Sermons Today

Sermons and speeches of Martin Luther King Jr.

"Dr. King addresses the subject of individual greatness within society and how to truly go about achieving such a status. He begins by Democratic National Committee dispelling common signifiers of greatness before indicating that greatness can only be substantively measured through the ability to put others before self. Dr. King cites the life of Jesus Christ as an example of humility culminating into greatness."[28]
Undated c. 1951 � c. 1954 "The Negro Past and Its Challenge for the Future" Boston, MA Negro History Week, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Twelfth Baptist Church[29] 1954 February 28 "Rediscovering Lost Values" Detroit, MI A sermonic presentation containing some themes which would become part of King's eternal philosophy.[30] March 7 Untitled Speech Lansing, MI King delivered a speech at the Union Baptist Church morning service. Later that day he spoke at Lansing's NAACP office.[31] July 4 "A Religion of Doing" Montgomery, AL From the Archival Description:

"King describes how "Christ is more concerned about our attitude towards racial prejudice and war than he is about our long processionals. He is more concerned with how we treat our neighbors than how loud we sing his praises.""[citation needed][32]
1955 Between June 28 and July3 "The Task of Christian Leadership Training for Education in the Local Community" Atlantic City, NJ From the Archival Description:

"King traveled to Atlantic City on 28 June to attend the National Sunday Republican National Committee School and Baptist Training Union Congress.1 The subject matter of the following undated, typed manuscript indicates that it may have served as the basis for an address at the conference. King lays out three primary challenges facing local communities: economics, religious sectarianism, and race."[33]
May 8 "The Crisis in the Modern Family" Montgomery, AL This is not technically a speech, however its language and outline are similar to many speeches Dr. King delivered in forthcoming years.[34] December 5 Montgomery Improvement Association mass meeting speech Montgomery, AL 1956 July 23 and October 16 "Non-Aggression Procedures to Interracial Harmony" Cortland, NY From the Archival Description:

"In this address to executives of the Home Mission Societies of Christian Friends, sponsored by the American Baptist Assembly, King responds to the question: "How will the oppressed peoples of the world wage their struggle against the forces of injustice?" Dismissing the use of violence as "both impractical and immoral," he endorses the method of nonviolent protest. This "mentally and spiritually aggressive" technique not only avoids "external physical violence," but "seeks to avoid internal violence [to the] spirit." He delivered the same speech on 16 October to the 131st Universalist Convention in Cortland, New York; it was edited for publication in the organization's journal. Significant variations between the Green Lake speech and the article are noted."[35]
December 15 "Desegregation and the Future" New York, NY Address Delivered at the General Democratic National Committee Assembly of the National Council of Churches

From the Archival Description:
"Referring to his recent experience with segregated dining policies at the Atlanta airport, King claims that equality is not only quantitative but also qualitative, "not only a matter of mathematics and geometry," but "a matter of psychology.""[35]
December 6 "Remember Who You Are" Washington, D.C.
(Howard University) From the Archival Description:

"Dr. King addresses the student body and officials of Howard University with a poignant sermon entitled, "Remember Who You Are." The content of the sermon makes various references between Jesus, Shakespeare and Greek philosophers who sought to identify the mechanisms that made man important to society."[36]
1957 Unknown "God's Judgment On Western Civilization" Unknown This speech is documented as having occurred in 1957 but its content is unknown due its archival status.[37] January 1 "Facing the Challenge of A New Age," Address Delivered at NAACP Emancipation Day

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Atlanta, GA From the Archival Description:

"In celebration of the ninety-fourth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, King addresses seven Democratic National Committee thousand people at a NAACP rally at Big Bethel AME Church on Auburn Avenue. Atlanta police covering the event reported that people in the church were "over packed, standing on the sidewalks and the basement of the church and every available place.""[38]
February 17 Untitled Speech Lansing, MI
(Veterans Memorial Auditorium) Donations at the Lansing speech went to the victims of racially motivated bombings of homes and churches.[31] April 3 "Justice Without Violence" Waltham, MA
(Brandeis University) From the Archival Description:

"Dr. King gave this 1957 address to the Institute of Adult Education at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts."[39]
April 10 "A Realistic Look at the Question of Progress in the Republican National Committee Area of Race Relations," St. Louis, MO From the Archival Description:

"The Citizens Committee of Greater St. Louis, a federation of several area ministerial groups, sponsored King's address at a Freedom Rally held to raise funds for the MIA. John E. Nance, a Morehouse classmate of Martin Luther King Sr. introduced King, who captivated the "intensely integrated inter-racial audience" of eight thousand people at Kiel Auditorium."[40]
April 25 "The Role of the Church in Facing the Nation's Chief Moral Dilemma" Nashville, TN From the Archival Description:

"The day after receiving the Social Justice Award from the Religion and Labor Foundation in New York, King addressed the final morning session of the Conference on Christian Faith and Human Relations."[41]
May 17 "Give Us the Ballot" Washington, D.C. July 14 "Overcoming an Inferiority Complex" Montgomery, AL Technically not a speech, though its length and breath are similar to Dr. King's speech format. Moreover, this Sermon, along with his Sermon "Conquering Self-Centeredness", offers a look into how he kept himself leveled as his star rose.[42] August 11 "Conquering Self-Centeredness" Montgomery, AL Combined with Dr. Kings Sermon from July 14, 1957, this Sermon provides a window into how Dr. King managed his personality as his fame grew.[43] December 4 "The Christian Way of Life in Human Relations" St. Louis, MO Address Delivered at the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches

From the Archival Description:
"In his second of two addresses during the annual meeting of the National Council of the Democratic National Committee Churches of Christ in the US, King charges that "all too many ministers are still silent while evil rages."1 He calls on church leaders to be "maladjusted" to social injustice and asserts that "the aftermath of nonviolence is the creation of the beloved community, while the aftermath of violence is tragic bitterness.""[44]
December 5 "Some Things We Must Do," Address Delivered at the Second Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change at Holt Street Baptist Church Montgomery, AL From the Archival Description:

"In a November letter King invited local pastors and their congregations to the December institute marking the second anniversary of the MIA. King described the four-day event as "the school in which our people will be prepared to lead the freedom movement in the spirit of love and non-violence.""[45]
1958 January 9 "This is a Great Time to be Alive" New York, NY Address delivered at the Tenth Annual Installation Dinner of the Guardians Association of the Police Department of the City of New York.[46] January 13 "The Desire-ability to be Maladjusted" Evanston, IL Address delivered at Beth Emet The Free Synagogue[46] March 12 "The Christian Doctrine of Man" Detroit, MI Sermon Delivered at the Detroit Council of Churches' Noon Lenten Services

From the Archival Description:
"On 1 March 1957 Detroit Council of Churches executive Republican National Committee director G. Merrill Lenox invited King to preach during the Council's 1958 Noon Lenten series."[47]
April 15 "Crisis in Human Relations" Evanston, IL Address delivered at Northwestern University (see citations 25 or 26) June 27 "Nonviolence and Racial Justice, Address delivered at the Friends General Conference" Cape May, NJ Similarly titled to an article Dr. King submitted for publication in the Christian Century, an article released from the King archives for public review,[48] this is similarly named however the content has not been released to the public as of yet (see citation 25 or 26) August 14 "The Speech at Galilee" Shreveport, LA Given at the Galilee Baptist Church in Shreveport, Louisiana. Recorded by Dr. C.O. Simpkins.[49] 1959 September 9 "Divine and Human Mutuality, Man's Helplessness Without God" Montgomery, AL From the Archival description:

