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Nuggets of Gold: Chapter 14: Experience

By George Kulp


      We have had a German baron among us, Baron von Karlstein, who has written a book about New York and its inhabitants. One of his anecdotes is very good and interesting: On Washington's Birthday he was standing in a crowd on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street, waiting for the grand procession to arrive. The first drums were heard in the distance, when a young man, in his shirt-sleeves and hatless, passed through the assembled multitude and addressed the policeman who kept the people back.

      "Officer," he exclaimed, "my mother is sick in a house near Sixth Avenue; she has suddenly been taken much worse, and the doctor says that if the procession passes our house the noise will kill her."

      "O. K., young fellow," said the policeman, and left him to run up the avenue, where he stood some twenty feet before the procession and screamed "Halt!" holding up a light rattan cane with both hands.

      The word was passed along the line, an adjutant galloped forward, bent over his horse's neck and exchanged a few words with the policeman.

      Suddenly the command, "Forward! march!" was heard and the immense body of men proceeded to the corner of Fourteenth Street, without any music except the slightest possible tapping of drums. Then came, "Right wheel!" and nearly fifty thousand men, whom immense crowds were waiting to see and cheer, wheeled up Fourteenth Street to Broadway, and down Broadway they marched without music until they were beyond the distance at which they might disturb the sick woman.

      No one asked why an army of well-drilled, admirably equipped men, many of them battle-scarred veterans, turned out of their path at the simple request of a single policeman, armed with but a little rattan cane. It would have been but a trifling matter for them to take Gotham; but no, the General in command, when he received the young man's thanks, reminded him that his very natural request was addressed to gentlemen and soldiers. And a gentleman, be he a soldier or not, reveres the sacred name of mother.


      A man was in his vessel with his wares, when suddenly a storm came down; he was wrecked. Finally, famished, naked and alone, he alone of all in the vessel was cast upon an island. He was glad to have his life. But what was his sorrow, when looking up, to see the natives coming in wild glee toward him. "I have escaped the sea," said he, "only to die miserably on the land." The natives picked him up, carried him to their city, clothed and fed him, put a crown on his head, and set him on a throne, and then stood by as if awaiting his commands. "This said he, "is the insane ceremony that precedes my destruction;" and he awaited with fear the next development. But as nothing further was done, and all seemed anxious to serve him while he sat there on his throne, he ventured to ask where he was and what all this meant. One man answered deferentially, "You are our king, and we are here to do your behests to the last letter."

      The man could scarce believe it so, but found, after a few weeks' trial, that, verily, he was king. They did just as he said. The island, with its wealth and resources, was at his command. He could enjoy all at his absolute pleasure. But the whole matter seemed strange to him. So after two or three months he chanced to meet a venerable man, and asked him to explain this strange occurrence. "Oh," said his venerable subject, "there is nothing strange about it; you are our king. Each year a man is thrown upon our shore, and we pick him up and do with him just as we have done with you." "But," said our hero, "what do you do with your last king?" "Oh," said the old man, "as we find him naked, so at the year's end we strip him again of all his royal surroundings, set him in a boat, and send him away to a barren, desolate island beyond the horizon there, where I suppose he perishes." "And," said our hero, "will you do so with me?" "Yes," was the old man's answer.

      When our hero heard that he had but one brief year to reign, and that one third was gone already, he first said he would enjoy himself while it did last. "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die." But soon wiser thoughts came. He sought the old counselor again. Said he: "Am I not king now?" "Yes," said the old man. "Can I do as I will?" "Absolutely," was the response. "Then," said he, "I will spend the rest of my time in fitting up that desolate island;" and at once he transported buildings, men, provisions -- everything he could -- and set up a new kingdom on the island beyond the horizon. His year ran out. it happened to him as the old man said it would. He was sent off in a boat alone, to be received with joyful welcome in the island-home he had made.


      A very strange and weird story comes from San Jose, California. A Mrs. Williams residing there relates the following about one of her children:

      "Daisy, my thirteen-year old daughter, died. She called us all to her bedside, and then she fell back and died. Neighbors came in and pronounced her dead. She was cold as ice, her eyes were glassy, her limbs perfectly stiff, and the usual deathly pallor covered her features. She ceased to breathe and her pulse quit beating.

      "She had been dead one-half hour," continued her mother, "when suddenly she opened her eyes and looked about the room smiling, and seeing her little sister, she said: 'Maudie, I have come back to stay a little while.'

