Preaching to but one person



Dr. Lyman Beecher once, on a very stormy day in mid-winter, preached a sermon, in a brother [221] minister's pulpit, to a congregation of but one person, and he a stranger to him. The service being ended, the hearer left, before the parson descended from the sacred desk. What was the result of this sermon? It was the same that occurred when Philip preached to the Eunuch:--his whole congregation was converted (Acts 8:24-40).

About twenty years after, Dr. Beecher was traveling somewhere in Ohio. On alighting from the stage in a pleasant village, a gentleman stepped up and spoke to him, very familiarly calling him by name. "I do not remember you," said the doctor. "I suppose not," said the stranger; "but we once spent two hours together in a house alone in a snow storm." " I do not recall' it, sir," added the doctor; pray, when was it?" "Do you remember preaching, twenty years ago, in such a place, to a single person?" "Yes, yes," said the doctor, grasping his hand, "I do, indeed, and if you are the man, I have been wishing to see you ever since." "I am the man, sir; and that sermon saved my soul, made a minister of me, and yonder is my church! The converts of that sermon, sir, are all over Ohio."

How literally the promise, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them," was fulfilled here, where the one preached and the other heard in faith. [222]


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

[THW 221-222]