by James W. Alexander
J. W. Alexander was son of Archibald Alexander and this book is a great thought provoker - the only thing that I think would keep it from being very popular is that the first part is a great deal of random thoughts on various topics. It might be difficult to methodically plod through it so on the section called HOMILETICAL PARAGRAPHS I have created an index of subjects to, hopefully, make it more useful.
IT had long been the cherished wish of Dr Alexander to prepare a volume on Homiletics, for the use of young ministers and students; and with this object in view, he was in the habit of jotting down, in his private journals, in the form of paragraphs, such thoughts as occurred to him on the subject. In one of his later journals I find the following entry: "If the Lord should spare me below, it will be well for me some day to look over all my dailies, and collect what I have written from time to time on Ministerial Work. It is already enough for a volume. It might do good when I am gone." But death defeated his plans.
To carry out his purpose as far as it is now possible, I have collected these paragraphs, and print them just as they occur in his journals, without any attempt to arrange them in the order of subjects. I have also added to them several articles on the same subject, contributed by him to the Princeton Review, and a series of letters to young ministers, published in the Presbyterian, thus giving to the public, in a permanent form, all that he has written upon these important topics. In addition to these I have introduced some paragraphs on miscellaneous subjects from the same journals, most of them bearing upon ministerial life and experience. Although deeply sensible of the inadequacy of this work to convey fully the matured experience of the author, I am not prepared to withhold its publication; believing that incomplete as it is, it may yet be of advantage to all who are looking forward to the sacred office.
In such a collection there must necessarily be some repetition of thoughts, and some opinions which were afterwards modified by the author; but I have concluded to give the whole as it stands, rather than attempt an elimination which might weaken rather than give strength to the subject.
S. D. A.
Table of Contents
LETTERS TO YOUNG MINISTERS
-- LETTER I: Devotion to the Work of the Ministry
-- LETTER II: The Cultivation of Personal Piety
-- LETTER III: The Happiness of Christ's Ministry
-- LETTER IV: Clerical Studies
-- LETTER V: How to find time for Learning
-- LETTER VI: Learned Pastors
-- LETTER VII: Extempore Preaching
-- LETTER VIII: Extempore Preaching Continued
-- LETTER IX: Extempore Preaching Continued
-- LETTER X: Diligence in Study
STUDIES AND DISCIPLINE OF THE PREACHER
THE MATTER OF PREACHING
THE PULPIT IN ANCIENT AND MODERN TIMES
ELOQUENCE OF THE FRENCH PULPIT