Two fellow-travellers were seated together in a railway carriage engaged in earnest conversation. It was of a religious nature, and one of them, a skeptic, was evidently seeking to excuse his skepticism by expatiating on the various evils which afflict Christendom. He was detailing, with manifest pleasure, the hypocrisy and the craft and the covetousness and the divisions found in the professing Church, and then he pointed to some of the leaders, as the most markedly corrupt of the whole.
In front of them sat a Christian who was compelled to hear all this. Had he felt the accusations to be false, he might have suffered them all, as a part of the hatred the world bears toward Christ, and been truly happy in so suffering; but he knew them to be true—too true to be concealed from the most charitable mind, so all he could do was to bow his head and bear the deserved reproach.
"I see you are quick to detect evil," answered the Christian, "and you read character pretty well. You have been uncovering here the abominable things which have turned Christendom into a wreck, and are fast ripening it for the judgment of God. You have spared none but given all a good measure. Now I am a Christian, and I love the Lord Jesus and his people. Not a word shall I offer in defense, but I here solemnly challenge you to speak the first word against the Lord Jesus Christ Himself."
"Just so," said the Christian; "and therefore was my heart attracted to Him; and the more I look at Him, the more I found I wasn't like Him at all, but only a poor, sinful, guilty man. But tell me yourself if I haven't a right to be happy and to love Him when I found out that He had died for me; that on the cross He had fully paid all my debt, and thus cleared me of all guilt? Ever since then I truly love Him, and all the evil which professed followers of His may do, cannot turn me away from Him. My salvation hangs on what He has done, and not on what they are doing."—Horatius Bonar.