Sermon illustrations


All the Knowledge in the World

At a dinner party, [The Scottish playwright George Bernard] Shaw sat next to a young man who proved to be a bore of historic proportions. After suffering through a seemingly interminable monologue, Shaw cut in to observe that between the two of them, they knew everything there was to know in the world. “How is that?” asked the young man. “Well,” said Shaw, “you seem to know everything except that you’re a bore. And I know that!”

Clifton Fadiman, Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes

A Few Minutes or an Hour?

Tallulah Bankhead (1903-1968) was a flamboyant actress, whom one critic called “more an act than an actress.” She was also known for her extreme talkativeness. One day after an interview, the interviewer said, “I’ve just spent an hour talking to Tallulah for a few minutes.”

Stuart Strachan Jr., Source Material from Clifton Fadiman, Bartlett’s Book of Anecdotes.

A Gripping Lecture

Charles Babbage (1792-1871) was a British mathematician and inventor known for his enjoyment of talking. At one particular dinner, Thomas Carlyle, the Scottish polymath was going on and on about the virtues of silence, leaving little room for anyone else to get a word in edgewise. At the end of the dinner Babbage approached Carlyle and thanked him sternly for his stirring lecture on the topic of silence.

Stuart Strachan Jr.

“In Silence”

Archelaus the 5th century (BC) king of Macedon, was once having his hair cut.  His barber, quite verbose like many others in his profession, asked King Archelaus how he would like his hair cut. His response, “In silence.”

Stuart Strachan Jr.

See also Illustrations on Conversation, Speech, Words