1875 Presbyterian Sermon Against Lay Evangelists such as D. L. Moody

1875 Presbyterian Sermon Against Lay Evangelists such as D. L. Moody

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Skinner, Thomas H. Lay Evangelism: A Paper, Read before the Presbyterian Ministerial Association, of Cincinnati, March 29, 1875. Cincinnati: Gazette Steam Book and Job Printing Establishment, 1875. First Edition. [1508]

Printed wrapper, minor chipping at the edges, 5 3/4 x 8 1/2, 19 clean pp. Good. Pamphlet.

Although not mentioned by name, the Moody and Sankey revivals are likely the occasion for this pamphlet. The author urges Presbyterian congregations to reject "Lay Evangelism" and to rely on the God-ordained method of properly appointed and sanctioned ministers of the Gospel to perform such work.

"The subject this afternoon is Lay Evangelism, the preaching of unlicensed, unordained members of the church.The Presbyterian Church appears to me to be threatened with a very great and fundamental revolution...Unordained men are going forth from their churches, expounding the word of God to Christians, addressing audiences just as do the ordinary ministry from platforms and pulpits, taking texts and delivering sermons, and in some instances administering the ordinances of Baptism and the Lord's Supper; and this with the sanction and approval of ministers of the Presbyterian Church, directly in the face of most specific and positive decisions and deliverances of our General Assemblies."

Thomas H. Skinner (1791-1871), born in North Carolina and graduated at Princeton in 1812. He became co-pastor with Dr. Janeway in the Second Church, Philadelphia. Skinner adopted New School views, which led to his separation from Janeway in 1816. He pioneered several local Presbyterian churches in his ministry, and was a Professor first at Andover and later at Union Theological Seminary, NY.