The home coming.
Some day your little service will be complete. Your sun will set. The west will be filled with beauty, and the birds will twitter softly in the trees as you trudge the last mile into the City; and as the shades deepen, and the air grows chill, the Master Himself will meet you, take you to His heart, wipe the tear from your cheek, the dust of the road from your brow, and the sorrow from your heart, and lead you to the court, where with those whom you love, and those who love you, Eternity will be spent in the light of His pure and shining face.
THE VALUE OF TESTIMONY.
It has pleased God to place in our hands two weapons by which we are to overcome Satan—“the blood of the Lamb, and the word of our testimony.” It was the narrated experiences of the people of God, and the modest declarations of the saving power of Christ, which convicted me of my need and led me to seek the grace of God. Very briefly, therefore, I will sketch God’s dealings with my own soul.
I was born September 30th, 1877, at Westfield, Indiana. My parents were both ministers in the Society of Friends, and I can not remember When I first began to pray, for my mother taught me to go to God with everything, even when a very small child. When I was five and a half years of age we moved to Walnut Ridge, Indiana, where there was a Friends’ meeting of more than ordinary size and activity. It was here that my conversion took place. I remember the event as distinctly as if it were yesterday.
I always prayed at the family altar, and that was an institution which was never neglected for anything in our home, and I had never omitted my evening devotions; but one summer day while playing by myself under the trees in the front yard, a great fear came upon me lest I had never had a change of heart. Though less than six years old, I had sat in the “gallery” behind my father as he preached too often to be ignorant of the necessity of the new birth. It was a perfect day, but conviction settled upon me more and more deeply, and a dark shadow seemed to take the brightness from everything. Unable to endure the heartache any longer, I ran into the house and sat down with my father and mother, waiting in silence for some time. Finally I asked them if I had “ever been converted,” told them I “wanted to be,” and immediately we knelt in prayer. How I did weep, and how badly I felt! I can see the back of that little sewing-rocker now swimming in my tears. (I wonder where that rocking-chair is now! The last I knew it was in California, having left us at an auction—an occasion not unfamiliar to most of preacher-families.) They told me to pray, and I prayed with all my heart. If ever there was a little boy who felt that he was a great sinner, I was the boy. I remembered all the things I ever did that I knew were wrong. My boyish wickednesses, things that seem a rather absurd lot now in the light of the sins of the average lad of six that I know to-day, caused me great pain. Soon peace came, and what happiness! When I went out doors again the very birds twittered with increased gladness, and the sky seemed a far deeper blue, and the grass and flowers rejoiced with me in my new-found experience.