Methodist layman visited a great city church in Ohio during a business trip. After the service he congratulated the minister on his service and sermon. "But," said the manufacturer, "if you were my salesman I'd discharge you. You got my attention by your appearance, voice and manner; your prayer, reading and logical discourse aroused my interest; you warmed my heart with a desire for what you preached; and then—and then you stopped, without asking me to do something about it. In business, the important thing is to get them to sign on the dotted line."—Record of Christian Work.
Who is it calls when we are ill
With cheerful words and right good will,
And lingers gently then to pray
And soothe our care and fear away?
Who is it comes when sorrow falls,
When death of friends our heart appalls,
And tells us of the mansions fair
And that sweet home, "just over there"?
Who is it shares our happiest hours,
When life is crowned with wedding flowers,
And to the scene lends added grace
By reverent voice and kindly face?
Who is it that on Sabbath day
Points us to heaven, and leads the way,
And brings a message from the Word,
Until our hearts within are stirred?
For whom then shall we daily pray
And ask for him God's grace always,
And wish for him a glad New Year,
With new-born souls his heart to cheer?
Our Pastor!—Lena G. Browne, Pasadena, Calif.
To modernize the parable of the sower into a form that is not nearly as beautiful, we might say: "Behold, a broadcaster was speaking forth the words of eternal life. Some, as soon as he began, turned off the radio. Others listened, but when they found that to understand him would require real mental effort, and to apply him to life would require sacrifice, they, too, turned off the radio, or shifted to another wave length. Some kept their radio on until the whole speech was finished, but in the meantime they looked over the evening paper and commented now and then upon the sporting news and the market reports, so that at the end they had really no deep understanding of what was said. Others listened intently, meditated on what they had heard, applied it to life, and were transformed."—Christian Advocate.
A minister was annoyed by people talking and giggling during the service. He paused, looked at the disturbers, and said: "Some years ago as I was preaching a young man who sat before me was constantly laughing, talking and making uncouth grimaces. I paused and administered a severe rebuke. After the close of the services a gentleman said to me: 'Sir, you made a great mistake. That young man is an idiot.' Since then I have been afraid to reprove those who misbehave in chapel lest I should repeat that mistake and reprove another idiot."
During the rest of the service there was good order.—Watchman-Examiner.
A certain minister is said to have been unable to say, "No," to any request that came to him. He was invited to speak for other ministers, and at clubs and banquets and other gatherings, until his own church had but a small fraction of his time, and his home was neglected. One day, while walking alone by a lake, he met a man who was about to drown a small dog. "What's wrong with the dog?" he inquired. "Well, you see," said the man, "When Gipsy was a pup, he was all right. But he has grown to be a regular nuisance. We are always losing him. He follows everyone. And a dog that follows everybody is no good to anybody." The last sentence struck the minister like a blow. He begged for the dog and took him home, saying, "Gyp, you and I will learn faithfulness together!" And then and there began a new era in his life and usefulness.—Sunday School Times.
Moody was the most earnest evangelist I ever heard. He had no mannerisms, very few gestures, and seldom raised his voice to a shout; but his deep and unaffected piety, his apposite figures of speech, his humor, his solid common sense, his thrilling earnestness, made him amazingly effective. He did great good, and as he hated hysteria and sensationalism, he never did any harm. He was a man of genius. In later years I got to know him intimately, both at his school at Northfield and during his visits to Yale; it was impossible to talk with him without feeling his sincerity and his knowledge of human nature. . . When I was an undergraduate, he preached one Sunday at Yale. Attendance was compulsory and the attention to the average sermon was not very keen; and most sermons were no longer than twenty minutes. Mr. Moody preached for one hour, and held the breathless attention of the students.—Wm. Lyon Phelps of Yale.
Beau Nash objected to Wesley's preaching in the city of Bath, alleging that "it frightened people out of their wits." "Sir," inquired the great evangelist, "did you ever hear me preach?" "No," was the reply. "How, then, can you judge of what you never heard?" "By common report." "Sir," came Wesley's crushing rejoinder, "is not your name Nash? I dare not judge of you by common report."—Torch Bearer.
When Henry Ward Beecher was yet a young man in the ministry, he was faced with the demand of a prominent member of his church to put the soft pedal on the slavery question. He was told if he did not keep quiet he would lose six of his most prominent families. He answered, "Give me their names now, please, that I may give them their letters at once!"
He rightly judged that such families who tried to hog-tie the true testimony of the preacher were better out of the church than in.—Christian Victory.