Part 1 out of 2
This eBook was produced by Joel Erickson, Charles Franks, Juliet Sutherland
TOUCHING INCIDENTS and REMARKABLE ANSWERS TO PRAYER
COMPILED BY S. B. SHAW
For many years in our work among children, we have felt the need of
something similar to this book.
The cuts are made especially for this work. Pictures in this book will
suggest thoughts of God and heaven and awaken desires to live pure lives
which will sooner or later result in the salvation of many of our young
readers. God bless all our readers.
--S. B. Shaw
We are sure these stories will interest you children (and most older
people, too). Especially good and true stories like these. In all that
we have selected there are precious lessons of kindness and sympathy and
obedience, gratitude, courage, and faithfulness: then there are two other
very important lessons which I wish you to learn. The first is that
children can be and should be true Christians, that is, have their sins
forgiven for Jesus' sake and their hearts changed so that they love God
and the right and hate everything that is wrong. The second lesson is
that we must be Christians to be ready to live or ready to die. You will
find in this book several accounts of happy deaths of Christian children,
and you will find also much that tells of the good done by happy Christian
children that lived.
--Mrs. S. B. Shaw.
When I was a little girl about nine years old, my mother gave me the
book, "Touching Incidents and Remarkable Answers To Prayer," for children.
This book was published by Brother and Sister Shaw.
I still have that book, which is about fifty-nine years old, and I have
enjoyed the stories it contained many times. One time while teaching a
Sunday School class I gave them each one of these books. They liked them
very much, but there came a time when you could not buy these books, as
other modern books took their place. But I feel that books like this one
are still needed, and I am sure that if Brother and Sister Shaw were
living they would like to see the stories sent out again to the children.
We are adding a few more true stories.
So we are praying God's blessings upon this book and dedicating it to
the memory of Brother and Sister Shaw who printed the first book in 1895.
Yours in Him,
Laura M. Conkle
(This dedication was written in 1955 for the first reprint edition.)
Always Tell the Truth
The Child Heroine of New Brunswick
Annie and Vanie's First Real Prayer
God Heals a Blind Girl
"Does This Railroad Lead to Heaven?"
The Young Martyr
A Child's Prayer Answered
The Converted Infidel
The Golden Rule Exemplified
Only One Vote
How A Little Girl Utilized the Telephone
Jesus Answers Ruth's Prayers
The Dying Girl's Prayer for Her Drunken Father
The Little Girl, Who Died to Save Her Father's Life
"Forgotten My Soul"
Prevailing Prayer of a Child
The Dying News Boy
Little Jennie's Sickness and Death
She Died for Him
"I Don't Love You Now, Mother"
Robbie Goodman's Prayer
Carletta and the Merchant
How Three Sunday School Children Met Their Fate
He Blesses God for the Faith of His Little Girl
A Wonderful Children's Meeting
"They are Not Strangers, Mama"
Jessie Finds Jesus
"I'll Never, Steal Again--If Father Kills Me for It"
Six Months' Record
A Child's Faith
Triumphant Death of a Little Child
The Child's Prayer
The Cat Came Back
How God Answered Donald's Prayer
ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH
Truthfulness is a mark of Christianity. The heathen go astray, speaking
lies as soon as they are born. In China a mother will give her boy a
reward for the best falsehood that he can tell. Beginning so early, and
regarding it such a fine thing to tell wrong stories, they become skillful
in falsehoods. Some parents in Christian America are very careless in
this matter. It made my heart ache one day when I saw a lady in a street
car trying to keep her little boy awake by telling him that, if he went
to sleep, that man who had all those teeth in his window (referring to
a dentist's office they had passed) would come into the car and pull
every tooth out of his mouth. The little fellow looked up dreadfully
scared, and did his best to keep awake: but I thought to myself, when
he finds out what a wrong story his mother has told, he will not believe
her even when she tells the truth. He will be like a little fellow of
whom I heard once, whose mother told him that if he vent to play in a
bank from which the men had been drawing sand for a building, a bear
would come out and eat him up. One day another boy tried to coax him to
go there and play, but he said, no, he was afraid of the bears. The other
boy said there were no bears. "But there be bears cause my mother said
there be bears." While they were disputing, the minister happened to
come along, and they asked him if there were bears in the sand-bank. He
told them there were none. "But," said the first little boy, "My mother
said there be bears there." "I am sorry she said so," said the minister,
"but the truth is, there are none." The child began to cry, and started
for home as fast as he could go. "O Mama!" he said, "Did you tell me a
wrong story? Did you tell me there be bears down at the sand-bank when
there aren't any?" She saw what a dreadful sin she had committed, and
she told him that she was sorry; but she was afraid that if he played
there he would get buried in the sand, and she told him that to keep him
away. "But, Mama, it is such an awful thing to tell a wrong story." "I
know it Tommy, I know it," she said, tears coming into her eyes; "and
we will ask Jesus to forgive me and I will never do it again." They knelt
down, and she was just about to pray when he said, "Wait, Mama, let me
ask Him; maybe you won't tell Him truly." That pierced her heart like a
dagger. She saw that her little boy had lost confidence in her truthfulness
even when she prayed.
--Jennie F. Willing
THE CHILD HEROINE OF NEW BRUNSWICK
We have read a touching incident about three little children, who, last
autumn late in the season, wandered alone in a dreary region of New
Brunswick. The sun had already sunk in the west and the gloom of evening
was spreading itself over the surrounding country.
The night came on fast; and feeling sure that they could not get home
before day break, the eldest (a girl of only six years) quietly placed
the two little ones in a sheltered nook on the sea-beach; and fearing
the cold chilly night for the younger children, Mary stripped off most
of her own clothes to keep them warm.
She then started off to gather dry sea-weed, and whatever else she could
find, to cover them with. Having tenderly in this way wrought for some
time to make them a nest, she at last fell down exhausted with the cold,
and half bare to the cold inclement night.
That evening the loving father and tender mother sat up wondering at
their children's long absence; the hours dragged slowly past with anxious
watching and silent listening for the well-known little pattering feet.
In vain the fond parents' eyes pierced through the darkness. At length
they roused the neighbors with their anxious inquiries after their lost
ones. All that night was passed in searching and in tears, till early
in the morning, lying fast asleep and somewhat numbed with cold, were
found little Johnny and Lizzie. But oh! a touching spectacle lay near
them; their young savior was stiff, cold, and dead on the sea-weed which
the poor little child-heroine had not strength to drag into the nook,
where those she so deeply loved, and died to save, were sleeping. Thus
this little New Brunswick girl died in her successful and self-sacrificing
endeavor to save her brother and sister.
Does not this recall the love of the Lord Jesus Christ to you who read?
Mary went to the full extent of human love in dying for her little brother
and sister. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his
life for his friends." Yet the Lord Jesus laid down his life for his
enemies; for "scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet peradventure
for a good man some would even dare to die; but God commendeth His love
toward us," etc. He makes no mistakes. Yet how many listen to this story
with more emotion and interest than they do to the story of the cross,
where the love of Jesus, the Son of God, is told in letters of blood!
--_Dawn of the Morning_
ANNIE AND VANIE'S FIRST REAL PRAYER
Two sisters, one about five years of age, the other one older, were
accustomed to go each Saturday morning, some distance from home, to get
chips and shavings from a cooper shop.
One morning with basket well filled, they were returning home when the
elder one was taken suddenly sick with cramps or cholera. She was in
great pain, and unable to proceed, much less to bear the basket home.
She sat down on the basket, and the younger one held her from falling.
The street was a lonely one occupied by workshops, factories, etc. Every
one was busy within; not a person was seen on the street.
The little girls were at a loss what to do. Too timid to go into any
workshop, they sat a while, as silent and quiet as the distressing pains
Soon the elder girl said: "You know, Annie, that a good while ago Mother
told us that if we ever got into trouble we should pray and, God would
help us. Now you help me to get down upon my knees, and hold me up, and
we will pray."
There on the side-walk did these two little children ask God to send
some one to help them home.
The simple and brief prayer being ended, the sick girl was again helped
up, and sat on the basket, waiting for the answers to their prayers.
Presently Annie saw, far down the street on the opposite side, a man
come out from a factory, look around him up and down the street and go
back into the factory.
"O sister, he has gone in again," said Annie. "Well," said Vanie, "perhaps
he is not the one God is going to send. If he is he will come back again."
"There he comes again," said Annie. "He walks this way. He seems looking
for something. He walks slow, and is without his hat. He puts his hand
to his head, as if he did not know what to do. Oh, sister, he has gone in
again; what shall we do?"
"That may not be the one whom God will send to help us," said Vanie. "If
he is, he will come out again."
"Oh yes, there he is; this time with his hat on," said Annie. "He comes
this way; he walks slowly, looking around on every side. He does not see
us, perhaps the trees hide us. Now he sees us, and is coming quickly."
A brawny German in broken accent asks:
"O children, what is the matter?"
"O sir," said Annie, Sister here is so sick she cannot walk and we cannot
"Where do you live my dear?"
"At the end of this street; you can see the house from here."
"Never mind," said the man, "I takes you home."
So the strong man gathered the sick child in his arms, and with her head
pillowed upon his shoulder, carried her to the place pointed out by the
younger girl. Annie ran around the house to tell her mother that there
was a man at the front door wishing to see her. The astonished mother,
with a mixture of surprise and joy, took charge of the precious burden
and the child was laid upon a bed.
After thanking the man, she expected him to withdraw, but instead, he
stood turning his hat in his hands as one who wishes to say something,
but knows not how to begin.
