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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Attention: Difficulty of Winning
Buchsell, in his 'Ministerial Experiences,' says,' I was surprised to observe that for some Sundays a rustic, whom I had never seen there before, now regularly made his appearance in church, but in the most open way in the world settled himself to sleep as soon as he was seated, and snored so loud that one heard him even during the singing. A boy, to whom I had often spoken, and who had an open, merry expression of face, was in the habit of placing himself not far from the snorer, and I now requested him to sit more immediately behind him, and to touch him from time to time in order to keep him awake. At first the lad refused to do this, but the promise of groschen led him to comply. During the whole service, I could see the contest carried on between the little fellow and his somnolent neighbor, and by a glance of my eye I sought to encourage the former to keep up the rousing process. On the following Sunday the rustic came again, and so did the boy, whom I begged to continue his good offices as before, but he declined; and when I held out the bribe of the groschen, he told me that the peasant had already given him two, on condition that he should not be disturbed.'
Let us do what we will to enlist the attention of our hearers, we shall not find it an easy task. With our illustrations and anecdotes we may as it were be giving one groschen to secure the ear, but the world, the flesh, and the devil, with their cares, pleasures, and distractions, will always be offering TWO groschen to our one. Yet by God's grace we shall win the day, and conquer not alone the ear but the heart.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Attention: Difficulty of Winning'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/a/attention-difficulty-of-winning.html. 1870.
the Second Week of Advent