Another Military Funeral

Some years ago, at a large Government establishment, a number of young men were being prepared for future usefulness. One among the number was an especial favorite. Always in the front of every social enterprise, cheerful and intelligent, with a pleasing aptitude for making himself agreeable, J. was unanimously given the first place. Several of these youths belonged to a smart volunteer corps, and, of a selected batch for the next prize meeting, J. was No. 1. Very sanguine of success, the approaching trial of skill was his frequent theme of conversation.
A short time before, one of the members of the corps had been buried with military honors, and as J. with a few companions, was recalling the circumstances, in his usual light-hearted way, he exclaimed:
"I wish there would be another military funeral: it was so jolly."
I was in the company, and overheard him, and felt pained at his lightness in speaking of so solemn a matter. I had learned some little of the value of a soul, and said to him:
"J., you are anxious to see the body buried; but what about the soul, if it were lost! What if it were yourself?"
"O!" he replied, "you are always croaking, and would never let a fellow have a moment's pleasure if you could help it. If I always thought like you I should be miserable."
"On the contrary," said I, "you would be happy, even though at the expense of passing merriment."
I thought no more of this circumstance, but the following Saturday went some few miles away, as I often did, to visit my friends till Monday. Returning to my lodgings early on that day, as I sat at breakfast, my hostess said to me, with a look of deep concern:
"Have you heard the sad news?" "No," said I, "what news?"
"J. went to bathe yesterday," she replied. "He became cramped, and was drowned, and they can't find the body."
The funeral, the prize meeting—all rushed into my mind—but, above all, those words:
"You are always croaking."
J.'s body was found during the week. He was buried with military honors, and I was one of the bearers.
"Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out My hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at naught all My counsel, and would none of My reproof; I will also laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh." Prov. 1:24-2624Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; 25But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: 26I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; (Proverbs 1:24‑26).
"God so loved the world, that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:1616For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16).