The mother observing this, repeated her thanks and finally said: "Would
you like me to pay you for bringing my child home?"
"Oh, no," said he with tears, "God pays me! God pays me! I would like
to tell you something, but I speak English so poorly that I fear you
will not understand."
The mother assured him that she was used to the German and could understand
him very well.
"I am the proprietor of an ink factory," said he. "My men work by the
piece. I have to keep separate accounts with each. I pay them every
Saturday. At twelve o'clock they will be at my desk for their money.
This week I have had many hindrances and was behind with my books. I was
working hard at them with the sweat on my face, in my great anxiety to
be ready in time. Suddenly I could not see the figures; the words in the
book all ran together, and I had a plain impression on my mind that some
one in the street wished to see me. I went out, looked up and down the
street, but seeing no one, went back to my desk and wrote a little.
Presently the darkness was greater than before, and the impression
stronger than before, that someone in the street needed me.
"Again I went out, looked up and down the street, walked a little way,
puzzled to know what I meant. Was my hard work and were the cares of
business driving me out of my wits? Unable to solve the mystery I turned
again into my shop and to my desk.
"This time my fingers refused to grasp the pen. I found myself unable
to write a word, or make a figure; but the impression was stronger than
ever on my mind, that someone needed my help. A voice seemed to say:
'Why don't you go out as I tell you? There is need of your help.' This
time I took my hat on going out, resolved to stay till I found out whether
I was losing my senses, or there was a duty for me to do. I walked some
distance without seeing anyone, and was more and more puzzled, till I
came opposite the children, and found that there was indeed need of my
help. I cannot understand it, madam."
As the noble German was about leaving the house, the younger girl had
the courage to say: "O mother, we prayed."
Thus the mystery was solved, and with tear-stained cheeks, a heaving
breast, and a humble, grateful heart, the kind man went back to his
I have enjoyed many a happy hour in conversation with Annie in her own
house since she has a home of her own. The last I knew of Annie and Vanie
they were living in the same city, earnest Christian women. Their children
were growing up around them, who, I hope, will have like confidence in
mother, and faith in God.
Annie was the wife of James A. Clayton of San Jose, California. I have
enjoyed their hospitality and esteem both very highly.
GOD HEALS A BLIND GIRL
One day we went to visit Ruth's aunt. While there, a very dear friend
of Ruth's aunt came to visit her, bringing Annie, her little four-year-old
girl who was the same age as Ruth. They had taken Annie to an eye doctor
the day before and he had said that she was blind and would always be
blind. The two children played together. Ruth would lead her by the hand
and this touched her heart very much.
After we went home, she came to me crying, and said, "Mama, Annie is
blind. Mama, Annie can't see anything. Mama, Annie can't even see her
I (Ruth's mother) answered, "No, Annie can't see anything."
"Can't Jesus make Annie see her mama?" Ruth asked.
"Yes, Jesus can do anything," Mother told her.
"I'll never quit praying till Jesus makes Annie see her Mama," she said.
She knelt down and prayed, and for several days she would come in from
her play ever so often and kneel down and pray and ask Jesus to make
Annie see her mama.
In a few days we received word that Annie said "Oh, I see my mama!" From
then on she could see.
When the girls were eight years old and Ruth had moved from that state,
her aunt (who had also moved) received a letter from Annie's mother,
saying, "Annie seems to be losing her eyesight again." She said also
that she would like for her to send Annie a new dress while she could
still see it, and if she knew where Ruth was to ask her to pray for Annie
that Jesus would not let her go blind again. Ruth was at the home of her
aunt when she received this letter. She prayed earnestly again and God
answered her prayer and gave Annie her eyesight. It was even better than
The last time I saw Annie she was a grown woman around forty, and she
showed me how she could see to read a long way from the light, which we
could not do. Surely God did a wonderful work in answer to a little
Children, let's pray; and when we pray, believe that God hears, and
receive the good things that he has to give us and others.
"DOES THIS RAILROAD LEAD TO HEAVEN?"
In traveling we often meet with persons of different nationalities and
languages; we also meet with incidents of various character, some
sorrowful, others, joyful and instructive. One of the latter character
I witnessed recently while traveling upon the cars. The train was going
west and the time was evening. At a station a little girl about eight
years old came aboard, carrying a budget under her arm. She then commenced
an eager scrutiny of faces, but all were strange to her. She appeared
weary, and placing her budget for a pillow, she prepared to try and
secure a little sleep. Soon the conductor came along collecting tickets
and fare. Observing him she asked him if she might lie there. The
gentlemanly conductor replied that she might, and then kindly asked for
her ticket. She informed him that she had none, when the following
conversation ensued. Said the conductor:
"Where are you going?"
"I am going to heaven," she answered.
"Who pays your fare?" he asked again.
She then said, "Mister, does this railroad lead to heaven, and does Jesus
travel on it?"
"I think not," he answered, "Why did you think so?"
"Why sir, before my ma died she used to sing to me of a heavenly railroad,
and you looked so nice and kind that I thought this was the road. My ma
used to sing of Jesus on the heavenly railroad, and that He paid the
fare for everybody, and that the train stopped at every station to take
people on board; but my ma don't sing to me any more. Nobody sings to
me now; and I thought I'd take the cars and go to ma. Mister, do you
sing to your little girl about the railroad that goes to heaven? You
have a little girl, haven't you?"
He replied, weeping, "No my little dear I have no little girl now. I had
one once; but she died some time ago, and went to heaven."
"Did she go over this railroad, and are you going to see her now?" she
By this time every person in the coach was upon their feet, and most of
them were weeping. An attempt to describe what I witnessed is almost
futile. Some said: "God bless the little girl." Hearing some person say
that she was an angel, the little girl earnestly replied: "Yes, my ma
used to say that I would be an angel some time."
Addressing herself once more to the conductor, she asked him, "Do you
love Jesus? I do, and if you love Him, He will let you ride to heaven
on His railroad. I am going there and I wish you would go with me. I
know Jesus will let me into heaven when I get there and He will let you
in, too, and everybody that will ride on His railroad--yes, all these
people. Wouldn't you like to see heaven and Jesus, and your little girl?"
These words, so pathetically and innocently uttered, brought a great
gush of tears from all eyes, but most profusely from those of the
conductor. Some who were traveling on the heavenly railroad shouted aloud
She asked the conductor: "Mister, may I lie here until we get to heaven?"
"Yes, dear, yes," he answered.
"Will you wake me up then so that I may see my ma and your little girl
and Jesus?" she asked, "for I do so much want to see them all."
The answer came in broken accents but in words very tenderly spoken "Yes,
dear angel, yes. God bless you." "Amen!" was sobbed by more than a score
Turning her eyes again upon the conductor, she interrogated him again,
"What shall I tell your little girl when I see her? Shall I tell her
that I saw her pa on Jesus' railroad? Shall I?"
This brought a fresh flood of tears from all present, and the conductor
knelt by her side, and, embracing her wept the reply he could not utter.
At this juncture the brakeman called out: "H----." The conductor arose
and requested him to attend to his (the conductor's) duty at the station,
for he was engaged. That was a precious place. I thank God that I was a
witness to this scene, but I was sorry that at this point I was obliged
to leave the train.
We learn from this incident that out of the mouths of even babes God
hath ordained strength, and that we ought to be willing to represent the
cause of our blessed Jesus even in a railroad coach.
Brother Dosh:--I wish to relieve my heart by writing to you, and saying
that that angel visit on the cars was a blessing to me, although I did
not realize it in its fullness until some hours after. But blessed be
the Redeemer, I know now that I am His, and He is mine. I no longer
wonder why Christians are happy. Oh, my joy, my joy! The instrument of
my salvation has gone to God. I had purposed adopting her in the place
of my little daughter who is now in heaven. With this intention I took
her to C--b, and on my return trip I took her back to S--n, where she
left the cars. In consultation with my wife in regard to adopting her,
she replied, "Yes, certainly, and immediately, too, for there is a Divine
providence in this. Oh," said she, "I could never refuse to take under
my charge the instrument of my husband's salvation."
I made inquiry for the child at S--n and learned that in three days after
her return she died suddenly, without any apparent disease, and her happy
soul had gone to dwell with her ma, my little girl and the angels in
heaven. I was sorry to hear of her death but my sorrow is turned to joy
when I think my angel-daughter received intelligence from earth concerning
her pa, and that he is on the heavenly railway. Oh! sir, me thinks I see
her near the Redeemer. I think I hear her sing! "I'm safe at home, and
pa and ma are coming," and I find myself sending back the reply: "Yes,
my darling we are coming and will soon be there." Oh, my dear sir, I am
glad that I ever formed your acquaintance; may the blessing of the great
God rest upon you. Please write to me, and be assured, I would be most
happy to meet you again.
--J. M. Dosh, in _Christian Expositor_
THE YOUNG MARTYR
On the afternoon of August 9, 1853, a little Norwegian boy, named Kund
Iverson, who lived in the city of Chicago, Illinois, was going to the
pastures for his cow as light-hearted, I suppose, as boys usually are
when going to the pasture on a summer afternoon. He came at length to a
stream of water where there was a gang of idle, ill-looking, big boys;
who, when they saw Kund, came up to him; and said they wanted him to go
into Mr. Elston's garden and steal some apples.
"No," said Kund promptly; "I cannot steal, I am sure."
"Well, but you've got to," they cried.
