To measure the impact of a minister's preaching, one must first examine the societal context in which the ministry took place. For example, what would lead a minister of the Gospel to roar from the pulpit, as did Joseph Parker of City Temple, London, 'God damn the Sultan!" The first section of The Golden Age of Preaching is given to the study of the times in which nine prominent British preachers ministered. Understanding the times helps one to comprehend why crowds flocked to hear these men preach, and why their sermons were printed in newspapers on Monday.
Furthermore, to assess the preaching of a man, one needs to take into account the life and manner of the man himself. The Men Who Moved the Masses includes biographical sketches of nine selected preachers: Alexander McLaren, Robert William Dale, Henry Parry Liddon at St. Paul's London, Joseph Parker, Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Alexander Whyte, Frederick Brotherton Meyer, John Henry Jowett, and George Campbell Morgan. These were men, though hampered by various medical problems and personality shortcomings, who led thousands to faith in their day.
The final section attempts to answer the question, 'Why?" by identifying those homiletical characteristics of their preaching which they had in common, resulting in such uncommon impact upon the masses. Those qualities are not confined to their era alone. They are perpetual, applicable to any age, to any culture. Preachers and seminarians who dare to sit at the feet and learn from these preaching giants of the past will find their own preaching power lifted onto a new plain to the benefit of all who hear them.
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