"My Bible frightened me."



A young lawyer in France, (whose parents were Protestants,) who had wildly turned away from his early virtues, says of himself, "When I reached the age of twenty-six, I was in the sight of God as a madman. When in one of my fits of ungovernable [230] passion, I had a quarrel, which resulted in a challenge to a duel, with one whom I hated, as a rival. Our combat was to take place in secret. I spent a whole day and night in preparing for it, and still I could not look forward to it without horror. Not that I dreaded being either wounded or killed; for I was unfeeling, and my heart was hardened. But my Bible frightened me. I had laid it aside in a closet, and to this closet I went to seek the sword with which I intended to meet my opponent. I reached to the highest shelf, feeling for my sword, when I laid my hand on my Bible! A sudden chill ran through my veins, and without any time for deliberation, I took the book, opened it, and read the tenth Psalm, which was the first passage on which my eyes rested. I read with breathless eagerness, though my uneasiness increased, till I came to this verse: 'Wherefore doth the wicked contemn God? He hath said in his heart, Thou wilt not require it' [Psalms 10:13].

"I felt confounded, and throwing myself prostrate on the door of my room, I sobbed aloud and groaned, praying for pardon from God for the sake of Jesus. I dared not rise; I was afraid even to look up. I felt that the eye of God was upon me, and my sorrow is not to be described. The tortured criminal does not suffer what I then felt; and an hour passed away, at the end of which I felt [231] somewhat more calm, and sat down, still holding my Bible in my hand. God had thus rescued me. The prayers of my poor mother were heard, and my sinful soul was restored to the narrow way of life.

"My duel was now a painful subject, and I resolved to give it up. I met my adversary on the ground. He exclaimed, 'Here I am, make ready!' I answered, I am ready in the name of God, to ask pardon of you, if I have offended you, and to forgive you any wrong you may have done me." The duel was thus averted, and the young lawyer's soul saved. It will be well for all duelists to consult the Bible, before they go to the place of fighting.


From: The Testimony of a Hundred Witnesses (1858) Compiled by J. F. Weishampel, Sr.

[THW 230-231]