Miraculous Deliverance Of
"A missionary who had been sent to a strange land to proclaim the gospel of the kingdom of God, had passed through many hardships. He was often in danger of losing his life through the persecutions excited against him. One day, taking his life in his hands, he went to a dangerous place where he had often preached Christ crucified. About fifty believers came to hear the missionary preach.
"He began his sermon, and after he had preached about thirty minutes, a blood thirsty mob surrounded the house, all armed with different instruments of death, and shouting the most murderous purposes. Some that were inside shut the door, and the missionary and the group of believers knelt in fervent prayer.
"The mob attacked the house, and began to throw stones against the walls, windows, and roof. In a little while almost every tile on the roof was destroyed, and the roof nearly uncovered. Before they left the premises, scarcely one square inch of glass was left in the five windows in the house. While this was going on, one of the mob came to the window opposite where the preacher stood. He had a pistol. (The missionary was encouraging the small congregation to be steady, to resign themselves to God, and trust in Him.) The man with the pistol pointed it at him, and pulled the trigger. But it only flashed!
"As the house was a wooden building, the mob took crowbars and shovels to destroy the foundation and knock the house down. The preacher then told his little group: ‘These wicked people seek not you, but me. If I stay in the house, they will soon tear it down, and we shall all be buried in the ruins. I will, in the name of God, go out to them, and you will be safe.’
"He then went towards the door. The distressed people surrounded him and begged him not to venture out, as he would be instantly massacred. However, He went calmly forward, opened the door, and instantly a whole volley of stones and dirt was thrown right in his face. But he was not hurt.
"The people were crowded in front of the door, and filled the road for a long way, so that there was no room to get through. As soon as the preacher made his appearance, the savages became instantly as silent and as still as night. He walked forward, and they divided, to the right and to the left, leaving a path about four feet wide for the missionary and a young man who followed him. They passed on through the whole crowd. No one lifted a hand, or spoke a word, until he and his companion had walked through the whole mob.
The narrator who was present on the occasion goes on to say: "This was one of the most dramatic spectacles I ever witnessed; an infuriated mob without any visible cause (for the preacher spoke not one word), became in a moment as calm as lambs! They seemed struck with amazement bordering on stupefaction. They stared and stood speechless; and after they had fallen back to the right and left to leave him a free passage, they were as motionless as statues!
"They assembled with the full purpose to destroy the man who came to show them the way of salvation; but he passing through the midst of them, went his way. Was not the God of missionaries in this work?"
In the book, the Life of Adam Clarke, the "missionary" referred to above, is identified as Clarke himself.*
"During the whole time of his (Clarke’s) passing through the mob, there was a death-like silence, nor was there any motion, but that which was necessary to give him a free passage! Either their eyes were holden that they could not know him; or they were so over-awed by the power of God that they could not lift a hand, or utter a word against him. The believers, finding all was quiet, came out a little after, and passed through the mob, not one of them being either hurt or molested! In a few minutes the mob seemed to awake as from a dream, and finding that their prey had been plucked out of their teeth, they knew not how, attacked the house afresh, broke every square of glass in the windows, and scarcely left a whole tile upon the roof. Clarke afterwards learned that the design of the mob was to put him in the sluice of an overshot water-wheel, by which he would have been crushed to pieces."
Yes, the God of the missionaries is still in control!
Doctor Adam Clarke (1762-1832) lived in Londonderry, Ireland. He became a Methodist preacher and worked in Ireland, Scotland, Channel Islands and Shetland Islands.
M. E. Cornell