Around The Tea-Table eBook

Thomas De Witt Talmage
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 260 pages of information about Around The Tea-Table.

  Income $250 00
  Outgo: 
    Board at $3 per week (cheap place) 156 00
    Clothing (shoddy) 100 00
    Books (no morocco) 25 00
    Traveling expenses 20 00

      Total $301 00

Here you see a deficit of fifty-one dollars.  As there are no “stealings” in a theological seminary, he makes up the balance by selling books or teaching school.  He comes into life cowed down, with a patch on both knees and several other places, and a hat that has been “done over” four or five times, and so weak that the first sharp wind that whistles round the corner blows him into glory.  The inertness you complain of in the ministry starts early.  Do you suppose that if Paul had spent seven years in a cheap boarding house, and the years after in a poorly-supplied parsonage, he would have made Felix tremble?  No!  The first glance of the Roman procurator would have made him apologize for intrusion.

Do not think that all your eight-hundred-dollar minister needs is a Christmas present of an elegantly-bound copy of “Calvin’s Institutes.”  He is sound already on the doctrine of election, and it is a poor consolation if in this way you remind him that he has been foreordained to starve to death.  Keep your minister on artichokes and purslain, and he will be fit to preach nothing but funeral sermons from the text “All flesh is grass.”  While feeling most of all our need of the life that comes from above, let us not ignore the fact that many of the clergy to-day need more gymnastics, more fresh air, more nutritious food.  Prayer cannot do the work of beefsteak.  You cannot keep a hot fire in the furnace with poor fuel and the damper turned.

CHAPTER X.

Autobiography of an old pair of scissors.

I was born in Sheffield, England, at the close of the last century, and was, like all those who study Brown’s Shorter Catechism, made out of dust.  My father was killed at Herculaneum at the time of the accident there, and buried with other scissors and knives and hooks and swords.  On my mother’s side I am descended from a pair of shears that came to England during the Roman invasion.  My cousin hung to the belt of a duchess.  My uncle belonged to Hampton Court, and used to trim the king’s hair.  I came to the United States while the grandfathers of the present generation of children were boys.

When I was young I was a gay fellow—­indeed, what might have been called “a perfect blade.”  I look old and rusty hanging here on the nail, but take me down, and though my voice is a little squeaky with old age, I can tell you a pretty tale.  I am sharper than I look.  Old scissors know more than you think.  They say I am a little garrulous, and perhaps I may tell things I ought not.

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Project Gutenberg
Around The Tea-Table from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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