The Two Brothers

 •  7 min. read  •  grade level: 6
IN order to place my story properly before my readers, I must go back a few years to my unconverted days, when I was landlord of the B. Inn. Among, those who regularly frequented the house were two young men, brothers, who, like myself, were careless, reckless, and haters of God. Oh, how often was the blessed Name of Jesus used in blasphemy in our common conversation, and how often we called on that Name in mockery, to give a flavor to our wicked talk!
After a while one of these young men came in for his fortune, some ₤3000. When he obtained it, he said he meant to enjoy himself; he had waited long enough for his money; and he would see the world. There occurs to my mind, as I think of him, this solemn word, "Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment." (Eccl. 11:99Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. (Ecclesiastes 11:9).) George carried out the former part of the verse, but thought not of the latter part. He became more and more reckless; night after night he indulged to excess in strong drink—led on headlong to swift and sure destruction by the god of this world.
A few months of hard drinking and continued neglect of himself broke down his constitution, and he was obliged to seek the doctor's advice, but in his mad folly he disregarded the advice he had sought.
For several days he did not visit my inn owing to sickness, but one Thursday evening lie drove up, came in and took the chair that he usually occupied, and indulged himself again.
“The doctor says I’m very ill," he said, "and that I must take care of myself, but I don't believe there's much amiss with me; I mean to enjoy myself. I don't care for the doctors." He left as usual in his little pony trap; two days after, on the Saturday, word came to me that G. L. was dead. He had fulfilled his desire; he had lived for himself. He died as he had lived.
I went and saw poor George as he lay a corpse, and stood by the cold, inanimate clay; the strong will was at last broken by death.
Had I been cut down along with him I must have perished, for I was then a Christless soul, having the wrath of God abiding upon me. Solemn truth. "It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
About three years after this, the Lord in His mercy met me. He opened the flood gates of heavenly light, and poured His grace into my soul; He brought me into the light of His own presence, Yes, it pleased Him to call me by His grace, and to reveal His Son in me; to call me out of darkness into His own marvelous light, to deliver me from the bondage of Satan, and to translate me into the kingdom of the Son of His love. He saved me by His grace—all, all of sovereign grace.
I had left the inn, and was living in the house I now occupy, when, one Lord's-day afternoon, my wife, whom the Lord had saved also, said to me—
"Do you know that C. L., Inc brother of poor George, is very ill? It is said he is not likely to recover. Do not you think you ought to go and see him?”
I said I would go at once, God helping me, and looked to the Lord that I might gain an entrance into his sick room. Charles's house was a few miles distant from mine. I well knew that, in former days, his wife had regarded me as one who had robbed her of much of her husband's company, and who had led him into sin. When I knocked, the wife came to the door, and to my delight asked me into her husband's room. He lay upon the couch in the drawing-room, very ill; disease evidently fast doing its deadly work. A long time had passed away since we drank the cup of sin together, and Charles looked at me with the greatest surprise, and exclaimed—
“You are the last person I should have thought of coming to see me.”
“Well," I replied, "I heard you were ill, and hoped you would be willing to see me." After inquiring about his health, and hearing from him that the doctor had pronounced his case hopeless, I said—
“My mission this afternoon is about your eternal welfare. If your time be so short here, as you say it is, do you believe you are ready to go into God's presence, and to meet His holy eye that searches us through and through?”
Charles answered me in a broken voice,
“Why not?" said I.
He answered, "Because I am such a wicked sinner.”
“Dear Charles, it is my blessed privilege to tell you of the Saviour—the Lord Jesus Christ, who came into the world to save sinners, That was His specific object; He came to seek and to save that which was lost. He came to die for sinners, for ' while we were yet sinners,' Christ died for us. If you are before God as a lost sinner, the arms of Jesus are extended toward you, for He says, ' Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.'”
I recounted to him God's mercy to me in not cutting me off in the midst of my sins, and we then talked of our reckless adventures and past dangers, and how the Lord had delivered us out of them all. Many life-giving scriptures I put before him, to which he listened very attentively, and I left him, praying that the Lord would bless His word to the salvation of his soul.
The following Thursday I called again, asking after his health, when he said, "I am so glad you have come. I hoped you would be here to-day.”
“Well, dear Charles, what have you been thinking about?”
He answered: "I have been thinking of those scriptures you gave me; one of them is so before me; I seem so attracted to it.”
“Which is it?" said I. "Can you show it to me?”
He pointed me to John's Gospel, chapter 3., putting his finger on that blessed verse, "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
"Dear Charles," said I, " herein is the love of God to the poor sinner—to you and to me—yes, God's love to us in the gift of His own blessed Son, so that, believing in Him, we have eternal life, and are passed from death unto life; neither shall those who believe on Jesus perish, but shall spend eternity in the presence of the blessed Saviour.”
After some two hours of prayer and conversation, I again left.
On the following Lord's day I found Charles in his favorite position on the couch. His face bore an expression of delight upon it, so that, on my entering the room, there was no need to ask him whether God had revealed Himself to him; it was manifest that God had in His purposes of love wrought in his soul that which should stand for eternity. He had called poor Charles by His grace; He had destined him to share in the glory in the presence of his Saviour throughout the countless ages of eternity.
Charles delighted to speak of Jesus, his Saviour, to all who came to see him, and to all by whom he was surrounded. He warned them of the great danger of putting off repentance, while he praised God for His matchless grace towards him in saving him.
About a fortnight after his conversion, one night, when sitting up with him, I said, Charles, have you any doubts or fears as to your soul's salvation?”
He replied, " No; none whatever. Look at that scene at Calvary; don't you hear those words from the blessed Saviour's lips, It is finished'? I rest on that. I am just now waiting His own time to call me home. I am ready.”
Thus was the course of the two brothers finished on earth. What will be their eternity, dear reader? What will be mine? And what will be yours?
I. J. S.
HE, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Prov. 29:11He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. (Proverbs 29:1).)
BOAST not thyself of to-morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Prov. 27:11Boast not thyself of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. (Proverbs 27:1).)