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The Oat Sack

There was a certain brother in Christ a century ago whose business took him through the villages and towns of Minnesota, giving him many opportunities to sow the seed of the Gospel. One Saturday evening, having entered a town and making preparations for staying over the Lord's day, he was asked by a friend to come to his barn and look at his horse.

Upon entering the barn, an open oat sack met his eye, and he quietly dropped a tract into it. This tract was put into the sack in the hope that this friend, whom he knew to be a stranger to God's love, would find and read it. But "God moves in a mysterious way," and as this oat sack belonged to a local preacher who kept his horse in the same barn, the minister found the tract and took it home to read.

Knowing that the town was an ungodly one, his curiosity was excited, and he wondered much by whom the tract had been dropped. The next day, as he was having a vacation, he attended services held by another preacher. Looking over the congregation, he saw a man turning to his Bible, and perceiving him to be a stranger, he thought, "There is the man who put the tract in the oat sack." At the close of the message he spoke to him, and finding him to be a follower of the Master, invited him to his house. The acquaintance then begun resulted in the blessings spoken of in the following letter.

"My Dear Brother,

It has been some time since I wrote you, and some strange things have transpired since then; one of them is that a preacher should be brought out into the light as shed forth by Jesus in His Word. A small beginning ofttimes, under God's care and guidance, has a very great and worthy ending. For instance, a tract dropped in the mouth of an oat sack is a small thing—a small beginning, but the conversion of forty or fifty sinners, and perhaps more, and the blessing and upbuilding of a number of God's weak children—among them a preacher—and the gathering together of a company of God's children as the result thus far, is a great ending—and the end is not yet. Who can tell whereunto this work, begun so simply, will grow. Go on, my brother, with your distribution of Gospel Tracts. Try another oat sack, it seems to be very fruitful ground. The great result of your work in that respect only eternity will reveal."

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