Charlie Peace was a criminal in the 1800’s in England. He was a thief and a murderer, but eventually the law caught up with him, and he was condemned to death.
On his last morning in Armley Jail, Leeds, England, he was taken on the death-walk from the prison cell to the gallows. Before him went the prison chaplain, routinely and unemotionally reading some Bible verses.
The criminal touched the preacher and asked what he was reading. “The Consolations of Religion,” was the reply.
Charlie Peace was shocked at the way he so professionally read about hell. Could a man be so unmoved under the very shadow of the scaffold as to lead a fellow-human there and yet, dry-eyed, read of a pit that has no bottom into which this fellow must fall? Could this preacher believe the words that there is an eternal fire that never consumes its victims, and yet slide over the phrase with a tremor? Is a man human at all who can say with no tears, “You will be eternally dying and yet never know the relief that death brings”?
All this was too much for Charlie Peace. So he aid to the preacher:
“Sir,if I believed what you and the church of God say that you believe, even if England were covered with broken glass from coast to coast, I would walk over it, if need be, on hands and knees and think it worthwhile living, just to save one soul from an eternal hell like that!”
It’s time for us to attempt extraordinary things for the sake of reaching the lost, to give them opportunity to turn from death to life. Tens of thousands of Mainers are passing from this life to the next with little chance of hearing the Gospel, because sound, Bible-believing churches have retreated from rural areas. Please pray for our work as we try to do our little part in reversing that trend.