In our country we have a number of proverbs or wise sayings that have been handed down from generation to generation. For example, "A stitch in time saves nine," "A watched pot never boils," and "Saved by the bell," to name just a few.
Many of these sayings have fascinating origins and when we explore those origins we not only learn a bit of history, but some practical philosophy and lessons also come from them. One of my favorites is "Saved by the bell." This goes back in history to 1696 when a sentry by the name of John Hatfield was on duty at Windsor Castle in England. Sentry duty was taken seriously in those days and it basically meant staying alert. However, Hatfield was accused of sleeping at his post and neglecting that duty. He was given a trial at which he spoke in his own defense. He claimed that he had not been sleeping and had, in fact, heard the bell of St. Paul's Cathedral twenty miles away in London strike thirteen times. This was an unbelievable claim which he made in his own defense and Hatfield was found guilty. In that day and time, sentries found guilty of dereliction of duty were sentenced to death on the gallows.
A kind or curious - or perhaps both - person thought enough of the unusual nature of Hatfield's story to make some inquiries about his unusual defense. This individual discovered that, indeed, the bell at St. Paul's had struck thirteen times. There were others in the community who had also heard and counted those thirteen strikes. Hatfield received a reprieve and lived to the ripe old age of 102. He was literally, "Saved by the bell." (Cappers)
Message: We should be careful about how we convict other people until all the evidence is in. Common sense and fair play demand nothing less. Take this approach and I'll SEE YOU AT THE TOP!