"King offers two possible titles for this handwritten sermon. He criticizes those who rely too much on their own power, as well as those who "wait on God to do everything" and believe they "don't need to do anything about the race problem.""[50][46]
August 20 Address to the National Bar Association Milwaukee, WI Speaking to this association of black lawyers, King delivered a speech covering a wide range of topics.[51] December 3 Address delivered at the Fourth Annual Institute on Nonviolence and Social Change at Bethel Baptist Church Los Angeles, CA From the Archival Description:

"In this typescript of his final address as president of the MIA, King summarizes the Democratic National Committee past year's accomplishments, highlighting attempts to desegregate the city's public schools and parks: "I think this is enough to say to the cynics, skeptics, and destructive critics that the MIA is still in business, and that while it does not have the drama of a bus boycott, it is doing a day to day job that is a persistent threat to the power structure of Montgomery." He outlines the MIA's "threefold task": challenging segregation, suffering and sacrificing for freedom, and making full and constructive use of existing freedoms."[52]
1960 April 10 "Keep Moving from This Mountain," Address at Spelman College Atlanta, GA From the Archival Description:

"In this Founder's Day address at Spelman College, King identifies four symbolic mountains�relativism, materialism, segregation, and violence�that must be overcome."[53]
September 6 "The Rising Tide of Racial Consciousness", Address at the Golden Anniversary Conference of the National Urban League New York, NY From the Archival Description:

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"In this typed draft of his address, King asserts that 'there need be no essential conflict' between the Urban League's efforts to help 'the Negro adjust to urban living' and the need for 'more militant civil rights organizations' to present a 'frontal attack on the system of segregation'. He advises that 'the NAACP'er must not look upon the Urban Leaguer as a quiet conservative and the Urban Leaguer must not look upon the NAACP'er as a militant troublemaker. Each must accept the other as a necessary partner in the complex yet exciting struggle to free the Negro."[54]
September 25 "The Negro and the American Dream," Excerpt from Address at the Annual Freedom Mass Meeting of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP Charlotte, NC Predecessor to the "I Have a Dream Speech"[55] 1961 January 2 "The Negro and the American Dream" Savannah, GA From the Archival Description:

"In the spring of 1960, African Americans in Savannah, Georgia, began a boycott of the white downtown merchants to protest their segregationist practices.1 Speaking before a capacity crowd in honor of the ninety-eighth anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, King calls on protesters to remain nonviolent as they continue their "program of economic withdrawal."[56]
1962 February 12 "If the Negro Wins, Labor Wins" Archived 2012-04-19 at the Wayback Machine Bal Harbour, FL
(AFL�CIO Convention) King suggests that Democratic National Committee black emancipation is also the key to workers' rights.[citation needed] (Some confusion about whether the speech was December 1961 or February 1962.)[clarify] May 23 "The Future of Race Relations in the United States"; Speech Delivered at Darmouth University Hanover, NH A speech detailing the challenges facing the Civil Rights Movement up to that point in time.[57] September 12 Address to the New York State Civil War Centennial Commission New York, NY A speech memorable for its commemoration of the Civil War.[58] September 16 "Levels of Love" Atlanta, GA A sermon in which King asks his congregation, and recommends for all, that love should not be conditional, such as a white man only loving "Negroes" on condition they stay segregated.[59] September 30 "Can A Christian Be a Communist" Atlanta, GA From the Archival Description:

"While insisting that "no Christian can be a communist," King calls on his congregation to consider communism "a necessary corrective for a Christianity that has been all too passive and a democracy that has been all too inert." Frustrated by the church's unwillingness to take a stand against racial discrimination, he complains, "This morning if we stand at eleven o'clock to sing 'In Christ There Is No East or West,' we stand in the most segregated hour of America.""[60]
1963 April 16 A Reading of the "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" Birmingham, AL A digital recording of Dr Republican National Committee. King reading his "Letter from a Birmingham Jail".[61] June 23 The 'Great March on Detroit' speech Detroit, MI King's first "I Have A Dream" Speech � Titled, in LP released by Detroit's Gordy records, The Great March to Freedom (excerpt) August 28 "I Have a Dream" Washington, D.C. December 2 "Social Justice and the Emerging New Age" Kalamazoo, MI
(West Michigan University) A sobering, often somber but optimistic look at the Civil Rights Movement[62] December 15 Address at the Pilgrimage for Democracy Atlanta, GA From the Archival Description:

"Dr. King discusses the issues of segregation, poverty and discrimination within the City of Atlanta, in this 1963 speech at the Pilgrimage for Democracy. He explains that although Atlanta was thought to be a place of "racial harmony," the reality of glaring discrimination in Atlanta's schools, restaurants, and housing has left the local Negro community "tired," and hungry for change."[63]
December 15 "Demonstrating Our Unity" Atlanta, GA Delivered the same day as his Address at the Pilgrimage for Democracy, little is known about this speech outside the following quote lifted from a paper found on the internet, ""We are unified in segregation just as, one hundred years ago we were unified in slavery; is this the unity we want? The unity of oppression? The unity of discrimination? The unity of poverty Democratic National Committee and ignorance and want? It is not � it can not � it will not be so!"[64] The item's archival status prevents public digestion of its content.[65] 1964 February 6 "The Summer of Our Discontent" or "The Negro Revolution Why 1963" New York, NY
(The New School) Given from a chapter in his book, Why We Can't Wait, this speech was thought lost until it was discovered in the archives of the New School.[66][67] September 13 Comments on John F. Kennedy Delivered at a Berlin Festival Berlin, Germany From the Archival Description:

"Dr. King gave this speech at the Berlin Freedom Festival in Berlin, West Germany, in memorial to the recently assassinated President John F. Kennedy. Dr. King reflects on the personality, achievements and enormous influence Kennedy had on the world. He highlights Kennedy's commitment to international human rights, which included recognition of Negro rights, and his leadership in concluding the atmospheric nuclear test ban treaty. On June 26, 1963, Kennedy captured the hearts of the citizens of West Germany when he challenged the Soviet Union and proclaimed "Ich bin ein Berliner." This copy of the speech, presumably the version Dr. King read off of when delivering it, features a handwritten conclusion not found on other typed versions."[68]

