A FAITHFUL GOD
A venerable clergyman in the West of England, by the name Thompson, had annually for many years made it his custom to distribute the overplus of his farm among the poor of his parish, after having supplied the wants of his own household.
One year, however, he was compelled to depart from this plan. His benevolence had led him to engage to give thirty pounds towards the erection of a chapel, in a town whose inhabitants needed more church-room. He was compelled, instead of giving his corn to the poor, to sell as much of it as would raise the sum promised. He regretted the circumstances, but it was unavoidable.
Having thus procured the money, he left his home to be the bearer of his own benefaction. On the road he overtook a young lady, mounted on a horse like himself, whom he accosted with frankness and kindness. They travelled together over a down, and found they were going to the same place. His conversation and manner won much the respect of the young woman, who listened with attention to his serious and holy conversation. She learned his name, and his residence, and, when they were about to part, was invited by the old clergyman to call upon him at his friend’s in the town.
In the course of the evening, the young lady related with great pleasure, the very gratifying journey she had travelled, with a clergyman of the name of Thompson.
“Thompson!” exclaimed the lady of the house, “I wish it were Mr. Thompson for whom we have for many years been inquiring in vain. I have money, tied up in a bag by my late husband, due to a person of that name, who desired to leave it till called for. But I suppose that the old clergyman should be asked if this were any relation of his. He was sent for, came, and it soon appeared, that the Mr. Thompson, to whom the money was so long due, was his own brother, who had been dead several years, and to whose effects he was executor and residuary legatee.
The money was paid him; he fell on his knees, blessed God, who had thus interposed on behalf of his poor people, hastened to his friend to tell him the joyful news, and as he entered his house exclaimed, “Praise God: tell it in Gath, publish it in Askelon, that our God is a faithful God.”