Rev. Charles Bradley (1789-1871)

CHARLES BRADLEY,  (1789–1871), eminent as a preacher and writer of sermons published between 1818 and 1853, belonged to the evangelical school of the church of England. He was born at Halstead, Essex, in February 1789. His parents, Thomas and Ann Bradley, were both of Yorkshire origin, but settled in Wallingford, where their son Charles, the elder of two sons, passed the greater part of the first twenty-five years of his life. He married, in 1810, Catherine Shepherd of Yattenden, took pupils and edited several school books, one or two of which are still in use. He was, for a time after his marriage, a member of St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, but was ordained on reaching the age of 23, without proceeding to a degree, and in 1812 became curate of High Wycombe. Here for many years he combined the work of a private tutor with the sole charge of a large parish. Among his pupils were the late Mr. Smith O'Brien, the leader for a short time of the so-called national party in Ireland; Mr. Bonamy Price, professor of political economy in the university of Oxford; and Archdeacon Jacob, well known for more than half a century in the diocese and city of Winchester. His powers as a preacher soon attracted attention. He formed the acquaintance of William Wilberforce, Thomas Scott, the commentator, Daniel Wilson, and others; and a volume of sermons, published in 1818 with a singularly felicitous dedication to Lord Liverpool, followed by a second edition in 1820, had a wide circulation. The sixth edition was published in 1824, the eleventh in 1854.

In the year 1825 he was presented by Bishop Ryder (then bishop of St. Davids, afterwards of Lichfield) to the vicarage of Glasbury in Brecknockshire. Here a volume of sermons was published in 1825, which reached a ninth edition in 1854. He retained the living of Glasbury till his death, but in the year 1829 became the first incumbent of St. James's Chapel at Clapham in Surrey, where he resided, with some periods of absence, till 1852.

By this time his reputation as a preacher was fully established. His striking face and figure and dignified and impressive delivery added to the effect produced by the substance and style of his sermons, which were prepared and written with unusual care and thought. A volume of sermons published in 1831, followed by two volumes of ‘Practical Sermons’ in 1836 and 1838, by ‘Sacramental Sermons’ in 1842, and ‘Sermons on the Christian Life’ in 1853, had for many years an exceedingly large circulation, and were widely preached in other pulpits than his own, not only in England and Wales, but in Scotland and America. Of late years their sale greatly declined, but the interest taken in them has revived, and a volume of selections was published in 1884.

Quite apart from the character of their contents, as enforcing the practical and speculative side of Christianity from the point of view of the earlier leaders of the evangelical party in the church of England, the literary merits of Bradley's sermons will probably give them a lasting place in literature of the kind. No one can read them without being struck by their singular simplicity and force, and at the same time by the sustained dignity and purity of the language.

Bradley was the father of a numerous family. By his first wife, who died in 1831, he had thirteen children, of whom twelve survived him. The eldest of six sons was the Rev. C. Bradley of Southgate, well known in educational circles. The 4th, George Granville, was dean of Westminster 1881 to 1902, having been previously master of University College, Oxford, and head-master of Marlborough College. By his second marriage in 1840 with Emma, daughter of Mr. John Linton, he also left a large family, one of whom, Herbert Bradley, fellow of Merton College, Oxford, wrote on ethics and logic; another, Andrew Cecil, was fellow of Balliol, and professor of English literature at Liverpool.

Bradley spent the last period of his life at Cheltenham, where he died in August 1871.

[Dictionary of National Biography.]

n the “Sermons” of the Rev. Charles Bradley.

From the Rev. Dr. Sprague, of the Presbyterian Church.
I regard the Sermons by the Rev. Charles Bradley, lately republished from the seventh London edition by D. Appleton & Co., as among the best which, for a long time, have issued from the American press. They are characterized by great simplicity and perspicuity, by deeply evangelical views, and by a fervor and unction, which render them alike attractive and impressive. It will be good service rendered to the cause of truth and piety, to promote the circulation of this work as much as possible.
Albany, May 14, 1844. W. B. SPRAGUE.

From the Rt. Rev. Bishop McIlvaine, of the Diocese of Ohio.
I have long known and highly valued the Sermons by Bradley, which have been for several years before the public. His later volumes I have not had an opportunity of reading. If, as I do not question, they sustain the reputation of the others, I can freely speak of all as very evangelical, spiritual, and edifying; well adapted for family and private reading, as well as for the use of lay-readers in congregations.
Gambier, May 1, 1844. CHAS. P. McILVAINE.

From the Rev. Dr. De Witt, of the Reformed Dutch Church.
I have for some time past been acquainted with “Bradley’s Sermons,” at least some of them, and I esteem them as possessing great excellence in view of the evangelical sentiment which pervades them, their highly practical character, their lucid and beautiful arrangement, and their simple and yet adorned style. I think them well adapted for the family and social circle, as well as private use. There is nothing in them which exhibits the peculiarity of the denomination to which the author belongs, and they will be found acceptable to Evangelical Christians of different denominations. I am pleased to see that you have published them in a very neat volume, at a cheap rate.
New-York, May 10, 1844. THOMAS DE WITT.

