Heroism Sermon Illustrations

Heroism Sermon Illustrations

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A Gamekeeper's Daughter

The Gazette of Augsburg for January, 1820, contained a singular account of the heroism and presence of mind displayed by the daughter of a gamekeeper, residing in a solitary house near Welheim. Her father and the rest of the family had gone to church, when there appeared at the door an old man apparently half dead with cold. Feeling for his situation, she let him in, and went into the kitchen to prepare him some soup. Through a window which communicated from the kitchen to the room in which she had left him, she perceived that he had dropped the beard he wore when he entered; that he now appeared a robust man; and that he was pacing the chamber with a poignard in his hand. Finding no mode of escape, she armed herself with a chopper in one hand and the boiling soup in the other, and entering the room where he was, first threw the soup in his face, and then struck him a blow with the hatchet on his neck, which brought him to the ground senseless. At this moment a fresh knock at the door occasioned her to look out of an upper window, when she saw a strange hunter, who demanded admittance, and on her refusal, threatened to break open the door. She immediately got her father's gun, and as he was proceeding to put his threat in execution, she shot him through the right shoulder, on which he made his way back to the forest. Half an hour after a third person came, and asked after an old man who must have passed that way. She said she knew nothing of him; and after useless endeavours to make her open the door, he also proceeded to break it in, when she shot him dead on the spot. The excitement of her courage being now at an end, her spirits began to sink, and she fired shots, and screamed from the windows, until some gendarmes were attracted to the house; but nothing would induce her to open the door until the return of her father from church.


Reward of Heroism

M. Labat, a merchant of Bayonne, ill in health, had retired in the beginning of the winter, 1803, to a country house on the banks of the Adour. One morning, when promenading in his robe-de-chambre, on a terrace elevated a little above the river, he saw a traveller thrown by a furious horse, from the opposite bank, into the midst of the torrent. M. Labat was a good swimmer: he did not stop a moment to reflect on the danger of the attempt, but, ill as he was, threw off his robe-de-chambre, leaped into the flood, and caught the drowning stranger at the moment when, having lost all sensation, he must have otherwise inevitably perished. "Oh, God!" exclaimed M. Labat, clasping him in his arms, and recognizing with a transport of joy the individual he had rescued, "I have saved my son!"


The Douglas

When King Robert I. died he exacted a promise from Sir James Douglas to convey his heart to the Holy Land, where he had been on the point of going when death arrested him. The party had reached Sluys, so far on their way to Jerusalem, when Alonzo, King of Leon and Castile, at that time engaged in war with the Moorish governor of Granada, Osmyn, sent to demand the aid of Douglas; and by his oath as a knight, which forbade him ever to turn a deaf ear to a call in aid of the Church of Christ, he was obliged to attend to the summons. He fought with his usual heroism, till the Moslems believed he bore a charmed life when they saw him rush into the thickest of the fight and escape unwounded. But the Christian ranks nevertheless began to give way; and to stem the flight the Douglas threw the casket containing the king's heart into the melée, and rushed after it, exclaiming, "Now pass onward as thou wert wont, and Douglas will follow thee or die!" The day after the battle the body of the hero and the casket were found by his surviving companions; and the squire of Douglas finding it was impossible to convey it to Jerusalem, brought back the king's heart to Scotland, and it was interred in Melrose Abbey.


Marshal de Nevailles

At the battle of Senef, the Prince of Condé sent word to Marshal de Nevailles to be ready to engage the enemy. The messenger found him hearing mass, at which the prince being enraged, muttered something in abuse of over-pious persons. But the marquis having evinced the greatest heroism during the engagement, said after it to the prince, "Your highness, I fancy, now sees that those who pray to God behave as well in battle as their neighbours."

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