I’d Rather See A Sermon

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I’d rather see a sermon than hear one any day:
I’d rather one would walk with me than merely tell the way.

The eye’s a better pupil, and more willing than the ear,
Fine council is confusing, but example’s always clear.

The best of all the preachers are men who live their creed,
For to see good put into action, is what everyone needs.

I can soon learn how to do it, if you let me see it done,
I can catch your hands in action, but your tongue too fast my run.

And the lecture you deliver may be very wise and true,
But I’d rather get my lesson by observing what you do.

For I may misunderstand you in the high advice you give,
But there is no misunderstanding how you act and how you live.

When I see an act of kindness, I am eager to be kind;
When a weaker brother stumbles, and a stronger stays behind.

Just to see if I can help him, then the wish grows strong in me,
To be as big and thoughtful as I know that friend to be.

And all travelers can witness that the best of guides today,
Is not the one that tells them, but the one that shows the way.

~Edgar Guest

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