1 My son, keep my words, and hide my commandments with thee.
2 Keep my commandments, and thou shalt live, and mine instruction as the apple of thine eyes.
3 Bind them upon thy fingers, and write them upon the table of thine heart.
4 Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister: and call understanding thy kinswoman,
5 That they may keep thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger that is smooth in her words.
6 As I was in the window of mine house, I looked through my window,
7 And I saw among the fools, and considered among the children a young man destitute of understanding,
8 Who passed through the street by her corner, and went toward her house,
9 In the twilight in the evening, when the night began to be black and dark.
10 And behold, there met him a woman with an harlot’s behavior, and subtil in heart.
11 (She is babbling and loud: whose feet cannot abide in her house.
12 Now she is without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner)
13 So she caught him and kissed him and with an impudent face said unto him,
14 I have peace offerings: this day have I paid my vows.
15 Therefore came I forth to meet thee, that I might seek thy face: and I have found thee.
16 I have decked my bed with ornaments, carpets and laces of Egypt.
17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon.
18 Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us take our pleasure in dalliance.
19 For mine husband is not at home: he is gone a journey far off.
20 He hath taken with him a bag of silver, and will come home at the day appointed.
21 Thus with her great craft she caused him to yield, and with her flattering lips she enticed him.
22 And he followed her straightway, as an ox that goeth to the slaughter, and as a fool to the stocks for correction,
23 Till a dart strike through his liver, as a bird hasteth to the snare, not knowing that he is in danger.
24 Hear me now therefore, O children, and hearken to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not thine heart decline to her ways: wander thou not in her paths.
26 For she hath caused many to fall down wounded, and the strong men are all slain by her.
27 Her house is the way unto ye grave, which goeth down to the chambers of death.
• Joseph Hoag of Vermont was a renowned Quaker preacher; his son, Lindley Murray Hoag, also became a renowned Quaker preacher. Mr. Hoag and his son, who was still a young man, attended a Quarterly Meeting where it was expected that the elder Hoag would speak. However, he didn’t feel called by the Holy Spirit to speak, so he remained silent. He did, however, feel that his son was remaining silent because his son felt that the people present at the meeting were hoping to hear the elder Hoag speak. To encourage his son to speak, Mr. Hoag nudged his son with his foot, and his son stood up and gave a remarkable sermon. The nudge was seen by the elders of the meeting, who felt that no one should made to speak, but should speak only when moved by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the elders criticized the elder Mr. Hoag, who responded, “If you can kick a sermon like that out of any of your boys, you had better do it.”
• John Salkeld was a street preacher. Once, he was setting out to preach when a man named James Gibbons asked where he was going. Mr. Salkeld replied, “I am going to the Common to preach to the sailors near the Delaware River in Philadelphia.” However, Mr. Gibbons argued against street preaching and said that it didn’t do any good, so Mr. Salkeld went back home. A week later, Mr. Salkeld and Mr. Gibbons again met, and Mr. Gibbons again asked Mr. Salkeld where he was going. Mr. Salkeld replied, “I am going to the Common to preach to the sailors. I started out last week but the Devil stopped me.”
• In York, England, Quakers sometimes passed through a Toll Bar on their way to the Friends Meeting House to worship. The Toll Bar was free to preachers going to church to preach, but the Quakers do not preach unless called by the spirit to preach. Whenever the Toll Bar attendant asked the Quakers if they were going to preach, they replied, “We are going to hold a Quaker Meeting; it is likely that we shall preach, but if we do not we will tell thee on our return and pay toll both ways.”
• Elton Trueblood, a Quaker, was committed to equality in ministry. Once, he was invited to preach at a large university. He met with other clergy before the service, and eventually the host pastor told everyone that it was time for them to put on robes and clerical vestments. Mr. Trueblood asked, “Is it required that we wear robes in religious settings?” The host pastor, somewhat flustered, said that it was not required, and Mr. Trueblood replied, “In that case, I’ll be glad to do so.”
• While preaching at a church in Bentley Creek, Pennsylvania, Wesleyan pastor William Woughter had the misfortune of being bothered by a fly that buzzed around him, then flew straight into his mouth, causing him to gag until he was finally forced to swallow the fly. Pastor William then looked at the congregation and said, “That reminds me of the scripture, ‘I was a stranger and you took me in.’”
• Scottish preachers can be outspoken. The Reverend Mr. Scott, of the Cowgate in Edinburgh, once told his congregation, “My brethren, Job, in the first place, was a sorely tried man. Job, in the second place, was an uncommonly patient man. Job, in the third place, never preached here at the Cowgate. Fourthly, and lastly, if Job had preached here, God help his patience.”
• John Bunyan (1628-1688) was imprisoned because his preaching was contrary to popular opinion about God. His wife went to the Swan Chamber to speak to the judges about his release, and a judge told her, “Will your husband leave preaching? If so, send for him.” She replied, “My Lord, he dares not leave preaching, so long as he can speak.” Mr. Bunyan wrote Pilgrim’s Progresswhile he was in prison.
• A missionary couple stayed at the home of an elderly widow, When they went to bed, they discovered that the bedding was very wrinkled and very dirty, but they slept in the bed anyway. The next morning, the widow explained, “For years there have been so many holy people who have slept in that bed that I’ve never been able to change it.”
• Reverend Robert Shirra, of Kirkcaldy, Fife, once preached a sermon in which he read this verse from David’s 116th Psalm: “I said in my haste, all men are liars.” The good reverend stopped reading, then said, “Aye, David, and if ye had lived in thisparish, ye might have said it at your leisure.”
• The very young and very tired daughter of a Salvation Army church-goer disrupted one sermon by crying out “Amen! Amen!” over and over again, despite being hushed by her mother. Later, the daughter told her mother, “I kept saying, ‘Amen,’ but that man would notstop talking.”
• George Canning (1770-1827) was blunt. Once a clergyman asked how Mr. Canning had liked his sermon. Mr. Canning said, “You were brief.” The clergyman responded, “Yes, you know I avoid being tedious.” Mr. Canning replied, “But you were tedious.”
• According to Quaker pastor Stan Banker, there are three rules for effective preaching: “1) Preach about God; 2) Preach about 20 minutes; and 3) If you forget one of the first two parts, make sure it is not the second part.”
• Isaac Meir Rothenburg, also known as the Hiddushe Harim, once visited Rabbi Moses Eliakim Briah, who kissed him. But the Hiddushe Harim told him, “I do not want a rabbi who embraces but one who chastises and rebukes.”
• A Scotswoman was asked what she thought of the minister’s sermon that morning. She replied, “How did he get on? Ah, he just stood there and threw stones at us, and never missed with any of them. Now that was preaching!”
• “Most sermons, messages, talks, homilies, speeches, even opinions I have ever heard could have been twice as good if half as long.” — Stan Banker, a Quaker pastor.
Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved
THINGS I WILL NEVER DO
read every great book
kiss every pretty woman
see every great film