Christ's Comfort In Afflication
( Originally Published 1902 )
AT a Young People's Meeting in Park Avenue Methodist Church, New York City, during my pastorate there, they sang, among other hymns, "When the roll is called up yonder I'll be there ;" at the conclusion of which a tall woman, dressed in black, arose and said: " This is the first time I have had the courage to speak in any kind of meeting since our great affliction, some months ago. My children and I, as was our custom, gathered about the piano on Sunday evening, and sang religious hymns. The last one we sang was, ` When the roll is called up yonder I'll be there.' I then tucked the little ones away in bed: that night our house took fire, and four of our darlings were burned to death. I have not a word of complaint against God's Providence. ` He doeth all things well.' The Holy Spirit is my comforter, and I say from the bottom of my heart, ` Thy will, O Lord, be done.' I thank my Heavenly Father for letting us keep them as long as we did, and I count myself highly honored to have borne those whom Christ through grace divine, should have thought worthy to take to himself. I know they live, and I shall see them again and I shall have them again. ` When the roll is called up yonder I'll be there.' "
The little ones burned were grandchildren of Bishop William Taylor. The mother's testimony made a profound impression : it melted everybody into tears. The superiority of Christ's consolation to the severest earthly affliction was so complete, that it inspired all present with a stronger faith in Christ and a brighter hope of heaven.