His Mother's Prayer.
A poor sailor, leading a most profligate and abandoned life, whose
praying mother followed him like a shadow into and out of his drinking
saloons and gambling houses, at last absented himself from home,
whenever he was in port. Her burden, finally, seemed too great to bear,
and she resolved to make a stronger effort than ever before, to cast it
upon the Lord. As she knelt, with her heart well-nigh bursting with this
desire, she felt a powerful conviction that, at last, she was answered.
For several years the son went on in his wicked career, and the mother
sorrowed that it was so, but her soul was no longer laden with fear; she
felt the assurance of his conversion, sooner or later. Again, for
several years, she never heard of him, and thought him dead; then she
ceased praying for him, and was steadfast in the faith of meeting him in
heaven. But sight was to be given her, as a reward for faith. He
returned, at last, only thirty years of age, but broken down in health,
and worn out by dissipation and hardship. Still unconverted, but, to
satisfy his mother, he consented to remain in the room during a visit of
the missionary of that district; a man with sufficient tact not to make
his efforts obnoxious. He did not tell the young man he was a sinner and
must flee from the wrath to come; he merely presented the _love_ of
Jesus; the love that saved to the very _uttermost_; that waited more
patiently than any earthly friend, and forgave more royally. At first,
he listened indifferently, but, at last, burst into tears, saying, "I
thought I was so bad He didn't want anything to do with me." A long
conversation, and others at intervals followed, and, before his death,
which occurred several months after, his mother's heart was gladdened by
the account of his change, and the knowledge that, in farthest lands,
his thoughts were back with her. The deeper he went in sin, the more
unsatisfactory and abhorrent it became, and he would have turned, long
before, to the Lord, had he believed there was the least hope for him.
When he closed his eyes to earth, a few friends enabled his mother to
give him respectable burial, in the same grave where, years before, his
father was laid.
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