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Jllustrations in Theology and morals.




Compiler of "A Dictionary of Foetical Illustrations," &G



“Great works are not in everybody's reach, and though it is better to know them thoroughly
than to know them here and there, yet it is a good work to give a little to those who have neither
time nor means to get more. Let every bookworm, when in any fragrant scarce old tome he
discovers a sentence, a story, an illustration, that does his heart good, hasten to give it."-
S. T. Coleridge.

The aim of the teacher who would find his way to the hearts and understandings of his
hearers, will never be to keep down the parabolical element in his teaching, but rather to make as
much and frequent use of it as he can." - Archbishop Trench.

“* An illustration is not a mere prettiness-an omamental phrase, that might be left out without
detriment to the train of thought, -it is something which really lights up that train of thought
itself, and enables the reader or hearer to see the aim, as well as to feel the force, of the logic.
An argument may be demonstrative,- it may thoroughly establish the position maintained, - but
it may not at first, and simply as an argument, be fully appreciated; when, the understanding
having done its work, passion and genius shall crown the whole with some vivid llustration, which
shall make it stand out with a distinctness that shall never be forgotten! It is one greai faculty
of the mind holding up a lighted torch to the workmanship of another,"—Thomas Binocy.

Seventh Edition







The following facts and suggestions are given for the benefit of all whom they may concern.

1. This work is not merely another volume of Illustrations. It differs essentially from all other collections of Illustrations, except Parable ; or, Divine Poesy. Its distinctive feature is, that its arrangement is homiletical. The headings under which the extracts of which the various articles are made up, might serve as divisions and subdivisions of sermons, or of courses of sermons. This, however, is not their design, but that thereby the student may be helped to attain to a clear and logical mastery of the subject concerning which he intends to speak.

2. This work is intended rather for study than for hasty reference. It is not for the man who, when he finds his ideas running dry, and does not see how he is to finish a division of a sermon effectively, runs to some Dictionary to find something that can be tacked on to what he has written ; but for the faithful preacher, such as is depicted in Ecclesiastes xii. 9, 10, who gives diligence beforehand to find out “acceptable words” and useful ideas. It is not intended for the idler, who preaches under compulsion, but for the earnest student, to whom preaching is a delight.

3. Those who use this book are counselled to make constant use of the Indexes, especially of the Textual Index. The illustrations in this volume cast invaluable sidelights upon more than four thousand texts of Scripture. On this account, they constitute one of the most valuable Commentaries ever published. Many a brief clause referred to in the Textual Index contains material for effective and useful paragraphs. He is the useful preacher who knows how to amplify without diluting.

4. One idea that has sustained the Compiler in the immense labour involved in the preparation of this volume is, that he may thus be useful to his brethren in country districts, many of whom have no access to large libraries, and by a constant inadequacy of income are prevented from largely increasing their own. His hope has been thus to put within their reach a volume which, because of its wealth of suggestiveness, should be a little library in itself.

5. As far as was possible, care has been taken not to include in this volume anything that has already appeared in Parable ; or, Divine Poesy," or in Bate's or Foster's Dictionaries of Ilustrations.

6. Those who use this volume will find much valuable help of another kind in the Compiler's Dictionary of Poetical Illustrations, also published by Mr. Dickinson.

7. Every young minister is strongly advised to make a similar compilation for him


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