[Illustration: THE CRIES OF THE DROWNING CHILD GREW FAINTER AND FAINTER]
They threatened to duck him, for these wicked big boys had often frightened
little boys into robbing gardens for them. Little boys, they thought,
were less likely to get found out.
The threat did not frighten Kund, so to make their words good, they
seized him and dragged him into the river, and in spite of his cries and
struggles, plunged him in. But the heroic boy even with the water gurgling
and choking in his throat, never flinched, for he knew that God had said:
"Thou shalt not steal," and God's law he had made his law; and no cursing,
or threats, or cruelty of the big boys would make him give up. Provoked
by his firmness, I suppose, they determined to see if they could conquer
him. So they ducked him again but it still was, "No, no"; and they kept
him under water. Was there no one near to hear his distressing cries,
and rescue the poor child from their cruel grip? No; there was none to
rescue him; and gradually the cries of the drowning child grew fainter
and fainter, and his struggles less and less, and the boy was drowned.
He could die, but would not steal.
A German boy who had stood near, much frightened by what he saw, ran
home to tell the news. The agonized parents hastened to the spot, and
all night they searched for the lifeless body of their lost darling. It
was found the next morning; and who shall describe their feelings as
they clasped the little form to their bosoms? Early piety had blossomed
in his little life. He loved his Bible and his Savior. His seat was
never vacant at Sunday school, and so intelligent, conscientious and
steadfast had he been.
Perhaps the little boy used often to think how, when he grew up, he would
like to be a preacher or a missionary, and do something for his Lord and
Master. He did not know what post he might be called to occupy, even as
a little child; and as he left home that afternoon and looked his last
look in his mother's face, he thought he was only going after his cows;
and other boys, and the neighbors, if they saw him, thought so, too. They
did not then know that instead of going to the pasture he was going to
preach one of the most powerful sermons of Bible law and Bible principles
the country ever heard. They did not know that he was going to give an
example of steadfastness of purpose and of unflinching integrity, such
as should thrill the heart of this nation with wonder and admiration.
He was then only a Norwegian boy, Kund Iverson, only thirteen years old,
but his name was soon to be reckoned with martyrs and heroes. And as the
story of his moral heroism winged its way from state to state, and city
to city, and village to village, how many mothers cried with full hearts:
"May his spirit rest upon my boy!" And strong men have wept over it and
exclaimed: "God be praised for the lad!" And rich men put their hands
into their pockets and said, "Let us build him a monument; let his name
be perpetuated, for his memory is blessed." May there be a generation
of Kund Iversons, strong in their integrity, true to their Bibles ready
to die rather than do wrong.
A CHILD'S PRAYER ANSWERED
The following touching incident which drew tears from my eyes, was related
to me a short time since, by a dear friend who had it from an eyewitness
of the same. It occurred in the great city of New York, on one of the
coldest days in February.
A little boy about ten years old was standing before a shoe-store in
Broadway barefooted, peering through the window, and shivering with cold.
A lady riding up the street in a beautiful carriage, drawn by horses
finely caparisoned, observed the little fellow in his forlorn condition
and immediately ordered the driver to draw up and stop in front of the
store. The lady richly dressed in silk, alighted from her carriage, went
quickly to the boy, and said:
"My little fellow why are you looking so earnestly in that window?"
"I was asking God to give me a pair of shoes," was the reply. The lady
took him by the hand and went into the store, and asked the proprietor
if he would allow one of his clerks to go and buy half a dozen pairs of
stockings for the boy. He readily assented. She then asked him if he
could give her a basin of water and a towel, and he replied: "Certainly,"
and quickly brought them to her.
She took the little fellow to the back part of the store, and, removing
her gloves knelt down, washed those little feet and dried them with the
By this time the young man had returned with the stockings. Placing a
pair upon his feet, she purchased and gave him a pair of shoes, and tying
up the remaining pairs of stockings, gave them to him, and patting him
on the head said: "I hope my little fellow, that you now feel more comfo
As she turned to go, the astonished lad caught her hand, and looking up
in her face, with tears in his eyes answered her question with these
words: "Are you God's wife?"
THE CONVERTED INFIDEL
Some two miles from the village of C. on a road that wound in among the
hills stood a great white house. It was beautifully situated upon a
gentle slope facing the south, and overlooking a most charming landscape.
Away in the distance, a mountain lifted itself against the clear blue
sky. At its base rolled a broad, deep river. Nestling down in a valley
that intervened, reposed the charming little village with its neat
cottages, white church, little red school house and one or two mansions
that told of wealth. Here and there in the distance a pond was visible;
while farm houses and humbler dwellings dotted the picture in every
Such was the home of three promising children, who for the last three
months had been constant members of the village Sunday School. The eldest
was a girl of some fourteen years. John, the second, was a bright, amiable
lad of eleven. The other the little rosy-cheeked, laughing Ella, with
her golden curls and sunny smile had just gathered the roses of her ninth
The father of these interesting children was the rich Captain Lowe. He
was a man of mark, such, in many respects as are often found in rural
districts. Strictly moral, intelligent and well read, kind-hearted and
naturally benevolent, he attracted all classes of community to himself
and wielded great influence in his town.
But, not withstanding all these excellences, Mr. Lowe was an infidel.
He ridiculed in his good-natured way, the idea of prayer, looked upon
conversion as a solemn farce, and believed the most of professing
Christians were well-meaning but deluded people. He was well versed in
all the subtle arguments of infidel writers, had studied the Bible quite
carefully, and could argue against it in the most plausible manner.
Courteous and kind to all, few could be offended at his frank avowal of
infidel principles, or resent his keen, half-jovial sarcasms upon the
peculiarities of some weak-minded, though sincere members of the church.
But Mr. Lowe saw and acknowledged the saving influence of the MORALITY
of Christianity. He had especially, good sense enough to confess that
the Sunday School was a noble moral enterprise. He was not blind to the
fact, abundantly proved by all our criminal records, that few children
trained under her influences ever grow up to vice and crime. Hence his
permission for his children to attend the Sunday School.
Among the many children who knelt as penitents at the altar in the little
vestry, one bright beautiful Lord's Day, were Sarah Lowe and her brother
and sister. It was a moving sight to see that gentle girl, with a mature
thoughtfulness far beyond her years, take that younger brother and sister
by the hand, and kneel with them at the mercy-seat--a sight to heighten
the joy of angels.
When the children had told their mother what they had done and expressed
a determination to try to be Christians; she, too, was greatly moved.
She had been early trained in the principles and belief of Christianity,
and had never renounced her early faith. Naturally confiding, with a
yielding, conciliatory spirit, she had never obtruded her sentiments
upon the notice of her husband, nor openly opposed any of his peculiar
views. But now, when her little ones gathered around her and spoke of
their new love for the Savior, their joy and peace and hope, she wept.
All the holy influences of her own childhood and youth seemed breathing
upon her heart. She remembered the faithful sermons of the old pastor
whose hands had baptized her. She remembered, too, the family altar, and
the prayers which were offered morning and evening by her sainted father.
She remembered the counsels of her good mother now in heaven. All these
memories came crowding back upon her and under their softening influences
she almost felt herself a child again.
[Illustration: It was a moving sight to see that gentle girl take that
younger brother and sister by the hand and kneel with them at the mercy
seat--a sight to heighten the joy of angels.]
When Mr. Lowe first became aware of the change in his children, he was
sorely puzzled to know what to do. He had given his consent for them to
attend the Sunday School, and should he now be offended because they had
yielded to its influence? Ought he not rather to have expected this? And
after all, would what they called religion make them any worse children?
Though at first quite disturbed in his feelings, he finally concluded
upon second thought to say nothing to them upon the subject, but to let
things go on as usual.
But not so those happy young converts. They could not long hold their
peace. They must tell their father also what they had experienced. Mr.
Lowe heard them, but he made no attempt to ridicule their simple faith,
as had been his usual course with others. They were HIS children, and
none could boast of better. Still, he professed to see in their present
state of mind nothing but youthful feeling, excited by the peculiar
circumstances of the last few weeks. But when they began in their childish
ardor to exhort him also to seek the Lord, he checked their simple
earnestness with a peculiar sternness which said to them: "The act must
not be repeated."
The next Sunday the father could not prevent a feeling of loneliness as
he saw his household leave for church. The three children, with their
mother and Joseph, the hired boy, to drive and take care of the horse;
all packed into the old commodious carriage and started off. Never before
had he such peculiar feelings as when he watched them slowly descending
To dissipate these emotions he took a dish of salt and started up the
hill to a "mountain pasture" where his young cattle were enclosed for
the season. It was a beautiful day in October, that queen month of the
year. A soft melancholy breathed in the mild air of the mellow "Indian
summer," and the varying hues of the surrounding forests, and the signs
of decay seen upon every side, all combined to deepen the emotions which
the circumstances of the morning had awakened.
His sadness increased; and as his path opened out into a bright, sunny
spot far up on the steep hillside, he seated himself upon a mossy knoll
and thought. Before him lay the beautiful valley guarded on either side
by its lofty hills, and watered by its placid river. It was a lovely
picture; and as his eye rested upon the village, nestling down among its
now gorgeous shade-trees and scarlet shrubbery, he could not help thinking
of that company who were then gathered in the little church, with its
spire pointing heavenward nor of asking himself the question: "Why are
While thus engaged, his attention was attracted by the peculiar chirping
of a ground sparrow near by. He turned, and but a few feet from him he
saw a large black snake, with its head raised about a foot above its
body, which lay coiled upon the ground. Its jaws were distended, its
forked tongue played around its open mouth, flashing in the sunlight
like a small lambent flame, while its eyes were intently fixed upon the
bird. There was a clear, sparkling light about those eyes that was fearful
to behold--they fairly flashed with their peculiar bending fascination.
