Preface to the Second Edition
THIS edition has no advantage over its predecessor, beyond the improvement of a few phrases of doubtful meaning. But a friend, to whose criticisms the writer attaches particular value, remarks that in these sermons too much is made of the historical import of the Magnificat to leave room for doing justice to its practical aspects. To this, perhaps, it may be replied that the historical occasion of the Magnificat is of greater relative importance than is the case with any other Psalm or Hymn that ever was uttered. If so much be granted,--and what Christian can hesitate to grant it?--the question is reduced to one of time and space. It might have been better to devote eight sermons to such a subject than four; but, in days like ours, it would have been difficult to secure attention. For the rest, the bearing of the Hymn of Mary on our daily lives lies more on the surface of the language than does its relation to the Incarnation. And its practical value for us is likely to be enriched and intensified if we bear in mind as much as may be, when the words that are so often on our lips were first uttered, and by whom.
2, Amen Court, St. Paul's, E.C.,