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A Packet of Surprises: The Best Essays and Sermons of F. W. Boreham
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A Packet of Surprises: The Best Essays and Sermons of F. W. Boreham


John Broadbanks 2008

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Choosing the best essays of F. W. Boreham is as excruciating as selecting some children to get the honors and telling the others that they did not make the grade. The selection of the essays in this volume are subjective. But there is some rhyme and reason to the choices. Some were voted in by current Boreham readers so they appear by popular demand. Others are clearly Boreham's choice or were popular in his day. In compiling this selection an effort has been made to include essays on a range of themes, those which illustrate different homiletical methods and others that are drawn from different periods in Boreham's career. The sermon "The Whisper of God" may at face value have not made the cut in Boreham's best but it is included because it is the best of his earliest sermons and it illustrates how his preaching changed in style, structure, and length. The Best Essays and Sermons of F. W. Boreham demonstrates the way that Boreham worked hard to remodel his writing and preaching through such things as the removal of wordy clutter, for it is clear to see the emergence of a simple and flowing style. These essays and sermons have been brought together not for literary inspection and homiletical interest but so they might speak powerfully to readers in this contemporary age. The great hope for this new book is that it might stimulate among its readers one of the major themes of F. W. Boreham—that each person, with their God-given gifts might develop their unique style. This book also includes: a profile of Boreham written by T. Howard Crago, and name and topical indexes.

Praise for the Print Edition

Of the books that have played the greatest role in molding me, I count many volumes by especially one writer: F. W. Boreham. He authored more than fifty books of essays and pastored congregations in New Zealand, Tasmania, and Australia. He was not the classical preacher, not even a profound, deep preacher, but he was marvelous at seeing beauty in the simple things of life. He heeded John Wesley's charge to young preachers to blend simplicity with sublimity, 'the strongest sense in the plainest language.'

—Ravi Zacharias

Product Details

  • Title: A Packet of Surprises: The Best Essays and Sermons of F. W. Boreham
  • Author: F. W. Boreham
  • Publisher: John Broadbanks
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 298

About F. W. Boreham

F. W. Boreham, (1871-1959) preacher and writer, was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, eldest child of Francis Boreham, solicitor's clerk, and his wife Fanny Usher. He was educated and was later a pupil-teacher at Grosvenor United School, Tunbridge Wells. In December 1884 he became junior clerk with a local brickworks where, in a locomotive accident, he lost his right foot, necessitating the life-long use of a stick. Late in 1887 he went to work as a clerk in London, becoming increasingly involved in church, debating and writing activities. Although his family was Anglican, he was baptized at Stockwell Old Baptist Church in 1890; he preached from pavement and pulpit and published Won to Glory in 1891. He was admitted to Spurgeon's College, London, in August 1892, serving as a student-minister at Theydon Bois, Essex, where he met Estella Maud Mary Cottee. In 1894 Boreham was called to the Scottish community at Mosgiel near Dunedin in New Zealand, and was inducted on March 17, 1895. Stella, then 18, followed to marry him at Kaiapoi on April 13, 1896. Boreham became president of the Baptist Union of New Zealand in 1902, and published The Whisper of God and Other Sermons. He wrote editorials for the Otago Daily Times, contributed to theological journals and, as a keen temperance advocate, participated in liquor polls in 1905 and 1907. In June 1906 Boreham was called to the Baptist Tabernacle, Hobart. He edited the Southern Baptist and later the weekly Australian Baptist and in 1910 became president of the Tasmanian Baptist Union. His George Augustus Selwyn was published in 1911. He wrote a biographical series for the Hobart Mercury, which in 40 years covered 2,000 persons; in 1912-59 he contributed 2,500 editorials to the Mercury and the Melbourne Age. Boreham's 80 publications, including religious works, homiletic essays, and novels, sold over one million copies.