Singing Sermon Illustrations

Singing Sermon Illustrations

[1] [2] [3] [4]

In Gypsy Tents

Soon after his own conversion Cornelius Smith, father of Gipsy Rodney Smith, succeeded in winning his two brothers to Christ. From that time, the three gave themselves earnestly to evangelistic work. One of the first hymns they learned and the one they were all fond of singing was:

Gentle Jesus, meek and mild,
Look upon a little child.

And Gipsy (Rodney) Smith says: "After all, they were only children, felt themselves children always, and possessed all their days a truly childlike spirit." The three brothers were fond of music, and enjoyed singing with their parents.

One Sunday morning, about two months after their conversion, the three brothers set out to visit their father and mother. When they were within hearing distance of the place where their parents were camping, they began to sing, "Gentle Jesus, meek and mild."

Their mother recognized their voices, and said, "Why, bless me, if them's not my boys coming!" Then, turning to her husband, she said, "Jim, come out of the tent and see if these ain't my boys!"

The three stalwart fellows marched forward, singing their favourite hymn.

"What in the world is the matter with you?" said the aged mother.

"Oh, Mother," said Gipsy Smith's father, "we have found Jesus; we are converted."

Their father began to walk around the tent, saying, "My boys have come home to teach me what I ought to have taught them!"

The result of that visit was that both the father and the mother of the men, at the age of seventy, found the Saviour; and for five years they lived to testify to
the grace of God.—Sunday School Times.

A Hard-Bitten Agnostic

One summer evening late in the last century a hard-bitten agnostic sat on the banks of the Connecticut River in Massachusetts. Dusk had settled in a blue haze on the mountains across the river. Dimly he glimpsed the lights of the church on a rise just above the village of Northfield. He smiled cynically. Then drifting across the still water there came the faint sound of a voice singing.

There were ninety and nine that safely lay
In the shelter of the fold,
But one was out on the hills away.
Far off from the gates of gold—
Away on the mountains wild and bare,
Away from the tender Shepherd's care.

The man listened. What a voice it was! The beauty of it fascinated him, but the words—He shrugged off the first two verses, but the third caught him. That voice—its earnestness, its pleading. As the last note died away the man bent his head and accepted the Shepherd as his Saviour and Lord.

On another day an inveterate criminal slouched against the wall of his cell in a Belfast prison. Suddenly through the barred windows came the sound of music—then a voice singing the well-known "Hold the Fort." Coming from a church at the other end of the block, the voice was faint, but it filled the narrow room. And its tender compassion touched the heart of the hardened criminal. Half way through the song he dropped to his knees and before that voice ceased he had believed and was saved. He died a tireless church worker.—Sunday School Times.

Saved by Song

On board the ill-fated steamer Seawanhaka was one of the Fisk University singers. Before leaving the burning steamer and committing himself to the merciless waves, he carefully fastened upon himself and wife life-preservers. Someone cruelly dragged away that of the wife, leaving her without hope, except as she could cling to her husband. This she did, placing her hands firmly on his shoulders and resting there until her strength becoming exhausted, she said, "I can hold no longer!" "Try a little longer," was the response of the weary and agonized husband; "let us sing 'Rock of Ages.' " And as those sweet strains floated over those troubled waters, reaching the ears of the sinking and dying, little did they know, those sweet singers of Israel, whom they comforted.

But lo! as they sang, one after another of those exhausted imperiled ones were seen raising their heads above the waves, joining with a last effort in this sweet, dying, pleading prayer:

"Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee."

With the song seemed to come strength; another and yet another was encouraged to renewed effort. Soon in the distance a boat was seen approaching! Singing still, they tried, and soon with superhuman strength laid hold of the life boat. This is no fiction; it was related by the singer himself, who said he "believed Toplady's sweet 'Rock of Ages' saved many another besides himself and wife."—Western.

Swearing Johnny's New Song

At a memorial meeting held for Jerry McAuley at the Water Street Mission. New York City, where the reformed man had helped many others to accept Christ, General Clinton B. Fisk said that one night, when in a seaman's mission meeting in Liverpool, a sailor with a shining face arose to give a testimony. Many were startled when he began by saying, "I found Christ over there in America." This man was known as "Swearing Johnny" before his conversion. Said he, "When we were paid off, I took my money to the saloons, and pretty soon I was again drunk. I went out into the street, and the snow was beating against my face. As I passed along the street I heard singing, and stopped to listen. I heard them sing,

I am so glad that Jesus loves me,
Jesus loves even me.

"'I'll go in and see about that,' I said to myself. I went in, and there saw that wonderful man, Jerry McAuley, and he led me to Christ."

"Yes," said his wife, "and it's been nothing but Jerry McAuley and 'Jesus loves me' ever since Johnny's ship came home."

The song which that sinning sailor heard was written by one of America's sweet singers, P. P. Bliss. Often it has made its appeal to the heart of those who have heard the words:

I am so glad that our Father in heav'n
Tells of His love in the Book He has giv'n;
Wonderful things in the Bible I see,
This is the dearest, that Jesus loves me.—Sunday School Times.

[1] [2] [3] [4]

| More