Not long ago a young man went home late. He had been in the habit of going home late, and the father began to mistrust that he had gone astray. He told his wife to go to bed, and dismissed the servants, and said he would sit up till his son came home. The boy came home drunk, and the father in his anger gave him a push into the street and told him never to enter his house again, and shut the door. He went into the parlor and sat down, and began to think: |Well, I may be to blame for that boy's conduct, after all. I have never prayed with him. I have never warned him of the dangers of the world.| And the result of his reflections was that he put on his overcoat and hat, and started out to find his boy. The first policeman he met he asked eagerly, |Have you seen my boy?| |No.| On he went till he met another. |Have you seen anything of my son?| He ran from one to another all that night, but not until the morning did he find him. He took him by the arm and led him home, and kept him till he was sober. Then he said: |My dear boy, I want you to forgive me; I've never prayed for you; I've never lifted up my heart to God for you; I've been the means of leading you astray, and I want your forgiveness.| The boy was touched, and what was the result? Within twenty-four hours that son became a convert, and gave up that cup. It may be that some father here has a wayward son. Go to God, and on your knees confess it. Let the voice of Jesus sink down in your heart; |Bring him unto Me.|
The Sleep of Death.
I read some time ago of a vessel that had been off on a whaling voyage and had been gone about three years. I saw the account in print somewhere lately, but it happened a long time ago. The father of one of those sailors had charge of the lighthouse, and he was expecting his boy to come home. It was time for the whaling vessel to return. One night there came up a terrible gale, and this father fell asleep, and while he slept his light went out. When he awoke he looked toward the shore and saw there had been a vessel wrecked. He at once went to see if he could not yet save some one who might be still alive. The first body that came floating toward the shore was, to his great grief and surprise, the body of his own boy! He had been watching for that boy for many days, and he had been gone for three years. Now the boy had at last come in sight of home and had perished because his father had let his light go out! I thought, what an illustration of fathers and mothers to-day that have let their lights go out! You are not training your children for God and eternity. You do not live as though there were anything beyond this life at all. You keep your affections set upon things on the earth instead of on things above, and the result is that the children do not believe there is anything in it. Perhaps the very next step they take may take them into eternity: the next day they may die without God and without hope.