It is right to say, then, that his preaching was Christ-centered.  It was interpenetrated by inherited Protestant evangelism, a religious force as difficult precisely to define as it has been creatively potent.  Throughout the range of his sermons, he describes and designates, ceaselessly, distinctive qualities of a Christian life.  It must begin in repentance, for which the sinner always had abundant need, for the sense of sin is strong in Maclaren’s preaching, not so much specified sins of omission and commission as a fundamental gone-wrongness of human nature.  Once saved by grace, the Christian had, thereafter, guidance, if so be he sought it, for all his pilgrim ways, strength enough for his burdens, wisdom for his perplexities, compensation for his losses, and comfort for his sorrows.  It is, always, a direct dealing with God through the mediation of Jesus Christ.  Then, the seeker may always know God’s will and be sure of His nearness.  When the soul thirsts after God enough, it is immediately satisfied.

From: The Best of Alexander Maclaren, edited, and with an introduction, by Gaius Glenn Atkins (New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1949), p. xiv.


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