From the Rev. Dr. Peck, of the Methodist Church. Bradley’s Sermons are a plain, practical exhibition of Gospel truth. I read most of them many years since, and my impressions were then highly favorable to their usefulness, especially for families and private Christians. The style is pure English, and the senti­ments in general evangelical. I am gratified to learn that an American edition of these Sermons is forthcoming from the press of the Appletons, and am sure that the publishers will render a great service to the Christian public, by giving them a wide circulation.
New-York, July 9, 1844. GEORGE PECK.


at High Wycombe, vol. 1,  9th edition, 1833AD

1. The Worshippers in the Heavenly Temple. (101k) on Revelation 7:14-15. pdf (51k) docx (30k)

2. The Worship and Privileges of the Heavenly Temple. (106k) on Revelation 7:15-17. pdf (53k) docx (30k)

3. The Dying Christian Committing his Soul to God. (89k) on Psalm 31:5. pdf (36k) docx (26k)

4. The Advantages of Remembering Christ. (99k) on Luke 22:19. pdf (97k) docx (28k)

5. The Legacy of Christ. (98k) on John 14:27. pdf (44k) docx (27k)

6. The News of Christ's Resurrection sent to Peter. (104k) on Mark 16:7. pdf (48k) docx (30k)

7. The Humilty of Saint Paul. (99k) on Ephesians 3:8. pdf (47k) docx (29k)

8. The Compassion of the High Priest of the Church. (92k) on Hebrews 4:15. pdf (40k) docx (27k)

9. The Throne of Grace. (95k) on Hebrews 4:16. pdf (40k) docx (27k)

10. The Death of Moses. (88k) on Deuteronomy 34:5. pdf (38k) docx (26k)

11. The Goodness of God to Israel. (95k) on Deuteronomy 32:10-12. pdf (46k) docx (29k)

12. The Christian Journeying to the Promised Land. (105k) on Numbers 10:29. pdf (53k) docx (30k)

13. The Christan's Song in his Pilgrimage. (101k) on Psalm 119:54. pdf (47k) docx (29k)

14. The Brevity and Vanity of Human Life. (118k) on Psalm 39:5. pdf (57k) docx (34k)

15. The Glory of the Gospel. (114k) on 2 Corinthians 3:7-11. pdf (57k) docx (32k)

16. The Constraining Influence of the Love of Christ 1. (103k) on 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. pdf (50k) docx (30k)

17. The Constraining Influence of the Love of Christ 2. (79k) on 2 Corinthians 5:14-15. pdf (29k) docx (23k)

18. Christ the Healer of the Broken-Hearted. (118k) on Luke 4:18. pdf (66k) docx (34k)

19. The Tears of Jesus at the Grave of Lazarus. (89k) on John 11:35. pdf (40k) docx (27k)


at High Wycombe, vol. 2, 6th edition, 1833AD.

