I was thinking to-day of the difference between those who knew Christ when trouble comes upon them and those who knew Him not. I know several members of families who are just stumbling into their graves over trouble. I know two widows in Chicago who are weeping and mourning over the death of their husbands, and their grief is just taking them to their graves. Instead of bringing their burdens to Christ, they mourn day and night, and the result will be that in a few weeks or years at most their sorrow will take them to their graves when they ought to take it all to the Great Physician.
Three years ago a father took his wife and family on board that ill-fated French steamer. They were going to Europe, and when out on the ocean another vessel ran into her and she went down. That mother when I was preaching in Chicago used to bring her two children to the meetings every night. It was one of the most beautiful sights I ever looked on, to see how those little children used to sit and listen, and to see the tears trickling down their cheeks when the Saviour was preached. It seemed as if nobody else in that meeting drank in the truth as eagerly as those little ones.
One-night when an invitation had been extended to all to go into the inquiry room, one of these little children said: “Mamma, why can’t I go in too?” The mother allowed them to come into the room, and some friend spoke to them, and to all appearances they seemed to understand the plan of salvation as well as their elders.
When that memorable night came that mother went down and came up without her two children. Upon reading the news I said: “It will kill her,” and I quitted my post in Edinburgh–the only time I left my post on the other side–and went down to Liverpool to try and comfort her. But when I got there I found that the Son of God had been there before me, and instead of me comforting her, she comforted me. She told me she could not think of those children as being in the sea; it seemed as if Christ had permitted her to take those children on that vessel only that they might be wafted to Him, and had saved her life only that she might come back and work a little longer for Him. When she got up the other day at a mothers’ meeting in Farwell Hall, and told her story, I thought I would tell the mothers of it the first chance I got.
So if any of you have had some great affliction, if any of you have lost a loving father, mother, brother, husband, or wife, come to Christ, because God has sent Him to heal the broken-hearted.