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Touching Incidents: Part 1

By S.B. Shaw


      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 daybreak, 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 same- - -what numbed with cold, were found little Johnny and Lizzie. But, oh I 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.
      



      THE INFLUENCE OF A MOTHER'S PRAYERS.

      More than thirty years ago, one lovely Sabbath morning, about eight young men, students in a law school, were walking along the banks of a stream that flows into the Potomac river, not far from the city of Washington. They were going to a grove, in a retired place, to spend the hours of that holy day in playing cards. Each of them had a flask of wine in his pocket. They were the sons of praying mothers. As they were walking along amusing each other with idle jests, the bell of a church in a little village not two miles off began to ring. It sounded in the ears of those thoughtless young men as plainly as though it were only on the other side of the little stream along which they were walking.

      Presently one of their number, whose name was George, stopped, and said to the friend nearest him that he would go no farther, but would return to the village and go to church His friend called out to their companions, who were a little ahead of them ' Boys! Boys! Come back here; George is getting religious; we must help him. Come on, and let us baptize him by immersion in the water." In a moment they formed a circle around him. They told him that the only way he could save himself from having a cold bath was by going with them. In a calm, quiet, but earnest way, he said:

      "I know very well that you have power enough to put me in the water, and hold me there till I am drowned; and, if you choose, you can do so, and I will make no resistance; but listen to what I have to say, and then do as you think best.

      "You all know that I am two hundred miles away from home; but you do not know that my mother is a helpless, bed-ridden invalid. I never remember seeing her out of bed. I am her youngest child. My father could not afford to pay for my schooling; but our teacher is a warm friend of my father, and offered to take me without any charge. He was very anxious for me to come; but mother would not consent. The struggle almost cost her what little life was left to her. At length, after many prayers on the subject, she yielded and said I might go. The preparations for my leaving home were soon made. My mother never said a word to me on the subject till the morning when I was about to leave. After I had eaten my breakfast she sent for me, and asked me if every-thing was ready. I told her all was ready, and I was only waiting for the stage. At her request I kneeled beside her bed. With her loving hand upon my head, she prayed for her youngest child. Many and many a night I have dreamed that whole scene over. It is the happiest recollection of my life. I believe, till the day of my death, I shall be able to repeat every word of that prayer. Then she spoke to me thus:

      "My precious boy, you do not know, you never can know, the agony of a mother's heart, in parting, for the last time, from her youngest child. When you leave home, you will have looked, for the last time, this side of the grave, on the face of her who loves you as no other mortal does or can. Your father cannot afford the expense of your making us visits during the two years that your studies will occupy. I cannot possibly live as long as that. The sand in the hourglass of my life has nearly run out. In the far off strange place to which you are going, there will be no loving mother to give counsel in time of trouble. Seek counsel and help from God. Every Sabbath morning, from ten to eleven o'clock, I will spend the hour in prayer for you. Wherever you may be during this sacred hour, when you hear the church bells ringing, let your thoughts come back to this chamber, where your dying mother will be agonizing in prayer for you. But I heart he stage coming. Kiss me-farewell!"

      Boys, I never expect to see my mother again on earth. But by God's help, I mean to meet her in heaven."

      As George stopped speaking the tears were streaming down his cheeks. He looked at his companions. Their eyes were filled with tears.

      In a moment the ring which they had formed about him was opened. He passed out and went to church. He had stood up for the right against great odds.

      They admired him for doing what they had not the courage to do. They all followed him to church. On their way there, each of them quietly threw away his cards and his wine-flask Never again did these young men play cards on the Sabbath

      From that day they all became changed men. Six of them died Christians, and are now in heaven. George is an able Christian lawyer in Iowa; and his friend, who wrote this account, has been for many years an earnest, active member of the church. Here were eight men converted by the prayers of that good Christian woman. And, if we only knew all the results of their examples and their labors, we should have a good illustration of a mother's prayers -- Bible Models
      



      DEATH OF A SOUL-SLEEPER.

      Mrs. Mattie Campbell relates the happy death of her sister, a soul-sleeper, which occurred last May. It seems that her views were changed just before she entered heaven.