20. God an Eternal Dwelling Place. (116k) on Psalm 90:1-2. pdf (58k) docx (32k)

21. The Forbearance of David Towards Shimei. (99k) on 2 Samuel 16:13. pdf (46k) docx (30k)

22. The Grounds of David's Forbearance Towards Shimei. (103k) on 2 Samuel 16:11, 12. pdf (45k) docx (31k)

23. The Rewards of the Conquering Christian. (111k) on Revelation 2:17. pdf (81k) docx (31k)

24. Christ Foretelling the Treachery of Judas. (108k) on Matthew 26:20-22. pdf (83k) docx (30k)

25. The Israelites Returning from Babylon. (105k) on Jeremiah 50:4-5. pdf (52k) docx (31k)

26. The Sword of Jehovah Smiting His Shepherd. (109k) on Zechariah 13:7. pdf (46k) docx (30k)

27. The Redeemed Sinner Joining Himself in a Covenant with God. (116k) on Jeremiah 50:5. pdf (58k) docx (36k)

28. The Way to Zion. (113k) on Isaiah 35:8, 9, 10. pdf (42k) docx (34k)

29. The Heavenly Zion. (100k) on Isaiah 35:10. pdf (37k) docx (31k)

30. The Patience of God. (90k) on Romans 2:4. pdf (42k) docx (32k)

31. The Repentance of Judas. (87k) on Matthew 17:3-5. pdf (40k) docx (31k)

32. The Repentance of Peter. (104k) on Luke 22:60-62. pdf (38k) docx (32k)

33. The Scape-goat a Type of Christ. (113k) on Leviticus 16:21, 22. pdf (42k) docx (33k)

34. The Burial of Christ. (109k) on John 19:41, 42. pdf (40k) docx (25k)

35. The Confession of Pharoah. (116k) on Exodus 9:27, 28. pdf (45k) docx (34k)

36. The Exhortation and Promises of God to the Afflicted. (116k) on Isaiah 43:1-3. pdf (46k) docx (35k)

37. The Advantages of a Frequent Retrospect of Life. (112k) on  Deuteronomy 8:2. pdf (46k) docx (35k)

38. The Fear of Peter When Walking on the Sea. (118k) on Matthew 14:30, 31. pdf (44k) docx (34k)

39. The Christian Waiting for his Deliverer. (120k) on 1 Thessalonians 1:10. pdf (44k) docx (35k)

40. The Prayer of David for Self-Knowledge. (122k) on Psalm 139:23, 24. pdf (44k) docx (35k)

41. The Wedding Garment. (117k) on Matthew 22:11-13. pdf (44k) docx (33k)

42. The Christian Reigning in Life. (106k) on Romans 5:17. pdf (44k) docx (33k)


at Glasbury 9th edition,1854AD .

43. The End of Man's Earthly History. (107k) on Ecclesiastes 12:7. pdf (42k) docx (33k)

44. The Labourers Standing Idle at the Eleventh Hour. (121k) on Matthew 20:6. pdf (47k) docx (36k)

45. The Building of the Heavenly Temple. (127k) on 1 Kings 6:7. pdf (45k) docx (33k)

46. The Vicissitudes of Human Life. (134k) on Zechariah 14:6, 7. pdf (45k) docx (35k)

47. The Prayer of Moses for a View of God. (131k) on Exodus 33:18. pdf (44k) docx (33k)

48. The Two Builders. (122k) on Luke 6:47-49. pdf (45k) docx (34k)

49. The Unbelief of the Samaritan Lord. (136k) on 2 Kings 7:2. pdf (49k) docx (39k)

50. The Funeral at the Gate of Nain. (86k) on Luke 7:12. pdf (33k) docx (31k)

51. The Compassion of Christ for the Widow of Nain. (122k) on Luke 7:13. pdf (45k) docx (34k)

52. The Widow's Son Restored to Life. (128k) on Luke 7:14, 15. pdf (48k) docx (35k)

53. Sins Remembered by God. (1 of 2)(112k) on Psalm 90:8. pdf (38k) docx (32k)

54. Sins Remembered by God. (2 of 2)(130k) on Psalm 90:8. pdf (25k) docx (35k)

55. Sins Blotted Out by God. (127k) on Isaiah 43:25. pdf (39k) docx (35k)

56. The Character of the Pardoned. (122k) on Luke 7:37, 38. pdf (44k) docx (33k)

57. The Afflicted David a Pardoned Sinner. (121k) on 2 Samuel 12:13. pdf (45k) docx (35k)

58. The Message Sent to St. Paul in the Storm. (119k) on Acts 27:23, 24. pdf (49k) docx (35k)

59. The Condescension of God. (129k) on Psalm 113:5, 6. pdf (48k) docx (35k)

60. The Foolish Virgins. (147k) on Matthew 25:8. pdf (49k) docx (39k)

61. The Rock at Horeb. (141k) on 1 Corinthians 10:4. pdf (37k) docx (31k)

62. The Streams from the Rock of Horeb. (117k) on Psalm 78:16. pdf (46k) docx (36k)

63. The Flowing of the Streams from Horeb. (113k) on Psalm 105:41. pdf (54k) docx (39k)

64. The Duties of Christians Towards the Heathen. (115k) on Ezekiel 137:4. pdf (57k) docx (40k)


at Clapham, 7th edition,1854AD .

65. The Christian in the Wilderness. (143k) on Hosea 2:14, 15. pdf (92k) docx (41k)

66. The Multitude Fed in the Wilderness. (113k) on Mark 6:42. pdf (48k) docx (32k)

67. The Lost Sheep Going Home.. (101k) on Luke 15:4, 5, 6. pdf (51k) docx (32k)

68. The Complaint of St.Paul. (107k) on Romans 7:24. pdf (54k) docx (33k)

69. The Final Glory of the Church. (107k) on Ephesians 5:25-27. pdf (54k) docx (33k)

70. The History of Jonah's Gourd. (103k) on Jonah 4:6-7. pdf (40k) docx (29k)

71. The Risen Jesus Questioning Peter's Love. (111k) on John 21:17. pdf (47k) docx (31k)

72. The Christian Taught to Pray. (132k) on Luke11:1. pdf (62k) docx (35k)

73. The Peace of God Keeping the Heart. (110k) on Philippians 4:7. pdf (24k) docx (30k)

74. The Visit of the Wise Men of the East to Christ. (122k) on Matthew 2:9. pdf (27k) docx (32k)

75. The Plague in the Wilderness. (110k) on Numbers 16:48. pdf (48k) docx (33k)

76. The Rich Man and Lazarus. (111k) on Luke 16:22. pdf (54k) docx (31k)

77. The Prayer of Christ for his Church. (125k) on John 17:24. pdf (54k) docx (35k)

78. The Baptism of Christ. (115k) on Luke 3:21-22. pdf (47k) docx (32k)