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Beginning of the story


Rev. Bower would not answer. He insists on an answer but receives none. He them appeals to his teacher, Mr. Hicks, who, though an infidel, was a fine scholar. Then before Hicks can reply Bower answers: "Yes, you are right."

"Am I right as to the grammatical construction, and scripturally, too?"

"Yes," says the old preacher, "you are."

"Then, Bro. Bower, why all this long four hour sermon today?"

The effect was very great. The bashful boy had suddenly, and entirely unconsciously, become a young David. Goliath is dead, and the stripling stands there with the Sword of the Spirit in his hands as astounded at himself as others are affected. The people are moved as never before. Standing near him is his school teacher, Mr. Hicks, with tears coursing down his cheeks, surprised, and proud of his bashful pupil.

Mr. Hicks had been an infidel, but soon after that became a Christian and insisted that his boy Mac should take his confession.

Then the young lad speaks again, saying "If Bro. Bower's doctrine is Baptist doctrine, then I am no longer a Baptist. You, my neighbors and brethren, may be and remain Baptists and Christians, too, but since I see these things as I now do, I can't be."

This was Mac's first public sermon. The matter was postponed one month so the boy might have time to reflect again and recant; but an honest man with the Bible as a guide can't recant. After another fruitless effort by Mr. Bower, to convince the lad, he said to the mother, "Sister Waller, your son reminds me of a boy I once heard of, who, when he went to school, the teacher says, 'that letter is 'a'; 'b', says the boy. 'No, I said that letter was 'a' ; 'b,' says the boy again. Now your boy is just that contrary."

"No," says the mother, "my boy is very studious and obedient."

The month ended. The boy did not retract - he could not equivocate. He went out. Eighty-four of the eighty-eight members followed him, and said, "Mac you must take the stand and preach for us now, for we have followed you out."

He was astounded, but as last consented and went to work and taught the people as best he could.


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