      Here the father took up the narrative, cautioning your reporter, however, to make no mistake, saying:

      "I want you to give just the same words she used, and you must not change them, for I fear some great calamity would happen to us if you did."

      "She then turned over in bed," continued Mr. Williams, "and slept till night At about nine o'clock in the evening she awoke, sat up in bed, and said: 'Mamma, I was dead, and have been in Heaven. I saw my little sister Anna there. She was singing and was just as happy as she could be, and when she saw me she flew to me and took me to Jesus.'

      "Her mother asked her where Jesus was and how He looked. 'Oh, mamma, Jesus has feet and hands, and looks like any other man. I saw God near Jesus, and He was like a man, too. Jesus took sister and me by the hand and showed us all through Heaven.

      "'I can't begin to tell you all I saw in Heaven. There were thousands and thousands of angels flying all around me, and soon I met grandma, who is an angel now, and she kissed me several times. I saw my uncle, too, and I knew him as soon as I saw him.'"

      Mr. Williams says she had never seen him on earth, neither had he ever described him to her, but he declared that she pictured him as exactly as any one could by looking at him.

      "'I saw Ethel Brown and had forgotten all about her until I saw her. Then I remembered how we used to play and go to school together at Dorland. I saw millions and millions of people in Heaven, but did not see many that I knew. Then Jesus took me by the hand and led me to where I could look down into Hell. It seemed to me that there were a great many people in Hell, but I saw only one there that I knew."

      Daisy told the name of the woman she saw, but Mrs. Williams said she would rather not give the name, as the woman had died a drunkard's death.

      Mr. Williams said he told Daisy that she was surely mistaken, but Daisy was positive about the matter.

      "She also said: 'I saw her, and I know it was she. Oh, mamma, it's an awful place. Satan himself was there, and called so loud that all the hollow depths of Hell resounded. I tell you I'm not going to go to Hell. I'm going to go to Heaven. Jesus told me I could now go back and tell my folks and everybody I saw what I had seen, and if they would not believe me He would send down my little sister Anna, and if they did not believe her, He would come Himself.

      'Papa, do you believe what I have said? Well, papa, if you do, and also do not swear any more, the Savior said you could come to Heaven, too.'"

      Such are the wonderful words that Daisy said when she recovered consciousness, and they were repeated again and again before several witnesses. She lingered along for a month and it seemed at one time that she would recover, but she died recently and was buried in Oak Hill cemetery. All of her relatives and many living in the neighborhood believe that she actually was dead and came to life again. -- Arkansas Traveler.


      "I am my own master," cried a young man, proudly, when a friend tried to persuade him from an enterprise in which he had a hand. "I am my own master"

      "Did you ever consider what a responsible post that is?"

      "Responsibility -- is it?"

      "A master must lay out the work he wants done, and see that it is done right. He should try to secure the best ends by the best means. He must keep on the lookout against accidents and obstacles, and watch that everything goes straight, else he will fail."


      "To be master of yourself you have your conscience to keep clear, your heart to cultivate, your temper to govern, your will to direct, and your judgment to instruct. You are master over a hard lot, and if you don't master them they will master you."

      "That is so," said the young man.

      "Now, I could undertake no such thing," said his friend. "I should fail sure if I did. Saul wanted to be his own master, and failed. Herod did. Judas did. No man is fit for it. 'One is my master, even Christ.' I work under God's direction. When He is master, all goes right." -- Dr. Bacon.

      * * *

      A certain minister, when preaching on cleanliness, mentioned how he had seen a brass monkey in his town set up in a store with a cigar in its mouth. The cigar was lighted, and by machinery the monkey could draw the smoke from the cigar and puff it out again. The works stopped on one occasion, and the monkey was taken apart to discover the cause, when the works were found to be clogged and in a filthy condition. The moral was drawn by the preacher thus: "If tobacco smoke will stop the works of a brass monkey, what will it do for you?" -- Forward.


      A gentleman traveling on the cars passed a beautiful residence and grounds, which called forth an exclamation of admiration from a friend sitting beside him, when the gentleman replied, "Yes, they are beautiful grounds, and they ought to be, considering what they cost the late owner." "How much did they cost?" asked the other. And the reply was given, "'They cost him his soul."

