Tuesday, October 2, 2012


ALBIE'S NOTE:  Billy Sunday was America's leading evangelist of the nineteen twenties. He had been a famous athlete before his conversion. In major league baseball he had been the fastest base runner in the National League, able to get around the diamond in 14 seconds from a standing start! He took his athletic prowess onto the speaking platform, where he could hold a crowd of twenty thousand spellbound in the days before microphones. He would slide onstage and even smash a chair to make some Bible-thumpin' point! Many found Christ through his amazing ministry.

The following interesting anecdote deals with the uncomfortable subject of restitution.  It greatly convicted me:

"When I was about fourteen years old, I made application for the position of janitor in a school. I used to get up at two o'clock, and there were fourteen stoves to which coal had to be carried. I had to keep the fire up and keep up my studies and sweep the floors. I got twenty-five dollars a month salary. One day I got a check for my salary and I went right down to the bank to get it cashed. Right in front of me was another fellow with a check to be cashed, and he shoved his in, and I came along and shoved my check in, and I was handed forty dollars. My check called for twenty-five dollars. I called on a friend of mine who was a lawyer in Kansas City and told him: 'Frank, what do you think, Jay King handed me forty dollars and my check only called for twenty-five dollars.' He said, 'Bill, if I had your luck, I would buy a lottery ticket.' But I said, 'The fifteen dollars is not mine.' He said, 'Don't be a chump. If you were shy ten dollars and you went back you would not get it, and if they hand out fifteen dollars, don't be a fool, keep it.'"
"Well, he had some drag with me and influenced me. I was fool enough to keep it, and I took it and bought a suit of clothes. I can see that suit now; it was a kind of brown with a little green in it and I thought I was the goods. That was the first suit of store clothes I had ever had, and I bought that suit and I had twenty-five dollars left." 

"Years afterward I said: 'I ought to be a Christian,' and I got on my knees to pray, and the Lord seemed to touch me on the back and say: 'Bill, you owe that Farmers' Bank fifteen dollars with interest.' I said: 'Lord, the Bank don't know that I got that fifteen dollars,' and the Lord said: 'I know it.' So I struggled along for years, probably like some of you, trying to be decent and honest and right some wrong that was in my life, and every time I got down to pray the Lord would say, 'Fifteen dollars with interest, Nevada County, Iowa; fifteen dollars, Bill.' So years afterwards I sent that money back, enclosed a check, wrote a letter and acknowledged it. I have the peace of God from that day to this, and I have never swindled anyone out of a dollar."

From Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message by William T. Ellis, Universal Book and Bible Hse Philadelphia, PA; Authorized ed. edition (1914)



Oscar said...

Like they say, honesty is best policy.

Albie The Good said...

OSCAR: Indeed, my friend. Gracias! :)