That Which Never Tarnishes

David Arnold

John Wesley was preaching one day in a downtrodden section of London, a place where the worst of sinners congregated.

Wesley was preaching to a large multitude, when, over at the edge of the crowd, two ruffians appeared. They said to one another,

"Who is this preacher? We'll show him. What right has he to come here, spoiling our fun?"

They reached down, and took a stone in each hand, and belligerently elbowed their way through the crowd until they came within hailing distance of the preacher.

Then they drew back their arms with the stones, ready to hurl them in his face, when, as Wesley was talking about the power of Christ to change the lives of sinful men, a beauty spread over his face, conveying the love of God.

They stood motionless, their arms poised in the air. One turned to the other, with a note of awe in his voice, and said,

"He ain't a man, Bill; he ain't a man."

The stones fell from their hands onto the ground, and, as Wesley spoke, their hearts were softened.

Finally, when the sermon had been completed, he made his way through the crowd, which parted respectfully to permit him to pass. One of the ruffians, very timidly, reached out his hand to touch the hem of the preacher's garment, and, as he did so, the attention of Wesley was drawn to him and his companion.

He put out his hands, and placed them on the heads of these two ruffians, and said, "God bless you, my boys," and passed on, and as he did so, one ruffian turned to the other, and said, "He is a man, Bill; he is a man. He's a man of God!"

Wesley won by love and kindness, which at long last breaks down every form of ill will.

Jesus said,

"Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets" (Matthew 7:12).

"The Golden Rule never tarnishes."

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