Needless to say, the preachers were somewhat shocked, as people often are when their prayers are answered sooner than they expect. The convicted herdsman prostrated himself on the floor before the preachers and poured out bitter tears of repentance. He wept and groaned, and begged God to save him. But he seemed slow to grasp God’s promises. He prayed till the morning dawned. The preachers prayed with him. Finally, just as the first grey streaks of the new day began to creep between the logs, Jake’s faith was anchored in God’s promises, and the glory of heaven flooded his soul. In the twinkling of an eye he was made a new man. His joy knew no bounds. He leaped and shouted, sang and whistled, and laughed and cried, all for the joy of his new-found treasure.
When breakfast was over and the two ministers had bidden their new convert a happy farewell, Jake sat down to read his Bible, which the preachers had given him. His eyes fell upon these words, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psa. 30:5).
The anteroom of the post office in a little Ohio town was crowded. The train had arrived from the west, but it went as soon as it came, for it did not stop. A scream of the whistle, the rumble of the wheels, and the mighty monster dashed through the peaceful town at fifty miles an hour. But the inhabitants were not so interested in the train, for they had seen it pass in just this fashion year after year. But from the baggage coach there came each evening a bag of mail, and this was the cause of the gathering at the post office. While the postmaster and his assistant were opening and distributing the mail behind the closed window in the post office, the restless townspeople occupied themselves in social chat discussing the local happenings of the day, or in reading the notices on the bulletin board.
Everybody was at the post office at this hour. School children, happy at the close of an irksome day of school, shouted boisterously at each other in the street. Laboring men, with empty dinner pails in hand, sat restfully on the curbstone just outside the post office door, and talked of the happenings of the day. The village blacksmith wiped the honest sweat from his brow, closed the shop door, and came down to the post office, where he was met by his flaxen-haired girl of three summers. She clasped her pink arms about the smith’s grimy neck and told him Mama was looking for a letter from Grandma, who had gone to California for her health, and that she had come down to see how many kisses Grandma had sent her. The town doctor, with a dignified air, leaned against the side of the post office door and read the Chicago paper that a previous mail had brought to him. The schoolmaster had finished grading some test papers and had come down to the post office just in time to be the third party to an interesting fist fight in which two sixth grade boys were engaged with great zest, in the street. Two out-of-town strangers, who were guests at the hotel just across the way, came over and, seating themselves on a bench in front of the post office engaged in conversation.