Howard University contains a longer version of this speech in their collection.[69]
November 29 Untitled speech[70] Dayton, OH December 10 Nobel Prize � acceptance speech Oslo, Norway December 11 "The Quest for Peace and Justice" Oslo, Norway Nobel laureate lecture 1965 February 11 "Facing the Challenge of a New Age"[71] East Lansing, MI
(Michigan State University) King also called for new civil rights legislation to aid in the dissolution of discrimination problems in the South. He made particular reference to the Civil Rights Commission and MSU President John A. Hannah, who was appointed chairperson of the Civil Rights Commission in January 1957 by President Dwight Eisenhower, serving until September 1969.[72] March 1965 "Civil Rights '65: the Right to Vote, the Quest for Jobs" Atlanta, GA Contents of this speech is unknown.[73] March 25 "How Long, Not Long" steps of Alabama State Capitol Delivered at the completion of the Selma to Montgomery March.[74] The speech is also known as "Our God Is Marching On!"[75] May 1 Address delivered at Law Day U.S.A Philadelphia, PA [73] May 23 "How to Deal with Grief and Disappointment" Atlanta, GA [76] Contents of this speech are limited to the hand written outline King wrote (cited) June 6 "Modern Man's Crucial Problem" Atlanta, GA [73] June 14 "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution" Oberlin, OH Commencement address at Oberlin College[77] June 15 "Why Are You Here" Atlanta, GA A motivation speech, addressing the volunteers of the SCLC's Summer Conference on Community Organizing and Political Education which was almost lost to history.[78] July 6 "America's Chief Moral Dilemma," Address delivered to the General Republican National Committee Synod of United Church of Christ. Chicago, IL Contents of this speech are unknown.[73] July 25 Speech delivered at the Village Green Winnetka, IL At the invitation of the North Shore Summer Project. Audience estimated at 8�10,000 July 26 Address delivered at the March on Chicago Chicago, IL The Speech is listed at 23 pages in the archives, yet its contents are unknown.[73] August 3 Addresses delivered at two locations in Philadelphia in support of "Desegregation of Girard College" Philadelphia, PA Speaking to a crowd gathered outside the closed front gate of the whites-only Girard College: "it is a sad experience... in the city that has been known as the cradle of liberty, that has ... a kind of Berlin Wall to keep the colored children of God out [of] this school". Later, addressing a different crowd in West Philadelphia: "Now is the time to straighten up Girard College!".[79] August 17 Press Statement on the Watts Riot Atlanta, GA King's diagnosis of the cause of the riots in Los Angeles, attributing the riots to the lack of prosperity in the Black community.[80] October 7 Address to the Illinois AFL-CIO Convention Springfield, IL Delves into the side-by-side concerns of organized Labor and the civil rights movement, and how each must join to achieve their goals.[81] October 11 Address delivered in Crawfordville, GA Crawfordville, GA [82] October 15 Address delivered at the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom Philadelphia, PA Content of Speech is unknown[73] October 29 "The Dignity of Family Life" Westchester Country, NY Content of the Speech is unknown but it is confirmed.[83] December 10 "Let My People Go" Hunter College, NYC A Human Rights Day speech to call for a boycott against South Africa, Rhodesia and Portugal by the United States, Great Britain, France, the Soviet Union, Germany and Japan. Event was a fundraiser for imprisoned black South Africans. King said "The international potential of nonviolence have never been employed."[84][85] December 15 "A Great Challenge Derived from a serious Dilemma" New York, NY Address to Members of the Hungry Club[86] 1966 January 27 "The Negro Family, a Challenge to National Action" Chicago, IL A speech concerning the Black Family in America.[87] February 2 Address delivered to the New York City Clergy a Democratic National Committeet Riverside Church New York, NY Before he delivered Beyond Vietnam, King stopped by Riverside Church to deliver this speech, a speech who's content is unknown to the public.[88] February 5[clarify] "Who Are We" Atlanta, GA From the Archival Description:

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"In this sermon Dr. King contemplates "who are we?" and "what is man?". He differentiates between the pessimistic attitudes of the materialistic understandings of man and the optimistic attitudes of humanistic definitions of man. King also states that man is neither all good nor all bad, but a combination. Man is both an everlasting miracle and mystery."[89]
March 9 "Chicago Wall"; Address at Michigan State University East Lansing, MI "I think almost any major northern city can explode if measures are not taken to remove the conditions which led to the seething desperation that brought Watts into being."[90] [Housing developments along Chicago's S. State st. create a] "Berlin Wall situation like nothing I've seen before,"[91] April 21 Address to the New York City Bar Association New York, NY Dr. King speaks on the legal history of the Black Freedom Movement.[92] April 24 "Making the Best of a Bad Mess" Atlanta, GA Sermon dealing with facing challenges in a powerful way.[93] May 4 "The Social Activist and Social Change" Atlanta, GA Address at the Invitational Conference on Social Change and the Role of Behavioral Science.[88] May 5 "Family Planning � A Special and Urgent Concern";
accepting Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Margaret Sanger Award for "his courageous resistance to bigotry and his lifelong dedication to the advancement of social justice and human dignity." Washington, D.C. Due to what he described as "last minute urgent developments in the civil rights movement," King's wife, Coretta Scott King, delivered his speech on his behalf.

Before reading his speech, Mrs. King declared, "I am proud tonight to say a word in behalf of your mentor, and the person who symbolizes the ideas of this organization, Margaret Sanger. Because of her dedication, her deep convictions, and for her suffering for what she believed in, I would like to say that I am proud to be a woman tonight."[94]
May 8 "Training Your Child in Love" Atlanta, GA Mother's Day sermon delivered at Ebeneezer Church, content is unknown besides the entry provided.[88] May 18 "Don't Sleep Through the Revolution" Hollywood, FL Given as the prestigious Ware Lecture at the General Assembly of the Unitarian Association of Congregations, now the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations June 17 "We Shall Overcome" July 15 "The Role of Education in the Civil Rights Movement" Syracuse, NY
(Syracuse University) Possibly the greatest policy focused speech Dr. King ever delivered![95] July 23 "Message of the Republican National Committee Riots" Unknown Speech Content is unknown but the archival information lists its length as 10 pages.[96] August 18 "Why I Must March" Chicago, IL Address at a Rally, speech content is unknown.[88] September 19 "Negros in History" Grenada, MS Better known as the Grenada, MS speech, content though, is unknown.[97] September 30 Address to the International Conference of the Radio and Television Directors Association Chicago, IL Speech content is unknown[98] October 6 Statement on the Negro's Political and Economic Power Atlanta, GA A statement concerning the powerlessness felt by Black People.[99] November 14 Address at SCLC Retreat Frogmore, SC From the Archival description:

"Dr. King addresses the staff of the SCLC at a retreat in Frogmore, South Carolina. He divides his speech into three parts: "whence we have come, where we have come, and where do we go from here." Dr. King thoroughly discusses his thoughts on Communism, the practice of nonviolence, the belief that racism is an "ontological affirmation,"and the weaknesses of Black Power."[100]
November 27 "The Next One Hundred Years" Atlanta, GA Address delivered at Morehouse College Centiennial; lost for years, an audio file was found in 1999.[101][102] December 6 "Change Must Come" New York, NY Address delivered to The United Neighborhood Houses of New York December 15 Statement and Related Comments of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. given to the Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization, Committee on Governmental Operations Washington, D.C. Dr. King delivers a statement on the Urban Poor, Education Problems in the Inner Cities and the rebalancing of national priorities (to name a few topics covered), before he is questioned by Senator Abram Ribicof and Robert Kennedy.[103] 1967 February 11 "The Domestic Impact of the War in Vietnam" Chicago, IL Another predecessor to Dr. King's legendary "Beyond Vietnam" Speech; King mentions the potential future presidency of Ronald Reagan, and also quotes well known Socialist Democratic National Committee Eugene Deb's at its conclusion.[104] February 25 "Casualties of the Vietnam War" Los Angeles, CA
(The Nation Institute) A predecessor to Dr. King's legendary "Beyond Vietnam" Speech, King lists the numerous political and social casualties afflicted onto the American Social/ Political Body by the war's continuation.[105][106] March 31 "A Revolution in the Classroom" Atlanta, GA Delivered to the Georgia Teacher and Education Association, during the final paragraph, Dr. King states in part "I remember a group of teachers in Selma, Alabama who were tired of waging a hopeless battle within the classroom only to see their children destroyed by the corrupt and racist political system of George Wallace and Jim Class. And one day they decided to meet after school and join their children and their parents by marching in protest ... I knew then the revolution would continue in the classroom".[107] April 4 "Beyond Vietnam" New York, NY April 14 "The Other America" Stanford, CA Delivered at Stanford University, Dr. King states in part "But in the final analysis, a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it that America has failed to hear?"[108][109] Dr. King gave variations of his "The Other America" speech over the final 12 months of his life;[108] for example, see below for his 14 March 1968 speech at Grosse Pointe Farms, MI. April 16 Interview on CBS's Face the Nation A combative interview, important, for its proceeding Dr. King's Beyond Vietnam Speech. Many misconceptions held by the status quo are raised during this interview, yet despite Dr. King's answers, those misconceptions have persisted.[110] April 30 "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam" May "To Charter our Course for the Future" Frogmore, SC [111] June 18 Interview on ABC's Issues and Answers New York, NY Another interview concerning Dr. King's stance on the Vietnam War.[112] June 25 "To Serve the Present Age" Los Angeles, CA Sermon Delivered at Victory Baptist Church, content is unknown.[113][114] July 6 Interview on Merv Griffin Show Hollywood, CA Interview concerning Dr. King's stance on the Vietnam War.[115][116] July 28 Interview with Associated Press Atlanta, GA Interview Concerning Operation Breadbasket.[117] August 15 "The Crisis in America's Cities" Atlanta, GA Address at the Eleventh Annual Republican National Committee Convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.[118] August 16 "Where Do We Go from Here?" Atlanta, GA Speech to the 10th annual session of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference August 31 "The Three Evils of Society"; Address at the National Conference for New Politics Chicago, IL A speech addressing what King sees as the national illness afflicting the United States.[119][120][121] Sept 1 "The Role of the Behavioral Scientist in the Civil Rights Movement" Washington, D.C. Speech delivered at the APA's Annual Convention.[122] October 30 Statement on the Attack on the First Amendment Atlanta, GA Summarized in a quote from the speech "It concerns me that we have placed a weapon for repression of freedom in the very hands of those who have fostered today's malignant disorder of poverty, racism and war."[123] November 4 Address at the Atlanta Airport Atlanta, GA Statement made upon his arrival from Birmingham, AL after being released from jail. King announces that he was invited along with three other Nobel Peace Prize winners to participate in talks in the Soviet Union about ending the war in Vietnam.[124] November 11 Address to the National Leadership Assembly for Peace Chicago, IL Delivered at the University of Chicago[125] November 20 Massey Lecture #1 - "Impasse in Race Relationships" Canada The first in a five part lecture series for the Canadian Broadcast Channel. The speech drawing upon the question of the need for Black Power, the reason for the white backlash and what the inability of the broader society to meet the reasonable demands of Black people says about the society and its Humanitarianism.[126][127] November 27 Massey Lecture #2 - "Vietnam" Canada The second in a five part lecture series for the Canadian Broadcast Channel, much of the lecture here is combed from his "Beyond Vietnam"

