Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Persecuted For Righteousness Sake!
Cuff The Slave
Cuff was a slave. He was a joyful Christian, and a faithful servant. His master, however, was in need of money, who was an infidel, came to buy Cuff. The price was agreed upon and the Christian slave was sold to the infidel. But in parting with him the master said, "You will find Cuff a good worker and you can trust him; he will suit you in every respect but one."
"And what is that?" asked the infidel.
"He will pray, and you can’t break him of it; but that is his only fault."
"I’ll soon whip that out of him," remarked the infidel.
"I fear not," said the former master, "and would not advise you to try it; he would rather die than give it up."
Cuff proved faithful to the new master, the same as he had to the old. The master soon got word that Cuff had been praying, and on calling him said, "Cuff, you must not pray any more; we cannot have any praying around here; never let me hear anymore about this nonsense."
Cuff replied, "O Massa, I love to pray to Jesus, and when I pray, I love you and Missus all the more, and can work all the harder for you."
But he was sternly forbidden to pray anymore under penalty of a severe flogging. That evening, when the day’s work was done, he talked to his God, like Daniel of old, as he had aforetime.
Next morning he was summoned to appear before his master, who demanded of him why he had disobeyed him. "O Massa, I have to pray. I Can’t live without it," said Cuff. At this the master flew into a terrible rage and ordered Cuff to be tied to the whipping post, and had his shirt off. He then applied the rawhide with all the force he possessed, until his young wife ran out in tears and begged him to stop. The man was so infuriated that he threatened to punish her next, if she did not leave him, then continued to apply the lash until his strength was exhausted. Then he ordered the bleeding back to be washed in salt water; had the shirt on and the poor slave was made go to his work. Cuff went away singing in a groaning voice:
"My suffering time will soon be o’er, when I shall sigh and weep no more."
He worked faithfully all that day, though in much pain, as the blood oozed out from his back where the lash had made long, deep furrows.
Meanwhile, God was working on the master. He saw his wickedness and cruelty to that poor soul, whose only fault had been his fidelity, and conviction seized upon him; by night he was in great distress of mind. He went to bed but could not sleep. Such was his agony that at mid-night he awoke his wife and told her that he was dying.
"Shall I call a doctor?" she asked.
"No, no; I don’t want a doctor—is there anyone on the plantation that can pray for me? I am afraid that I am going to hell."
"I don’t know of anyone," said his wife, "Except the slave you punished this morning."
"Do you think he would pray for me?" he anxiously inquired.
"Yes I think," she replied.
"Well, send for him quickly."
On going after Cuff they found him on his knees in prayer, and when called he supposed he was to be punished again. On being taken to the master, groaning, said, "O Cuff, can you pray for me?"
"Yes, blessed , I’ve been praying for you all night," and at this dropped on his knees and, like Jacob of old, wrestles in prayer, and before the breaking of the day witnessed the conversion of both master and mistress. Master and slave embraced, race differences and past cruelty were swept away by the love of God, and tears of joy were shed.
Cuff was immediately set free. He never worked another day on the plantation. Master took Cuff and went out to preach the Gospel; they traveled all over, witnessing to the power of Christ to save to the uttermost. This is what the love of God does to a person. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" Matthew 5:44.