The Drover and the Infidel

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 6
The train was traveling from Norwich to Yarmouth. Occupying the same compartment were a clergyman, two ladies, and a man who proved to be an infidel. Farther on a cattle-drover also entered the compartment. As the train moved on, the clergyman gave a gospel tract to each. The infidel alone refused it, saying he never read such trash, and that he had two daughters at home whom he would not allow to read the Bible.
For fully ten minutes he then assailed the Word of God, professing to show it up.
“Pardon me, sir," said the clergyman, "but you say this Book is not fit for your daughters to read, yet for the last ten minutes you have quoted extracts from it, in the hearing of these two ladies, extracts which you say are unfit for your children. This is most inconsistent." The clergyman quoted scriptures and argued, but all was rejected by the infidel.
At last the drover spoke: "May I be allowed to say a word, sir? I am a cattle-drover, and sometimes I drive sheep, and sometimes I drive pigs. My boss went to the market the other day and bought some sheep, and I had to drive them home. Near his farm, there is a narrow lane, with nice green grass all through, and a pond at the far end. You should have seen those sheep go for the grass when I got them in the lane! They nibbled it, bleating as though cheering one another on. And when they had put their noses in the pond, they seemed as fresh as though just off the downs. The boss says to me,
“Jim, those sheep look fresh."
“Of course they do,"Ι said, “they have been feeding as they came along.”
“Well, the next week the boss sent me to drive home some pigs. When I got them into the lane, they began rooting up the grass to get at the worms, grubs and dirt. It hurt me to see them destroying the beautiful green sod, so I drove them as fast as I could.
“And when they came to the pond, in they went, stirring up all the mud, and got home filthier than when they started.
“Now, sir," said the drover turning to the infidel, "you are like the pigs. Millions of dear souls find food and comfort in God's word, but you do not; and because it does not suit you, you would try and spoil it for others who could live on it. And while God made the worms to do his work in nature, so has He been pleased to write down in His Word, the Bible, things that you call unfit for reading. And as far as I can see, he has written down these dark sins committed in the lives of men (things we should leave out if we had to write their lives), to show that it is vile sinners that His grace can save. Yes, sir, He shows them up just as he sees them, and yet He says, ‘I can save the vilest; for the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, cleanseth from all sin.’
“Take my advice, sir, give up finding fault with God’s blessed Word, but believe its message, when it says, ‘All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,’ and accept His offer of salvation, to be had through faith in Christ Jesus. And if you will not do that, at any rate stop spoiling the grass for God’s sheep.”
The infidel sat silent all the while, nor did he open his mouth again. But the clergyman said, “My worthy friend, you say you are only a cattle-drover, I have had a college education; but I am free to confess I have learned more from you today than I learned in all my college career.”