January Sermon Illustrations

January 24, 2010

Betsey Patterson of Baltimore was regarded as the most beautiful woman in America, and the charm of her beauty was acknowledged in the highest circles of Europe. In 1804 Napoleon's youngest brother, on a visit to America, became infatuated with Elizabeth and married her; but the marriage was afterward annulled through the influence of Napoleon.

Toward the end of her remarkable career, Betsey Patterson said, "Once I had everything but money. Now I have nothing but money." Writing in middle life to a friend, she confessed, "I am dying with ennui. I am tired of reading, and of all my ways of killing time. I doze away my existence. I am too old to coquet, and without this stimulus I die of ennui. The Princess Gallitizin tries to keep me up to the toil of dressing by telling me I am a beauty. I am tired of life, and tired of having lived." Such was the melancholy confession of a woman who had great beauty of body and delighted to adorn that body, but had no inner beauty of the soul—what Peter calls the "hidden man of the heart" (I Pet. 3:4).

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