Antiquarian Anabaptist

Apologetics from an Anabaptist perspective

A different kind of heroism

Ruben Saillens, 1855-1942, was the best-known Baptist preacher of his day in France. In 1895 he visited an Anabaptist community in Switzerland and then published  a couple of historical incidents that he heard from them. Here is one of them.

One day, during the Thirty Years War in Europe, a group of soldiers stopped at the door of an Anabaptist.

“Hey, fellow,” said the squad leader, “show us a clover field where we can pasture the horses of our detachment!”

“Willingly,” replied the old man, “follow me, gentlemen .”

He led the soldiers along a path that bordered superb fields: “It is not necessary to go further , my friend,” said the officer; “the pasture here will suit us very well.”

But the Anabaptist continued to walk, “Do me the favour,” he said almost pleadingly, “to come a little further; I’ll show you a field where you will have all the grass you need.”

The officer, assuming that the man wanted to give them the best fodder in the country continued to follow. Finally they came to piece of land that was large enough, but where the clover was no better than in the fields they had passed.

“Here gentlemen, make yourselves at home!”

“But why,” cried the officer angrily, “have we gone so far, since you are not giving us anything better than what we could have gotten before?”

“I’ll tell you why,” replied the good man. “The fields we have seen are those of my neighbours, this one is mine. If someone has to suffer loss, I’d rather it be me.”

The officer was surprised at this sublime simplicity, this heroism that was so simple, yet much greater than his!

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