Samuel Harris's Lawsuit, And How The Lord Settled It For Him.
"When Samuel Harris, of Virginia, began to preach, his soul was so
absorbed in the work, that he neglected to attend to the duties of this
life. Finding, upon a time, that it was absolutely necessary that he
should provide more grain for his family than he had raised upon his own
farm, he called upon a man who owed him a debt, and told him he would be
glad to receive the money.
"The man repl
ed: 'I have no money by me, and cannot oblige you.'
"Harris said; 'I want the money to purchase wheat for my family; and as
you have raised a good crop of wheat, I will take that of you instead of
money, at a current price.'
"The man answered: 'I have other uses for my wheat, and cannot let you
"'How then,' said Harris, 'do you intend to pay me?'
"'I never intend to pay you until you sue me,' replied the debtor, 'and
therefore you may begin your suit as soon as you please.'
"Mr. Harris left him, meditating. Said he to himself, 'What shall I do?
Must I leave preaching, and attend to a vexatious lawsuit? Perhaps a
thousand souls may perish in the meantime, for want of hearing of Jesus!
No; I will not. Well, what will you do for yourself? Why, this will I
do; I will sue him at the Court of Heaven.' Having resolved what he
would do, he turned aside into a wood, and on his knees laid the matter
before the Lord. Mr. Harris felt such an evidence of Divine favor,--he
felt, to use his own expressive language, that Jesus would become
bondsman for the man, and see that he was paid if he went on preaching.
Mr. Harris arose from prayer, resolved to hold the man no longer a
debtor, since Jesus had assumed the payment. He therefore wrote a
receipt in full of all accounts against the man, and dating it in the
woods, where he had prayed, signed it with his own name. Going the next
day by the man's house, on his way to meeting, he gave the receipt to a
servant, directing him to give it to his master. On his return from
meeting, the man hailed him, and demanded what he meant by the receipt
he had sent him in the morning.
"Mr. Harris replied: 'I mean just as I wrote.'
"'But you know, sir,' answered the debtor, 'I have never paid you.'
"'True,' said Mr. Harris, 'and I know you said that you never would
unless I sued you. But, sir, I sued you at the Court of Heaven, and
Jesus entered bail for you, and has agreed to pay me; I have therefore
given you a discharge!'
"'But I insist upon it,' said the man; 'matters shall not be left so.'
"'I am well satisfied,' answered Harris. 'Jesus will not fail me. I
leave you to settle the account with him at another day. Farewell.'
"This operated so effectually on the man's conscience, that in a few
days he _came and paid the debt_."