The Pawned Book

 •  3 min. read  •  grade level: 5
Dr. W. P. Mackay left home to attend college at the age of seventeen. His mother gave him a Bible, writing her name, his name and a verse of Scripture on the fly leaf. He graduated with very high honors and became the head of a large hospital. He also became the head of an infidel club where they practiced everything that was licentious and vile. He was open in his ridicule of God and the Bible. The only thing that gave him any thrill was when an ambulance would unload some patient in a critical condition.
One day they brought in a man on a cot, the lower part of whose body had been horribly crushed. On his face, however, was a look of calm and peace so pronounced that it amazed Dr. Mackay who was accustomed to seeing people suffer. With a smile the patient asked what the verdict was.
"O, I guess we will pull you about and fix you up," replied the doctor.
"No, doctor, I don't want any guess," the man said. "I want to know if it is life or death. Just lay me down easy anywhere, doctor. I am ready. I am saved and am not afraid to die." With a face fairly shining with radiance, he continued: "I know I am going to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. But I want the truth. Just what is my condition?" Whereupon the doctor replied, "You have at the most three hours to live.”
The doctor was touched and thinking there might be relatives to notify, asked: "Is there anything you would like to have us do for you?" Thanking him, the injured man said, "In one of my pockets is a two weeks' pay check. If you can get to it, I wish you would send it at once to my landlady and ask her to send me the book.”
"What book?" inquired the doctor.
"O, just the book," the man answered.
"She will know.”
Dr. Mackay arranged for the man's request to be cared for, and then started on his rounds through the hospital.
But those words kept ringing through his ears, "I am ready, doctor." "Just lay me down easy anywhere, doctor." "I am ready.”
Dr. Mackay had never been known to inquire about a patient from any personal interest, but for the first time in his life he wanted to know how this one was getting along. He returned to the ward where the man had been placed, and seeing the nurse whom he had assigned to the case, he inquired as to his condition.
"He died just a few minutes ago," the nurse informed him.
"Did the book get here?" asked the doctor.
"Yes, it arrived shortly before he died," the nurse answered.
"What was it? His bank book?" inquired the doctor.
"No, it wasn't his bank book," replied the nurse. "He died with it under his pillow.”
"What was it?" asked Dr. Mackay.
"It is still there. Go and look at it," said the nurse.
Dr. Mackay went to the bedside, reached under the sheet and drew a Bible from under the pillow. As he did so the Bible opened and the pages turned over to the fly leaf. There in his mother's handwriting, was Dr. Mackay's name, his mother's name and a verse of Scripture. It was the Bible given him by his mother when he left home to attend college. In a drunken brawl he had pawned it years before in order to get whiskey.
Even in death the injured man's face had magnified the precious Savior made known to him through that Bible. Dr. Mackay slipped it under his coat and rushed upstairs to his private office. He asked God to have mercy upon him and in repentance accepted Christ as his Savior. He came into the glorious realization that "By grace are ye saved through faith," and that "Grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.”
He later became a minister of the gospel. One can understand how he would write such a wonderful book as "Grace and Truth.”