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Life Of His Sister Is Saved.

One of the most beautiful incidents ever known relating to the faith of
children, and the reward of their trust, is contained in the following
circumstance, personally known to the editor of this book, who was a
participant in the facts.

The only child of a young married couple, living in this city, their
pride, their hope and joy, and the darling of the whole family, was
seized with severe sickness, grew rapidly worse. The grandfather, who
was a skilled physician, was constantly present, ministering in every
way, by every means, but nothing was of any avail. No medicine could
cure, and the child seemed ready to die. No one could think of relief or
knew where to find it. The grandfather, at last, proposed to lay the
case before God, and ask the prayers of His people in the child's
behalf. The mother was only too glad to ask other prayers with her own,
to bring relief. The father, who had hitherto never seriously thought of
religion, was in intense anxiety and despair. Here was his first, his
only child about to be taken away from him, and then came the thought,
is it possible his family life was not to be blessed; his child was in
distress, no human effort was available. At last, he too joined in the
prayer of his wife and father, and bowing before the Great Unknown,
unseen God, he poured out his heart in prayer, saying, "_Lord, if thou
wilt spare my child, wilt give him life, and thus show to me thy power
and will to save, I will never doubt again, and will give thee my

A request for prayer was written and sent to the pastor, Dr. William
Adams, of the Madison Square Church. It arrived after church service had
begun; the sexton was unwilling to carry it to the pulpit, as it was
against the rule, but when told he _must, as a life was in great
danger_, he consented, and delivered it to the pastor.

The messenger waited breathlessly, and when in silence the doctor
specifically mentioned the case before him, and asked the Lord to heal
and spare the little one, and comfort the hearts of all, and make it a
witness of his love and power, the messenger accidentally looked at the
clock, and it marked just _quarter to eleven_, A.M.

When prayer was finished he returned home. Arriving at home, he was
astonished to find the child better, its whole condition had changed,
the medicine had taken hold, and the doctor now said everything was so
hopeful the child would surely recover, and it did. But mark the
unparalleled singularity of the scene. The father asked the messenger
the _time_ when the prayer was offered. He replied, "At a _quarter to
eleven."_ The father in astonishment said, "_At that very moment_ the
disease changed, and the doctor said he was better."

The father, who had thus been proving the Lord with this test of prayer
and its identity of time in his answer, was so overwhelmingly convinced
of the real power of prayer, and thereby of the real existence of God,
and that a Christian life was one of facts as well as beliefs, now
finding that the Lord had indeed kept His own promise, he, too, kept his
promise and gave his heart to the Lord, and became henceforth, a
professing Christian.

But there were more wonderful things yet to happen--a period of five
years passed. Other children were added to the family, and one day, the
youngest, a sweet, beautiful girl, was taken suddenly ill with
convulsions. The sickness for days tasked the strength of the mother,
and the skill of the doctor, but no care, ingenuity, or knowledge could
overcome the disease or subdue the pain. The little girl's fits were
severe and distressing, and there were but short intervals between, just
time to come out of one and with a gasp, pass into another still more
terrible. In its occasional moments of reason, it would look piteously
as if mutely appealing, and then the next convulsion would take it and
seem to leave it just at death's door.

All attendants were worn with care, the doctor fairly lived in the house
and forsook all his other business. The clergyman came and comforted the
anxious hearts with words of sympathy and prayer; but her _little
brother Merrill_, (whose own life we have just related,) tender-hearted,
a mere child, scarce seven years of age, who had known of the Lord, and
who believed that He was everywhere and could do everything, was
intensely grieved at "Mamie's" distress, and came at last to his mother
and asked if he could go and "_make a prayer to God for Sissy_." The
mother said, "Go." The little boy went back into his room, and kneeling
humbly by the side of his bed, as he did at his night and morning
prayers, uttered this request:

_"O God, please to bless little sister, she is very sick. Please stop
her fits so she won't have any more. For Jesus' sake, amen."_

He came back, told his mamma what he said, and added: "_Mamma, I don't
think she will have any more_."

Now mark how the Lord honored this simple faith of the little child.
_From that very moment the fits left her. They never returned; and the
child soon entirely recovered_.

Notice the full beauty and instruction of these two incidents: _Little
Merrill's life was saved in answer to prayer; was the means of his
father's salvation, and when he in turn had grown to an age when he
could learn of God, his own prayer was the means of saving his own
sister's life_.

Notice, too, that all earthly available means were used to save each
child, but to no effect. Physicians and parents considered the case
hopeless, and then committed it to the decision of God.

Notice, too, that when little Merrill was so sick, that the mother and
doctor both prayed, yet it was not until his father had also prayed that
the answer came. God meant to honor the faith of the first two, but was
_waiting for the prayer of the third_ ere he granted the request. That
child's sickness was one of the purposes of God. Notice in the second
case, that while father, mother, doctor, the clergyman, and others of
the house were all trusting in prayer, yet the Lord _was waiting for the
prayer of the little brother_, ere he sent the blessing of relief. Such
an incident draws its own conclusion. _Never cease in prayer for
anything which is to God's honor and glory. Use all the possible means
to help God. Where human means are of no avail, commit it to God and
wait in humble resignation. Ask others to pray, too, for the same
object_, that when the answer comes, God may be glorified before the
sight of others as well as your own. When so many are waiting to see if
_God_ will honor his promises, depend upon it, _God will be found
faithful to all his word_.

Next: Trusting In God's Promises.

Previous: A Child Whose Life Was Saved In Answer To Prayer--by His Own Prayer The

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