The poor sparrow was fluttering around a circle of some few feet in
diameter, the circle becoming smaller at each gyration of the infatuated
bird. She appeared conscious of her danger, yet unable to break the spell
that bound her. Nearer and still nearer she fluttered her little wings
to those open jaws; smaller and smaller grew the circle, till at last,
with a quick convulsive cry; she fell into the mouth of the snake.
As Mr. Lowe watched the bird he became deeply interested in her fate.
He started a number of times to destroy the reptile and thus liberate
the sparrow from her danger, but an unconquerable curiosity to see the
end restrained him. All day long the scene just described was before
him. He could not forget it nor dismiss it from his mind. The last cry
of that poor little bird sinking into the jaws of death was constantly
ringing in his ears, and the sadness of the morning increased.
Returning to his house, he seated himself in his library and attempted
to read. What could be the matter? Usually he could command his thoughts
at will, but now he could think of nothing but the scene on the mountain,
or the little company in the house of God. Slowly passed the hours, and
many times did he find himself, in spite of his resolution not to do so,
looking down the road for the head of his dapple gray to emerge from the
valley. It seemed a long time before the rumbling of the wheels was at
length heard upon the bridge which crossed the mountain stream, followed
shortly by the old carry-all creeping slowly up the hill.
The return of the family somewhat changed the course of his thoughts.
They did not say any thing to him about the good meeting they had enjoyed,
and who had been converted since the last Lord's day; but they talked
it all over among themselves, and how could he help hearing? He learned
all about "how good farmer Haskell talked," and "how humble and devoted
Esquire Wiseman appeared," and "how happy Benjamin and Samuel were";
though he seemed busy with his book and pretended to take no notice of
what was said.
It was, indeed, true then that the old lawyer had become pious. He had
heard the news before, but did not believe it. Now he had learned it as
a fact. That strong-minded man who had been a skeptic all his days, had
ridiculed and opposed religion, was now a subject of "the children's
revival." What could it mean? Was there something in religion after all?
Could it be that what these poor fanatics, as he had always called them,
said about the future world was correct? Was there a heaven, and a hell,
and a God of justice? Were his darling children right, and was he alone
wrong? Such were the thoughts of the boasted infidel, as he sat there
listening to the half-whispered conversation of his happy children.
Little Ella came and climbed to her long accustomed place upon her
father's knee, and throwing her arms around his neck, laid her glowing
cheek, half-hidden by the clustering curls, against his own. He knew by
her appearance she had something to say but did not dare to say it. To
remove this fear, he began to question her about Sunday School. He
inquired after her teacher and who were her classmates, what she learned,
etc. Gradually the shyness wore away, and the heart of the innocent
praying child came gushing forth. She told him all that had been done
that day--what her teacher had said of the prayer meeting at noon, and
who spoke, and how many went forward for prayers. Then folding her arms
more closely around his neck, and kissing him tenderly, she added:
"Oh, father, I do wish you had been there!"
"Why do you wish I had been there, Ella?"
"Oh, just to see how happy Nellie Winslow looked while her grandfather
was telling us children how much he loved the Savior, and how sorry he
was that he did not give his heart to his heavenly Father when he was
young. Then he laid his hand on Nellie's head, who was sitting by his
side, and said: 'I thank God that he ever gave me a little praying
granddaughter to lead me to the Savior.' And, father, I never in all my
life saw anyone look so happy as Nellie did."
Mr. Lowe made no reply--how could he? Could he not see where the heart
of his darling Ella was? Could he not see that by what she had told him
about Esquire Wiseman and his pet Nellie, she meant HE should understand
how happy SHE should be if HER father was a Christian? Ella had not said
so in words--THAT was a forbidden subject--but the language of her earnest
loving look and manner was not to be mistaken; and the heart of the
infidel father was deeply stirred. He kissed the rosy cheeks of the
lovely girl, and taking his hat, left the house. He walked out into the
field. He felt strangely. Before he was aware of the fact he found his
infidelity leaving him, and the simple, artless religion of childhood
winning its way to his heart. Try as hard as he might he could not help
believing that his little Ella was a Christian. There was a reality about
her simple faith and ardent love that was truly "the evidence of things
not seen." What should he do? Should he yield to thin influence and be
led by his children to Christ? What! Captain Lowe, the boasted infidel
overcome by the weakness of excited childhood! The thought roused his
PRIDE and with an exclamation of impatience at his folly, he suddenly
wheeled about, and retracing his steps, with altered appearance, he
re-entered his house.
His wife was alone with an open Bible before her. As he entered he saw
her hastily wipe away a tear. In passing her he glanced upon the open
page, and his eye caught the words "YE MUST BE BORN AGAIN!" They went
like an arrow to his heart. "TRUTH," said a voice within, with such
fearful distinctness that he started at the fancied sound; and the
influence which he had just supposed banished from his heart returned
with ten-fold power. The strong man trembled. Leaving the sitting-room,
he ascended the stairs to his chamber. Passing Sarah's room, a voice
attracted his attention. It was the voice of prayer. He heard his own
name pronounced, and he paused to listen.
"Oh, Lord, save my dear father. Lead him to the Savior. Let him see
that he MUST BE BORN AGAIN. Oh let not the SERPENT CHARM HIM! Save, oh,
save my dear father!"
He could listen no longer, "_Let not the serpent charm him!_" Was
he then like that helpless little bird, who fluttering around the head
of the serpent, fell at last into the jaws of death? The thought shot a
wild torrent of newly awakened terror through his throbbing heart.
Hastening to his chamber he threw himself into a chair. He started! The
voice of prayer again fell upon his ear. He listened. Yes, it was the
clear, sweet accents of his little pet. Ella was praying--WAS PRAYING
"O Lord, bless my dear father. Make him a Christian, and may he and dear
mother be prepared for heaven!"
[Illustration: They came from their places of prayer, where they had
lifted up their voices to God who had said: "Whatsoever ye shall ask the
Father in my name He will give it you."]
Deeply moved, the father left the house and hastened to the barn. He
would fain escape from those words of piercing power. They were like
daggers in his heart. He entered the barn. Again he hears a voice. It
comes from the hay-loft, in the rich silvery tones of his own noble boy.
John had climbed up the ladder, and kneeling down upon the hay WAS PRAYING
FOR HIS FATHER.
"O Lord, save my father!"
It was too much for the poor convicted man, and, rushing to the house
he fell, sobbing upon his knees by the side of his wife and cried:
"O Mary, I am a poor, lost sinner! Our children are going to heaven, and
I--I--AM GOING DOWN TO HELL! Oh, Wife, is there mercy for a wretch like
Poor Mrs. Lowe was completely overcome. She wept for joy. That her husband
would ever be her companion in the way of holiness, she had never dared
to hope. Yes, there was mercy for even them. "Come unto me, and find
rest." Christ had said it, and her heart told her it was true. Together
they would go to this loving Savior, and their little ones should show
them the way.
The children were called in. They came from their places of prayer, where
they had lifted up their hearts to that God who had said "WHATSOEVER YE
SHALL ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME HE WILL GIVE IT YOU." They had asked the
Spirit's influence upon the hearts of their parents, and it had been
granted. They gathered around their weeping, broken-hearted father and
penitent mother, and pointed them to the cross of Jesus. Long and earnestly
they prayed, and wept and agonized. With undoubting trust in the promises,
they waited at the mercy-seat, and their prayers were heard. Faith
conquered. The Spirit came and touched these penitent hearts with the
finger of love; and then sorrow was turned to joy--their night, dark and
cheerless and gloomy, was changed to blessed day.
They arose from their knees, and Ella sprang to the arms of her father,
and together they rejoiced in God.
--Brother H. P. in _Christian Advocate_
On board an English steamer a little ragged boy, aged nine years, was
discovered on the fourth day of the voyage out from Liverpool to New
York, and carried before the first mate, whose duty it was to deal with
such cases. When questioned as to his object in being stowed away, and
who had brought him on board, the boy, who had a beautiful sunny face,
that looked like the very mirror of truth, replied that his step-father
did it, because he could not afford to keep him nor pay his passage to
Halifax where he had an aunt who was well off, and to whose house he was
The mate did not believe his story, in spite of the winning face and
truthful accents of the boy. He had seen too much of stowaways to be
easily deceived by them, he said; and it was his firm conviction that
the boy had been brought on board and provided with food by the sailors.
The little fellow was very roughly handled in consequence. Day by day
he was questioned and requestioned, but always with the same result. He
did not know a sailor on board, and his father alone had secreted and
given him the food which he ate. At last the mate, wearied by the boy's
persistence in the same story, and perhaps a little anxious to inculpate
the sailors, seized him one day by the collar, and dragging him to the
fore, told him that unless he told the truth, in ten minutes from that
time he would hang from the yard arm. He then made him sit under it on
the deck. All around him were the passengers and sailors of the midway
watch, and in front of him stood the inexorable mate, with chronometer
in his hand, and the other officers of the ship by his side. It was a
touching sight to see the pale, proud, scornful face of that noble boy;
his head erect, his beautiful eyes bright through the tears that suffused
them. When eight minutes had fled the mate told him that he had but two
minutes to live, and advised him to speak the truth and save his life.
