The Chemist's Mistake



An earnest servant of God was endeavoring to arrest the attention of passers-by as he stood in the midst of a small crowd at the side of the promenade, faithfully telling of the love of God to sinners. Many were passing to and fro, and there were some quiet, thoughtful listeners. But presently the speaker was interrupted by a voice:

"That's all wrong. 'The Bible is false; there is no God and no Heaven."

But the speaker went on with his address, notwithstanding the interruption, and shortly after the meeting was closed and the people separated.

We will follow the interrupter. Poor fellow, his heart was full of bitter enmity to the truth, and he tried to persuade himself, and others, too, that religion was all a sham. But it was with poor success, in spite of his loud talk.

He was a chemist, and as he turned into the shop and looked at the clock, he decided that it was time to close up for the night. But just then there came a timid little girl.

"What do you want?" was the impatient question.

"Please, sir, mother's sick, and will you give her this medicine?"

"Too late; come in the morning."

"Oh, but please do; she is so sick; please give me it."

With a grumble he made up the prescription and away went the girl.

As the chemist proceeded to replace the bottles and turn out the gas, his eye caught the label on the last bottle he had taken up, and to his horror he saw at once that he had made an awful mistake, and put in some deadly poison.

"What can I do? The girl is gone. I know nothing of her -- don't know where she lives -- perhaps her mother has taken, it even now!"

As he thought, the cold perspiration began to come out at every pore, and he stood in terror.

"If the woman takes the medicine there is no hope -- I shall be a murderer. What shall I do?"

What hope, what comfort could there be for him, a man who did not believe in God? In spite of his cold denial but an hour or two before, the man fell on his knees just where he was, behind the counter, and cried aloud:

"O God; don't let the poor woman take that medicine!"

God, who leads the blind by a way that they know not, was surely leading this poor, restless sinner to the knowledge of Himself.

Scarcely able to move, in utter helplessness, the chemist knelt, repeating his prayer.

Just then he heard some one open the door. Looking up, he saw the child, and she was crying.

"Oh, please, sir, I'm so sorry. I was hurrying, and I fell down and broke the bottle. Oh, please give me some more medicine!"

The chemist was almost overcome with joy. The child's fall had prevented an awful death.

God -- yes, there is a God -- He had indeed heard his prayer.

"Yes, my dear, "I'll give you some more don't cry." With trembling hand and beating heart and mind all aglow with wonder and relief, the chemist carefully made up the prescription again, and the child gleefully ran off once more, her lips full of thanks for this kindness.

The lights were put out, and the door locked, and the chemist went home to his room, to be alone with God -- God whom he had treated so terribly in the past, and whose Word had been mercifully fulfilled in his behalf, "Call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee."

As a repentant sinner he sought and found pardon and peace through a crucified, risen and exalted Savior at God's right hand, and since then it has been his delight to make known the love of Christ to others.


From: THRILLING STORIES For Young And Old By Julia A. Shelhamer, God's Bible School and College, Cincinnati, Ohio. No Date