"General Jackson has come in; General Jackson has come in." I felt a flash of indignation run all over me like an electric shock, and facing about to my congregation, and purposely speaking out audibly, I said, 'Who is General Jackson? If he don't get his soul converted, God will damn him as quick as he would a Guinea negro!'
Peter Cartwright- Backwoods Preacher (3)
A Character story about honesty.
Peter Cartwright was a fearless preacher in the pioneer days of the United States. He tells of having a famous guest come into his service once.
"Monday evening came; the church was filled to overflowing; every seat was crowded, and many had to stand. After singing and prayer, brother Mac took his seat in the pulpit. I then read my text: "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" After reading my text I paused. At that moment I saw General (Andrew) Jackson walking up the aisle; he came to the middle post, and every gracefully leaned against it, and stood, as there were no vacant seats. Just then I felt some one pull my coat in the stand, and turning my head, my fastidious preacher, whispering a little loud, said: "General Jackson has come in; General Jackson has come in." I felt a flash of indignation run all over me like an electric shock, and facing about to my congregation, and purposely speaking out audibly, I said, 'Who is General Jackson? If he don't get his soul converted, God will damn him as quick as he would a Guinea negro!'
The preacher tucked his head down, and squatted low, and would, no doubt, have been thankful for leave of absence. The congregation, General Jackson and all, smiled or laughed right out, all at the preacher's expense. When the congregation was dismissed, my city-stationed preacher stepped up to me, and very sternly said to me: 'You are the strangest man I ever saw, and General Jackson will chastise you for your insolence before you leave the city.'
Next morning, very early, my city preacher went down to the hotel to make an apology to General Jackson for my conduct in the pulpit the night before. Shortly after he had left I passed by the hotel, and I met the General on the pavement; and before I approached him by several steps he smiled, and reached out his hand and said: 'Mr. Cartwright, you are a man after my own heart. I am very much surprised at Mr. Mac, to think he would suppose that I would be offended at you. No sir; I told him that I highly approved of your independence; that a minister of Jesus Christ ought to love every body and fear no mortal man. I told Mr. Mac that if I had a few thousand such independent, fearless officers as you were, and a well-drilled army, I could take old England."
Here is a humorous little story from the early days of Peter Cartwright. During one service "a man came into the congregation who had been drinking and frolicking all the night before. He came in late, and took his seat on the end of a bench nearly in the door, and, having slept none the night before, presently he began to nod; and as he nodded and bent forward, the pet lamb came along by the door, and seeing this man nodding and bending forward, he took it as a banter, and straightway backed and then sprang forward, and gave the sleeper a severe jolt right on the head, and over he tilted him, to the no small amusement of the congregation, who all burst out into laughter; and grave as the preacher, Mr. Lee, was, it so excited his risibilities that he almost lost his balance. But recovering himself a little, he went on in a most solemn and impressive strain. His subject was the words of our Lord: 'Except a man deny himself, and take up his cross, he can not be my disciple.' He urged on his congregation, with melting voice and tearful eyes, to take up the cross, no matter what it was, take it up.
There were in the congregation a very wicked Dutchman and his wife, both of whom were profoundly ignorant of the Scriptures and the plan of salvation. His wife was a notorious scold, and so much was she given to this practice, that she made her husband unhappy, and kept him almost always in a perfect fret, so that he led a most miserable and uncomfortable life. It pleased God that day to cause the preaching of Mr. Lee to reach their guilty souls and break up the great deep of their hearts. They wept aloud, seeing their lost condition, and they, then and there, resolved to do better, and from that time forward to take up the cross and bear it, be it what it might.
The congregation were generally deeply affected. Mr. Lee exhorted them and prayed for them as long as he consistently could, and, having another appointment some distance off that evening, he dismissed the congregation, got a little refreshment, saddled his horse, mounted, and started for his evening appointment. After riding some distance, he saw, a little head of him, a man trudging along, carrying a woman on his back. This greatly surprised Mr. Less. He very naturally supposed that the woman was a cripple, or had hurt herself in some way, so that she could not walk. The traveler was a small man, and the woman large and heavy.
When he came up to them, lo and behold, who should it be but the Dutchman and his wife that had been so affected under his sermon at meeting! Mr. Lee rode up and spoke to them, and inquired of the man what had happened, or what was the matter, that he was carrying his wife.
The Dutchman turned to Mr. Lee and said, 'Besure you did tell us in your sarmon dat we must take up de cross and follow de Savior, or dat we could not be saved or go to heaven, and I does desire to go to heaven so much as any pody; and dish vife is so bad, she scold and scold all de time, and dish woman is de createst cross I have in de whole world, and I does take her up and pare her, for I must save my soul.' Mr. Lee told the Dutchman to put his wife down, and he dismounted, took out his Bible, read them several passages of Scripture, and explained and expounded to them the way of the Lord more perfectly"!