But he replied with the utmost simplicity and sincerity, by asking the
mate if he might pray. The mate said nothing, but nodded his head, and
turned as pale as a ghost, and shook with trembling like a reed in the
wind. And then all eyes turned on him, the brave and noble fellow--
this poor boy whom society owned not, and whose own step-father could
not care for--knelt with clasped hands and eyes upturned to heaven. There
then occurred a scene as of Pentecost. Sobs broke from strong, hard
hearts, as the mate sprang forward and clasped the boy to his bosom, and
kissed him, and blessed him, and told him how sincerely he now believed
his story and how glad he was that he had been brave enough to face death
and be willing to sacrifice his life for the truth of his word.
--_Illustrated Weekly Telegraph_
THE GOLDEN RULE EXEMPLIFIED
Early one morning while it was yet dark, a poor man came to my door and
informed me that he had an infant child very sick, which he was afraid
would die. He desired me to go to his home, and, if possible help them.
"For," said he, "I want to save its life, if possible." As he spoke thus
his tears ran down his face. He then added:
"I am a poor man; but, Sir, I will pay you in work as much as you ask
if you will go."
I said: "Yes, I will go with you as soon as I take a little refreshment."
"Oh, sir," said he, "I was going to try to get a bushel of corn, and get
it ground to carry home, and I am afraid the child will die before I get
there. I wish you would not wait for me"; and then he added: "We want
to save the child's life if we can."
It being some miles to his house, I didn't arrive there until the sun
was two hours high in the morning, when I found the mother holding her
sick child, and six or seven little boys and girls around her, with clean
hands and faces, looking as their mother did, lean and poor. On examining
the sick child, I discovered that it was starving to death! I said to
the mother: "You don't give milk enough for this child."
She said: "I suppose I don't."
"Well," said I, "you must feed it with milk."
She answered: "I would, sir, but I can't get any to feed it with."
I then said: "It will be well, then, for you to make a little water
gruel, and feed your child."
To this she replied: "I was thinking I would if my husband brings home
some Indian meal. He has gone to try to get some and I am in hopes he
will make out."
She said this with a sad countenance. I asked her with surprise: "Why
madam, have you not got anything to eat?"
She strove to suppress a tear, and answered sorrowfully: "No sir; we
have had but little these some days."
I said: "What are your neighbors, that you should suffer among them?"
She said, "I suppose they are good people, but we are strangers in this
place, and don't wish to trouble any of them, if we can get along without."
Wishing to give the child a little manna I asked for a spoon. The little
girl went to the table drawer to get one, and her mother said to her:
"Get the longest handled spoon." As she opened the drawer, I saw only
two spoons, and both with handles broken off, but one handle was a little
longer than the other. I thought to myself this is a very poor family,
but I will do the best I can to relieve them. While I was preparing the
food for the sick child, I heard the oldest boy (who was about fourteen),
say: "You shall have the biggest piece now, because I had the biggest
piece before." I turned around to see who it was that manifested such a
principle of justice, and I saw four or five children sitting in the
corner, where the oldest was dividing a roasted potato among them. And
he said to one: "You shall have the biggest piece now," etc. But the
other said: "Why, brother, you are the oldest, and you ought to have the
"No," said the other, "I had the biggest piece."
I turned to the mother, and said: "Madam, you have potatoes to eat, I
She replied, "We have had, but this is the last one we have left; and
the children have now roasted that for their breakfast."
On hearing this, I hastened home, and informed my wife that food was
needed for the sick family. I then prescribed a gallon of milk, two
loaves of bread, some butter, meat and potatoes, and sent my boy with
these; and had the pleasure to hear in a few days that they were all well.
ONLY ONE VOTE
A local option contest was going on in W--, and Mrs. Kent was trying to
influence her husband to vote "No License." Willie Kent, six years old,
was, of course on his mamma's side. The night before election Mr. Kent
went to see Willie safe in bed, and hushing his prattle, he said: "Now,
Willie, say your prayers."
"Papa, I want to say my own words, tonight," he replied. "All right, my
boy, that is the best kind of praying," answered the father.
Fair was the picture, as Willie, robed in white, knelt at his father's
knee and prayed reverently: "O dear Jesus, do help papa to vote No Whiskey
Morning came, the village was alive with excitement. Women's hands, made
hard by toil, were stretched to God for help in the decision.
The day grew late and yet Mr. Kent had not been to the polls. Willie's
prayer sounded in his ears, and troubled conscience said: "Answer your
boy's petition with your ballot."
At last he stood at the polling place with two tickets in his hand--
one, license; the other, "No License." Sophistry, policy, avarice said:
"Vote License." Conscience echoed: "No License." After a moment's
hesitation, he threw from him the No License ticket and put the License
in the box.
The next day it was found that the contest was so close that it needed
but one vote to carry the town for prohibition. In the afternoon, Willie
found a No License ticket, and, having heard only one vote was necessary,
he started out to find the man who would cast this one ballot against
wrong, and in his eagerness he flew along the streets.
The saloon men were having a jubilee, and the highways were filled with
drunken rowdies. Little Willie rushed on through the unsafe crowd.
Hark! a random pistol-shot from a drunken quarrel, a pierced heart, and
sweet Willie Kent had his death wound--
They carried him home to his mother. His father was summoned, and the
first swift thought that came to him, as he stood over the lifeless boy,
was: "Willie will never pray again that I vote No Whiskey."
With a strange still grief he took in his own the quiet little hand
chilling into marble coldness, and there between the fingers, firmly
clasped, was the No License ballot with which the brave little soul
thought to change the verdict of yesterday.
Mr. Kent started back in shame and sorrow. That vote in his hand might
have answered the prayer so lately on his lips now dumb, and perhaps
averted the awful calamity. Fathers, may not the hands of the "thousands
slain" make mute appeal to you? Your one vote is what God requires of
you. You are responsible for it being in harmony with His law as if on
it hung the great decision.
How a Little Girl Utilized the Telephone
A mother living not very far from the post-office in this city, tired
with watching over a sick baby, came down stairs for a moment the other
day for a few second's rest. She heard the voice of her little,
four-year-old girl in the hall by herself, and, curious to know to whom
she was talking, stopped for a moment at the half-opened door. She saw
that the little thing had pulled a chair in front of the telephone, and
stood upon it, with the piece against the side of her head. The earnestness
of the child showed that she was in no playing mood, and this was the
conversation the mother heard, while the tears stood thick in her eyes;
the little one carrying on both sides, as if she were repeating the
"Well, who's there?"
"Is God there?"
"Is Jesus there?"
"Tell Jesus I want to speak to him."
"Is that you, Jesus?"
"Yes. What is it?"
"Our baby is sick, and we want you to let it get well. Won't you, now?"
No answer, and statement and question again repeated, and finally answered
by a "Yes."
The little one put the ear-piece back on its hook, clambered down from
the chair, and with a radiant face, went for her mother, who caught her
in her arms.
The baby whose life had been despaired of, began to mend that day and
--_Elmira Free Press_
Jesus Answers Ruth's Prayer
I went to sit up all night with a very sick neighbor. I took Ruth, my
little five-year-old girl along. When I started to leave the next morning,
the folks told me to leave Ruth there and they would send her home when
she awakened. Being very busy, they forgot about the child for some time,
and she got up and started home by herself. She started up the fence
which she thought led home, but she took the wrong fence and it led out
into a large pasture where there were deep canyons, bad cattle, wolves,
and other dangers.
The neighbors missed Ruth and sent their son to find out if Ruth had got
home all right. Her parents became alarmed when they were told that she
had left two hours before. Her father started out to find his precious
child, asking God to direct him to her. After going some distance, he
heard someone talking. He stopped and listened. His heart was so glad,
for he knew it was his child. She was kneeling by a post praying. And
this is what he heard her say, "O sweet Jesus, please send my papa to
find me! I'm not afraid! I know that you wouldn't let nothing hurt your
little girl, but if my papa didn't find me, my mama would cry herself
to death and my papa would almost cry his self to death. So please, sweet
Jesus, send my papa to find me."
"Here I am, Ruth," Papa said, as he walked toward her.
"Oh, Papa, I knew Jesus would send you to find me!" Ruth said as she
quickly jumped up and ran to her father, throwing her arms around him.
Mother was very happy when she saw father coming with their child, and
thanked God for caring for her.
"Mother, Mrs. Oats is very sick!" Ruth said as she came in the door,
looking very sad. "Mama, she is sick; she is awful sick. I'm sorry for
her. What shall we do for her? Let's go into the other room and pray and
ask Jesus what he wants me to do."
So Mother and her little girl went into the other room and knelt down.
Ruth began to pray and ask Jesus what she should do for Mrs. Oats. And
all of a sudden she jumped up and said, "Jesus told me what to do. He
told me to go over and lay my hands on her and pray for her, and he would
heal her." And without an answer, Ruth, who was just six years old ran
out the door and didn't stop running till she was at Mrs. Oat's bedside.
"Turn over here, Mrs. Oats," Ruth said, as she laid her hand on Mrs.
Oats' shoulder. "I came over here to pray for you and Jesus is going to
Mrs. Oats replied, "Well, pray for me, you blessed little angel; if the
Lord would hear anyone's prayers, he would hear yours."
Ruth laid her hands on her and prayed for her and the Lord instantly
healed her. She got up and dressed and came over and told Ruth's mother
what Ruth had done.
