The Power Of Example

In a town in Bavaria there was a little old-fashioned church. Among those who were in the habit of worshipping there was a certain duke
living in the neighbourhood. He was a good Christian man, who was humbly walking with God. On coming out of church he was in the habit of talking, in a friendly way, with any of the peasants whom he might happen to meet.

One day he met an old man. They talked together about different things. The duke felt interested in the old man, and before parting from him asked if he could do anything for him.

“Noble sir,” said the peasant, ” you cannot do anything better for me than you have already done.”

“How is that?”, asked the duke. “I didn’t know that I ever did anything for you.”

” But I know it,” said the old man, “and never can forget it, for you saved my son. He had got to be a very bad young fellow. For a long time he had given up reading his Bible, or going to church. Every day he was getting worse and worse. It almost broke my heart to think of him. One day, in passing by this dear old church, he
saw you going in. He said to himself, ‘ I should like to see what the duke does there.’ He went quietly in, and sat down to watch you. But when he saw you praying so earnestly and devoutly, it made a deep impression on him. It led him to pray himself. He broke off from his evil ways; and now he is the comfort and joy of my life. I
thank you, sir, for this. And this is what I meant when I said you never can do me a greater favor than you have done for me already.”

That good duke was walking with God, and when we think how much good he was doing by the quiet influence of his example, we see what profit there is in this walk.

– Richard Newton