings a systematic line of instruction before the reasoning faculties; they follow it concisely by fact, doctrine, precept, paraphrase, promise, threatening; by exposition and illustration awakening the slothful conscience, bending the obdurate will, and melting the hardened heart. When it is attended by the persuasiveness of a kindly face, the language of the heart in every tone of voice, and the winning softness of a gentle manner, the dews of heaven distill from the true preacher's lips to conciliate the stubborn hearer, as no written characters can charm the reader of a book.

      More than this, the condition of the Pagan nations favored the establishment of preaching by Christ. The manhood of Paganism was most robust at that time. It was enshrined in all the captivations which poetry, sculpture, grammar, and oratory could lavish. Yet no philosopher of his times had enough penetration to plan that countless millions of the common people should come together regularly throughout

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their natural lifetime, to be addressed in the midst of their holiest devotions, and that in the simplest form, upon subjects which soared above the sublimest speculations of the old philosophies. These, he determined, should cover every form of human duty - every shade of morality - and every phase of spirituality in soul-life. He spent the greater part of his own time in preaching to the common people, upon the most sacred and elevated themes; and he applied them to the current events of their common existence. Not only did he insist upon the great truths of inward religion; but he applied them to all the outside interests of human life, public and private, to which they could hold any relation. The grandest question which has ever been settled was determined when he established gospel preaching.

      The Pagans were given to harangues and debates; they were familiar with eloquence, as the channel of popular address; they made it the high way to honor in the commonwealth; and public speaking was likely to attach them to the new philosophy and faith by the very disputation and discussion which it challenged. The constitution of the Roman Republic had greatly educated the people to a dependence

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on public assemblies; for war assembled them in multitudes; superstition drew them together at great feasts; amusement gathered them in the fete and the dance; and the voice of the earnest preacher was most likely to enchant them, when a book would have repelled all approaches. So then, our Lord connected preaching with their very nature; and because he knew that while there was an error to enlighten, or an ignorance to expose, or a holy purpose to arouse in man, the living voice from the living preacher must be had, he said: "Go ye into all the world and preach."

      Yet, infinitely fertile in resources, Jesus united the pen with the tongue, the book with the man; availing himself of both these great instruments by sending that inspiration which gave the New Testament. The Spirit recorded all gospel facts and principles on the face of the book with infallible accuracy, and put it into the preacher's hand that his voice might enforce the revelation. But in what language must it be written? Neither the Hebrew nor the Latin were adapted to his high purposes, and so amid all the babbling tongues of the earth, the Greek was selected as the mother tongue of Christianity. The Apostles preached and wrote in that language,

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and Paul used it even in Rome, the centre of the Latin tongue. Is it too much to say that whatever we find of elegance, culture, philosophy, devotion, law, and grammar in that language, has been incorporated into our Christian civilization as the direct result of preaching? Every good element of Greek thought, feeling, and expression is found to-day indelibly stamped upon the gospel ministry. For three centuries after Christ, it remained the language of the Christian church, in which its theologians, defenders, and historians spoke. And no other tongue which then existed was adapted to its uses, much less the Hebrew. Its profounder questions could scarcely be handled in any other language; and hence the wisdom of Christ is visible in its selection, as the channel of his gospel, both by the tongue and the pen. It made the primitive preachers familiar with that range of free thought and copious expression, which showed that Jesus of Nazareth made the preached word a debtor to the Jew and the Gentile, to the Synagogue and the Oratory; and linked up the Origin of Preaching with all that is human, and all that is immortal, in the successive moral wants and generations of our race to the end of time.

[From Thomas Armitage, Preaching: Its Ideal and Inner Life, 1880, Lecture I, pp. 15-41. Scanned and formatted by Jim Duvall.]

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