THE DYING GIRL'S PRAYER FOR HER DRUNKEN FATHER
A child from a poor family had an intemperate father, who often used to
abuse his wife and children. This child had been to the Sunday School--
had become pious. The physician told the father that his little girl
would die. No! he did not believe it. Yes, she will--she must die in a
few hours. The father hastened to the bedside; would not part with her,
"Yes, father, you must part with me; I am going to Jesus. Promise me two
things. One is, that you won't abuse mother any more, and will drink no
He promised in a solemn, steady manner. The little girl's face lighted
up with joy.
"The other thing is, promise me that you will PRAY," said the child.
"I cannot pray; don't know how," said the poor man.
"Father, kneel down, please. There, take the words after me. I will pray--
I learned how to pray in Sunday School and God has taught me how to pray,
too; my heart prays, and you must let your heart pray. Now say the words."
And she began in her simple language to pray to the Savior of sinners.
After a little he began to repeat after her; as he went on his heart was
interested, and he broke out into an earnest prayer for himself; bewailed
his sins, confessed and promised to forsake them; entered into covenant
with God; light broke out in his darkness; how long he prayed he did not
know; he seemed to have forgotten his child in his prayer. When he came
to himself he raised his head from the bed on which he had rested it;
there lay the little speaker, a lovely smile was upon the face, her hand
was in that of the father, but she had gone to be among the angels.
--_Power of Prayer_ by Prime.
"Come, Mamie, darling," said Mrs. Peterson, "before you go into the land
of dreams you will kneel at my knee and thank your heavenly Father for
what he has given you today."
Mamie came slowly towards her mother, and said, "I've been very naughty,
and I can't pray, Mama."
"If you've been naughty dear, that is the more reason that you need to
"But, Mama, I don't think God wants little girls to come to Him when
they are naughty."
"You are not naughty now, my dear, are you?"
"No, I am not naughty now."
"Well, then come at once."
"What shall I say to God about it, Mama?"
"You can tell God how very sorry you are."
"What difference will that make?"
"When we have told God that we are sorry, and when he has forgiven us,
then we are as happy as if we had not done wrong; but we cannot undo the
"Then, Mama, I can never be quite as rich as if I had not had a naughty
"Never, my dear; but the thought of your loss may help you to be more
careful in the future, and we will ask God to keep you from sinning
against him again."
THE LITTLE GIRL WHO DIED TO SAVE HER FATHER'S LIFE
My dear little friend: I want to tell you about a little girl in
Switzerland who died to save her father's life. I hope it will lead you
to think of Him who died a dreadful death on the cross, that we might
be saved from sin and sorrow here, and at last dwell with Him in bright
mansions in the skies.
This little girl lived near a deep ravine at the foot of one of the
mountains in Switzerland. A huge rock had fallen down the mountain side,
and lodged in the ravine, and thus made a natural bridge, so that those
who wished to pass from one side of the mountain to the other, could
cross the bridge.
The mother of the child was an earnest Christian, and often told her
daughter about the blessed Savior, who died in the place of sinners,
who deserved to be punished that they might be forgiven and saved in
heaven. And she told her also that unless she came to Jesus, and trusted
in Him, she would be lost forever. At first the little girl did not care
very much about what her mother said, but at last the mother's prayer
was answered. Her little one felt herself to be a lost sinner, and that
Christ alone could save her. God's spirit taught her that Jesus had paid
the debt, and that He stood with open arms ready to receive her, and
wash her sins away. Then she felt sure that heaven would be her home
forever. Her father was not a Christian. He never gathered his loved
ones around the family altar.
One day when about to cross the deep ravine upon the rock bridge, the
mother saw that it was just ready to fall. The frost had loosened it.
She told her little child that if she ever crossed it again it would
fall, and she would be dashed in pieces.
The next day the father told his child that he was going over to the
other side across the bridge. She told him it was not safe, but he only
laughed at her. He said he had been across it before she was born, and
that he was not afraid. When the dear little thing saw that he was
determined to go she asked if she could go with him.
While they were walking along together, she looked up into her father's
face, and said: "Father, if I should die, will you promise to love Jesus
and meet me in heaven?"
"Pshaw!" he said, "what put such a wild thought into your head? You are
not going to die, I hope. You are only a wee thing and will live many
"Yes, but if I should die, will you promise to love Jesus just as I do,
and meet me in heaven?"
"But you are not going to die. Don't speak of it," he said.
"But if I should die, do promise, Father, you will be a good Christian
and come up and live with Jesus and me in heaven."
"Yes, yes!" he said at last.
When they came near the crossing-place, she said: "Father, please stand
here a minute." She loved him dearly and was willing to run the risk of
dying for him. Strange as it may seem she walked quickly and jumped upon
the loose rock, and down it went with the girl. She was crushed to death.
The trembling parent crept to the edge, and eyes dimmed with tears, gazed
wildly upon the wreck. Then he thought of all his little child had told
him about how Jesus had died to save us. He thought he had never loved
her so much. But he began to see that he had far more reason to love
Jesus who had suffered much more to save him from the "bottomless pit."
And then he thought of the promise he so carefully made to his daughter.
What could he do but kneel down and cry to God to have mercy upon him?
If they meet in heaven, do you think that daughter will be sorry that
she sacrificed her life for her father's sake? Can you not imagine that
tears often filled the eyes of that father when he spoke of his sainted
You would say that he would have been a very wicked man if he had not
loved the memory of his child. But is it not a thousand times more wicked
for you not to love Him who has loved you so much more than that little
one loved her father?
How can you help loving such a precious Savior? Will you not ask Him
to forgive you and help you to live for Him the rest of your life?
--_The Way of Faith_
"FORGOTTEN MY SOUL"
"Mother, you have forgotten my soul," so said a little girl, three years
old as her kind and careful mother was about to lay her in bed. She had
just risen from repeating the Lord's prayer. "But, Mother," she said,
"you have forgotten my soul."
"What do you mean, Anna?"
'Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep!
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.'
"We have not said that."
The child meant nothing more, yet her words were startling. And, oh!
from how many rosy lips might they come with mournful significance!
You, fond mother, so busy hour after hour preparing and adorning garments
for their pretty little form, have you forgotten the soul? Do you commend
it earnestly to the care of its God and Savior? Are you leading it to
commit itself, in faith and love to his keeping?--Selected.
PREVAILING PRAYER OF A CHILD
At the close of a prayer-meeting, the pastor observed a little girl about
twelve years of age remaining upon her knees, when most of the congregation
had retired. Thinking the child had fallen asleep, he touched her and
told her it was time to return home. To his surprise he found that she
was engaged in prayer, and he said: "All things whatsoever ye shall ask
in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." She looked up at the pastor
earnestly, and inquired: "Is that so? Does God say that?"
He took up a Bible and read the passage aloud. She immediately began
praying: "Lord, send my father here; Lord, send my father to the chapel."
Thus she continued for about half an hour, attracting by her earnest cry
the attentions of persons who had lingered about the door. At last a man
rushed into the chapel, ran up the aisle and sank upon his knees by the
side of his child, exclaiming: "What do you want of me?" She threw her
arms about his neck, and began to pray: "Oh, Lord, convert my father!"
Soon the man's heart was melted and he began to pray for himself. The
child's father was three miles from the chapel when she began praying
for him. He was packing goods in a wagon and felt impressed with an
irresistible impulse to return home. Driving rapidly to his house, he
left the goods in his wagon and hastened to the chapel, where he found
his daughter crying mightily to God in his behalf; and he was led there
to the Savior.
THE DYING NEWS BOY
In a dark alley in the great city of New York, a small, ragged boy might
be seen. He appeared to be about twelve years old, and had a careworn
expression on his countenance. The cold air seemed to have no pity as
it pierced through his ragged clothes, and made the flesh beneath blue
and almost frozen.
[Illustration: "I am dying now, because I feel so queer; and I can hardly
see you. I can kinder see the angels holding out their hands for me to
come to that beautiful place they call heaven."]
This poor boy had once a happy home. His parents died a year before, and
left him without money or friends. He was compelled to face the cold,
cruel world with but a few cents in his pocket. He tried to earn his
living by selling newspapers and other such things. This day everything
seemed to go against him, and in despair he threw himself down in the
dark alley, with his papers by his side. A few boys gathered around the
poor lad, and asked in a kind way (for a street Arab): "Say, Johnny, why
don't you go to the lodges?" (The lodge was a place where almost all the
boys stayed at night, costing but a few cents.) But the poor little lad
could only murmur that he could not stir, and called the boys about him,
saying: "I am dying now, because I feel so queer: and I can hardly see
you. Gather around me closer boys. I cannot talk so loud. I can kinder
see the angels holding out their hands for me to come to that beautiful
place called heaven. Goodbye, boys. I am to meet father and mother."
And, with these last words on his lips, the poor lad died.
Next morning the passers-by saw a sight that would soften the most
hardened heart. There, lying on the cold stone, with his head against
the hard wall, and his eyes staring upward, was the poor little frozen
newsboy. He was taken to the chapel near by, and was interred by kind
hands. And those who performed this act will never forget the poor
"I wonder if there can be a pair of shoes in it!"
Little Tim sat on the ground close beside a very ugly dark-colored stone
jug. He eyed it sharply, but finding it quite impossible to see through
its sides, pulled out the cork and peered anxiously in. "Can't see
nothin', but it's so dark in there I couldn't see if there was anything.
I've a great mind to break the hateful old thing."
He sat for awhile thinking how badly he wanted a pair of shoes to wear
to the Sunday School picnic. His mother had promised to wash and mend
his clothes, so that he might go looking very neat indeed; but the old
shoes were far past all mending and how could he go barefoot?
