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Testimony of Clean Living

In his autobiography (p.6), the English Baptist pastor John Kershaw (1792-1870) gives this record from his youth. "On one occasion, I ran away, unknown to my parents, to some cock-fightings that were held in the neighbourhood. I joined the crowd of people outside the building, but did not see the cocks fight. I heard, however, too plainly the oaths and curses of those within. I would gladly have been inside, but could not find the money to see such cruel sports. The intervals between each battle were occupied by all sorts of carnal diversions, which pleased my sinful inclinations wonderfully. Thus I was one with them, not a jot or tittle better than the rest, considering my age and means.

"This happened during Whit-Week; at which time a double lecture was preached in the chapel my father attended. As I stood by the roadside amongst the ungodly crowd, two men, dressed in their Sabbath-day clothes, came past. I knew them well; they were friends of my father’s. I had often heard them talk together on religious subjects, and I knew they were going to the chapel. The sight of these godly persons on that occasion was like a dagger to my soul… Oh what a beauty I saw in their demeanor, and the path which they had chosen! But what a wretch did I see and feel myself to be!"