Selected Sermons – Lemuel Haynes

Selected Sermons by Lemuel Haynes, Jared C. Wilson
Also by this author: Gospel-Driven Ministry: An Introduction to the Calling and Work of a Pastor, Love Me Anyway: How God's Perfect Love Fills Our Deepest Longing, Gifts of Grace: 25 Advent Devotions
Series: Crossway Short Classics
Published by Crossway on February 21, 2023
Genres: Academic, Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Racial Reconciliation, Theology, Social Justice

The Crossway Short Classics Series Presents Rare Sermons from Black Puritan Minister Lemuel Haynes

Born in 1753, Lemuel Haynes was an indentured servant who grew to become a dynamic Reformed preacher. Nicknamed “The Black Puritan,” he is credited as being the first African-American ordained for ministry in the United States. This addition to the Crossway Short Classics series presents some of Haynes’s important yet little-known work.

Selected Sermons features 4 rarely published sermons, along with a biography of Haynes. In “Universal Salvation,” he preaches on the reality of hell and the character of Satan. “A Sermon on John 3:3” explores Jesus’s command to be born again. “The Character and Work of a Spiritual Watchman Described” details qualifications for gospel ministers, and in “Liberty Further Extended,” he presents a biblical argument against slavery and oppression. This collection of Haynes’s sermons offers readers robust spiritual insight and a closer look at an extraordinary figure in church history.

Collection of Rarely Published Sermons: A unique, accessible resource for pastors and scholars
Written by Black Puritan Minister Lemuel Haynes: Includes his sermons on racial justice, regeneration, biblical qualifications for ministry, and the heresy of universalism
Part of the Crossway Short Classics Series:< Other titles include The Lord’s Work in the Lord’s Way and No Little People; The Life of God in the Soul of Man; and Fighting for Holiness
Includes a Foreword by Jared C. Wilson

This fascinating addition to the Crossway Short Classics series shares four sermons from Lemuel Haynes, the first African American ordained as a minister in America. This Black Puritan preacher served as a pastor and fought during the Revolutionary War, and he was an outspoken advocate against the evils of slavery and the faulty arguments that professing Christians used to support it. I had never heard of him before this book came out, and I was excited to learn about him. Selected Sermons includes a foreword from Jared C. Wilson with information about Haynes and an assessment of his legacy, a very short biographical preface, and four sermons.

The sermons are eloquent and engaging. I appreciated Haynes’s orderly progression of thought, his clear communication of the biblical basis for his arguments, and his surprising wit. The first sermon was an extemporaneous response to someone else’s preaching about universalism, the next is about John 3:3 and the importance of being born again, and the third is about the role of pastors and their serious responsibilities before God as caretakers for others’ souls. The final sermon is about the evils of slavery, and it conveys a timeless Scriptural message while attacking contemporary arguments that Christians had made to justify their sin in slave-trading and/or slave-keeping.

Selected Sermons was a delight to read. I enjoyed Haynes’s old-fashioned eloquence and timeless exposition of Scripture, and I agree with Jared C. Wilson’s assessment that he was like an American Spurgeon. Although many of Haynes’s sermons no longer exist, these are wonderful, and I am thankful that Crossway has brought these treasures into public awareness. History is always so much more complex than we think it is. I would not have guessed that the first Black pastor of a predominately white church served in the Revolutionary Era! This book is a gold mine for people who are interested in church history, Black history, and powerful sermons about timeless themes.