Image provided by: University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries, Lincoln, NE
About The Conservative (Nebraska City, Neb.) 1898-1902 | View Entire Issue (Feb. 27, 1902)
THE GATES AJAR.
[ WRITTEN roil THE CONSERVATIVE. ]
Under the above caption , The Con
servative of January 23d had an article
of not a little interest. A lady of St.
Louis was about to commit suicide ,
when her daughter heard the voice of
her father warning her of the intend
ed act , which the daughter prevented.
The father Had been dead for ten
years. The St. Louis incident , true
or false , brings to mind a number of
incident of which I have-knowledge ,
and I desire to present a few of them
and ask that readers of this paper
write me an explanation.
A little more than forty years ago ,
I lived on Wood river , eight miles
west of the city of Grand Island ,
Hall county , Nebraska. West of me
lived a man by the name of Smith
and his neighbor , Anderson. On the
6th of February , 1862 , on a cold
morning , Captain Joseph Smith and
his two sous and a son of Anderson
went witli two teams and sleds and
sis horses to the Platte river from
Wood river , and were all killed by
the Sioux. I saw them lying side by
side after having been brought home.
Anderson and his wife each dreamed
the night before that they saw four
coffins. They soon saw them , and in
one of them was the sweet , pale face
of their own dear boy. "Who informed
them of coming doom ? I confess I do
not know ; do you ?
I was the pastor of a church several
years ago in the village of Cedar
Rapids , Neb. In my congregation
was a little girl , maybe six years of
age Mary Freeland black-eyed , rosy-
cheeked , an intelligent girl. She lay
dying. Suddenly she brightened up
and exolair d : " O , kiss me , quick ,
mother. I ) e the angels 1" Did she ?
If not , wha was it ?
I was at the village of Liberty ,
Neb. , the first half of January of this
year. Mrs. Olmsted , a lady sixty-five
years of age , told me of the death of her
daughter in Kansas a few years ago.
"While dying she saw standing at the
foot of her bed her two children , who
were dead , and asked others if they
did not also see them. What : did she
In this city , Lincoln , Harry Dean
was dying. Ho said : "Mamma , if
I send a little letter to Jesus Christ ,
will he get it ? " "Yes , " was the
answer. "Dear Jesus , " he dictated
' ' if you will only lay your hands on a
poor little boy and please give him
rest. " Then a few minutes after :
"Jesus heard me , mamma , and lam
better. " Then again : "I see one ,
two , three angels ; one is Jesus hold
ing out his hands to me. Call papa ,
quick , before I go whore the flowers
are. ' ' Most of the afternoon he kept
his hands folded as if in prayer , and
would murmur : "Forever and over
and ever. Amen. ' '
Ho bade each member of the family
good bye , and said to the nurse :
"You have been so good to me ; kiss
me , please. " Thou at last"Mamma ,
sing'Nearer My God to Thee. ' Good
by , mamma , good bye. " What did
this boy see ? Anything ?
Take the case of Stephen , the first
martyr of the Christian church ; he
was about to be stoned. The account
"But he , being full of the Holy
Ghost , looked up steadfastly into
heaven , and saw the glory of God ,
and Jesus standing on the right hand
of God ,
"And said , Behold , I see the
heavens opentd , and the Son of man
standing on the right hand of God. ' '
Acts vii , 55-56.
Or , take one more incident from
early church history. Christ , with
Peter , James and John , went up into
a mountain , and there He was trans
figured before them. Peter began to
talk , and "While he yet spake , be
hold , a bright cloud overshadowed
them : and behold a voice out ? of the
cloud , which said , This is my be
loved Son , in whom I am well
pleased ; hear ye him. " Matt ,
xvii , 5.
Did they hear "a voice ; " what
was it ? Take a more recent case.
Dwight L. Moody , who died so re
cently at Northfield , said : "This is
my triumph ; this is my coronation
day 1 I have been looking forward to
it for years. " Then his face lighted
up , and he said , in a voice of joyful
rapture : "Dwight 1 Irene ! I see the
children's faces. " His two grand
children by these names had died
within the year. Said he : "Earth
recedes ; Heaven opens before me ;
God is calling me , and I must go. ' '
What did he see and hear ?
One more incident , and this I saw.
An aged Christian was dying. With
others , I stood by her bedside ; the
snows of more than eighty winters
had given her the hoary head which
was to her a crown of glory , because
found in the way of righteousness.
The dark waters of death wore already
laving her pilgrim feet. Sle ) was
sitting upon her couch and , with a
holy eloquence I never expect to hear
equalled in this world , was asking
lier ohildern to live Christian lives
and meet her in heaven , when , sud
denly , she paused , and looking up
ward , oxolaimed : "What is that
beautiful music I hear ? " This she
did twice. And , as the soft light of
the Sabbath sun began to bathe the
valleys and gild the hill tops with its
golden splendor , her beautiful blood-
washed spirit took its flight beyond the
stars to her home on high. I confess
that scenes like this have made me
feel that I want to ' ' die the- death of
the righteous. ' '
Bunyan , in his celebrated allegory ,
"Pilgrim's Progress , " makes his
hero , Christian , just before ho crosses
a dark river , to como into a beautiful
place called Bcnlah Land. Here
pilgrims could partake freely of the
richest fruits in the King's orchards ,
and from this delightful place faint
visions could be had of the city be
yond to which they were bound , and
sweet strains of music sometimes
were wafted to them. Here is a
"Dr. Edward Payson , of Portland ,
Mo. , during a long illness and a few
days before his death , wrote to a
friend as follows : 'I might date this
letter'from the land of Beulah , of
which I have been for some weeks a
happy inhabitant. The celestial city
is full in my view. Its glories beam
upon me ; its breezes fan me ; its odors
are wafted to mo ; its sounds strike
upon my ear , and its spirit is breathed
into my heart. ' "
What do all of these things mean ?
I confess I do not know , but some
way my heart tells me that God is in
it , without resorting to spiritualism
for an explanation , but may it not be
that ministering spirits are about us to
guard and help according to that
scripture speaking of the angels :
"Are they not all ministering
spirits , sent forth to minister for them
who shall be heirs of salvation ? "
When Elislia was surrounded , with
his servant , in the mountain by the
Syrian army and the servant began to
ask , "What shall we do ? " the prophet
answered : ' ' Fear not : for they that
be with us are more than they that
be with them.
"And Elisha prayed , and said ,
Lord , I pray thee , open his eyes , that
he may see. And the Lord opened the
eyes of the young man ; and he saw
and behold , the mountain was full of
horses and chariots of fire round
about Elisha. "
As we get older we become doubtful
of many things , but of the care and
love of my Heavenly Father , Mr.
Editor , I can not doubt. I will give
you , sir , my creed or persuasion in
just a sentence , and I earnestly com
mend it to you and all who , with my
self , are getting gray headed and are
within sight of the judgment seat of
our Lord : -
' ' For I am persuaded , that neither
death , nor life , nor angels , nor prin- .
oipalities , nor powers , nor things
present , nor things to come ,
"Nor height , nor depth , nor any
other creature , shall be able to separ
ate us from the love of God , which.is
in Christ Jesus our Lord. "
BYRON BEALL. ,
Lincoln , Neb. , Feb. 14 , 1902. -
Powered by Open ONI