There is no class of people exempt from broken hearts. The rich and the poor suffer alike. There was a time when I used to visit the poor that I thought all the broken hearts were to be found among them, but within the last few years I have found there are as many broken hearts among the learned as the unlearned, the cultured as the uncultured, the rich as the poor. If you could but go up one of our avenues and down another and reach the hearts of the people; and get them to tell their whole story, you would be astonished at the wonderful history of every family. I remember a few years ago I had been out of the city for some weeks. When I returned I started out to make some calls. The first place I went to I found a mother; her eyes were red with weeping. I tried to find out what was troubling her, and she reluctantly opened her heart and told me all. She said: |Last night my only boy came home about midnight, drunk. I didn't know that he was addicted to drunkenness, but this morning I found out that he had been drinking for weeks, and,| she continued, |I would rather have seen him laid in the grave than have have had him brought home in the condition I saw him in last night.| I tried to comfort her as best I could when she told me her sad story. When I went away from that house I didn't want to go into any other house where there was family trouble. The very next house I went to, however, where some of the children who attended my Sunday school resided, I found that death had been there and laid his hand on one of them. The mother spoke to me of her afflictions, and brought to me the playthings and the little shoes of the child, and the tears trickled down that mother's cheeks as she related to me her sorrow. I got out as soon as possible, and hoped I would see no more family trouble that day.
The next visit I made was to a home where I found a wife with a bitter story. Her husband had been neglecting her for a long time; |and now,| she said, |he has left me, and I don't know where he has gone. Winter is coming on, and I don't know what is going to become of my family.| I tried to comfort her, and prayed with her, and endeavored to get her to lay all her sorrows on Christ. The next home I entered I found a woman crushed and broken-hearted. She told me her boy had forsaken her, and she had no idea where he had gone. That afternoon I made five calls, and in every home I found a broken heart. Everyone had a sad tale to tell, and if you visited every house in Chicago you would find the truth in the saying that |there is a skeleton in every house.| I suppose while I am talking you are thinking of the great sorrow in your own bosom. I do not know anything about you, but if I were to come around to everyone of you, and you were to tell me the truth I would hear a tale of sorrow. The very last man I spoke to last night was a young mercantile man who told me his load of sorrow had been so great that many times during the last few weeks he had gone down to the lake and had been tempted to plunge in and end his existence. His burden seemed too much for him. Think of the broken hearts in Chicago tonight! They could be numbered by hundreds -- yea, thousands. All over this city are broken hearts.
If all the sorrow represented in this great city were written in a book, this building couldn't hold that book, and you couldn't read it in a long lifetime. This earth is not a stranger to tears, neither is the present the only time when they could be found in abundance. From Adam's days to ours tears have been shed, and a wail has been going up to heaven from the broken-hearted. And I say it again, it is a mystery to me how all those broken hearts can keep away from Him who has come to heal them.