A man called on a clergyman one day to converse with him. “Sir,” said he, “I have been a professor of religion for several years, and yet I have never enjoyed that peace and happiness which I know a Christian ought to have.”
“Well then,” said the minister, “there must be some good cause for this. Doesn’t your conscience accuse you of some secret sin that you have committed?”
“That is true,” said the man. “Some years ago, when I was a clerk in the store of Mr. B., one of the first merchants in this city, a bundle of notes, amounting to $500, had been left out of the fireproof safe. I had to stay behind, after the store was closed that evening, to finish some writing. Just before leaving the office, I saw the bundle of notes. My love of money overcame my sense of right. I took that money, and I have never had a moment of peace or happiness since.”
“Well, my friend,” said the minister “the thing for you to do is to return that money.”
“I would gladly do that,” said the man, “if it were possible. But I have no money, and cannot do it. O, sir, if you would be willing to see Mr. B., to tell him the story of my wrong doing in this matter, without telling him my name; let him know how sadly I feel about it; ask his forgiveness, and assure him that the money shall be returned, as soon as it can possibly be done, then I shall feel happy again.”
The minister did this. Mr. B. freely forgave the wrong which had been done to him. This relieved that man of his trouble, and the happiness which had been so long destroyed by his love of money was restored.