Fantastic Fables by Ambrose Bierce: The Holy Deacon
The Holy Deacon
AN Itinerant Preacher who had wrought hard in the moral vineyard for several hours whispered to a Holy Deacon of the local church:
"Brother, these people know you, and your active support will bear fruit abundantly. Please pass the plate for me, and you shall have one fourth."
The Holy Deacon did so, and putting the money into his pocket waited till the congregation was dismissed and said goodnight.
"But the money, brother, the money that you collected!" said the Itinerant Preacher.
"Nothing is coming to you," was the reply; "the Adversary has hardened their hearts, and one fourth is all they gave."