By: Charles Simeon (1759-1836)
Simeon's Works, as they were published 1832, fill twenty-one large octavo volumes, and the title-page reads, "Horae Homileticae or Discourses now first digested into one continued Series and forming a Commentary upon every book of the Old and New Testament ; to which is annexed an improved Edition of a Translation of Claude's Essay on the Composition of a Sermon".
It was the literary achievement of his life, and no unworthy one. These volumes, now long out of print, contain many discourses fully written, among them the several sets of University Sermons; but the large majority of the more than two thousand compositions are précis of parochial sermons, well ordered outlines of exposition, arranged according to the books of the Holy Scriptures. The reader, as the author warns him, will look there in vain for minute criticism or for remote speculation ; but he will seldom fail to gather excellent suggestions how to explain and arrange, and how to carry messages home from the Word of God to the life of man. The term "Skeleton" was certainly unfortunate - Simeon's despisers made merry over it. But the summaries so named were no pieces of lifeless mechanism, as their author planned them, and as he taught others how to use them. They were the bone-systems of sermons which he himself made to live, and speak, and work; and he did his utmost to teach 'his young men' how to do the same. - Summary adapted from Charles Simeon by Handley Carr Glyn Moule, p.88-89.