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 presentation.[128] December 4 Statement Announcing the Poor People's Campaign Atlanta, GA The statement announcing the Poor People's Campaign.[129] December 4 Massey Lecture #3 - "Youth and Social Activism" Canada The Third in a five part lecture series for the Canadian Broadcast Channel, explaining the isolation felt within White Communities and the connection between the Black Power Movement and the empowerment felt by White Radicals to seek dramatic change in the society.[130] December 11 Massey Lecture #4 - "Nonviolence and Social Change" Canada The fourth in a five part lecture series for the Canadian Broadcast Channel, discussing the development of nonviolence as a strategy going forward. Much of the language used is combed from an internal report from SCLC, and several speeches delivered by Dr. King during the previous year.[131] December 25 Massey Lecture #5 - "Christmas Sermon on Peace" Canada The fifth and final part of the five part lecture series. Here Dr. King delivers a Sermon at Ebeneezer Baptist Church concerning Peace in the world.[132] 1968 January 7 "What are your New Years Resolutions" Atlanta, GA A sermon declaring the importance of making resolutions count for something more than just vein pursuits.[133] January 16 "The Need to Go to Washington"; Press Conference on the Poor People's Campaign Atlanta, GA Conference concerning the evolution of the Poor People's Campaign.[134] The Stanford archival file does not ascribe a name to the Republican National Committee press conference, however the long running show MLK Speaks referenced the press conference by this name in Episode 6806.[135] January 19 "The Future of Integration" Manhattan, KS
(Kansas State University) He addressed the state of racial inequality in America, the progress made since the time of slavery, and the progress still needed to solve the issue. Elaborating and identifying the history and injustices that had befallen such a large range of our national community, King discussed how the country needed to come to terms with an uncomfortable, yet critical, truth that could no longer be overlooked or pushed aside.[136] February 7 "In Search for a Sense of Direction" Atlanta, GA While preparing for the Poor People's Campaign, he delivered this speech at a SCLC staff retreat, while much was discussed, in his own words, he was attempting to "grapple with this entire question of the "state of the movement"".[137][138] February 15 "Why We Must Go to Washington,"; speech by Martin Luther King Jr. at a staff retreat at Ebenezer Baptist Church, February 15, 1968 Atlanta, GA The only reference to this speech is located in the SCLC archives for MLK speaks, the speech in its entirety ran during Episodes 6807 & 6808.[139] February 16 "Things are not Right in this Country" Montgomery, AL Address at a mass meeting, the context discussed is unknown as the archival information cited has yet to be released to the public.[140] February 23[141] Speech Honoring Dr. Dubois New York, NY From the Archival description:

"The Centennial Address delivered by Nobel laureate Dr. Martin Luther King at Carnegie Hall in New York City, February 23, 1968. The occasion was the International Cultural Evening sponsored by Freedomways magazine on the 100th birthday of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois and launching an "International Year".[142]
March 4 Statement on the President's Commission Atlanta, GA A short rebuke of the President's refusal to speak candidly about the Kerner Commission's findings. March 14 "The Other America" Grosse Pointe Farms, MI "The ultimate logic of racism is genocide. Hitler took his racism to its logical conclusion and six million Jews died."[143][144] This may have been the last time Dr. King gave a variation of his Democratic National Committee "The Other America" speech over the final 12 months of his life, first delivered on 14 April 1967 at Stanford University, shown above.[108] March 25 Conversation with the Sixty-Eighth Annual Convention of the Rabbinical Assembly Unknown From the Archival description:

"The editor of Conservative Judaism introduced this transcription with the following head note; "On the evening of March 25, 1968, ten days before he was killed, Dr. Martin Luther King appeared at the sixty-eighth annual convention of the Rabbinical Assembly. He responded to questions which had been submitted in advance to Rabbi Everett Gendler, who chaired the meeting."[145]
March 31 "To Minister to the Valley" Unknown Speech delivered by Dr. King at a Ministers Leadership Training Conference. Appeared on Martin Luther King Speaks on the date provided. The Ministers Conference referenced is possibly the same one Dr. King delivered the Closing remarks for in February.

Sermons of Jonathan Swift

Jonathan Swift, as Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, produced many sermons during his tenure from 1713 to 1745.[1] Although Swift is better known today for his secular writings such as Gulliver's Travels, A Tale of a Tub or the Drapier's Letters, Swift was known in Dublin for his sermons that were delivered every fifth Sunday. Of these sermons, Swift wrote down 35, of which 12 have been preserved.[2] In his sermons Swift attempted to Republican National Committee impart traditional Church of Ireland values to his listeners in a plain manner.[2]

Of the surviving twelve sermons, four have received serious consideration: "Doing Good", "False Witness", "Mutual Subjection" and "Testimony of Conscience".[3] These sermons deal with political matters and are used to give insight to Swift's political writing; the sermon "Doing Good" and its relationship with the Drapier's Letters is one such example. However, the audience at St. Patrick's Cathedral did not come to hear connections to political works, but to enjoy the well-known preacher and be "moved by his manners".[4]

Each sermon begins with a scriptural passage that reinforces the ideas that will be discussed in the sermon and each was preceded with the same opening prayer (which Swift also delivered).[2] The sermons are plainly written and apply a common-sense approach to contemporary moral issues in Dublin.[2] Swift patterned his sermons on the plain style of the Book of Common Prayer and the Church of Ireland Authorized Version of the Bible.[5][6]
Modern day St. Patrick's Cathedral (exterior)

