áSaved by faith

 

 

A student in a military school was about to be graduated with honors; but he broke some rules, and the rebuke he received from his father made him so angry that he vowed he would live at home no longer.

But he became calmer, regretted his hasty temper, returned to his father, threw his arms about his neck, and said: "Father, I have done a very wicked thing. I am sorry I have abused you so. Can you forgive me?" A quick embrace and a father's kiss removed the sense of guilt, and never afterward did the son treat his father with disrespect.

This young man later entered the army and became a colonel. He was wounded in battle; gangrene followed, and thus his father found him. Life was nearly gone and he was expected soon to die. He rejoiced to see his father, but said in a faint voice, "You must do the talking now; I am almost gone."

The father returned from a short walk with the surgeon, and the colonel asked him to sit down by him.

"Have you been talking to the surgeon?" he inquired.

"Yes."

"What did he say about me?"

"He says you must die."

"How long does he think I can live?"

"Not more than four days, and you may go any moment."

"Father, you must not let me die now," he exclaimed. "I am afraid to die. I am not prepared to die. If I must, do tell me how. I know you can, for I have heard you do it for others."

This was no time or place for tears. There was work to be done. There was no hesitation. Instantly the Spirit said to the father, "Tell him of the school incident. That is what he wants; I have held it in reserve for this moment."

The father said, "My son, you feel guilty; do you not?"

"Yes, that makes me afraid to die."

"You want to be forgiven, don't you?"

"Yes, can I be?"

"Certainly."

"Can I know it before I die?"

"Certainly."

"Do make it so plain that I can get hold of it," he said, raising his feeble arm and closing the hand as if to grasp it.

"Do you remember the school incident of years ago.

"Yes, very distinctly. I was thinking it all over a few days ago, as I thought of your coming."

"Do you remember how you came back into the house, and, throwing your arms about your

father's neck, you asked him to forgive you?"

"Yes."

"What did he say to you?"

"He said, 'Forgive you with all my heart,' and he kissed me."

"Did you believe him?"

"Certainly, I never doubted his word."

"Did that take away your guilt?"

"Yes."

"That is just the thing for you to do now. Tell Jesus you are sorry that you have abused Him and ask Him to forgive you, just as simply and sincerely as you did roe. He says He will forgive; and you must take His word for it just as you did mine."

"Why, Father, is that the way to become a Christian?"

"I do not know of any other," was the reply.

"That is very simple and plain; I can get hold of that."

Very much exhausted by this effort, the colonel turned his head upon his pillow to rest. The father, having done his work for the dying son, sank into a chair and gave way to tears, expecting soon to close his son's eyes in death. That painful suspense was not to last long. It could not. It did not. A change had taken place. A new life had come to that soul. Its first utterance changed the tears to joy.

"Father, you need not cry any more. I don't want you to. I want you to sing. It is all right with me now; I'm happy; Jesus has forgiven me. I have told Him how sorry I am that I have abused Him so, and He has forgiven me. I know He has, for He says He will, and I have taken His Word for it, just as I did yours. I am not afraid to die now; I don't think I shall. I feel the stirring of a new life within me, and with it comes the feeling of a new life in my blood. I want you to sing that good old hymn we used to sing when I was a boy at family prayer:

 

"'When I can read my title clear

To mansions in the skies'."

 

Immediately the life current which was rapidly ebbing away began to flow back. The pulse, beating at the death rate, began to lessen, the eyes brighten, the countenance to glow with new blood, the voice to be natural, the sadness of that afternoon to give place to cheerfulness and hope. The surgeon coming in, as was his custom every day, to watch the rapid progress of the dreaded gangrene, put his fingers upon the pulse and said with great surprise, "Colonel, your pulse is wonderfully changed; you look better. What has happened?"

"Father has shown me how to be a Christian" replied the colonel, "and I have done it. I am better. I am going to get well."

When the wound was undressed the next morning, the whole mass of rotten flesh fell to the floor -- the gangrene was arrested -- its work ended. The surgeons, throwing up their hands, exclaimed, "Great God! This is a miracle. God only could do this!" ľAnon

 

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

 

 

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