Some years ago at a drawing-room function, one of England's leading actors was asked to recite for the pleasure of his fellow guests. He consented and asked if there was anything special that his audience would like to hear.
After a moment's pause, an old clergyman present said: "Could you, sir, recite to us the Twenty-third Psalm?"
A strange look passed over the actor's face; he paused for a moment, and then said: "I can, and I will, upon one condition; and that is that after I have recited it, you, my friend, will do the same."
"I?" said the clergyman, in surprise. "But I am not an elocutionist. However, if you wish it, I will do so."
Impressively, the great actor began the psalm. His voice and his intonation were perfect. He held his audience spellbound; and as he finished, a great burst of applause broke from the guests.
Then, as it died away, the old clergyman arose and began the psalm. His voice was not remarkable; his intonation was not faultless. When he had finished, no sound of applause broke the silence—but there was not a dry eye in the room, and many heads were bowed.
Then the actor rose to his feet again. His voice shook as he laid his hand upon the shoulder of the old clergyman and said: "I reached your eyes and ears, my friends; he reached your hearts. The difference is just this—I know the Twenty- third Psalm, but he knows the Shepherd." —The War Cry.
When that great Christian and scientist, Sir Michael Faraday, was dying, some journalists questioned him as to his speculations concerning the soul and death. "Speculations!" said the dying man, in astonishment, "I know nothing about speculations; I'm resting on certainties. `I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day."'—Gospel Trumpet.
An old Scotch lady, to whom in the bygone days of searching pastoral visitation, her minister went as she lay dying. Wishing to try her faith, he said to her; "Janet, what would you say if, after all He has done for you, God should let you perish?" She replied: "Even as He likes: if He does, He will lose more than I'll do: for I would lose my soul, but He would lose His honor, for His Word would be broken."—Selected.
In a humble cottage out on a jagged promontory, a fisherman lay dying. His pastor sat beside him. "Are you sure, John?" he asked the old man. Rising on his elbow, the old veteran bade him look seaward through the open window. "Are the Seven Stones still there?" he asked. "And the Twin Maidens and the Wolf Rock—are they still there?" "Yes, yes," replied his pastor, "they are still there." Lying back upon his pillow, the dying man said, reverently: "The mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee."—Christian Herald.
A visitor said to a poor wounded soldier, who lay dying in the hospital, "What Church are you of?"
"Of the Church of Christ," he replied.
"I mean, what persuasion are you of?"
"Persuasion !" said the dying man, as he looked Heavenward, beaming with love to the Saviour, "I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, .. . shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus." —Selected.
Robert Bruce, of Kinnaird, after breakfast on the last day of his life, said suddenly to his daughter: —"Hold, daughter; my Master calleth me." At these words his sight, unconsciously to himself, failed, and he called for a Bible; but finding that he was sightless, he said:—"Turn up the eighth chapter of Romans, and put my finger on verse 39." "Now," he said, "is my finger on it?" They told him it was. Then he said: "God be with you my children; I have breakfasted with you, and I shall sup with the Lord Jesus Christ tonight"; and immediately he died.—Dawn.
"A sailor in Gloucester, Mass., had been wounded in a wreck and was brought ashore. The fever was great, and he was dying. His comrades gathered around him in a little fishing house, and the physician said: `He won't live long.' The sailor was out of his mind until near the close. But within a few minutes of his death he looked around, and calling one comrade after another, bade them goodbye, and then sank off to sleep. Finally as it was time for the medicine again, one of the sailors rousing him, said, 'Mate, how are you now?' He looked up to the face of his friend and said, `My anchor holds!' These were his last words. And when they called upon a friend of mine to take charge of the funeral service, how powerful was the impression made upon his hearers when he quoted the dying words; `My anchor holds!' "—Selected.
"I fear you are near another world," remarked a friend to an aged Christian. "I know I am," was the cheerful reply; "but, blessed be the name of the Lord, I do not fear it—I hope it!"—D. L. Moody.
An express train started out from Chicago to the west coast. On board was the president of the road. As they rushed along in the darkness of the night the train was wrecked. The president of the road hurried to the front. The engineer was pinned beneath the engine. As the president stood looking at the prostrate form, he saw his lips move, and leaning down, he heard the dying man say, "I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." "Jim," said the president, "I would be willing to give my life with all that I have for such a faith as that."
"Mr. President," said Jim, "that is just what it cost."—Selected.