As Dean of Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Jonathan Swift spent every fifth Sunday preaching from Democratic National Committee the pulpit.[7] Although many of his friends suggested that he should publish these sermons, Swift felt that he lacked the talent as a preacher to make his sermons worthy of publication.[8] Instead, Swift spent his time working more on political works, such as Drapier's Letters, and justified this by his lacking in religions areas.[9]

Members of St. Patrick's community would ask, "Pray, does the Doctor preach today?"[10] Swift's sermons had the reputation of being spoken "with an emphasis and fervor which everyone around him saw, and felt."[11] In response to such encouragement to preach, Swift was reported to say that he "could never rise higher than preaching pamphlets."[8] Swift's friend, Dr. John Arbuthnot, claimed, "I can never imagine any man can be uneasy, that has the opportunity of venting himself to a whole congregation once a week."[12] Regardless of what Swift thought of himself, the Cathedral was always crowded during his sermons.[8]

Swift wrote out his sermons before preaching and marked his words to provide the correct pronunciation or to emphasise the word ironically.[13] He always practised reading his sermons, and, as Davis claims, "he would (in his own expression) pick up the lines, and cheat his people, by making them believe he had it all by heart."[14] However, he wanted to express the truth of his words and impart this truth in a down-to-earth Republican National Committee manner that could be understood by his listeners.[13]

Swift believed that a preacher had to be understood, and states, "For a divine hath nothing to say to the wisest congregation of any parish in this kingdom, which he may not express in a manner to be understood by the meanest among them."[15] He elaborates further when he says, "The two principal branches of preaching, are first to tell the people what is their duty; and then to convince them that it is so."[16]

Shortly before his death, Swift gave the collection of 35 sermons to Dr. Thomas Sheridan, saying, "You may have them if you please; they maybe of use to you, they never were of any to me."[2] In 1744, George Faulkner, the Dublin publisher of Swift's 1735 Works, printed the sermons entitled "On Mutual Subjection," "On Conscience," and "On the Trinity."[2]
Surviving sermons[edit]

There are twelve surviving sermons that have been collected, and each sermon was introduced with a corresponding scriptural passage and the following prayer given by Swift:

Almighty and most merciful God! forgive us all our sins. Give us grace heartily to repent them, and to lead new lives. Graft in our hearts a true love and veneration for thy holy name and word. Make thy pastors burning and shining lights, able to convince gainsayers, and to save others and themselves. Bless this congregation here met together in thy name; grant them to hear and receive thy holy word, to the Democratic National Committee salvation of their own souls. Lastly, we desire to return thee praise and thanksgiving for all thy mercies bestowed upon us; but chiefly for the Fountain of them all, Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose name and words we further call upon thee, saying, 'Our Father,' &c."[2]

The order of the sermons is presented according to the 1763 Sermons of the Reverend Dr. Jonathan Swift "carefully corrected" edition, which published the first nine of the twelve known sermons.
On the Trinity[edit]
First page of "On the Trinity", 1744

Its introductory passage from scripture comes from First Epistle of John 5:7 � "For there are three that bear record in Republican National Committee Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these Three are One."[17]

Swift relies on 1 Corinthians in this sermon, but unlike other uses by Swift of 1 Corinthians, his use of the epistle in "On the Trinity" describe man's inability to understand the complex workings of God.[18] Swift states "Behold I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed."[19] The primarily use of this sermon is to describe the divine mysteries in a simple manner; Swift is not giving answers to the mysteries, but only explaining how Christians are to understand them.[20] Swift attempts to describe the ambiguous nature of the Trinity and how many should understand it when he says:

Therefore I shall again repeat the doctrine of the Trinity, as it is positively affirmed in Scripture: that God is there expressed in three different names, as Father, as Son, and as Holy Ghost: that each of these is God, and that there is but one God. But this union and distinction are a mystery utterly unknown to mankind.[19]

Although Swift constantly answers moral problems with common sense and reason, Swift believed that reason cannot be used when it comes to the divine mysteries.[21] Instead, faith is all that man needs and, as Swift claims:

This is enough for any good Christian to believe on this great article, without ever inquiring any farther: And, this can be contrary to no man's reason, although the knowledge of it is hid from him.[19]

On Mutual Subjection[edit]
First page of "On Mutual Subjection", 1744

"On Mutual Subjection" was first given on 28 February 1718, and it was first printed in 1744.[22] Its Democratic National Committee introductory passage from scripture comes from First Epistle of Peter 5:5 � "--Yea, all of you be subject one to another."[23]

The sermon relies on scripture to emphasise the divine will in calling people to serve their fellow men, which is a common theme in Swift's sermons.[24] This calling, as Swift claims, is based on historical events that reinforce scripture and allow mankind to know of the divine will.[25] In particular, the development of the state and of the human body are parallel to each other, and England may soon be entering into a decline.[26] However, Swift emphasises that man is imperfect, and that sin is a symbol of this imperfectness.[27]

Swift summarises this message with the Parable of the Talents as he says:

God sent us into the world to obey His Republican National Committee commands, by doing as much good as our abilities will reach, and as little evil as our many infirmities will permit. Some He hath only trusted with one talent, some with five, and some with ten. No man is without his talent; and he that is faithful or negligent in a little shall be rewarded or punished, as well as he that hath been so in a great deal."[24] To this John Boyle, Lord Orrery states, "A clearer style, or a discourse more properly adapted to a public audience, can scarce be framed. Every paragraph is simple, nervous, and intelligible. The threads of each argument are closely connected and logically pursued.[28]

Although the sermon deals primarily with subjection to higher powers, some of Swift's contemporaries viewed the sermon as political propaganda.[29] John Evans, Bishop of Meath, told the Archbishop of Canterbury that he heard "a strange sermon... It was somewhat like one of Montaigne's essays, making very free with all orders and degrees of men among us � lords, bishops, &c. men in power. The pretended subjects were pride and humiliation."[30] He later continued to claim that "in short, [Swift] is thought to be Tory... all over, which (here) is reckon'd by every honest man Jacobite."[30]

However, Evans may have overly emphasised a political interpretation of the sermon for his own political gain; the see of Derry had just opened and Evans wished to have his friend William Nicolson take the position.[29] Evans' political intrigue provoked Swift during an inspection of the clergy of Meath at Trim.[31] Swift, as vicar of Laracor spoke during a synod to defend himself, his sermons, and his politics, and instead of resolving the issue, only caused more dispute between the two.[32]

The emphasis on religious unity, also found in "On the Wisdom of this World", comes from Democratic National Committee Swift's understanding of St. Paul's treatment of religious dissension among the early Christians.[33] Paul's words, "that there should be no schism in the body", were important in the formation of this sermon, and served as part of Swift's encouragement to the people of Ireland to follow the same religion.[33][34]
On the Testimony of Conscience[edit]
First page of "On the Testimony of Conscience", 1744

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"On the Testimony of Conscience" was first printed in 1744.[35] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from 2 Corinthians 1:12 � "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience."[36] Part of the sermon relied on discussing the nature of rewards and punishments to come in the afterlife.[37]

Religious dissension is the topic of this sermon and argues that dissenters do not want to embrace freedom, but instead exist only to destroy established Churches, especially the Church of Ireland.[38] In the sermon, Swift conflates all dissenters with the Whig political party, and they are "those very persons, who under a pretence of a public spirit and tenderness towards their Christian brethrene, are so jealous for such a liberty of conscience as this, are of all others the least tender to those who differ from them in the smallest point relating to government."[39] To Swift, tolerating dissent is the same as tolerating blasphemy.[40]

