File Submitter: superaben
File Submitted: 05 Aug 2012
File Updated: 06 Aug 2012
File Category: Dictionaries
Author: Charles H. Spurgeon
e-Sword Version: 9.x - 10.x
Charles Spurgeon’s power in preaching was achieved solely through the blessing of Jesus Christ. During his career, thousands listened to Spurgeon’s sermons and even more read his transcripts after his death. Spurgeon drew crowds because he had a way of preaching that made hard things clear.
Feathers for Arrows was Spurgeon’s personal scrapbook of anecdotes and illustrations. Those astute in Spurgeon’s writings will even recognize a few illustrations found in Spurgeon’s own published sermons. Spurgeon mentioned Feathers for Arrows in his special lectures on the use of anecdotes, part of his Lectures.
This module has been formatted into “.DCTX” as a convenient dictionary for the pastor’s reference.
From the Preface:
There is no necessity in these times to advocate the free use of similitudes in public teaching. Far more needful is it to assist our brethren to find a supply of these indispensable aids to understanding. To some it is difficult to create a comparison, although they know how to use it with effect when it is once suggested to them; and the most fertile minds are frequently stimulated to further production by reading the thoughts of others. It is not, therefore, I hope, an impertinence on my part to present to the Christian public a bundle of illustrations original and collected. My aim has not been to amuse the reader, but to furnish Feathers for Arrows for the servants of Christ.
Whenever I have been permitted sufficient respite from my ministerial duties to enjoy a lengthened tour, or even a short excursion, I have been in the habit of carrying with me a small Note Book, in which I have jotted down any illustrations which have occurred to me by the way. My recreations have been all the more pleasant because I have made them subservient to my lifework. The note book has been useful in my travel as a mental purse. If not fixed upon paper, ideas are apt to vanish with the occasion which suggested them. A word or two will suffice to bring an incident or train of thought to remembrance; and therefore, it would be inexcusable in a minister, who needs so much, not to preserve all that comes in his way.
From the pencil-marks of the pocket-hook my notes have been enlarged into more permanent manuscript, and have been of great service to me. Out of hundreds of metaphors and anecdotes thus collected, I have used the main body in my constant sermonisings; but as enough remained unused to make me feel competently rich in illustrations, I determined to offer a portion of my hoard to my fellow workers, feeling the less difficulty in so doing because the ingatherings of continual observation more than replace the material expended in this distribution. Moreover, indebted as every preacher must be to the illustrations of others, it is but just, that, if he be able, he should make some return: in that spirit my contribution is hereby offered.
To the nucleus formed by callings from my Note Book, my readings, in an attempt to expound the Psalms (The Treasury of David) have enabled me to add many quaint comparisons and ancient stories, which from their very age are probably newer than the latest novelties to modem readers. A few clippings from favorite writers, such as James Hamilton and William Arnot have been thrown in almost of necessity, for one feels a sort of obligation, by the exhibition of golden nuggets, to give note to others of the mines where treasure lies piled up in glittering heaps, To make the gathering still more varied, scraps from newspapers and magazines are interspersed, —fragments preserved in such odd times and circumstances, that out of what basket they first fell I cannot say, whether they are new or old I know not; I can only say that they were new to me. The whole collection is now presented to teachers and preachers as a sincere offering of hearty "brother-help." If there be here a single illustration which shall assist one of my Master's servants in his efforts to impart truth, I shall be greatly gratified. Desiring to do this and every other word and deed,” in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks unto Cod and the Father by him," I prepared these figures and metaphors, that they may serve as feathers for arrows —arrows of gospel truth which I pray may be made sharp in the hearts of the King's enemies.
According to Disraeli's canon, “a preface being the entrance to a book, should invite by its beauty," but he might have equally well remarked that a preface being merely a porch, no one ought to be long detained in it. Believing in this last rule, and begging the reader's lenient criticism, I invite him to such entertainment as this little volume may afford: being myself,
His willing servant,
Click here to download this file