This sermon was preached on Sunday, July 17th, 1859, in the Surrey Gardens Music Hall.
The use of this building was necessary in order to accommodate the regular congregations of between 5,000 and 9,000 people. References are made in the sermon to the revivals then being experienced in the United States and Northern Ireland.
"We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old." Psalm 44:1.
PERHAPS there are no stories that stick by us so long as those which we hear in our childhood, those tales which are told us by our fathers, and in our nurseries. It is a sad reflection that too many of these stories are idle and vain, so that our minds in early infancy are tinctured with fables, and inoculated with strange and lying narratives.
Among the early Christians and the old believers in the far-off times, nursery tales were far different from what they are now, and the stories with which their children were amused were of a far different class from those which fascinated us in the days of our childhood. No doubt Abraham would talk to young children about the flood, and tell them how the waters overspread the earth, and how Noah alone was saved in the ark. The ancient Israelites, when they dwelt in their own land, would all of them tell their children about the Red Sea, and the plagues which God wrought in Egypt when He brought His people out of the house of bondage.