Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Straight-talking Billy Sunday

Excerpts from an often-repeated Billy Sunday revival sermon follow:
Billy Sunday, American baseball player and Chr...
Billy Sunday
"Come on you slanderers; come on you assassins of character. Come on you sponsors of harlotry; come on you defamers of God and enemies of the Church; come on you bull-necked, beetle-browed, hog-jowled, peanut-brained, weasel-eyed four flushers, false alarms and excess baggage. I’ll fight you until hell freezes over, and then I’ll buy a pair of skates and tackle you on the ice.”

I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!"

"The trouble with many men is that they have got just enough religion to make them miserable. If there is not joy in religion, you have got a leak in your religion. Some haven't religion enough to pay their debts. Would that I might have a hook and for every debt that you left unpaid I might jerk off a piece of clothing. If I did some of you fellows would have not anything on but a celluloid collar and a pair of socks.
Billy Sunday (1862-1935) (left) at the White H...
Billy Sunday at the White House with staffer
Some of you have not got religion enough to have family prayer. Some of you haven't got religion enough to take the beer bottles out of your cellar and throw them in the alley. You haven't got religion enough to tell the proprietor of the red light, "No, you can't rent my house after the first of June"; to tell the saloon-keeper, "You can't have my house when the lease runs out"; and I want to tell you that the man who rents his property to a saloon-keeper is as low-down as the saloon-keeper. The trouble with you is that you are so taken up with business, with politics, with making money, with your lodges, and each and everyone is so dependent on the other, that you are scared to death to come out and live clean-cut for God Almighty.
"The matter with a lot of people is that our religion is not complete. Why, I am almost afraid to make some folks laugh for fear that I will be arrested for breaking a costly piece of antique bric-a-brac.
"To see some people you would think that the essential of orthodox Christianity is to have a face so long you could eat oatmeal out of the end of a gas pipe. Sister, that is not religion; I want to tell you that the smiling, happy, sunny-faced religion will win more people to Jesus Christ than the miserable old, grim-faced kind will in 10 years.
Accession No.: 1943.1.6 Title: Preaching Alter...
Billy Sunday preaching
"I pity anyone who can't laugh. There must be something wrong with their religion or their lives. The devil can't laugh.
"I have seen women come down the aisle by the thousands, men who drank whiskey enough to sink a ship. I see fallen women come to the front by scores and hundreds, and I have seen them go away cleansed by the power of God.
"I saw a woman that for 27 years had been proprietor of a disorderly house, and I saw her come down the aisle, close her doors, turn the girls out of her house, to live for God. I saw enough converted in one town where there were four disorderly houses to close their doors; they were empty; the girls have all fled home to their mothers."