Another thrilling occurrence at Inskip's meeting in Sacramento



[While this occurrence might better be termed "blessed" than "phenomenal," it was nonetheless extraordinary, and moving. -- DVM]


One of the most thrilling incidents connected with this meeting, was the discovery of Mrs. Inskip's brother -- Mr. Charles Foster. He had emigrated from Maryland some seventeen years before, where he had been an efficient and influential member of the church; went to California, became deeply engaged in business, held on to his trust in Christ for a considerable time; but his fortune became reversed; then, like many others, he sought to drown his troubles and disappointments in that sea where no calm ever comes. He fell into such a wretched state of mind that he determined that his wife, children, and friends whom he had left behind, should never know of his fate. He consequently discontinued any further correspondence with them. After many years, his friends hearing nothing from him, reckoned him among the dead. But on going to California, Mrs. Inskip indulged a faint hope that she might obtain some information respecting him, if, indeed, he were dead. Affection clings to the slenderest thread of hope.

How strange! At Sacramento, all unconscious of the fact, she was within five miles of the little cabin, where, like a hermit, he lived alone. One can scarcely imagine the surprise of this lone man when he read in the newspaper that Rev. John S. Inskip and lady, his own dear sister and her husband, were coming to California to hold a series of special meetings, and within five miles of his lonely abode. He at once made up his mind to attend the meeting at Sacramento, and see them; but he would not make himself known. Accordingly he came on Sunday morning, and took his seat where he could see his sister. Mr. Inskip preached that morning a wonderful sermon. The heart of the listener was greatly moved. All his previous life, like a vision, passed before his mind, -- wife and children seemed calling to him from the dear home he had left years before, and the sight of a darling sister renewed in his soul (though ossified by misfortune and the isolation of years) the tender yearnings of a naturally noble heart for the love of by-gone days -- day that seemed to grow green again, and freshen into life once more.

The service closed. He lingered; but still resolved to remain unknown to them, and finally turned away. But just as he was leaving the tabernacle, Mrs. Inskip commenced to sing, "My all to Christ I've given," etc. He halted to listen for a moment longer to the sweet, familiar voice, that brought back a thousand fond recollections of other days. Then he said to himself, "I must take one more look; it will be the last time on earth that I shall see her!" He turned back, -- he looked; his resolution broke down; he could not leave. He stepped upon the platform, extended his hand to Mr. Inskip, saying, "Don't you know me?" Mr. Inskip, observing him, replied, "I do not." He rejoined, "Don't you know your brother-in-law?" Mr. Inskip exclaimed, "Is it possible! Charles, is it you?" Then calling to his wife, "Martha, here is a gentleman who wishes to speak with you." As she came upon the platform, he said, "This is the gentleman who wishes to see you, -- do you know him?" She looked -- hesitated a moment, and then exclaimed, "Why, it's my brother Charles!" She flew into his arms, and, embracing each other, they wept for joy.

Words are inadequate to portray the deeply affecting scene. He was to her like a brother raised from the dead. Many wept with her, partaking of the tender excitement and joy of this unexpected meeting. Mr. Foster attended several of the services, and was happily reclaimed and restored to the love and favor of God. He returned home in a few weeks. Many of his old friends who had reckoned him among the dead, came to see him. But the excitement was too severe for his nervous system. He lived but three weeks after his return, dying in the triumphs of faith, rejoicing that he was permitted to take his flight to the heavenly mansions from his old home.


From: UNUSUAL OCCURRENCES Compiled by Duane V. Maxey