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The New Zealand Evangelist

The Minister and the Robbers.—

The Minister and the Robbers.—

A Wesleyan Minister, many years ago, in Ireland, was journeying to a village where he had to dispense the word of life, and was stopped on his way by three robbers. One of them seized his bridle reius; another presented a pistol, and demanded his money; the third was a mere looker on. The Minister looked them each in the face, and with great seriousness, said,—“Friends, did you pray to God before you left home? Did you ask God to bless you in your present undertaking?” The questions startled them for a moment. Recovering themselves, one said—“We have no time to answer such questions; we want your money.” “I am a poor Minister of the Gospel,” was the reply; “but what little I have shall be given you.” A few shillings was all he had. “Have you not a watch?” “Yes.” “Well, then give it us.” In taking his watch from his page 164 pocket, his eaddle-bage were displayed. “What have you here? “was the question again. “Some religious books, a pair of shoes, and a change of linen.” “We must have them.” The pious Minister dismounted. The saddle bags were taken, and no further demand made. Instantly the Minister began to unbutton his great-coat., and to throw it off his shoulders, at the same time asking, “Will you have my great-coat? “” No,” was the reply, “You are a generous man, and we will not take it.” He then addressed them as follows :—“I have given you every thing you asked for, and would have given you more : I have one favour to ask of you.” “What is that?” “That you kneel down, and allow me to pray to Almighty God in your behalf; to ask him to turn your hearts, and put you upon better ways.” “I'll have nothing to do with the man's things,” said the ringleader. “Nor I neither,” said another. “Here, take your watch; take your money, take your saddle bags : if we have anything to do with you the judgment of God will overtake us.” So each article was returned. This, however, did not satisfy him. He urged prayer upon them. He knelt down; one of the robbers knelt with him: one prayed, the other wept, confessed his sin, said it was the first time in his life he had done such a thing, and it should be the last. How far he kept his word is only known to God, to whom both past and future is always known.