Out of the Mouth of Babes

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 7
It was not quite train time, and among the waiting passengers a gentleman walked to and fro in the long depot, holding his little daughter's hand. A commotion near the door attracted general attention, and several officers brought into the room a manacled prisoner.
It soon became known that he was a notorious criminal, who was sentenced to the state prison for twenty years. The little child looked at him, first with wonder and horror; then, as she saw the settled, sullen gloom of his countenance; a tender pity grew on her sweet face, until, dropping her father's hand, she went over to the prisoner, and lifting her eyes to his face, she spoke a few low words.
He glared upon her like a fiend, and she ran back afraid, to her father's hand. But a moment after, she was at his side again, pressing nearer than before in her self-forgetful earnestness, and this time the prisoner dropped his defiant eyes as he listened, and a slight tremor passed over his hard face. Then her father called, and the little one went slowly away, looking back pityingly. The train came presently, and the prisoner went quietly on board, and during the journey he gave the officers no trouble.
Upon their arrival at the prison his conduct was most excellent, and continued so to be. Inmates of that prison having terms of twenty years and over are allowed a light in the evenings, and it was observed that he spent the time in studying the Bible. At length someone asked how it came that he brought with him such a reputation for willfulness, since he had proved himself quiet, and well behaved.
"Well, sir," said he, "I'll tell you. It was when I was waiting in the depot, before. I came here. A little mite of a girl was there with her father. She wasn't much more than a baby, and she had such great blue eyes as you won't often see; somehow I couldn't help looking at her.
"By and by she let go her father's hand and came over to me and said,
`Man, I am sorry for you;' and you wouldn't believe it, but there were tears in her eyes! Something appeared to give way inside of me then, but I was proud, and wouldn't show it: I just scowled at her blacker than ever.
"The poor dear looked kind of scared like, and ran off to her father, but in a minute she was back again, and she came right up to me, and said,
`Man, Jesus Christ is sorry for you.' O sir, that clean broke my heart, nobody'd spoke to me like that since my good old mother died, years and years ago. I had hard work to keep the tears back, and all the way down here I was just thinking of mother, and a great many things she used to teach me, when I was no bigger than that blessed baby—for I had a good bringing up, though mores’ the shame to me. Well, the whole of it is, I made up my mind I would never rest till I found my mother's Savior; and O Sir," he exclaimed, while the tears ran down his face, "O sir, He's saved me—He's saved me!"
How true the words of that little tot. "Man, Jesus Christ is sorry for you."
He proved how deep was the pity and love of His heart for us poor, wretched sinners, by coming down from heavenly bliss to sorrow and shame here below. From the throne to the cross, and there upon that cross he suffered the wrath and judgment of God for us.
"Christ died for our sins." Sinner, as you read these words, can you say in simple faith, "Christ died for me"?