In traveling we often meet with persons of different nationalities and languages; we also meet with incidents of various character, some sorrowful, others, joyful and instructive. One of the latter character I witnessed recently while traveling upon the cars. The train was going west and the time was evening. At a station a little girl about eight years old came aboard, carrying a budget under her arm. She then commenced an eager scrutiny of faces, but all were strange to her. She appeared weary, and placing her budget for a pillow, she prepared to try and secure a little sleep. Soon the conductor came along collecting tickets and fare. Observing him she asked him if she might lie there. The gentlemanly conductor replied that she might, and then kindly asked for her ticket. She informed him that she had none, when the following conversation ensued. Said the conductor:
|Where are you going?|
|I am going to heaven,| she answered.
|Who pays your fare?| he asked again.
She then said, |Mister, does this railroad lead to heaven, and does Jesus travel on it?|
|I think not,| he answered, |Why did you think so?|
|Why sir, before my ma died she used to sing to me of a heavenly railroad, and you looked so nice and kind that I thought this was the road. My ma used to sing of Jesus on the heavenly railroad, and that He paid the fare for everybody, and that the train stopped at every station to take people on board; but my ma don't sing to me any more. Nobody sings to me now; and I thought I'd take the cars and go to ma. Mister, do you sing to your little girl about the railroad that goes to heaven? You have a little girl, haven't you?|
He replied, weeping, |No my little dear I have no little girl now. I had one once; but she died some time ago, and went to heaven.|
|Did she go over this railroad, and are you going to see her now?| she asked.
By this time every person in the coach was upon their feet, and most of them were weeping. An attempt to describe what I witnessed is almost futile. Some said: |God bless the little girl.| Hearing some person say that she was an angel, the little girl earnestly replied: |Yes, my ma used to say that I would be an angel some time.|
Addressing herself once more to the conductor, she asked him, |Do you love Jesus? I do, and if you love Him, He will let you ride to heaven on His railroad. I am going there and I wish you would go with me. I know Jesus will let me into heaven when I get there and He will let you in, too, and everybody that will ride on His railroad -- yes, all these people. Wouldn't you like to see heaven and Jesus, and your little girl?|
These words, so pathetically and innocently uttered, brought a great gush of tears from all eyes, but most profusely from those of the conductor. Some who were traveling on the heavenly railroad shouted aloud for joy.
She asked the conductor: |Mister, may I lie here until we get to heaven?|
|Yes, dear, yes,| he answered.
|Will you wake me up then so that I may see my ma and your little girl and Jesus?| she asked, |for I do so much want to see them all.|
The answer came in broken accents but in words very tenderly spoken |Yes, dear angel, yes. God bless you.| |Amen!| was sobbed by more than a score of voices.
Turning her eyes again upon the conductor, she interrogated him again, |What shall I tell your little girl when I see her? Shall I tell her that I saw her pa on Jesus' railroad? Shall I?|
This brought a fresh flood of tears from all present, and the conductor knelt by her side, and, embracing her wept the reply he could not utter. At this juncture the brakeman called out: |H -- -- .| The conductor arose and requested him to attend to his (the conductor's) duty at the station, for he was engaged. That was a precious place. I thank God that I was a witness to this scene, but I was sorry that at this point I was obliged to leave the train.
We learn from this incident that out of the mouths of even babes God hath ordained strength, and that we ought to be willing to represent the cause of our blessed Jesus even in a railroad coach.
Brother Dosh: -- I wish to relieve my heart by writing to you, and saying that that angel visit on the cars was a blessing to me, although I did not realize it in its fullness until some hours after. But blessed be the Redeemer, I know now that I am His, and He is mine. I no longer wonder why Christians are happy. Oh, my joy, my joy! The instrument of my salvation has gone to God. I had purposed adopting her in the place of my little daughter who is now in heaven. With this intention I took her to C -- b, and on my return trip I took her back to S -- n, where she left the cars. In consultation with my wife in regard to adopting her, she replied, |Yes, certainly, and immediately, too, for there is a Divine providence in this. Oh,| said she, |I could never refuse to take under my charge the instrument of my husband's salvation.|
I made inquiry for the child at S -- n and learned that in three days after her return she died suddenly, without any apparent disease, and her happy soul had gone to dwell with her ma, my little girl and the angels in heaven. I was sorry to hear of her death but my sorrow is turned to joy when I think my angel-daughter received intelligence from earth concerning her pa, and that he is on the heavenly railway. Oh! sir, me thinks I see her near the Redeemer. I think I hear her sing! |I'm safe at home, and pa and ma are coming,| and I find myself sending back the reply: |Yes, my darling we are coming and will soon be there.| Oh, my dear sir, I am glad that I ever formed your acquaintance; may the blessing of the great God rest upon you. Please write to me, and be assured, I would be most happy to meet you again.
-- J. M. Dosh, in Christian Expositor