      In Sabbath-school this afternoon a message came: "Emma is dying. Come quickly if you want to see her alive." My dear sister. We had played together, and more than all, we dreamed dreams of the fairy future, wherein we saw everything but care and temptation crowning the golden pathway for our jubilant feet. She was plump amid rosy, full of laughter and frolic, which life's stern realities had not subdued. Strong and well I had seen her, but five days before. Yet, ah! In such an hour as ye think not the Son of Man cometh. On our way the sad face of our family physician confirmed the truth. 'She may linger until sundown,' he said; and all the way I prayed, and felt it would be answered 'Lord, dear Lord, only let me have one word to know how it is with her soul.' Mother met me at the door. This was a heavy grief. 'Ask how it is with her soul,' said she. I entered the room filled with weeping friends. I pressed the damp, damp, cold brow. She knew me, and spoke in the old sweet way. Soon I commenced slow and low the hymn we used to sing together: 'Jesus, lover of my soul,' while I anxiously watched to catch a mark of grace upon her fast changing features. A happy, peaceful smile broke over her face. I bent down and she spoke: 'God was always good to us, sister. He has not given me one harsh word since I came down to my bed.' How the praise rushed to my lips. 'He giveth and upbraideth not.' Glory be to His name!

      "Divinely assured that she was dying, she spoke of a long, sweet sleep, the sleep of the soul and body, until the general resurrection-for this was her belief. She called for one and another of her friends and neighbors, and exhorted them in burning words to meet her in heaven, charging them to bring their families for whom they were also responsible. "With mind clear and composed, she then lay, waiting to pass into an unconscious slumber, only to awaken at the last trump. 'Hark,' said she, listening intently 'I hear music; don't you hear it? And mother, I see a door.' 'Is it open?' asked her mother. And we held our breath as she answered. 'Yes, it is open.' ' Do you see inside?' Hex face grew radiant as she answered: ' Yes, I see inside. It is a beautiful place. It is heaven. I see forms clothed in white, many, yes, a multitude of beautiful beings, their hands upraised, while they are waving something in their hands.'

      And then in wonder and astonishment 'Why, there's Pa!' Then she very intelligently gave orders for her burial. Good-bye's were said, and in childlike pleading tones she called 'Come, dear Lord, I am ready; come now, and take my breath, it hurts me so.' An effort on her part to close the dear eyes and mouth, a few more agonizing moments, and the open door received her gentle spirit. We led the bereaved mother from the room, all that was left of my happy childhood days." - Earnest Christian.
      



      A MAN WHO LACKED MORAL COURAGE.

      A few years ago I went to close a meeting, and said: "Are there any here who would like to have me remember them in prayer? I would like to have them rise!" And there was a man rose, and when I saw him stand up, my heart leaped in me with joy. I had been anxious for him a long time. I went to him as soon as the meeting was over, and took him by the hand, and said: "You are coming out for God, are you not?" He said: " I want to, and have made up my mind to be a Christian; only there is one thing standing in my way." "What is that?" I asked. "Well," he replied, "I lack moral courage." Naming a friend of his, he added: " If he had been here tonight I should not have risen; I am afraid when he hears I have risen for prayer he will begin to laugh at me, and I won't have moral courage to stand up for Christ." I said: "If Christ is what he is rep-resented in the Bible, he is worth standing up for; and if heaven is what we are told it is in the Bible, it is worth living for." "I lack moral courage," he answered; and the man was trembling from head to foot. I thought he was just at the very threshold of heaven, and that one step more was going to take him in, and that he world take the step that night. I talked and prayed with him, and the Spirit seemed to be striving mightily with him; but he did not get the light. Night after night he came, and the Spirit strove with him; but just one thing kept him back - he lacked moral courage. At last the Spirit of God -- which had striven so mightily with him, seemed to leave him, and there were no more strivings, he left off coming to church, was off among his old companions, and would not meet me in the street; he was ashamed to do so. About six months afterward I got a message from him, and found him on what he thought was his dying bed, he wanted to know if there was hope for him at the eleventh hour. I tried to tell that there was hope for any man that would accept Christ. I prayed for him, and day after day I visited him.

      Contrary to all expectations, he began to recover; and when he was convalescent, finding him one day sitting in front of his house, I sat by his side, and said: "You will soon be well enough to come up to the church, and when you are, you will come up; and you are just going to confess Christ boldly, are you not?" "Well," says he, "I promised God when I was on what I thought to be my dying bed I would serve Him, and I made up my mind to be a Christian; but I am not going to be one just now. Next spring I am going over to Lake Michigan, and I am going to buy a farm and settle down, and then I am going to be a Christian." I said, "How dare you talk that way! How do you know that you are going to live till next spring? Have you a lease of your life?" "I was never better than I am now; I am a little weak, but I will soon have my strength. I have a fresh lease of my life, and will be well for a good many years yet," he answered. I said: "It seems to me you are tempting God;" and I pleaded with him to come out boldly. "No," he said; "the fact is I have not the courage to face my old companions, and I cannot serve God in Chicago." I said "If God has not grace enough to keep you in Chicago, He has not in Michigan." I urged him then and there to surrender his soul and body to the Lord Jesus; but the more I urged him the more irritated he got, till at last he said "Well, you need not trouble yourself any more about my soul; I will attend to that. If I am lost it will be my own fault. I will take the risk."

