Wednesday, June 02, 2010



I sat down in an arm chair, wearied with my work. My toil had been severe and protracted. Many were seeking Him. As for myself, I was joyous in my work. My brethren were united. My sermons and exhortations were evidently telling on my hearers. My church was crowded.
Tired with my work, I soon lost myself in a sort of halfforgotten state.
Suddenly a stranger entered the room, without any preliminary "tap" or "come in." He carried about his person, measures, chemical agents, and implements, which gave him a very strange appearance.
The stranger came toward me, and, extending his hand, said: "How is your zeal?"
I supposed that the query was to be for my health, and was well pleased to hear his final words; for I was quite well pleased with my zeal, and doubted not that the stranger would smile when he should know its proportions.
Instantly I conceived of it as physical quantity, and putting my hand to my bosom, brought it forth and presented it to him for inspection.
He took it, and placing it in his scale weighed it carefully. Then I heard him say; "One hundred pounds."
I could scarcely suppress an audible note of satisfaction; but I caught his earnest look as he noted down the weight; and I saw at once that he had drawn no final conclusion, but was intent on pushing his investigation.
He broke the mass to atoms, put it into his crucible, and put the crucible into the fire.
When the mass was fused, he took it out and set it to cool. It congealed in cooling, and when turned out on the hearth exhibited a series of layers of strata; which all, at the touch of the hammer, fell apart, and were severally tested and weighed, the stranger making minute notes as the process went on. When he had finished he presented the notes to me, and he gave me a look of mingled sorrow and compassion, as without a word, except "May God save you," he left the room.
The "notes" read as follows:

A candidate for a Crown of Glory
Weight, en masse, or total weight, 100 lbs.
Of this, on analysis, there proves to be---:
Bigotry--------------------------11 parts
Personal Ambition----------------22 parts
Love of Praise-------------------19 parts
Pride of Denomination------------15 parts
Pride of Talent------------------14 parts
Love of Authority----------------12 parts
(Wood, Hay, and Stubble.) 1Cor 3:10

Love of God-----------------------4 parts
Love of Man-----------------------3 parts
(Pure Zeal)

I had become troubled at the peculiar manner of the stranger, and especially at his parting look and manner; but when I looked at the figures, my heart sank like lead within me.
I made a mental effort to dispute the correctness of the record. But I was startled into a more honest mood by an audible sigh from the stranger (who had paused in the hall). I cried out, "Lord, save me," and knelt down at my chair, with the paper in my hand, and my eyes fixed upon it. At once it became a mirror, and I saw my hear reflected in it.
The record was true. I saw it! I felt it! I confessed it! I deplored it! And I besought God with many tears to save me from myself. With a loud cry of anguish I awoke.
I had once prayed to be saved from hell, but prayer to be saved from myself now was immeasurably more fervent; nor did I rest or pause till the refining fire came down and went through my heart, searching, probing, melting, burning, filling all its chambers with light and hallowing my whole heart to God.
When the toils of my pilgrimage shall be at an end, I shall kneel in heaven, at the feet of the alchemist and bless Him for the revelation of that day. --Anon
(copied from S.S quarterly, 71years ago, 1939)

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