      * * *

      Experience is one of the chief elements of evangelical power. On critical occasions St. Paul, the master logician, when liberty, or even life, hung on the balance of a Roman governor's will, and some most persuasive argument was needed, told the simple story of his conversion from being a persecutor to a preacher of the faith he once destroyed. In fact, his commission, three times renewed, was not to preach but to testify. "When the omnipresent Jesus," as Bishop Simpson graphically describes him, "standing as picket-guard for the little church at Damascus," took Saul of Tarsus prisoner, He said to him, "I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee." Ananias assured him that he should be a witness unto all men; and years afterward, while slumbering in the castle of Antonia, a prisoner, the Lord Jesus stood by him and said, "Be of good cheer, Paul, for as thou hast testified of Me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome." -- Love Enthroned.


      In a certain part of Scotland the poor people who lived on the land owned by a wealthy man used to come yearly to pay their rent. What do you think this was? Why, simply a pepper-corn. It has been the custom for a long series of years for each one to bring this peppercorn on a certain day. It did not cost the poor man anything; but it was a sign -- tribute which they paid him as their master.

      Now, it is just so with those who swear. Every oath is a pepper-corn which they give to the devil. It does neither party any good. It just shows who is their master.

      * * *

      There is no greater curse in the Church today than unholy marriages between Christian women and unholy men. I went up several flights of stairs one day with my wife, to visit a beautiful young woman, twenty-eight years of age; she had four children. She had once been a Christian and very happy in her Christian life, but now she was in misery and darkness. She had married an unbeliever. He had promised her everything; but the first Sabbath night after their marriage he forbade her to go to church, and she said, "I have lost my religion, and I fear I shall lose my soul." I could have wept tears of blood for that beautiful woman. I know of hundreds whose lives have been wrecked by unholy alliances. I would rather be a nice old maid all my life than marry the richest and best man on earth who is not a child of God and a consecrated Christian,


      According to an account by Dr. Harrower, an old negro was the mouthpiece of the word which led to the conversion of one of Methodism's princeliest friends, John B. Cornell. One day this negro, whose acquaintance Mr. Cornell had made in going to and from his work, said to him: "Be you a Christian, honey?" "I don't know," was the honest answer. "No right not to know, honey. Master Jesus pays them that serves Him, and they know it." That word stuck to him, and from that time he could not rest till he was a Christian and knew it. Which reminds us of the sable philosopher who soliloquized after the same manner; "I have heard people say, 'I think I have religion, but I don't know;' but I never heard people say, 'I think I have money in the bank, but don't know.' And the religion which people think they have, but don't know is worth just as much to them as money in the bank which they think they have but don't know."


      "A little while back," said the Rev. A. O. Brown, of London, in the course of an address delivered at the Mildmay Conference, "in the East of London, they were digging a deep drain in the neighborhood of Victoria Park. Some of the shoring gave way, and tons of earth fell down upon several men who were there at work. Of course, there was a good deal of excitement; and, standing by the brink was a man looking on -- I grant you with great earnestness -- at those who were attempting to dig out the earth. But a woman came up to him, put her hand on his shoulder, said, 'Bill, your brother is down there.' Oh, you should have seen the sudden change! Off went his coat, and then he sprang into the trench and worked as if he had the strength of ten men. Oh, sirs, amid the masses of the poor, and the degraded, and the lost, your brother is there. We may fold our arms and say, 'Am I my brother's keeper?' Yes. It is not for us to shirk the responsibility. There lie our brethren, and we shall have to give an account concerning them."


      A little boy was hurt at a spinning mill in Dundee, and, after being taken home, he lingered for some time, and then died.

      I was in the mill when his mother came to tell that her little boy was gone. I asked her how he died.

      "He was singing all the time," said she.

      "Tell me what he was singing," I asked.

      "He was singing

      'O the Lamb, the bleeding Lamb,
      The Lamb upon Calvary!
      The Lamb that was slain has risen again,
      And intercedes for me.'

      "You might have heard him from the street, singing with all his might," she said, with tears in her eyes.

      "Had you a minister to see him?"


      "Had you no one to pray with him?"


      "Why was that?"

      "Oh, we have not gone to any church for several years," she replied, holding down her head; "but you know, he attended the Sabbath School, and learned hymns there, and he sang them to the last."

      Poor little fellow! he could believe in Jesus, and love Him through these precious hymns, and die resting "safe on His gentle breast" forever.


      A Methodist minister was much annoyed by one of his hearers frequently shouting out during the preaching, "Glory!" "Praise the Lord!" and the like. Though often reproved, the happy member persisted in expressing himself.

      One day the minister invited him to tea, and, to take his mind from the thoughts of praise, handed him a scientific book, full of dry facts and figures, to pass the time before tea.