      I left him, and in about a week I got a message from his wife. Going to the house, I met her at the door weeping. I said: "What is the trouble?" "Oh, sir! I have just had a council of physicians here, and they have all given my husband up to die; they say he cannot live." I said: "Does he want to see me?" She replied: "No." "Why did you send?" "Why," she said, "I cannot bear to see him die in this terrible state of mind." "What is his state of mind?" "Why, he says that his damnation is sealed, and he will be in hell in a little while."

      I went into the room, but he turned his head away. I said: "How is it with you?" Not a word; he was as silent as death. I spoke the second time, hut he made no response. I looked him in the face, and called him by name, and said "Will you not tell me how it is with you?" he turned, and fixed that awful, deathly look upon me, and, pointing to the stove, he said: "My heart is as hard as the iron in that stove; it is too late, my damnation is sealed, and I shall be in hell in a little while." I said: "Don't talk so; you can be saved now if you will." He replied: "Don't mock me I know better." I talked with him, and quoted promise after promise, but he said not one was for him. "Christ has come knocking at time door of my heart many a time, and the last time he came I promised to let Him in; and when I got well I turned away again, and now I have to perish without Him. "I talked, but I saw I was doing no good, and so I threw myself on my knees. He said: "You can pray for my wife and children, you need not pray for me; it is a waste of your time, it is too late. "I tried to pray, but it seemed as if what he said was true - it seemed as if the heavens were brass over me. I rose and took his hand, amid it seemed to me as if I were bidding farewell to a friend that I never was to see again in time or eternity. He lingered till the sun went down. His wife told me that his end was terrible. All that he was heard to say were these fearful words: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved. "There he lay, and every little while he would take up the awful lamentation: "The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved." And just as the sun was sinking behind those western prairies he was going into the arms of death. As he was expiring, his wife noticed that his lips were quivering, he was trying to say something, and she reached over her ear, and all she could hear was " The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and I am not saved;" and the angels bore him to the judgment. He lived a Christless life, he died a Christless death, we wrapped him in a Christless shroud, nailed him in a Christhess coffin, and bore him to a Christless grave. Oh, how dark! Oh, how sad! I may be speaking to some one today, and the harvest may be passing with you, the summer may be ending. Oh, be wise now, and accept the Lord Jesus Christ l May God's blessing rest upon us all, and may we meet in glory, is the prayer of my heart! - D.L. Moody.
      



      A RICH MAN'S DEATH SCENE.

      A striking incident was communicated to the New York Press a few years ago, by a deeply humble minister. One of the leading members of his church was greatly distressed in his last sickness, on reviewing his mode of living and reflecting upon his family and the comparatively small sum he had given to the Lord's cause. In every way the pastor endeavored to comfort him. He spoke of his having given cheerfully, and as much as others did. He reminded him that the best of us are unprofitable servants, and must look to the, mercy of God in Christ as our only hope. The troubled man found no peace or comfort, but grew more and more uneasy, distressed and agonized as his end drew near. At last, taking the hand of his pastor, he said:

      "Brother, I am going to the Judge unprepared to meet because you have been unfaithful to me. For years I lived, and taught my family to live largely for this world, have denied ourselves nothing, but spent thousands on comforts. When I gave hundreds to Christ and church it should have been thousands. My business energy and time and money have been mostly devoted to self--pleasing and gratification, and how can I meet my Judge and an account of my stewardship? I am beyond recovery. Do what you can to save other professors who are in the cur-rent of worldly self-indulgence and extravagance, which is sweeping them to destruction. - Matlock.
      



      THE WIDOW'S WOOD AND FLOUR--THE UNBELIEVING ONES MADE SPEECHLESS.

      The following instance is known to The Christian as true, and to a remarkable degree indicates how thoroughly God knows our minutest needs, and how effectively He makes those who ever reproach His name ashamed of their unbelief.

      "A friend and relative of the one who was "a widow indeed," one who trusted in God, and continued in supplications and prayers day and night, was once brought unto circumstances of peculiar straightness and trial. She had two daughters, who exerted themselves with their needles to earn a livelihood; and at that time they were so busily engaged in trying to finish some work that had long been on their hands, they had neglected to make provision for their ordinary wants, until they found themselves one winter's day in the midst of a New England snow-storm, with food and fuel almost exhausted, at a distance from neighbors, and without any means of procuring needful sustenance.

