Thomas De Witt Talmage was an American Presbyterian preacher, born at Bound Brook, New Jersey; his older brother was noted China missionary John Van Nest Talmage. He was educated at the University of the City of New York (now New York University) and at the Reformed Dutch Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, New Jersey, from which he was graduated in 1856.
Immediately afterwards, he became pastor of a Reformed church at Belleville, New Jersey. In 1859 he removed to Syracuse, New York; in 1862 to Philadelphia, where he was pastor of the Second Reformed Dutch Church; and in 1869 to the Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, where a large building known as the Tabernacle was erected for him in 1870.
In 1872, this building was burned down. A larger one, holding 5000 persons, was built in 1873, but even this could not contain the crowds attracted by his eloquence and sensationalism. In 1889 this church also burned to the ground, only to be succeeded by another and larger one, which in its turn was burned in 1894. Shortly afterwards he removed to Washington, D.C., where from 1895 to 1899 he was the associate pastor, with Dr Byron Sunderland (d. 1901), of the First Presbyterian Church.
He served as a chaplain for the Union Army during the American Civil War.
During the last years of his life, Dr. Talmage ceased preaching and devoted himself to editing, writing, and lecturing. At different periods he was editor of the Christian at Work (1873-76), New York; the Advance (1877-79), Chicago; Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine (1879-89), New York; and the Christian Herald (1890-1902), New York. For years his sermons were published regularly in more than 3,000 journals, reaching, it is said, 25,000,000 readers.
His New Tabernacle Sermons presented here, were delivered in the Brooklyn Tabernacle, and first published in 1886.
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An Atheist Answered
"Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them" (Ephesians 4:18).
It seems from what we have recently heard that the Christian religion is a huge blunder; that the Mosaic account of the Creation is an absurdity large enough to throw all nations into rollicking guffaw; that Adam and ...read
His Name Is Wonderful
The prophet lived in a dark time. For some three thousand years the world had been getting worse. Kingdoms had arisen and perished. As the captain of a vessel in distress sees relief coming across the water, so the prophet, amid the stormy times in which he lived, put the telescope of prophecy to his eye, and saw, seven hundred and fifty years ahea ...read
Mending the Bible
". . . "If any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city . . ." Rev. 22:19
You see it is a very risky business, this changing of the Holy Scriptures.
A pulpit in New York has recently set forth the idea that the Scriptures ought to be expurga ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 1 - BRAWN AND MUSCLE
"And Samson went down to Timnath."--JUDGES xiv: 1.
There are two sides to the character of Samson. The one phase of his life, if followed into the particulars, would administer to the grotesque and the mirthful; but there is a phase of his character fraught with lessons of solemn and eternal import. To these graver lessons we devote our morning ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 2 - THE PLEIADES AND ORION
"Seek Him that maketh the Seven Stars and Orion."--AMOS. v. 8
A country farmer wrote this text--Amos of Tekoa. He plowed the earth and threshed the grain by a new threshing-machine just invented, as formerly the cattle trod out the grain. He gathered the fruit of the sycamore-tree, and scarified it with an iron comb just before it was getting ri ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 3 - THE QUEEN'S VISIT
"Behold, the half was not told me."--I KINGS x: 7.
Solomon had resolved that Jerusalem should be the center of all sacred, regal, and commercial magnificence. He set himself to work, and monopolized the surrounding desert as a highway for his caravans. He built the city of Palmyra around one of the principal wells of the East, so that all the lo ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 4 - VICARIOUS SUFFERING
"Without shedding of blood is no remission."--HEB. ix: 22.
John G. Whittier, the last of the great school of American poets that made the last quarter of a century brilliant, asked me in the White Mountains, one morning after prayers, in which I had given out Cowper's famous hymn about "The Fountain Filled with Blood," "Do you really believe the ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 5 - POSTHUMOUS OPPORTUNITY
"If the tree fall toward the south or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth there it shall be."--ECCLES. xi: 3.
