by T. De Witt Talmage

A Memorial Sermon
Preached in Brooklyn Tabernacle in 1883
T. DeWitt Talmage
Isaiah 60:22

In this prophecy is set forth that which we have all
noticed; that the amount of avoirdupois weight does
not decide the amount of one's effectiveness. Many a
man with vast physical equipment does not weigh a
half-ounce on the side of the world's betterment,
while many a man of insignificant stature and feeble
forearm and decrepit limb has weighed a ton on the
right side of the moral balances. David, the King of
Israel, was so small a mite that he upset the gravity
of Goliath, yet the sword of the giant is hung up in
history as impotent beside the sling of his dwarfish
antagonist. Napoleon was only about five feet in
stature. Archibald Alexander, head and shoulders above
other preachers of his time in theological attainment,
yet not more than up to their elbows in physical
height--one of the smallest and one of the mightiest
that God ever made. And some of the grandest and most
decisive and resounding strokes that have been given
for God and the Church and the world have been given
by men whose bodily equipment has been only an apology
for the soul's earthly retention. Isaac Watts set his
diminutive personal presence, into immortal rhythm

Where I so tall to reach the pole,
And grasp creation in my span,
I must be measured by my soul;
The mind's the stature of the man.

One such man as I have mentioned, though built on
contracted corporeal scale, in intellectual or moral
force amounts to a thousand ordinary people--their
achievements far beyond anything their body
prophesied. So my text has its splendid echo, and "a
little one became a thousand." Among these men of
small body but great soul I place the name of one, the
announcement of whose death falls upon me with this
evening shadow. Alexander H. Stephens, Governor of
Georgia, and late member of the Congress of the ...

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