Then he began counting the chances of his father being very angry when
he should find his jug broken. He did not like the idea of getting a
whipping for it, as was very likely, but how could he resist the temptation
of making sure about those shoes? The more he thought of them, the more
he couldn't. He sprang up and hunted around until he found a good size
brick-bat, which he flung with such vigorous hand and correct aim that
the next moment the old jug lay in pieces before his eyes.
How eagerly he bent over them in the hope of finding not only what he
was so longing for but, perhaps, other treasure! But his poor little
heart sank as he turned over the fragments with trembling fingers. Nothing
could be found among the broken bits, wet on the inside with a bad-smelling
Tim sat down again and sobbed as he had never sobbed before; so hard
that he did not hear a step beside him until a voice said:
"Well, what's all this?"
He sprang up in great alarm. It was his father, who always slept late
in the morning, and was very seldom awake so early as this.
"Who broke my jug?" he asked. "I did," said Tim, catching his breath
half in terror and half between his sobs.
"Why did you?" Tim looked up. The voice did not sound quite so terrible
as he had expected. The truth was his father had been touched at sight
of the forlorn figure, so very small and so sorrowful, which had bent
over the broken jug.
"Why," he said, "I was looking for a pair of new shoes. I want a pair
of shoes awful bad to wear at the picnic. All the other chaps wear shoes."
"How came you to think you'd find shoes in a jug?"
"Why Mama said so. I asked her for some new shoes and she said they had
gone into the black jug, and that lots of other things had gone into it,
too--coats and hats, and bread and meat and things--and I thought if I
broke it I'd find them all, and there ain't a thing in it--and Mama never
said what wasn't so before--and I thought 'twould be so--sure."
And Tim, hardly able to sob out the words, feeling how keenly his trust
in mother's word had added to his great disappointment, sat down again,
and cried harder than ever.
His father seated himself on a box in the disorderly yard and remained
quiet for so long a time that Tim at last looked timidly up.
"I am real sorry I broke your jug, Father. I'll never do it again."
"No, I guess you won't," he said, laying a hand on the rough little head
as he went away leaving Tim overcome with astonishment that his father
had not been angry with him.
Two days after, on the very evening before the picnic, he handed Tim a
parcel, telling him to open it.
"New shoes! new shoes!" he shouted. "Oh, Father, did you get a new jug
and were they in it?"
"No, my boy, there isn't going to be a new jug. Your mother was right
all the time--the things all went into the jug; but you see getting them
out is no easy matter so I am going to keep them out after this."
--_New York Observer_
LITTLE JENNIE'S SICKNESS AND DEATH
Little Jennie was eight years old, March 30, 1886. The April following
she was taken very sick, and from that time until June 4, she seemed a
little suffering angel. Then Jesus, who had so blessedly sustained her
during all her sufferings took her to Himself. She would say, when able
to talk: "Mama, I do not care what I suffer, God knows best." When she
was very low, we would often see her dear lips moving, and listening,
hear her praying. She would finish her prayer and after saying "Amen"
having noticed that we were listening to her, would look up into our
faces to see if we wanted anything.
This patience and devotion characterized her whole life. Often, when she
was at play with her sister, who was the older by five years, when some
little trouble would arise, she would take her sister by the hand and
say: "Kitty, let's tell Jesus." Then bowing her little head, she would
pour out her whole heart in prayer to God, with the fervency that is
shown by a true Christian.
About three weeks after she was taken ill her little body was paralyzed
and drawn all out of shape it seemed. Then in a few days her little limbs
were so we could almost straighten them. What suffering she endured all
that time, no one knows but those who were with her.
May 25th, which was Tuesday, while suffering terribly, she said: "Mama,
play and sing." I took my guitar, and without stopping to think what to
sing, began that beautiful song in the Gospel Hymns: "Nearer my home,
today, than I have been before." I could praise God just then, for I was
filled with His Spirit. She lay there looking at me with her little blue
eyes and trying in her weak voice to help me. At last she seemed soothed
by the music. But we knew that Jesus in his infinite love, had quieted
her for a time, because we were willing to submit to His will. We had
said all the time: "Lord, not my will, but thine."
She rested quite well until about three o'clock in the afternoon; then
suddenly she spoke and her voice sounded quite strong. She said: "Oh,
Mama see those people, how funny they look! They look like poles." She
was lying so that she could look out of the window and as she spoke her
eyes seemed to rest on some object there. Then she spoke louder; "OH,
MAMMA, COME AND SEE THE LITTLE CHILDREN! I never saw so many in my life."
I sat down on the front of the bed and said: "Jennie, is there any there
that you know?"
She looked them over so earnestly, then said: "No, not one." I asked her
how they looked. She said: "Mama, every one has a gold crown on its head,
and they are all dressed in white." I thought that Jesus was coming for
her then. After telling me that there were none that she knew she sank
back on the pillows exhausted. But in a few moments she raised up again
and said: "Oh, Mama, hear that music! Did you ever hear such grand music?
Now, do not shut the windows tonight, will you?" I told her that I would
The next morning she called Kittie into the room and said: "Kittie, I
want to tell you what I saw last night." She then proceeded to tell her
the same as she had told me the evening before. Then she said: "Now,
Kittie, you will forgive me for ever being cross to you won't you?"
Kittie answered, "Little darling, you have never been cross to me. Will
you forgive me, sister, for being cross to you?"
"Darling sister," she said, "that is all right."
Thursday night she was paralyzed in her left side so that she had no use
of it. Friday all day she lay unconscious, and that night the same.
Saturday, about ten o'clock, she commenced to whisper. We could hear her
say: "Papa, Mama." We tried to understand her, but at first could not.
She kept whispering plainer, and finally we heard her say: "Take--me--
upstairs. I--want--to--lie--on--my--own--bed--once--more." But of course
we could not move her. Suddenly she said aloud: "I am going to die! kiss
me quick, Mama."
I bent down and kissed her, and she looked so wretched. I said: "Jennie,
you will not have to go alone; Jesus will take you."
She answered: "I know it. I wish that He would come this minute. Kiss me
I did so; then she wished us to sing. Again, without giving one thought,
I commenced singing the same words that I sang the Tuesday before. She
raised her right hand arm's length, and began to wave it and bow her
head. Oh! she was so happy. Then she said: "Play." They brought the
guitar, and she continued to wave her little hand, while I played and
sang the whole piece. One of her aunts, standing near the bed took hold
of her hand to stop it, but it moved just the same; and I said: "Ollie,
let go of her hand, that is the Lord's doings." After I finished, she
kissed her father, mother, and sister and bade them goodbye; then called
four other very dear friends and told them goodbye after kissing them.
She then called for a book and wanted the music teacher, who was present,
to play and sing a piece which she dearly loved.
Before she was sick she would have little prayer meetings, and her sweet
little face would shine with happiness. She would say: "Oh, Mama, how
the Lord has blessed me."
[Illustration: "They brought the guitar, and she continued to wave her
little hand, while I played and sang the whole piece."]
While the dear teacher was playing and singing her favorite she was
waving her little hand. We sang three or four other pieces around her
bed. We all thought that Jesus would take her then. Oh, what joy! it was
heaven below. Jesus was there and the room was filled with glory on
account of of His presence. Two of her aunts said that it seemed as
though they were in heaven.
She never spoke after that, but would try to make us understand by
motioning when she wanted anything. Sometimes it would take us a long
time, but she would be so patient. She was ready and waiting. She had
peace that the world cannot give, and, praise God! that the world cannot
take away. The dear little one lived until the next Tuesday afternoon,
and went to Jesus about three o'clock. That was the time she saw the
vision the Tuesday before. Tuesday morning before daylight she tried to
tell me something. I said "Sing?" She looked so happy and bowed her head.
I began singing: "I am Jesus' little lamb." She bowed her head again.
In the forenoon she kept looking at her aunts, Ollie and Belle, and
pointing up. Oh! it meant so much. It seemed to me that she was saying,
that it meant: "Meet me in heaven." Finally she motioned for me to raise
the window curtain. I did so and she looked out the window so eagerly,
as though she was expecting to see the little children. Then the little
blue eyes closed to open no more in this world, but in heaven.
--Mrs. L. Jones.
SHE DIED FOR HIM
A poor emigrant had gone to Australia to "make his fortune," leaving a
wife and little son in England. When he had made some money, he wrote
home to his wife: "Come out to me here; I send the money for your passage;
I want to see you and my boy." The wife took ship as soon as she could,
and started for her new home. One night, as they were all asleep there
sounded the dreaded cry of "Fire, fire!" Everyone rushed on deck and the
boats were soon filled. The last one was just pushing off then a cry of
"there are two more on deck," arose. They were the mother and her son.
Alas! "Only room for one," the sailors shouted. Which was to go? The
mother thought of her far away home, her husband looking out lovingly
and longingly for his wife. Then she glanced at the boy, clinging
frightened to her skirts. She could not let him die. There was no time
to lose. Quick! quick! The flames were getting around. Snatching the
child, she held him to her a moment. "Willie, tell Father I died for
you!" Then the boy as lowered into the sailor's willing arms. She died
"I DON'T LOVE YOU NOW, MOTHER"
A great many years ago, I knew a lady who had been sick for two years,
as you have seen many a one, all the while slowly dying with consumption.
She had one child--a little boy named Henry.
