Praise — 

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 5
"WILL you came and see my brother?” said a young woman to me; "he is very ill, and I would like you to speak to him about Jesus." I went, and found a most interesting youth of some fourteen years of age, who was in real concern about his soul, and made ready to hear about that blessed One who "came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
The family had at one time been in easy circumstances—the father holding a good position in connection with the mines in Cornwall, but he had lost his situation, and was now a common miner, and being in very delicate health, his family was reduced to great poverty. The mother had died in consumption before they left Cornwall, and poor James had inherited from her the fatal disease, which was making rapid strides upon him. There were no bright earthly prospects held forth to him to bind him here, or mar his vision of heavenly things, but he was really anxious to get that which the world can neither give nor take away.
I had many interesting conversations with James over the word of God. One afternoon I found him in great distress. After some little conversation we turned to 2 Tim. 1:1212For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day. (2 Timothy 1:12), and I read, "For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day." I said, "Now, James, you see that the apostle Paul could commit his soul and his all to Jesus; why cannot you?”
He said, "I see all you say, and believe it too, but I don't feel that I am saved.”
“James," said I,” trust Him first, and then your joy will come after. It is not our joy that saves us, it is Christ who is our Saviour. Faith in Him will bring peace to your heart." Little more was said, but I knelt down and prayed for him, and while praying I heard James saying," Lord, I commit my soul to Thee: Lord, I commit my soul to Thee." As I rose from my knees James said," I can trust Him now; He has saved me," and surely his beaming face indicated that the Lord had really revealed Himself to him. The joy that will never end had begun for the dear lad; he was now like the prodigal in the father's house, amid the joy and the mirth, when he had just tasted of the fatted calf. Happy portion! blessed place!
The following day I could not see him, but his sister told me that he had been praising the Lord all night. When I next saw him he said, "Oh, I can trust Him now. But I can praise Him best when nobody sees me." The dear lad's cup was full, and running over! I had many precious seasons with him after that, and witnessed the work of God deepening in his soul.
One morning, about six o'clock, there was a knock at my door. It was one of James's sisters. She said, while her poor heart failed, "Will you come and see my brother? he is very ill, and wants to see you." I went with her, and found him very weak and exhausted, sitting in an old arm-chair, for there was no bed in the house for James. He looked me in the face and said, "Oh, pray for me; I cannot pray for myself now, I am so weak.”
I knelt by his side, and he said, "Oh, let me lean my head on your breast." I put my arm round him, and laid his head on my breast.
Then he said, "Oh, put me into that bed." So lifting up the feeble, spent body, and turning down the old, thin, ragged quilt, I laid the dear boy on the only bed in the house—the only bed amongst seven grown-up people, including the dying lad!
Having covered him with the quilt, I put my hand upon his cold brow, and said, "James, is Jesus precious to you?”
His mind wandered for a little, then again. I said, "Is Jesus precious to you, James?" His favorite phrase was, "Praise the Lord," but this time he just uttered one word, and that word was "Praise." He meant to say "Praise the Lord," but had not strength. His spirit had fled. He had gone to finish the sentence in the presence of the Lord.
I closed his eyes and covered him, and could not help inwardly saying, "Farewell, James; I will meet you again in fairer scenes than these.”
Dear reader, suppose you were called into “eternity" just as you are, would it be with praise like James, or would you not rather tremble at the thought of meeting God? And well you might, if you are still in your sins. Would it be said of you as of one of old (Luke 12:2020But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:20)), "Thou fool"? Foolish enough, indeed; he had all his treasure here, and nothing for the future. What have you? Will you read the last verse of the third chapter of John's gospel, and ask yourself this question: Which half of the verse am I in? If in the first, "eternal life" is your portion; if in the last, the "wrath of God" abideth on you. Are you satisfied to remain there? Oh, come to Jesus, and, like James, "trust Him," and you will get his portion here, "peace with God," and the glory forever with the Lord! J. R.