Rev. Lemuel Haynes: The Black Puritan

Some time ago, I mentioned Lemuel Haynes, the first African-American to be ordained in the United States in 1785. Haynes was an exceptional preacher in the Calvinist and Puritan traditions. In fact, one biographer wrote a book on Haynes called The Black Puritan. Another somewhat recent book also focused on Haynes’ godliness and piety. Anyway, I just finished a short booklet containing some of Haynes excellent sermons: Selected Sermons. Here are some parts I highlighted:

The devil is an enemy to all good, to all happiness and excellence.

It is God alone who slays the native enmity of the heart – who takes away those evil dispositions that govern the man, takes away the heart of stone and gives a soft heart – and makes him that was a hater of God, an enemy of God, to become friendly to his divine character.

[The faithful minister] will not entertain his audience with empty speculations or vain philosophy but with things that concern their everlasting welfare. Jesus Christ and him crucified will be the great topic and darling theme of his preaching.

As ministers must give account of how they preach and behave, so hearers also are to be examined how they hear and improve.

Although this book is short, it is good. I recommend it very much: Selected Sermons by Lemuel Haynes.

Shane Lems
Covenant Presbyterian Church (OPC)
Hammond, WI, 54015

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