      Presently the minister was startled by a sudden outburst of "Glory!" "Allelujah!" and "Praise the Lord!"

      "What is the matter, man?" asked the minister.

      "Why, this book says the sea is five miles deep!"

      "Well, what of that?"

      "Why, the Bible says my sins have been cast into the depths of the sea, and if it is that deep I need not be afraid of their ever coming up again. Glory!"

      The minister gave up hopes of reforming him.

      RUN OVER

      I heard a mother, a short time ago, give a thrilling account of a child of hers who had been run over by an express wagon in the streets of New York. The mother was quietly engaged in her domestic work when the dreadful news came: "Come to the police station; your child has been run over." She hastened to the stationhouse and found her child surrounded by strangers. The surgeon had not yet arrived. She was told that the wheels passed over his foot, but on examination she found no real injury. She said to the little darling: "Why, Willie, how could the wagon have passed over your foot and not have crushed it?" The child looked up in his mother's face and said: "Mamma, I guess God put it in a hollow place."

      The child's words lingered with me: "I guess God put it in a hollow place;" and then I thought of the crushing sorrows that pass over many, and when you fear that it will be impossible for them to recover from the blow, lo! you see them afterwards walking calmly about. Ah, there is a hollow place! If there were not, many would be crushed by life's sorrows. There are souls as well as bodies that pass under vehicles of pain every day, and we wonder how they live. It must be as the child said, God has made a hollow place for them. One of the hollow places He has made, where hundreds and thousands are being saved today from the crushing sorrows, is this blessed truth, "All things work together for good to them that love God." But for this, many could not walk forth. And yet, to my mind, the "hollow place" is "Thy will be done." The Son of God Himself, when the crushing weight of a world's guilt passed over His innocent soul, when He sweat, as it were, great drops of blood, falling down to the ground, was saved here. "Nevertheless, not my will, but Thine be done." And the strengthening angels were on the spot.


      There is something exceedingly tender, as well as instructive, in the following, which we take from the Child's Paper:

      A few years ago a merchant failed in business. He went home one evening, in great agitation. "What is the matter?" asked his wife. "I am beggared. I have lost my all!" he exclaimed, pressing his hand upon his forehead as if his brain was in a whirl.

      "All!" said his wife, "I am left." "All, papa!" said his eldest boy, "here am I." "And I, too, papa," said his little girl, running up and putting her arms around his neck. "I's not lost, papa," repeated Eddie. "And you have your health left," said his wife. "And your two hands to work with, papa," said his eldest, "and I can help you." "And your two feet, papa, to carry you about." "And your two eyes to see with, papa," said little Eddie.

      "And you have God's promises," said grandmother. "And a good God," said his wife. "And a Heaven to go to," said the little girl. "And Jesus who came to fetch us there," said his eldest.

      "God forgive me," said the poor merchant, bursting into tears. "I have not lost all. What are the few thousands which I called my all, to these precious things which God has left me?" and he clasped his family to his bosom, and kissed his wife and children with a thankful heart.

      Ah, no, there are many things more precious than gold and bank stocks, valuable as these may be in their place. When the "Central America" was foundering at sea, bags and purses of gold were strewn about the deck, as worthless as the mere rubbish. "Life, life!" was the prayer. To some of the wretched survivors, "Water, water!" was the prayer. "Bread, bread !" -- it was worth its weight in gold, if gold could have bought it.


      A good lady employed a deacon of one of our Baptist churches to do some carpenter's work, which amounted to quite a large sum of money; and she said, when speaking of the job, "I would just as soon hear Deacon pray now, as I would have done before he did that work for me." Thats it! We want deacons, and all other members of our churches, to do in all business relations just what is right. We believe in a practical religion. Spurgeon asked a young girl, who served as a domestic in one of his families, when she presented herself for membership in his church, what evidence she could give of having become a Christian, and she meekly answered, "I now sweep under the mats." And the renowned preacher said it was good evidence, and we agree with him. Real religion leads one to do work thoroughly. -- Watchman


      A famous artist, wandering in the mountains of Switzerland, met some officials who demanded his passport, writes Rev. H. W. Lathe, in "Chosen of God."

      "It is not with me, but my name is Dore."

      "Prove it, if you are," replied the incredulous officers. Taking a piece of paper, Dore hastily sketched a group of peasants standing by with such grace and skill that the man of the law exclaimed:

      "Enough, you must be Dore."

