HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore, Volume I
Author: F. D. Srygley
Publisher: Guardian of Truth Foundation, republished in 2006
Related website: http://old.truthbooks.net/home (publisher)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Teens and adults
Rating: ***** 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Srygley, F. D. Letters and Sermons of T. B. Larimore, Volume I (originally published in 1900 by the Gospel Advocate Publishing Company; republished in 1950 by The Old Paths Book Club, 1600 N. Rossmore, Hollywood, CA). Theophilus Brown Larimore (1843-1929) was a gospel preacher of the late nineteenth and very early twentieth century. Perhaps no man of that era had come from such low depths of poverty and obscurity and risen to such heights of fame in the brotherhood as T. B. Larimore. He was born on July 10, 1843, in East Tennessee. Little is known of his parents. His early prospects were very gloomy, and his poverty discouraging, yet through it all he arose to great prominence and service among churches of Christ. He worked on a farm in East Tennessee during his early youth and went to school only ten or twelve weeks in the year. At the age of sixteen he entered Mossy Crock Baptist College in East Tennessee, but when the Civil War began shortly afterwards, he had a short tour in the Confederate Army.
Soon after his release, Larimore moved to Hopkinsville, KY, and on his 21st birthday anniversary, July 10, 1864, he obeyed the gospel. He began preaching in 1866, and in the fall of the same year he entered Franklin College, near Nashville, TN. Tolbert Fanning was president of the college at that time. After leaving Franklin College in 1867, he went to North Alabama and preached the gospel. Following both preaching and teaching work in several different places, he moved to Florence, AL, and was married to Miss Ester Gresham. On Jan. 1, 1871, he opened a school there called “Mars Hill Academy,” and continued it for a period of sixteen years, from 1871 to 1887. While teaching at Mars Hill he preached every Sunday, often three times on Sunday. After closing his school at Mars Hill in 1887, he gave his entire time to evangelistic work, travelling extensively in Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Arizona, New Mexico, California, Arkansas, and Washington, DC, and preaching “from Maine to Mexico and from Canada to Cuba,” before he died on Mar. 18, 1929, in Santa Ana, CA, in his 86th year.
This book, which came to me from my gospel preacher grandfather, was compiled by Fletcher Douglas Srygley (1856–1900), who was a preacher, writer, and controversialist in the American Restoration Movement. Srygley was born Dec. 22, 1856, in northern Alabama to James H. and Sarah J. Srygley. He received very little education as a child, with the exception of his time at T. B. Larimore’s Mars Hill Academy. Srygley wrote for a time for the Old Path Guide, a religious paper owned and edited by F. G. Allen, then in 1889 became a front page editor for the Gospel Advocate under the editorship of David Lipscomb, prior to his untimely death on Aug. 2, 1900, at his home in Donelson, TN. Chapter 1 explains the “Origin, Character, and Design of the Book.” Chapters 2 through 22 alternate between sermons of Larimore’s and letters written to or by him. These are followed by a series of extracts from Larimore’s sermons. Srygley also wrote a biography of Larimore entitled Larimore and His Boys (aka Smiles and Tears); a biography of T. W. Caskey entitled Seventy Years in Dixie; and a collection of original sermons by different men, with a biographical sketch of each one simply entitled Biographies and Sermons. Volumes 2 and 3 of Letters and Sermons of T.B. Larimore were compiled by Emma Page, and a similar book entitled Life, Letters, and Sermons of T. B. Larimore was published by Mrs. T. B. Larimore. The letters are a pleasure to take in, and the sermons seem useful and insightful.