I never was guilty of wrong action but on my account lives have been lost, trains have been wrecked, ships have gone down at sea, cities have burned, battles have been lost and governments have failed.
I never struck a blow nor spoke an unkind word, but because of me homes have been broken up, friends have grown cold, the laughter of children has ceased, wives have shed bitter tears, brothers and sisters have forgotten, and fathers and mothers have gone broken-hearted to their graves.
I have intended no evil, but because of me talent and genius have come to naught, courtesy and kindness have failed, and the promise of success and happiness has yielded sorrow and disaster.
I have no color except black, no sound but just my silence, no cause for being myself, no progeny except grief and disaster. You may not on the instant call me by name, but surely you are personally acquainted with me. I am Neglect.—T. M. Olson.
"I know a land where the streets are paved
With things we meant to achieve;
Walled with money we meant to have saved,
And the pleasures for which we grieve,
Kind words unspoken, promises broken,
And many a coveted boon
Are gathered there in that land somewhere,
The Land of Pretty Soon.
"There uncut jewels of possible fame
Are lying about in the dust,
And many a noble and lofty aim
Are covered with mold and rust.
And, oh, this place, while it seems so near,
Is farther away than the moon;
Though purpose is fair, we'll not get there—
To the Land of Pretty Soon.
"The road that leads to that mystic land
Is strewn with pitiful wrecks,
The ships that sailed for its shining strand
Bear skeletons on their decks.
It's farther at noon than it was at dawn,
And farther at night than noon;
Oh, let us beware of that land down there—
The Land of Pretty Soon."
"How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?"—Selected.
In a certain asylum there is a white-haired man who has been an inmate for twenty-five years. He spends his days repeating these words, "Too late, too late!" During one of the visiting days at the institution, these strange words attracted the attention of one of the visitors. When the attendant of the ward was asked about the history of the man, this was the story: Years ago, the poor fellow had been the keeper of the signal station on one of the great eastern railroads.
One day he forgot to give the right of way to one of the fast trains. Seeing some beautiful flowers growing along the highway nearby he went to pick them. While engaged in this pleasant task, the train was heard approaching in the distance. On and on it came with rapid pace. Suddenly he realized that the train did not have the right of way. In a vainless effort he tried to correct his mistake, but it was too late! "Too late, too late!" he cried in anguish, as he covered his eyes as the helpless passengers were carried to a speedy death. How little we realize the destruction caused by human neglect!—Youth's Companion.
Capt. Francis McCullagh, an eyewitness of the trial of the Roman priests in Moscow, says: "On the night after the Archbishop and his companions were paraded in a motor-lorry through the streets of Moscow, the terrible leader of the Reds gazed in horror on one more terrible than himself, on a dread, nocturnal visitor, who having passed swiftly through the triple guards and the bolted doors, had halted at his bedside and laid an icy hand on the proud and formidable brain. From that day Lenin was a living corpse." Percival Phillips gives the rumor than ran through all Russia on Lenin's death (Daily Mail, Feb. 1, 1924) : "The once all-powerful Dictator of Red Russia spent his last days of activity crawling on all fours like a beast around the room in his carefully-guarded retreat at Gorky, apologizing to the furniture for his misdeeds —the memory of which remained amid the ruins of his mind—and shouting repeatedly, 'God save Russia and kill the Jews!'"—D. M. Panton, in The Dawn.
One of the incidents of the great Chinese famine of 1906-1907, was a visit I made to the refugee camp outside the walls of Chinkiang. Mrs. Paxton was taking simple medicine to the suffers; and as we made the rounds of the miserable straw mat shelters, within which the starving people hungered on the cold ground, she turned to me with a startled expression and said, "Do you know what most of them are saying? They complain of lack of appetite." These famine victims were not hungry—because they were starving. They had passed the stage of desire for food. That picture portrays many a soul's state. It has lost interest in or longing for spiritual satisfactions because it is starving.—Christan Herald.
Luther says in one of his sermons, "The Devil held a great anniversary at which his emissaries were convened to report the results of their several missions. 'I let loose the wild beasts of the desert,' said one, `on a caravan of Christians, and their bones are now bleaching on the sands.' `What of that?' said the Devil. `Their souls were all saved.' 'I drove the east wind.' said another, `against a ship freighted with Christians, and they were all drowned.' 'What of that?' said the Devil. `Their souls were all saved.' `For ten years I tried to get a single Christian asleep,' said a third, 'and I succeeded, and left him so.' Then the Devil shouted," continues Luther, "and the night stars of hell sang for joy."—Biblical Treasury.
"Many people are on Salvation Train; but a lot of them are traveling in the sleeper."—Christian Victory.