Heroic Deed Rewarded
( Originally Published 1902 )
FRANKLIN B. AINSWORTH is a farmer living at Afton, N. Y. He has had to work hard to keep soul and body together. Twenty-five years ago he was driving his old buggy along the road, when he heard the shrieks of a man drowning in the river. He rushed down the bank, plunged into the water, and after a heroic struggle succeeded in bringing the man to shore. The man asked Ainsworth what his name was and where he lived. The information was given him. Ainsworth did not learn the man's name, but afterwards heard that he was spending the summer at a camp near the river. The farmer never heard a word from the man he had rescued. A short time ago Ainsworth received a letter from a lawyer in Philadelphia, stating that a man had died in that city and had left to him his estate, amounting to $80,000, because, twenty-five years before he had saved his life.
Ainsworth's real fortune was not in the money that was left him, but in the brave and unselfish deed he performed and in the consciousness that he had saved the life of a fellow-man.
There is a law of compensation, there is a pay-day in the future, when all accounts will be settled, when every noble, unselfish deed will receive its rich reward. If this man was so grateful to Ainsworth, how much more grateful ought we to be to Christ, who saved our life and lost his own in doing so. We ought gladly to give him all we possess and all we are for time and eternity.