The following incidents are specially contributed to these pages by Rev.
J.S. Bass, a Home Missionary of Brooklyn, N.Y.:
"While living in Canada, my eldest daughter, then a girl of ten years of
age, rather delicate and of feeble health, had a severe attack of
chorea, "St. Vitus's dance." To those who have had any experience in
this distressing complaint, nothing need be said of the deep affliction
of the household at the sight of our loved one, as all her muscles
appeared to be affected, the face distorted with protrusion of the
tongue, and the continuous involuntary motions by jerks of her limbs.
The ablest medical advice and assistance were employed, and all that the
sympathy of friends and the skill of physicians could do were of no
avail. She grew worse rather than better, and death was looked to as a
happy release to the sufferings of the child, and the anguish of the
parents; as the medical men had given as their opinion that the mind of
the child would become diseased, and if her life were lengthened, it
would be an enfeebled body united to an idiotic mind.
"But God was better to us than our most sanguine hopes far better to us
than our fears.
"In our trouble we thought on God, and asked his help. We knew we had
the prayers of some of God's chosen ones. On a certain Sunday morning I
left my home to fill an appointment in the Wesleyan chapel in the
village of Cooksville, two miles distant. I left with a heavy heart. My
child was distressing to look upon, my wife and her sister were worn out
with watching and fatigue. It was only from a sense of duty that I left
my home that morning. During the sermon God refreshed and encouraged my
heart still to trust in him. After the service, many of the congregation
tarried to inquire of my daughter's condition, among them an aged saint,
Sister Wilson, widow of a Wesleyan preacher, and Sister Galbraith, wife
of the class-leader. Mother Wilson encouraged me to 'hope in God,'
saying 'the sisters of the church have decided to spend to-morrow
morning together in supplication and prayer for you and your family, and
that God would cure Ruth.'
"Monday morning came. Ruth had passed a restless night. Weak and
emaciated, her head was held that a tea-spoonful of water should be
given her. My duties called me away (immediately after breakfast) to a
neighbor's; about noon, a messenger came, in great haste, to call me
home. On entering the sick-chamber, I noticed the trundle-bed empty, and
my little girl, with smiling face, sitting in a chair at the window,
(say eight feet from the bed.) I learned from the child that, while on
the bed, the thought came to her that, if she could only get her feet on
the floor, the Lord would help her to sit up. By an effort, she
succeeded, moving herself to the edge of the bed, put her legs over the
side until her feet touched the floor, and sat up. She then thought, if
she tried, the Lord would help her to stand up, and then to walk; all of
which she accomplished, without any human aid, she being left in the
room alone. The same afternoon she was in the yard playing with her
brothers, quickly gained flesh, recovered strength, with intellect clear
and bright; she lived to the age of twenty-two, never again afflicted
with this disease, or anything like it. At the age of twenty-two, ripe
for heaven, it pleased God to take her to himself.
"The sisters, led by Mother Wilson, waited on God in prayer, and God
fulfilled that day the promise--Isaiah 65:24: 'And it shall come to
pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet
speaking, I will hear.'"
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