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Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection
Sympathy: Fruit of Experience
Hone in his 'Year Book,' has the following anecdote of Charles Pratt, Earl Camden, when Chief Justice of the Common Pleas. 'Being on a visit to Lord Dacre, at Alveley, in Essex, he walked out with a gentleman, a very absent man, to a bill, at no great distance from the house, upon the top of which stood the stocks of the village. The Chief Justice sat down upon them, and after awhile, having a mind to know what the punishment was, he asked his companion to open them and put him in. This being done, his friend took a book from his pocket, sauntered on, and so completely forgot the judge and his situation that he returned to Lord Dacre's. In the meantime, the Chief Justice being tired of the stocks, tried in vain to release himself. Seeing a countryman pass by, he endeavored to move him to let him out, but obtained nothing by his motion. 'No, no, old gentleman,' said the countryman, 'you was not set there for nothing,' and left him until he was released by a servant of the house despatched in quest of him. Some time after he presided at a trial in which a charge was brought against a magistrate for false imprisonment, and for setting in the stocks. The counsel for the magistrate in his reply, made light of the whole charge, and more especially setting in the stocks, which he said everybody knew was no punishment at all. The Chief Justice rose, and, leaning over the bench, said, in a half-whisper, 'Brother, have you ever been in the stocks?' 'Really, my lord, never.' 'Then I have,' said the judge, 'and I assure you, brother, it is no such trifle as you represent.' A little experience of the real trials of life, as endured by the poor, the sick, and the desponding, would be of essential service to many professors, and especially 'to those religious teachers whose path in life has been smooth and prosperous. Nothing promotes true sympathy like a kindred experience.
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Spurgeon, Charles. Entry for 'Sympathy: Fruit of Experience'. Charles Spurgeon's Illustration Collection. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/eng/fff/s/sympathy-fruit-of-experience.html. 1870.
the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26