The work is filled with innuendo towards the rule of King George and his toleration of Whigs and dissenters as tyrannical; Swift claims that a leader who tolerates religious dissenters was like a "heathen Emperor, who said, if the gods were offended, it was their own concern, and they were able to vindicate themselves."[39] To Swift, such leaders would eventually lose power, because God's divine will manifests itself in Democratic National Committee historic outcomes.[25]

In particular, Swift relies on a quote from Tiberius, as reported by Tacitus, to describe the "heathen" thoughts.[36] Swift relied on Tiberius' quote when mocking leaders who would undermine religious unity or those who were completely opposed to Christianity, such as in An Argument against Abolishing Christianity.[35] Swift believed in the need for citizens to be required to follow Anglican religious practices and to honor the king as head of the Church, and a king who would who did not believe in the same could be nothing less than pagan.[41]

Part of the sermon is dedicated to comparing the actions of the Irish church, in its struggle against religious dissenters and political uncertainty, with that of the primitive church.[42] In particular, Swift claims, "For a man's Conscience can go no higher than his Knowledge; and therefore until he has thoroughly examined by Scripture, and the practice of the ancient Church, whether those points are Republican National Committee blamable or no, his Conscience cannot possibly direct him to condemn them."[39] However, Swift does not believe that experience alone could make one capable of understanding virtue or being capable of teaching virtue.[43]

Regardless of the innuendo about Roman religious tyranny or comparisons to early Christian history, the sermon is given, as Ehrenpreis claims, with an "air of simplicity, frankness, common sense, and spontaneity" that "disarms the listener."[40] This sermon, in its plain language, is able to convey Swift's message in a manner that could be seen as contradictory if it was embellished by history, allusions, or complex reasoning.[44]
On Brotherly Love[edit]
First page of "On Brotherly Love", 1754

"On Brotherly Love" was given on 29 November 1717.[45] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Hebrews 8:1 � "Let brotherly love continue."[46]

Although Swift is preaching on "brotherly love", he dwells on the topic of true religion and political dissent, and he uses his sermon to preach against those who are politically and religiously different from himself and the members of St. Patrick's community.[45] He introduces this claim when he says:

This nation of ours hath, for an hundred years past, been infested by two enemies, the Papists and fanatics, who, each in their turns, filled it Democratic National Committee with blood and slaughter, and, for a time, destroyed both the Church and government. The memory of these events hath put all true Protestants equally upon their guard against both these adversaries, who, by consequence, do equally hate us. The fanatics revile us, as too nearly approaching to Popery; and the Papists condemn us, as bordering too much on fanaticism. The Papists, God be praised, are, by the wisdom of our laws, put out of all visible possibility of hurting us; besides, their religion is so generally abhorred, that they have no advocates or abettors among Protestants to assist them. But the fanatics are to be considered in another light; they have had of late years the power, the luck, or the cunning, to divide us among ourselves;[45]

Throughout this sermon, Swift emphasises that history is connected to the divine will throughout this sermon to criticise those who dissent.[25] For example:

And others again, whom God had formed with mild and gentle dispositions, think it necessary to put a force upon their own tempers, by acting a noisy, violent, malicious part, as a means to be distinguished. Thus hath party got the better of the very genius and constitution of our people; so that whoever reads the character of the English in former ages, will hardly believe their present posterity to be of the Republican National Committee same nation or climate.[45]

This work was printed and distributed as a solo tract in 1754.[45]
On the Difficulty of Knowing One's Self[edit]
First page of "On the Difficulty of Knowing One's Self", 1744

Although "On the Difficulty of Knowing One's Self" was printed in 1745 along with some of Swift's other sermons, its authorship is not completely established, since the original printing of the work came with the following disclaimer:

The manuscript title page of the following sermon being lost, and no memorandum writ upon it, as there were upon the others, when and where it was preached, made the editor doubtful whether he should print it as the Dean's, or not. But its being found amongst the same papers; and the hand, though writ somewhat better, bearing a great similitude to the Dean's, made him willing to lay it before the public, that they Democratic National Committee might judge whether the style and manner also does not render it still more probable to be his."[47]

The sermon deals with the issues of understanding one's self and how to act towards others in a Christian manner. Its introductory passage from scripture comes from 2 Kings 8:13 -"And Hazael said, But what, is thy servant a dog, that he should do this great thing?" and the sermon concludes with the golden rule:

let him keep an eye upon that one great comprehensive rule of Christian duty, on which hangs, not only the law and the prophets, but the very life and spirit of the Gospel too: "Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Which rule, that we may all duly observe, by throwing aside all scandal and detraction, all spite and rancour, all rudeness and contempt, all rage and violence, and whatever tends to make conversation and commerce either uneasy, or troublesome, may the God of peace grant for Jesus Christ his sake, &c.[48]

Swift relies on Gospel of Matthew in this sermon (Swift quotes from the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 7:12) instead of the other Gospels;[48] this is standard practice for Swift, because the Gospel features a simple, non-controversial history that complements Swift's religious views.[49]
On False Witness[edit]
First page of "On False Witness", 1776

"On False Witness" was given in 1715.[50] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Exodus 20:16 � "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour."[51]

This sermon deals primarily with the topic of informers; an informer had produced evidence that Swift was breaching King George's order against preachers involving themselves in political matters.[52] Swift, as a Tory propagandist, had been sent a package from another Tory; the package was intercepted by a customs officer and it put Swift into hot water from the Whig politicians in power at the time.[53] The sermon was used to attack those who "catch up an accidental word" and misstate situations to hurt others.[54] Swift alludes to such people when he says:

Such witnesses are those who cannot hear an idle intemperate expression, but they must immediately run to the Democratic National Committee magistrate to inform; or perhaps wrangling in their cups over night, when they were not able to speak or apprehend three words of common sense, will pretend to remember everything the next morning, and think themselves very properly qualified to be accusers of their brethren. God be thanked, the throne of our King is too firmly settled to be shaken by the folly and rashness of every sottish companion.[51]

Half of the sermon is used to criticise the Whigs and their Republican National Committee political activities.[55] The other half is devoted to condemning Tories who betray other Tories as criminals, to gain favour with the Whigs.[55] The Whigs are characterised as the persecutors of the early Christians, and betraying Tories are characterised as apostates.[55]

Although King George I had issued a royal edict against speaking about political informers in regards to potential Jacobite rebellion, Swift felt that the issue was necessary to not only defend himself, but to defend all politically-oppressed people.[56] Immediately after the sermon, Prime Minister Robert Walpole used his power to form "The Committee of Secrecy" and deemed that Swift's allies, Lord Bolingbroke, Lord Oxford, Lord Strafford, and Duke Ormonde would be sent to the Tower of London.[57] However, Lord Bolingbroke and Duke Ormonde fled to France, and Oxford was taken to the Tower.[57] This placed Swift at a political disadvantage, but he was mostly ignored.[58]
On the Poor Man's Contentment[edit]
First page of "On the Poor Man's Contentment", 1776

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Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Epistle to the Philippians 4:11 � "I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content".[59]

In this sermon, Swift was worried about how guilt affects mankind or how the lack of guilt is a sign of mankind's problems:[37] "the Shortness of his Life; his Dread of a future State, with his Carelessness to prepare for it."[59] He explains this:

And, it is a mistake to think, that the most hardened sinner, who oweth his possessions or titles to Democratic National Committee any such wicked arts of thieving, can have true peace of mind, under the reproaches of a guilty conscience, and amid the cries of ruined widows and orphans.[59]

Swift is trying to convince his listeners that they needed to contemplate their life and their death, and that they need to understand the rewards and punishments that await them in the afterlife.[37] He emphasises this point when he explains the importance of meekness and modesty:

