Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Boreham on Cherishing Differences

F W Boreham, in a sermon on some vital lessons from left-handedness, writes about the way we need to prize individual gifts and different approaches (right and left) to life and faith:

“Towards the end of the eighteenth century, two great literary men were making valuable contributions to the enlightenment of mankind. Jean Buffon was writing his Natural History at Paris; Samuel Johnson was editing his Dictionary in London. Buffon would only work in a room scrupulously clean and tidy, and would wash and dress, as though for a ball, before entering his study. Johnson worked in a room as dusty and untidy as can well be imagined, and the very chair on which he sat was a broken one. But the world has passed over these facts with a smile. It reads Buffon's Natural History, and it consults Johnson's Dictionary; and it pardons the idiosyncrasies of both men. Compared with accuracy and efficiency, method is a small thing.

Lord Peterborough was regarded in military circles as a hopelessly erratic and untrustworthy general. To carry his point he would outrage all the abstract military standards of his time. Lord Galway, on the other hand, was looked upon as a master of the science of generalship. He had the theory of warfare at his fingers' ends; and would rather lose a battle by correct methods than win it by a movement not strictly orthodox. And, whilst Lord Peterborough was the terror of his foes, the Frenchmen made sport of Galway and drove him off the ground. And posterity has decided that, after all, Peterborough was the greater general. Method is, therefore, a secondary consideration.

Now, apply this rule to other departments of life. Do not let the peculiarities of your own individuality or temperament stand between you and the Kingdom of God. It is not necessary that you should he converted in precisely the same way as your next-door neighbor, or as your minister, or as John Bunyan. Come to Christ how you will, so long as you do come to Him. And then serve Him in any way you will, so long as you do serve Him, and dedicate your very best powers to His service. Deal first hand with your conscience, and with God.”

F W Boreham, ‘Left-Handed Warriors’ The Whisper of God and Other Sermons (London: A H Stockwell, 1902), 102-103.

Image: Cover of book about Dr Johnson’s dictionary.