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P R E F A CE.
THE EIGHTH VOLUME of “The Homilist " is the first of a New Series, of which the distinctions are—the monthly issue, and several new departments, the most important being Notes and Queries, and the Pulpit and its Three Handmaids-History, Science and Art. The contents thus necessarily assume a more variegated aspect. However conscious of divergence from the absolute standard of excellence, the Editor cannot believe that this volume is inferior to any of its predecessors; and he trusts that it is, in many respects, superior to them all. He hopes to be shortly set free from the too engrossing and overpowering cares of a kindred but vaster enterprise, and thus to be enabled to consecrate a larger proportion of time and energy to that which he prefers before all other occupation—the endeavor, however humble, to give manly force, reverent freedom, natural earnestness, a widened empire, and a living, catholic Christianity to the pulpit of the age.
Fungar vice cotis, acutum
I'll play the whetstone, useless and unfit
As the old key-note will still rule the melodies of “The Homilist,” and no new specific description is requisite, the seven-years old preface may be again transcribed.
First : The book has no finish. The Editor had not only not the time to give an artistic finish to his productions, but not even the design. Their incompleteness is intentional. He has drawn some marble slabs together, and hewn them roughly ;-but has left other hands to delineate minute features, and to polish them into beauty. He has dug up from the Biblical mine some precious ore, smelted a little, but left all the smithing to others. He has presented "germs which, if sown in good soil, under a free air and an open sky, will produce fruit that may draw many famishing spirits into the vineyard of the Church.
Secondly : The book has no denominationalism. It has no special reference to "our body," or to "our church." As denominational