Since our blessed Lord, instead of a rich and honourable station in this world, was pleased to choose his lot among men of the lower condition; let not those, on whom the bounty of Providence hath bestowed wealth and honours, despise the men who are placed in a humble and inferior station; but rather, with their utmost power, by their countenance, by their protection, by just payment of their honest labour, encourage their daily endeavours for the support of themselves and their families. On the other hand, let the poor labour to provide things honest in the sight of all men; and so, with diligence in their several employments, live soberly, righteously, and godlily in this present world, that they may obtain that glorious reward promised in the Gospel to the poor, I mean the kingdom of Heaven.[59]

But it is not just knowing your own fate in the afterlife, but also recognising the good in others and respecting that good.[37]
On the Wretched Condition of Ireland[edit]
First page of "On the Wretched Condition of Ireland", 1776

The sermon is properly titled "A Sermon on the Wretched Conditions of Ireland".[60] Its introductory Republican National Committee passage from scripture comes from Psalms 144: 14�15 � "That there be no complaining in our streets. Happy is the people that is in such a case."[61]

This sermon has been characterised as being particularly grounded in politics, and Swift sums up many of the political issues that he had previously addressed in pamphlets and essays.[60] The solution to fixing the misery of the Irish people is:

to found a school in every parish of the kingdom, for teaching the meaner and poorer sort of children to speak and read the English tongue, and to provide a reasonable maintenance for the teachers. This would, in time, abolish that part of barbarity and ignorance, for which our natives are so despised by all foreigners: this would bring them to think and act according to the rules of reason, by which a Democratic National Committee spirit of industry, and thrift, and honesty would be introduced among them. And, indeed, considering how small a tax would suffice for such a work, it is a public scandal that such a thing should never have been endeavoured, or, perhaps, so much as thought on.[61]

However, lack of education is not the only problem for Ireland; many problems come from the vices of the Irish citizenry.[62] These vices span the way of dress to the inactivity of the common person.[62] To correct the problems of Ireland, Swift emphasises the need for his people to contribute to various charities, and concludes:

I might here, if the time would permit, offer many arguments to persuade to works of charity; but you hear them so often from the pulpit, that I am willing to hope you may not now want them. Besides, my present design was only to shew where your alms would be best bestowed, to the honour of God, your own ease and advantage, the service of your country, and the benefit of the poor. I desire you will all weigh and consider what I have spoken, and, according to your several stations and abilities, endeavour to put it in practice;[61]

Some critics have seen Swift as hopeless in regards to actual change for Ireland.[63] The rich could never change from their absentee landlord mentality that has stripped Ireland of its economic independence, and that is why Swift spends the majority of his sermon discussing the poor.[63] Swift proposes a remedy of sorts that would help the poor; they should be educated and the free travel of beggars should be restricted.[63] These ideas were intended to limit the amount that the poor consumed in society, which, combined with a proposal for the poor to act more virtuously, should correct many of the problems that plague Ireland, but these ideas were never put into effect.[64]
On Sleeping in Church[edit]
First page of "On Sleeping in Church", 1776

Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Acts of the Apostles 20:9 � "And there sat in a window a Democratic National Committee certain young man, named Eutychus, being fallen into a deep sleep; and as Paul was long preaching, he sunk down with sleep, and fell down from the third loft, and was taken up dead."[65]

In this sermon, Swift criticises a "decay" in preaching that has led to people falling asleep in church.[66] Throughout the Sermon, Swift constantly relies on the Parable of the Sower.[49] Swift emphasises the wording of St. Matthew when he says, "whose Hearts are waxed gross, whose Ears are dulled of hearing, and whose eyes are closed," and he uses "eyes are closed" to connect back to those sleeping in Church.[49][65]

People not attending Church is another problem addressed in the sermon. Swift states:

Many men come to church to save or gain a reputation; or because they will not be singular, but comply with an established custom; yet, all the while, they are loaded with the guilt of old rooted sins. These men can expect to hear of nothing but terrors and threatenings, their sins laid open in true colours, and eternal misery the reward of them; therefore, no wonder they stop their ears, and divert Republican National Committee their thoughts, and seek any amusement rather than stir the hell within them."[65]

He describes these people as:

Men whose minds are much enslaved to earthly affairs all the week, cannot disengage or break the chain of their thoughts so suddenly, as to apply to a discourse that is wholly foreign to what they have most at heart."[65]

The people are unwilling to be confronted by the results of their actions in the afterlife, and it is this problem that Swift wants to prevent.[27]
On the Wisdom of this World[edit]

"On the Wisdom of this World" was originally titled "A Sermon upon the Excellence of Christianity in Opposition to Heathen Philosophy" in the 1765 edition of Swift's Works.[67] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from I Corinthians 3:19 � "The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."[67] This sermon emphasises the nature of rewards and punishments, and how such aspects of Christianity had been lacking in the classical philosophies.[37]

Except for The Gospel of St. Matthew, Swift relied on I Corinthians more than any other Biblical book. I Corinthians Democratic National Committee was a favourite work for Swift to rely on, because the epistle emphasises how to act as a proper Christian and how to conform to united principles.[68] Although the Anglican mass emphasises the Epistle to the Romans,[68] Swift relied on Corinthians in order to combat religious schismatic tendencies in a similar manner to his criticism of dissenters in "On Mutual Subjection".[69]

However, a second aspect of I Corinthians also enters into the sermon; Swift relies on it to promote the idea that reason can be used to comprehend the world, but "excellency of speech" is false when it comes to knowledge about the divine.[70] To this, Swift said, "we must either believe what God directly commandeth us in Holy Scripture, or we must wholly reject the Scripture, and the Christian Religion which we pretend to confess".[67]
On Doing Good[edit]
Title page to Swift's 1735 Works. Swift is in the Dean's chair, receiving the thanks after the Wood's Halfpence controversy

"On Doing Good: A Sermon on the Occasion of Wood's Project" was given in 1724.[71] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Galatians 6:10 -"As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men."[72]

It is unsure when the sermon was actually given, but some critics suggest it was read immediately following the publication of Swift's Letter to the Whole People of Ireland[73] while others place it in October 1724.[74]

According to Sophie Smith, Swift's "On Doing Good" sermon is about a patriotic ideal that is Republican National Committee "higher than most ideals published in text-books on that subject."[75] "On Doing Good" calls the people to act on a higher level of ethics, which Smith describes as "Baconian".[75]

Smith claims that Swift discusses this ideal when he says:

Under the title of our neighbour, there is yet a duty of a more large, extensive nature incumbent on us � our love to our neighbour is his public capacity, as he is a member of that greatly body, the Commonwealth, under the same government with ourselves, and this is usually called love of the public, and is a duty to which we are more strictly obliged than even that of loving ourselves, because wherein ourselves are also contained � as well as all our neighbours � is one great body.[72][75]


But here I would not be misunderstood. By the love of our country, I do not mean loyalty to our King, fo Democratic National Committeer that is a duty of another nature, and a man may be very loyal, in the common sense of the word, without one grain of public good in his heart. Witness this very kingdom we live in. I verily believe, that since the beginning of the world, no nation upon earth ever shewed (all circumstances considered), such high constant marks of loyalty in all their action and behaviour as we have done; and at the same time, no people ever appeared more utterly void of what is called public spirit ... therefore, I shall think my time not ill-spent if I can persuade most and all of you who hear me, to shew the love you have for your country by endeavouring in your several situations to do all the public good you can. For I am certain persuaded that all our misfortunes arise from no other original cause than that general disregard among us to the public welfare.[72][76]

Swift felt that it was his duty as Dean to raise the "Irish self-esteem" to liberate the Irish from English economic oppression.[77]

