Saved By The Bible





It was on the day after the battle of Germantown that Warner, who wore

the blue, met his hated neighbor, the Tory Dabney, near that bloody

field.



By a common impulse the men fell upon each other with their knives, and

Warner soon had his enemy in a position to give him the death-stroke, but

Dabney began to bellow for quarter. My brother cried for quarter at

Paoli, answered the other, and you struck him to the heart.



I have a wife and child. Spare me for their sakes.



My brother had a wife and two children. Perhaps you would like to beg

your life of them.



Though made in mockery, this proposition was caught at so earnestly that

Warner at length consented to take his adversary, firmly bound, to the

house where the bereaved family was living. The widow was reading the

Bible to her children, but her grief was too fresh to gather comfort from

it. When Dabney was flung into the room he grovelled at her feet and

begged piteously for mercy. Her face did not soften, but there was a kind

of contempt in the settled sadness of her tone as she said, It shall be

as God directs. I will close this Bible, open it at chance, and when this

boy shall put his finger at random on a line, by that you must live or

die.



The book was opened, and the child put his finger on a line: That man

shall die.



Warner drew his knife and motioned his prisoner to the door. He was going

to lead him into the wood to offer him as a sacrifice to his brother's

spirit.



No, no! shrieked the wretch. Give me one more chance; one more! Let

the girl open the book.



The woman coldly consents, and when the book is opened for the second

time she reads, Love your enemies. There are no other words. The knife

is used, but it is to cut the prisoner's bonds, and he walks away with

head hung down, never more to take arms against his countrymen. And glad

are they all at this, when the husband is brought home--not dead, though

left among the corpses at Paoli, but alive and certain of recovery, with

such nursing as his wife will give him. After tears of joy have been shed

she tells him the story of the Bible judgment, and all the members of the

family fall on their knees in thanksgiving that the blood of Dabney is

not upon their heads.





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