How Grace Triumphed; or, a Pit Cap Changed for a Crown

 •  8 min. read  •  grade level: 12
THE pathway of the Christian is not all sunshine; for trials come, afflictions overtake, and the waves of sorrow roll over many of God’s children, who experience that “tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.”
Trials seemed especially the lot of the Worehams. For many years the father had been a victim of a terrible malady, which resulted in his death: and at the time to which we now refer his lifeless body lay in the old homestead, awaiting burial, when the news was brought to the sorrowing widow that her son George had met with a serious accident in the pit.
George was a bright little fellow of fourteen, who worked down the mine as a pit-boy, driving a pony. Three months before the time to which we now refer God had spoken very loudly to him, and he thus described his soul exercise: “I felt so miserable that I was almost afraid to sleep, lest I should awake to find myself in hell.”
It is very cheering to know that the glorious Saviour always observes the inmost desire of the soul that is troubled on account of sin, and that He is not only a loving Saviour, and an almighty Saviour, but also a seeking Saviour. Therefore in His purposes of grace, He stirred the hearts of many whom He had saved to arrange some special services in the chapel which was but a stone’s throw from where poor sin-troubled George resided. George gladly attended these services, and God saved him, and he testified to the great transaction which had there taken place: “Before leaving I saw myself guilty before God, and that very night I accepted God’s unspeakable gift, and was justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ.”
Three months quickly passed after that “happy day,” bringing us to the events of the day of which we now write, when George was at his customary employment at the Tankersley Colliery. He had almost finished his daily toil, and in another hour he would have been at home, when a serious accident occurred, and without a moment’s warning, a fall of roof stone took place, part of which fell upon poor George, hurling him violently to the ground, insensible. The debris was quickly removed, and George soon regained consciousness, and thinking he was dying, said in exulting tones: “Won’t it be grand to change an old pit cap for a crown!” Willing hands tenderly carried him home: the doctor was hastily summoned, who, after careful examination, pronounced that his back was broken, and that his spine was severely injured. When they informed the dear lad he said: “I am not afraid to die: I shall go to heaven: for I know that there is now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.” O glorious assurance!
But to the surprise of everyone he lingered. He was a mystery to the doctors. The Great Physician who had healed his soul’s malady had a testimony for him to bear, even on a sufferer’s couch. He once remarked to a friend: “God has a work for me to perform for his honor and glory, and that is to lie here for a little while, and to show forth to my companions and friends how He can keep me by His grace even on a bed of affliction. Some may wonder how I can bear such pain without murmuring, but thank God it is no secret, but, simply, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee!’”
I only wish that I could tell you what comfort and consolation I have received from the above blessed promise, which is so well known by God’s suffering children. Another dear pro. mise which gives me great comfort is, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Yes, praise His Name! His word is like Himself—it is unchangeable, unalterable, immutable: it is divine, for “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My worth shall not pass away.”
He lay in that condition several years, bearing his sufferings with true Christian fortitude. For although at times his pain was intense, he was never once heard to murmur or complain, but frequently when in great suffering he would endeavor to sing his favorite hymns, sometimes one of his own composing, which is as follows: —
“Trust on, my brothers weary;
Who suffer here below,
For in His Word Christ promised
He’d always grace bestow.
Sometimes He comes and whispers,
‘My child, I’ll always be
Close to thy bedside watching,
And taking care of thee.’
“My cross is sometimes heavy,
I feel it hard to bear,
I pray to Christ to help me,
And He is always near:
He tells me He’s preparing
A place up there of ease,
Where pain can never enter,
And where the weary cease.
“Then all my brothers weary,
Who’re trusting in His love,
Let’s serve our Lord who reigneth
In that bright Horne above:
For soon He’ll come and call us
Up from this world of care,
To reign with Him in heaven,
And have a crown to wear.”
During his illness George was visited by many Christian friends, but they always left his presence comforted and refreshed, and when those who were unsaved came he was always ready to speak to them about their soul’s welfare, and of God’s love to them. Thus passed the time in happy, devoted service for the Master, George feeling that His work for Christ was to bear pain patiently, to comfort believers, to warn the unsaved, and to circulate tracts, which ministry he fulfilled in a wonderful manner, although confined to his room.
Weeks, months, and years thus passed away, and George saw the sunrise on his twenty-first birthday. The morning he attained his majority his mother, who was a Christian, and who loved her suffering boy, as only a mother can, went to his room and said: “George, I cannot wish you many happy returns of the day, but I know that you are going to a place of rest, to enjoy a day without a night: then you will be happy forever.” “Yes, mother,” was his cheerful reply.
During the day he had a relapse and appeared to be rapidly sinking. Loving friends gathered around his couch, weeping tears of sorrow. One and another said, “Poor George!” He opened his bright eyes, and looking around upon his kind friends, said in a clear, subdued voice: “Don’t call me poor: if there’s any one poor, it will be those who are left behind, for I’m going to heaven, where nobody’s poor.” He closed his eyes, and his ransomed spirit winged its flight from the poor emaciated tenement for the Lord’s presence. The very day when most young men joyfully celebrate their “coming of age” he was ushered into His presence who loved Him with an everlasting love, whom he had been privileged to so faithfully serve in such an obscure way.
A goodly number of sympathizing and sorrowing friends gathered at his funeral, for he was “unknown, and yet well known” —unknown by the world, which measures its honors, and bestows its laurels, to the mighty and famous: but well known both by the Christians and villagers around as one of whom it could truly be said, “Whose faith follow”: and as his body was laid in the cold Loch of the valley to await the resurrection morn, many of the saved remembered his words of comfort, his patience and his endurance, and it cannot be doubted that the unsaved, too, were reminded of his earnest words and loving appeals to their hearts.
Thus George Woreham had a glorious foretaste of God’s grace: he lived by the same sustaining grace, and he now awaits the great day when this wondrous grace will be fully crowned with glory, when his spirit, soul, and body will be like his Lord’s.
May each reader of this simple record know the same grace, believe in the same Saviour, be pardoned by the same reconciling God, and be sealed by the same Holy Spirit: then, should the call come for you to leave this earth you too will be taken to the Lord’s own presence, and be “absent from the body, and present with the Lord.”
“We come to tell the story true
Of love so rich and free!
A crucified and living Lord
Has grace for you and me:
Oh, listen to the words of love
His messengers declare:
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.
“We once were burden’d sore with sin,
And dark were we and sad:
But Christ has wash’d us in His blood,
And He has made us glad
Fly to His wounds ye guilty ones,
His love and mercy share;
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.
“We know the time is fleeting fast,
The Lord is near at hand:
O sinner, seek the ark of grace,
Its doors wide open stand:
Christ will not always waiting be,
To trifle do not dare;
We cannot leave you lost and lone,
We want you over there.”
A. G.