Friends Sermon Illustrations

Friends Sermon Illustrations

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The man appeared daily at the noon hour at the Brooklyn city hall, holding to the rails of the iron fence with hope and expectation in his face, looking up toward the clock in the tower as it struck the hour. Then he would wait—ten, twenty, thirty minutes. Then the light of hope and joy faded from his face. He became an old, beaten man, and shuffled off in dejection. It was the tragedy of a broken promise. He had been a man of affairs in the city, and in a time of financial difficulty a friend had promised to meet him at the city hall and hand him a large sum of money. But the friend did not keep his promise. Disappointment broke the man's heart and upset his reason. Every day after that he came and looked wistfully at the clock, waiting for it to strike, and looking in vain for the friend who promised he would come. But we have a Friend who always keeps his promise. "He is faithful that promised." (Heb. 10:23.)

The youthful Ian Maclaren, visiting his uncle in the Highlands, looked with wistful admiration on a white-haired elder in the kirk who passed the sacred cup at Communion. When he saw him the next day breaking stone on the road, he was amazed, and asked his uncle how it was that the bearer of high office yesterday, today should be laboring on the highway. His uncle told him that James was an elder in the kirk because he knew more about God than any other man in the village. He was a friend of God.

Henry James in his life of Nathaniel Hawthorne gives no little prominence to the influence of his friendships. When he was a student at Bowdoin in the early twenties Hawthorne formed a warm attachment for a college mate, Franklin Pierce. In 1853 General Pierce became president of the United States and appointed Hawthorne consul general to Liverpool. It was more than a recognition of one whose works were the chief adornment of American letters. It was a gracious tribute to personal friendship; and to Hawthorne, then fifty years of age, it was the dawning of the new day of hope and happiness. When he resigned the consulship in 1857, he went to live in Rome, and there his spirits suffered an eclipse. His future was uncertain, and his eldest daughter was near to death with a malady which he speaks of as a trouble that "pierced his very vitals."

At this time it was that his old friend and recent benefactor, Franklin Pierce, then traveling in Europe, came to see him, and the Notebooks of the period contain beautiful allusions to the help and comfort of that friendship. He writes, "I have found him here in Rome, the whole of my early friend, and even better than I used to know him; a heart as true and affectionate, a mind much widened and deepened by the experience of life. We hold just the same relationship to one another as of yore, and we have passed all the turning-off places, and may hope to go on together, still the same dear friends, as long as we live." The hope was fulfilled, for when Hawthorne took sick in the spring of 1864 it was this old friend, Franklin Pierce, who proposed that they should take a tour among the mountains of New Hampshire. But they had only reached the little town of Plymouth, when General Pierce, going one morning into the room of Hawthorne to call him, found that he had been called by Another. They were pleasant and lovely in their lives, and at death they were not divided. Hawthorne had a friend.

In Great Expectations Charles Dickens tells how Pip went to visit for the last time his benefactor, Magwitch, the dying ex-convict, who had been condemned to be hanged. The convict took Pip's hand and said, "You've never deserted me, dear boy. . . . And what's best of all, you've been more comfortable alonger me, since I was under a dark cloud, than when the sun shone. That's best of all." Yes; it is not when the sun is shining, but when the clouds gather, and darkness comes down, that friendship has its real test.

"A friend never gets in your way except when you are on the way down."—Selected.

True Friendship

"A friend loveth at all times," even when all the world forsakes you.

A friend will gladly suffer privation and want in any way possible to bring you comfort, and heartily do all he can for your happiness without expecting to receive something back again.

A friend will enter forbidden courts and king's palaces and plead with tyrants and judges; yes, and will assume the guilt of others and suffer, "the just for the unjust," that doomed victims might go free.

A friend will penetrate the raging fiery flames, will wade through the dark and cold, will dive into the deep, will ascend into the clouds, will go around the world and endure untold hardships, pain, and suffering to "rescue the perishing."

Friendship lives in the heart, grows in the mind, travels in the speech, shines out through the countenance, and pronounces God's sublime benediction to the troubled and distressed soul.

Friendship is the surety of peace, the seal of love.

"A friend is one who knows all about you and loves you just the same."

I would rather have a friend and not a penny, than all the world and not a friend.

You can trust a friend in the light or in the dark; in your presence or in your absence; at home or abroad, anytime, anywhere.

The value of a friend is inestimable.

A friend does not merely happen to be; is not bought with money, or the price of wealth; is not made to be a friend by force, but is a friend for friendship's sake only.

A friend magnifies not the dross in you, but polishes the gold.

Heat and cold and darkness, height and depth, length and breadth of space, are no barriers to friendship.

The love of true friends is not easily broken, but it grows stronger with each sacrificial test.—William N. Browning, in The Gospel Trumpet.

One there is above others,
Oh, how He loves!
His is love beyond a brother's,
Oh, how He loves!
Earthly friends may fail or leave us,
One day soothe, the next day grieve us;
But this Friend will ne'er deceive us:
Oh, how He loves!—Selected.

More Than a Friend in Distress

Lord Houghton was at a party with some friends. When he left, one said of him, "I have many friends who would be kind to me in distress, but only one who would be equally kind to me in disgrace, and he has just left the room."Sunday School Times.

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