“The object of preaching,” said Sydney Smith, “is constantly to remind mankind of what mankind are constantly forgetting; not to supply the defects of human intelligence, but to fortify the feebleness of human resolutions.” Whatever else Smith was doing with his life, whether a scholar, a tutor, a writer, or a clergyman, he was also a preacher. Moreover, he was a preacher with a remarkable ability to create witty, quotable phrases that carry deeper meaning. He published satirical letters under the pen name Peter Plymley, protesting the unequal treatment of Roman Catholics. As an Anglican minister, Smith was well loved by all the people of his parish for supporting their practical needs as well as their spiritual. Smith kept up an extensive correspondence with various political figures throughout his life and was a tireless advocate of religious freedom.
The Works of Sydney Smith brings the wit and wisdom of Sydney Smith into your Logos library. Scripture passages appear on mouseover. Illustrate your sermon using Smith’s brilliant turns of phrase. Jump to these quotable phrases with a click using Logos’ powerful search tools.
- All of Smith’s articles originally published in the Edinburgh Review
- Smith’s collected correspondence
- Selected sermons and speeches
- A posthumously published essay on the Irish Roman Catholic Church.
- Title: The Works of Sydney Smith
- Author: Sydney Smith
- Publisher: Longman, Brown, Green, and Longmans
- Volumes: 3
- Pages: 1,460
About Sydney Smith
Sydney Smith (1771–1845) was born in Woodford, Essex, England, to a wealthy merchant family. Smith attended Winchester College as a boy and earned an MA from New College, Oxford, in 1796. He was ordained the same year and took up a curacy in the village of Netheravon. The village squire hired Smith to tutor his son, and Smith accompanied the boy to the University of Edinburgh in 1798. Smith developed a reputation as a good preacher while in Edinburgh and maintained that reputation when he moved to London in 1803. In 1809, he moved to Yorkshire and began publishing his “Peter Plymley” series of letters, which argued for greater freedoms for British Catholics. Smith was given a prebend in Bristol Cathedral in 1828 and a canonry at St. Paul’s Cathedral in 1831. Throughout his career as a clergyman, Smith was a contributor to the Edinburgh Review.