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The New Zealand Evangelist

Earnestness and success.—

Earnestness and success.—

A young lady who taught a class of fourteen girls, after her own heart was touched by the power of divine grace, had the happiness of seeing eleven out of the fourteen give evidence of real conversion to God. But the most remarkable case of this kind I have ever heard of is that of Thomas Cranfield, a Sabbath School teacher in the metropolis. Thomas was originally a London boy—a cruel and quarrelsome blackguard, whose delight was to set other boys a-fighting. He became a soldier, and in the siege of Gibraltar signalised himself by his deeds of daring bravery. When the Spanish floating batteries were blown up by the red hot balls shot by the besieged, he was almost frantic with joy, and hurrahed till he lost his voice. Returning home at the end of the war he heard the Rev. Mr. Romaine preach. He became from that time a new man—a great soldier of Jesus Christ. He opened a Sabbath School in the “Mint,” in his native Southwark. Sixty years ago, Sabbath Schools were a new thing there. At first, the wretched inhabitants of the district assailed him with mud and rotten eggs; but Thomas who had confronted the Spanish batteries, with their grape shot, was not to be repulsed by such missiles in his campaign of benevolence. He gathered an interesting class around him from among the neglected children in the “Mint.” In the course of years, many of them became members of Christian churches; nay, so great was his success, that, when he had completed his 80th year, there were counted more than 2000 who owed their first knowledge of the Bible to this good old soldier.