3 APRIL 1880, Page 23

Parish Sermons. By Walter Farquhar Hook, D.D., P.R.S., late Dean

of Chichester. Edited by the Rev. Walter Hook, M.A., Rector of Porlock. (Bentley.)—In these sermons, it may be truly said, the great and good Vicar of Leeds, for it is in that capacity that he is best known and remembered, being dead, yet speaks. It may be that, as the editor anticipates, they "fail to produce an impression on the mind of the reader at all corresponding to that which was produced on all who heard them ;" but this is equally true of the published sermons of all distinguished preachers,—as true of the discourses of Robertson and Newman, as of Hook. No printed memorial, no biography, however well written, no essay, not even the admirable one of Mr. Gladstone, can do full justice to the man His preaching, excellent in itself, was rendered still more effective by variety of intonation and expression ; by a voice which could with equal power give utterance to rebuke or sympathy ; and by the play of features, which, though homely, were indicative of the mingled earnestness and kindliness characteristic of the preacher. No ono could listen to Hook without being impressed with a sense of his thorough sincerity, and his firm belief in the doctrineswhich he taught. Whether preaching before the Court, or before a congregation of rugged miners, the "old Vicar," as his people affectionately called him, spoke out just what he thought ; and this sense of reality, com- mon alike to the speaker and the auditor, gave to his simplest utter. ances a character of true eloquence. His editor tells us that ho took great pains, striving after perfection in his sermons, and "lie used to say that to Bishop Beveridge's assertion that a sermon could not be

well delivered until it had been preached many times, he would add that it should always be as many times reconsidered and rewritten." He was not an admirer of extempore preaching, but he could, on occasion, deliver an unpremeditated sermon with great effect. The volume before us will well repay careful perusal. "The Riband of Blue," "Rispah, the daughter of Aiah"—which, we have reason to think, was a favourite theme of the author—and "Christ, our Example," are perhaps the most striking sermons in the book. But all are good, distinguished by the Dean's sound sense and practical piety ; and young preachers, who wish to find a way to their people's reason and affections, cannot do better than procure this book, and study it. We need more preaching like Hook's, both in church and elsewhere.