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Text Illustrations
Edward Kimball, Sunday school teacher, was not one of the ordinary type. Mere literal instruction on Sunday did not satisfy his ideal of the teacher’s duty. He knew his boys, and, if he knew them, it was because be studied them, because he became acquainted with their occupations and aims, visiting them during the week. It was his custom, moreover, to find opportunity to give to his boys an opportunity to use his experience in seeking the better things of the Spirit. The day came when he resolved to speak to the young man about Christ.


I started down town to Holton’s shoe store," says Mr. Kimball. ’When I was nearly there, I began to wonder whether I ought to go just then, during business hours. And I thought maybe my mission might embarrass the boy, that when I went away the other clerks might ask who I was, and when they learned might taunt him and ask if I was trying to make a good boy out of him. While I was pondering over it all, I passed the store without noticing it. Then when I found I had gone by the door, I determined to make a dash for it and have it over at once. I found him in the back part of the store wrapping up shoes in paper and putting them on shelves. I went up to him and put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoe box. Then I made my plea, and I feel that it was really a very weak one. I don’t know just what words I used, nor could he tell. I simply told him of Christ’s love for him and the love Christ wanted in return. That was all there was of it. I think he said afterward that there were tears in my eyes. It seemed that the young man was just ready for the light that then broke upon him, for there at once in the back of that shoe store in Boston the future great evangelist gave himself and his life to Christ."


Edward Kimball had just witnessed to Dwight L. Moody. Now, let me give you a progression of the witness of Edward Kimball. John W. Chapman attended a revival of Moody’s and accepted Christ. During one of Chapman’s revivals Billy Sunday came forward after accepting Christ at one of his Bible Study groups. Billy Sunday preached a revival at which Mordecai Ham was present. He came forward during the invitation to profess in public what he too had experience in a Bible study. Mordecai Ham preached a revival at which Billy Graham was present and he too professed Christ publicly.


I am sure the Edward Kimball thought so when he accepted the task. One Sunday morning Dr. Kirk, the pastor of Mount Vernon Church brought another teenage boy to his class. Mr. Kimball says, "I handed him a closed Bible and told him the lesson was in John. The boy took the book and began running over the leaves with his finger away at the first of the volume looking for John. Out of the corners of their eyes the boys saw what he was doing and, detecting his ignorance glanced slyly and knowingly at one another, but not rudely. I gave the boys just one hasty glance of reproof. That was enough - their equanimity was restored immediately. I quietly handed him my own book, open at the right place, and I took his.

Edward Kimball, Sunday school teacher, was not one of the ordinary type. Mere literal instruction on Sunday did not satisfy his ideal of the teacher’s duty. He knew his boys, and, if he knew them, it was because be studied them, because he became acquainted with their occupations and aims, visiting them during the week. It was his custom, moreover, to find opportunity to give to his boys an opportunity to use his experience in seeking the better things of the Spirit. The day came when he resolved to speak to the young man about Christ.


I started down town to Holton’s shoe store," says Mr. Kimball. ’When I was nearly there, I began to wonder whether I ought to go just then, during business hours. And I thought maybe my mission might embarrass the boy, that when I went away the other clerks might ask who I was, and when they learned might taunt him and ask if I was trying to make a good boy out of him. While I was pondering over it all, I passed the store without noticing it. Then when I found I had gone by the door, I determined to make a dash for it and have it over at once. I found him in the back part of the store wrapping up shoes in paper and putting them on shelves. I went up to him and put my hand on his shoulder, and as I leaned over I placed my foot upon a shoe box. Then I made my plea, and I feel that it was really a very weak one. I don’t know just what words I used, nor could he tell. I simply told him of Christ’s love for him and the love Christ wanted in return. That was all there was of it. I think he said afterward that there were tears in my eyes. It seemed that the young man was just ready for the light that then broke upon him, for there at once in the back of that shoe store in Boston the future great evangelist gave himself and his life to Christ."


Edward Kimball had just witnessed to Dwight L. Moody. Now, let me give you a progression of the witness of Edward Kimball. John W. Chapman attended a revival of Moody’s and accepted Christ. During one of Chapman’s revivals Billy Sunday came forward after accepting Christ at one of his Bible Study groups. Billy Sunday preached a revival at which Mordecai Ham was present. He came forward during the invitation to profess in public what he too had experience in a Bible study. Mordecai Ham preached a revival at which Billy Graham was present and he too professed Christ publicly.



John MacArthur, Twelve Ordinary Men, Nashville, Tenn.: Word Publishing Group, 2002, pp. 69–70.