You are here

قراءة كتاب The Deacon of Dobbinsville A Story Based on Actual Happenings

تنويه: تعرض هنا نبذة من اول ١٠ صفحات فقط من الكتاب الالكتروني، لقراءة الكتاب كاملا اضغط على الزر “اشتر الآن"

‏اللغة: English
The Deacon of Dobbinsville
A Story Based on Actual Happenings

The Deacon of Dobbinsville A Story Based on Actual Happenings

تقييمك:
0
No votes yet
المؤلف:
دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 3

stuff as that. I have been a member of Mount Olivet Church for twenty-seven years and I never heard such preaching as that. That must be some new religion that's goin' around. Talk about bein' saved from sin, why there's our dear old Brother Simms, who was our last pastor at Mount Olivet. He died last March and since then we ain't had no pastor--why I heard him say more'n once from the pulpit that folks can't be saved from sin till they get to heaven."

All this Jake said and a great deal more. He talked himself hoarse and used up all his choicest terms in extolling the name of Mount Olivet Church and all the pastors she had had since he had been a member. All his arguments were quietly and lovingly answered by the ministers, who read to him many passages of Scripture.

By this time the large elm cast a lengthy shadow eastward. The sun was well-nigh set, and it was evident to the ministers that they should have to prevail on their new acquaintance to lodge them overnight.

"Well, my dear brother," remarked one of the ministers, "we are far apart in faith, but I trust we are all honest in our views and I pray that God may lead us all in the way we should go. The day is gone, and to get out of these hills tonight is unthinkable. I wonder if you could arrange to keep us overnight, Mr. Benton--I believe that's the name? If you will, we shall be a hundred times obliged and shall be glad to pay you whatever you suggest."

Jake was big hearted, if he was a sinner. "Sure, I'll keep ye, think I'd turn anybody out in these woods at night? Not me. I've kept preachers all my life, but I confess I never kept sanctified ones before."

The three men went up the hill to Jake's cabin, and the two ministers busied themselves writing letters while Jake prepared the evening meal from his scant pantry. When they had gathered around the large goods-box that served as a dining-table, one of the preachers thanked God for the food and asked his blessings upon it. When the evening meal was finished, the three men sat in front of Jake's cabin until a late hour. The preachers expounded the Scriptures to poor, ignorant Jake and told him of the wonders of God's grace. Finally, when the big silvery moon stood in mid-heaven and the sound of cow-bells on the hill had died away, Jake suggested that they retire for the night. By the light of the moon one of the ministers read his Bible. It so happened that he opened it at the 12th chapter of Hebrews. These words as they fell from this man's pious lips affected Jake deeply. He surely had read that same chapter himself many times, and doubtless during the twenty-seven years he had been a member of Mount Olivet Church he had heard his pastor read it. But there was one verse that sank right to the center of Jake's heart. It was the 14th: "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Jake had always had a hope in his breast that he should some day see the Lord. He had had more than his allotted share of troubles in life, and deep in his heart he had a longing to go where "the wicked cease from troubling and the weary be at rest."

Soon all was silence in the cabin attic, where the three men lay. The restless surgings of man's inner soul are invisible to all eyes, save God's, and silence is not always a proof that everyone is asleep. Jake lay on a bag of dried leaves, having given his own bunk to his guests. But his eyes refused to sleep. The music of the katydids had lost its power to soothe his troubled breast and bring him sweet repose. His mind took a voyage over the past. Memory, according to her wonted ways carried him again to his mother's knee. He recalled the sound of her voice as she sang, "When I shall see Him face to face and tell the story saved by grace." But that scripture, "Without holiness no man shall see the Lord," took the sweetness out of that long-remembered song. Jake knew he was not holy. His heart was defiled by sin. His lips were unclean with blaspheming God's name. He remembered all the good resolutions he had made and broken the past quarter of a century. And during these midnight musings he seemed to see two lily-white hands beckoning him to come somewhere; he knew not where. These hands he readily recognized as the hands of his own baby Rose, who had gone from him one day near the close of her fifth summer. Mentally he found himself again at the bedside of his darling Rose. He saw again her ruddy cheeks glow with fever and heard the tremble of her voice as she said, "Daddy's Rose is going to heaven. Daddy come some day." Again he saw the death-glare in the sky-blue eyes when the little soul flitted away. He saw himself again as he sat and looked into the sweet and lifeless face of his darling girl, and he remembered how he resolved on that day to live in such a way as to be reunited with his child. But his resolves had all been unfilled, and he saw the path of his past strewn with broken vows. In reality, God was speaking to the man's soul. Jake saw himself in his true condition, a lost sinner. His sins seemed like horrid black mountains rearing themselves eternally between him and his child. His profession of religion and his church-membership seemed to mock him rather than to comfort him.

But Jake was silent. He said not a word with his lips; but how his bleeding heart did talk to God. Hot tears flowed from his sleepless eyes and dampened the dry leaves that formed his pillow. He supposed the two ministers asleep. Their opinion of him was the same. Finally Jake was astonished to see, in the glimmering light of the moon that stole through the cracks in the clapboard roof, the two preachers slip from their bed, and kneel on the floor. His ear caught their whispering prayers that were heard in heaven. As nearly as he could hear, the prayers ran something like this: "O Lord, thou didst have a purpose in sending us through these wooded hills. May we be instrumental in bringing light and salvation to this lonely cabin. Lord, talk to the heart of this Mr. Benton, who sleeps on his bag of leaves. Bring something before his mind that will break up his heart; disturb him even in his sleep, Lord."

Jake's emotions overwhelmed him and he could keep silent no longer. He bounded from his bed, crying, "O my God, save me, save me, save me! Oh, do pray for me now! I am lost! lost! lost!"

Needless to say, the preachers were somewhat shocked, as people often are when their prayers are answered sooner than they expect. The convicted herdsman prostrated himself on the floor before the preachers and poured out bitter tears of repentance. He wept and groaned, and begged God to save him. But he seemed slow to grasp God's promises. He prayed till the morning dawned. The preachers prayed with him. Finally, just as the first grey streaks of the new day began to creep between the logs, Jake's faith was anchored in God's promises, and the glory of heaven flooded his soul. In the twinkling of an eye he was made a new man. His joy knew no bounds. He leaped and shouted, sang and whistled, and laughed and cried, all for the joy of his new-found treasure.

When breakfast was over and the two ministers had bidden their new convert a happy farewell, Jake sat down to read his Bible, which the preachers had given him. His eyes fell upon these words, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psa. 30:5).


CHAPTER IV

The anteroom of the post office in a little Ohio town was crowded. The train had arrived from the west, but it went as soon as it came, for it did not stop. A scream of the whistle, the rumble of the wheels, and the mighty monster dashed through the peaceful town at fifty miles an hour. But the inhabitants were not so interested in the train, for they had seen it pass in just this fashion year after year. But from the baggage coach there came each evening a bag of mail, and this was the cause of the gathering at the post office. While the postmaster and his assistant were opening and distributing the mail behind the closed window in the

Pages