EVERY RAILROAD MAN IN THE WORLD SHOULD READ THIS. HIS CHILDREN TOO WILL ENJOY IT.
(The following is a reprint from a tract printed
about 75 years ago)
In traveling, we often meet with persons of different nationalities and languages. We also meet with incidents of various character, some sorrowful and others joyful and instructive.
The train was going west, and the time was evening. At a station a little girl about eight years old came aboard, carrying a little bundle in her arms.
She came into the car and deliberately took her seat, and then commenced an eager scrutiny of faces; but all were strangers to her. She appeared weary, and, placing the bundle for a pillow, she prepared to try to secure a little sleep. Soon the conductor came along collecting tickets.
She asked if she might lie in the seat. The gentlemanly conductor replied that she might, and kindly asked her for her ticket. She informed him that she had none.
Said the conductor: "Where are you going?" She answered, "I am going to heaven." He asked again, "Who pays your fare?" She then said, "Mister, does this railroad lead to heaven, and does Jesus travel on it?" He answered, "I think not; why did you think so?"
"Why sir, before mother died, she used to sing to me of a heavenly railroad, and you looked so nice and kind I thought this was the road. My mother used to sing of Jesus and the heavenly railway - that He paid the fare for everybody and that the train stopped at every station to take people on board. My mom doesn't sing to me anymore though, nobody sings to me now, and I thought I'd take the train and go to my mom. Mister, do you sing to your little girl about the railroad that goes to heaven? You have a little girl haven't you?"
He replied, weeping, "No, my little girl, I have no little daughter now. I had one once, but she died some time ago and went to heaven."
Again she asked, "Did she go over this railroad, and are you going to see her now?"
By this time all the persons in the coach were on their feet, and most of them were weeping. An attempt to describe what I witnessed is almost futile. Some said, "God bless the little angel."
Hearing someone say that she was an angel, the little girl honestly replied, "Yes, my mom used to say I would be an angel someday." Addressing herself once more to the conductor, she asked, "Do you love Jesus? I do, and if you love Him He will let you ride to heaven on His railroad. I am going there, and I wish you would go with me. I know Jesus will let me into heaven when I get there, and He will let you in too, and everybody that will ride on His railroad. Yes, all these people. Would you like to see heaven, and Jesus, and your little girl?"
These words so innocently and pathetically uttered brought a great gush of tears from all eyes, but most profusely from the eyes of the conductor. Some who were traveling on our heavenly railroad shouted for joy.
She now asked the conductor, "Mister, may I lie here until we get to heaven?"
He answered, "Yes, dear one." She then asked, "Will you wake me up then, so that I may see my mom, your little girl, and Jesus? For I do so want to see them all."
The answer came in broken accents, but in words very tenderly spoken, "Yes, dear angel, yes. God bless you!" "Amen!" was sobbed by more than a score of voices. Turning her eyes upon the conductor she asked, "What shall I tell your little girl when I see her? Shall I say to her that I saw her pa on Jesus' railroad? Shall I?" This brought a fresh flood of tears from all present; the conductor kneeled by her side and, embracing her, wept the reply he could not utter. At this juncture the brakeman called out the next station. The conductor requested the brakeman to attend to his duties at the station, for he was busy. That was a precious place. I thank God that I was a witness to this scene, but I was sorry that at this point I was obliged to leave the train.
We learn from this incident that even out of the mouths of babes God hath ordained strength, and that we ought to be willing to represent the cause of our blessed Jesus even in a railroad coach.
A few months after the above occurrence, I received the following letter from the conductor:
"Reverend Dodds: I wish to relieve my heart by writing to you and saying to you that the angel visit on the train was a blessing to me, although I did not realize it in its fullness until some hours later. But blessed be the Redeemer, I know now I am His and He is mine. I no longer wonder why Christians are happy. Oh my joy, my joy! The instrument of my salvation has gone to God. I had purposed to adopt her in the place of my little daughter, who is now in heaven. With this intention I took her to C--R--. On my return trip I took her back to S--, where she left the train. When I consulted with my wife in regard to adopting her, she smiled. 'Yes, certainly, and immediately too, for there is a divine providence in this. Oh,' she said, 'I never could refuse to take under my charge the instrument of my husband's salvation'."
"I made inquiry for the child at S--, and learned that three days after her return she died suddenly without any apparent cause, and her happy soul had gone to dwell with her mother, my little girl, and the angels in heaven. I was sorry to hear of her death, but my sorrow was turned to joy when I think that my angel daughter received intelligence from her concerning her father, that he is on the heavenly railway. Oh, sir, methinks I see her near the Redeemer. I think I hear her singing, 'I am safe at home, and pa and ma are coming,' and I find myself sending back the reply, 'Yes, my darling, we are coming and soon will be there'."
"Oh my dear sir, I am glad that I formed your acquaintance; may the blessings of the great God rest upon you. Please write to me, and be assured, Reverend, sir, I would be pleased to meet you again."
- Rev. J. M. Dodds