It Was His Own Boy
( Originally Published Early 1900's )
A NUMBER of boys playing on the Recreation Pier at North Second street, Brooklyn, on a recent ofternoon, when the cry was raised that one of them had fallen into the river. He was a little fellow, only seven years old. It was a dangerous place to fall, for the water is deep and the current strong. One of the boys, with more presence of mind than the others, ran along the pier to the place where a policeman was on duty marshaling the boys who were going into the baths. He told the policeman of the accident, and the officer promptly ran to the place. Flinging off his tunic and helmet, he dived into the river, and soon came up with the boy. Holding him by one hand and wimming with the other, he reached the pier and passed him up to the hands stretched out to take him. Then, to his astonishment, he recognized in the boy his own beloved child. The shock was so great that the policeman came near swooning, but his delight when the child recovered consciousness, was beautiful to see. How thankful he must have been that he was so prompt in the effort.
While some of the policemen of the great cities yield themselves to the sale of law and the protection of crime, a large majority of them are faithful to their trust and singularly unselfish in their lives. In their occupation of peril, in the protection of property and life, they are constantly performing acts of heroism which should receive the gratitude of the public.
In the spiritual realm people are constantly falling into the water, and some brave Christian must go into the water after them or they will be drowned. From the crowded docks children are frequently falling into the river of sin and crime, and Christ's life-savers must rescue them immediately or they will be lost.
The man thought he was saving the son of some one else, when in reality it was his own he was rescuing. Every act of benevolence has more meaning in it than appears on the surface, has a larger reward than is at first promised. A heroic act has a great blessing for the man performing it, and for those who are nearest to him. A man who busies himself in saving others is very likely to save his own.
Christ's human kinship is so deep and so wide that whoever be the parent the child is our brother; and every effort to rescue him will be appreciated and rewarded by our Elder Brother.
Men and women are constantly risking their own lives to rescue the multitudes who have fallen into the stream of barbarism and heathenism.