[Illustration: “DO NOT PASS ME BY!”]
And yet it is wrong to laugh at the poor man, who took an advertising agent for a Chicago clothing store for the Savior, who he supposed was making his second farewell tour. The minister had been preaching the second coming of Christ until he looked for him every minute. He would have been as apt to think, living as he did in the back woods, that a fellow riding a bicycle, with his hair and legs parted in the middle, along the country road, was the object of his search.
We should pity the poor man for his ignorance, we who believe that when Christ does come he will come in the old-fashioned way, and not in a palace car, or straddle of the basket of a balloon. But we can’t help wondering what the Adventist must have thought, when he appealed to his Savior, as he supposed, and the balloonist shied a sand bag at him and the other fellow in the basket threw out a beer bottle and asked, “Where in —— are we?”
The Adventist must have thought that the Savior of mankind was traveling in mighty queer company, or that he had taken the other fellow along as a frightful example. And what could the Adventist have thought when he saw a message thrown out of the balloon, and went with trembling limbs and beating heart to pick it up, believing that it was a command from on high to sinners, and found that it was nothing but a hand bill for a Chicago hand-me-down clothing store.
He must have come to the conclusion that the Son of Man had got pretty low down to take a job of bill posting for a reversible ulster and paper collar bazar. It must have been food for reflection for the Advent preacher, as he picked up the empty beer bottle, shied at him from the chariot that he supposed carried to earth the Redeemer of man. He must have wondered if some Milwaukee brewer had not gone to heaven and opened a brewery.
Of course we who are intelligent, and would know a balloon if we saw it, would not have had any such thoughts, but we must remember that this poor Advent preacher thought that the day had come that had been promised so long, and that Christ was going to make a landing in a strong Republican county. We may laugh at the Adventist’s disappointment that the balloon did not tie up to a stump and take him on board, but it was a serious matter to him.
He had been waiting for the wagon, full of hope, and when it came, and he saw the helmet on King’s head and thought it was a crown of glory, his heart beat with joy, and he plead in piteous accents not to be passed by, and the confounded gas bag went on and landed in a cranberry marsh, and the poor, foolish, weak, short-sighted man had to get in his work mighty lively to dodge the sand bags, beer bottles, and rolls of clothing store posters.
The Adventist would have been justified in renouncing his religion and joining the Democratic party. It is sad, indeed.