Greatness Sermon Illustrations

Greatness Sermon Illustrations

Dr. F. W. Boreham in an essay on `A Tonic of big things' writes—`Immensity is magnificent medicine. That is one reason, if we may let the cat out of the bag, why the doctors send us to the seaside. We forget the tiddly-winking in the contemplation of the tremendous. We lose life's shallow worries in the vision of unplumbed depths.'

Then he goes on to tell of Gladstone's visit to Dr. Chalmers, who never seemed to indulge in small talk. Of him Gladstone said, `Everything about him was massive, monumental, magnificent.—He had nothing to say. He was exactly like the Duke of Wellington who said of himself that he had no small talk.'

(Exod. 11. 3; Num. 12. 3; Ps. 18. 35; Luke 1. 32; 9.48)

The greatest man is he who chooses the right with the most invincible resolution; who resists the sorest temptation from within and without; who bears the heaviest burdens cheerfully; who is calmest in storms, and the most fearless under menaces and frowns; whose reliance on truth, on virtue, and on God is most unfaltering.—Seneca

It is not difficult to get away into retirement, and there live upon your own convictions; but to enter into the world, and there live firmly and fearlessly according to your own conscience, that is Christian greatness.—Selected

A Time for Greatness

A Presbyterian writer, taking note of the 102nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church, U. S., and the 174th General Assembly of the United Presbyterian Church, U. S. A., wrote:

Both Assemblies gather amid growing signs of revolt. These are days of restless ferment in every aspect of life in America and in the Church. But there's a difference about this "revolt." America is in "revolt" not against convention and conviction but against the licentiousness which has made a mockery of convention and conviction in the decades recently past. Jenkin Lloyd Jones, editor of the Tulsa, Okla., Trihune, in a hard-hitting speech which has swept the country, says:

"Who is tampering with the soul of America? . . . there is rot and there is blight and there is cutting out and filling to be done if we, as the leaders of free men, are to sur­vive the hammer blows which quite plainly are in store for us all.

"We have reached the stomach-turning point. We have reached the point where we should re-examine the debilitating philosophy of permissiveness. Let this not be confused with the philosophy of liberty. The school system that permits our children to develop a quarter of their natural talents is not a champion of our liberties. The healthy man who chooses to loaf on unemployment compensation is not a defender of human freedom. The playwright who would degrade us, the author who would profit from pandering to the worst that's in us, are no friends of ours.

"It is time we hit the sawdust trail. It is time we revived the idea that there is such a thing as sin—just plain old willful sin. It is time we brought self-discipline back into style. . . ."

Mr. Jones' remarks have an application in the world of religion and the life of the Church. Good men have reached the stomach-turning point about theological license in the name of religious inquiry and do-goodism in the name of Holiness.

In Presbyterian congregations large and small ministers, officers and laymen are up in arms over the subversion of the Standards of the Church, the falsification of the doctrines of the Church, the degradation of the educational processes of the Church, the abasement of the Message of the Church.

Presbyterians have had enough of socialism for Salvation, of politics for spiritual Power, of pacifism and civil disobedience for the Gospel. They want no more subversion of the Bible which offers them myths, legends, falsehoods and fabrications for Biblical scholarship.

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