SERMONS IN CANDLES
Sermons in Candles by Charles H. Spurgeon.
Containing illustrations which may be found in common candles.
In addressing students in college long ago, Mr. Spurgeon urged upon them the necessity of enlivening all their sermons with illustrations. "If you do not wake up," he said, "but go through the world asleep, you cannot see illustrations: but if your minds were thoroughly aroused, and yet you could see nothing else In the world but a single tallow candle, you might find enough Illustrations in that candle to last you six months. I will prove my words." The attempt to prove them produced the rudiments of these sermons.—The Annual American Catalogue (1891).
The versatility of Spurgeon was never more manifest than in these striking lectures. The sub-title sufficiently explains their purpose. He tells of the Scripture use of illustration, of candles as emblems, of candles lighting other candles, of candles under bushels, of candles that sputter, and many other kinds, and through it all runs a vein of both wit and wisdom which will delight and instruct. May it be many a year before his candlestick be removed!—The Presbyterian Quarterly (1891).
Object Lesson From Sermons In Candles. In Mr. Spurgeon's famous address, "Sermons in Candles," now published in book form (American Tract Society), is an illustration of a burning candle, on which he sprinkles steel filings. "This candle has fallen upon evil times. I have a bottle here full of black material which is to fall upon the flame of this candle. When I tell you that this bottle contains a quantity of steel filings, you will at once prophesy that the light will be put out. Let us see what will happen. Why, well, instead of putting the candle out, I am making it disport itself as candle never did before. Here we have fireworks, which, if they do not rival those of the Crystal Palace, have a splendor of their own. Do you not think that often when Satan tries to throw dust upon a Christian by slander, he only makes him shine the brighter? He was bright before; now he coruscates. ... So may we turn the filings of steel into flashes of light."—Select Notes: A Commentary on the International Lessons (1909).
Candles made a relevant object lesson because they commonly illuminated homes and churches. Spurgeon presents many different kinds of candles, their accessories, their history and their uses, and teaches a corresponding spiritual lesson. Some examples include: "Grace is like the light of a candle helping those around it," "Bibles which are never read are like lanterns which are never turned on," and "Always put the weaker brother in the place of honor if you can, and thus make the best use of his light." This book is richly illustrated to help explain the concepts.—Curiosmith (2014).