Last week I was searching for some thoughts and viewpoints on stillness of the soul and I came across this old Sunday School Teacher book on Google. The book itself was published in 1876 by the National Sunday school union. My search led my to page 344 where there is a section entitled “Things to Think On”. which surprisingly I have. I even found myself returning there today when I had a small break. I forsee more returns to this section as these old thoughts are somewhat captivating in how new they are! Today, however, what caught my eye was the section which immediately proceeded the section on thinking, which contained this little story.
A SINGULAR SERMON Four gentlemen and an old minister were assailed on the highway by three robbers who demanded and took possession of all their funds The old minister pleaded very hard to be allowed a little money as he was on his way to pay a bill in London. The highwaymen as our authority informs us, “being generous fellows gave him all his money back on condition of his preaching them a sermon.” Accordingly they retired a little distance from the highway and the minister addressed them as follows: Gentlemen You are the most like the old apostles of any men in the world
“Gentlemen You are the most like the old apostles of any men in the world for they were wanderers upon the earth and so are you they had neither lands nor tenements that they could call their own neither as I presume have you. They were despised of all but those of their own profession and so I believe are you; they were unalterably fixed in the principles they professed and I dare swear so are you; they were often hurried into jails and prisons all of which sufferings I presume have been undergone by you; their profession brought them all untimely death and if you continue in your course so will yours bring you. But, in this point beloved you differ mightily for the apostles ascended from a tree into heaven where I am afraid you will never come but as their deaths were compensated with eternal glory yours will be rewarded with eternal shame and misery unless you mend your manners. —Methodist Magazine for February 1797