Protected from the Elephant

posted in: Illustrations | 0

white elephant indiaI was reading lately about a missionary in India who was preaching one day to a crowd of people near a heathen temple. Not far from where the missionary stood one of the priests of the temple had a large white elephant, which the Hindus look upon as a sacred animal, and to which they are in the habit of making offerings. The voice of the missionary, preaching about Jesus, drew the attention of the crowd towards him. The priest, with his elephant, was left almost alone. He thought he should not get much money that day and this made him angry. So he determined to let the elephant loose upon the missionary, so that he would either be driven away or trampled to death.

The huge beast moved towards him; but on his way he broke off a great branch of a tree as though he needed a weapon, and then he hastened on towards the missionary. Some of his friends who stood near urged him to go away. He said to them, “Remember Daniel in the lion’s den, and don’t be afraid.” Then he went on preaching. The Hindus, who were standing round, watched the elephant, expecting to see him strike the missionary to the earth. They were greatly astonished when they saw the animal walk up to where the missionary stood, quietly lay down the branch at his feet, and go away without offering to do him the slightest injury. He stepped on to the branch which the elephant had brought him. This was like a platform for him to stand on, so that as he went on preaching he could be seen and heard better than before. When the priest saw this, he was still more angry. He directed the elephant to him again; but he refused to go. The missionary then raised his finger, and said to the priest, “You want your elephant to kill me: take care lest God should turn his rage against yourself.” This made the priest more angry than ever. He resolved that the missionary should be killed before all the people. He ordered the elephant again to kill him. He stormed at him, and even struck him to make him go. But this made the elephant angry. He was not used to being treated in that way; instead, therefore, of rushing on the missionary, he turned quickly around, threw the priest upon the ground, and trampled him to death with his broad, heavy feet. Here you see how the God, on whom the missionary had set his love, delivered him.

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