As Told by the Last of the Six
By C. H. Lancaster
“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7
THERE are generally in each community some who are ever ready to point the finger of scorn at true religion and mock the saints of God who have a burden on their hearts for the lost. Not a few times have we known personally of individuals who have been “destroyed, and that without remedy” (Prov. 29:1). Those who take special delight in scorning and mocking God’s people will not go unpunished. The story of the end of six mockers was published some years ago by A. T. Worden, who heard the story from the lips of the last survivor of the six.
The sad story opens with the scene of a terrible train wreck, caused by an open switch at a small station called Oakleys. The wounded men were taken into the station, and immediately a surgeon and nurses were called to the scene. Mr. Worden was on the wrecked train but was not injured. He says, “I was called to the side of a well dressed man, who was propped up in a broken seat in the corner of the station. The man’s back was broken but he suffered little pain, and after a short conversation he asked me to listen to his story for the benefit of the world. He said that ten years ago, while traveling for a drug store in New York, he found himself one night in the barroom of a hotel in H_____ County, New York. He said the conversation of that night was about a religious revival then in progress in the village. The leader of the revival was a white haired old man of gentle appearance, upon whom the rowdies had played many pranks and had gone unrebuked. The efforts of the revival had reached some of the patrons of the barroom, who had been converted, and this had created bitterness against those in charge of the revival. Rude jokes went around, and as the drinking went on, the language became coarser and coarser. Someone asked how the meetings were concluded, and a half drunken young man said he would show them if five persons would assist. Here the victim of that terrific railroad wreck — a dying man — related the sad story. Wiping the sweat of excitement from his brow, he said, “What I am telling you is the truth, for I am surely standing on verge of eternity. Six of us knelt down on the floor of that barroom and mocked God. Six of us prayed to God to forgive our sins, while feigning tears of repentance. We closed the performance with a hymn we had learned at our mother’s knee — Rock of Ages. When we got through we were alone in the barroom. Horror-stricken, the others had quickly gone home.”
Here the injured man paused a moment to rest, and a sigh of horror went up from the crowd who had gathered around to hear the story. Resuming, he said, “Were it a tale of the middle ages or a story of the times of the Crusaders, what I am about to tell you would not seem strange, but it is a story of our day, placed between the years of 1878 and 1888. There were six of us. In less than a year the hotelkeeper stumbled, fell, ruptured a blood vessel, and died. Nothing strange, you say, but mark this — it was a violent death. Two years later the young man who proposed the act, while with a hunting party at a country house, got up in the night to get a drink of water, fell to the lower floor, broke his neck, and lived only two days afterwards. The third year Tom, a light-hearted fellow, the one who was the noisiest in the mock service, opened the wrong door in his house and fell to the bottom of the cellar and broke his neck. I began to be curious about my two remaining companions in revelry. One of them thought it would break the sequence of events to go west. I heard of him; he became a conductor on a western railroad. A newspaper reported the story of his death in 1885. He was crushed between the cars and died in agony. There were two of us left. Last year I found my remaining companion. He was in deep poverty, and his wife and family were dead. One night he fell within six feet of a saloon door and broke his neck. Since that time I have waiting. Today it came, and in ten years the six men who performed that daring, impious feat have been taken away by violent deaths. The scientific man can show how the chances or probabilities of human destiny might run in such grooves, but that is no consolation for me. It is easy to follow such reasoning when your limbs and the springs of life are bubbling with vitality, but in my case it is worse than idle romancing. The cold facts are there. I prefer to believe that there are limits to man’s freedom. Passing those limits we infringe on the prerogative of God. Who was that fellow who caught his own blood as it flowed from a wound in his heart and tossed it skyward?” “Julian the apostate,” I said. “Yes, he tossed his blood skyward and said, ‘O * Galilean, thou hast conquered,’ and so I say. If you will put my story in print, there are hundreds who will read it and recall some of the circumstances. I have told you a true story. Lift my head up higher, higher, O Galilean.”
“Change his name from dangerously wounded to killed,” said an official at my side. – C. H. Lancaster
* Galilean is a reference to Jesus Christ.
The End of Six Mockers was revised.
He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. – Proverbs 29:1
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