An Infidel's Life Spared A Few Days.
"During the Summer of 1862, I became acquainted with a Mr. A----, who
professed infidelity, and who was, I think, as near an atheist as any I
ever met. I held several conversations with him on the subject of
religion, but could not seem to make any impression on his mind, and,
when a point was pressed strongly, he would become angry.
"In the Fall, he was taken ill, and seemed to go into a rapid decline.
with others, sought kindly and prayerfully to turn his mind to his
need of a Saviour, but only met with rebuffs. As I saw that his end was
drawing near, one day I pressed the importance of preparing to meet God,
when he became angry and said I need not trouble myself any more about
his soul, as there was no God, the Bible was a fable, and when we die
that is the last of us, and was unwilling that I should pray with him. I
left him, feeling very sad.
"Some four weeks after, on New Year's morning, I awoke with the
impression that I should go and see Mr. A----, and I could not get rid
of that impression; so, about nine o'clock, I went to see him, and, as I
approached the house, I saw the two doctors, who had been holding a
consultation, leaving. When I rang the bell, his sister-in-law opened
the door for me, and exclaimed, 'Oh! I am so glad you have come; John is
dying. The doctors say he cannot possibly live above two hours, and
probably not one.' When I went up to his room, he sat bolstered up in a
chair, and appeared to have fallen into a doze. I sat down, about five
feet from him, and when, in about two minutes, he opened his eyes and
saw me, he started up, with agony pictured on his face and in the tones
of his voice, exclaimed, 'O! Mr. P----, I am not prepared to die; there
is a God; the Bible is true! O, pray for me! pray God to spare me a few
days, till I shall know I am saved.'
"These words were uttered with the intensest emotion, while his whole
physical frame quivered through the intense agony of his soul. I replied
in effect, that Jesus was a great Saviour, able and willing to save all
who would come unto Him, even at the eleventh hour, as He did the thief
on the cross.
"When I was about to pray with him, he again entreated me to pray
especially that God would spare him a few days, till he might have the
evidences of his salvation. In prayer, I seemed to have great assurance
of his salvation, and asked God to give us the evidence of his
salvation, by granting him a few days more in this world. Several others
joined in praying God to spare him a few days, till he should give
evidence of being saved.
"I called again in the evening; he seemed even stronger than in the
morning, and his mind was seeking the truth. The next day, as I
entered, his face expressed the fact that peace and joy had
taken the place of fear and anxiety. He was spared some five
days, giving very clear evidence that he had passed from death to life.
His case was a great mystery to the doctors. They could not understand
how he lived so long; but his friends, who had been praying for him, all
believed it was in direct answer to prayer."