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A Kind Word
A. B. Earle
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TOPIC and SUBTOPIC: Kind Words, The Power Of.

TITLE: A Kind Word

I was holding meetings in Washington D. C., a man having an office under the government, had commenced gambling and drinking, and finally lost his office, and property, and character. While in this condition, his wife, a high spirited woman, made an excuse to visit some friends far away, but her real purpose was never to return. When the husband learned this he fully resolved to commit suicide. He felt that there was nothing left for him, no friends, no property, office lost, character gone, his wife had left him never to return. He had fixed upon eleven oclock, A. M. as the hour to commit this dreadful deed. He had written, I suppose, a farewell letter for his wife, and started for the spot where he was to end his career.

When passing the church where I was holding meetings which were then in session, he met a lady he was acquainted with and handed her the letter to mail. This lady thought she read in his face this desperate purpose, and put the question to him. He would not lie then, as he intended to be dead inside of an hour, but said: "See that the letter goes."

With great urgency he consented to go into the church with her and take a seat, just to get rid of her, intending to go out as soon as she was seated, and carry out his purpose.

Some one sent a penciled note to me that this man intended to kill himself in about thirty minutes. As I had a moment before preaching, I went down the aisle and said to this man:

"I see you are a stranger, give me your hand," and shaking his hand heartily I said: "I am glad to see you. Come again."

I said no more but went on with the meeting.

He declared to me afterward that those few gentle words, and grasp of his hand, disarmed him of his purpose. He said if there is one man that will speak kindly to me I believe I will not commit suicide.

He attended our meetings and became a Christian, joined that church and went to work in Christ's cause.

A year after, I met him, well clothed and an active Sabbath-school teacher. His wife had returned to him, he had his office back and was a great worker in the church and a happy man.

A few gentle words or an action of love, had cheered his sad heart bereft.

Reader will you not go out after the fallen ones today, and every day you have opportunity. Singing as you go,

Down in the bleeding heart,
Crushed by the tempter,
Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;

Touched by a loving heart,
Wakened by kindness;
Chords that were broken will vibrate once more.

A. B. Earle, From: Incidents Usedů In His Meetings, published in 1888.

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