A Most Impressive Sight, Sir”

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 7
I was traveling by rail from S. to W. At S. stood a number of young men, many of whom stepped into the coach in which I was, some lighting cigars and some pipes, and my first thought was to go into another coach; but immediately these words rested on my mind: "There's need here," and I stayed.
As the train moved on I began to offer tracts to my fellow-passengers, which all received—some laughingly, others with soberness.
One young man was evidently interested in what he was reading, and when he had read the tract through, handed it back to me, and asked for another, which I gave him, and which he also read. When he had finished it, he told me that he, with the rest, had just returned from a review of all the volunteers in the county.
"It was a most impressive sight, sir; a fine sight for young volunteers!" and with all the enthusiasm of youth he went on to describe the effect upon himself and others, etc., and wound up by telling me how the commanding officer complimented them upon the soldier like manner in which they had acquitted themselves.
I listened till he finished the account. We were nearing H., the junction at which I must change, and the train was already slackening speed.
"You have told me," I said, "of a sight which you felt to be most impressive, though only the gathering of a few thousand men; but there is a sight far, far more impressive than the one of which you have spoken, which you and I must see one day—the dead, small and great, standing before God; the books opened, and the dead judged out of those things that are written in the books! That will be an impressive sight, indeed! Where will it find you?”
The train had come to a stand. I spoke not another word, save, after a solemn pause, "good night.”
As I left him the expression of great solemnity was upon his countenance.
Unsaved reader, where will it find you?