A Child's Faith In The Lord's Prayer.
About the 30th of July, 1864, the beautiful village of Chambersburgh was
invaded and pillaged by the Confederate army. A superintendent of a
Sabbath school, formerly resident in the South, but who had been obliged
to flee to the North because of his known faithfulness to the national
government, was residing there, knowing that if discovered by the
Confederate soldiers, he would be in great peril of life, property and
every indignity,--in the gray dawn of that memorable day, with his wife
and two little girls, again on foot, he fled to the chain of mountains
lying north-west of the doomed village.
After remaining out for some days and nights, with no shelter but such
as was afforded by the friendly boughs of large forest trees, and
without food, they became nearly famished. At last, the head of the
family, unable to endure the agony of beholding his wife and children
starving to death before his face, and he not able to render the needed
relief, withdrew to a place by himself, that he might not witness the
sad death of his loved ones. With his back against a large oak, he had
been seated only a short time, when his eldest little daughter, not
quite ten years old, came to him and exclaimed:
"_Father, father, I have found such a precious text in my little
Testament, which I brought to the mountain with me, for very joy I could
not stop to read it to mother, but hastened to you with it. Please
listen while I read_." To which he said:
"Yes, my child, read it. There is comfort to be found in the Scriptures.
We will not long be together on earth, and there could be no better way
of spending our last mortal hours." To which she replied:
"O, father, I believe that we will not die at this time; that we will
not be permitted to starve; that God will surely send us relief; but do
let me read." Then opening her dear little volume, at the ninth verse of
the sixth chapter of Matthew, she read as follows:
"'_Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom
come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our
daily bread.' O, father, to think that our dear Saviour Himself taught
His disciples to pray for their daily bread. These are His own words. It
is not possible, therefore, that He will allow any person to starve,
who, in His own appointed language, asks Him for food. Will He not, dear
father, hear our prayers for bread_?"
At once and forever the scales fell from the eyes of that parent. With
tears streaming down his cheeks, he clasped his child to his bosom, and
earnestly repeated the Lord's Prayer. _He had scarcely finished it when
a small dog ran to where he and his daughter were upon their knees, and
barked so fiercely as to attract to the spot its owner, a wealthy
Pennsylvania farmer,_ who was upon the mountain in search of cattle that
he had lost for several days. The kind-hearted tiller of the soil
immediately piloted the suffering family to his own comfortable home,
and properly provided for their wants.
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