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R. Kent Hughes, in his book, James—Faith That Works, shares this story.


"It is said that Napoleon, while looking at some papers, let slip the bridle of his horse, which reared so that the Emperor was in danger. A corporal of the grenadiers leaped forward and caught the bridle, bringing the horse under control. Napoleon saluted the corporal and said, “Thank you, Captain.” “Of what company, Sire?” asked the corporal. “Of my guards,” replied Napoleon. The young corporal picked up his musket, hurled it aside, and walked across the field toward the emperor’s staff, tearing of his corporal stripes as he went. When he took his place among the officers, they asked him what he was doing. He replied that he was a captain of the guards. “By whose order?” queried one of them. “The Emperor’s order,” he replied. A man of less faith might have picked up his musket, stepped back into the ranks, and boasted for the rest of his life that Napoleon had called him a captain. This describes the difference between mental assent and true faith, which takes God at His word and acts upon it"(Hughes, p. 120).

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