Thomas De Witt Talmage - Encyclopedia

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THOMAS DE WITT TALMAGE (1832-1902), American Presbyterian preacher, born at Bound Brook, New Jersey, on the 7th of January 1832. He was educated at the University of the City of New York (now New York University) and at the Reformed Dutch Theological Seminary at New Brunswick, N.J., from which he was graduated in 1856. Immediately afterwards he became pastor of a Reformed church at Belleville, N.J. In 1859 he removed to Syracuse, N.Y.; in 1862 to Philadelphia, where he was pastor of the Second Reformed Dutch Church; and in 1869 to the Central Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, where a large building known as the Tabernacle was erected for him in 1870. In 1872 this building was burned down. A larger one, holding 5000 persons, was built for him in 1873, but even this could not contain the crowds attracted by his eloquence and sensationalism. In 1889 this church also was burned to the ground, only to be succeeded by another and larger one, which in its turn was burned in 1894. Shortly afterwards he removed to Washington, where from 1895 to 1899 he was the associate pastor, with Dr Byron Sunderland (d. 1901), of the First Presbyterian Church. During the last years of his life Dr Talmage ceased to preach, and devoted himself to editing, writing and lecturing. At different periods he was editor of the Christian at Work (1873-76), New York; the Advance (1877-79), Chicago; Frank Leslie's Sunday Magazine (1879-89), New York; and the Christian Herald (1890-1902), New York. For years his sermons were published regularly in more than 3000 journals, reaching, it is said, 25,000,000 readers. His books also have had large circulations; among them are The Almond Tree in Blossom (1870); Every Day Religion (1875); The Brooklyn Tabernacle (1884); From Manger to Throne (1895); and The Pathway of Life (1895). His eloquence, while sensational, was real and striking, and his fluency and the picturesqueness of his language and imagery were remarkable. He died at Washington on the 12th of April 1902.

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