A Verdict of Death

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
"I had a contract to build a section of a railway through an unsettled part of one of the Western States," said a man to me one day.
He knew I had more than a passing interest in his affairs. He continued: "In the remote part where my work lay, far from civilization, I had a gang of about three hundred men. Most of them, if not all, were of the desperate character which at that time largely populated that country. There had been many instances of contractors defrauding their laborers by leaving without paying their wages, and all of us employers were looked upon with suspicion.
"However, my payments to the men for wages had been regularly made and up to a certain time all went on without any special disturbance. Then through the failure of the company which was having the road built to send me money for payments, I could do nothing but promise and hope from day to day.
"At length the storm broke. An indignation meeting was held, and in the belief that I had the money, it was resolved that I should be hanged unless payment were made. A deputation came to me with the decision, and said: 'If we do not get our pay, remember this: at nine o'clock tomorrow morning— you die.'
"There was no question whatever but that the threat would be executed. There was no possible way of escape, and death by hanging was before me as the inevitable result of the hopeless situation.
"The night passed; the morning dragged slowly by. I saw that it was eight o'clock and that I had but one hour more to live; but somehow when one has become accustomed to seeing human life lightly esteemed, one's own death seems less alarming.
"However, within an hour of the time when my life was to have paid the forfeit, a man was seen coming on horseback over the forest trail. He rode into camp and handed me a package. It was the money for my pay roll, and I was safe— delivered almost at the last moment."
If this man had been hanged, the general verdict would have been: unjust, a foul murder. If the incident had so terminated, you, my reader, would have joined in the feeling of indignation against the murderers.
But what of another murder, of a far worse character than this would have been— one in which you and I are identified with the murderers? All the world stands guilty before God in the death of His Son. Now the question is, Do you stand with those who killed Him?
Six people were hanged for the murder of President Lincoln, some of whom were "accessory after the fact." They knew nothing about it beforehand, but they became helpers of those who did and thus were part of the company. They suffered the penalty.
"He that is not with Me is against Me," the Lord says. With whom are you? Take your stand with Him, believe in Him, and say with Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." John 6:68, 6968Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. 69And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:68‑69).