Books Sermon Illustrations

Books Sermon Illustrations

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Books are keys to wisdom's treasure;
Books are gates to lands of pleasure;
Books are paths that upward lead;
Books are friends—come let us read.—Emilie Poulson

As hardly anything can touch soft clay without stamping its mark on it, so hardly any reading can interest a child without contributing in some degree, though the book itself be afterwards totally forgotten, to form the character. Parents, therefore, who are very particular about their child's school and course of study but pay little or no attention to his "story-books," are educating him they know not how.—Selected

LADY PRESIDENT—"What book has helped you most?"
NEW MEMBER—"My husband's check-book."—Martha Young.

"You may send me up the complete works of Shakespeare, Goethe and Emerson—also something to read."

There are three classes of bookbuyers: Collectors, women and readers.

The owner of a large library solemnly warned a friend against the practice of lending books. To punctuate his advice he showed his friend the well-stocked shelves. "There!" said he. "Every one of those books was lent me."

In science, read, by preference, the newest works; in literature, the oldest.—Bulwer-Lytton.

Learning hath gained most by those books by which the Printers have lost.—Fuller.

Books should to one of these four ends conduce,
For wisdom, piety, delight, or use.—Sir John Denham.

A darky meeting another coming from the library with a book accosted him as follows:

"What book you done got there, Rastus?"

"'Last Days of Pompeii.'"

"Last days of Pompey? Is Pompey dead? I never heard about it. Now what did Pompey die of?"

"I don't 'xactly know, but it must hab been some kind of 'ruption."

"I don't know what to give Lizzie for a Christmas present," one chorus girl is reported to have said to her mate while discussing the gift to be made to a third.

"Give her a book," suggested the other.

And the first one replied meditatively, "No, she's got a book."—Literary Digest.

An Odd Fault

It is said that when the learned Humphrey Prideaux offered his Life of Mahomet to the bookseller, he was desired to leave the copy with him for a few days, for his perusal. The bookseller said to the doctor at his return, "Well, Mr. What's your Name, I have perused your manuscript; I don't know what to say of it; I believe I shall venture to print it; the thing is well enough; but I could wish there were a little more humour in it." This story is otherwise told in a note in Swift's works, where the book is said to have been Prideaux's "Connexion of the History of the Old and New Testament," in which, it must be confessed, the difficulty of introducing humour is more striking.


Dr. Johnson, while compiling his dictionary, sent a note to the Gentleman's Magazine, to inquire the etymology of the word curmudgeon. Having obtained the desired information, he thus recorded in his work his obligation to an anonymous writer: "Curmudgeon, s. a vicious way of pronouncing cœur mechant. An unknown correspondent." Ash copied the word into his dictionary, in the following manner: Curmudgeon, from the French, cœur, "unknown," and mechant, "correspondent!"

Heber's Palestine

When Reginald Heber read his prize poem, "Palestine," to Sir Walter Scott, the latter observed that, in the verses on Solomon's Temple, one striking circumstance had escaped him, namely, that no tools were used in its erection. Reginald retired for a few minutes to the corner of the room, and returned with the beautiful lines:—

"No hammer fell, no ponderous axes rung;
Like some tall palm, the mystic fabric sprung.
Majestic silence," &c.

Use of H

"What has become of your famous General Eel?" said the Count d'Erleon to Mr. Campbell. "Eel," said a bystander, "that is a military fish I never heard of;" but another at once enlightened his mind by saying to the count, "General Lord Hill is now Commander-in-Chief of the British forces!"

Cowper's "John Gilpin."

It happened one afternoon, in those years when Cowper's accomplished friend, Lady Austen, made a part of his little evening circle, that she observed him sinking into increased dejection. It was her custom, on these occasions, to try all the resources of her sprightly powers for his immediate relief, and at this time it occurred to her to tell him the story of John Gilpin, (which had been treasured in her memory from her childhood), in order to dissipate the gloom of the passing hour. Its effects on the fancy of Cowper had the air of enchantment. He informed her the next morning that convulsions of laughter, brought on by his recollection of her story, had kept him waking during the greatest part of the night! and that he had turned it into a ballad. So arose the pleasant poem of "John Gilpin."

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