Fletcher and the Three Hebrews

JOHN WILLIAM FLETCHER, native of Nyon, Switzerland (1729), and graduate of the University of Geneva, was prevented by an accident from becoming a soldier of the Portuguese Army in Brazil.

As he was about to start, a serving-maid spilled a kettle of boiling water on him, incapacitating him for some time. Later, under Methodist influence, he entered into a Christian experience and became one of Wesley's preachers. Still later he was appointed vicar of the Church of England at Madeley, a notoriously wicked community.

On Sunday mornings he went about at five o clock, ringing a bell to rouse people in time for service. His church soon was crowded, to the disgust of a group of evildoers who determined to stop him. They arranged a "bull-baiting" near his preaching place and planned to pull him off his horse when he arrived. But, called to a child's funeral, he was providentially a little late for the service; and, while the conspirators were in a drinking booth, the bull broke loose, charged the tent and scattered them so effectually that he preached in peace.

A butcher forbade his wife attending Fletcher's church threatening to cut her throat if she went. When she started to go, he exclaimed, "Are you going to Fletcher s church?" "I am," she replied. "Then, I shall not cut your throat as I intended, he declared, "`but I will heat the oven and throw you into it, when you come home!" Fletcher preached that morning on the first Scripture lesson of the day-the three Hebrews, saved in the flames of Nebuchadnezzar's furnace. The message so heartened the distracted woman that, on returning, she courageously faced her husband and conquered his evil spirit until he was convicted of sin.

This article was taken from the book entitled "One Hundred and One Methodist Stories" by Carl F. Price and published by the Methodist Book Concern.