Sudden judgment on an ungodly physician

 

 

In perfect harmony with what has been written in this sketch comes another occurrence of kindred nature which transpired in a Southern State. We give it as related by a Methodist preacher.

There lived in a town where he was stationed as pastor a physician who was a moral blight to the community by reason of his skeptical views and sinful life. His influence was especially baneful among the young men, some of whom he led to embrace infidelity, and a greater number to become openly and shamelessly wicked.

One Sabbath morning the preacher felt deeply impressed to preach from Proverbs 29:l: "He that being often reproved, hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy." His subject was the swift and terrible judgments of God upon those who resisted His calls and warnings.

While opening up his discourse and in the act of glancing over the audience he was profoundly surprised to see the infidel doctor sitting in the congregation. No one had ever beheld him, or even heard of his attending a church before. So there was not only genuine wonder with the pastor, but among the people at the man's presence among them.

When first observed he was about two-thirds of the way back towards the door, and in the following peculiar position: His body was bent forward with his chin resting on his hands that were folded one on top of the other, and laid on the edge of the bench immediately in front of him. He had raven hair, a heavy mustache of the same color, and coal black eyes which he fixed steadily upon the minister in the pulpit. As the preacher proceeded with his discourse, enlarging upon the calamities that befell men who strove with and against God, the big mustache would curl and the teeth gleam for a moment under the incredulous smile of the infidel. The whole mocking face seemed to say, "Do you think you can frighten me with that kind of talk? Do you imagine for a moment that I believe what you are saying?"

The preacher said that he could scarcely go on with his sermon, the man's appearance was so infernal, and his presence so paralyzing. He added that he never looked into a countenance that seemed so Satanic. The horrible thought took possession of him and could not be shaken off that the Devil was in the man and looking at him through his eyes, and mocking him through his hell-surrendered countenance.

To all appearance the preacher was the more troubled of the two, and the skeptic was having the best of the situation so far as mental burden and spiritual distress were concerned. And yet at the same time, and all unconscious of the fact, the doctor was hearing his last warning; and he was receiving it from the lips of the very man whom he was jeering at in his heart, and scorning with every line of his sinister face and position of the defiant body.

When the sermon was finished, the doctor walked out of the church, mounted his horse and rode away. Meantime the congregation scattered to their homes, while a few of the stewards remained standing by the door conversing with the pastor.

While thus engaged, suddenly the sharp report of a rifle or pistol rang out on the air from some point several hundred yards distant down the road. All were surprised at the sound and commented on its unusualness on a Sabbath morning and near a quiet country town like their own. They had, however, dismissed the thought, and were speaking of some church matter of common interest, when they saw a man running up the road towards them and crying out, "The Doctor's killed! The Doctor's killed!"

Hurrying back with him they found the physician's horse browsing on the grass, and close by, lying stone dead on the ground was the doctor with his face upturned to the sky, his black eyes wide open and staring aloft, as if he was watching the flight of his lost soul as it sped on its way to the Judgment Bar of that God whom he had resisted and grieved and insulted up to the last hour of his life.

A bullet shot from a thicket had entered the back of the skull and came out through the forehead, producing instant death. The victim evidently did not see his murderer, nor is he known until this day.

The man led a wicked life, and died as he lived, just as most people do, according to the Bible and history, and our own observation. What possessed him to visit the church that Sabbath no one ever knew. His contemptuous face and manner showed that it was for no good.

 

From: UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES Compiled by Duane V. Maxey

 

 

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