Entry #45: Sermons We See

I was inspired by my niece, Jennifer, to post a new entry. Has anyone heard this poem? If so (or if not), what do you think of it? I thought it was worthy of all acceptation:

SERMONS WE SEE (by Edgar A. Guest)  

I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one any day;

I’d rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way.

The eye’s a better pupil and more willing than the ear;

Fine council is confusing, but example’s always clear;

And the best of all the preachers are the men who live their creeds,

For to see good put in action is what everybody needs.

I soon can learn to do it if you’ll let me see it done;

I can watch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast may run.

And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true;

But I’d rather get my lessons by observing what you do.

For I might misunderstand you and the high advice you give,

But there’s no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see a deed of kindness, I am eager to be kind.

When a weaker brother stumbles and a strong man stays behind

Just to see if he can help him, then the wish grows strong in me,

To become as big and thoughtful as I know that I can be.

And all the travelers can witness that the best of guides today

Is not the one who tells you, but the one who shows the way.

One good man teaches many, men believe what they behold;

One deed of kindness noticed is worth forty that are told.

Who stands with men of honor learns to hold his honor dear,

For right living speaks a language which to everyone is clear.

Though an able speaker charms me with his eloquence, I say,

I’d rather see a sermon than to hear one, any day.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
 – Matthew 5:16

Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
– II Corinthians 3:2-3

Published in: on April 1, 2008 at 4:11 am  Comments (7)  

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  1. Yes my friend I have this poem in the front cover of an old Bible. I can not remember were I saw it or how I got it. But many times in my short life, I have opened that Bible and this poem was the first thing I saw.

    Yes, it did and has an impact upon my life.
    Thank you for bring it to my attention once more.



    Thanks for your comment on this. My mom used to read some Edgar A. Guest poems to my brothers & sisters & me when we were “kids.” My Uncle Ed used to have a collection of Edgar A. Guest poems too. Though I don’t remember hearing this one from either my mom or uncle, I do remember seeing it a while back. I think it’s neat you had this poem in your Bible. To me, the ultimate is to hear a good sermon and see one SIMULTANEOUSLY. I’ve been blessed to know some who, in my estimation, “fit this bill.” GOD BLESS!

  2. Tom,

    This is a great poem. That Edgar A. Guest certainly had a way with words. I hope and pray that my life will reflect what I say I believe, for I want to be a doer of the Word as the book of James tells us we should be. Thanks for sharing.


  3. Happy Birthday today, Tommy! Many, many blessings today & the whole year through!

  4. Yes, Tom, visual sermons are the best kind. Hope you are doing well. Helen

  5. It’s been awhile since I read this poem. Edgar Guest is one of Mom’s favorite poets. I like him too. To put it quite succinctly, I think he was saying “Do as I say and say as I do.” God help us all to live our faith. Thanks for sharing this Bro!


  6. Just saying hey! How are things at the new place?

  7. you have a wonderful site!

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