The Prisoner Loosed.
On the third floor of a tenement house, a missionary, Mr. B., found a
comely, intelligent young English woman in great distress. Her heart
seemed wrung by grief. A few kind words of sympathy drew from her the
story of her woe. She came to this country with her husband and three
young children. He was employed as book-keeper in a large mercantile
house; but soon became addicted to drink, and the story is ever the
same; loss of position, poverty, disgrace, suffering and recklessness.
On the day of the missionary's visit, he was in a prison cell, committed
as a vagrant and common drunkard. The wife was bitterly weeping in her
cheerless home, and the children around her fretting with hunger. Mr. B.
was so touched he could scarcely find words with which to console her,
but turned to Isaiah and read, "For thy maker is thy husband; the Lord
of Hosts is his name." "For a small moment have I forsaken thee, but
with great mercies will I gather thee." After his prayer, she felt
calmer, and entreated him to come the next week, on the day her husband
would be released. He complied; found a prepossessing and cultivated
man; and upon telling him how earnestly his wife and himself had prayed
for him, was rejoiced to learn that in that lonesome cell the Spirit of
God had visited him, filled him with a sincere wish to reform the future
and redeem the past. The missionary called again and again, and
witnessed the strong determination of the young man to fight against his
pernicious habit. He was soon employed again in a large house, became a
regular attendant at the Lord's house, and began to pray both publicly
and privately for help from on high. Only a few months, and both husband
and wife united with a church and became teachers in the Sabbath school.
Their own home, once laid waste, again blossomed like the rose.
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