There is a hovering hope in the minds of a vast multitude that there will be an opportunity in the next world to correct the mistakes of this; that, if we do make complete shipwreck of our earthly life, it will be on a ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 6 - THE LORD'S RAZOR
"In the same day shall the Lord shave with a razor that is hired, namely, by them beyond the river, by the King of Assyria."--ISAIAH vii: 20.
The Bible is the boldest book ever written. There are no similitudes in Ossian or the Iliad or the Odyssey so daring. Its imagery sometimes seems on the verge of the reckless, but only seems so. The fact i ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 7 - WINDOWS TOWARD JERUSALEM
"His windows being open and his chamber toward Jerusalem."--DAN. vi: 10.
The scoundrelly princes of Persia, urged on by political jealousy against Daniel, have succeeded in getting a law passed that whosoever prays to God shall be put under the paws and teeth of the lions, who are lashing themselves in rage and hunger up and down the stone cage, ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 8 - STORMED AND TAKEN
"And Abimelech gat him up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him, and Abimelech took an ax in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder.... And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; s ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 9 - ALL THE WORLD AKIN
"And hath made of one blood all nations of men."--ACTS xvii: 26.
Some have supposed that God originally made an Asiatic Adam and a European Adam and an African Adam and an American Adam, but that theory is entirely overthrown by my text, which says that all nations are blood relatives, having sprung from one and the same stock. A difference in c ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 10 - A MOMENTOUS QUEST
"Seek ye the Lord while he may be found."--ISA. lv: 6.
Isaiah stands head and shoulders above the other Old Testament authors in vivid descriptiveness of Christ. Other prophets give an outline of our Saviour's features. Some of them present, as it were, the side face of Christ; others a bust of Christ; but Isaiah gives us the full-length portrai ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 11 - THE GREAT ASSIZE
DOCTOR TALMAGE'S SERMON, PREACHED AT CORK, IRELAND, SUNDAY MORNING, SEPT 6th, 1885.
"When the Son of Man shall come in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory: and before Him shall be gathered all nations: and He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the go ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 12 - THE ROAD TO THE CITY
"And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called the way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein. No lion shall be there, nor any ravenous beast shall go up thereon, it shall not be found there; but the redeemed shall walk there; and the rans ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 13 - THE RANSOMLESS
"Beware lest He take thee away with His stroke: then a great ransom can not deliver thee."--JOB xxxvi: 18.
Trouble makes some men mad. It was so with Job. He had lost his property, he had lost his physical health, he had lost his dear children, and the losses had led to exasperation instead of any spiritual profit. I suppose that he was in the c ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 14 - THE THREE GROUPS
"And they sat down in ranks by hundreds and by fifties."--MARK vi: 40.
The sun was far down in the west, night was coming on, and there were five thousand people tired, hungry, shelterless. You know how Washington felt at Valley Forge, when his army was starving and freezing. You may imagine how any great-hearted general would feel while his tro ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 15 - THE INSIGNIFICANT
"And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech."--RUTH ii: 3.
The time that Ruth and Naomi arrive at Bethlehem is harvest-time. It was the custom when a sheaf fell from a load in the harvest-field for the reapers to refu ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 16 - THE THREE RINGS
"Put a ring on his hand."--LUKE xv: 22.
I will not rehearse the familiar story of the fast young man of the parable. You know what a splendid home he left. You know what a hard time he had. And you remember how after that season of vagabondage and prodigality he resolved to go and weep out his sorrows on the bosom of parental forgiveness. Well, ...read
New Tabernacle Sermons, Vol. 1, sermon 17 - HOW HE CAME TO SAY IT
"If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha."--I COR. xvi: 22.
The smallest lad in the house knows the meaning of all those words except the last two, Anathema Maranatha. Anathema, to cut off. Maranatha, at His coming. So the whole passage might be read: "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be cut off ...read