      "The daughters began to be alarmed, and were full of anxiety at the dismal prospect; but the good old mother said: 'Don't worry, girls, the Lord will provide; we have enough for today, and tomorrow may be pleasant;' and in this hope the girls settled down again to their labor.

      "Another morning came, and with it no sunshine, but wind and snow in abundance. The storm still raged, but no one came near the house, and all was dark and dismal without.

      Noon came, and the last morsel of food was eaten, the wood was almost gone, and there was no token of any relief for their necessities. The girls became much distressed, and talked anxiously of their condition, but the good mother said: 'Don't worry, the Lord will provide.'

      "But they had heard that story the day before, and they knew not the strong foundation upon which that mother's trust was builded, and could not share the confidence she felt.

      If we get anything today the Lord will have to bring it Himself, for nobody can get here if he tries,' said one of the daughters, impatiently; but the mother said: 'Don't worry.' And so they sat down again to their sewing, the daughters to muse upon their necessitous condition, and the mother to roll her burden on the Everlasting Arms.

      "Now mark the way in which time Lord came to their rescue, and just at this moment of extremity, put it into the heart of one of His children to go and carry relief. Human nature at such a time would never have ventured out in such a storm, but waited for a pleasant day. But Divine Wisdom and power made him carry just what was needed, in the face of adverse circumstances, and just at the time it was needed.

      "Mr. M. sat at his fireside, about a mile away, surrounded by every bounty and comfort needed to cheer his heart, with his only daughter sitting by his side.

      "For a long time not a word had been spoken, and he had seemed lost in silent meditation, till at length he said: "Mary, I want you to go and order the cattle yoked, and then get me a bag. I must go and carry some wood and flour to Sister C.'

      "'Why, father, it is impossible for you to go. There is no track, and it is all of a mile up there. You would almost perish.'

      "The old man sat in silence a few moments, and said: "I must go.' She knew her father too well to suppose that words would detain him, and so complied with his wishes. While she held the bag for him, she felt perhaps a little uneasiness to see the flour so liberally disposed of, and said: 'I wish you would remember that I want to give a poor woman some flour if it ever clears off.' The old man under-stood the intimation, and said: 'Mary, give all you feel it ditty to, and when the Lord says stop, I will do so.'

      "Soon all things were ready, and the patient oxen took their way to the widow's home, wallowing through the drifted snow, and dragging the sled with its load of wood and flour. About 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the mother had arisen from her work to fix the fire, and looking out of the window, she saw the oxen at the door, and she knew that the Lord had heard her cry.

      She said not a word-----why should she? She was not surprised - but, presently, a heavy step at the threshold caused the daughters to look up with astonishment, as Mr. M. strode unceremoniously into the room, saying 'The Lord told me, Sister C., that you wanted some wood and flour.'

      "He told you the truth," said the widow, "and I will praise Him forever."

      "What think you now, girls?"' she continued, as she turned in solemn joy to her unbelieving daughters.

      They were speechless; not a word escaped their lips but they pondered that new revelation of the providential mercy of the Lord, until it made upon their minds an impression never to be effaced.

      " From that hour they learned to trust in Him who cares for His needy in the hour of distress, and who, from His boundless stores, supplies the wants of those who trust in Him. " - Answers to Prayer.
      



      "THEY WHO TRUST THE LORD SHALL NOT WANT."

      Mrs. Mary Grant Cramer, whose husband is a member of the Cincinnati Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church, who was for many years U. S. Minister to Denmark, and afterwards to Switzerland, and has also filled the chair of Systematic Theology in Boston University, has related for us, by letter, several accounts of answers to prayer, among which are the following;

      "When Dr. George E. Shipman and wife, of Chicago, came to see us in Copenhagen, I was much impressed with the striking and interesting incidents Mrs. S. told us, in connection with their faith-work in the Foundlings' Home. For instance, when they had put all they had in the Home, and there was a payment of six hundred dollars to be made, and it could no longer be postponed, for the man to whom it was glue said: 'Business is business, and I must have my money, and I will send my son for it in the morning;' they betook themselves to prayer, hoping the postman would bring them a letter containing the required amount; but he did not. Soon after he passed, a man rang the bell, and left an envelope containing a check for six hundred dollars, as a present from the mayor of the city, who was not a religious man; but his wife, who was then in Europe, was interested in the Home, and he sent the money on her account. Directly after it came they handed the check for the amount to the man who was expected to call for it. In a similar way, Dr. Shipman on another occasion received four hundred dollars a little while before it was needed, and often got smaller sums in answer to prayer.

      "Mrs. Shipman told me of Mrs. Pithey, an invalid saint she knew in Chicago, who was supported by voluntary gifts in answer to prayer. This made the closing years of her life a marvelous proof of God's care for His helpless children who trust Him.

