Sincere, But Fatally Mistaken

I wonder if some of us realize that it is criminal ignorance to be ignorant of the Word of God. I heard a man on one of the northern railroads — I think it was the Northern Pacific — who was on a train that was making its way as best it could against the force of a blizzard. The storm was so terrible that as people looked out from the car windows they could not tell whether there was a station there or not. If you could see this man’s head today, you would see a man that seemed about seventy or eighty years old, his hair being perfectly white; but if you could look upon his body you would say that the man did not seem to be more than thirty or forty-five years of age. Every little while the train would stop and the brakeman would call out the name of the station, and some people would get out, and then the train would go on. There was a lady with a little child who was very much concerned lest she might not leave the train at the proper place. This man noticed her anxiety and said: “You need not give yourself any concern. I know the road perfectly well. I will tell you when you come to your station.” The train stopped at the station before the one at which this woman wished to alight, and the brakeman called out the name. They went on, and after some minutes the train stopped again, and this man leaned over and said to the woman, “Now is your time; get out quickly.” She took her child and left the car, and the train went on. In a few minutes it stopped again and then the brakeman called out the name of the station at which this woman had wished to alight. This man ran up to the brakeman and said, “Why, you have already stopped at that station.” The brakeman said, “No, there was something the matter with the engine and we stopped for a few minutes to repair it.” He said, “I put that woman and her child off in the storm!” They went back — some of the men on the train — to try to find them, and they found the woman holding her child in her arms, and both of them were frozen to death. O friends, it is an awful thing for us to give people wrong directions concerning the truth of God. — B. F. M.

-Present Day Parables, W. Chapman