One afternoon I was sitting by her side and it seemed as if she would
cough her life away. Her little boy stood by the post of the bed, his
blue eyes filled with tears to see her suffer so. By and by the terrible
cough ceased. Henry came and put his arms around his mother's neck,
nestled his head in his mother's bosom, and said, "Mother, I do love
you; I wish you wasn't sick."
An hour later, the same loving, blue-eyed boy came in all aglow, stamping
the snow off his feet.
"Oh, Mother, may I go skating? it is so nice--Ed and Charlie are going."
"Henry," feebly said the mother, "the ice is not hard enough yet."
"But, Mother," very pettishly said the boy, "you are sick all the time--
how do you know?"
"My child, you must obey me," gently said his mother.
"It is too bad," angrily sobbed the boy, who an hour ago had so loved
"I would not like to have my little boy go," said the mother, looking
sadly at the little boy's face, all covered with frowns; "you said you
loved me--be good."
"No, I don't love you now, Mother," said the boy, going out and slamming
Again that dreadful coughing came upon her, and _we_ thought no
more of the boy. After the coughing had commenced, I noticed tears falling
thick upon her pillow, but she sank from exhaustion into a light sleep.
In a little while muffled steps of men's feet were heard coming into the
house, as though carrying something; and they were carrying the almost
lifeless body of Henry.
Angrily had he left his mother and gone to skate--disobeying her; and
then broken through the ice, sunk under the water, and now saved by a
great effort, was brought home barely alive to his sick mother.
I closed the doors feeling more danger for her life than the child's and
coming softly in, drew back the curtains from the bed. She spoke, "I
heard them--it is Henry; oh, I knew he went--is he dead?" But she never
seemed to hear the answer I gave her. She commenced coughing--she died
in agony--strangled to death. The poor mother! The boy's disobedience
After a couple of hours I sought the boy's room.
"Oh, I wish I had not told mother I did not love her. Tomorrow I will
tell her I do," said the child sobbing painfully. My heart ached; tomorrow
I knew we must tell him she was dead. We did not till the child came
fully into the room, crying, "Mother, I do love you."
Oh! may I never see agony like that child's, as the lips he kissed gave
back no kiss, as the hands he took fell lifeless from his hand, instead
of shaking his hand as it always had, and the boy knew she was dead.
"Mother, I do love you now," all the day he sobbed and cried, "O Mother,
Mother, forgive me." Then he would not leave his mother. "Speak to me,
Mother!" but she could never speak again, and he--the last words she had
ever heard him say, were, "Mother, I don't love you now."
That boy's whole life was changed; sober and sad he was ever after. He
is now a gray haired old man, with one sorrow over his one act of
disobedience, one wrong word embittering all his life--with those words
ever ringing in his ears, "Mother, I don't love you now."
Will the little ones who read this remember, if they disobey their mother,
if they are cross and naughty, they say every single time they do so,
to a tender mother's heart, by their actions if not in the words of
Henry, the very same thing, "I don't love you now, Mother."
She was a clear-eyed, fresh-cheeked little maiden, living on the banks
of the great Mississippi, the oldest of four children, and mother's
"little woman" always. They called her so because of her quiet, matronly
care of the younger Mayfields--that was the father's name. Her own name
was the beautiful one of Elizabeth, but they shortened it to Bess.
She was thirteen when one day Mr. Mayfield and his wife were called to
the nearest town, six miles away. "Be mother's little woman, dear," said
Mrs. Mayfield as she kissed the rosy face. Her husband added: "I leave
the children in your care, Bess; be a little mother to them."
Bess waved her old sun-bonnet vigorously, and held up the baby Rose,
that she might watch them to the last. Old Daddy Jim and Mammy had been
detailed by Mr. Mayfield to keep an unsuspected watch on the little
nestlings, and were to sleep at the house. Thus two days went by, when
Daddy Jim and Mammy begged to be allowed to go to the quarters where the
Negroes lived, to see their daughter, "Jennie, who was pow'ful bad wid
the toothache." They declared they would be back by evening, so Bess was
willing. She put the little girls to bed and persuaded Rob to go; then
seated herself by the table with her mother's work-basket, in quaint
imitation of Mrs. Mayfield's industry in the evening time. But what was
this? Her feet touched something cold! She bent down and felt around
with her hand. A pool of water was spreading over the floor. She knew
what it was; the Mississippi had broken through the levee. What should
she do? Mammy's stories of how homes had been washed away and broken in
pieces were in her mind. "Oh, if I had a boat!" she exclaimed. "But there
isn't anything of the sort on the place." She ran wildly out to look for
Mammy; and stumbled over something sitting near the edge of the porch.
A sudden inspiration took her. Here was her boat! a very large,
old-fashioned, oblong tub. The water was now several inches deep on the
porch and she contrived to half-float, half-row the tub into the room.
Without frightening the children she got them dressed in the warmest
clothes they had. She lined the oblong tub with a blanket, and made ready
bread and cold meat left from supper. With Rob's assistance she dragged
the tub upstairs. There was a single large window in the room, and they
set the tub directly by it, so that when the water rose the tub would
float out. There was no way for the children to reach the roof, which
was a very steep, inclined one. It did not seem long before the water
had very nearly risen to the top of the stairs leading from below.
Bess flung the window open, and made Rob get into their novel boat; then
she lifted in Kate, and finally baby Rose, who began to cry, was given
into Rob's arms, and now the little mother, taking the basket of food,
made ready to enter, too; but, lo! there was no room for her with safety
to the rest. Bess paused a moment, drew a long breath, and kissed the
children quietly. She explained to Rob that he must guard the basket,
and that they must sit still. "Goodbye, dears. Say a prayer for sister,
Rob. If you ever see father and mother, tell them I took care of you."
Then the water seized the insecure vessel, and out into the dark night
The next day Mr. Mayfield, who, with his neighbors, scoured the broad
lake of eddying water that represented the Mississippi, discovered the
tub lodged in the branches of a sycamore with the children weeping and
chilled, but safe.
And Bess? Ah, where was Bess, the "little mother," who in that brief
moment resigned herself to death? They found her later, floating on the
water with her brave childish face turned to the sky; and as strong arms
lifted her into the boat, the tears from every eye paid worthy tribute
to the "little mother."
--_Detroit Free Press_
ROBBIE GOODMAN'S PRAYER
"What can be the matter with Walter," thought Mama Ellis as she sat
sewing in her pleasant sitting-room. "He came in so very quietly, closed
the door gently and I think I even heard him go to the closet to hang
up his books. Oh! dear. I hope he isn't going to have another attack of
'Grippe,'" and Mrs. Ellis shivered as she glanced out at the snow-covered
landscape. As her eyes turned once more to the warm, luxurious room in
which she was seated, the portieres were pushed aside and a little boy of
ten years of age entered. Little Walter was all that remained of four
beautiful children, who, only a year ago, romped gaily through the large
halls. That dread disease, diphtheria, had stolen the older brother and
laughing little sisters in one short week's time, so that now, as the sad
anniversary came near to hand, Mrs. Ellis' heart ached for her lost
birdlings and yearned more jealously than ever over her remaining little
one. Today his usually merry face was very grave and he looked very
thoughtful as he gave his mother her kiss and allowed himself to be drawn
upon her lap.
"What ails mother's Pet? Is he sick?" she asked anxiously.
"No, Mother dear, I'm not sick, but I feel so sad at heart. You see,"
he continued in answer to her questioning look, "Robbie Goodman and I
always walk together going and coming from school, and I have noticed
that he has never worn any overcoat this winter, but you know its been
unusually warm and I thought perhaps his mother did not make him wrap
up like you did me, but this morning it was so cold and he was just
shivering, but he never had on any overcoat--just his mittens and muffler
and cap were his wraps. Of course I noticed it, for nearly everyone else
was all bundled up; but I didn't say anything as I did not want to be
impolite. After awhile he said, 'My, I am so cold,' and I said: 'Where's
your overcoat?' Then he told me it was too small and his papa can't buy
him any this winter so he is afraid he will have to stop school. His
mama says she would cut his papa's up for him, only then he would not
have any; and of course he must have one to wear when he goes to the
chapel and to see sick people. Even that one is thin and patched. He
says he and his little sisters have been praying so hard for an overcoat
for him and shoes for them, but they did not come at Christmas like they
thought they would, and they are real discouraged.
"Tonight, Mother," continued Walter, "he had an awful cold and coughed
just like our Harry did last year," and the long pent up tears flowed
from the child's eyes. As mother and son dried their tears, the child
looked up with perfect confidence as he said, "The Lord will answer
Robbie's prayer, won't he. Mama?"
"Yes darling," said Mrs. Ellis; and sent the child off to the play room.
"By the way, my dear," remarked Mrs. Ellis as they sat chatting at the
tea-table after Walter had retired, "what has become of that preacher
Goodman who preached for us once on trial?"
"Oh, he has a mission down on the other side of the city, but he lives
on this side as Moore gives him the house rent free. I met him the other
day. He looked very needy. The man had wonderful talents and might have
a rich congregation and improve himself; but he is persistent in his
ideas concerning this holiness movement, and of course a large church
like ours wants something to attract and interest instead of such
egotistical discourses. I, for one, go to sleep under them." And Mr.
Ellis drew himself up with a pompous air as he went into the library,
whither his wife presently followed.
He had picked up a newspaper and was apparently absorbed, but Mrs. Ellis
had not had her say, so she continued "Walter was telling me about the
little boy. He--"
"Oh, yes," interrupted her husband, "he met me in the hall and poured
out the whole story. The child's nerves were all wrought up, too. He
should not be allowed to worry over such things. He wants me to give up