A Summary of the Christian Faith brings Hutter’s classic Compendium into a readable and easily accessible form. Henry Eyster Jacobs writes: “The book is not a mere compilation, but the matured expression of the convictions of the author, from the time when, as a child he was introduced to many of the problems treated, to the present.
“Why, a book of sermons on conversion? Because not all that has been written and preached on the subject is truth… Few subjects have been more abused, misrepresented and misunderstood. A veritable flood of ruinous error has emanated from pen and pulpit on this subject.
“These sermons were preached in the Church of the Holy Communion, Philadelphia, to a congregation consisting in part of University and college students. In preaching it was impossible to disassociate from my mind the struggles through which many of these young people were passing and the battles which I was asked to help them fight during the week.
“…there are many people today who are wandering in doctrinal fogland, and do not know what they believe; or, if they think they have any real convictions, they have pared them down to what they call ‘the irreducible minimum.
“If ever any man was competent to write on true Christianity, that man was John Arndt. It had become his very life; it entered into the very center of his own experience; it was an essential part of his being, and hence it was only necessary to let the mouth utter that, of which the heart was full.
“In exhibiting the earliest and purest views of our church on the divine obligation of the Christian Sabbath, we propose to present first of all, the views of Luther and Melanchthon…”
“The book presents Christian doctrine and Christian character, as both are drawn from the words of the Bible. It sums up the Biblical teachings concerning divine truth and human life, and presents the principles of the Christian religion both for the guidance of faith and intellect and for the formation of character…
This book of brief and simple sermons are the result of a lifetime of study, thought and experience by a faithful pastor and teacher.
“The title expresses the chief purpose of the book — to follow ‘In the Redeemer’s Footsteps.
“Salvation is the great end for which the Son of God came into the world. To restore fallen man to his original state of holiness and happiness, he must be delivered from the curse of sin that is upon him and the power of the devil that enslaves him.
“There is a knowledge which puffeth up, because it is sundered from true faith which maketh humble. It is knowledge without light or life, a cold thing lodged in the brain, but without influence on the sensibilities and will.
“The work of God that we are to do is to believe in the Savior and confess Him before men. This is our high calling, and our great work is its fulfillment.
“I want you to understand that I have never preached opinions from this pulpit; it is not a question of opinion; I have absolutely no right to stand here and give you my opinion, for it is not worth any more than yours; we do not come to church to get opinions; I claim that I can back up every sermon I have preached, with the Word of God, and it is not my opinion nor yours, it is the eternal Word of God, and you will find it so on the Judgment day.
“…Every minister of the Gospel should so preach that he need never be ashamed of the words he has spoken. Do you suppose that if I were ashamed of my sermons I would have them put in cold print to speak long after I am dead?
Learning to love is a long lesson. It takes all of the longest life to learn it. The most inveterate obstacle in mastering the lesson is self, which persists with an energy which nothing but divine grace can overcome.
“We are set in this world to be happy. We should not falter in our great task of happiness, nor move ever among our fellows with shadows on our face when we ought to have sunlight.
“A good deal is said in these days about how to preach. In the days of Christ and Paul, what to preach seemed of vastly more importance. How to listen, what preparation of mind and heart is needful, what attitude toward the truth, what appreciation of the truth, these are more important questions than extempore or written preaching.
An excellent collection of 57 sermons were delivered by Revs. Lenski, Tressel, Schuh, Gohdes, Bauslin, Troutman, Long and others. Particularly good are numbers 12, 19, 22, 30, 38, and 45.
“This little volume of sermons has been prepared in response to repeated appeals from the people who heard them from the pulpit. With some slight discrimination, they have been chosen from a cabinet of upwards of two thousand discourses.
Ruth forsook father and mother, country and friends, to cast in her lot with the people of God, and her name is linked with that of the greatest king of Israel, and with that of the great Redeemer of mankind.
“Our God says: ‘I not only freely forgive, but as for your sins, I have cast them behind my back.’
Luther and a Friend “Luther was once walking with a friend through a country full of beauty, and both being deeply impressed with the loveliness of nature, as her charms lay before their eyes and spoke to their appreciative hearts, the friend said, “Earth, in its beauty, is a paradise.