“Burns,” he said, and he yearned over the men with an unspeakable longing for them both, “if you and your friend here will go home with me tonight I will find you both places of honorable employment. I will believe in you and trust you. You are both comparatively young men. Why should God lose you? It is a great thing to win the love of the Great Father. It is a small thing that I should love you. But if you need to feel again that there is love in the world, you will believe me when I say, my brothers, that I love you, and in the name of Him who was crucified for our sins I cannot bear to see you miss the glory of the human life. Come, be men! Make another try for it, God helping you. No one but God and you and myself need ever know anything of this tonight. He has forgiven it the minute you ask Him to. You will find that true. Come! We’ll fight it out together, you two and I. It’s worth fighting for, everlasting life is. It was the sinner that Christ came to help. I’ll do what I can for you. O God, give me the souls of these two men!” and he broke into a prayer to God that was a continuation of his appeal to the men. His pent-up feeling had no other outlet. Before he had prayed many moments Burns was sitting with his face buried in his hands, sobbing. Where were his mother’s prayers now? They were adding to the power of the Bishop’s. And the other man, harder, less moved, without a previous knowledge of the Bishop, leaned back against the fence, stolid at first. But as the prayer went on, he was moved by it. What force of the Holy Spirit swept over his dulled, brutal, coarsened life, nothing but the eternal records of the recording angel can ever disclose. But the same supernatural Presence that smote Paul on the road to Damascus, and poured through Henry Maxwell’s church the morning he asked disciples to follow in Jesus’ steps, and had again broken irresistibly over the Nazareth Avenue congregation, now manifested Himself in this foul corner of the mighty city and over the natures of these two sinful sunken men, apparently lost to all the pleadings of conscience and memory and God. The prayer seemed to red open the crust that for years had surrounded them and shut them off from divine communication. And they themselves were thoroughly startled by it.
The Bishop ceased, and at first he himself did not realize what had happened. Neither did they. Burns still sat with his head bowed between his knees. The man leaning against the fence looked at the Bishop with a face in which new emotions of awe, repentance, astonishment and a broken gleam of joy struggled for expression. The Bishop rose.
“Come, my brothers. God is good. You shall stay at the Settlement tonight, and I will make good my promise as to the work.”
The two men followed him in silence. When they reached the Settlement it was after two o’clock. He let them in and led them to a room. At the door he paused a moment. His tall, commanding figure stood in the doorway and his pale face was illuminated with the divine glory.