Sermon Illustrations


From a great chess player of Cincinnati, we learn that in the early part of the last century an artist who was also a great chess player painted a picture of a chess game. The players were a young man and Satan. The young man manipulated the white pieces; Satan the black pieces. The issue of the game was this: should the young man win, he was to be forever free from the power of evil; should the devil win, the young man was to be his slave forever. The artist evidently believed in the supreme power of evil, for his picture presented the devil as victor.

In the conception of the artist, the devil had just moved his queen and had announced a checkmate in four moves. The young man's hand hovered over his rook; his face paled with amazement—there was no hope. The devil wins! He was to be a slave forever.

For years, this picture hung in a great art gallery. Chess players from all over the world viewed the picture. They acquiesced in the thought of the artist. The devil wins! After several years a chess doubter arose; he studied the picture and became convinced that there was but one chess player upon the earth who could give him assurance that the artist of this picture was right in his conception of the winner. The chess player was the aged Paul Morphy, a resident of New Orleans, Louisiana. Morphy was a supreme master of chess in his day, an undefeated champion. A scheme was arranged through which Morphy was brought to Cincinnati to view the chess picture.

Morphy stood before the picture, five minutes, ten minutes, twenty minutes, thirty minutes. He was all concentration; he lifted and lowered his hands as, in imagination, he made and eliminated moves. Suddenly, his hand paused, his eyes burned with the vision of an unthought-of combination. Suddenly, he shouted, "Young man, make that move. That's the move!"

To the amazement of all, the old master, the supreme chess personality, has discovered a combination that the creating artist had not considered. The young man defeated the Devil.

(Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations)

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