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"Now, children," said the visiting minister who had been asked to
question the Sunday-school, "with what did Samson arm himself to fight
against the Philistines?"
None of the children could tell him.
"Oh, yes, you know!" he said, and to help them he tapped his jaw with
one finger. "What is this?" he asked.
This jogged their memories, and the class cried in chorus: "The jawbone
of an ass."
All work and no plagiarism makes a dull parson.
Bishop Doane of Albany was at one time rector of an Episcopal church in
Hartford, and Mark Twain, who occasionally attended his services, played
a joke upon him, one Sunday.
"Dr. Doane," he said at the end of the service, "I enjoyed your sermon
this morning. I welcomed it like on old friend. I have, you know, a book
at home containing every word of it."
"You have not," said Dr. Doane.
"I have so."
"Well, send that book to me. I'd like to see it."
"I'll send it," the humorist replied. Next morning he sent an unabridged
dictionary to the rector.
The four-year-old daughter of a clergyman was ailing one night and was
put to bed early. As her mother was about to leave her she called her
"Mamma," she said, "I want to see my papa."
"No, dear," her mother replied, "your papa is busy and must not be
"But, mamma," the child persisted, "I want to see my papa."
As before, the mother replied: "No, your papa must not be disturbed."
But the little one came back with a clincher:
"Mamma," she declared solemnly, "I am a sick woman, and I want to see my
PROFESSOR--"Now, Mr. Jones, assuming you were called to attend a patient
who had swallowed a coin, what would be your method of procedure?"
YOUNG MEDICO--"I'd send for a preacher, sir. They'll get money out of
Archbishop Ryan was once accosted on the streets of Baltimore by a man
who knew the archbishop's face, but could not quite place it.
"Now, where in hell have I seen you?" he asked perplexedly.
"From where in hell do you come, sir?"
A Duluth pastor makes it a point to welcome any strangers cordially, and
one evening, after the completion of the service, he hurried down the
aisle to station himself at the door.
He noticed a Swedish girl, evidently a servant, so he welcomed her to
the church, and expressed the hope that she would be a regular
attendant. Finally he said if she would be at home some evening during
the week he would call.
"T'ank you," she murmured bashfully, "but ay have a fella."
A minister of a fashionable church in Newark had always left the
greeting of strangers to be attended to by the ushers, until he read the
newspaper articles in reference to the matter.
"Suppose a reporter should visit our church?" said his wife.
"Wouldn't it be awful?"
"It would," the minister admitted.
The following Sunday evening he noticed a plainly dressed woman in one
of the free pews. She sat alone and was clearly not a member of the
flock. After the benediction the minister hastened and intercepted her
at the door.
"How do you do?" he said, offering his hand, "I am very glad to have you
"Thank you," replied the young woman.
"I hope we may see you often in our church home," he went on. "We are
always glad to welcome new faces."
"Do you live in this parish?" he asked.
The girl looked blank.
"If you will give me your address my wife and I will call on you some
"You wouldn't need to go far, sir," said the young woman, "I'm your
Bishop Goodsell, of the Methodist Episcopal church, weighs over two
hundred pounds. It was with mingled emotions, therefore that he read the
following in _Zion's Herald_ some time ago:
"The announcement that our New England bishop, Daniel A. Goodsell, has
promised to preach at the Willimantic camp meeting, will give great
pleasure to the hosts of Israel who are looking forward to that feast of
It is a standing rule of a company whose boats ply the Great Lakes that
clergymen and Indians may travel on its boats for half-fare. A short
time ago an agent of the company was approached by an Indian preacher
from Canada, who asked for free transportation on the ground that he was
entitled to one-half rebate because he was an Indian, and the other half
because he was a clergyman.--_Elgin Burroughs_.
Booker Washington, as all the world knows, believes that the salvation
of his race lies in industry. Thus, if a young man wants to be a
clergyman, he will meet with but little encouragement from the head of
Tuskegee; but if he wants to be a blacksmith or a bricklayer, his
welcome is warm and hearty.
Dr. Washington, in a recent address in Chicago, said:
"The world is overfull of preachers and when an aspirant for the pulpit
comes to me, I am inclined to tell him about the old uncle working in
the cotton field who said:
"'De cotton am so grassy, de work am so hard, and de sun am so hot, Ah
'clare to goodness Ah believe dis darkey am called to preach.'"
On one occasion the minister delivered a sermon of but ten minutes'
duration--a most unusual thing for him.
Upon the conclusion of his remarks he added: "I regret to inform you,
brethren, that my dog, who appears to be peculiarly fond of paper, this
morning ate that portion of my sermon that I have not delivered. Let us
After the service the clergyman was met at the door by a man who as a
rule, attended divine service in another parish. Shaking the good man by
the hand he said:
"Doctor, I should like to know whether that dog of yours has any pups.
If so I want to get one to give to my minister."
Recipe for a parson:
To a cupful of negative goodness
Add the pleasure of giving advice.
Sift in a peck of dry sermons,
And flavor with brimstone or ice.
A pompous Bishop of Oxford was once stopped on a London street by a
"Well, my little man, and what can I do for you?" inquired the
"The time o' day, please, your lordship."
With considerable difficulty the portly bishop extracted his timepiece.
"It is exactly half past five, my lad."
"Well," said the boy, setting his feet for a good start, "at 'alf past
six you go to 'ell!"--and he was off like a flash and around the
corner. The bishop, flushed and furious, his watch dangling from its
chain, floundered wildly after him. But as he rounded the corner he ran
plump into the outstretched arms of the venerable Bishop of London.
"Oxford, Oxford," remonstrated that surprised dignitary, "why this
Puffing, blowing, spluttering, the outraged Bishop gasped out:
"That young ragamuffin--I told him it was half past five--he--er--told
me to go to hell at half past six."
"Yes, yes," said the Bishop of London with the suspicion of a twinkle in
his kindly old eyes, "but why such haste? You've got almost an hour."
Skilful alike with tongue and pen,
He preached to all men everywhere
The Gospel of the Golden Rule,
The New Commandment given to men,
Thinking the deed, and not the creed,
Would help us in our utmost need.
_See also_ Burglars; Contribution box; Preaching; Resignation.
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