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Seven Years’ Street Preaching in San Francisco, California by William Taylor


Paperback | 6 x 9 | 284 pages
eBook | PDF and EPUB formats | 284 pages

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One of Americana’s most galvanizing religious literary timepieces.

In 1848, William Taylor, one of Methodism’s foremost pioneers in 19th century missions work, was called to California. He settled in the burgeoning metropolis of San Francisco and quickly became a prolific open-air preacher, church planter and reformer in the “land of gold and crime.”

In this magnificent account, Taylor’s unvarnished, vibrant, and immediate first-hand narrative chronicles the throes of a global city in its formative years.

Feigning eloquence for directness, Taylor’s tour through “the streets and lanes,” and “highways and hedges” brims with local flavor while his sketches and vignettes detail the old west just as it was; filled with a wild, newfound freedom yet deeply in need of the gospel’s reforming influence.

Amid the fires, duels, steamship disasters and gold rush, his stalwart influence through street evangelism shows us at once the power of a preacher keenly in tune with the needs of his people and the rousing power inherent in God’s word.

Seven Years’ stands mightily as one of Americana’s most galvanizing religious literary timepieces, and now, in this new edition, it is available for a new generation of readers.

This title is also available as a deluxe hardcover edition.

William Taylor (1821-1902) was a trailblazing American Methodist Episcopal missionary, author, bishop and global evangelist. His early career is synonymous with California and street evangelism. Often compared to St. Paul, Taylor traveled far and wide, pioneering innovative approaches to missions for nearly half a century in places such as Australia, the Congo and South Africa. The self-sufficiency of churches in the field was his top priority. He emphasized a “locally financed” church model that relied on local economies instead of overseas support; a methodology still used today.

“Among the first of our noble army of occupation in California was the Rev. William Taylor. In labors he has been more abundant, and as fear-less as laborious. His book, as a book of mere incident and adventure, possesses uncommon interest; but as a record of missionary toil and success its interest is immensely increased. The sketches of personal character and death-bed scenes are thrilling.”  –Ladies’ Repository

“The observation and experience recorded abounds with the most pleasing interest, and the scenes are described with much graphic power and felicity.” –Baltimore Sun

“This is a graphic description of the labors of a missionary among the most complex, and perhaps most wicked, and at the same time excited and active population in the world. It is a very rich book, and deserves a large sale.” –Zion’s Herald

“As a religious history, it occupies a new department in Californian literature; and its incidents and triumphant death scenes are of the most interesting character.” –The American Spectator

“It is a very entertaining volume, full of adventure, grave and gay, in the streets of a new city, and among a peculiar people.” –New-York Observer

“This book is a real contribution to the religious history of that country. For raciness of style it is one of the most readable books that has fallen into our hands.” –Pittsburgh Christian Advocate

“We like the spirit and daring of the author of this book. But few like him live among men. With an undoubted piety, and courage like a lion, he preached Christ at a time, in San Francisco, when Satan reigned about as triumphant as he ever has on any other spot of the cursed earth. The book will be read, and it will do good wherever it is read.” –Buffalo Christian Advocate

“The state of society which Mr. Taylor describes is almost anomalous, and his pictures are boldly and clearly drawn.” –New York Evening Post

1. First Preaching on the Plaza
2. Street Preaching
3. Objections to Street Preaching Considered
4. Suggestions for a Street Preacher
5. Primitive Class-Meetings in San Francisco
6. My First Preaching in the Streets of Sacramento City
7. Starvation in an Ex-City Hospital
8. A Broadside Upon the Army of the Aliens
9. The Irish Sailor’s Dilemma
10. “They’ll Think I’m a Thief”
11. Preaching in a Gambling-House
12. City of San Francisco in an Uproar
13. City Hospital on Fire
14. The Preaching That Killed the Plaza Clown
15. Helped to a Text by the Thief That Stole My Money
16. The Human Heart
17. The Independence Bell
18. King David’s Fool
19. The Time the Lord Did Not “Keep the City,” and Why – The Great Fire
20. Arrival of Missionaries
21. The Whisky-Barrel Pulpit and the Pork-Barrel Pulpit
22. Wayside Hearers
23. A Mother’s Toddy-Loving Son
24. The Death of Belshazzar
25. A Personal Collision on the Plaza
26. A Living Illustration
27. California Husbands Meeting Their Wives
28. “Declaration of Independence”
29. Profane Swearing
30. A Sabbath Day’s Work
31. “Save Me From My Friends”
32. Defense of the Sabbath
33. Evil Tidings
34. The Reprobate Sailor Redeemed
35. The Drunken Suicide’s Funeral
36. A Peep Into a California Love-Feast
37. “You’ve Knocked Me All Into a Kink.”
38. Honorary Church Members and “O, I’m So ‘Shamed”
39. The Sailor’s Vision on Long Wharf
40. “A Sabbath-Day’s Journey” in San Francisco
41. The Fare Has Risen
42. A Duelist’s Funeral
43. Restitution
44. “Shanghaeing” the Sailors
45. James King, of Wm., and His Moral Platform
46. The Fountain Opened
47. The Missionary to Nineveh
48. The Downfall of the Haman Family
49. Letters From Home
50. Patriotic Persuasives to Be a Christian
51. A “Legion” of California Devils and A Hard Case
52. The Sebastopol of “Old Nick.”
53. Triumphant Death Scenes

ISBN (PDF): 978-1-953855-15-2
ISBN (EPUB): 978-1-953855-16-9
ISBN (MOBI): 978-1-953855-17-6
ISBN (paperback): 978-1-953855-49-7

RELIGION / Christian Ministry / Missions (REL045000)
RELIGION / Christianity / Methodist (REL044000)
HISTORY / United States / State & Local / West (CA) (HIS036140)

Cover Design by Rakel Fairfull
Made entirely in the USA

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