I remember a number of years ago I went out of Chicago to try to preach. I went down to a little town where was being held a Sunday-school convention. I was a perfect stranger in the place, and when I arrived a man stepped up to me and asked me if my name was Moody. I told him it was, and he invited me to his house. When I got there he said he had to go to the convention, and asked me to excuse his wife, as she, not having a servant, had to attend to her household duties. He put me into the parlor, and told me to amuse myself as best I could till he came back. I sat there, but the room was dark and I could not read, and I got tired. So I thought I would try and get the children and play with them. I listened for some sound of childhood in the house, but could not hear a single evidence of the presence of little ones. When my friend came back I said: |Haven't you any children?| |Yes,| he replied, |'I have one, but she's in Heaven, and I am glad she is there, Moody.| |Are you glad that your child's dead?| I inquired.
He went on to tell me how he had worshiped that child; how his whole life had been bound up in her to the neglect of his Saviour. One day he had come home and found her dying. Upon her death he accused God of being unjust. He saw some of his neighbors with their children around them. Why hadn't He taken some of them away? He was rebellious. After he came home from her funeral he said: |All at once I thought I heard, her little voice calling me, but the truth came to my heart that she was gone. Then I thought I heard her feet upon the stairs; but I knew she was lying in the grave. The thought of her loss almost made me mad. I threw myself on my bed and wept bitterly. I fell asleep, and while I slept I had a dream, but it almost seemed to me like a vision.
|I thought I was going over a barren field, and I came to a river so dark and chill-looking that, I was going to turn away, when all at once I saw on the opposite bank the most beautiful sight I ever looked at. I thought death and sorrow could never enter into that lovely region. Then I began to see beings all so happy looking, and among them I saw my little child. She waved her little angel hand to me and cried, 'Father, Father, come this way.' I thought, her voice sounded much sweeter than it did on earth. In my dream I thought I went to the water and tried to cross it, but found it deep and the current so rapid that I thought if I entered it would carry me away from her forever. I tried to find a boatman to take me over, but couldn't, and I walked up and down the river trying to find a crossing, and still she cried: 'Come this way.' All at once I heard a voice come rolling down, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.' The voice awoke me from my sleep,' and I knew it was my Saviour calling me, and pointing the way for me to reach my darling child.
|I am now superintendent of a Sunday-school; I have made many converts; my wife has been converted, and we will, through Jesus as the way, see one day our child.|