Evangelical Eloquence: R.L. Dabney


Evangelical Eloquence: A Course of lectures on Preaching. 361 pages.

“In these days of the soundbite and the autocue, public speaking is a declining art form, though it is not extinct and still has its own weight and force. In new Testament times, unlike today, rhetoric was a highly regarded skill and works were written about it which are still read. Danny quotes liberally from these, but does not always agree with them. He knew that Gospel preaching was not to be with ‘wisdom of words, lest the Cross of Christ should be made of no effect’ (I Cor 1:17).

‘Evangelical Eloquence’ for Dabney was unique. It consisted in ‘the souls virtuous energy exerted through speech’ which applied ‘the authority of God to the conscience’ and formed ‘the image of Christ upon the souls of men’.

The Banner of Truth Trust.



There’s a handful of classic books on preaching and this is one of them.  Below is the table of contents:

The Preachers Commission

Distribution of Subjects

The Same Topics Continued

The Text

Cardinal Requisites of the Sermon

Constituent Members of the Sermon

Sources of Argument

Rules of Argument

Division of the Argument


Preacher’s Character with Hearers



Modes of Preparation

Public Prayer

Robert L. Dabney (1820-98) served as Pastor of a Presbyterian Church of Tinkling Springs, VA, before becoming Professor first of Church History, then of Theology, at Union Theological Seminary. Later he taught theology at Austin Seminary, Texas which he helped found. His “Discussions” and “Systematic Theology” are published by the Trust.


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