      "I might add another incident: Recently a saintly woman, who has consecrated all she has to the Lord, and who lives by faith, giving her services gratuitously to His 1cause, felt that after the fatiguing labors of the summer, a change would be beneficial to her; she kept this to herself. Soon after a lady sent for her to call upon her, her object being to inform Miss M. that she felt impressed that she ought to go away from home for awhile, and gave her fifty dollars. One day a co-worker of this good sister, told me that she asked a token of the Lord in money, and the same day she found it in an envelope in the table, directed to her, from one who had never before made her a present, and who at first intended this sum for some one else.

      "I am acquainted with a minister in New York city, who gave up his church and a salary of five thousand a year, to establish a church where he could reach the masses, he met with much opposition, but has met also with great success in his work. He said that on various occasions he felt it his duty to give all he had away, and before he could reach his home it would be replaced fourfold. His wife was greatly opposed to his giving up a certainty for what she thought an uncertainty, especially as they had five children; but he told me that since they depend upon the Lord for their support, his wife has less solicitude about how they will be provided for, than she had when his salary was five thousand dollars a year.

      "Truly they who trust the Lord shall not want."
      



      ANNIE AND VANIE'S FIRST REAL PRAYER.

      Two sisters, one about five years of age, the other next 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. Everyone 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 would allow.

      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 sidewalk, 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 the answer 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 without his hat. He puts his hand to his head, as if he did not know what to do. O 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 accents, asks "O children, what is the matter?"

      "O sir," said Annie, "sister here is so sick she cannot walk, and we cannot get home."

      "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 round 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 loot 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?"

      "O 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 some one in the street needed me.

      "Again I went out, looked up and down the street, walked a little way, puzzled to know what it 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 some one needed my hell). 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 any one, 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 accounts.

      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. JEIGH ARRH

      Annie was the wife of James A. Clayton, of San Jose, California. I have enjoyed their hospitality, and esteem both very highly.

      JAMES ROGERS,

      Of Alabama Conference, M. E. Church.
      



      "SHE WAS A GOOD WIFE TO ME."

      "She-was-a-good-wife-to-me. A good wife, God bless her!" The words were spoken in trembling accents over a coffin-lid. The woman asleep there had borne the heat and burden of life's long day, and no one had ever heard her murmur, her hand was quick to reach out a helping grasp to those who fell by the wayside; and her feet were swift on errands of mercy; the heart of her husband had trusted in her; he had left her to long hours of solitude, while he amused himself in scenes in which she had no part. When boon companions deserted him, when fickle affect selfishly departed, when pleasure palled, he went home and found her waiting for him.

      "Come from your long, long roving,
      On life's sea so bleak and rough;
      Come to me tender and loving,
      And I shall be blessed enough."

      That had been her love-song - always on her lips or in her heart. Children had been born to them. She had reared them almost alone - they were gone! Her hand had led them to the uttermost edge of the morning that had no noon. The she had comforted hom, sent him out strong and whole-hearted, while she stayed at home and - cried. What can a woman do but cry - and trust? Well, she is at rest now. But she could not die until he had promised to "bear up;" not to fret but to remember how happy they had been. They? Yes, it is even so. For she was blest in giving and he in receiving. It was an equal partnership after all! "She - was - a - good - wife - to - me." O man! Man! Why not have told her so, when her ears were not dulled by death? Why wait to say these words over a coffin wherein lies a wasted, weary, gray-haired woman, whose eyes have so long held that pathetic story of loss and suffering and patient yearning which so many women's eyes reveal - to those who read. Why not have made the wilderness in her heart blossom like the rose with the prodigality of your love? Now you would give worlds - were they yours to give - to see the tears of joy your words would have once caused, bejeweling the closed windows of her soul. It is too late.

      "We have careful thoughts for the stranger,
      And smiles for the sometimes guest;
      But oft for our own, the bitter tone,
      Though we love our own the best." - Sel.

Back to S.B. Shaw index.

See Also:
   Touching Incidents: Introduction and Preface
   Touching Incidents: Part 1
   Touching Incidents: Part 2
   Touching Incidents: Part 3
   Touching Incidents: Part 4
   Touching Incidents: Part 5
   Touching Incidents: Part 6
   Touching Incidents: Part 7
   Touching Incidents: Part 8
   Touching Incidents: Part 9
   Touching Incidents: Part 10
   Touching Incidents: Part 11
   Touching Incidents: Part 12
   Touching Incidents: Part 13
   Touching Incidents: Part 14
   Touching Incidents: Part 15
   Touching Incidents: Part 16

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