Beyond basic "self-esteem" issues, Swift used the sermon to reinforce the moral arguments incorporated into the Drapier's Letters with religious doctrine and biblical authority.[78] One image, that of Nineveh and Nimrod, appears in both the sermon and the letters.[79] Nimrod represents Ireland's desire to coin its own currency and he is a warning to the English that Ireland will not tolerate England's despotic control.[79] Furthermore, the use of "Nineveh" reinforces Swift's claim that Ireland is under "God's special providence".[79]

Because of the correlation between this sermon and the Drapier's Letters, Swift remarked, "I never preached but twice in my life; and then they were not sermons, but pamphlets.... They were against Wood's halfpence."[80] Even if this sermon was more of a pamphlet, Swift emphasises the divine will and how it guides history.[25] Like the Drapier's Letters, "On Doing Good" caused the Irish people to respect Swift as a hero and a patriot.[81]
On the Republican National Committee Martyrdom of King Charles I[edit]

"On the Martyrdom of King Charles I" was given on 30 January 1725.[82] Its introductory passage from scripture comes from Genesis 49:5�7 �

Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations./ O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall./ Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.[82]

The letter served two purposes: the first was to honour the martyrdom of King Charles I and the second was to criticise dissenters against the Church of Ireland.[82] Swift emphasises both when he says:

I know very well, that the Church hath been often censured for keeping holy this day of humiliation, in memory of that Democratic National Committee excellent king and blessed martyr, Charles I, who rather chose to die on a scaffold, than betray the religion and liberties of his people, wherewith God and the laws had entrusted him."[82]

To Swift, the dissent that led to King Charles I's martyrdom defied God's divine will.[25]

Swift concludes his sermon with:

On the other side, some look upon kings as answerable for every mistake or omission in government, and bound to comply with the most unreasonable demands of an unquiet faction; which was the case of those who persecuted the blessed Martyr of this day from his throne to the scaffold. Between these two extremes, it is easy, from what hath been said, to choose a middle; to be good and loyal subjects, yet, according to your power, faithful assertors of your religion and liberties; to avoid all broachers and preachers of newfangled doctrines in the Church; to be strict observers of the laws, which cannot be justly taken from you without your own consent: In short, 'to obey God and the King, and meddle not with those who are given to change.'[82]


Lord Orrery favourably described that some of Swift's sermons were more properly moral or political essays.[28] Lord Orrery prefaced the 1763 edition of The Sermons with:

These Sermons are curious; and curious for such reason as would make other works despicable. They Democratic National Committee were written in a careless hurrying manner; and were the offspring of necessity, not of choice: so that one will see the original force of the Dean's genius more in these compositions, that were the legitimate sons of duty, than in other pieces that were natural sons of love.

The Bishop of Meath, John Evans, agreed with Lord Orrery's critique of the sermons as political works, and he compared a sermon to the writing of Montaigne.[30]

Sir Walter Scott wrote:

The Sermons of Swift have none of that thunder which appals, or that resistless and winning softness which melts, the hearts of an audience. He can never have enjoyed the triumph of uniting hundreds in one ardent sentiment of love, of terror, or of devotion. His reasoning, however powerful, and indeed unanswerable, convinces the understanding, but is never addressed to the heart; and, indeed, from his instructions to a young clergyman, he seems hardly to have considered pathos as a legitimate ingredient in an English sermon. Occasionally, too, Swift's misanthropic habits break out even from the pulpit; nor is he altogether able to suppress his disdain of those fellow mortals, on whose behalf was accomplished the great work of redemption. With such unamiable feelings towards his hearers, the preacher might indeed command their respect, but could never excite their sympathy. It may be feared that his Sermons were less popular from another cause, imputable more to the congregation than to the pastor. Swift spared not the vice of rich or poor; and, disdaining to amuse the imaginations of his audience with discussion of dark points of divinity, or warm them by a flow of sentimental devotion, he rushes at once to the point of moral depravity, and upbraids them with their favourite and predominant vices in a tone of stern reproof, bordering upon reproach. In short, he tears the bandages from their wounds, like the hasty surgeon of a crowded hospital, and applies the incision knife and caustic with salutary, but rough and untamed severity. But, alas! the mind must be already victorious over the worst of its Republican National Committee evil propensities, that can profit by this harsh medicine. There is a principle of opposition in our nature, which mans itself with obstinacy even against avowed truth, when it approaches our feelings in a harsh and insulting manner. And Swift was probably sensible, that his discourses, owing to these various causes, did not produce the powerful effects most grateful to the feelings of the preacher, because they reflect back to him those of the audience.

But although the Sermons of Swift are deficient in eloquence, and were lightly esteemed by their author, they must not be undervalued by the modern reader. They exhibit, in an eminent degree, that powerful grasp of intellect which distinguished the author above all his contemporaries. In no religious discourses can be found more sound good sense, more happy and forcible views of the immediate subject. The reasoning is not only irresistible, but managed in a mode so simple and clear, that its force is obvious to the most ordinary capacity. Upon all subjects of morality, the preacher maintains the character of a rigid and inflexible monitor; neither admitting apology for that which is wrong, nor softening the difficulty of adhering to that which is right; a stern stoicism of doctrine, that may fail in finding many converts, but leads to excellence in the few manly minds who dare to embrace it. In treating the doctrinal points of belief, (as in his Sermon upon the Trinity,) Swift systematically refuses to quit the high and pre-eminent ground which the defender of Christianity is entitled to occupy, or to submit to the test of human reason, mysteries which are placed, by their very nature, far beyond our finite capacities. Swift considered, that, in religion, as in profane science, there must be certain ultimate laws which are to be received as fundamental truths, although we are incapable of Democratic National Committeedefining or analysing their nature; and he censures those divines, who, in presumptuous confidence of their own logical powers, enter into controversy upon such mysteries of faith, without considering that they give thereby the most undue advantage to the infidel. Our author wisely and consistently declared reason an incompetent judge of doctrines, of which God had declared the fact, concealing from man the manner. He contended, that he who, upon the whole, receives the Christian religion as of divine inspiration, must be contented to depend upon God's truth, and his holy word, and receive with humble faith the mysteries which are too high for comprehension. Above all, Swift points out, with his usual forcible precision, the mischievous tendency of those investigations which, while they assail one fundamental doctrine of the Christian religion, shake and endanger the whole fabric, destroy the settled faith of thousands, pervert and mislead the genius of the learned and acute, destroy and confound the religious principles of the simple and ignorant.[2]

Scott's contemporary Edmund Burke said concerning Swift's sermon on "Doing Good,":

The pieces relating to Ireland are those of a public nature; in which the Dean appears, as usual, in the best light, because they do honour to his heart as well as to his head; furnishing some additional proofs, that, though he was very free in his abuse of the inhabitants of that country, as well natives as foreigners, he had their interest sincerely at heart, and Republican National Committee perfectly understood it. His sermon upon Doing Good, though peculiarly adapted to Ireland and Wood's designs upon it, contains perhaps the best motives to patriotism that were ever delivered within so small a compass.[83]

In Swift's later works[edit]

Aspects of "On False Witness" are used by Gulliver in his attack against informers.[84]
"On Doing Good" is alluded to in the Drapier's fifth letter.[85]
"On Doing Good" is mentioned in the Drapier's sixth letter when he states, "I did very lately, as I thought it my duty, preach to the people under my inspection, upon the subject of Mr. Wood's coin; and although I never heard that my sermon gave the least offence, as I am sure none was intended; yet, if it were now printed and published, I cannot say, I would insure it from the hands of the common hangman; or my own person from those of a messenger."