      "Write you name," is the challenge of the world to the follower of Christ. No awkward scrawl of a worldly life will do. Nothing but the grace and beauty of a character born of God will convince men that our profession is true.

      * * *

      "A physician found a patient shut up in a damp, chilly room. He said to him: 'No wonder you are sick in such a place. You don't need medicine, but fresh air, sunshine, and exercise. He took that hypochondriac out of doors. He made him walk and ride about. Soon he was well again, and the doctor left him. But in a little while he was sent for. His morbid and perverse patient was lying in the close, damp chamber as before, shivering and moaning. 'Oh, doctor, he cried, 'that sure cure of yours has failed, and I am just as bad as ever!' 'Did you keep yourself in the sunshine?' 'No, I thought that I had taken enough of it, not only to make me well, but to keep me so, and then I came back to bed again.'"


      No bracelets nor necklaces had she, no white dress had she ever seen, and a common white muslin, even, she had never worn, she was barefooted, and though the morning was warm, she had wrapped an old shawl around her to hide the holes in her dress. A neat little girl was Mandy, or at least she would have been, if she had known how; she always washed her feet in the fast-running gutter puddles, after a hard rain, just because she liked to see them look clean; but she had no needle and thread at home, nor patches; and her work among the barrels, picking for rags, was not the cleanest in the world. Yet on this very afternoon in which Miss Cecilia was getting ready for the concert, and frowning over her white silk, because the trail did not hang quite as she liked, did this little girl, Mandy, give a concert. Her audience was an organ-grinder who stopped to rest a bit, an old woman who was going by with a baby, and a little boy with a load of chips. The words she sang were:

      "There is a fountain filled with blood,
      Drawn from Immanuel's veins."

      And the chorus, repeated as many times as did Miss Cecilia's:

      "I've been redeemed,
      I've been redeemed,
      I've been redeemed."

      "Where did you get that?" asked the organ-grinder.

      "What?" said Mandy, startled, and turning quickly.. . "

      "That; that you're singing.

      "Oh, I got it at Sunday School." And she rolled out the wonderful news, "I've been redeemed, I've been redeemed -- been washed in the blood of the Lamb."

      "I don't s'pose you understand what you're singing about?" said the organ-grinder.

      "Don't I, though," said Mandy, with an emphatic little nod of her head. "I know all about it, and its all true. I belong to Him; He is going to make me clean inside, and dress me in white some day, to stay with Him for ever and ever. 'I've been redeemed, I've been redeemed -- been washed in the blood of the Lamb.'"

      Away down the street, as far as the organ-grinder could hear, as he trudged on, there came back to him the faint sound of that chorus, "I've been redeemed. " Nobody threw bouquets to Mandy; nobody said she had a sweet voice. But the organ-grinder kept saying the words over and over to himself; they were not new to him. Years ago, his old mother used to sing those first ones, "There is a fountain." He had never heard the chorus before, but he knew it fitted, he knew all about it, his mother had taught him, and away back, when he was a little boy, a minister had said to him once, "My boy, you must be sure to find the fountain and get washed." He never had. He was almost an old man; and it was years since he had thought about it, but Mandy's song brought it all back. Was that the end of it? Oh, no. The organ-grinder kept thinking, and thinking, until by and by he resolved to do. He sought the fountain, and found it, and now, if he knew the tune, could sing, "I've been redeemed."


      One of the speakers, referring to the dire necessity which forced our forefathers to do the work they did, said it reminded him of the story of the country boy, who was boasting of the prowess of his dog in chasing a woodchuck. The dog got between the animal and its hole, so that it was compelled to run for dear life. The dog was rapidly gaining ground when the woodchuck came to a tree, which it immediately climbed. "But," said a listener, "woodchucks can't climb trees." "I know they can't," replied the boy, "but, you see, this one had to!" That, the speaker urged, was the way with the first settlers of this country, they had to do the unexpected and impossible (?) at times!

Back to George Kulp index.

See Also:
   Chapter 1: God's Care
   Chapter 2: Prayer
   Chapter 3: Witnesses for God
   Chapter 4: Victory
   Chapter 5: Consecration
   Chapter 6: Salvation
   Chapter 7: Missions
   Chapter 8: Jesus
   Chapter 9: Promises of God
   Chapter 10: The Gospel
   Chapter 11: Church Amusements
   Chapter 12: Folly of Infidelity
   Chapter 13: Soul Saving
   Chapter 14: Experience
   Chapter 15: Conscience


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