Frederick William Robertson (known as Robertson of Brighton) was an English divine, born in London. The first five years of his life were passed at Leith Fort, where his father, a captain in the Royal Artillery, was then resident. The military spirit entered into his blood, and throughout life he was characterized by the qualities of the ideal soldier. In 1821 Captain Robertson retired to Beverley, where the boy was educated. At the age of fourteen he spent a year at Tours, from which he returned to Scotland, and continued his education at the Edinburgh Academy and university.
He read hard, and made a careful study of the Bible, committing to memory the entire New Testament both in English and in Greek. He was at this time a moderate Calvinist in doctrine, and enthusiastically evangelical. Ordained in July 1840 by the bishop of Winchester, he at once entered on ministerial work in that city, and during his ministry there and under the influence of the missionaries Henry Martyn and David Brainerd, whose lives he studied, he carried devotional asceticism to an injurious length.
After doing duty for two months at St Ebbe's,Oxford, he entered in August 1847 on his famous ministry at Trinity Chapel, Brighton. Here he stepped at once into the foremost rank as a preacher, and his church was thronged with thoughtful men of all classes in society and of all shades of religious belief.
He was however, crippled by incipient disease of the brain, which at first inflicted unconquerable lassitude and depression, and latterly agonizing pain. On 5 June 1853 he preached for the last time, and on 15 August he died.
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Vol. 1, Sermon 1 - God's Revelation of Heaven
Preached April 29, 1849
"Eye hath not seen nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." - I Cor. 2:9,10.
The preaching of the Apostle Paul was rejected by numbers in the cultivated town of Corinth. It was not wise enough ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 2 - Parable of the Sower
Preached June 6, 1849
"The same day went Jesus out of the house, and sat by the sea-side. And great multitudes were gathered together unto him, so that he went into a ship, and sat; and the whole multitude stood on the shore. And he spake many things unto them in parables, saying, Behold. a sower went forth to sow; and when he sowed, some seeds ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 3 - Jacob's Wrestling
Preached June 10, 1849
"And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and best prevailed. And Jacob asked him, and said, Tell me, I pray thee, thy name. And he said, Wherefore is it that thou dost ask after my name? And he blessed him there." - Genesis 32:28, 29.
The co ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 4 - Christian Progress by Oblivion of the Past
Preached August 12, 1849
"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do; forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus." - Phil. 3:13,14
The first thing which strikes us on reading th ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 5 - Triumph Over Hindrances - Zaccheus
Preached October 21, 1849
"And Zaccheus stood, and said unto the Lord; Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold." - Luke 19:8.
There are persons to whom a religious life seems smooth and easy. Gifted by God constitutionally with a freedom from ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 6 - The Shadow and Substance of the Sabbath
Preached October 28, 1849
"Let no man, therefore, judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath-days: which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ." - Col. 2:16,17.
No sophistry of criticism can explain away the obvious meaning of these words. The apostle speaks; of certai ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 7 - The Sympathy of Christ
Preached November 4, 1849
"For we have not a high-priest which can not be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." - Hebrews 4:15,16.
According to these ve ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 8 - The Pharisees and Sadducees at John's Baptism
Preached November 11, 1849
"But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" - Matthew 3:7.
It seems that the Baptist's ministry had been attended with almost incredible success, as if the population of the country had been ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 9 - Caiaphas's View of Vicarious Sacrifice
Preached November 5, 1849
"And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high-priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself: but being high-priest that year, he prophesied that Jes ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 10 - Realizing the Second Advent
Preached December 2, 1849
"For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me." - Job 19:25-27.
The hardes ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 11 - First Advent Lecture - The Grecian
Preached December 6, 1849
"I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and als ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 12 - Second Advent Lecture: The Roman
Preached December 13, 1849
"I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and a ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 13 - Third Advent Lecture: The Barbarian
Preached December 20, 1849
"And when they were escaped, then they knew that the island was called Melita. And the barbarous people showed us no little kindness: for they kindled a fire, and received us every one, because of the present rain, and because of the cold. And when Paul had gathered a bundle of sticks, and laid them on the fire, there ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 14 - The Principle of Spiritual Harvest
Preached December 15, 1849
"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." - Galatians 6:7,8.
There is a close analogy between the world of nature and the w ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 15 - The Loneliness of Christ
Preached December 31, 1849
"Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." - John 16:31,32.
There are two kinds of solitude: the first consisting of insulation in space, the ot ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 16 - The New Commandment of Love to One Another
Preached October 20, 1950
"A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another." - John 13:34.
These words derive impressiveness from having been spoken immediately before the last Supper, and on the eve of the great Sacrifice: the commandment of love issued appropriately at the time ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 17 - The Message of the Church to Men of Wealth
Preached June 15, 1851
"And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? There be many servants nowadays that break away every man from his master. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?" - I Samuel 2 ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 18 - Christ's Judgment Respecting Inheritance
Preached June 22, 1851
[* This Sermon was preached the Sunday after that on which "The Message of the Church to Men of Wealth" was preached, and it was intended as a further illustration of that subject.]
"And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 19 - Freedom by the Truth
Preached July 13, 1851
"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32.
If these words were the only record we possessed of the Saviour's teaching, it may be that they would be insufficient to prove His personal Deity, but they would be enough to demonstrate the Divine character of His mission.
Observe the gre ...read
Vol. 1, Sermon 20 - The Kingdom of the Truth
Preached at the Autumn Assizes, held at Lewes, 1852
"Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice." - John 18:37.
he Church is the k ...read