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I could see the mother take her last look at the child, and see the coffin lid closed without being moved by it.
One day when I came home my wife told me that one of the Sunday-school children had been drowned, and the mother wanted to see me. I took my little daughter with me and we went to the house. I found the father in one corner of the room drunk. The mother told me that she took in washing in order to get a living for herself and her children, as her husband drank up all his wages. Little Adelaide used to go to the river and gather the floating wood for the fire. That day she had gone as usual; she saw a piece of wood out a little way from the bank; in stretching out to reach it she slipped, and fell into the water and was drowned. The mother told me her sad story; how she had no money to buy the shroud and the coffin, and she wanted me to help her. I took out my note-book and put down her name and address, and took the measure of the coffin, in order to send it to the undertakers. The poor mother was much distressed, but it did not I told her I would be at the funeral, As my little girl walked by my side. she said to me: "Papa, suppose we were very poor, and mamma had to wash for a living, and I had to go to the river to get sticks to make a fire; if I were to fall into the water and get drowned would you feel bad ?” "Feel bad! Why, my child, I do not know what I should do. You are my only daughter, and if you were taken from me I think it would break my heart." And I took her to my bosom and kissed her. "Then
seem to move me. and then I left.
did you feel bad for that mother?" How that question cut me to the heart.
I went back to the house, and took out my Bible and read to the mother the fourteenth chapter of John. Then I prayed with her and endeavored to comfort her. When the day for the funeral arrived I attended it. I had not been to the cemetery for a good many years; I had thought my time was too precious, as it was some miles away. I found the father was still drunk. I had got a lot in the strangers' field for little Adelaide. As we were laying the coffin in the grave another funeral procession came up, and the corpse was going to be laid near by. Adelaide's mother said, as we were covering up the coffin: "Mr. Moody, it is very hard to lay her away among strangers. I have been moving about a good deal, and have lived among strangers, and I have never had a burying-lot. It is very hard to place my firstborn among strangers." I said to myself that it would be pretty hard to have to bury my child in the strangers' field. I had got into full sympathy with the poor mother by this time.
Next Sabbath I told the children in the Sundayschool what had taken place. I suggested that we should buy a Sunday-school lot, and when any of the children attending the school died, they would not be laid in the strangers' field, but would be put in our own lot. Before we could get the title made out, a mother came and wanted to know if her little girl who had just died could be buried in the lot. I told her I would give permission. I went to the funeral, and as we were lowering the little coffin I asked what was the She said it was Emma. That was the name of my own little girl, and I could not help but weep as I thought of how I would feel if it were my own Emma.
Do you tell me I could not sympathize with that bereaved mother? Very soon afterward, another mother came and wished to have her dead child buried in our lot. She told me his name was Willie. At that time that was the name of my only boy, and I thought how it would be with me if it were my Willie, who was dead. So the first children buried there bore the names of my two children. I tried to put myself in the places of these sorrowing mothers, and then it was easy for me to sympathize with them in their grief, and point them to Him who "shall wipe away all tears from their eyes."
About the first thing I did when I returned to Chicago nine years ago, was to drive up to and see our children's lot. I thought it would last a good many years, but it was about full, for many of my old Sabbath-school scholars had gone while I had been away, and their bodies were resting in this lot till the great day. I understood, however, that the children of the Sabbathschool were about to purchase another and a larger lot which would suffice for many years under ordinary circumstances. Many little ones are laid there, waiting for the resurrection, and I would like to be buried. beside them, it would be so sweet to be in their company when we rise and meet our Lord.
Dear friends, if you would get into full sympathy with others put yourself in their places. May God fill our hearts with the spirit of the good Samaritan, so that we may be filled with tenderness and love and compassion.
I want to give you a motto that has been a great help to me. It was a Quaker's motto:
"I expect to pass through this world but once. If,
therefore, there be any kindness I can show or any good thing I can do to any fellow human being let me do it now; let me not defer nor neglect it, for I will not pass this way again."
"Must I my brother keep,
And share his pain and toil;
And smile with those who smile;
"Must I his burden bear,
As though it were my own,
Should to myself be done;
"Then, Jesus, at Thy feet
A student let me be,
And learn, as it is meet,
My duty, Lord, of Thee;
For Thou didst come on mercy's plan,
"Oh! make me as Thou art;
Thy spirit, Lord, bestow-
That feels another's woe.
May I be thus like Christ my Head,
"YE ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD."
"They that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
That is the testimony of an old man, and one who had the richest and deepest experience of any man living on the face of the earth at the time. He was taken down to Babylon when a young man; some Bible students think he was not more than twenty years of If any one had said, when this young Hebrew was carried away into captivity, that he would outrank all the mighty men of that day-that all the generals who had been victorious in almost every nation at that time were going to be eclipsed by this young slave—probably no one would have believed it. Yet for five hundred years no man whose life is recorded in history shone as did this man. He outshone Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Cyrus, Darius, and all the princes and mighty monarchs of his day.
We are not told when he was converted to a knowledge of the true God, but I think we have good reason to believe that he had been brought under the influence of Jeremiah the prophet. Evidently some earnest, Godly man, and no worldly professor, had made a deep