How to deal with your enemies

Many people felt that New Buildings was scarcely the place for a man of Chapman’s type to live in. In fact a good part of the congregation at Grosvenor Street would have found it difficult to live there in those days, for drunkenness, filth and poverty were evident in the alleys around.

One day a wealthy gentleman approached him with a most attractive proposition. A fine house, standing in its own grounds in the country… But the offer was courteously declined. “No,” said Chapman, “I must live where the poorest saint can visit me.”

One day Mr. Chapman had the pleasure of an unexpected visit from a relative, who evidently desired to know how he lived…

“Robert, what are you doing here?” he cried.

“I am serving the Lord in the place to which He has sent me.”

The visitor went into the house, but he was full of questions. “How do you live? Have you a banking account?”

“I just trust the Lord, and tell Him all I need. He never fails, and so my faith is increased, and the work continues.”

Curiosity filled the mind of the visitor, and he opened the larder door. There was very little there. He asked permission to get some groceries, and Chapman agreed, but stipulated that they should be purchased at a certain shop. When he had found the shop, Chapman’s relative awed the shopkeeper by the size of his order. As the amount of goods increased he became very grateful and courteous. When all was completed and the bill paid, the grocer became very keen to do his part, and said: “I will deliver the goods myself if you will give me the address.”

“Please deliver them to Mr. R. C. Chapman,” requested the customer.

“But—there must be some mistake!” cried the grocer.

“Oh, no,” he was assured, “Mr. Chapman specially directed me to come to you.”

The man was completely broken down by this because he had for years made Mr. Chapman the target of his abuse and wicked criticism. In a short while he was at New Buildings, where Chapman’s relative was amazed to see him lying prostrate before the man of God in tears and sincere repentance, asking forgiveness, and yielding to Christ as His Saviour.

Excerpt from Brother Indeed, The Life of Robert Cleaver Chapman by Frank Holmes

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