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A VOLUME OF
FUNERAL SERMONS AND ADDRESSES,
LEADING PULPITS OF AMERICA, ENGLAND,
GERMANY, AND FRANCE.
CONTAINING 90 SERMONS, SKETCHES OF SERMONS, AND OBITUARY
ETIQUETTE, ETC., ETC.
EdJ: WHEELER, A.M.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 18840
By FUNK & WAGNALLS, in une Uffice of the Librarian of Congress at Washington, D. C 18-6 36 .
In no department of his work is the minister of the Gospel called upon to perform duties more onerous, to meet claims more exacting, than in the conducting of funeral services. The demands upon the time of a popular pastor in a large community are enormous, while the preacher in rural districts, who is called upon to traverse miles of muddy road in the monst inclement weather, rarely fares better and often fares worse. Yet still more taxing is the drain upon the vital energies of a sympathetic pastor, who, both as man and as minister, weeps with those that weep, and is filled with solicitude that they mourn not as those who have no hope. In addition to this, if his heart has bled over its own personal losses, how are the wounds opened afresh as he is summoned again and again to the house of mourning and to the side of the open grave
Moreover, the responsibilities of his position are at such a time so awful that no minister who appreciates them can feel other than a sense of insufficiency, and an instinctive shrinking which no length of experience can entirely remove. Life is full of crises, but what one is fraught with more consequence than that which overtakes the parent at the grave of a loved child, the child at the grave of a parent? None pass through it without change ; no change carries with it vaster issues for weal or woe. Upon the preacher, often to an extent terrible to contemplate, depends the outcome. One earnest word from him at such a time may mean a useful life saved to God and to the world ; one opportunity slighted may cost a life lost to all eternity.
Upon young ministers these duties and responsibilities rest at times with an almost crushing weight. Upon none should they rest lightly. If by this volume they may be guided in the performance of the one, and better prepared for the bearing of the other, its purpose is accomplished, and an apology for its existence is needless. In the effort to compass this, resort has been had to a wide variety of the richest sermonic literature, from which the compiler has gleaned with a view to satisfying the practical needs of the preacher rather than to furnishing mere specimens of eloquence. Many of the sermons given have never before been published, having been supplied, upon request, by their authors, to whom hearty thanks are hereby tendered. It is fitting also to express my obligations to Dr. J. M. Sherwood for the rare judg. ment with which he has aided both in the selection and arrangement of material.
Upon the list of classified texts much care and labor have been expended to render it a valuable aid to the preacher in the saving of time. Many clergymen have adopted the custom of omitting the text altogether and delivering what are known as obituary addresses. The custom has its advantages, but it has not yet obtained such favor either among clergymen or people as greatly to impair the usefulness of a list of texts arranged for ready reference.
In conclusion, while the object sought has been chiefly the assistance of pastors in their ministrations among the dying and the bereaved, it is believed that no volume but the Book of books will be found fuller of consolation for the mourning. There are here gathered thoughts from many minds, lessons from many experiences, promptings from many hearts; but they all teach the one lesson of hope, trust, submission to an all-loving Father. The reader will be led by many paths, but he will find them all converging to the same point-the Cross of Christ.