Looking for Love in the Classifieds and All the Wrong Places

Sunday, March 10, 1991
| Ephesians 2:4-10

No matter how often you preach on God''s love, you will never be able to communicate completely the extravagant, superabundant nature of that love.

Yale University recently celebrated the bicentennial anniversary of the death of one of America's most original geniuses - Benjamin Franklin. When sixteen (1722), Benjamin Franklin published in the New England Courant a series of essays now known famously as The Dogood Papers. In these letters the widow Silence Dogood announces her availability for marriage and sums up her characteristics: "To be brief: I am courteous and affable, good humored (unless I am first provoked,) and handsome, and sometimes witty."

The placing of "personals" in the classified pages has become a commonplace of contemporary life. But it has wide precedence and deep antecedence. John Cockburn, in Lonely Hearts: Looking for Love Among the Small Ads (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987) demonstrates that the English have been advertising for dates in the press since the middle of the 1700s. "In 1760 a young gentleman of North Britain, 'but with very little of the brogue,' described himself as 'tall in stature,...

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